Category Archives: Gurdjieff

Imperturbability 

It is widely thought that the world around us and our current circumstances dictate our state of inner happiness, or lack of. This is one of the greatest misconceptions. 

Pain is anything that rouses displeasure or dislike. Pleasure is that which causes attraction and liking. It’s easy to think that pleasure is better than pain. Both of these states however, are fleeting and will come and go. The best attitude is to practice indifference to these influences; neither becoming happy with good circumstances, nor becoming depressed with bad happenings. This is the road to true happiness! 

One of the first pieces of information I received in regards ‘spiritual wisdom’ is that we have a choice in the way we react to things. Before this I thought that insults require retaliation, acts of violence need to be revenged and so forth. With a little practice I soon realised that this is not the case. 

If someone insults you, you have the free will to smile and say, ‘why thanks very much.’ This is real strength. Jesus teaches us that if you are struck on the left cheek, offer the right also. This inner resolve and inability to be effected is what is required to stay centred in this fast paced world. 

Try it for a short time. Decide that you won’t be effected by anything that comes your way. That you will be indifferent to both pleasure and pain. Soon you will see that we have the ability to take complete control of our lives. 

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Black Friday

Black Friday is a term which the media has created. It is ‘a day of bargains on the busiest shopping day of the year.’ Huge sales, massive discounts, hurry, deals, will end monday. All this language has a huge influence on those receiving it. Just check out the news story’s that were delivered yesterday and you will clearly see how people become effected and influenced by the media and consumerism.

George Gurdjieff says that; ‘Man is a machine and is completely controlled by external influences. All the people you see, all the people you know, all the people you may get to know, are machines, actual machines working solely under the power of external influences.’ Any of you who have seen any ‘Black Friday’ footage will be able to verify instantly that those individuals who partook of the retail madness were completely under some external influence, that being the media and the giant corporations who want their money.

The above paragraph may seem cynical and pessimistic but I assure you it’s not. Black Friday is an extreme example, a clear indication of what control the media has over those who allow it. I have spoken before about this and many are trying to help people see whats happening in the world today.

So where do we fit into all this? If you waited for a shop to open because of the huge sales, rushed in to grab something that you don’t really need and assaulted someone who tried to grab your stuff. Then you are under the influence of the media and Black Friday. If you have heard before that individuals are influenced by the world around them, by people, by planets and stars and many other variables then you are aware of the situation.

KNOW THYSELF is one of the simplest pieces of spiritual advice one can receive. If you don’t know that you are under the influence of the world around you then how can you do anything to remedy it. If you watch adverts on T.V and find yourself half dazed walking to the shop and buying something you don’t need, then you will struggle to do anything about it. But if after reading this you observe what happens if you watch a news programme with death and destruction on it. If you pay attention to how you feel after an advert inadvertently telling you that your not good enough because you don’t own their product, you will see what influence these impressions have on you.

One of Gurdjieff’s followers asks a very important questions in regards this subject, and one we can all learn from, especially someone who punched their fellow man for a cheap television:

‘Can a man stop being a machine?’ Gurdjieff’s response sheds a stunning light on our current situation.

‘It is possible to stop being a machine, but for that it is necessary first of all to know the machine. A machine, a real machine, does not know itself and cannot know itself. When a machine knows itself it is then no longer a machine, at least, not so much a machine as it was before. It already begins to be responsible for its actions.’

I would appreciate any comments you might have on this subject. Post them here on WordPress or alternatively on my Facebook page. Even if you disagree with the above or have some criticism I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Filed under Gurdjieff, Harmonious Development, Language, The Mind, Words

Individual Efforts

“The fruits of ones spiritual awakening are a blessing not only on ones own life, but on the world at large. ‘One soweth and another reapeth’, a reference to mass karma. Every person sows good or bad actions in the soil of his life, and not only does he himself reap the karmic harvest of those actions, but he make others reap them as well. If a person writes a degrading novel, all who read it reap the evil effects of the authors thoughts. The law of cause and effect operates in even subtler ways as well. The actions of each individual leave electromagnetic etchings in his brain, influencing his future actions; and they also leave vibrational traces in the ether, which register in and influence the minds of others.

In Mysore I visited a sandalwood factory; each piece of shaving of sandalwood contributes to the atmosphere of the whole place, and anyone who enters enjoys the wonderful fragrance. Similarly, when I come to our Self-Realisation Fellowship temples, there are so many good souls earnestly seeking God that I feel the spiritual vibration emanating from their collective goodness.

The overall quality and character of any community, any civilisation, is produced by mass karma, the accumulated effects of actions left in the ether by the populace in general. Each individual is responsible for contributing to the mass karma, which in turn influences every individual.

The person who keeps himself cleansed of all wrong vibrations produces a powerful uplifting effect on his contemporaries. One moon gives more luster than all the stars; so a mooned soul- one who purely reflects the light of God- can influence the masses much more than the masses influence each other. Thus, individual efforts can be even more important than mass karma. one who in every way tries to uplift himself, harmonising body, mind and soul with the Divine, creates positive karma not only in his own life, but in his family, neighbourhood, country and world. Hence it is not justified to say, ‘Thousands of people are misbehaving, so what does it matter if I am, too?’ No! The goodness of one soul may effectively neutralise the mass karma of millions.

Such was the accomplishment of Mahatma Gandhi: he brought freedom to 400 million people by his spiritual influence. He was scoffed at and spent many years in prison, but he still went on. Ultimately, his spirit of righteousness triumphed, and he became instrumental in freeing India by peaceful means. His life stands as a monumental example of the practical application of Jesus Christ’s doctrines. Because ones individual sowed goodness, millions reaped that goodness and freedom.

Each drop of water contributes to the existence of the ocean. So even if each ones life seems no more than a droplet in the sea of humanity, that life can have a significant influence. One who makes himself god-like automatically uplifts countless others on the divine path. One who makes himself evil demotes others from the spiritual plane by a negative effect on their potential weakness. He who has reformed himself has reformed thousands; for what one sows in the ether, by the vibrations of his thoughts and character, others will surely reap.”

~ Paramhansa Yogananda.

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Truth from East and West

“Truth, in and of itself , is the ultimate ‘religion.’ Though truth can be expressed in different ways by sectarian ‘isms,’ it can never be exhausted by them. It has infinite manifestations and ramifications, but one consummation: Enlightenment, Awakening, Gnosis. Experience of the sole reality.
The human stamp of sectarian affiliation is of little meaning. It is not the religious denomination in which ones name is registered, nor the culture or creed in which one was born, that gives salvation. The essence of truth goes beyond all outer form.
The great teachings and truths of all the ages is living and thriving in both East and West. The West has concentrated on perfecting the physical conditions of man, and the East on developing the spiritual potentials of man. Both East and West are one sided. Granted, the East is not practical enough; but the West is too practical to be spiritually practical! That is why I advocate a harmonious union of the two; they need each other. Without spiritual idealism, material practicality is the harbinger of selfishness, sin, competition, and wars. This is a lesson for the West to learn. And unless idealism is tempered with practicality, there is confusion and suffering and lack of natural progress. This is the lesson to be learned by the East.
The East can learn from the West, and the West can learn from the East. It is not strange that, perhaps due to God’s secret plan, since the East need material development, it was invaded by Western material civilisation? and since the West need spiritual balance, it had been silently and surely ‘invaded’ by Hindu philosophy, not to conquer lands but to conquer souls with the liberation of God-realization.
We are all children of God, from our inception unto eternity. Differences come from prejudices, and prejudice is the child of all ignorance. We should not proudly identify ourselves as Americans, British, Indians or Italians or any other nationality, for that is but an accident of birth. Above all else, we should be proud that we are children of God, made in His image. Is not that the message of the Christ?”

~Paramhansa Yogananda.

I am unable to add anything more. All is said in the above. What I will say is Yogananda has opened up a new world for me, one which I new was there but not fully aware of. I hope you enjoy. If you enjoy, please share with others who may also.

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Strive for Freedom

“We must strive for freedom if we strive for self-knowledge. The task of self-knowledge and of further self-development is of such importance and seriousness, it demands such intensity of effort, that to attempt it any old way and amongst other things is impossible. The person who undertakes this task must put it first on his life, which is not so long that he can afford to squander it or trifles!”

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~ G. I. Gurdjieff

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Harmlessness

“Harmful magnetic conditions, as the result of man’s wrong handling of force, are the causes of evil in the world around us, including the three sub-human kingdoms. How can we, as individuals, change this? By the development in ourselves of Harmlessness. Therefore, study yourself from this angle. Study your daily conduct and words and thoughts so as to make them utterly harmless. Set yourself to think those thoughts about yourself and others which will be constructive and positive, and hence harmless in their effects. Study your emotional effect on others, so that by no mood, no depression, and no emotional reaction can you harm a fellow-man. Remember in this connection, violent spiritual aspiration and enthusiasm, misplaced or misdirected, may quite easily harm a fellow man, so look not only at your wrong tendencies but at the use of your virtues.
“If harmlessness is the keynote of your life, you will do more to produce right harmonious conditions in your personality than any amount of discipline along other lines. The drastic purgation brought about by the attempt to be harmless will go far to eliminate wrong states of consciousness…”

Alice Bailey.

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Fire

I came across a quote the other day which describes what many of us are searching for, but many in vain. Each of us has their own individual system, and they differ as far as you can imagine. I know people pursuing: Zen Buddhism, Hermetic Science, Islam, Christianity, and Gurdjieffs Fourh Way too name a handful of available systems.

One has to be unhappy and disillusioned with life to begin one of these paths, and how this occurs takes place in many forms. But once you know what it is you desire out of life, and find a way to attain this desire, you can begin to make efforts towards your aim.

The quote that embodies all of the above information is;

“People are throwing water onto wood and expecting fire, and when fire does not catch, they denounce the idea of fire altogether. It is the system which is to blame, and not the individual.”

If you want ‘fire’ to be present in your life. And I mean fire in a way that is your own idea of what it represents. All that is left is to find a system that will bring this ‘fire’ more abundantly into your life. Then all that matters is how much efforts you make towards this goal.

Please don’t throw water onto wood and expect fire.

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