May 11th, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day Moms

mom

My mom turns 85 this year. And she is still a raucous, vibrant, glinting gem. It’s interesting to me that when I hear her voice on the phone she sounds like she is in her 40s.

I’m grateful that both of us lived this long to move into a phase of our relationship that is so relaxed and friendly. (I think 30 plus years of counseling, therapy and spiritual practice — on my end –might have helped with that).

Too, it’s peculiar how as I age I seem to be catching up to my mom. Like the time gap is closing, the parent child matrix falling apart.

Gurdjieff once noted that we don’t really understand or can know what it feels like to be truly alone in life until our mother has passed; and more and more I sense the truth in this sentiment. Which fuels more of my gratitude.

To all the moms out there. Thank you!



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April 21st, 2014

Gurdjieff’s Solar/Lunar Dychotomy

moon_model

To simply consider the Full Moon invites Luna directly into your head.

The evolutionary process has burrowed her image deep into our cerebral cortex. We can’t escape her colossal, fat roundness — pushing out the boundaries of our inner vision.

The Sun radiates and sustains whereas the Moon reflects and craves, as Martha Heyneman writes, always the Moon “…is tugging at everything on her side of the surface of the earth. She sucks on the very rocks. As she passes overhead the earth’s crust rises a few inches beneath her and is elsewhere compressed, kneaded as a cat kneads your stomach.”

Astrologically we associate the Moon with Mother, but is that correspondence correct? According to the Russian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff the Earth and the Moon are in a kind of symbiotic relationship with one another. As he explained to P.D. Ouspensky, as recounted in the book In Search of the Miraculous: “The moon is a huge living being feeding upon all that lives and grows on earth. The moon could not not exist without organic life on earth, any more than organic life on earth could exist without the moon.” Gurdjieff describes the Moon as a planet-in-the-making that depends on vital forces generated by life on Earth to continue her process of ‘warming’. The Moon’s evolution. This is a very different understanding from what Western astrology teaches us.

Why do we often feel anxious during the Full Moon? And why is the Full Moon phase considered one of heightened spiritual activity? Consider the phases in life when you’ve changed homes, ended a longterm relationship, lost your job, or experienced the death of a loved one. Psychologists consider those four ‘life events’ as some of the toughest emotional adjustments we ever make. Within the realm of planetary and luminary aspects, the moment of the Full Moon corresponds to a similar set of shocks. Read more



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March 02nd, 2014

Time and the Retrograde of Mars and Saturn

robert_place_hanged_man

To stall is to procrastinate. That’s the usual association we make with the word. And procrastination implies a conscious kind of non-action on the part of the procrastinator.

But there is another definition taken from the world of aviation. A mechanical stall is a malfunction in the flight of an aircraft in which there is a sudden loss of lift that results in a downward plunge. “The plane went into a stall and I couldn’t control it.”

Can you relate?

With both Saturn (the prime timekeeper) and Mars (momentum itself) in retrograde motion, our direction, our sense of time, our desire (Mars) for a forward direction (Saturn) — all of our leaning toward and lunging for is, well, suspended — left dangling. So when someone asks you, “What are you up to?” You can say, in all honesty, “Just hanging around.” Or if you’re a more melodramatic type: “Man, I’m going down.”

So, while you’re falling why not pick a card — any card.

Of all the various versions of the Tarot’s Hanged Man (Pamela Colman Smith’s glowing, haloed figure or Aleister Crowley‘s eerie ankh-hung Spiderman) I like the simplicity of Robert Place‘s rendering — taken from his Alchemical Tarot deck. I also think Place’s Hanged Man is more true to the initial stages of frustration one experiences when she first notices that her airplane has gone into a stall.

Place animates his Hanged Man with a thrashing motion of the body and an angry, perplexed countenance. The man is definitely rebelling. And all that he has acquired within the normal, forward motion of time, is falling from his hands. Read more



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February 25th, 2014

Living the Dream

writers_dreaming

A woman novelist said to Gurdjieff at one meeting:

“I sometimes feel that I am more conscious when I am writing. Is this so or do I imagine it?”

He replied:

“You live in dreams and you write about your dreams. Much better for you if you were to scrub one floor consciously then to write a hundred books as you do now.”

– C.S. Nott from Teachings of Gurdjieff: A Pupils Journal



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February 12th, 2014

The Authentic Art of Living

alchemey_man

“What do I know?”

Whoever ponders seriously this question understands little by little his relation with “Who am I?”, echoes of which resound down the centuries since man first appeared on this planet.

For these seekers, to be, to know and to do are the facets of the same reality.

To dream of knowing oneself and nothing more, without looking for the slightest hint of an intentional manifestation fully integrated with the surrounding reality, is tantamount to a kind of desertion.

As for trying “to do” without being aware of “being”, without looking at every step for a way to be in accord with an inner presence, is the worst kind of abdication. The human condition is a perpetual challenge, which man can not ignore without abandoning his true nature.

He who wakes up to the deep meaning of his life and perceives how he makes room for the force and the difficulties of the innumerable relationships offered to him, acknowledges, by the same token, the very point of his existence. He discovers the possibility of seizing hold of the present, in order to bring together in a supreme effort the unfathomable experience of the past with the immediate prospects for the future, for which he wishes to feel himself responsible.

Taking into consideration his potentialities as well as his limitations, choosing the best influences for him, he has for aim to work always according to his being, in order to affirm himself at each moment, in constant submission to the demands of the life of the universe.

This would be the authentic art of living and the visible manifestation of a real individual culture.

–Henri Tracol

from The Taste for Things That are True
 

Some Thoughts on Henri Tracol by John Robert Colombo


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