Besides, Ouspensky himself does not provide any explicit indication in In Search of the Miraculous that his account of Gurdjieff had been shaped, even tangentially, by readings of any material that were written by Gurdjieff following the — period. Of course, several pupils, including A. While Gurdjieff claimed during his lifetime to have finished the First and the Second Series of his writings, he allegedly left his Third Series unfinished.
As far as the general public is concerned, the successive publication of his First, Second, and Third Series actually assured that his books would be read by the wider public in the strict order explicitly outlined in the opening page of his First Series. In other words, even when all his writings became available, in manuscript or published form, to his more or less initiated pupils and public at large, there was still a significant challenge to be met in deciphering and understanding his texts.
There is little doubt that Gurdjieff intentionally sought to fragment and hide his intended messages across his writings. He reportedly pursued this intention systematically, purposefully, and consistently over the many years, constantly revising his text to bury his ideas deeper. Gurdjieff was intent on, and took pride in, adopting a writing style similar to what he had learned from his father, one that is described in his Second Series as hiding serious ideas under the cloak of apparently trivial, absurd and nonsensical ones M It is certainly possible that Gurdjieff may have intended that at least parts of what he sought to transmit to be passed along via his living legacy.
However, the methodological challenge posed by the need to sift through the reliable and unreliable in what secondary knowledge has been transmitted is no less formidable. In this regard, a brief excursion into the secondary biographical literature on Gurdjieff may be illuminating. Other than the classic book by P. Gurdjieff, P. There is no doubt that these biographical studies have provided important insights into the life and ideas of Gurdjieff. For other works on Gurdjieff with some relevance to the present study see C. Poole published in and are also available.
Webb even produces photos of Narzunoff whose lack of resemblance to Gurdjieff would be readily noticeable to any novice observer. Walter Driscoll has reminded me that Gurdjieff himself insisted in his First Series that his writings should be considered the fundamental public conduit of his teaching. However, one also needs to acknowledge the extent to which organizational affiliation with one or another group associated with Gurdjieff can raise legitimate methodological concerns regarding the subconscious biases that may influence the interpretive and evaluative dimensions of Gurdjieff Studies.
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It is important to note here that the notion and practice of scientific objectivity in scholarship have been widely problematized in the academic discourse during the past decades, especially in the sociology of knowledge and of the social sciences, and more so in the humanities. At the same time, it may be equally plausible to argue that the more one is structurally grounded in an organizational context or intellectually vested in and identified with a particular intellectual tradition, the more subconscious biases may enter her or his research on subjects pertaining to that organization or tradition.
To a certain extent, maintenance of independence from movements may provide flexible grounds for advancing independent and critical perspectives on questions and issues raised in regard to the ideas inspiring them. And more recently, David J. I appreciate J. For other recent doctoral studies on Gurdjieff or related to his teaching, see Jervis , Pittman , and Whitten Over the past several decades, J.
Walter Driscoll has patiently and carefully chronicled, with detailed annotations, much of the important literature published on or related to Gurdjieff in the English language. Ouspensky: An Appreciation and Bibliography. This is a valid argument, to be sure. The complexity of who participates or not in the subject matter of study goes much beyond simple organizational membership.
Gurdjieff gave ample evidence in his writings that he intended to use them as a conduit to transmit important fragments of information about his life and ideas, ones that he may not have intended to transmit orally to his immediate pupils. It is thus only fair methodologically to take his claims at what they are worth, and devote significant and serious attention to what Gurdjieff writes about his own life and teaching. It would be rather odd, on the one hand, to regard Gurdjieff as a master in the art and science of attaining personal self-knowledge and transformation, and, on the other hand, disregard his direct and explicit instructions to his readers to understand his intended knowledge about his life and ideas through a rigorous and systematic study of his own writings.
Of course, in this and all matters of exploration healthy skepticism is always advised. In bringing the messages of the gods to humans, Hermes entices interpretation. Hermes has the character of complication, multiplicity, lies, jokes, irreverence, indirection, and disdain for rules; however, he is the master of creativity and invention.
He has the capacity to see things anew and his power is change, prediction, and the solving of puzzles. In many ways, what Gurdjieff describes Kastousilia M; see the epigraphs to the present book, p. Hermeneutics, in the guise of Kastousilia, was used by Gurdjieff to hide ever deeper the bones of the dog he encouraged his pupils and readers to find in his writings Wolfe —and so needs to be, it seems, the most suitable method of studying those texts. Following the oratory style of his father, Gurdjieff devoted significant attention, and pleasure, to hiding much of his ideas in the purposely fragmented corpus of his writings.
I will briefly highlight these, drawing on instances of conversations going on in the field. The first is in regard to the question of what is said or not where and when in a textual landscape. It is not that the data is necessarily omitted, but that it is omitted from this place and yet is then inserted in that place. Gurdjieff adopts this hermeneutic strategy masterfully and intentionally, for the architectonics of his writing is in many ways quite self-consciously spatiotemporal, i.
And this is noteworthy especially in regard to the relation of the text to the lives of its readers both the one who studies it hermeneutically, and those who read the results of the latter, as in the case, for instance, of the reader who is reading these lines. This brings me to the second point regarding the hermeneutic method as applied to the present study, namely, the relation of the text to the lives of its readers and, by implication, of its author as well. Indeed, the relationship between the text and the reader is a reciprocal one.
Readers interpret the text, but texts also interpret readers by confronting them with new possibilities, new concepts, new ways-of-being in the world, etc. If the new world is appropriated, the reader is then empowered to transcend her or his immediate situation … Godby I can see that Gurdjieff, the author, may have experienced exactly the same qualities that Godby describes, and, as one of his readers, I have also experienced the same. At a different level, some readers of the present work may experience further degrees of self-understanding depending on how they engage with the hermeneutics of my study of Gurdjieff itself.
From another, it is a glimpse by others of my own life and learning, an effort to understand and perhaps change myself. Drawing on Gadamer she further adds, [Hermeneutics] involves careful and detailed reading and rereading of all the text, allowing for the bringing forth of general impressions, something that catches the regard of the reader and lingers, perturbing and distinctive resonances, familiarities, differences, newness, and echoes.
Each re-reading of the text is an attempt to listen for echoes of something that might expand possibilities of understanding … 29 The hermeneutic circle is the generative recursion between the whole and the part. Being in the circle is disciplined yet creative, rigorous yet expansive.
There is an inherent process of immersion in, and dynamic and evolving interaction with, the data as a whole and the data in part, through extensive readings, re-readings, reflection, and writing. In this process there is a focus on recognizing the particular, isolating understandings, dialoguing with others about interpretation, making explicit the implicit, and, eventually finding language to describe language. Often, this decision depends on how effectively an interpretive account provides understanding for that reader, at that time; understanding can change and develop.
There is no absolute, unchanging knowledge. Kepnes has argued that, What Ricoeur offers this methodological debate are two alternative terms to organize the methods used in religious studies and a dialectical hermeneutic to interrelate them. The study of religion involves us in an act of interpretation which necessarily requires both methods of understanding and explanation.
It is in this sense that Paul Ricoeur, for instance, both embraced and kept distance from the question of validity in advancing his hermeneutic approach. Those experiences include hearing stories Gurdjieff told about himself which also invite hermeneutic exegesis. Judicious criticism can sift the useful from useless information and align what Gurdjieff says himself of his life in relation with verifiable accounts by others.
Gurdjieff, as his father before him, was a teller of tales, a spinner of parables and a weaver of mysteries. What is needed to unveil them is a hermeneutic approach that can sift reliable from unreliable reporting about his life and that promises to probe the depth and unveil the breadth of the man in his writings. Of course we cannot gloss over the fact that Gurdjieff himself intentionally hid and buried important ideas amid apparently fantastic and at times nonsensical stories. In other words, the purpose is to reconstruct the fragments he intentionally scattered around his texts in order to decipher their meanings in the context of the symbolic architecture of his perspective as reported in his writings.
This may then be used to critique his ideas not from the standpoint of extraneous data or facts, but of the inner contradictions and logical inconsistencies of his own arguments. Applying the method, one seeks to derive the meaning of any part of a text by way of analyzing its relation to the meaning of the symbolic system as a whole. Cross-checking what Gurdjieff said about himself and his teaching with the verifiable testimony of others can be useful and important. The two research agenda are important, but this does not mean the two tasks should be necessarily performed in one and the same study.
For similar reasons, the highly regarded and widely read book, In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching by P. The method in this critical reexamination of the material will be inductive and reverse in procedure, starting from the Third Series and moving on to the examination of the Second, and finally the First Series. First—to borrow the metaphor kindly used by J. In this chapter I introduce his ontology of the harmonious universe and the place of human beings in it.
In the following two chapters I will present his perspectives on the human psychological constitution and epistemology respectively. According to J. The figure of a pardoned Beelzebub provides a striking example of an authentic but little known mythopoetic tradition that Gurdjieff exploits. Of significance for Gurdjieff was the strange ritual he observed among Yezidis when he was a child M—66 , when he saw a Yezidi child could not get out of a circle drawn around him. For another authoritative study of the Yezidis see John S.
But now, having earned pardon and reconciliation and already received them from God, Beelzebub is on a journey back to his home planet. Evil does not objectively exist, and what evil may exist, it is a human construct.
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The human evil is really of their own making. The question still remains, however: Why is there human evil in a universe created by a God of all-goodness? The fact that God is the source of all-goodness does not mean that the universe is all good. The existence of the evil is thus explained by the absence of the good. Matter and Mind For Gurdjieff the universe is created. There is a Creator. The universe is a self-creating universe, with an intelligent Creator at its center.
The higher the vibrations of matter—that is, the higher its intelligence—the lower its mechanicalness; and vice versa. At the center of the universe resides the highest vibrating matter, while in the peripheries down the rays of creation, mechanicalness increases and vibrations of intelligence decrease.
Mechanicalness and intelligence of matter, thereby, exist in inverse proportion to one another. Thereby, the distinction of matter and mind, characterizing the philosophies East and West, is non-existent. Supernature, for Gurdjieff, is simply a subjective categorization of natural, of material, forces that have not yet been adequately understood by the human mind.
The two laws were then operative in unison as two laws of maintenance Law of Seven and creation Law of Three. Nor does he provide any diagram of the laws as functioning in the post-creation world. However, the post-creation Laws of Three and Seven in unison was conveyed by Gurdjieff to his senior pupil, P. Ouspensky— as reported in In Search of the Miraculous —and is somewhat known.
The essential difference between the two systems of laws, before creation Autoegocrat and after creation what Gurdjieff later calls Trogoautoegocrat , was that in the first the system functions independent of outside forces, while in the second the system of functioning of the two laws is modified so as to be dependent on and responsive to outside forces.
There is no doubt that Gurdjieff was originally the source of knowledge about the enneagram which is practiced and popularized today in New Age and psychological literature on personality types. Also see Moore While before creation God, an immortal being, did not need an outside world except for His own place of residence over which He had direct control, He soon realized that the place of His residence, the Sun Absolute, is itself subject to the passage of time.
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However, in order for the outside world to have any impact on his independently from outside forces functioning residence, he had to modify the system of governance of his hitherto unique residence. How was the act of creation accompanied by a change in the system of functioning of the two fundamental laws? How differently do the laws function in the pre- and post-creation periods? The best way to illustrate the modifications to the operations of the laws from the pre- to post-creation periods is to use the diagrammatic language Gurdjieff introduced to his pupils, the essence of which is presented in the First Series as well.
The manner of its construction is as follows: the unitary number, 1, divided by 7, gives a perpetually repeating fraction: 0. This figure—diagrammatically rendered by successively connecting the points 1, 4, 2, 8, 5, 7, back to 1 on the circle— gives us the continuous zig-zag-line as shown in Figure 1. Note that the numbers in the fraction exclude any multiples of 3.
Points 3, 6, and 9, also derivable by the division of 1 into 3 which yields the repeating fraction 0. The circle as a whole symbolizes the overall unitary Trogoautoegocratic post-creation system of operation of the two laws as created by God. Gurdjieff does not provide in his writings any specific information regarding the specific manner of construction of the enneagram. The original explanation of the way the enneagram is constructed was conveyed through P. The details of the presentation there, however, do correspond to the verbal descriptions given in the First Series B— by Gurdjieff.
Both laws are therefore diagrammatically bound into a single whole of a cycle or circle, which indicates that they operate in unison. Both the diamond7 and the triangle diagrams share the apex point of 0 where each whole cycle begins and ends. The whole diagram is symmetrical with respect to a vertical line passing through the point 0 and the center of the circle.
Gurdjieff has not provided us, either directly in his own series, or via his pupils, any diagrammatic representation of the pre-creation Autoegocratic version of the symbol. However, by tracing back the modification made in the act of creation to the pre-creation symbol, modifications which Gurdjieff, albeit in his cryptic language, does provide in the First Series, we 7. It is important to note here that in the enneagram the enclosed zig-zag line connecting 1, 4, 2, 8, 5, 7, and 1 respectively cannot itself be the diagrammatic representation of the Law of Seven as verbally formulated by Gurdjieff in the First Series.
The same can be said in regard to including number 0 in the triangular representation of the Law of Three dividing 1 by three yields 0. The internal zig-zag figure represents the interactive operations of the Laws of Three and Seven together. What is not yet clear is how such modifications are compared to the pre-creation enneagram. However, as will be seen later, what Gurdjieff is really doing with these abstract themes and concepts describing the laws of the universe as a whole is also describing the inner functioning of the human organism.
The greater God and the inner god for Gurdjieff are made of the same matter and laws. As above, so below. In order to appreciate the differences made in the modification of the two laws, let us go back and reconstruct the pre-creation diagram using a different, simpler procedure. Let us also divide the circumference representing 1 into 3, yielding three points also of equal distance from one another.
Having marked these points, let us number them clockwise from 0 to 9, beginning from the apex.
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The zig-zag line connecting numbers 1, 4, 2, 8, 5, 7, and back to 1, also can still be drawn. The enneagram version that we thus obtain would be as in Figure 1. All stopinders are of equal length, and all deflections of the same angle. Let us examine the subjective meaning of such modifications to the stopinders. The essential point of the modification, as mentioned above, was to make an independently functioning system of laws dependent on outside forces. This allowed the reception of outside forces in order to help offset, or neutralize, the inner self-implosive tendencies of the functioning of the pre-creation system.
How did the pre-creation system function? In many ways, the pre-creation system of laws was much simpler. There were no outside forces to be reckoned with. There was only a unique, solely existing, Sun Absolute, which was directly, consciously, and intentionally created and maintained by God Himself.
The laws were directly applied and processed by Him. The maintenance of this energy and movement was itself assured by the action of three shocks exerted by God consciously at points 0, 3, and 6, just when they were needed, in order to bring the cycle back to point 9 where cyclical renewal took place. The internal mechanism of how the process of renewal was assured through the operation of both laws can be illustrated by the movement of the zig-zag movement in conjunction with the three shock exertions. The movement as a whole can be seen as a larger triad of three smaller inner triads: Triad of forces near 3: 1 to 4 force plus , 4 to 2 force minus —shock at 3—forces 2 to 8 force reconciled, itself acting as a force plus for the next triad ; 8.
It is obvious, then, that with the changes in the three mentioned stopinders third, fifth, and last or seventh , the whole shape and length of the seven-pointed figure will be modified. The broader triadic cycle then begins again. The total forces generated and lost as a result of movement from 1, through 4, 2, 8, 5, 7, and back to 1 equals zero.
The system is thus maintained without any force gained or lost overall in the movement Law of Seven. And the three shocks at 3, 6, and 9, have made this possible Law of Three. The inner movement of forces across the zig-zag line appears on the outer surface of the circle as an octave movement that starts with each shock point and comes back to that point, skipping the other two shocks. The octave beginning with the shock at 3 follows the path of 4, 5, 7, 8, 1, 2, and comes back to 3.
Likewise, the octave beginning with the shock at 6 follows the path of 7, 8, 1, 2, 4, 5, and returns to 6. There is a pattern of three interpenetrating octave movements, or a triad of octaves as a whole, each octave of which gives birth to the other two octaves at two specific moments first and second skipped shock points in its circuit. According to the Law of Three, the higher octave 9 blends with the lower octave 3 in order to actualize the octave 6 in the middle.
In other words, octave 9 splits into itself and its opposite octave 3, but then also gives birth to or makes possible a third octave 6 which helps reconcile the opposition, thus beginning a whole new cycle of an octave triad—ad infinitum see Figure 1. The combined and harmonious actions of all the three octaves is necessary for the completion cycle of creative maintenance of the system as a whole.
To express differently the pre-creation system of the Laws of Three and Seven as expressed in the pre-creation enneagram: a whole initiated by a force affirming it inevitably9 generates also a denying force conflicting with the whole, 9. To put it in a slightly different way: a whole is constituted of three affirming, denying, and reconciling creative forces the sum total of whose law-conformable successiveness maintains the whole.
What was the problem in the pre-creation system and why modification became necessary? The self-implosive tendency of the pre-creation system is represented by the infinite continuous fraction that results from the division of 1 by either 7 or 3. In either case, the length of each of the stopinders of the seven-sided diagram, or of the distance between the three shocks to motivate the system as a whole, cannot be ascertained in any exact way, falling slightly but always definitely short upon each renewal.
The sum total of renewing forces upon the completion of each cycle negligibly falls short of the required momentum. This diagrammatic interpretation of the self-implosive tendency of the Autoegocratic system provides a clue to the significance of the nature of modifications brought about by the act of creation, involving modifications to the length of stopinders. Here the diagrammatic representation of modifications to the length of stopinders near the shock points proves instructive. It is important to note again that the modifications to the original system affected the functioning of both laws.
Although the positioning of the shock points on the circle of the triangle was not changed, the subjective meanings and actions of these shocks with respect to the stopinders of the Law of Seven were modified in the process. What were the subjective meanings and actions of the shock points before creation? Gurdjieff parallels this triadic identifications with the Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, and Holy Reconciling forces of the Law of Three respectively in the precreation Autoegocratic system.
The fundamental difference between the pre-creation and post-creation systems, each involving both laws, was that the independent functioning of the former became, in the latter, dependent on forces coming from outside B— Instead of one unique cosmic formation independently functioning on its own, now we have cosmic formations whose functionings are interdependent on one another.
The changes were introduced through the three stopinders of the Law of Seven adjacent to the three shock points of the Law of Three. The laws themselves were not altered; in other words, the Law of Seven still involved a cyclical seven stopinder movement and the Law of Three still involved the three forces playing affirming, denying, and reconciling roles in relation to one another and with respect to the Law of Seven as a whole.
The changes to the laws only affected the functioning of both laws with respect to the independent vs.
Gurdjieff and Hypnosis: A Hermeneutic Study
The degree of dependence of the new system on outside forces is not similar across the three shock points in the post-creation system. The first shock is inevitable and automatic, the second is intentional, and the third conditional on the conscious choice of the thing itself. These changes, cryptically described by Gurdjieff himself in the First Series B—55 , may be more directly expressed as follows.
This stopinder now automatically or mechanically receives shocks from the outside, and thus makes the life of the thing dependent on outside forces emanating from other things. The thing acquires the possibility of a choice to decide whether it is to be subjected to outside forces or not. Previously, in the pre-creation system, this force was also functioning independent of outside influences since both of its constituent affirming and denying forces were functioning independently.
The Ray of Creation Having changed the system of laws operative in the Sun Absolute, God then created the universe outside so as to produce the external forces necessary to offset the self-implosive tendencies of the Sun Absolute. Figure 1. These cosmic concentrations would be the origins of clusters of galaxies gravitating to their centers, i. The Sun in our own solar system is an example of these second-order-suns the first-order-sun having been the galaxy clusters.
Note here that each second-order-sun exists now in the environment of gravitational forces externally imposed on it both by: 1-the Sun Absolute acting through the Word-God ; 2-the immediate and other first-order suns galaxy clusters ; and 3-other second-order-suns within and outside the cosmic concentration own galaxy. The lower we come down the ray of creation, the more laws become operative, and the more mechanical matter becomes. At this point in the creation see point 3 in Figure 1. Planets operate under even more laws, and are thereby even more mechanical than the first and second-order-suns.
At this point, however, the actualization of the outer cycle of the Law of Seven, moving down the points 1 first-oder-suns , 2 second-order suns , and 4 third-order suns, or planets ceases, or rather internalizes within the planet itself since by this time the original impulse of the Word-God has lost half of its power. And here comes a crucial moment as far as humanity is concerned. It is important to note that in the process of creation, or involution, down the ray of creation from the Sun Absolute, the formation of microcosmoses atomic systems follows the formation of third-order-suns planets , and it is in the return journey back from the microcosmos toward Protocosmos Sun Absolute that the elements and higher organisms are formed in the process of evolution.
Evolution is thus the path of development of the creative forces back toward God. Everything that proceeds the act of creation—that is, the formation of the first-order-suns—is within the emanations of the Sun-Absolute, i. Likewise, the Sun in our Solar System is not limited to the Sun per se, but includes the Earth as a third-order-sun. Similarly, the Earth includes not only microcosmoses and elements, and the Tetartocosmoses of living organisms including human life, but also the moon. Earthly existence and life as it exists could not be conceived of without moon as its constitutive part.
And Megalocosmos includes all creations resulting from human life and action. This conception is crucial for it is the only one that allows for considering each successive part as containing the elements of the whole constituting it, and making possible the consideration of the above and below as simultaneous terrains of the operations of the two universal Laws of Seven and Three.
However, given the vast number of these crystallizations for all cosmoses, he proceeds to name B only the crystallizations arising in only one of these cosmoses, namely that of Tetartocosmoses, which as we shall see in following chapters includes living and in particular human organisms. If we correspond these terminologies with various developmental points in the movement of the enneagram, we arrive at the representations as shown in Figure 1. Note that the placing of each crystallization in Figure 1. The two exceptions are at points five and seven, where the crystallizations should have corresponded to the microcosmoses and other Tetartocosmoses respectively.
Perhaps this displacement is due to the fact that the phenomena under consideration is a Tetartocosmos. At point 5, the crystallization corresponds to the level of Tetartocosmos. A Harmonious Universe? Now, it all depends. Instead of a precreation system that was functioning completely in the absence of, and therefore independently from, any outside forces, we now have a system that is dependent on outside forces while also giving its parts the possibility of conscious and intentional choice of becoming relatively independent as well, provided that one exerts conscious and intentional shocks in a predetermined way to itself at specific moments.
Necessity and freedom, in other words, are simultaneously incorporated into the functioning of the new Trogoautoegocratic system of a Megalocosmos of interdependent cosmic concentrations. This way God provided itself as well with the choice of allowing as much outside force as is necessary to offset the internal selfimplosive tendencies of the Sun Absolute.
However, in doing so, He imparted to all things He created, in different degrees, their potentiality of becoming like Himself through conscious and intentional effort. In that sense it was a perfect system. It was self-perpetuating, and thus immortal. In the Trogoautoegocratic post-creation system, however, by changing the functioning of the three shock forces of the Law of Three to be operative in mechanical, conscious, and intentional ways, the renewal cycle of the system becomes dependent on forces received from outside, but only in such a way that a degree of relative independence is maintained for the part.
The post-creation, Trogoautoegocratic10 system of functioning of the two fundamental laws makes necessary an interdependent, reciprocally feeding and maintaining, system of cosmic concentrations, while also providing the possibility, in specific cosmic centers, of formation of relatively independent, consciously and intentionally self-perpetuating and self-perfecting, beings. What is possible for God at a cosmic scale now becomes possible for some cosmic concentrations at lower scales of creation, depending on the degree of their own self-conscious and intentional actions.
God thus created the human beings in its own image B Before, it was directly controlled by God. Now, it is controlled indirectly by Him through a reciprocal feeding mechanism in which potentially godlike creatures endowed with the possibility of conscious and intentional action could also participate. As such, a human being has already elements of the Sun Absolute, all suns, the Sun, all planets, the Earth, microcosmic structures, and the Megalocosmos as a whole, etc.
Human beings, or more generally including certain higher extraterrestrial Tetartocosmoses, are universes in miniature. The alchemy of this process rests, according to Gurdjieff, interestingly, on the way in which the last, procreative, stopinder in the biological enneagram of higher Tetartocosmoses are consciously and intentionally transformed. In other words, the sexual function, considered in broad terms, plays a key role in the evolutionary path back to God. Unless conscious and intentional changes are introduced into the planetary body especially during the last procreative phase of the developmental enneagram of the organism in each cycle, the body-Kesdjan would not arise, and thereby upon the occurrence of first death, the planetary body of the Tetartocosmos decomposes back to the world of microcosmoses from which it had emerged and becomes recycled into possibly other planetary bodies.
However, if the body-Kesdjan is formed, it is possible that another, a third, body, or the Soul, may also be formed within this second-body up to certain level of development during the physical lifetime of the organism. Upon the first death of the planetary body, body-Kesdjan, being lighter than the physical body, rises to a higher level of the atmosphere where it can nourish from the cosmic sources from which it primarily feeds—that is, of the rays of the sun and other planets.
These represent the results of functioning of Soul, of body-Kesdjan, and of higher workings of the ordinary physical body. This being does not need to perform any conscious or intentional acts to perfect itself, for it is already born perfect. Angels are created angels. Humans, however, fall somewhere in between the above two extremes. However, as results of the involutionary process of microcosmic forces, they also have the potential, in certain of them, to achieve higher-being-bodies in order to also fulfil higher tasks in the administration of the universe.
In other words, these higher functions potentially available to some evolved Tetartocosmoses are not meant to replace or disturb the original purpose for which the universe was created in the first place. Only those who consciously and intentionally choose to seek it indefatigably are able to possibly attain it. The parallel Gurdjieff draws B—80 between Megalocosmos as a whole and the human being as a miniature universe is instructive in understanding his enneagram of human organism and its evolution.
As in the Megalocosmos—where he associates the affirming force with the Sun Absolute, the denying force with the second-order-suns, and the reconciling or neutralizing force, which keep the Megalocosmos together, with planetary systems embodying micro- and Tetartocosmoses—Gurdjieff treats the Soul, planetary body, and body-Kesdjan in a perfected Tetartocosmos as affirming, denying, and reconciling forces keeping the organism in balance. Even regarding the ordinary human organism, rather than just for higher bodies, Gurdjieff holds the parallel to be true.
Gurdjieff likens the cells of our brain with the angels and archangels occupying the Protocosmos B— In his view, there is actual connections between the two in terms of the cosmic substances the human organism needs to feed on and transform in order to meet the requirements of the Trogoautoegocratic system at a required minimum, and, as a possibility, the coating of higher-being-bodies in expectation of return to the Sun Absolute. Of course, these three foods constitute the ingredient of all the substances human body requires to survive.
In this sense, as Gurdjieff points out, nature has already adapted itself in such a way that all the three foods are supplied automatically again thanks to the elongated mechanical stopinder between 2 and 4, shocked automatically at point 3 in order to help the survival and the propagation of the species in the service of fulfilling the needs of the Trogoautoegocratic system. Conscious and intentional recycling of results of the sex organs in the higher physical body, of intentional breathing of the radiations and elements reflected back from the Sun and planets as contained in ordinary air, and conscious assimilation of impressions originating from the Protocosmos and God higher spiritual 3.
The procedure of assimilation of the ordinary food first being food , air second being food , and impressions third being food consists of three circuits5: 1-automatic, 2-conscious, and 3-intentional. Figure 2. It is in the third circuit that the process of coating of the higher-being-bodies begin to takes place. The three shocks to the organism in the first circuit are mechanical, and are automatically performed by nature, whereas the three self-shocks to the organism performed in each of the following two circuits are consciously observed and intentionally transforming, respectively.
However, only the first, planetary, circuit results in the higher physical product. The other two octaves, left on their own, do not evolve beyond certain moments. In the first circuit the assimilation of the three foods takes place automatically. In the second circuit the organism consciously observes and 4. The significance of this oft-repeated phrase throughout the First Series will be discussed later in this book, especially Chapter Four.
Note 2: F1, F2, and F3, respectively refer to the beginnings of the octaves of the first ordinary food , second air , and third impressions food digestion circuits. The first shock at the beginning of each octave is supplied automatically by nature, only the first being food completing its octave as a whole automatically through its automatic second air and third impression shocks. The air octave does not proceed automatically beyond its second shock, and the impressions octave stops where it begins and does not automatically proceed further.
Note 3: The long arrow on the right indicates how previous conscious and intentional transformations can, when unguarded, turn into new automatic functionings for the organism. In this sense the movement of the circuits from 1 to 2 and 3 is cyclical and secular, i. The struggle against habituation must be ceaseless. In the third circuit, however, the organism performs intentional self-shocks to the organism in an attempt to transform it in a holistic way. Results of such transformations, however, may become new habits for the organism.
Therefore, the threefold 62 Note: The diagram depicts only the common process of each of the mechanical, conscious, and intentional circuits of foods assimilation by the human organism. The shocks in the first circuit are automatic. The second circuit involves the shocks of conscious awareness of the organism.
The third circuit involves the shocks of intentional transformation of the organism based on the knowledge gained in the second circuit. The following process of foods assimilation in the human organism is described in the First Series B— In the first automatic circuit that takes place mechanically, a process that automatically serves the maintenance of the Trogoautoegocratic system, ordinary food as the first being food enters the mouth at point 0 first automatic shock , and follows a digestive tract at points 1 and 2, and its results rest at point 4 without being able to move any further without an external shock.
At point 3, the second automatic shock of breathing introduces air as the second being food into the organism, its results aiding the continuation of the assimilation process of the first being food. In other words, the human organism automatically produces the first being food product that instinctively aids the process of species maintenance through procreation. However, according to Gurdjieff, it is this highest first being food, a result of the first circuit, that is the basis of the possibility of the coating of higher-being-bodies in the human organism.
The process of these higher food assimilation processes, however, is not automatic, but can only be attained through conscious and intentional actions by the organism itself. It is the conscious self-shocking and self-transforming procedure of two additional circuits, almost identical to the first but different in that they are consciously and intentionally self-induced, in other words, that can help the process of coating of the higher-being-bodies in the organism.
The second, conscious, circuit of the three food assimilation system involves three conscious shocks. Self-conscious observation of assimilation of ordinary food, breathing, and impressions, and generally the activity of the organism as a whole in everyday life, 64 CHAPTER TWO without any effort to change the organism purposely, is the primary task of these conscious self-shocks.
The first conscious choice and shock begins again at the last stopinder of the first being food octave, that is between points 8 and 9. The organism seeks to become conscious of how not only the lower being foods, but also the higher being foods are consumed in the everyday life of the organism. The effort at this point is not to change any habits of the organism, such as introducing any form of abstinence into the assimilation of ordinary food or higher food sexuality , air, or impressions.
The second conscious shock to the organism in the second circuit takes places in the same manner and moment in which the second automatic shock took place in the ordinary food assimilation cycle. This second additional conscious shock is applied with respect to the breathing assimilation process. In effect, this conscious shock closes the octave of the air assimilation system which had begun automatically earlier. The organism consciously observes its own breathing and becomes gradually aware of the significance of breathing in harmonizing the organism as a whole.
The third conscious shock in the second circuit takes place in the same manner and moment in which the third automatic shock took place in the ordinary food assimilation cycle. This third conscious shock is applied with respect to the impressions assimilation system. The organism becomes conscious of its own impressions throughout and outside in relation to the body, including both the receptive and moving aspects of its activity. Again, this last conscious shock of the second circuit helps close the octave of the automatic impression octave that begun in the first circuit.
Importantly, the exercise of conscious awareness of all the three physical, air, and impressions digestions in effect involves a split in the organism between that which is observed and that which observes. The crystallization of an observing self is the primary result of the second conscious circuit.
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The observing self resulting from the observedobserver split represents the conception of the body-Kesdjan formed in the second circuit, and is the seed of the future Soul that will actually begin to be coated in the third circuit. Now the organism is consciously and intentionally seeking to transform itself. This third circuit thereby also involves three intentional self-shocks to the organism. Gurdjieff is very secretive about revealing the manner of operation of the third circuit.
However, Gurdjieff repeatedly warns B, —10 that abstinence per se is not sufficient in the coating of higher-being-bodies. It is certainly a necessary, but by no means a sufficient, condition. The nature of these two additional intentional shocks to the organism in the third circuit, involving breathing and impressions, are not revealed explicitly in 6. It is important to note that abstinence does not, for Gurdjieff, preclude procreative activity on the part of the organism.
He in fact considers procreation also as a being-duty to guarantee the continuation of the species. The point is that in the third circuit, two additional intentional shocks to the assimilation of air and impressions help transform the organism as a whole in such a way that the Divine Body or Soul begins to be crystallized within the bodyKesdjan. With the closing of this third, intentional circuit, the body has experienced the ability not only of having become aware of itself second circuit , but also of intentionally transforming itself third circuit.
The observing self of the second circuit now has ascended to become a transforming self. The higher being food is coated with self-awareness and self-transforming power.
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Following the illustration previously given in Figure 1. Likewise, the food sources the assimilation of which can make such coatings possible are those originating from these two Defterocosmic and Protocosmic sources. The conscious and intentional self-shocks to the otherwise automatically or mechanically operating organism serving the Trogoautoegocratic system in effect allow the organism to become self-reliant and self-determining. It involves an experience, at the lower scale of Tetartocosmic being, of the Protocosmic possibility of Autoegocratic existence.
This way conscious labors and intentional sufferings of the organism in knowing and changing itself become as much a second and third nature to the organism as the instinctive, moving, and sexual functions. With Gurdjieff, such religious forms are themselves stripped, and their inner essential meanings given rational groundings—although, for other purposes, Gurdjieff then wraps them in other fantastic symbology. Conscious awareness of and control over the process of eating and breathing has an important influence on how the process of thinking affects and keeps in balance the feeling and instinctive desires of the body.
The introduction of the custom of fasting into the meditation practice, or the conscious concentration on breathing, aim to make possible the creation of such inner and outer environments for the organism that would enable it to more persistently and effectively contemplate and critically transform the automated structures of all the three centers as a whole. For instance, the sexual desire and function can be initiated not simply from the physical center, but from the emotional and mental centers as well.
And for the processing of it, all the 9. Body-Kesdjan knows, but the Divine Body understands. One is pure air, the other is crystallized in permanence. Sexuality provides the individual with an automatically initiated impulse challenging which, in a conscious and intentional manner, motivates the organism to develop self-willed and selfdetermining qualities. It is this ability of conscious and intentional dehabituation beyond all forms of fixation that allows the all-round free developmental of human individuality. The results of intentional transformations introduced in the third circuit, if left unattended may become new automaticities, requiring new efforts to gain self-conscious awareness of them, requiring new re transformative efforts and sufferings.
The struggle against habituation and awakenings from ever newer forms and modes of sleep are perpetual and never-ending. Being-Partkdolg-duty As it is evident from above, the key factor that makes the higher being foods assimilation system possible is the conscious labors and intentional sufferings that are exerted beyond the automatic functioning of the physical organism. And in this conflict, the second being body, that is body-Kesdjan, nourishing on the higher elements of the air food, plays an important neutralizing or reconciling role. In his view, being-Partkdolg-duty is the alchemical secret of development of higher-being-bodies in Tetartocosmoses.
In the ascending circuits, the organism experiences automatically, consciously, and intentionally the threefold nature of her or his being. In fact, its automatic operation requires their almost separate and independent functioning. Given its seemingly high significance for Gurdjieff, I will reproduce and then closely examine the whole of this text below: The general psyche of every man on reaching maturity, which begins on an average in the male sex at twenty years and in the female sex at the beginning of the thirteenth year, consists of three totalities of functioning which have almost nothing in common with each other.
The course of action of all three of these independent totalities of functioning in the common presence of a man who has attained maturity takes place simultaneously and incessantly. All the factors making up and producing these three totalities of functioning begin, and cease, to form in man at different period of his life. The factors producing in man the first totality of functioning, unless special measures are employed, are formed, as has been established long ago, only in childhood—in boys on an average until the age of eleven years, and in girls until the age of seven.
The factors producing the second totality of functioning begin to form in boys from the age of nine years, and in girls even from the age of four years, lasting in different cases a different length of time, approximately until the attainment of maturity. And factors producing the third totality begin to form from the attainment of maturity, continuing in the average man at present only until the age of sixty, and in woman only until the age of forty-five.
These three kinds of associations in one man explain that peculiar sensation, noticed at times by everyone, as though there were several beings living in him. Given this observation, it is important that we examine the above texts very carefully. Notice that Gurdjieff uses the term totality in the sense that the three must not be conceived as actually separate parts of the body, but that each center itself constitutes a totality of physical, thinking, and feeling aspects, one of which is the dominant aspect in the given totality. The difference across the three totalities depends on which aspect is the initiating force in each totality.
The three totalities in these formulations can be associated with the three circuits presented previously in Figure 2. In each circuit, all the three centers participate. Tamdgidi Paperback, Delivery UK delivery is usually within 7 to 9 working days. International delivery varies by country, please see the Wordery store help page for details.
Tamdgidi Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan Publication date: Pages: Product dimensions: mm w x mm h x 19mm d Overview This book explores the life and ideas of the enigmatic twentieth century philosopher, mystic, and teacher of esoteric dances George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, performing a hermeneutic textual analysis of all his writings to illuminate the place of hypnosis in his teaching. About Wordery Wordery is one of the UK's largest online booksellers.
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