What keeps us out of the upper floors [the higher intellectual and emotional centers] of our mansion? Obstacles to higher levels of consciousness are abundant in daily life: they are our legacy from generations past. Perhaps the most central is identification, the basic flavor of ordinary waking state.
“In this state,” Gurdjieff noted, “man has no separate awareness. He is lost in whatever he happens to be doing, feeling, thinking. Because he is lost, immersed, not present to himself, this condition is known…as a state of waking sleep.”
Identification is the opposite of self-consciousness. In a state of identification one does not remember oneself. One is lost to oneself. Attention is directed outward, and no awareness is left over for inner states. And ordinary life is almost totally spent in states of identification.
The thinking of ordinary people occurs when something “occurs to one.” It is mechanical chatter, colored by lying, which is not under any control. Formatory apparatus, the moving part of intellectual center, is incapable of comprehending orders of truth higher than the dualistic: thus the ordinary individual is third-force blind. He sees things in terms of opposites — cause and effect, good and evil, truth and falsity, seeing duality not not trinity.
– Kathleen Riordan Speeth
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.
After Father and Mother — the two defining primordial images in our lives — there looms the Sun and the Moon. Our consciousness develops and is sustained by this quadrant of forces. And between the Sun and the Moon life on Earth thrives and dies.
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.” Read more
“If a man could understand all the horror of the lives of ordinary people who are turning around in a circle of insignificant interests and insignificant aims, if he could understand what they are losing, he would understand that there can only be one thing that is serious for him — to escape from the general law, to be free. What can be serious for a man in prison who is condemned to death? Only one thing: How to save himself, how to escape: nothing else is serious.”
I just received notice that author Keith Buzzell will be holding a seminar in Salt Lake City, Utah, in November or December 2009 to explore the question: What is the relationship between spirituality and science. Buzzell explains the seminar as such:
“The Gurdjieff teaching heralds a new approach to the potential blending of these impulses. We propose to host a seminar, Science, Gurdjieff and Man’s Conception of God to further our understanding.”
Keith has been a student of the Gurdjieff teaching for over fifty years, and is a physician by profession. He has authored three books, Perspectives on Beelzebub’s Tales, Explorations in Active Mentation and Man–A Three-brained Being with his insights to date.
For those interested in attending the seminar, familiarity with one or more of Keith’s books is recommended, to facilitate a lively exchange. For specific information, please visit Fifth Press’ contact page and send a query email to Dr. Buzzell.
“In order to develop from any of the three ordinary types into higher orders of being it is necessary to crystallize and temper essence into a permanent and unifeid “I.” This is done mainly by instigating a struggle between essence and personality. Both essence and personality are necessary for this work: essence must have personality or it will not wish to develop. Personality provides the material to study, the obstacles to overcome, the temptations to resist, the delusions to invalidate, and in the process of struggling with and testing itself against personality, essence gains in strength and maturity. This battle is what Islam calls the holy war (jihad) and in this war the more evenly matched the opposing sides, the greater the intensity of combat and the more thorough the destruction and renewal entailed.”
– Kathleen Riordan Speeth