October 22, 2013 at 10:21 pm #41409
Any people familiar with Gurdjieff on here? I’ve been reading In Search of the Miraculous and was really hoping some of you, Michael Winn especially, could help with something thats been disturbing me. So in the book Gurdjieff makes the well known distinction between personality and essence. He also adds that a ‘considerable percentage’ of people actually die in essence before their physical death, their essence actually just dies with their body and personality still intact and they can go through the rest of their lives just an empty shell with no spiritual life at all.
So what are your thoughts on this and how it relates to Taoism? If it’s true, how would it translate into Taoist terms? Because in Taoism it seems that as long as one has Jing, which I guess basically means you still have a functional reproductive center, your metabolism is working etc then nei gong is still possible and you can still have spiritual growth. Or am I wrong about this?October 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm #41410
IMHO, including Gurdjieff…
the core of the self comes through the heart spirit…
how can “god” play hide and seek inside love and war?
certainly not by “pretending” everything away
who should know what is behind the necessitudes and why?
all the world is a stage
would you destroy the game to suit your own liberation?
99% falseOctober 23, 2013 at 11:01 pm #41412
Don’t really understand your post ribosome…
Gurdjieff says that there is this thing called Essence which is I guess our True Self. He furthermore claims that if not properly taken care of this True Self can actually be killed by the stresses and pressures of neurotic living, leaving the individual an empty shell with no spiritual existence.
“pretending”, “destroying the game”, not sure how that relates to Gurdjieff?October 24, 2013 at 8:39 am #41414
“Thus through each of them the cosmic substances arising in all seven
stopinders of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh could be transformed, and all of
them, even the contemporary ones, besides serving as apparatuses for the
Most Great Cosmic Trogoautoegocrat, could have the possibility of absorbing
from the cosmic substances transformed through them everything required for
the coating and perfecting of both higher being-bodies. For indeed, each threebrained
being arising on this planet of yours represents in himself, in all
respects, as does every three-brained being in our Universe, an exact
similarity to the whole Megalocosmos.
“The difference between each of them and our Great Megalocosmos is
only one of scale.
“In this connection, you should know that your contemporary favorites are
very fond of a notion they got hold of somewhere, which they either sense
instinctively or repeat automatically, I don’t know which, and express in the
words ‘We are made in the image of God. ‘”These unfortunates do not even suspect that, of all their notions about cosmic truths, this expression is the only true one.
“And indeed, each of them is the ‘image of God’not of that ‘God’ they
picture with their bob-tailed Reason, but of the real God, as we sometimes
call our common Megalocosmos.
“Each of them, down to the smallest detail, is exactly similar, though in
miniature, to the whole of our Megalocosmos, and in each of them there are
all the separate functionings which actualize in the Megalocosmos the cosmic
harmonious Iraniranumange, or ‘exchange of substances,’ maintaining the
existence of everything existing as one whole.
“This expression of theirs’We are made in the image of God’can serve
us here as a very good illustration of how far ‘perceptive being-logic’ or, as it
is sometimes called, ‘aimnophnian mentation,’ is already atrophied in them.
“Although this formulation corresponds to the truth, when they try to
express its exact meaning, it is the same here as it is in general with all their
verbal formulations, that is, even if they should wish actively and sincerely,
with their whole presence, to impart their inner representation and essentialunderstanding of it, what would come out of their strange shortsighted
mentation would at best be something of this sort .
‘Good . . . if we are made “in the image of God” . . . that means . . . that means
. . . God is like us and also looks like us and that means our God has the same
moustache, beard, nose, as we have, and also wears clothes as we do. He
wears clothes doubtless because He likes modesty, just as we do. It was not for
nothing that He expelled Adam and Eve from Paradise only because they lost
their modesty and forgot their fig leaves.
“In some of the beings there, particularly of recent times,their ‘aimnophnian being-mentation,’ or ‘perceptive logic,’ has deteriorated to
such a point that in their picturings they can see this God of theirs very
clearly, with a little comb sticking out of His left vest pocket, with which He
sometimes combs His famous beard.
“This superpeculiar aimnophnian being-mentation about their God
proceeded in your favorites chiefly as a result of the hasnamussian
manifestations of those ‘learned’ beings who, as you remember, assembled in
the city of Babylon and together began inventing various maleficent ‘fictions’
about that God of theirs, which by chance were afterward spread everywhere
on that ill-fated planet, and since at that period the three-brained beings there
were existing in a particularly ‘selzelnualnian’ manner, that is, particularly
‘passively’ as regards the being-efforts proper to three-centered beings, they
thoroughly absorbed and appropriated these maleficent fictions.
“Later, in their transmission from generation to generation, these fictions
were gradually crystallized into such monstrous ‘logicnestarian material’ that,
in the psyche of the contemporary three-brained beings, there began to
proceed this exceptionally distorted, aimnophnian being-mentation.
“And the reason why they picture their ‘God’ to themselves with a long
beard is because, among the maleficent fictions of the ‘learned beings’ of
Babylon, it was said, among other things, that that famous ‘God’ of theirs had
the appearance of a venerable old man with a long flowing beard.
“But in their imaginings about their ‘God’ your contemporary favorites
have gone still further. They picture him as an ‘old Jew,’ since in their bobtailed
notions all sacred personages come from that race.
-G. I. GURDJIEFF, Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson
Gurdjieff has clearly been having serious personal problems like too much tobacco and alcohol, overeating etc.
Ouspensky even more…
What is this Fourth Way about?
Handiworks, dancing and self-remembering or…
If one takes look at G’s own books like ‘Beelzebub’s Tales’ one shouldn’t be too impressed. It’s, like for example Blavatsky’s ‘Secret Doctrine’, for my taste too outdated. For example Steiner’s ‘Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss’ is much better.
I have impression that his few philosophical ideas shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Yoga and qigong are much better practically.
Ps. All and everything?October 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm #41416
“And as for the totality of the spiritualized data localized in their presence
for the purpose of genuine being-consciousness, which they call the
‘subconscious,’ since it neither has nor acquires any ‘logicnestarian growths’
for confrontation and criticism, but from the very beginning has only the
possibility of engendering the sacred being-impulses called ‘Faith,’ ‘Love,’
‘Hope,’ and ‘Conscience,’ it always believes, always loves, and always hopes
in everything newly perceived.
“Well, my boy, by altering the tempo of their blood circulation, it is
possible to suspend for a time the action of the localization of their false
consciousness, now the ‘sovereign master’ of their common presence, thus
enabling the sacred data of their genuine consciousness to blend freely with
the general functioning of their planetary body during their waking state, and
if one then assists, in the required way, the crystallization of data which give
rise in this localization to an idea contrary to what is already fixed there, and
if one directs the action of this idea to a disharmonized part of the planetary
body, one can bring about in that part a rapid change in the blood circulation.
-GEORGE IVANOVICH GURDJIEFF, Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson
I wouldn’t try to find answer for this question in any more advanced form, but I think it’s worth noticing that Gurdjieff’s claims have to to with his experiments with hypnotism.
So to find answer for this practically one would need to have group which experiments with this kinds of things.
Anyway real nature of so called animal magnetism should be clear at least to certain degree for those who are familiar with Taoist energetic practices.
HOWDYOctober 25, 2013 at 12:55 am #41418
Well Gurdjieff claimed that he ‘saw’ the considerable amounts of walking dead in great towns and the like, not just in hypnotism experiments, so I guess it was something he could observe the way you observe someone to be happy or sad.
My question is if Gurdjieff is right about all this, then what is the Essence or ‘Genuine Being-Consciousness’ in Taoist terms. What is it that enables one to feel faith and love, that life is meaningful, magical etc, and what sort of depletion are we talking about when we lose these feelings?October 28, 2013 at 9:49 am #41420
“This duality of their general psyche is produced because, on the one hand,
various what are called ‘individual initiatives’ issue from that localization in
their presence which is always predominant during their waking existence and
is nothing but the result of accidentally perceived impressions coming from
their abnormal environment, which taken as a whole make up their so-called
‘consciousness’, and on the other hand, various other ‘individual initiatives’
simultaneously issue from that normal localization existing in the presence of
every kind of being which they call the ‘subconscious.’
“And because these ‘individual initiatives’ issue from two different
localizations, each of your favorites in his daily waking existence is, as it
were, divided into two independent personalities.
“Here it must be remarked that this duality was also the reason why their
presence gradually lost that impulse, indispensable to three-brained beings,
“Later, the practice even took root among them of inten
tionally suppressing this being-impulse called ‘sincerity’, and now, from the
day of their arising or, as they say, from the day of their !birth,’ these threebrained beings are accustomed by their producersor, as they say, their
‘parents’ to an entirely contrary impulse, namely ‘deceit.’
“To teach and influence their children how to be insincere with others and
deceitful in everything has become so ingrained in the beings of the planet
Earth of the present time that they even consider this their duty toward their
children, and they describe this conduct by the famous word ‘education.’
-G.I. GURDJIEFF, Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson
Conversations in groups continued as usual. Once G. said that he wanted to carry out an experiment on the separation of personality from essence. We were all very interested because he had promised “experiments” for a long time but till then we had seen nothing. I will not describe his methods, I will merely describe the people whom he chose that first evening for the experiment. One was no longer young and was a man who occupied a fairly prominent position in society. At our meetings he spoke much and often about himself, his family, about Christianity, and about the events of the moment connected with the war and with all possible kinds of “scandal” that had very much disgusted him. The other was younger. Many of us did not consider him to be a serious person. Very often he played what is called the fool; or, on the other hand, entered into endless formal arguments about some or other details of the system without any relation whatever to the whole. It was very difficult to understand him. He spoke in a confused and intricate manner even of the most simple things, mixing up in a most impossible way different points of view and words belonging to different categories and levels.
I pass over the beginning of the experiment.
We were sitting in the big drawing room.
The conversation went on as usual.
“Now observe,” G. whispered to us.
The older of the two who was speaking heatedly about something suddenly became silent in the middle of a sentence and seemed to sink into his chair looking straight in front of him. At a sign from G. we continued to talk without looking at him. The younger one began to listen to the talk and then spoke himself. All of us looked at one another. His voice had become different. He told us some observations about himself in a clear, simple, and intelligible manner without superfluous words, without extravagances, and without buffoonery. Then he became silent; he smoked a cigarette and was obviously thinking of something. The first one sat still without moving, as though shrunken into a ball.
“Ask him what he is thinking about,” said G. quietly.
“I?” He lifted his head as though waking up when he was questioned. “About nothing.” He smiled weakly as though apologizing or as though he were surprised at anyone asking him what he was thinking about.
“Well, you were talking about the war just now,” said one of us, “about what would happen if we made peace with the Germans; do you still think as you did then?”
“I don’t know really,” he said in an uncertain voice. “Did I say that?”
“Yes, certainly, you just said that everyone was obliged to think about it, that no one had the right not to think about it, and that no one had the right to forget the war; everyone ought to have a definite opinion; yes or nofor or against the war.”
He listened as though he did not grasp what the questioner was saying.
“Yes?” he said. “How odd. I do not remember anything about it.”
“But aren’t you interested in it?”
“No, it does not interest me at all.”
“Are you not thinking of the consequences of all that is now taking place, of the results for Russia, for the whole of civilization?”
He shook his head as though with regret.
“I do not understand what you are talking about,” he said, “it does not interest me at all and I know nothing about it.”
“Well then, you spoke before of your family. Would it not be very much easier for you if they became interested in our ideas and joined the work?”
“Yes, perhaps,” again in an uncertain voice. “But why should I think about it?”
“Well, you said you were afraid of the gulf, as you expressed it, which was growing between you and them.”
“But what do you think about it now?”
“I am not thinking about it at all.”
“If you were asked what you would like, what would you say?”
Again a wondering glance”I do not want anything.”
“But think, what would you like?”
On the small table beside him there stood an unfinished glass of tea. He gazed at it for a long time as though considering something. He glanced around him twice, then again looked at the glass, and said in such a serious voice and with such serious intonations that we all looked at one another:
“I think I should like some raspberry jam.”
“Why are you questioning him?” said a voice from the corner which we hardly recognized.
This was the second “experiment.”
“Can you not see that he is asleep?”
“And you yourself?” asked one of us.
“I, on the contrary, have woken up.”
“Why has he gone to sleep while you have woken up?”
“I do not know.”
With this the experiment ended.
Neither of them remembered anything the next day. G. explained to us that with the first man everything that constituted the subject of his ordinary conversation, of his alarms and agitation, was in personality. And when his personality was asleep practically nothing remained. In the personality of the other there was also a great deal of undue talkativeness but behind the personality there was an essence which knew as much as the personality and knew it better, and when personality went to sleep essence took its place to which it had a much greater right.
“Note that contrary to his custom he spoke very little,” said G. “But he was observing all of you and everything that was taking place, and nothing escaped him.”
“But of what use is it to him if he also does not remember?” said one of us.
“Essence remembers,” said G., “personality has forgotten. And this was necessary because otherwise personality would have perverted everything and would have ascribed all this to itself.”
“But this is a kind of black magic,” said one of us. “Worse,” said G. “Wait and you will see worse than that”
-P.D. OUSPENSKY, In Search of the Miraculous
Here it’s better to be clear that Gurdjieff’s main method, to show that there is something like personality which is separated from something which he calls essence, is hypnotic suggestion which results subject’s personality switching off.
Notice that he would have been observing this also other ways can be understood knowing that this guy saw almost all in conventional society being abnormal and morbid. There method of observation is more indirect.
Ps. Is there any kind of Taoist equivalence?November 1, 2013 at 5:25 am #41422November 7, 2013 at 3:02 am #41424
Only he will deserve the name of man and can count upon anything prepared for him from Above, who has already acquired corresponding data for being able to preserve intact both the wolf and the sheep confided to his care.
A ‘psycho-associative philological analysis’ of this saying of our ancestors which was made by certain learned men of our timesof course not from among those breeding on the continent of Europe clearly showed that the word ‘wolf’ symbolizes the whole of the fundamental and reflex functioning of the human organism and the word ‘sheep’ the whole of the functioning of a man’s feeling. As for the functioning of a man’s thinking, this is represented in the saying by the man himself, a man who, in the process of his responsible life, owing to his conscious labours and voluntary sufferings, has acquired in his common presence corresponding data for always being able to create conditions for a possible existence together of these two heterogeneous and mutually alien lives. Only such a man can count upon and become worthy to possess that which, as affirmed in this saying, is prepared from Above and is, in general, foreordained for man.
-G. GURDJIEFF, Meetings with Remarkable Men
Ipovlopsychophobia (ē-pōv′lo-sy-cho-fō′bē-ă, from Greek ὑποβλώψ – ypovló̱ps, “one who takes stolen glances”, ψυχή – psychí̱, “the soul”, and φόβος – phobos, “fear”) refers to a fear, aversion, or strong refusal to have one’s photograph taken. Although an uncommon phobia, it has been noted within minor religions as an experience to which one believes their spirit or essence is stolen by the photographer and the photographic equipment.
personality=1st attention (known)
essence=2nd attention (unknown which can become known)
3rd attention (unknowable)=????
Ps. If Gurdjieff was very very peculiar personality what about Castaneda? For example where does his camera shyness actually come from?
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.