Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The (REALLY big) questions

Recently posted onto a Fourthway email list were the following "big questions" (there are certainly more, but these were but a few important to Fourthway students):
> What is the growing end of one's own descending octave?
> Also there is an ascending octave. What is this with in me?
> What is the yearning for consciousness, the hope, love and faith of consciousness?
> What does this really mean for me in my life?
> How do I start the process of finding my way to understanding more fully?

The writer did not attempt to answer these questions, as is usually the case for a variety of reasons they would explain if pressed to provide some.

Here are a few comments about all that.

These are, apparently, the kinds of questions one should be asking (and not limited to those studying Gurdjieff, but anyone properly interested in the "lifelong pursuit"), and not just occasionally, but consistently, even continuously, in the way a gymnast walks their 4-inch wide balance beam, or even a tightrope-walker traverses their 1/2-inch wide wire, always checking all the centers, the entire system-that-we-are, the system-that-one-is, as consciously as possible.

Unfortunately for very many people, perhaps even some here, deviations (falling) can occur at any time, but because they have not yet "hit the ground", they in their continuing imagination still believe they "on their way".

One sign that falling is already occurring, is believing the metaphors they "admire" (and think they are studying), are reality. The metaphors - regarding what man is, where he lives both externally and internally, what his capacities and potentials are, all that - substitute for most people AS acceptable reality. That is, that they know the stories, the metaphors, is an acceptable substitute for being the reality they point to.

This is never easy to accomplish, but oh so easy to believe the stories as fact, even if "not yet verified".

One surprising thing that relative awakening reveals, or results in, is the quickening of the "letting-go" of metaphors, stories about themselves, in favor of, as it were, actually ANSWERING all those questions that have apparently sustained one for so many years.

It is no longer satisfactory to merely ask "the hard questions", but to understand why they were even asked in the first place, why they attracted you to their hoped-for resolutions, and why it's taken so very long to move beyond the beliefs.

In other words - though saying this will raise hackles in some - asking the questions, ruminating over the questions, speculating about the questions, is a poor substitute for moving past their inbred need to do so. That is, reaching levels of certainty (regarding those questions/metaphors) about all things previously considered, "the really big questions".

Testing the waters

Whenever a (budding) revolutionist sticks his head above line-level, he always risks revealing himself to someone in the city, to Life ("as he knows it"), due to the "reflectivity" of all such efforts and his still-inexperienced skills and talents in that regard, but that does not stifle his more-overpowering need to continue to test the world, to See All; in fact, it stimulates even further attempts to See without Being seen.

This is the source of the real essence need to break rules that the city has established - long before he arrived here - and is the beginning of something that can grow, if not unduly stifled, by being revealed "once too often!" and becoming a societal criminal of one sort or another, or worse, an overly inhibited human that has essentially lost the innate power to think for himself, do for himself, explore the world and the universe. (A pity? Perhaps, perhaps not.)

So-called, "testing the waters" is built-in to the organism, and is the need to branch out, to grow, to evolve, that society, civilization, peer and power-possessing groups seek to squelch as soon as possible, if not even sooner - by "teaching" the human what is "acceptable" and absolutely "un-acceptable".

But, testing the waters can flower into moving the nervous system above the line, and eventually out of sight, of both the city, AND Life - to become what one really IS, an Individual, Real I. Ordinary "i's" (ordinary humans, moment by moment) can only test the external world, and some become outcasts, criminals, exiles. Real I no longer needs to test the external world, but ONLY himself - that is, all that which is below or at line level in him. In this he feeds his higher nervous system, and this continual feeding gestates the "new man", and if he doesn't die physically, too soon, this New Being, which will not only outlive the death of the body, may even outlive the life of the planet that gave birth to him - or, as Gurdjieff suggested, "become immortal within the limits of the solar system."

When a Revolutionist (no longer just a rookie) has succeeded establishing a base camp above the line, he comes with nothing but his own genetic capacities, but as time proceeds, and skills mature, he develops methods for remaining above the line, even while participating in the life of the city - maintaining a home, paying bills, interacting with others, holding a necessary job - while not giving away his position as a full-fledged revolutionist observing the world from his detached position.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Modern man

Modern man - in any age - is continuously engaged in attempting to solve all the mysteries that naturally surround him, but he has only two methodologies: thinking about his life, and/or thinking about his self. All teachings, systems of thought, religions, philosophies, arts, sciences, and similar verbal attempts, are nothing more than one or the other, or a synthesis of both.

Modern man is thus condemned to spend eternity - such as only he can know it - circling around this same point: that of the unsolved mystery.

The only way a "modern man" can move forward with all this, to move into the future, as distinct from remaining glued to the present/past, is by inventing a third methodology.

There is no "my life". There is no "my self". And the continual forgetting of this by that which is "thinking about it", is the very definition of "modernity". Once a human evolves to the point where he begins to consider his life and himself, from his personal point of view, he reaches "modernity", which is the status quo of all humanity, the highest level of evolution possible for "modern man".

All so-called, pre-moderns all the way back to uncivilized savages with a functioning mental circuit - the capacity to think and talk - must occupy their minds (and not just their entire mind, but that particular part that can grow and expand) thinking about their lives and their selves, that is, they can only think about personal points of views about everything.

The third methodology extends first from the intentional merging, fusion, of "my life" with "my self", creating a third possibility that can not occur accidentally, and even if some external circumstances evoke that seeming temporary result, it can not be maintained, because there was no initial moment of intention. What starts accidentally continues accidentally, bound by all the laws of the universe which govern the continuance of the status quo.

Thus, are all humans linked in Time, from a common point wherein was first inculcated the concept of the other, and another means to deal with it - besides the instincts and capacity for independent movement - via the thinking circuitry. This occurs in all humans, in all ages through teaching ("others") by frequent instruction or repetition; it is, simply, indoctrination - in the same way the young are inculcated with a sense of duty.

Humans are taught their sense of "myself", and their sense of "my life", and that is the chief impediment to the growth of the nervous system into higher circuits.

Friday, October 13, 2006


It's not that somebody "knows" something or "understands" something you don't - not jesus, not buddha, not gurdjieff, not jung - but that you need to reorganize, restructure, rewire your nervous system, somehow, in order to reach in there and pull out what you want/need when you want/need it.

It's all in there.

And the forms that "knowledge" takes, is almost irrelevant, because all "knowledge" is fungible, due to differences in language, primarily, and the way in which thought is interpreted by the one "knowing" it. This, of course, accounts for the extraordinary differences (complexities) in the many, many teachings that have existed and do exist today. The "names" for things, including obviously, all intangibles, are really just variances in the way people talk about them, depending upon their language of choice, and the time of the day/year/century.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


The ordinary quest for knowledge of everything under the sun, save one, inevitably leads to more and more talk.

The proper investigation of man, is mind, which inevitably leads to less and less talk.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor is a basic scientific principle which says, all things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the right one.

So what’s more likely?
An all powerful and mysterious God created the Universe, and then decided not to give any proof of his existence, or that he simply doesn't exist at all, and that men created the idea of God so that they didn’t have to feel so small and alone?

What if science simply revealed that God never existed in the first place? Would you have a problem with that?

This "question" has "plagued" mankind throughout history. Some men don't believe in God and don't know why they don't. Some men do believe in God and don't know why they do.

What if, it's this very question that is primarily responsible for the growth and development of those two features of the human animal that makes him utterly different from the other non-human animals - emotion and intelligence.

Instinctively, and bodily, many kinds of animals demonstrate more capabilities than humans - some can live longer, live and breath under water, fly, jump higher, are much stronger, etc.

But, emotionally and intellectually, none of the non-human animals on this planet even come close. (Don't bother trying to argue this one, if you can't realize the truth of that, then you don't belong in this discussion.)

So, given the possibility that the above is "correct enough", perhaps the question of the existence or non-existence of God, and the question of emotional faith and intellectual proof, are the chief means through which mankind "grew" his emotional and intellectual capacities (i.e., expanding his nervous system into those two higher circuits), and that without that one question, it could be said - with a straight face - that man would in fact be no different than any other animal on this planet.

If you can "accept" the above as a legitimate premise, then the next mind-blowing (expanding) question could be: What question, therefore, would/could be responsible for growing the nervous system into the next circuit, the 4th circuit which is not yet ordinarily functioning in man?

What's all this talk, about religious and spiritual texts?

(As if you don't have enough to think about!)

Are you getting suitably energized by all those texts you're passing back and forth - in the form of reading, and talking about - like some kind of waterpipe? Or are you drifting even deeper into sleep?

Sure, the waterpipe is attractive to look at, and craftily manufactured, by certifiable artisans and craftsmen - with students no less - but the stuff in the bowl is the thing, NOT the pipe!

"What's the stuff in the bowl, master?"

Are you kidding!?!
You still don't know do you, after all the finger-pointing, and head-banging.
The "stuff" is not in the bowl, stupid - er, I mean, student.

Talking trash and other stuff

Why do people - a few, anyway - talk about (and think about) this kind of stuff: religion, philosophy, psychology, enlightenment, consciousness, waking up, nirvana, etc., etc.? (Besides the obvious fact, that they can't help it.)

Because doing so affects a small, albeit very minor, alteration in their nervous system, especially at the highest ends of the cerebral cortex wherein such non-ordinary thinking takes place.

The only "problem" (and it most definitely IS a problem, of the highest order, for those who've discovered it as such for themselves), is that this kind of talking and thinking is way too random, erratic, and without known purpose, EVEN IF (especially when) the person tries to convince himself and others, otherwise.

He might SAY he thinks and talks about this stuff so that he will wake up, become enlightened, reach nirvana, and other things like that, but in fact, he does so simply because it's enjoyable to do so (and he can't help it). That is, the brain gets a small, rather insignificant HIT of special neuropeptides which affect certain locations in the pleasure centers of the brain.

He might as well be thinking about last night's basketball playoff game, or next weekend's rock group concert, for all the "benefit" such thinking produces in him. Does the phrase, "mental masturbation" mean anything to you, because that's what going on, whether or not you own up to it yet.

All thinking and talking about what other people first thought and talked about (trying to "analyze" what they "meant" when they wrote/said it first) - and, getting your little "contact hit" thereby - is like trying to get high by walking by a person smoking some dynamite pot, while abstaining yourself, and not actually taking the bowl and doing the deed.

If you >>really<< want to "get high" (a euphemism, and a pun), come up with something you've NEVER thought about, NEVER heard about, NEVER read about, and then THINK about it in a way that is uncharacteristic for you. You will then discover what "uncharacteristic" might actually mean in that sentence, and how it "solves" that little "problem" referred to earlier.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Two kinds of thought

Humans are capable of two kinds of thought:
1) this, and
2) that.

The "other thing" is merely imagination, a future possibility that can never be realized.

This, is saying/thinking stupid things in an intelligent way; and
That, is saying/thinking intelligent things in a stupid way.

The "other thing" (depending upon your time-based preference) is saying/thinking intelligent things in an intelligent way.

You might think - looking at your own mind - that you do the "other thing" all the time, right? Wrong.

It never happens, because there's no need for it to happen, anymore than there is a need for people to fly. (If "god" had wanted people to fly, "he" would have..., and if "he" had wanted people to say intelligent things intelligently, he would have...)

Go figure... or, TWO plus TWO sometimes equals FOUR, and sometimes not (depending upon your time-based, ad-hoc preference.)