“This system turns everything we know or ever thought of upside down. It cannot be reconciled with ordinary psychological ideas. We have to decide how we are to see man: as an egg or as a bird. And if we see him as an egg we must not ascribe to him properties of a bird. When we see him as an egg the whole psychology becomes different: all human life becomes the life of embryos, of incomplete beings. And for some the meaning of life becomes the possibility of passing to another state.
“It is very important to understand what is a complete being and what is an incomplete being, because if this is not understood from the beginning it will be difficult to go further. Perhaps an example will help to illustrate what I mean.
“Let us compare a horse-carriage with an aeroplane. An aeroplane has many possibilities that an ordinary carriage does not have, but at the same time an aeroplane can be used as an ordinary carriage. It would be very clumsy and inconvenient and very expensive, but you can attach two horses to it and travel in an aeroplane by road.
“Suppose the man who has this aeroplane does not know that it has an engine and can move by itself and suppose he learns about the engine- then he can dispense with the horses and use it as a motor car. But it will still be too clumsy.
“Suppose the man studies this machine and discovers that it can fly. Certainly it will have many advantages which he missed when he used the aeroplane as a carriage.
“This is what we are doing with ourselves; we use ourselves as a carriage, when we could fly. But examples are one thing and facts are another. There is no need of allegories and analogies, for we can speak about actual facts if we begin to study consciousness in the right way.”
P. D. Oupensky. The Fourth Way. pg. 28
Anything in quotation marks in the following posts will come from this part of the book.
There are many teachings that one can bring to life. I will not name them but i’m sure you can imagine some religious or spiritual practices that could enrich your life.
This week I will be trying to impart a certain idea in the blogs that follow this introduction. But first I would like to stress one important point. This system in which the idea comes, belongs to the class of system which regards man as an incomplete being and study him from the point of view of his possible development.
Man can be conscious, but at present he is not. It must be recognised that man lives below his legitimate level. There are several other things that man can attain, but for now I will stick to just one idea.
Tomorrow I will share a brilliant quote from Ouspensky. An allegory that shows wonderfully how man lives on a much lower level than is possible. From there I will continue on this theme for two more days.
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Thank you for your likes and comments. They inspire me to continue blogging and get my mind working again in regards the said post. If you have never commented, give it a try, it really is very helpful for you to get your thoughts down into words.
Thank you for being who you are. Having your likes and dislikes, your interests and disinterests, and the way you carry yourself throughout this world.
I really do appreciate the number of people who read the words contained in this blog. For that reason I must continue.
Tomorrow I will try something a little different. A series of related blogs over 3-4 days. I know attention is not easy to keep in one place for a long time, so I will break the words up over consecutive days.
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Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal.
Ryokan returned and caught him. ‘You may have come a long way to visit me,’ he told the prowler, ‘and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.’
The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.
Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon, ‘Poor fellow,’ he mused, ‘I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”
“We need to define our priorities- the values, endeavours that guide us- and build our worlds around those things. It’s not enough just to get through the day. We need to make every day a platform for accomplishing what we want out of life. We must take responsibility for ourselves and the world we live in so that we can live with ourselves and the world around us.”
Joanna Smith Bers
To expand on this quote. I often make the point that one can achieve anything they desire. For me this quote says it all. Surely it isn’t enough just to get through the day and we should be preparing our own worlds to receive our dreams.
Give yourself a minute before you get back ‘to work’ and really think what it is you want. It won’t arrive by tomorrow, but with continued efforts and the right mindset, it CAN be achieved. How soon is down to you!
The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbours as one living a pure life.
A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.
This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger the parents went to the master. ‘Is that so?’ was all he would say.
After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbours and everything else the little one needed.
A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth- that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fish market.
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologise at length, and to get the child back again.
Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: ‘Is that so?’