Something different?

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Socrates

Font Size

SCREEN

Profile

Layout

Menu Style

Cpanel
You are here You are here: Home Study Psychology & Mind Fourth Way Miscellaneous Sense and Significance
  Sense and Significance       by: Tony Lutz
sense and significance 237

Gurdjieff's Lifelong Question



quote small leftWhat is the sense and significance of life on Earth,

Click for footnote ¹   

[1] “What is the sense and significance of life on Earth,
    and human life in particular?”
      (a typical "answer" is given below ↓)



Excerpts from: The Gurdjieff Studies Program - G.I. Gurdjieff

     At an early age he awakened to a profound experience of the "whole sensation" of himself, a deep, dimensional self-remembering that became the foundation of his Being. Thus at an early age, Gurdjieff had already realized a high degree of being.

     Experiencing wars and descrution, and the mindless mechanicality of man who he saw as asleep to their self and so living in needless confusion and misery, the question burned in him:

  • quote small leftWhat is the sense and significance of life on Earth and human life in particular?quote small right

Feeling "an irrepressible striving" to discover why is there life on earth, what purpose does it serve, if any, Gurdjieff studied orthodox religion and science but found no adequate answer.  He came to intuit that the wisdom societies of ancient civilizations held the key to man's true identity and purpose.

     His search took him to many remote and dangerous places before he finally discovered the "true principles and ideas" of a seminal, ancient teaching in prehistoric Egypt and Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia). Having discovered the principles and ideas, Gurdjieff realized that over time elements of the teaching had migrated from Egypt northward and he renewed his search.

     This second search led him to Babylon, the Hindu Kush, Siberia and the Gobi desert, where he gathered the dispersed elements of the ancient teaching that was completely unknown up to the present time.

     Gurdjieff then reassembled and reformulated the esoteric teaching of self-transformation he had discovered -- to meet the demands of modern times.  Gurdjieff called this teaching The Fourth Way.

     Humanity, he recognized, was in dire need of this knowledge, for humanity had entered a crucial period in its development. "Unless the wisdom of the East and the energy of the west," he said, "could be harnessed and used harmoniously, the world would be destroyed."  In 1911 Gurdjieff took a vow to awaken people to a new level of being, of consciousness, of conscience; in a word, to a new type of man.


 

   and human life in particular? [1]quote small right


Gurdjieff never gave a simple answer to that simple question!


Having asked that specific question from an early age (probably about the time of his grandmother's death – at age 8), and after acquiring a large expanse of knowledge, wisdom and understanding during his 80 or so years incarnate on earth — why did Gurdjieff NEVER offer a simple answer to that specific question?

quote small leftIf you can’t explain it simply,
    you don’t understand it well enough.
quote small right
      – Famous saying often (mistakenly) attributed to Einstein. [2]

              Perhaps Gurdjieff NEVER offered an answer to his lifelong question,
              because he did not understand it sense significance well enough to explain it sense significance simply.

Footnote ³   

Meaning of Life   From: Wikipedia



The meaning of life – or the answer to the question "What is the meaning of life?" – is a philosophical and spiritual conception of the significance of living or existence in general.

     ■ The question seeking the meaning of life can also be expressed in different
        forms, such as:
            ■ "What should I do?"
            ■ "Why are we here?"
            ■ "What is life all about?"
            ■ "What is the purpose of existence?"
            ■ or even "Does life exist at all?"

     ■ There have been a large number of proposed answers to these questions
        from many different cultural and ideological backgrounds.

     ■ The search for life's meaning has produced much philosophical, scientific,
        and theological speculation throughout history.


 
Gurdjieff's Lifelong Question: The Meaning of Life? [3]
A Simple Question?

Click for footnote    

4 Typical Defense of Gurdjieff's missing answer to his lifelong question


My initial question:  Can you provide any information on the following:

     ■ Gurdjieff asked the question:

"What is the sense and significance of life on Earth, and human life in particular?"

     ■ Did Gurdjieff ever answer that specific question?

     ■ Apparently, Gurdjieff asked himself that question at a very early age, but I cannot
        recall any reference of Gurdjieff giving an answer to that question.

     ■ Do you have more information about this? The answer he gave?


Defender's reply:  In Bennett's books, Gurdjieff: Making a New World and Is there Life on Earth. Are the closest answers I know. I don't think Gurdjieff was specific about that question.


My reply:  Thanks for the reply, which confirms what I’d thought.

     ■ Had you ever considered before – that Gurdjieff never answered the question which
        was formed in him at an early age, and which seemed to be the driving force
        throughout his life?

I’d never though about that fact, before a few days ago. I was a little surprised that it took me 44 years to realize that!

     ■ Seems like if he had an answer, he would have given it, therefore, I have to conclude
        that Gurdjieff never figured it out. Oh sure, he had much to say about
        the “human condition” but never a simple answer to that simple question.


Defender's reply:  I thought a long time about this question.

     ■ I think G answered that question in All and Everything. Almost all of All and Everything
        is an answer to that question.

     ■ Please feel free to help me understand the precise essence of your question.


My Reply:  All I’m looking for is a simple answer to a simple question.


Defender's reply:  Hehe, first off, that is NOT a simple question. One could give you a 'simple' answer like "to know, love, and serve God", or some other insipid formatory blather we learned in Catholic school.

     ■ This question is the grandest, most complicated question a human being could ask.

"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough."

     ■ I've been asking this question repeatedly, to everyone who is even remotely erudite in
        spirituality - my entire life. I ask it also to myself everyday. I think it is either a wrong
        question - like how many angels can fit on a head of a pin; or a question answered to
        you in Silence by a Natural Knowing - which cannot even begin to be put into words.

     ■ Sorry I couldn't be much help. But I'd you so find a 'simple' answer. I'd be delighted
        to know!



Or another reply.

It's in Beelzebub's Tales, if you can get through it.

     ■ Here's the Cliff's Notes version:

"Like all organic life on Earth, human beings are apparatuses for transforming energies which are required for some other purpose. However, as a more complicated type of transforming apparatus than plants or animals, human beings possess some choice regarding how to supply the energies required by their existence. They can transform energy consciously or unconsciously, in greater or lesser quantities, and of varying qualities, thereby influencing the purpose and outcome of their deaths."

     ■ And so on. http://www.gurdjieff.org/challenger1.htm


 

Gurdjieff's defenders [4] typically claim that Gurdjieff's question sense significance is not a simple question.
     ■ But at the same time, claim that All and Everything provides Gurdjieff's answer
        to this non-simple question.

All this presupposes that:
     1. Gurdjieff's question is a non-simple question.
     2. A simple answer does not exist.

What if both of those asumptions are incorrect?
     1. What if it sense significance is a simple question.
     2. With a simple answer.

The Simple Answer

The simple answer:  Human Life's sense and significance is to evolve from primitive unconscious procreation to civilized conscious procreation.

Primitive Unconscious Procreation:  The same as any animal — any male/female couple procreating instinctively, and without conscious determination. Procreation without being fully informed as to the consequences — to themselves and the child.
Unaware of the unconscious forces ensuring survival of life — forces without regard for the child's best interest.

Civilized Conscious Procreation:  Difficult to define because it is unknown. Something along the line of a decision by two fully informed individuals who are able to provide, fully, for the child's life from pre-natal stages of life to the age of personal responsibility; and who also are able to commit to the child's best interest.

Childishly Simple Questions   From: The Beginning and the End

quote small leftXXIX
Where does it all come from? It takes nothing less than a synthesis of modern science to answer this childish question.


XXXI
Inspired by the advice of Adler and Van Doren above, my ideal is to answer childishly simple questions in a mature and wise manner. These questions concern our ultimate origin, future, and values from a cosmological perspective. To answer the questions wisely, we shall inquire into many intricate theories and discussions, but our aim will always be to answer those simple questions.


311
In Part I, I built scaffolding for answering our childishly simple big questions. Adults usually fail to answer such deeply philosophical questions. This is for a very good reason: answering the big philosophical questions demands both philosophical care and scientific expertise.quote small right


Apparently Vidal does not ascribe to the idea that,

"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough."
Cosmological Artificial Selection (CAS)

According to Vidal, "It takes nothing less than a synthesis of modern science to answer this childish question."

Vidal's "scientific" answer, detailed in his book The Beginning and the End is no less than the creation of a new universe!

Vidal's belief is that only with cosmic immortality can complete meaning in life be found — this is our ultimate goal – the creation and continuation of a good, meaningful, immortal cosmos.


Architect Point of View   [Vidal, 193-4]



quote small leftArchitect Point of View: The more we are in a position to make a new universe, the more we shall understand our own universe.

If we extrapolate the steady growth of complexity and especially the amazing progress of science, then it may not be so difficult to imagine a stage at which intelligent life is able to conceive and make new universes. But the question of motivation remains. We shall see later that it can be grounded in a cosmological ethics and especially in the idea of cosmological immortality (see Chap. 10).

What is the meaning of science in CAS? Pondering the mysteries of the cosmos, we often marvel about the existence of life in the universe. Why are there such complex structures as life or consciousness? Yet the most recent outcome of complexity on Earth is not life nor consciousness. It is arguably the phenomenon of science, which is a natural continuation of the evolution of complex intelligent life (Turchin 1977; Campbell 1974).

Albert Einstein famously wrote that the “most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” (cited in Hoffmann 1972). What he meant is that matter self-organized up to a point where it can comprehend itself. Through humans and science, the universe is self-comprehending. This self-referential aspect is perplexing and awe inspiring.

Scientists are by definition embedded in science. Somehow, this is quite ironic. Indeed, if we are very “scientific” by giving a maximum value to objectivity (i.e. observations independent of the particular properties of the observer), then we forget the very fact that there are observers! Which is itself a fundamental mystery. This is why I presented CAS as a philosophical theory and not as a scientific one. In CAS, we are involved, and so are conjectured extraterrestrials too (see Chap. 9). This is another reason why it is so important to search and try to find them. Our cosmic vision remains too limited if we have only one example of the emergence of life. Obviously, it is difficult and scientifically dubious to extrapolate any general trend from one example.

What is the meaning of science in a cosmological perspective? Why did the cosmos generate structure capable not only of understanding itself (in self-consciousness) but also of understanding and controlling its surroundings in an ever more developed and precise manner? What is the most complex model we can imagine, and which activity can provide it? We saw that it is a model of the whole universe, assisted by computer simulations. As we extrapolate the phenomenon of science into the far future, we approach knowledge of the entire universe. CAS hypothesizes that this knowledge, coupled with activities in soft and hard Artificial Cosmogenesis will provide all the ingredients for future universe making.

One can now throw new light on the fact that cosmic evolution gave rise to scientific activity. In CAS, the increasing modeling abilities of intelligent beings is not an accident but an indispensable feature of our universe, to ensure new offspring universes. In CAS, scientific activity does not seek an ultimate explanation but a pragmatic solution to a real problem: lurking cosmic doom. The quest for an ultimate explanation is no longer a quest for disinterested and absolute knowledge. Knowledge is useful, and nearly complete knowledge about our universe should at some point be useful.

In future, science will no longer be merely a search for understanding of the world; in the long run, it will tend to become a simulation or computation of the world. In the far future, such a simulation could be concretely implemented to make a new universe. CAS offers a fresh perspective for pondering the big questions Pagels (1986, p. 379) raised:

  • “Is it possible that life, or whatever it may become, can alter the program of the cosmic computer, changing the course of its destiny? It will take more than a metaphor to answer that important question; it will take a far deeper understanding of life and the cosmos than we currently possess. Yet the desire to know the answer to such questions about our destiny will never go away. And that desire is perhaps the profoundest program in our cosmic computer so far.”quote small right
Cosmic Doom Scenario

The takeaway from Vidal's work is: this universe is flawed — the second law of thermodynamics dictates that entropy will eventually cause a “cosmic doom scenario, heat death, or big crunch. For this grand purpose, some way may be found to break out of this Universe into another one, either existing parallel to it or arising subsequent to it. That is, perhaps the best of our knowledge, consciousness, and genes can somehow be transferred to this other universe.”

The ultimate goal of the breakaway civilization?

Occam's Razor

  • quote small leftAmong competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.quote small right

Unconscious Procreation assumes there is no difference between human life and the life of any other animal.
     ■ Continuity of the species takes precedence over the child's best interest.
     ■ Assumes the method of procreation for animals is also appropriate for humans.
     ■ Assumes the wishes of the parents are superior to the child's best interest.


Notes:
Unlike other animals, human progeny are neotonic, taking a long time to mature.

Gurdjieff's “system” teaches how to repair damaged machines (human beings), but makes no mention of avoiding the process by which “blank slate” newborns  become damaged machines — Unconscious Procreation.

Life as we know it is based upon Unconscious Procreation. Sex, one of the most powerful forces influencing life (if not the most powerful influence) is integrally connected to Unconscious Procreation.

Click for footnote    

[5] Psychological Operation



Psychological operations (PSYOP) are planned operations to convey
selected information and indicators to audiences to influence
their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior
of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. [LINK]

 
Psychological Operation (PSYOP) [5]

mycn18 210
Hourglass Nebula

Gurdjieff was a psychological operation, part of a greater psychological operation spanning all of man's existence (See: The People of the Secret) if not for all of life's existence.

The psychological operation Gurdjieff "fronted",
was a Partial Disclosure [6] 

Click for footnote    

[6] Disclosure (of Conscious Intervention)



For more on the cosmology disclosed by
Gurdjieff, see the following two tabs:
  ■ Main Tab #3 - Entropy and the Laws of
     World-creation and World-maintenance
  ■ Main Tab #4 - Time and Initiative
 
(of conscious intervention) from the consciousness which pre-dates the universe given by consciousness in the universe. However, the disclosure was cloaked in obscurantism, obfuscation, deception and misdirection. A Limited Hangout.[7]

Click for footnote    

7 Limited Hangout


A limited hangout, or partial hangout is defined as a public relations or propaganda technique that involves the release of previously hidden information in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details.
 

This Partial Disclosure (the cosmology "revealed" by Gurdjieff) asserts matter is derived from consciousness (rather than consciousness being a derivitave of matter).

Gurdjieff's Creation Story


Around the time of Gurdjieff's birth, science made it

Click for lede quote from Gurdjieff   

“In the beginning, when nothing yet existed and when the whole of our Universe was empty endless space … our Most Great and Most Most Holy Sun Absolute existed alone in all this empty space. … It was just during this period of the flow of time that there appeared to our Creator All-Maintainer the imperative need to create our now-existing Megalocosmos, that is, our World. … The Sun Absolute, on which He dwelt with His cherubim and seraphim, was almost imperceptibly, yet steadily, diminishing in volume. As this fact ascertained by Him appeared very serious, He decided to review immediately all the laws which maintained the existence of that still unique cosmic concentration. During this review, it became clear to our Omnipotent Creator for the first time that the cause of this gradual diminishing of the volume of the Sun Absolute was simply the Heropass, that is, the flow of Time itself.”
(Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, Chapter 36, abridged)

 
clear through its law of entropy that the universe is constantly losing its potential for all types of movements.
We must remember a grim fact about
living organisms …

no organism can be beneficial for
the universe by its survival.

So we are confronted with this paradox:
the eventual goal of all those evolutionary
processes cannot be the creation of life

because life kills the universe.

This forces us to see life and consciousness
as interdependent partners with opposing
purposes and our presence as the reconciling
ground for the two opposing principles.
  • This potential is nothing but the sharpness of contrasts, oppositions, or contradictions …
  • All contrasts that we see in the current universe are developments of one primordial contrast between existence and nonexistence.
  • The potential for further creation is consumed by all cosmic processes including the formation of galaxies, planets, and organisms.
  • The universe is slowly but irreversibly moving toward death.

In the above quotation from the Beelzebub's Tales, it is easy to understand why our Creator had to create the universe.

  • On the other hand, it is difficult to understand how the created universe can be maintained without going down the drain.
  • The Sun Absolute's state described in this passage is characteristic of a thermodynamic system that has reached equilibrium at a high energy level. It cannot survive without creating lower worlds.
  • The owner of a commercial organization burdened by the excess of money may make a similar decision. The manager of a power plant producing more excess heat than it can handle will also make the same decision.
  • How can we be assured that the decision was not an egoistic one? A great suspicion arises about the goodness of the Creator and his ability as a Maintainer.

From this point of view, creation appears distinct from maintenance.

  • Creation can be a one-time affair requiring only one push. All subsequent events might have proceeded automatically. We are horrified to find that Beelzebub seems to confirm this view.
  • How then can maintenance be achieved? Beelzebub mentions two general directions of all cosmic processes. He calls them involution and evolution.
  • I associate involution with the top-down flow of events in the process of creation.
  • Evolution with the bottom-up flow of events in the direction of returning to the source.
  • Biological evolution is not necessarily a process of evolution in this sense.
  • We understand how involution follows the act of creation but how can evolution happen?

What we might call the law of involution is called the law of entropy in science.

  • Toward the end of 19th century, following Rudolf Clausius' formulation of the law of entropy, scientists became aware that whatever they studied in the physical world obeyed this law.
  • They also became convinced of their inability in detecting any law that might act against it.

Young Gautama Siddhartha must have had a similar realization before he left his palace.

  • The entire universe was slowly moving toward death; local and temporary exceptions would never change the general direction of this movement.
  • The more they tried to see the whole picture of what's happening, more hopeless they became.

The following description about the law of entropy will explain you why.

Entropy and the Terror of the Situation

The law of entropy is another name of the second law of thermodynamics.

  • Later on, the concept was found to be applicable to a great variety of academic fields including biology, ecology, economics, information theory, and the study of human mind as an information processing system.
  • The applicability of the law of entropy to the information theory confirms Gurdjieff's insistence about the materiality of knowledge.

In terms of thermodynamics, the first law called the law of the conservation of energy ensures that the total amount of energy within a closed cosmos shall remain always the same in spite of anything that may happen in that cosmos.

  • The second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy, does not deny the conservation of energy in a closed cosmos but predicts gradual loss of its quality with time.
  • This exactly is the problem that our Creator All-Maintainer took very seriously.

The law of entropy is defined as follows:

  • A law that governs the direction of all physical changes taking place in the universe. With time, the energy within a system will inevitably tend to become distributed in the most probable pattern, which consists of all the individual particles of the system engaging in random, disordered motion. (OED)
  • The amount of entropy within a closed system irreversibly increases with time. (common scientific formulation)

...

Many popular books written on the subject of entropy console the readers by inviting them to pay attention to the apparent state of orderliness in the universe we see now.

  • They argue that the richness and beauty of forms and structures that we see in the world prove the existence of a hidden law of evolution.
  • This sounds true. However, these arguments often ignore the fact that the universe is losing its potential constantly by creating these forms and structures.
  • Are these forms and structures helping in counterbalancing the law of entropy in any observable way?

Another serious error behind this way of thinking is the misleading definition of entropy as the factor of chaos and inverse of orderliness.

  • This is not a part of the original definition of entropy but is the result of what is known as the Boltzmann's interpretation.
  • This interpretation may be correct in what scientists call "ideal states" but not in reality, where the definition of orderliness becomes very subjective.

For example, in purely thermodynamic sense, our universe in its initial chaotic state was in a state of lower entropy than in its current state of orderliness.

  • In a wider sense, when particles stop fighting with each other and begin to co-exist "harmoniously," we often see it as orderliness while it actually may be a process of running down.

There are two types of chaos and likewise two types of orderliness: one that holds much potential and another that results from the loss of potential.

  • Rather than making a judgment about entropy based on the state of apparent orderliness and chaos, one should apply the concept of entropy to discriminate between these two types of chaos and of orderliness.
  • This subject came to be addressed remarkably well in the field of complex system dynamics but only very recently.
  • Readers should be aware of the Boltzmann's interpretation because many popular books and scientists still accept it in spite of recent criticisms that are more persuasive.

Finally, there are those who tried to look for a hidden law of evolution in the working of forces that enabled the appearance of organic life on Earth.

  • This also is a valid line of inquiry but here also it is easy to fall into the pitfall of wishful thinking.
  • It is again useful to return to the original thermodynamic concept of entropy. Each organism constitutes a thermodynamic system and its survival depends on keeping one's own entropy lower than that of the environment.
  • In other words, each organism feeds on negative entropy and excretes positive entropy.
  • No organism can be beneficial for the environment by its survival.
  • Vegetation on Earth is exceptional because its openness to the sun helps the Earth.
  • Still, in a larger scale, our sun is constantly dissipating its energy through its radiation, thereby increasing the entropy of the entire universe.

Theoretically speaking, for anything in the universe to be able to be of any use for the whole, it must be connected with a source that never dissipates itself by its radiation (or in contact with a certain emanation that never dissipates its source).

  • Beelzebub speaks of such and laughs at the poor scientists of the planet Earth who are ignorant of this.
  • He makes an absurd statement: Our Sun Neither Lights nor heats. What he calls Our Sun may not be the same with what we call our sun.

...

Exactly at this point, we must remember a grim fact about living organisms that I mentioned earlier: no organism can be beneficial for the universe by its survival.

  • So we are confronted with this paradox: the eventual goal of all those evolutionary processes cannot be the creation of life because life kills the universe.
  • This forces us to see life and consciousness as interdependent partners with opposing purposes and our presence as the reconciling ground for the two opposing principles.
Entropy and the Laws of World-creation and World-maintenance
Beelzebub's Creation Story

entropy-sm
  • quote bigIn the beginning, when nothing yet existed and when the whole of our Universe was empty endless space ... our Most Great and Most Most Holy Sun Absolute existed alone in all this empty space. … It was just during this period of the flow of time that there appeared to our Creator All-Maintainer the imperative need to create our now-existing Megalocosmos, that is, our World. … The Sun Absolute, on which He dwelt with His cherubim and seraphim, was almost imperceptibly, yet steadily, diminishing in volume. As this fact ascertained by Him appeared very serious, He decided to review immediately all the laws which maintained the existence of that still unique cosmic concentration. During this review, it became clear to our Omnipotent Creator for the first time that the cause of this gradual diminishing of the volume of the Sun Absolute was simply the Heropass, that is, the flow of Time itself.  (Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, Chapter 36, abridged)
Introduction    From: Entropy and the Laws of World-creation and World-maintenance

What causes the wind to blow? What causes a river to run?

A simple inquiry into the source of all movements makes it clear that contrasts, oppositions, or contradictions are the requirements of all movements and therefore of life.

  • Compared with animals, man can be freer in his movement because he is capable of placing himself under the influences of wider variety of forces.
  • If he fails to reconcile contradictory forces while remaining open to them, that freedom is replaced by various manifestations of disharmony, split, and indecisiveness.
  • Indeed, it is rare to find a man whose movement is more grand and beautiful than that of an animal.

We all know at least subconsciously that movements are the measure of truth as in the case with a lie detector.

  • Impartial observation of the movements of the world and of ourselves is a serious undertaking that may reveal falsities in what we believe.
  • It has been so in science also.
  • The study of movements in science since the mid 19th century has first ascertained our helplessness in resisting the universal tendency of everything going into the drain.
  • Then it became gradually aware of some peculiarities in the working of physical laws that brought us a hope which appears to me more objective than the hope it had before.

The development of a certain line of science after Gurdjieff's time has been very much in confirmation of what he has written in the Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson.

  • Even though Beelzebub had a very low opinion about the planet Earth's scientists when he was speaking to Hassein in the year 1921, he may change a part of his opinion after reading this article through his Etherogram connection.
  • Readers of this article on the planet Earth, on the other hand, may discover that many statements made by Beelzebub are not as absurd and unscientific as they are generally thought to be.

In this manner, this essay aims to demonstrate that the difficulty in relating the exact science and Gurdjieff's cosmology particularly with regards the law of entropy, mentioned by James Moore in his book Gurdjieff: The Anatomy of a Myth (pp. 345-348), may not be as great as it might have looked a few decades ago.

  • This essay does not address fancy theories such as of multiple dimensions and parallel universes but focuses on the study of laws that govern the movements of matters in the world of reality we are directly in touch with.
Is the Creator Really a Maintainer?

Around the time of Gurdjieff's birth, science made it clear through its law of entropy that the universe is constantly losing its potential for all types of movements.

  • This potential is nothing but the sharpness of contrasts, oppositions, or contradictions that I mentioned earlier.
  • All contrasts that we see in the current universe are developments of one primordial contrast between existence and nonexistence.
  • The potential for further creation is consumed by all cosmic processes including the formation of galaxies, planets, and organisms.
  • The universe is slowly but irreversibly moving toward death.

In the above quotation from the Beelzebub's Tales, it is easy to understand why our Creator had to create the universe.

  • On the other hand, it is difficult to understand how the created universe can be maintained without going down the drain.
  • The Sun Absolute's state described in this passage is characteristic of a thermodynamic system that has reached equilibrium at a high energy level.
  • It cannot survive without creating lower worlds.
  • The owner of a commercial organization burdened by the excess of money may make a similar decision.
  • The manager of a power plant producing more excess heat than it can handle will also make the same decision.
  • How can we be assured that the decision was not an egoistic one?
  • A great suspicion arises about the goodness of the Creator and his ability as a Maintainer.

From this point of view, creation appears distinct from maintenance.

  • Creation can be a one-time affair requiring only one push.
  • All subsequent events might have proceeded automatically.
  • We are horrified to find that Beelzebub seems to confirm this view.

How then can maintenance be achieved?

Beelzebub mentions two general directions of all cosmic processes.

  • He calls them involution and evolution.
  • I associate involution with the top-down flow of events in the process of creation.
  • Evolution with the bottom-up flow of events in the direction of returning to the source.
  • Biological evolution is not necessarily a process of evolution in this sense.
  • We understand how involution follows the act of creation but how can evolution happen?

What we might call the law of involution is called the law of entropy in science.

  • Toward the end of 19th century, following Rudolf Clausius' formulation of the law of entropy, scientists became aware that whatever they studied in the physical world obeyed this law.
  • They also became convinced of their inability in detecting any law that might act against it.
  • Young Gautama Siddhartha must have had a similar realization before he left his palace.
  • The entire universe was slowly moving toward death; local and temporary exceptions would never change the general direction of this movement.
  • The more they tried to see the whole picture of what's happening, more hopeless they became.

The following description about the law of entropy will explain you why.

 

Entropy and the Terror of the Situation

The law of entropy is another name of the second law of thermodynamics.

  • Later on, the concept was found to be applicable to a great variety of academic fields including biology, ecology, economics, information theory, and the study of human mind as an information processing system.
  • The applicability of the law of entropy to the information theory confirms Gurdjieff's insistence about the materiality of knowledge.

In terms of thermodynamics, the first law called the law of the conservation of energy ensures that the total amount of energy within a closed cosmos shall remain always the same in spite of anything that may happen in that cosmos.

  • The second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy, does not deny the conservation of energy in a closed cosmos but predicts gradual loss of its quality with time.
  • This exactly is the problem that our Creator All-Maintainer took very seriously.

The law of entropy is defined as follows:

  • A law that governs the direction of all physical changes taking place in the universe. With time, the energy within a system will inevitably tend to become distributed in the most probable pattern, which consists of all the individual particles of the system engaging in random, disordered motion. (OED)
  • The amount of entropy within a closed system irreversibly increases with time. (common scientific formulation)

Understanding the basics of the law of entropy does not require any scientific training.

  • However, one has to be familiar with the usage of some words. Higher entropy within a system means less potential for dynamic movements within that system.
  • The term system is similar to what Beelzebub calls cosmos, which can be of various scales.

Imagine that you have a container that have two compartments, one filled with cold water another with hot water.

  • If you remove a wall between the two containers, convective movements will take place within the container, which is taken here as a closed (insulated) system.
  • The contrast between the higher and lower in terms of temperature enables these movements.
  • With time, the movements will become smaller and eventually cease.
  • This gradual loss in potential is referred to as increase of entropy.

Another example can be of an electric battery.

  • In the initial state of a battery when it has a sharp contrast between its positive and negative poles in terms of chemistry, much energy is available for use.
  • The amount of available energy decreases as a process toward chemical uniformity proceeds in the battery.

In the second example, you may try to reverse the process within the battery by connecting it with a new battery, even though this connection will make the first battery no more "closed."

  • It will surely decrease the entropy within the first battery.
  • If we enlarge our vision and take the two batteries together as a single cosmos, however, we find that the connection of the two batteries has caused the entropy of this larger cosmos to increase.
  • Thus, science admits that each decrease in local entropy must be compensated by a sharper increase in global entropy.
  • It implies that the interest of a part can never match the interest of the whole.
  • It also implies that larger a cosmos, more susceptible it is to the law of entropy.
  • Conclusion: the entire universe is slowly but steadily moving toward death.
Beelzebub Vs. Maxwell's Demon

The above conclusion, scientifically arrived at with such a sane logic, turned out to be far ominous and persuasive than any doomsday prediction.

  • Various scientists and theorists tried to argue against this conclusion.
  • Here I describe failings of many of such arguments to help discriminate between real hopes and false hopes.

The first reaction against the theory of entropy took the form of a craze over the invention of a machine that would prove the possibility of defying entropy; that is, in Beelzebub's words, a mechanism that would run forever without requiring any material from the outside:

  • It once happened on that ill-fated planet that somebody got the "crazy notion" into his head that he could invent a "mechanism" that would run forever without requiring any material from the outside. [...]
  • I was once in a town where a large number of "models" and all kinds of "descriptions" of proposed mechanisms for this perpetual motion had been collected. What could not be found there? What ingenious and complicated machines did I not see? In any single one of these mechanisms there were more ideas and "wiseacrings" than in all the laws of world-creation and world-existence. [...]
  • I don't know how it would all have ended if some quite demented being with one foot already in the grave, an "old dotard," as they say, who had somehow acquired a certain authority, had not proved by "calculations" known only to himself that it was absolutely impossible to invent "perpetual motion."
    (Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, Chapter 6)

Seeing the failure of purely mechanical means, some have thought that they might have a better chance if they employed in their machines something a little less mechanical: our so-called intelligence.

  • A famous physicist James Maxwell (1831-79) proposed a conceptual model of perpetual motion that employed what became known as the "Maxwell's Demon."
  • The proposed machine has a container divided into two compartments.
  • The Maxwell's Demon sits by a hole in the wall that separates the right and left compartments.
  • He is intelligent enough to discriminate between fast-moving and slow-moving molecules.
  • He allows only fast-moving molecules to pass from left to right; slow-moving molecules from right to left.
  • This work of the Demon would make the right compartment hotter in defiance of the law of entropy.
  • Since the level of intelligence required for this job is not quite high, it must be possible to invent an apparatus that takes his role.

Technical evaluations of this concept have shown the impossibility of such an invention, the main reason being that the working of the Demon and the preparation of conditions for the Demon to work would require more energy than his work can produce.

  • These technical evaluations are showing us that the working of our mechanical mind is upsetting rather than beneficial in trying to control the situation.
  • The failure of the Demon is the defeat of our so-called intelligence, which Beelzebub describes as: "Look! Look! He already begins to distinguish mama from papa!"
  • In spite of a huge difference in intelligence between Beelzebub and Maxwell's Demon, however, they might be in a collaborating relationship in a certain sense.
Two Types of Chaos and Two Types of Orderliness

Many popular books written on the subject of entropy console the readers by inviting them to pay attention to the apparent state of orderliness in the universe we see now.

  • They argue that the richness and beauty of forms and structures that we see in the world prove the existence of a hidden law of evolution.
  • This sounds true. However, these arguments often ignore the fact that the universe is losing its potential constantly by creating these forms and structures.
  • Are these forms and structures helping in counterbalancing the law of entropy in any observable way?

Another serious error behind this way of thinking is the misleading definition of entropy as the factor of chaos and inverse of orderliness.

  • This is not a part of the original definition of entropy but is the result of what is known as the Boltzmann's interpretation.

The Boltzmann interpretation may be correct in what scientists call "ideal states" but not in reality, where the definition of orderliness becomes very subjective.

  • For example, in purely thermodynamic sense, our universe in its initial chaotic state was in a state of lower entropy than in its current state of orderliness.
  • In a wider sense, when particles stop fighting with each other and begin to co-exist "harmoniously," we often see it as orderliness while it actually may be a process of running down.

There are two types of chaos and likewise two types of orderliness:

  • One that holds much potential and another that results from the loss of potential.

Rather than making a judgment about entropy based on the state of apparent orderliness and chaos, one should apply the concept of entropy to discriminate between these two types of chaos and of orderliness.

  • This subject came to be addressed remarkably well in the field of complex system dynamics but only very recently.
  • Readers should be aware of the Boltzmann's interpretation because many popular books and scientists still accept it in spite of recent criticisms that are more persuasive.

Finally, there are those who tried to look for a hidden law of evolution in the working of forces that enabled the appearance of organic life on Earth.

  • This also is a valid line of inquiry but here also it is easy to fall into the pitfall of wishful thinking.
  • It is again useful to return to the original thermodynamic concept of entropy.
  • Each organism constitutes a thermodynamic system and its survival depends on keeping one's own entropy lower than that of the environment.
  • In other words, each organism feeds on negative entropy and excretes positive entropy.

No organism can be beneficial for the environment by its survival.

  • Vegetation on Earth is exceptional because its openness to the sun helps the Earth.
  • Still, in a larger scale, our sun is constantly dissipating its energy through its radiation, thereby increasing the entropy of the entire universe.

Theoretically speaking, for anything in the universe to be able to be of any use for the whole, it must be connected with a source that never dissipates itself by its radiation (or in contact with a certain emanation that never dissipates its source).

  • Beelzebub speaks of such and laughs at the poor scientists of the planet Earth who are ignorant of this.
  • He makes an absurd statement: Our Sun Neither Lights nor heats.
  • What he calls Our Sun may not be the same with what we call our sun.

Hearing the absurd statement of Beelzebub and his contemptuous remarks on our scientists, we are tempted to conclude that whatever Beelzebub says about the World Laws is allegorical of what happens in our inner world but does not apply to the outer world.

  • I can never support this view because I take it seriously when Gurdjieff emphasizes that similar laws govern our inner world and outer world; only some laws are more available for observation in one of them.
  • Let us trace further the history of scientific inquiry into the physical laws of movements while maintaining our interest in how they may apply to our inner world.
Law of World-creation and Law of World-maintenance

As mentioned earlier, the development of a certain line of science after Gurdjieff's time has been very much in confirmation of what he has written in the Beelzebub's Tales.

  • What changed the direction of scientific inquiry toward the direction pointed by Beelzebub?
  • It is the scientists' growing awareness about that which Beelzebub describes as follows: "the contradiction between the concrete results flowing from the processes of all the cosmic laws and the results presupposed and even definitely expected by their sane logic" (Beelzebub's Tales, Chapter 39).

The efforts of scientists in earlier decades were mainly focused on describing reality in terms of theories in a neat, logical way.

  • In doing so, they presupposed lawful movements of matters in what they called "ideal states."
  • In reference to what we have examined together, you must have found all preceding discussions about the law of entropy very understandable and undeniable because they were clearly based on a sane logic.
  • But logic cannot cover all faces of reality.
  • It never occurred to the earlier scientists that new discoveries were yet to be made with regards the most probable patterns in the earlier-mentioned definition of the law of entropy.

Scientists gradually became aware through their observation of reality that particles within a more or less complex system do not move in the way they are supposed to move in an ideal state.

  • Phenomena like flow and turbulence that have a vital significance in our organic universe were found to be explainable only when we take account of complex interactions that take place among different processes and physical laws involved in creating the phenomena.

The dependence of a part of a process on another process or another part of the same process and real-time interactions between ongoing processes, both competitive and collaborative, are the main causes of what science calls nonlinearity, which is a major peculiarity brought about by the changes our Creator has introduced to the working of the Law of Heptaparaparshinokh in his hope to ensure maintenance of the universe, according to Beelzebub.

  • Similar interactions among different processes and physical laws in a complex system are also known to cause emergence of unexpected patterns.
  • In other words, collective development of processes, which essentially are the lawful execution of the law of entropy, may produce patterns that betray our preconceived images of most probable patterns.
  • This is the central subject of study in the field of complex system dynamics.

Our mind lacks capacity to understand the complexity of interactions among multiple processes that take place simultaneously.

  • So the best way to grasp the reality of these phenomena is to be assisted by computer programs designed to simulate such phenomena in a graphical way.
  • There are two types of such programs: programs that draw a fractal figure and programs called automatons.

A typical program that draws a fractal figure simulates a top-down process of creation.

  • Such a program is mathematically defined as successive fractioning of a primordial law according to a predefined set of rules.
  • In the process of fractioning that the computer executes automatically according to the rules, one finds both the nonlinearity of the whole process and unexpected emergence of a pattern that is often redolent of an organism or natural object.

The following words of Beelzebub accurately describe this process and its significance in relationship to the concept of entropy:

  • It should be noted that in the Great Universe all phenomena, without exception, wherever they arise and are manifest, are simply successive, lawful "fractions" of some whole phenomenon which has its prime arising on the Most Holy Sun Absolute.
  • In consequence, all cosmic phenomena, wherever they proceed, have an "objective significance."
  • And these successive, lawful fractions are actualized in every respect, even in the sense of their involution and evolution, according to the fundamental cosmic law, the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh.
  • Time alone has no objective significance, since it is not the result of the fractioning of any definite cosmic phenomenon. (Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, Chapter 16)
Counterbalancing the Law of Entropy

Another type of simulation program called automatons (or automata or artificial life) shows the down-up process from multiplicity to simplicity.

  • An automaton program simultaneously moves multiple residents of a created cosmos according to a set of rules to simulate emergence of patterns in collective movements of these residents.
  • Using these programs, researchers try to identify a set of rules that would cause the emergence of patterns that realistically resemble those of biological adaptation and habitat segregation, competition and collaboration, health and disease, process between birth and death, and so on.
  • More interesting for researchers may be the study of how a small change in the working of these laws would change the state of affairs.

Gurdjieff preceded those researchers by decades with his Movements, some of which bearing the title Automaton, that use real living human beings instead of virtual creatures.

  • The merit of using real human beings is immense, because only by doing so one can expect to find a real factor in man that would enable him to reestablish a connection with the source, counterbalancing the law of entropy working on his physical body.
  • In this connection, it is interesting to note that many researchers in the field of complex system dynamics, notably John Holland, like to compare the objects they study with "dances" but very "unusual" because of the irregularities they show in their progressions and also because of the image of complexity they produce through combinations of simple laws.
  • These are well-known properties of the Gurdjieff Movements.

Many recent studies in the field of complex system dynamics seem to have been made in the right direction pointed by Beelzebub.

  • However, we must remember that none of the researchers has proved the real possibility of counterbalancing the law of entropy.
  • They simply point to the existence of a certain principle that allows forms, structures, and organisms to emerge out of the top-down processes of creation governed by the law of entropy.
  • As mentioned earlier, it is doubtful whether these forms, structures, and organisms can help decrease the general level of entropy in the universe.
  • Such is not happening so far, as evidenced by the current ecological crisis on the planet Earth, and the chance for such to happen in future is very small.
  • To help this very small chance, we must identify the conditions under which such may happen.

Some scientists rejoiced in discovering what looked like a universal principle that so far had enabled automatic emergence of living organisms, biological evolution of species, and development of so-called intelligence in man.

  • The same group of people developed what they believe as a computer-simulated model of self-learning, self-evolving creatures.
  • They are happy because they believe that this principle they have found will guarantee automatic evolution of human beings into a bright future.
  • But then, what is the purpose of us being a man rather than a machine?
  • They should have been ashamed in knowing whatever they believed as development and intelligence was the result of automatic adaptation and learning that are possible even for a computer virus.
Informational Entropy and the Purpose of Organic Life and Man

For further inquiry into the subject of entropy and the role of organic life on Earth, we must study the relationship between thermodynamic entropy and informational entropy, and the role of consciousness in this connection.

  • Science takes thermodynamic entropy and informational entropy officially as different subjects, but their similarities are evident.
  • The mathematical formulas describing the law are identical between the two. Aren't they basically the same law?
  • Though science hesitates to make this claim, the interrelationship between the realms of thermodynamics and information is evident at least in the organic universe of genes, cells, vegetation, animals, and men.
  • If this interrelationship exists only in our organic universe, on the other hand, it proves the paramount importance of organic life in maintaining the whole universe.

Information - what we know and what we are aware of - naturally determines how we move as particles of the universe.

  • The movements of these more-conscious particles and the movements of less-conscious particles both seem to be under a similar set of laws while consciousness can be a critical factor that may bring unexpected consequences.
  • However, there's no clear demarcation between what we call exchange of information and what we call physical interaction.
  • The impression of this continuity is particularly strong when we pay attention to how mechanical processes of physics and chemistry must have first produced genes on Earth.
  • Genes are clearly more intelligent than inactive matters because they are informational entities "conscious" of time (past and future) and therefore of entropy.
  • So what we see here is a hierarchy among different modes of exchanges according to their degree of materiality, which is the inverse of the degree of consciousness involved.
  • A body of information consists of particles that allow more penetration of consciousness; so the presence of consciousness acts more effectively in counteracting the involution of these particles than in preventing the involution of denser particles that belong to the realm of thermodynamics.

Information theorists measure the degree of truth (negative entropy) at a certain point in the process of transmission by evaluating the purity of information at that point against the purity at the source.

  • Purity here means the proportion of correct information against the whole body of information.
  • Now if we leave information theorists behind and become concerned about something more than the mere correctness of information, namely the meaningfulness and purposefulness, and also accept the above-mentioned continuum between the world of physics and the world of information, we arrive at a more satisfactory but very surprising definition of zero entropy or original source: maximum meaning in least materiality.
  • Now we finally reached, through our pondering, what Beelzebub called the Sun that Neither Lights nor Heats.

In this connection, it is interesting to note how cognitive science almost reached the same conclusion but denied it hurriedly by a childish logic.

  • The fact that a man is able to be aware of the movements of his attention suggests that this awareness belongs to a deeper layer in man.
  • While attention is quantifiable in terms of its strength and distribution, deeper awareness is less quantifiable and therefore less material.
  • A man who proposed a theory about the layers of attention and deeper levels of control was "pecked to death" by his colleagues, who insisted that this should never be the case because then they would have to assume: man within man within man within man within man...ad infinitum. But what to do? This is the reality experienced by all explorers of the inner world: infinite regression back to the source of our arising.

Information theorists today do not effectively address the role of consciousness in information exchange.

  • Their main focus is on mechanical processes of cognition, memory, and inference.

Still it must be possible for researchers to comparatively study the processes of various degrees of mechanical learning:

  • Absolutely unconscious as with self-evolving computer virus.
  • Organically unconscious as in genes.
  • Mostly unconscious as in biological adaptation.
  • Generally subconscious as in infants.
  • Slightly conscious as in us.

Comparing their consequences in terms of informational-thermodynamic entropy may give us an idea about the role of consciousness in the universe.

  • With these variations of mechanical learning, however, its effect in decreasing thermodynamic entropy is expected to be null or negative, as in the case with the Maxwell's Demon.
  • We cannot even be sure whether such mechanical learning can decrease informational entropy as such or not, because more learning means more material in the head, which means higher entropy by definition.
Official definition of informational entropy (Shannon's formula):

Amount of information = - log (Proportion or probability of truth)
- The amount of information is sinonymous to informational entropy.
- The amount of information is inverse-logarithmically proportionate to the proportion of truth.
- More distant from truth; more is the amount of information.

Feel again the power of this formulation: maximum meaning in least materiality.

  • In this formulation, Meaning is another name of Purposefulness.

The second half of this formulation again shows impossibility of connecting the Purpose with the survival of organic forms.

  • We may choose to make such a connection in our mind at the cost of negating the whole meaning of all that exists, making ourselves totally at the mercy of the law of entropy.
  • Since all forms of mechanical learning are motivated by survival needs, they can neither free us nor serve the universe except through preparing the ground where something higher may grow.

Since this something higher is not growing in most of us, a daily-life formulation of the law of informational entropy in relationship to its dynamic consequence could be like this:

  • The more knowledgeable a man is, less freedom he has in life.

However, we know that there are exceptional cases.

  • A man clearly has in him a reconciling principle that allows him to extract truth from a larger body of information.
  • Understanding is a process that decreases informational entropy.
  • It relieves man from the burden of knowledge.
  • Unlike thermodynamic entropy, the amount of informational entropy (confusion) removed from one person's head in this manner will not enter other persons' heads.
  • This major difference from thermodynamic entropy seems to prove that we are actually able to make contact with a source of negative informational entropy through our consciousness.
  • Otherwise where does that excess amount of entropy disappear?

Informational entropy should be a subject of vital interest for those who are concerned with the transmission of a spiritual teaching.

  • In the context of what we discussed, however, transmission of a spiritual teaching should be understood in terms of sharing the opportunity to come closer to the source of our arising rather than in terms of transmitting information.
  • The formulation "maximum meaning in least materiality" is very close to the precept of Zen with regards its tradition of direct transmission with no word.
  • Zen also knows another form of transmission, the tradition of existential questioning (koan), in which words are used not as containers of information but as a means to evoke contradictions in man to the effect of awakening in him the sacred law of reconciling.
  • Beelzebub uses words in very much the same way.

On a larger scale, however, the transmission of any true teaching inevitably follows the law of entropy, which will destroy it within three or four generations, according to Beelzebub.

  • Specifically in the case of Gurdjieff's teaching, what might be the best way to protect it against this rapid decay?
  • With traditional views about the law of entropy we discussed earlier, there seems to be no hope: imparting the teaching cannot be achieved without diluting the message.
  • Preserving the teaching within a small circle will not work either: the amount of entropy within a closed system irreversibly increases with time.
  • Beelzebub's advice which you may guess from Chapter 44 of the Beelzebub's Tales is more in line with the emergence theory of complex system dynamics and still deeper because it takes account of vivifying effects of the reconciling principle present in man.

Gurdjieff's concept of Hydrogen takes inorganic matters, organic matters, information, and consciousness in one continuum and therefore inclusive of the concepts of entropy in thermodynamics, ecology, biology, and information theory, along with the role of consciousness.

  • Numbers attached to Hydrogens are designations of their positions on one universal scale of entropy.
  • Hydrogens with smaller numbers are less in their universal entropy and closer to the source of everything existing.
  • They carry more or allow more penetration of that original emanation which created the world, which should have the quality of pure consciousness rather than the properties of light and heat.
  • Though scientists cannot be expected to accept this integrated model of the universe especially with regards our origin in the heatless sun, various forms of interactions among the realms of consciousness, knowledge, information, and matters, as well as their effects over the climates of our inner and outer worlds in terms of thermodynamic-informational-psycological entropy are available to our direct observation.

In Gurdjieff's illustration of man as a three-story factory, the realms of thermodynamics and information theory interact by a contact between the air octave and the octave of impressions, a contact that requires the work of consciousness.

  • Through an inner exercise mentioned in the Third Series, an exercise of establishing a contact between the energy associated with information and the energy associated with breathing, one may be able to confirm how this contact may change the climate within oneself and how it can be shared within a group of people.
Reconciliatory Conclusion

In summary, the various lines of reasoning presented here, while they may not be quite sufficient in proving something in the favor of Beelzebub, make us more aware of the inevitability of a choice between life and death: either start on a journey toward the pointed direction or lose the entire ground and meaning of existence, including any reason for further inquiry, scientific or unscientific.

Listening to Beelzebub and reading reports from recent works in the field of complex system dynamics, and as I begin to see potential sacredness of all interactions, I am tempted to give the broadest possible meaning to such words as consciousness and awareness.

  • Can we say, for example, that the Newton's apple and earth are aware of each other though the law of gravity?
  • What are those physical laws anyway? Aren't they all means that enable matters to be aware of each other?
  • In this sense, isn't it reasonable to see awareness as the real source of creation that preceded the working of these laws?
  • Isn't it also the case that everything in the world, animate or inanimate, is aspiring to become more conscious through its interactions with others, the totality of which may have the effect of canceling out the decaying action of Time?

Looking at some creatures of lower forms, like those that live in the depth of ocean, one wonders why the Creator had to give consciousness even to such forms.

  • While seeing the obvious cruelty of containing consciousness in such forms, can we see it as an evidence showing how badly needed is consciousness in the universe?

Exactly at this point, we must remember a grim fact about living organisms that I mentioned earlier: no organism can be beneficial for the universe by its survival.

  • So we are confronted with this paradox: the eventual goal of all those evolutionary processes cannot be the creation of life because life kills the universe.
  • This forces us to see life and consciousness as interdependent partners with opposing purposes and our presence as the reconciling ground for the two opposing principles.

Even though Beelzebub speaks about the emergence of evolutionary processes out of involutionary processes and calls the former as strivings to reblend with the source, what he sees as the real spiritualizing force in the universe is the third reconciling force resulting from collisions between the involutionary processes and evolutionary processes.

  • This brings us back to the subject we started with: man's responsibility to be open to and reconcile contradictory perceptions as well as contradictory forces at work both inside and outside him.

Thanks to what we have learned about the basics of the law of entropy, we can now understand better that reconciliation doesn't necessarily mean resolving conflicts and that avoiding the above-mentioned responsibility will make us more susceptible to the law of entropy.

  • We can also understand why Gurdjieff refers to "inner tension of forces" as an honorable state of man.
  • I hope you consciously assist "collisions" happening to you after reading this essay so as to be able to have a real taste of this reconciling principle working in your presence now.

Recommended reading on complex system dynamics: 
Mitchel Waldrop "Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos".

  • The concept of "edge of order and chaos" suggests that the most dynamic place in the universe is a place between order and chaos, a reconciling ground where processes of involution and processes of evolution meet.
  • The planet Earth is considered to be such a place in our solar system where things can grow because it is neither too close to nor too far away from the sun.

Visit Plavan N. Go's Homepage.

Copyright © 2003 Plavan N. Go

Time with no Origin Devours the Place with no Displacement

Heropass (Time) –  the Destroyer

Two Scales of Time
1. “Heropass” (EternityINFINITY?)
 ■ A beginningless, independent time that precedes
    creation of the world and is coeval with the Creator

2. Redesigned Time (Two Types)
 ■ “Foolasnitamnian” - Time for perfecting the self
 ■ 
“Itoklanos” - Time for occasioning mechanical events

According to Gurdjieff, received ideas of time overlook a fundamental distinction. Time for perfecting the self and time for occasioning mechanical events fall under different principles, the “Foolasnitamnian” and the “Itoklanos”. [3]

This insight has considerable importance for the discussion of cosmologies below.

  • For a concentrated act of human initiative (as opposed to the automatic reaction to external influences) involves a cosmic difference in the nature of things.
  • It places one under a vitalizing principle which elevates one's deepest wish for wholeness to actuality.
  • It dispels identification with an entropy that feeds an inner darkness and drains aspiration.
  • It grants entry into the realm of being and doing.
  • By contrast, to ignore the distinction is to confine humanity to a time of decay and decomposition.

By positing a beginningless, independent time (In Beelzebub's Tales called “the Heropass”) that precedes creation of the world and is coeval with the Creator.

  • Preoriginary, anarchical time plays a key role in sparking the initiative to create the universe.
  • Time with no origin devours the place with no displacement.
  • Anarchical time would “sooner or later bring about the complete destruction of this sole place of His Being.” [10]

The most poignant effect of creation is to modify, if not time itself, at least time's inner workings.

Time's transformation occupies the heart of Gurdjieff's cosmology: To understand its ramifications, a review of his major cosmological principles is helpful.

Gurdjieff posits two prime laws:

1.  The law of process (“the sacred Heptaparaparshinokhh”).

2.  The law of phenomena (“the sacred Triamazikamno”).

These two prime laws clearly are interdependent. Phenomena develop lawfully out of one another in their movement toward an end.

As Gurdjieff formulates the law of phenomena, “the higher blends with the lower in order to actualize the middle and thus becomes either higher for the preceding lower, or lower for the succeeding higher.” [11]

Creation is enacted by a unique alteration in the two prime laws, especially in the law of process.

  • Before creation, they operate on a closed and isolated system. The hermetically sealed design Gurdjieff calls “Autoegocrat”. [12]
  • The redesigned system (“Trogoautoegocrat”) is governed by laws of interdependence, reciprocity, and exchange.
  • The revised features presupposes the original configuration. Since later design requirements stipulate existences outside of the originary, hermetic system, provisions for world-creation are implicit to the alteration.
  • Since the motive for redesign, as seen before, is to counteract entropic effects of anarchical time, the world leaps into being for the sake of coping with the Heropass, Time, the Destroyer.

The many cosmoses come to exist in response to the divine alteration of fundamental law.

  • The life of one process begins to enter the life of other processes.
  • Material is shared. Hermetic self-containment remains a possibility.
  • The old way of operating remains intact, but only as it, as Gurdjieff says, the “same process proceeds in absolute quiet.”[13]
  • The self-projective character of development is replaced by a new basis of dynamics, exchange: the “principle of existence of everything existing in the Universe by means of reciprocal feeding and maintaining each other's existence.” [14]

Gurdjieff calls exchange “Iraniranumange”.

  • As a first thrust toward an open universe, it ends the threat of an entropic decline by establishing “that equilibrium which at the present time no longer gives the merciless Heropass any possibility of bringing about anything unforseen whatsoever to our Most Great and Most Most Holy Sun Absolute.” [15]

Creation, the cosmic event of novelty, centers on need — a need for mutual support or reciprocal maintenance.

  • In an organism, descending (catabolic) and ascending (anabolic) processes exist side by side.
  • The product of one becomes raw material for another.
  • Substance is conserved and recylced.

What regulates an infinite fine balance of processes is none other than time's new dimension, originary time, timing. Time (timing?) is the essence in any line of development.

  • Action of reciprocal maintenance works through timing of events.
  • The achievement of reciprocal maintenance is a great one: it is homeostasis.
  • Destructive, destabilizing effects of anarchical time are neutralized through good timing in mutually sustaining processes.

Timing, the lawful interlocking of events, clearly belongs to ordinary time.

  • Man is no less subject to it than any other being.
  • Yet in timing lies a special opportunity for humanity, one in which humanity ceases to be subject to the laws but coauthor of them.

The new design of the law of process, according to Gurdjieff, similarly places the created universe at the open edge of things.

  • Therein arises an important problem. Beyond the universe is empty space, nothing.
  • The conditions for environmental interactions that a single orgainsm enjoys do not exist.
  • On a cosmic scale, what prevents the totality of existents from becomming closed and succumbing to uncreated time and entropy?

It should be noted that a homeostatic universe is not an antientropic one, one in which energy is upgraded to higher levels of being.

  • A defeat of anarchical time is not a truimphal mastery over time.
  • An additional step is necessary: time must be utilized to ascend to a more consciously developed, elevated state of being.

Cosmology distinguishes a totality that lacks absolutely nothing in perfection from a differentiate and less than perfect form.

  • The later (God in contrast to Godhead, Isvara in contrast to Brahman) is lower inasmuch as it is subject to laws of becoming rather that pure intention.
  • In short, it has become manifest and, having come into being, it has disclosed itself as what it is and what it is not.

Gurdjieff's thought takes an unexpected turn at this junction. Although the laws give the appearance of maintaining the cosmoses, there is a hidden aspect to reciprocal maintenance.

  • The open edge of things is guaranteed through continual creation of beings other than those currently enjoying existence.
  • Without novelty, continuously remade, the universe would close on itself and die a death that awaits all beings under guise of the Heropass.
  • Yet a necessary thrust toward innovation forces another necessity on the intelligence behind all cosmic intelligence.

Gurdjieff's solution to the ravages of anarchical time is the expanding, reciprocally maintained cosmos.

Timing consists of making one process available to the needs of another process.

Human self-perfecting lies in the opportunity to participate consciously in matters of timing.

Participation is given by poise.

  • Poise is an attentive pause during which one's powers of action are gathered prior to entry into the fray.
  • The dancer acheves the moment of poise in order to override automatic movements of her body.
  • When poise is absent, mechanical and habitual patterns of locomotion determine what takes place.
  • The dancer's body, rather than her intentions, governs movement.
  • Habit accomplishes the limited aim of crossing from point A to point B. But the possibility of serving a higher aim is a seed concealed in locomotion.

Gurdjieff hints at the secret in Beelzebub, saying that when the Absolute “ascertained this automatic moving of theirs, there then arose for the first time in Him the Divine Idea of making use of it as a help for Himself in the administration of the enlarging World.” [16]

  • When one masters timing, a unique cosmic phenomenon takes place — the antientropic flow.
  • Antientropy contrasts with an entropic flow (the Heropass) that predates the created universe.
  • Ordinary time must be reactualized by efforts of intelligent beings.
  • Entropy is already actual regardless of the absence or presence of inner work.

The "reverse" flow produces energies of ever greater intensity, integrity, and centrality.

Consciousness is the way of recovering one's own center and its relation to the center of All.

Conscious participation in the timing of one's acts is related to what Gurdjieff calls “being-Partkdolg-duty”.

Time and Initiative
Introduction    From Google books – by David Applebaum

is time an illusion 200    Is time an illusion?

The question of time was first felt by humans not as an abstraction but practically:

  • In the rise and fall of rivers.
  • The periodic return of the moon and constellations of stars.
  • The migration of prey, and the progression of seasons.
  • At the dawn of civilization early sciences — geometry, astronomy, and music — arose and were specific solutions to the question of time.

Consciousness did not yet distinguish the inner from the outer, or experience from the cosmos to which it belonged.

  • Recurrence was manifest also in human life, in the ebb and flow of opportunities, moods, and sensations.
Second Line of Thought

But if purpose was to survive outer change (like the boundaries of farmers' fields in spring floods), humans were called to discover a relatively stable presence, an awareness consciuos of impermanence. Thought in this regard followed one of two paths.

  • One led to the question of appropriate action: how to respond to a moment's unique demands without losing sight of the background sameness of the cycle. Hunting rituals were early solutions. They were followed by agrarian festivals and later, oracular texts such as the I Ching and the Tai Hsuan Ching.
  • The second line of thought concerned the utter perishability of memories and experiences. Since every event disappeared in its time without a trace, the question was one not of timing, but of survival and preservation.
  • While the first line drew consciousness outward toward phenomena, the second cast awareness inwardly, toward understanding.

Immemorial lineages of initiates bore witness to teaching of time's mystery that revealed the specifically human place in the cosmos.

  • Partial accounts in philosophical and religious systems are without doubt distorted with regard to the propriety of action and the imperishability of the agent.
  • They can however, serve as a starting point from which to see the preeminent importance of Gurdjieff's account of time.

Gurdjieff's thoughts can be approached from an implicit critique of existing theories.

  • Such formulations are deficient because they deprive humans of a dimension of initiative — one cannot express an intention to be.
  • If humanity is left outside of time, exiled on a foreign shore, time ceases to be, in Gurdjieff's vivid expression in Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, the “Ideally-Unique-Subjective-Phenomenon,” indispensable to inner development.

Independent of the intentional events of which it is the inner aspect, time takes on a shadowy form of existence.

  • Thought is moved to image time as a container; all human endeavor is in  time the way that water is in a glass.
  • The alienation of time from inner life, moreover, has, according to Gurdjieff, grave consequences for human growth. Time must allow that people be “obliged to exist until there was coated in them and completely perfected by reason what is called the body-Kesdjan,'… the 'Astral-body.'” [1]
  • Once time is sundered from man's obligation of being, the human horizon is reduced to animality, to the time of cravings and appetite.
  • Time appears insufficient to serve the aim of human self-perfection; “Time past and time future/Allow but a little consciousness.” [2]

According to Gurdjieff, received ideas of time overlook a fundamental distinction. Time for perfecting the self and time for occasioning mechanical events fall under different principles, the “Foolasnitamnian” and the “Itoklanos”. [3]

This insight has considerable importance for the discussion of cosmologies below.

  • For a concentrated act of human initiative (as opposed to the automatic reaction to external influences) involves a cosmic difference in the nature of things.
  • It places one under a vitalizing principle which elevates one's deepest wish for wholeness to actuality.
  • It dispels identification with an entropy that feeds an inner darkness and drains aspiration.
  • It grants entry into the realm of being and doing.
  • By contrast, to ignore the distinction is to confine humanity to a time of decay and decomposition.
Four Ideas

Of the major theories, all are based on one of four ideas. The key notions are:

  1. Constancy
  2. Cyclicity
  3. Cataclysm
  4. Evolution

Typically, ancient Greek thought expresses the idea of time as:

  1. Constancy. Since the view rejects as illusory the movement of change, Aristotle argues time does not exist.[4]
  2. Indic thought conceives Cyclicity as the movement of time. Repeatedly beginning and ending an event enjoys no uniqueness because of its countless recurrences in other cycles.
  3. The Judaeo-Christian conception, secularized by Hegel, shows history foreboding its own end in Cataclysm and is another expression of time. History, the vehicle of God's will, continues until the decisive last moment toward which every event points.
  4. Evolution is the modern view: sustained unidirectional linear development, exemplified in interaction between the laws of entropy and of biological adaptability.

Before understanding the magnitude of Gurdjieff's discovery, each of these ideas needs to be examined.

The first, that time is constancy, is equivalent to a denial that time exists.

  • Since time experienced as a changeful, impermanent flux of events of the phenomenal world, a rejection of the flux concomitantly denies temporal movement altogether.
  • This is the effect of Zeno's well-known arguments against motion.[5]
  • A version of one of his paradoxes states that if it takes ten seconds for a stone to move from A to B, it will take five seconds to cross half the distance, two and a half seconds to cross a quarter the distance, and so on.
  • Since time can be broken down into an infinity of intervals and since completion of an infinite series is logically impossible, the stone will never reach point B.
  • The same is true of any single interval in time, however small. Therefore, there is no movement in time. Sectioned infinitesimally, time always remains the same.

Zeno's paradox prompts argument and counterargument.

  • Infinite divisibility, an intriguing thought, grants humans existence only outside time, since there is noting within the infinitesimal.
  • Within time, a division follows a different logic, falling into the automatic and the intentional.
  • The second accommodates a special effort of becoming; the first remains closed to it.
  • There is no way to cross from A to B in Zeno's proof because there is no room for a human capability other then the logical-rational — for instance, an illogical act.
  • Zeno excludes the essentially human, the act of realizing one's intention — so full of unexpectedness and surprises — that allows one to cross to the other side.

The second idea, cyclicity, stresses an experience of recurrence.

  • A cycle is a movement that returns to its beginning.
  • If time curves back on itself, what has happened will happen again.
  • All hopes and regrets of one life will again be felt, accepted or rejected, and passed thought.
  • Uniqueness is illusory since each event is a repetition of numerous other.
For instance:
  • In the Brahmanvairvarta Purana, Indra, king of the gods, learns that he has been preceded by an army of former Indras, as many as a long line of ants on parade.
  • In our day, Nietzsche attempted to work out the consequences of time as eternal recurrence.

If a life is an endless loop, not only does the past determine the present, but the future does also.

  • A time in which to mobilize the impulse to real change cannot exist.
  • The cycle is impenetrable to higher influences which abruptly and without warning alter the intrinsic being of a man.[6]

Thirdly, in the cataclysmic view in which history constitutes the field of time, Hegel says, World history in general is the development of Spirit in Time… [7]

  • Historical events manifest the purpose of a higher power.
  • In Hegel's secularized thought, “World history is the exhibition of spirit striving to attain knowledge of its own nature.” [8]
  • Inasmuch as attainment brings history to an end, history is secondary to the end of history — in Judaeo-Christian tradition, the apocalypse.
  • Destruction of the world and its history coincides with one's hope to enjoy a timeless form of existence.
  • Worthiness is independent of individual initiative toward the aim of becoming.

Similarly, for Hegel, the inner work of a single human is subordinate to the development of divine self-knowledge.

  • Human striving must be sacrificed “on the vast altar of the earth throughout the long lapse of ages.” [9]
  • Human effort is expendable in the cosmic order because humanity is a pawn in the divine play of self-realization.

Fourth is the view that time is evolutionary progress.

  • Biological species or social organizations are capable of evolving along lines that increase their value.
  • Evolutionary movement means a gradual improvement of a species or group in terms of its capability to adapt or survive.
  • Time is reduced to amelioration, as determined by mechanical laws.

Such a reduction fails to address the question of whether consciousness arises through evolution, or evolution through consciousness.

  • In addition, time is external to human intention that remains vulnerable to the whims of evolutionary force.
Kant's First Antinom

To grasp the tremendous advance that Gurdjieff makes, we must remember that all cosmological thinking on time must address the legacy of Kant's first antinomy. Kant places the four antinomies, or contradictions between two equally valid principles, at the heart of modern epistemology.

The first antinomy asks whether time exists before the world or the world before time.

Since from each alternative a valid argument follows, neither is capable of rational proof. How does Gurdjieff meet the antinomy?

By positing a beginningless, independent time (In Beelzebub's Tales called “the Heropass”) that precedes creation of the world and is coeval with the Creator.

  • Preoriginary, anarchical time plays a key role in sparking the initiative to create the universe.
  • Time with no origin devours the place with no displacement.
  • Anarchical time would “sooner or later bring about the complete destruction of this sole place of His Being.” [10]

The most poignant effect of creation is to modify, if not time itself, at least time's inner workings.

  • Time at the origin bears the mark of creative intention.
  • The same new temporal dimension responsible for the world's existence is also responsible for the human possibility of inner development.

Kant thus has been answered: creation necessarily requires modification of a time more ancient than presence.

Two Prime laws

Time's transformation occupies the heart of Gurdjieff's cosmology: To understand its ramifications, a review of his major cosmological principles is helpful.

Gurdjieff posits two prime laws:

1.  The law of process (“the sacred Heptaparaparshinokhh”).

  • The law of process speaks of a sevenfold development of all events, great and small, organic and inorganic, spiritual and material, conscious and automatic.
  • It establishes what takes place at each phase, the timing of the phases, and their possible completion.
  • It also indicates when a line of growth is open to influences and when it is closed to the external world.

2.  The law of phenomena (“the sacred Triamazikamno”).

  • The law of phenomena describes a threefold interaction of fundamental cosmic forces.
  • That which becomes manifest depends solely on how three primal forces combine.

These two prime laws clearly are interdependent. Phenomena develop lawfully out of one another in their movement toward an end.

  • Phase two of a project is a lawful outgrowth of phase one, taking into account influences of other lines of development passing through that locale.
  • If the law of process choreographs a dance, the law of phenomena determines placement of dancers.

As Gurdjieff formulates the law of phenomena, “the higher blends with the lower in order to actualize the middle and thus becomes either higher for the preceding lower, or lower for the succeeding higher.” [11]

Creation is enacted by a unique alteration in the two prime laws, especially in the law of process.

  • Before creation, they operate on a closed and isolated system. The hermetically sealed design Gurdjieff calls “Autoegocrat”. [12]
  • The redesigned system (“Trogoautoegocrat”) is governed by laws of interdependence, reciprocity, and exchange.
  • The revised features presupposes the original configuration. Since later design requirements stipulate existences outside of the originary, hermetic system, provisions for world-creation are implicit to the alteration.
  • Since the motive for redesign, as seen before, is to counteract entropic effects of anarchical time, the world leaps into being for the sake of coping with the Heropass, Time, the Destroyer.

The many cosmoses come to exist in response to the divine alteration of fundamental law.

  • The most important change occurs in the law of process.
  • In two separate phases, any line of development opens to external influences.
  • Until this change, it is incorrect to speak of influence at all, since occurrences are constructed to prevent anything coming in; what take place is necessarily self-contained and (to use the Leibniz's pregnant expression) "windowless."
  • A new phase of growth merely projects a vision already internal to the process up to that point.

One of the alterations is near the midpoint of development is particularly crucial.

  • At that point, presence of other processeses influences the outcome of development in such a way that the end result can become public, environmental, and therefore communal.
  • The life of one process begins to enter the life of other processes.
  • Material is shared. Hermetic self-containment remains a possibility.
  • The old way of operating remains intact, but only as it, as Gurdjieff says, the “same process proceeds in absolute quiet.”[13]
  • The self-projective character of development is replaced by a new basis of dynamics, exchange: the “principle of existence of everything existing in the Universe by means of reciprocal feeding and maintaining each other's existence.” [14]
Reciprocal Maintenance

Gurdjieff calls exchange “Iraniranumange”.

  • As a first thrust toward an open universe, it ends the threat of an entropic decline by establishing “that equilibrium which at the present time no longer gives the merciless Heropass any possibility of bringing about anything unforseen whatsoever to our Most Great and Most Most Holy Sun Absolute.” [15]

Creation, the cosmic event of novelty, centers on need — a need for mutual support or reciprocal maintenance.

  • Gurdjieff's innovative idea of need creates a dynamic equilibrium proper to the organism.
  • The universe is newly opened by the invention of life, its needs and neediness.
  • In an organism, descending (catabolic) and ascending (anabolic) processes exist side by side.
  • The product of one becomes raw material for another.
  • Substance is conserved and recylced.

What regulates an infinite fine balance of processes is none other than time's new dimension, originary time, timing. Time (timing?) is the essence in any line of development.

  • If the fodder does not enter when the cow's stomach is prepared with proper enzymes, digestion will not ensue and the animal will starve.
  • Timing consists in the availability of one process to the needs of another process, conscous or mechanical.
  • Availability is guaranteed by a redesigned law of process.
  • Action of reciprocal maintenance works through timing of events.

The achievement of reciprocal maintenance is a great one: it is homeostasis.

  • Destructive, destabilizing effects of anarchical time — the other — are neutralized through good timing in mutually sustaining processes.
  • Timing is the great means for ensuring the life of the universe.
  • Its role is similar when it brings the dancer's performance to life.

Timing, the lawful interlocking of events, clearly belongs to ordinary time.

  • Man is no less subject to it than any other being.
  • Yet in timing lies a special opportunity for humanity, one in which humanity ceases to be subject to the laws but coauthor of them.

As an achievement, however, reciprocal maintenance is incomplete. Consider an analogy of the created universe with an organism.

  • An organism is not a closed sysetm of processes. It exists in open interaction with its surroundings and defeats entropy through ecological support.
  • Food, air, and the content of sensory impression derive from an environment and assure continuation of life.

The new design of the law of process, according to Gurdjieff, similarly places the created universe at the open edge of things.

  • Therein arises an important problem. Beyond the universe is empty space, nothing.
  • The conditions for environmental interactions that a single orgainsm enjoys do not exist.
  • On a cosmic scale, what prevents the totality of existents from becomming closed and succumbing to uncreated time and entropy?

It should be noted that a homeostatic universe is not an antientropic one, one in which energy is upgraded to higher levels of being.

  • A defeat of anarchical time is not a truimphal mastery over time.
  • An additional step is necessary: time must be utilized to ascend to a more consciously developed, elevated state of being.

Cosmology distinguishes a totality that lacks absolutely nothing in perfection from a differentiate and less than perfect form.

  • The later (God in contrast to Godhead, Isvara in contrast to Brahman) is lower inasmuch as it is subject to laws of becoming rather that pure intention.
  • In short, it has become manifest and, having come into being, it has disclosed itself as what it is and what it is not.

Gurdjieff makes the parallel distinction between absolute intention (“Theomertmalogos”) and the laws of its operation.

  • To upgrade the energies of creation is the aim and work of the former.
  • The reciprocally maintained universe apparently is the automatic result of the later.

Gurdjieff's thought takes an unexpected turn at this junction. Although the laws give the appearance of maintaining the cosmoses, there is a hidden aspect to reciprocal maintenance.

  • The revised design of the law of process, it will be recalled, intends an expanding universe.
  • The universe grows in number, kind, and diversity of beings.
  • The open edge of things is guaranteed through continual creation of beings other than those currently enjoying existence.
  • Without novelty, continuously remade, the universe would close on itself and die a death that awaits all beings under guise of the Heropass.
  • Yet a necessary thrust toward innovation forces another necessity on the intelligence behind all cosmic intelligence.

Note that the relation between the Absolute and the prime laws is a critical component of any cosmology.

  • The question arises: Does the former retire beyond all actions once the latter are functional?
  • For Gurdjieff, the expansive character of existence precludes quietism.
  • The Absolute, the Godhead, Brahman, is required to maintain continual engagement in the life of the cosmoses.
  • The circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere is itself subject to the "laws" of geometrics.
  • The more numerous and far-flung the host of independent existences grows, the stronger the center must be.
  • Inversely, as the center grows in strength, the more centrifugal satellites will be there.

Gurdjieff's solution to the ravages of anarchical time is the expanding, reciprocally maintained cosmos.

  • The solution requires continued work of an absolute intention — not its retirement.
  • Unless the source of perfection becomes more actively concentrated, more intent on the aim of upgrading all existence, then the far-flung universe, already encroaching on empty space, will cease to be related to the center.
  • All things will become unhinged.
  • Without doubt, the Godhead's work is endless.
Intention

Now I want to return to the intention within our human search for perfection. The law of process, it will be recalled, provides a new aspect of time: timing.

  • Timing consists of making one process available to the needs of another process.
  • Human self-perfecting lies in the opportunity to participate consciously in matters of timing.

Participation is given by poise.

  • Poise is an attentive pause during which one's powers of action are gathered prior to entry into the fray.
  • The dancer acheves the moment of poise in order to override automatic movements of her body.
  • When poise is absent, mechanical and habitual patterns of locomotion determine what takes place.
  • The dancer's body, rather than her intentions, governs movement.
  • Habit accomplishes the limited aim of crossing from point A to point B. But the possibility of serving a higher aim is a seed concealed in locomotion.

Gurdjieff hints at the secret in Beelzebub, saying that when the Absolute “ascertained this automatic moving of theirs, there then arose for the first time in Him the Divine Idea of making use of it as a help for Himself in the administration of the enlarging World.” [16]

  • Timing of bodily movement — coordination of perception and muscular exertion — can proceed on its own or by means of conscious management of human intelligence.
  • When one masters timing, a unique cosmic phenomenon takes place — the antientropic flow.
  • Antientropy contrasts with an entropic flow (the Heropass) that predates the created universe.
  • Ordinary time must be reactualized by efforts of intelligent beings.
  • Entropy is already actual regardless of the absence or presence of inner work.

The "reverse" flow produces energies of ever greater intensity, integrity, and centrality.

  • They are such energies, as Gurdjieff puts it, “as proceed from cosmic sources of a higher order, and consequently composed of what are called vibrations of 'greater vivifyingness.'” [17]
  • The energies strengthen the center and counteract the dissapation of influence which is an inevitable result of unceasing expansion.
  • Cosmologically, they renew the resolve of the Absolute: to continue to perfect existence.

There can be no doubt as to the cosmic usefulness of conscious management of timing, or poise. But for humanity itself?

  • It is precisely in this direction that humanity's hope for self-perfection lies.
  • Timing provides humanity with a rich field for initiative.
  • To exercise the attention in such a way that, like the dancer, one enters into action poised and collected is to acquire what Gurdjieff calls “individual Reason”.
  • Consciousness is the way of recovering one's own center and its relation to the center of All.

Conscious participation in the timing of one's acts is related to what Gurdjieff calls “being-Partkdolg-duty”.

  • By its undertaking, one assists in “the administration of the enlarging World”, enriching an upward current of energy that stabilizes the hub of creation.
  • Without human assistance, the great chain of being is broken at the weak link where humanity exists.

Theories which lack an inner dimension of time are profoundly pessimistic. Humanity is not more than another cog within the mechanism of cosmic equilibrium.

  • To truncate the time-possibilities is to neglect the “two-naturedness” of humanity.
  • Human beings can be more than unknowing subjects of universal law.
  • They can, on rare occasions, be agents of prime law itself.
  • The new station belongs to “relatively independent existences” and requires individual awareness in high degree.
  • By deep affirmation of one's place, one gains a measure of feeedom from inherited and acquired factors of limitations, refusal, and despair, factors that annul an effort of being and leave one subject to the woes of entropic time.

A wholehearted embrace of the struggle for poise is the recovery of a dimension of human initiative.

  • It is the unveiling of what one really intends to do and to be — the discovery of which can take place only in and through creative time.
  • The lived understanding of timely action fulfills humanity's dual nature.
  • Timeliness uplifts humans from the gravity of earthly existence to the divine task of renewing the cosmos through renewal of self.
Notes:

[1] G.I. Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1950), 131.

[2] "Burnt Norton" in The Four Quartets, in The Complete Poems and Plays of T.S. Eliot (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1962).

[3] Gurdjieff, 131.

[4] Aristotle, Physics IV.10.218a.

[5] See, for example, Aristotle, 239b11-13.

[6] In contrast to the exoteric understanding of cyclicity, esoteric traditions in India allow for human initiative to free a preson from the frozen block of events constituting his life. The way of liberation or moksa locates an inner dimension to the cycle within the act of witnessing (saksi) the ceasless play of repetition.

[7] Reason in History: A General Introduction to the Philosophy of History, trans. Robert Hartman (New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1953), 87.

[8] Ibid., 23.

[9] Ibid., 25.

[10] Gurdjieff, 749.

[11] Ibid. 751.

[12] Ibid. 750.

Food for the Moon

Food for the Moon

This is one of the more troubling and less explained concepts of the 4th Way.

In the 4th Way cosmology, creation proceeds outward and downward from a central point, called Sun Absolute.
  • Creation passes through multiple levels, known as cosmoi or worlds and finally reaches the level corresponding to Earth.
  • Due to special cosmic circumstance, organic life on Earth is necessary for receiving this energy of creation and transforming this into a form that is passed further along, to 'feed' the 'moon,' which is said to be growing.
  • All this is seen as a natural process where organic Earth life, including man, performs a function in a cosmic organism, a little like bacteria perform a function in the human digestive system.
  • The fact of mankind collectively being required to produce certain 'vibrations' or 'energies' for serving various cosmic purposes is stressed throughout Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales.
  • So called planetary influences cause mankind to fight wars and endure cataclysms so that a certain quota of energy release be fulfilled and the 'moon fed.'

Exactly what the moon represents is not described in much detail.

  • The food in question is described as vibrations generated by intense human experience, for example the experience of violent death.
  • While being food is inescapable, man may still modulate the quality of his contribution to the cosmic demand of vibrations.
  • With man being less and less conscious, nature found it necessary to substitute quantity for quality of vibrations, thus leading to population explosion and increased incidence of natural catastrophy and war.

...

Various modern channeled sources speak of man being a source of psychic food for various beings. They speak of this as they would of eating bread, as a most obvious state of matters. We'll take Barbara Marciniak's Bringers of the Dawn as an example:

"Consciousness vibrates, or can be led to vibrate, at certain electromagnetic frequencies. Electromagnetic energies of consciousness can be influenced to vibrate in a certain way to create a source of food. Just as apples can he prepared and eaten in a variety of ways, consciousness can be prepared and ingested in a variety of ways. Some entities, in the process of their own evolution, began to discover that as they created life and put consciousness into things through modulating the frequencies of forms of consciousness, they could feed themselves; they could keep themselves in charge. They began to Figure out that this is how Prime Creator nourished itself. Prime Creator sends out others to create an electromagnetic frequency of consciousness as a food source for itself. The new owners of this planet had a different appetite and different preferences than the former owners. They nourished themselves with chaos and fear. These things fed them, stimulated them, and kept them in power. These new owners who came here 300,000 years ago are the magnificent beings spoken of in your Bible, in the Babylonian and Sumerian tablets, and in texts all over the world. They came to Earth and rearranged the native human species. They rearranged your DNA in order to have you broadcast within a certain limited frequency band whose frequency could feed them and keep them in power."

The idea is in no wise new, but Marciniak is rather more blunt in talking about matters where Jesus, the Gnostics, Gurdjieff, Mouravieff and even Castaneda found it necessary to tread somewhat carefully.

Also at the modern end, we have the UFO phenomenon. To make sense of the abduction phenomenon we cannot very well claim that this were scientific research. This sounds rather more like a systematic exploitation or breeding program. The phenomenon appears to be partly physical, yet not entirely so. Jacques Vallee states:

"The UFO Phenomenon exists. It has been with us throughout history. It is physical in nature and it remains unexplained in terms of contemporary science. It represents a level of consciousness that we have not yet recognized, and which is able to manipulate dimensions beyond time and space as we understand them."

By Other Means: Reciprocal Destruction

Food for the Moon [from: Cassiopaea Glossary]

This is one of the more troubling and less explained concepts of the 4th Way.

In the 4th Way cosmology, creation proceeds outward and downward from a central point, called Sun Absolute.
  • Creation passes through multiple levels, known as cosmoi or worlds and finally reaches the level corresponding to Earth.
  • Due to special cosmic circumstance, organic life on Earth is necessary for receiving this energy of creation and transforming this into a form that is passed further along, to 'feed' the 'moon,' which is said to be growing.
  • All this is seen as a natural process where organic Earth life, including man, performs a function in a cosmic organism, a little like bacteria perform a function in the human digestive system.
  • The fact of mankind collectively being required to produce certain 'vibrations' or 'energies' for serving various cosmic purposes is stressed throughout Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales.
  • So called planetary influences cause mankind to fight wars and endure cataclysms so that a certain quota of energy release be fulfilled and the 'moon fed.'

Exactly what the moon represents is not described in much detail.

  • The food in question is described as vibrations generated by intense human experience, for example the experience of violent death.
  • While being food is inescapable, man may still modulate the quality of his contribution to the cosmic demand of vibrations.
  • With man being less and less conscious, nature found it necessary to substitute quantity for quality of vibrations, thus leading to population explosion and increased incidence of natural catastrophy and war.

From Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson:

"And so, my dear Hassein, when it appeared that the instinctive need for conscious labor and intentional suffering in order to be able to take in and transmute in themselves the sacred substances Abrustdonis and Helkdonis and thereby to liberate the sacred Askokin for the maintenance of the Moon and Anulios had finally disappeared from the psyche of your favorites, then Great Nature Herself was constrained to adapt Herself to extract this sacred substance by other means, one of which is precisely that periodic terrifying process there of reciprocal destruction."

Growth of That Cosmic Foetus

Gurdjieff is not alone in proposing that man feeds something else. In the following we will make a quick tour of various other sources' take on the matter:

In archaic Christianity, in the the Gospel of Thomas we have:

(60) They saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb, who was going to Judaea. He said to his disciples: (What will) this man (do) with the lamb? They said to him: Kill it and eat it. He said to them: While it is alive he will not eat it, but (only) when he kills it (and) it becomes a corpse. They said to him: Otherwise he cannot do it. He said to them: You also, seek a place for yourselves in rest, that you may not become a corpse and be eaten.

This is at some variance with the theme of the good shepherd. This is understandable though, since the Nag Hammadi texts had not gone through the centuries of selective editing undergone by the rest of the Bible. Even so, this may be interpreted in countless allegoric ways. The core of the matter is that man is food only insofar he is "dead," which we may interpret as mechanical, without consciousness.

Castaneda, in his last book, The Active Side of Infinity, speaks of a cosmic predator that uses man as food: Man has a glowing coat of awareness which the predator eats, leaving just the bare minimum of "consciousness stuff" for man to remain physically alive. The predator "milks" man through arranging for constant trouble and crisis and senseless preoccupation, so as to generate flashes of awareness that it then proceeds to eat. "Seek a place for yourselves in rest in Thomas above means do not waste "soul stuff" for feeding the predator. In other words, do not react mechanically to whatever the world throws at you, or, yet in other words, "remember yourself."

Boris Mouravieff, drawing on Gurdjieff and possibly Eastern Orthodox monastic tradition, states the following:

"This task is crushing. Under normal conditions of peace, insufficient quantities of energy are transmitted to the Moon as a result of the work of human society and its surrounding fauna and flora. This necessitates interventions on the part of the Deuterocosmos, which provoke convulsions in the Tritocosmos. The aim of the latter is to increase the energy expended at this level, so as to ensure the nourishment and growth of that cosmic foetus that is the Tessaracosmos. This is, for example, the cosmic origin of wars and revolutions, of epidemics, and of all the other large-scale catastrophes that plague humanity. ... considerable conscious efforts must be made by exterior man on the esoteric plane before man can efficiently contribute as he must - by his own evolution - to the harmonious evolution of the System of Cosmoses."

Psychic Food for Various Beings

The Gnostics, who also may have figured among Mouravieff's influences, maintained that the Earth and material creation in general were the product of an evil demiurge, chief of the "archons of darkness" or "princes of the air." Mouravieff calls this being or principle Absolute III and also indirectly identifies it as the Yahweh of the Old Testament, just as the Gnostics did. This Absolute III through various spirits plays humanity against itself as in a game of chess, with the effect of generating vibrations for "feeding the moon."

Various modern channeled sources speak of man being a source of psychic food for various beings. They speak of this as they would of eating bread, as a most obvious state of matters. We'll take Barbara Marciniak's Bringers of the Dawn as an example:

"Consciousness vibrates, or can be led to vibrate, at certain electromagnetic frequencies. Electromagnetic energies of consciousness can be influenced to vibrate in a certain way to create a source of food. Just as apples can he prepared and eaten in a variety of ways, consciousness can be prepared and ingested in a variety of ways. Some entities, in the process of their own evolution, began to discover that as they created life and put consciousness into things through modulating the frequencies of forms of consciousness, they could feed themselves; they could keep themselves in charge. They began to Figure out that this is how Prime Creator nourished itself. Prime Creator sends out others to create an electromagnetic frequency of consciousness as a food source for itself. The new owners of this planet had a different appetite and different preferences than the former owners. They nourished themselves with chaos and fear. These things fed them, stimulated them, and kept them in power. These new owners who came here 300,000 years ago are the magnificent beings spoken of in your Bible, in the Babylonian and Sumerian tablets, and in texts all over the world. They came to Earth and rearranged the native human species. They rearranged your DNA in order to have you broadcast within a certain limited frequency band whose frequency could feed them and keep them in power."

The idea is in no wise new, but Marciniak is rather more blunt in talking about matters where Jesus, the Gnostics, Gurdjieff, Mouravieff and even Castaneda found it necessary to tread somewhat carefully.

Also at the modern end, we have the UFO phenomenon. To make sense of the abduction phenomenon we cannot very well claim that this were scientific research. This sounds rather more like a systematic exploitation or breeding program. The phenomenon appears to be partly physical, yet not entirely so. Jacques Vallee states:

"The UFO Phenomenon exists. It has been with us throughout history. It is physical in nature and it remains unexplained in terms of contemporary science. It represents a level of consciousness that we have not yet recognized, and which is able to manipulate dimensions beyond time and space as we understand them."

Ignorance and Denial Cannot Be Overcome by Force

As concerns the idea of man being psychic and sometimes physical food, the reader may read up on the abduction phenomenon. This is however extremely confused and we may only say that this is not so by chance.

The practice of sacrifice to various gods goes throughout all ages. The sacrifice phenomenon goes from having a religiously flavored way to eat meat to complicated and ritually strict forms of human sacrifice. In the latter category, the practices of the Aztecs are informative. In Aztec Warfare, Western Warfare Richard Koenigsberg documents how it was a declared purpose of warfare to procure sacrificial victims for feeding the Sun god. The Western powers of WWI engaged in the precisely same activity, however more hypocritically: The author argues that the nations competed in which would sacrifice more young men, so that their blood would nourish the greatness of the nation. The name of the would-be god is changed but the idea remains. The trench battles of WWI were militarily extremely inefficient and costly in casualties. The moon always makes a profit while the nations bleed. The Aztec's peculiarity was that this was openly recognized and they were willing participants in feeding a bloodthirsty god.

Even the most cursory review of diverse cultures and ages points to the theme of man being food. Indeed, this is hard to miss, once one looks. Still, this is the strictest taboo and object of denial, where materialistic man relegates this state of matters either into ignorant past or the fringe realm of cookery.

In modern popular culture we have new renditions of the theme, maybe best exemplified by the Matrix movies. This has a dual effect: On one hand, it creates an automatic association of the theme with the realm of science fiction, a time honored technique of dealing with anything troubling. On the other hand, it provides a modernized version of the ancient theme with at least a partly valid outline of the profile of the question. Thus, as with legend in general, these works speak at different levels to different audiences. Ignorance and denial cannot be overcome by force, thus for man to benefit from any such information there must exist a certain questing spirit. The impulse is generally beneficial but again can get diverted by too much identification with specifics of one story or hero.

Recourse to Allegory

The QFS understands that Gurdjieff in his day needed to have recourse to allegory and could not right out say that so-called aliens or 4th density service to self entities used humanity as a sort of natural resource, to be farmed and harvested and kept forever ignorant of their fate. The 'evil magician' parable in Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous comes very close to saying this explicitly, though. In present day popular culture, the Matrix movies are another well known allegory for the same.

What to do about it? Gurdjieff devotes a whole chapter of Beelzebub's Tales to the impossibility of any political solution to the scourge of war. History and present bear witness to the grim correctness of his views. Man should wake up and change. In Castaneda's words, man should no longer honor the contract binding him to the predator. But the predator is internal, as is Gurdjieff's mythical "organ kundabuffer." Such a revolution is in the first place internal, yet it does not necessarily take the form of political pacifism or any other ism. The Gnostics' denouncing of the human condition cost them dearly. Gurdjieff may have taken the lesson of history to heart and refrained from including evil demiurges or bloodthirsty intrusive aliens into his cosmogony because this would on one hand have invited even greater enmity against him and secondly would have diverted attention off the central aspect of the problem: The evolution of man. The situation is not seen as a moralistic punishment for a fall. It is seen as a natural consequence of a state of being, just as it is a natural consequence of being a rabbit to sometimes get eaten by a fox. Freedom exists only on a vertical axis, where man may evolve "being" and thus escape certain otherwise inevitable laws. We might speak of outgrowing a spiritual-ecological niche or of not being "dead," as in the parable of the Gospel of Thomas.

Humanity as a whole cannot escape but groups of individuals can become aware of this situation and find an escape. This is exceedingly rare and QFS understand such an escape to mean 'graduation to 4th density' or accomplishing the 'great work' of the alchemists.

Man's tendency to subjectivity and egocentrism serves to maintain this status quo.

The Secret Influence of the Moon: Alien Origins and Occult Powers

By Louis Proud  © 2013   ♦   From: Google Books

secret history moon cover 220

In In Search, Ouspensky describes a conversation he had with Gurdjieff in Moscow not long after they first met. Ouspensky brought up the topic of mechanization in cities. The phenomenon, he said, was getting out of control, and people themselves were “turning into machines.” Gurdjieff responded by saying people are machines already. Pointing down the street, he remarked, “Look all those people you see are simply machines — nothing more.” [21]

On another occasion he stated,

  • quote small leftMan is a machine. All his deeds, actions, words, thoughts, feelings, convictions, opinion, and habits are the result of external influences, external impressions. Out of himself a man cannot produce a single thought a single action. Everything he says, does, thinks, feels — all this happens.[22]quote small right

The idea that people are machines is fundamental to Gurdjieff's system of the Fourth Way. According to Gurdjieff, the vast majority of people on Earth are simply lumps of flesh who, rather than being in control of their lives, are thrust this way and that by events occurring around them. A suitable metaphor would be a ship cast adrift on the ocean without a captain to steer it. Of course we think we're in control of our lives, but this is only an illusion. Gurdjieff further taught that the average person, being but a lump of flesh, ceases to be after death; meaning they have no existence beyond the physical body.

Gurdjieff's philosophy would be a bleak and mechanistic one were it not for the fact that he also believed man can become more than his physical body. Gurdjieff taught that man has the potential to develop three additional bodies: the “astral body,” the “mental body,” and the “"causal body,” each of which is composed of progressively finer matter. Generally speaking, we are not born with these bodies; they must be earned, as it were, through rigorous inner work.

Ouspensky quotes Gurdjieff as saying,

  • quote small leftOnly the man who possesses four fully developed bodies can be called a 'man' in the full sense of the word. This man possesses many properties which ordinary man does not possess. One of these properties is immortality. [his emphasis] [23]quote small right

To have all four bodies is to have a “soul”.

[...]

According to Gurdjieff, the planets, including the Moon, are living beings that grow and develop.

[...]

Gurdjieff used the term “organic life on Earth” to refer not only to humanity but plants and animals as well — all forms of life. Organic life on Earth, he said, is subject to influences from the planets, from the Moon, and from the Sun as well as from the stars. These various influences act simultaneously, but depending on the moment one influence tends to predominate. Gurdjieff made the point that we cannot avoid these influences; we are dependent upon them. What we can do, though, is make a choice between influences — a topic to which we'll return.

Of all the cosmic influences listed by Gurdjieff, he attached particular importance to the Moon. Concerning the topic of war and planetary influences, he told Ouspensky that the Moon “plays a big part in this.” [26]

On another occasion he said,

  • quote small leftThe influence of the Moon upon everything living manifests itself in all that happens on the Earth. The Moon is the chief, or rather, the nearest, the immediate, motive force of all that takes place in organic life on Earth.[27]quote small right

From another perspective, the author Charles Fort (1874-1932) once wrote: “The Earth is a farm. We are someone else's property.” [28] Had Gurdjieff read these words, I'm sure he would have agreed with them.

Gurdjieff was opposed to the popular view of Earth as humanity's servant. He did not think it possible for humanity to control or dominate nature. “Humanity, like the rest of organic life, exists on earth for the needs and purposes of the earth,” Ouspensky quotes him as saying. [29]


[21] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 18.

[22] Ibid., 21.

[23] Ibid., 44.

[26] Ibid., 24.

[27] Ibid., 85.

[28] Mirabello, The Odin Brotherhood.

[29] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 57.

The Earth, then, is the boss, and we are its servants. Or, perhaps more appropriately, we are its inmates, because in many ways Gurdjieff considered the Earth as a kind of prison. “Humanity as a whole can never escape nature,” he said.[30]

Gurdjieff further held that everything we experience as a species — whether we happen to be thriving, dying in large numbers, evolving, degenerating, or struggling against nature — happens in conformity with nature's purposes. This would suggest, for example, that the current population of the Earth — huge and seemingly unsustainable though it is — is what nature requires at this moment in time.

And for those who like to believe the human species is currently evolving or will eventually evolve, Gurdjieff offers yet another bunch of sour grapes: “The evolution of large masses of humanity is opposed to nature's purposes.” [31]

He is careful to point out that this rule only applies to a significant percentage of the population; the evolution of a small percentage may be what nature requires — it all depends. Gurdjieff goes so far as to propose if a large number of people were to evolve, it would be detrimental to the Earth and other planets. This is why “there exist … special forces (of a planetary character) which oppose the evolution of large masses of humanity and keep it at the level it ought to be.” [32]

Once again, Gurdjieff makes special mention of the Moon:

  • quote small leftThe evolution of humanity beyond a certain point or, to speak more correctly, above a certain percentage, would be fatal for the moon. The moon at present feeds on organic life, on humanity. Humanity is part of organic life; this means that humanity is food for the moon. If all men were to become too intelligent they would not want to be eaten by the moon. [his emphasis] [33]quote small right

Gurdjieff placed the Moon at the very bottom of a diagram he called the “ray of creation.” This diagram shares a number of similarities with the Qabalistic Tree of Life and was used by Gurdjieff to represent the universe. Unlike the Tree of Life, it consists of not ten but seven “worlds,” each representing a single note (or tone) in the great descending octave of the universe. (I am referring, of course, to the seven-tone musical scale, called the heptatonic.)


[30] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 85.

[31] Ibid., 85.

[32] Ibid., 85.

[33] Ibid., 85.

[...]

Gurdjieff described the ray of creation as a living, growing system like the branch of a tree. He spoke of the Moon as the tip of this branch — the part that is young and still developing. Always eager to challenge scientific orthodoxy, Gurdjieff's Moon is not a cold, dead satellite that was once internally active but, on the contrary, “an unborn planet one that is, so to speak, being born.” [36]

The Moon, said Gurdjieff, is gradually warming up and will one day become like the Earth, eventually giving birth to a moon of its own. This new moon will be another link in the ray of creation. At the same time the Earth is also warming up, and may, in time, become like the Sun, the intelligence of which is “divine.”

Without pointing out the obvious flaws in Gurdjieff's theory, he further declared the Moon, because it is growing and developing, requires a great deal of sustenance. This idea brings us back to what Gurdjieff stated earlier, the Moon feeds on organic life on Earth. To quote from In Search: “Everything living on the Earth, people, animals, plants, is food for the Moon. The Moon is a huge living being feeding upon all that lives and grows on the Earth.” [37]

Gurdjieff revealed two distinct ways by which organic life on Earth provides sustenance for the Moon. One relates to the reception and transmission of planetary influences. The other relates to death.

Whenever something dies — be it a plant, animal, or person — a certain amount of energy is released as a result. This energy is what kept the living thing “animated.” Rather than simply being wasted, it is absorbed by the Moon, thus contributing to the growth of the ray of creation. Gurdjieff makes the point that the universe is entirely economical: energy, having served its purpose on one plane, goes to another. And so it is that the “soul” energy of Earth's organic life is consumed by the hungry, infant Moon.

Continuing with the theme of death, Gurdjieff described the Moon as a place akin to purgatory or hell — a place where “souls” remain trapped under ninety-six laws for “immeasurably long planetary cyc1es.” [38]


[36] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 83.

[37] Ibid., 85.

[38] Ibid., 85.

Gurdjieff explained, “the Moon is 'at the extremity,'at the end of the world: it is the 'outer darkness' of the Christian doctrine 'where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'” [39] Those with familiarity of the New Testament may recognize the following words from Matthew 25:30 (King James Version). The verse in its entirety reads: “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [40]

Gurdjieff believed, as stated earlier, wars and other events involving large groups of people are caused by planetary influences.

The fact that we're subjected to planetary influences is due to Earth's lowly position in the ray of creation (specifically, between All Planets and the Moon). Because energy flows from the Absolute to the Moon, and the Earth is an intrinsic part of this system, it is our job, as organic life on Earth, to pass this energy along down the line. The ray of creation could be likened to a cosmic electrical circuit within which we are a tiny but necessary component. We are, to quote from In Search, a “transmitting station of forces” between the planets and the Earth. [41] By transmitting and receiving energy, we keep the “circuit” functioning.

We are also “Earth's organ of perception”; and “like a sensitive film which covers the whole of the Earth's globe.” [42] Gurdjieff even said different types of organic life belong to the three major categories of vegetable, animal and human and work with specific types of planetary influences. So that for example, “a field merely covered with grass takes in planetary influences of a definite kind and transmits them to the Earth,” while the “population of Europe” works with another kind, and so on. [43]

It would appear, from what we've discussed so far, that organic life on Earth has three main functions:

  1. To take in planetary influences for the benefit of the Earth.
  2. To act as the planet's “organ of perception”.
  3. To provide nourishment for the Moon (primarily by “completing” the ray of creation)

Of these three functions, the first two involve the reception of energy, whereas the last involves transmission. Gurdjieff stated that we not only transmit energy to the Moon but to the Sun and the planets as well.

Remarked Gurdjieff:

  • quote small leftEverything that happens on earth creates radiations [energies] of this kind. And many things often happen just because certain kinds of radiation are required from a certain place on the Earth's surface" [his emphasis].[44]quote small right

[39] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 85.

[40] The Bible: Authorized King James Version with Apocrypha.

[41] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 138.

[42] Ibid., 138.

[43] Ibid., 138.

[44] Ibid., 138.

This seems to imply, rather disturbingly, that unpleasant and destructive events such as wars are made to happen on Earth so that our celestial neighbors don't go hungry. Equally disturbing is Gurdjieff's insistence that the Moon governs our every action, and we are entirely under its spell and domination. From In Search:

  • quote small leftAll movements, actions, and manifestations of people, animals, and plants depend upon the Moon and are controlled by the Moon. The sensitive film of organic life which covers the earthly globe is entirely dependent upon the influence of the huge electromagnet that is sucking out its vitality. Man, like every other living being, cannot in the ordinary conditions of life, tear himself free from the Moon. All his movements and consequently all his actions are controlled by the Moon. If he kills another man, the Moon does it; if he sacrifices himself for others, the Moon does that also. All evil deeds, all crimes, all self-sacrificing actions, all heroic exploits, as well as all the actions of ordinary everyday life, are controlled by the Moon.[45]quote small right

Here Gurdjieff is saying the Moon controls our movements and, in turn, our actions. Oddly, no mention is made of the Moon controlling our thoughts or emotions. So why would Gurdjieff liken the Moon's influence to that of a huge electromagnet? An electromagnet is a type of magnet powered by means of an electric current which is distinct from a permanent magnet as it does not require an electric current.

Perhaps by using the term "electromagnet" rather than simply "magnet" Gurdjieff was trying to convey the idea that in order to control us the Moon needs energy to do so — the very energy it steals from us by “sucking out our vitality.” Was Gurdjieff implying that the Moon generates no energy of its own? That it is entirely vampiric?

Gurdjieff spoke of our relationship with the Moon as one of mutual dependency. Without its influence — its powerful magnetic pull — organic life on Earth would perish. It would “crumble to nothing.” If the Moon's influence were to suddenly cease, our ability to move would presumably cease too. Like puppets without a puppet master, our strings would slacken and we'd slump to the ground and die.

Gurdjieff and his students compared the Moon and organic life on Earth to an old-fashioned clock and the weight that keeps it in motion. This type of clock is driven by the gravitational pull of a weight (rather than a spring or electric motor). Take the weight away and the mechanism of the clock will stop moving. The Moon is the weight and organic life on Earth is the mechanism of the clock.

So we know, according to Gurdjieff, the Moon's influence is mechanical in nature and is restricted to the mechanical realn; and, further, the only reason the Moon can control us is because we oursetws are mechanical beings - “machines.” To quote from In Search:

  • quote small leftIf we develop in ourselves consciousness and will, and subject our mechanical life and all our mechanical manifestations to them, we shall escape from the power of the moon.[46]quote small right

To cease being a machine is to be liberated from the Moon; is to no longer be useful to the Moon; is to no longer be food for the Moon; is to no longer contribute to the growth of the ray of creation. No wonder Gurdjieff said, “the way of development of hidden possibilities is a way against nature, against God.” [his emphasis]. [47]

Mentioned earlier was Gurdjieff's Idea that although we're dependent on influences from the Moon, the Sun, and thee planets - but most especially the Moon - we can make a choice between influences. To be able to make such a choice, though, we must first become less mechanical and more conscious. In one of his lectures, Ouspensky stated, “So development means passing from one kind of influence to another kind of influence. At present we are more particularly under the influence of the Moon. We can come under the influence of planets, Sun, and other influences, if we develop.” [48] Ouspensky adds it's possible to come under influences higher even than the Sun. Another means of transcending the influence of the Moon is by creating a second Moon within ourselves. Ouspensky referred to this second Moon as “a pennanent center of gravity in our physical life.” [49] Someone who possesses such a Moon, he said, is no longer dependent on the physical, external Moon.

Gurdjieff spoke of the Moon as being primarily responsible for humanity's un-evolved, or “fallen,” condition. In In Search, Gurdjieff alludes to certain “forces” - at one point identifying tllese forces as “planetary” in nature - which both oppose the eyolution of humanity and keep humanity in a state of hypnotic sleep. Careful reading of the book reveals one of the “forces” he refers to is, if not the Moon itself, closely linked to the Moon. On accountt of these forces, “man is hypnotized and this hypnotic state is continually maintained and strengthened in him.” [50]


[45] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 85.

[46] Ibid., 85-86.

[47] Ibid., 47.

[48] Ouspensky, A Further Record.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 219.

The moon is man's big enemy.
We serve the moon. …
We are like the moon's sheep,
which it cleans, feeds and shears,
and keeps for its own purposes. …
All organic life works for the moon.

Gurdjieff taught that we spend almost every second of our so-called waking life in a state of hypnotic sleep. And by this he meant we are literally asleep.

Gurdjieff said that hypnotic sleep – distinct from “normal” natural sleep – is unatural, abnormal and of no benefit to our well-being. The most obvious symptom of our being asleep, he added, is that we fail to “remember ourselves.”

Most of us are only familiar with two states of consciousness: sleep and the normal waking state. But according to Gurdjieff there are - in addition to these - two higher states of consciousness: self-remembering (also called self-consciousness) and objective consciousness.

Ordinarily, of course, our attention is entirely consumed by whatever we happen to be observing at the time, whether it's something within ourselves or something outside of ourselves. If I see a shiny red Ferrari cruise down the street for example, it immediately captures my attention and for a moment I forget about everything else. A second later, something else captures my attention, and so on. This is a state of passive, one-way attention. Self-remembering, on the other hand, is a state of active, divided attention. When we remember ourselves, our attention is not only directed toward the observed phenomenon - the red Ferrari - but also toward ourselves. Our attention goes both ways.

We assume we possess self-consciousness and always remember ourselves, but in fact we do not. States of self-consciousness (if we're lucky to experience them at all) are rare and fleeting experiences in our lives brought about by accident. They can occur, for example, when we head off on a holiday and are overcome by a feeling of excitement and optimism. (Drugs too can bring them about.) The only way we can achieve such a state on any kind of consistent basis is by sheer effort alone. As for objective consciousness, this is known as enlightenment. But to describe it in words is impossible.

The life of an average human being is dominated by sleep - the sleep that occurs in bed at night and the sleep we mistake for wakefulness. During the sleep we mistake for wakefulness, we go about our days failing to remember ourselves, unable to control our thoughts, emotions, or attention, all the while perceiving the world not how it truly is but how we imagine it to be, and all the while imagining ourselves to be awake. Gurdjieff once remarked, “Man's possibilities are very great. You cannot conceive even a shadow of what man is possible of attaining. But nothing can be attained in sleep. In the consciousness of a sleeping man his illusions, his 'dreams' are mixed with reality. He lives in a subjective world and he can never escape from it.” [51]

So why would certain forces want to keep humanity asleep and hypnotized? Rather than answering this question directly, Gurdjieff chose to do so in the form of an Eastern tale. The story concerns a rich, mean magician who owned many sheep, which he used for their skin and flesh. To avoid their fate, the sheep kept escaping, wandering off into the forest and getting into all sorts of mischief. So low and miserly was the magician that instead of hiring shepherds to take care of his sheep or building a fence around their pasture he decided to hypnotize them.

By hypnotizing his sheep, the magician made them believe the following: he was a kind master who loved them dearly; they weren't going to be harmed and had no reason to be concerned; and, lastly, they weren't actually sheep. He made some of them believe they were lions, eagles, men, or magicians. With his sheep under a hypnotic spell, the magician had no problems with them. They ceased trying to escape and in fact remained calm and passive, waiting around happily until the day their flesh and skins were required. “This tale is a very good illustration of man's position,” said Gurdjieff. [52]

Gurdjieff associated the Moon with the force known as Kundalini. Most of us would know of this term in relation to tantric yoga. Kundalini is said to be a form of cosmic sexual energy, pictured as a coiled serpent lying at the base of the spine, which can be awakened and, once awakened, lead to bliss and enlightenment; however, Gurdjieff argued that this definition of the term is entirely incorrect. He said Kundalini is far from something positive and beneficial; it actually helps to keep humanity in a state of hypnotic sleep. According to Gurdjieff's definition of the term, Kundalini is “the power of imagination.” It is “a force put into men to keep them in their present state. … A sheep which considers itself a lion or magician lives under the power of Kundalini.” [53]

The way Gurdjieff describes Kundalini - as a force that has been “put into men” - doesn't seem to make sense. Would it not be more accurate to say this force “acts upon” men? Is this force meant to be internal or external? The answer is quite surprising. In a talk given in New York in 1924, Gurdjieff boldly stated, “the Moon is man's big enemy. We serve the Moon.” He then went on to mention something called “Kundabuffer.” He explains, “Kundabuffer is the moon's representative on earth. We are like the moon's sheep, which it cleans, feeds and shears, and keeps for its own purposes. But when it is hungry it kills a lot of them. All organic life works for the Moon.” [54]


[51] Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 145.

[52] Ibid., 219.

[53] Ibid., 220.

[54] Gurdjieff, Views From the Real World, 151.

[…]

An entire chapter of Beelzebub's Tales (albeit a very brief one) is devoted to the genesis of the Moon. Amazingly, the events described by Gurdjieff are extremely similar to those posited by the Giant Impact hypothesis - a theory that didn't emerge until the 1970s, two decades after Gurdjieff's death. Gurdjieff's explanation for the origin of the Moon is almost identical to today's most widely accepted theory of lunar origin, which is miraculous, to say the least. While the Giant Impact hypothesis has a Mars-size body responsible for the giant impact in question, Gurdjieff blames the comet “Kondoor.” Rather, he blames “certain sacred Individuals concerned with the matters of World-creation and World-maintenance,” who, due to a calculation error, let the paths of the two bodies cross. [58] The creation of the Moon, then, was a huge accident. It was never meant to happen.

As related in Beelzebub's Tales, the collision between Earth and Kondoor was so huge in magnitude that two large fragments broke off the Earth. The larger fragment, Loonderperzo, became what we know as the Moon. The smaller fragment Anulios, also exists to this day, yet we fail to notice it. This is due in part to the small size of Anulios, the remoteness of its orbit and the fact that contemporary humanity is accustomed to perceiving “only unreality.” Apparently the inhabitants of the former civilization of Atlantis knew of the existence of Anulios and referred to it by this name.

At the time of the collision, the Earth was still a young, unpopulated planet that hadn't yet developed an atmosphere. Due to the formation of the Moon and Anulios, it was decided by various archangels and other sacred beings that the only way to maintain these two fragments - and prevent them from leaving their positions and causing “irreparable calamities” in the future - was to establish life on Earth. Thus, the human species came into being. But little did humans know that the purpose of their existence was to transmit “sacred vibrations” (also called “askokin”) to the Moon and Anulios as a means of nourishment (to produce “food for the Moon”).

Before long, members of the “Most High Commission” (a committee of sacred beings) began to haw concerns about the long-term maintenance of the Moon and Anulios. They were worried humans might evolve to the point where they attained “objective reason” and thereby ascertain the miserable purpose of their existence. Should this happen, the commission concluded, the human race would lose its drive to continue living. Not only that but it would destroy itself, and the Moon and Anulios would cease receiving the sustenance they required.

The commission soon came up with a solution to the problem: they would alter humankind through the implantation of a “special organ” called Kundabuffer. Presumably by means of genetic alteration, this organ was made to grow within human beings. The organ was located at the base of the spinal column. (Or, put another way, at the root of the tail, which humans then possessed.) The properties of this organ were such that it caused humans to perceive reality in a “topsy-turvy” fashion. It also made them more attached to sensations of “pleasure and enjoyment.”

Put simply, the organ Kundabuffer turned humans into pleasure-seeking “animals” with a limited and distorted perception of reality. While the specific term “hypnotic sleep” does not appear to have been used by Gurdjieff in relation to the organ Kundabuffer, it can only be surmised that the organ did precisely that: placed humanity under a hypnotic spell akin to a form of sleep. The organ, having fulfilled its intended purpose, was eventually removed from humanity. But because its properties became so crystallized - so fundamental to our nature - they remained. Through a process of heredity, the traits were passed from generation to generation. These undesirable properties are still within us today.


[58] Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, 82.

With this fable Gurdjieff has provided a compelling explanation for the “fall of man.” The reason why, in Gurdjieff's words, “'men' are not men” was due to a series of unfortunate events in the past, most of them simply accidents on a very big scale. If the comet Kondoor had never struck Earth, resulting in the genesis of the Moon and Anulios, the human race would be in a far better position than it is at present. Our evolution would never have been hijacked.

But if organic life was created on Earth to provide nourishment for the Moon, don't we owe our very existence to the fact that Kondoor struck Earth and gave birth to the Moon? In other words, isn't it contradictory to state that the human race would be better off had these events never occurred? Gurdjieff implies in Beelzebub's Tales that the establishment of organic life on Earth (human beings included) was part of the plan all along. But because of the unexpected and accidental genesis of the Moon, it became necessary to put this plan into action sooner. In which case, the birth of the Moon had a disruptive effect on what was supposed to have been a steady and orderly process.

Why would Gurdjieff describe the organ Kundabuffer as “”the Moon's representative on Earth"? The answer to this question is simple when you consider the intended function of this organ: to render humans blind to the fact that the purpose of their existence is to provide food for the Moon. As the Moon's representative on Earth, the Kundabuffer acts on behalf of the Moon. Gurdjieff couldn't have chosen a more accurate word to define the relationship between the two.

We are told in Beelzebub's Tales that the vast majority of planets in our solar system are populated by “three-brained” (human-like) beings of various physical forms. The beings who inhabit Mars are described as possessing long broad trunks, “enormous protruding and shining eyes,” small, clawed feet and large wings. As a result of their impressive eyes, they have the ability to “see freely everywhere.” [59] They can also fly long distances, even beyond the atmosphere of their planet. As for the beings that dwell on Saturn, these are described as birdlike, with an appearance similar to that of a falcon.

Apparently even the Moon is not devoid of intelligent life. The inhabitants of the Moon, we are told, have “very frail” bodies and look like large ants. But despite their frailty, they have a “very strong spirit” and “an extraordinary perseverance and capacity for work.” Forever busy, they managed to “tunnel” the entire Moon within a short period of time. On account of the Moon's abnormal climate of extreme hot and cold, these beings dwell both within and on the surface of their world. But there are also periods of fine weather on the Moon, during which the “whole planet is in blossom,” and the Moon beings have more food than is needed. [60]

Gurdjieff, being the witty teacher that he was, probably wrote these words with his tongue in his cheek. But might they still contain a grain of truth? Perhaps his Moon beings, with their “very frail” bodies, are not of flesh and blood. Could they, instead, be non-physical entities existing in a “realm” beyond ordinary human perception? Do these entities feast on the energy of the living and the souls of the dead? Does this account for the Moon's insatiable appetite? Another question worth asking: From where did Gurdjieff acquire the idea of a hollow, tunneled Moon populated by ant-like entities? Either Gurdjieff was very familiar with H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon, which was published long before Beelzebub's Tales, or he came up with the idea independently.


[59] Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, 61.

[60] Ibid., 62-63.

It's difficult to know what to make of certain of Gurdjieff's lunar ideas. When he stated the Earth has two moons, was he speaking factually, metaphorically, or on another level entirely? The most obvious interpretation is that Gurdjieff was referring both to the physical external Moon and to the smaller, metaphorical moon we ought to develop within ourselves. According to Richard Myers, in an article titled Gurdjieff, the Moon and Organic Life, “Gurdjieff maintained that all of his ideas could be taken in seven different ways, one of which is factual.” [61]

How interesting, then, Gurdjieff should compare the Moon to a giant electromagnet as well as to a weight on an old-fashioned clock in relation to its influence on Earth's organic life. Both instruments are supportive in nature - and so too is the Moon; it supports organic life. The Moon is like a pair of crutches providing support to a man with an injured leg. The crutches prevent the man from falling over while also enabling him to walk, but it is he who must still do the walking.

And what if the man was required to use the crutches for a long period of time? It's possible he'd become so accustomed to them that an unhealthy dependency of sorts would develop. He might even find he can no longer walk normally without them. What Gurdjieff said about the Moon is very similar, the fact we are dependent on it - like a pair of crutches - is the very thing that makes us weak and inhibits our evolution. The only way to evolve, then, is to learn how to walk on our own legs. In other words, by reducing our dependency on the Moon and eventually transcending it altogether. Certainly human beings would have evolved very differently if the Moon had never come into being. I wonder, would we be stronger as a species in terms of both mind and body?

What are we to make of Gurdjieff's idea that the Earth is orbited by not one but two natural satellites? A small amount of scientific evidence suggests something similar to “Anulios” may in fact exist or did in the past. According to an article that appeared on the SPACE.com website in 2011 a pair of researchers from the University of California (Santa Cruz), Martin Jutzi and Erik Asphaug, proposed a new theory to account for the dramatic geological differences between the near and far sides of the Moon.

Their theory adds an additional chapter to the Giant Impact hypothesis by suggesting that the collision in question not only resulted in the formation of the Moon but also in a number of smaller moon-like bodies, one of which survived for tens to hundreds of millions of years. This hypothetical mini-moon had a diameter of around 150 miles and was suspended between the Moon and the Earth in a position of balanced gravitational attraction. As a result of becoming unstable, it collided with the Moon at a very slow speed, producing the highlands that dominate the far side. “According to our simulations, a large 'moon-to-Moon' size ratio and a subsonic impact velocity lead to an accretion pile rather than a crater,” concluded Jutzi and Asphaug. [62]

There is an asteroid named 3753 Cruithne, discovered in 1986, that shares Earth's orbit around the Sun and is incorrectly referred to by some as “Earth's second Moon.” Only 3.1 miles in diameter, it moves around our planet in a horseshoe configuration every 770 years. The object is in fact a quasi-satellite, of which there are about five in our solar system. Such objects do not orbit the Earth directly. Cruithne could be Gurdjieff's Anulios, though I very much doubt it.

Gurdjieff's idea of the Earth having two moons - both of which originated during the same huge collision - has a great deal of merit to it. But to explore it in any depth is beyond the scope of this book. I should add too that the idea has been around since at least 1870, when it appeared in Jules Verne's famous novel Round the Moon, and did not originate with Gurdjieff. Perhaps "Anulios" will be discovered one day. Or perhaps it will never be discovered - not because it doesn't exist but because, as Gurdjieff stated, we've lost the ability to perceive it.


[61] Myers, "Gurdjieff, the Moon and Organic Life."

[62] Charles Q. Choi, "Earth Had Two Moons That Crashed to Form One, Study Suggests," SPACE.com,
    August 3. 2011, www.space.com/12529-earth-2-moons-collision-moon-formation.html.

Gurdjieff's “food for the Moon” is one of his more ambiguous and unusual ideas and for that reason has attracted considerable speculation and ridicule. Many consider the idea absurd. Even many Fourth Way students and authorities, when writing about Gurdjieff and his system, appear not to take the idea seriously and often avoid all mention of it. For example, in John Shirley's Gurdjieff, a 320-page biography, the idea is barely acknowledged. I say barely, because the idea is discussed wry briefly in the penultimate appendix in the book.

  • quote small leftSome people are stopped dead in their reading of Gurdjieffian "Work books" when they come upon the idea … about humanity being "food for the moon" … My personal - I emphasis personal - interpretation of this teaching is that the moon in this teaching represents the inert, more-or-less lifeless part of the cosmos. It stands for all of the lower cosmos. The Moon is the first stop in a kind of "energy sink" where our life energies will go if we don't work on ourselves.quote small right [63]

In addition to being a musician of some note, Shirley is a successful American novelist and screenwriter specializing in the genres of science-fiction/fantasy and horror. He is also a student of the Fourth Way. It comes as no surprise that many of his novels, such as Demons and The Other End, explore Gurdjieffian themes. I got in touch with Shirley in 2011 to ask for his thoughts on Gurdjieff's “food for the Moon,” as well as to ask why, in his biography on Gurdjieff, he mentions the idea only briefly - and, it would seem, only out of necessity.

I sent an e-mail asking this question on April 19 and received a reply from Shirley the next day:

  • quote small leftRegarding "food for the moon," no I'm not trying to soft soap or gloss over Gurdjieff's scariest ideas… I really do think that if there's anything to the moon story, in his ideas, it's what I described in my appendix. I am not a Gurdjieffian literalist (I mean, his biggest book, Beelzebub's Tales, is a novel after all), and I feel that some of his ideas are more clearly supportable than others. Some are, to me, along the lines of allegory… He [Gurdjieff] said believe what you can verify - and I agree with that. I believe in the scientific method.… I do not believe in the supernatural (as we've always understood the term), but only in an unknown level of the natural.[64]quote small right

In a later e-mail (April 22), Shirley added:

  • quote small leftI don't know if Gurdjieff thought of the moon as "stealing" energy from the Earth; it was more like harvesting, and part of a big "food chain" of sorts, a cosmological ecology, and just more of the natural order. If Gurdjieff was right about it, it's sort of the energy that arises with any degree of consciousness, anything that isn't "bottled" (my term) in a soul created by spiritual work. … He [Gurdjieff] didn't teach that stuff [“food for the Moon”], as I mentioned before, after the 1920s.[65]quote small right

[63] Shirley, Gurdjieff, 281.

[64] Shirley, John. E-mail to Louis Proud, April 20, 2011.

[65] Shirley, John. E-mail to Louis Proud, April 22, 2011.

It was generous of Shirley to have answered my questions. Few authors with whom I've communicated are as gracious as he. Still I couldn't help but detect in his response - and in his Gurdjieff biography - an unwillingness to address Gurdjieff's lunar ideas in a deeper, more direct manner. Something seemed to be holding him back, but what? And why did he find it necessary to insist Gurdjieff ceased teaching “food for the Moon” after the 1920s? Was this meant to imply that the idea was one of Gurdjieff's least valuable?

Although the specific phrase “food for the Moon” doesn't appear in Beelzebub's Tales (published in 1950), the idea is still very much present in the book. So it's not as though Gurdjieff stopped teaching the idea; rather, he stopped teaching the idea in such an explicit form. This is why, in Beelzebub's Tales, we find such coded sentences as: “the … Moon is just a part of this Earth and the latter must now constantly maintain the Moon's existence.” [66] It's obvious that Gurdjieff considered the Moon to have profound spiritual importance, and what he taught regarding the Moon is a pivotal aspect of his system. Why, then, is the subject not discussed more openly by those who follow the Fourth Way?

I have reason to believe the lunar component of Gurdjieff's system is so esoteric that only senior Fourth Way members understand its true meaning. I further believe this knowledge is purposely withheld from the general public for fear that it might be distorted and misinterpreted. As with many occult organizations, the Fourth Way is semi-secret; its members share some, but not all, of the knowledge passed down by Gurdjieff. If you wanted to gain “complete access” to Gurdjieff's system then you would need to belong to a genuine Fourth Way group (connected to the Gurdjieff Foundation). Having once belonged to such a group, I know for a fact that much of their knowledge - especially as regards the practical side of the system - is not made available to non-members.

In May of 2011, I wrote to William Patrick Patterson asking if he'd be willing to answer some of my questions in relation to Gurdjieff's “food for the Moon” idea. Patterson is the founder and director of the Gurdjieff Studies Program, which is based in California, and has written numerous books on Gurdjieff. He was a student of John Pentland, who was a student of Gurdjieff. Now a Fourth Way teacher himself, Patterson is very much an authority on the system.

In a letter I received from Patterson (dated July 4, 2011), he cryptically wrote:

  • quote small leftIn these eclectic piglet times, rife with chakra-talk and ego-tized chest thumping and shakti-antics, whatever experiences beyond the mundane so quickly psychologized and leveled to whatever personalized identity is found comforting and self-calming … well, y [sic] friend, one has to be careful in opening esoteric doors for general consumption.… There is reluctance then to speak about Mr. Gurdjieff's placing of the two Moons, the laws that govern, and how one must make a Moon to have a Soul: all this being given in great though somewhat hidden detail in his magnum opus [Beelzebub's Tales].[67]quote small right

Patterson's reluctance to discuss these ideas came as a surprise to me, because his books display an openness about Gurdjieff's system that is rare among Fourth Way authorities. His letter confirms my opinion that the lunar component of Gurdjieff's system is highly esoteric and cannot be disclosed in full to the general public. Patterson was kind enough to point me in the right direction, by revealing that Beelzebub's Tales is a thorough (perhaps even complete) source of information on the topic. This is valuable to know, though one significant problem remains: the book is so abstruse that one could spend an entire lifetime trying to make sense of it. Gurdjieff “buried the bone” very deep indeed - some might say too deep.

Gurdjieff seems to have hinted at some kind of lunar intelligence, a sinister, manipulative, and exploitative “force” that works to keep humanity in a state of sleep. We will now attempt to ascertain the nature of this force.


[66] Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, 63.

[67] William Patterson. Letter to Louis Proud, July 4, 2011.

Creative Evolution

Creative Evolution by Amit Goswami | p. 163
How can all this help us make the distinction between the unconscious and the conscious?

  • An unconscious state occurs when there is processing of possibilities but no collapse. Possibility objects interact with other possibility objects, expanding in overall possibility.
  • There is consciousness and processing but no manifest awareness. I call this a state of unconscious processing - processing of possibilities without collapsing them into a subject-object experience that we call awareness.
  • In contrast, conscious processing involves collapse, which creates the subject-object split that constitutes awareness.

Creative Evolution by Amit Goswami | p. 47
Awareness, that is, a subject-object split, is needed for experience. With this point agreed, the purpose of evolution can be stated, following a statement by Carl Jung.

  • The purpose of evolution is to make the unconscious (that of which we are unaware) conscious (that of which we are aware and capable of manifestly experiencing).

6.2.3 Towards a Definition of Life © 1979 R.A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved [LINK]



What Is Life?

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy and disorder shall always increase and that information will naturally tend to be degraded and lost in any isolated physical system. (Such isolated systems drift from less probable states to more probable ones.) It is the business of the universe to destroy complexity and to become progressively more randomized.

How does this relate to life? Organisms appear to present a rather curious thermodynamic anomaly. Living systems "violate" the Second Law, by developing well-ordered systems (themselves) out of relatively chaotic systems (their food).85 At first blush, lifeforms seemingly oppose the "universal drive to disorder" mandated by thermodynamic principles. They organize their surroundings and produce order where there was little or none before. Entropy is actually reduced.

This apparent conflict has only been resolved in the last decade or so. Classical treatments dealt with idealized, isolated systems which transfer no energy or matter between themselves and the external environment.2213 In sharp contrast, most systems in nature are nonisolated "open" systems, exchanging matter and energy with the surroundings.

Energy by itself is not enough — there must be a useful flow of it. This means that to support life, an environment must possess both a "source" and a "sink." Energy emerges from the source, flows to the sink, and is there absorbed.

Living systems customarily establish themselves as intermediate systems, interposed between some source and some sink in the environment. Then, they utilize the energy flow from source to sink to power their own internal functions.

...

Xenologists suspect that there are two fundamental properties any system must possess before it can be considered alive:

  • First, it must be thermodynamically negentropic, establishing an entropy gradient between itself and the environment.
  • Second, it must utilize the entropy gradient to create or to maintain structural order internally — that is, it must be autonegentropic or self-organizing.
  • Then there is the quality of organization, known as complex interrelatedness or aperiodic crystal, which reflects the intensity of the life process displayed by a given entity.
For those who prefer succinct and pithy definitions, the author would like
to offer the following as a starting point for further discussion:
Life is negentropic and self-organizing aperiodic crystal.
Full Article
What is entropy?

Life is negentropic
and self-organizing
aperiodic crystal.

Thermodynamic and statistical principles are among the most fruitful tools of scientific inquiry. They are equally applicable to simple and to complex systems, living or nonliving, terrestrial or extraterrestrial. As Dr. James P. Wesley, Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri in Rolla, tells us: "The relationship of life to the environment is, above all, a thermodynamic relationship. Wherever man may go and whatever alien lifeforms he may encounter, the thermodynamic behavior of life will always be basically predictable."1717

The idea of entropy is often involved in modern discussions of the definition of life.

What is entropy? There are really two relatively straightforward aspects of this concept. The first ties in to the thermodynamic aspects of matter, having to do with heat and energy; the second pertains to statistics and order in any system.

Entropy:
Thermodynamic measure of energy
Statistical measure of disorder

Entropy in the thermodynamic sense is a distinct, physically measurable quantity, much like length, temperature, or weight. At a temperature of absolute zero, to take one example, the entropy in a lump of matter is exactly zero. If the temperature is slowly increased in tiny, reversible little steps, the increase in entropy is mathematically equal to the amount of energy (in joules) divided by the temperature at which it was supplied. This holds even if a change of state occurs, as from solid to liquid.

Suppose that we melt a cube of solid ice at 0 °C. If the mass is 1 kg, the increase in entropy can be calculated as exactly 1223 joules/degree. Entropy in the thermodynamic sense is thus a very real, physical quantity.

In the statistical sense, entropy is a measure of the disorderliness of a system. It seems rather clear that when we melt our 1 kg block of ice, the neat orderly arrangement of water molecules in the cube is destroyed. The rigid crystal lattice is converted into a less ordered system — the continually changing, sloshing, randomized distribution of molecules in a liquid.

When the orderliness of a system decreases, the entropy correspondingly increases. The situation is analogous to the state of the public library when the shelvers are out on strike. Books are removed from their proper places but are not returned. Disorder and randomness — entropy — increase.

The greater the structural complexity of a system, the more information is required to describe it. The more organization a system has, the more information and the less entropy it possesses. But information and orderliness, on the one hand, and entropy, on the other hand, are irreconcilable.

It is the business of the universe to
destroy complexity and to become
progressively more randomized.”

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy and disorder shall always increase and that information will naturally tend to be degraded and lost in any isolated physical system. (Such isolated systems drift from less probable states to more probable ones.)

It is the business of the universe to destroy complexity and to become progressively more randomized.

How does this relate to life? Organisms appear to present a rather curious thermodynamic anomaly. Living systems "violate" the Second Law, by developing well-ordered systems (themselves) out of relatively chaotic systems (their food).85 At first blush, lifeforms seemingly oppose the "universal drive to disorder" mandated by thermodynamic principles. They organize their surroundings and produce order where there was little or none before. Entropy is actually reduced.

This apparent conflict has only been resolved in the last decade or so. Classical treatments dealt with idealized, isolated systems which transfer no energy or matter between themselves and the external environment.2213 In sharp contrast, most systems in nature are nonisolated "open" systems, exchanging matter and energy with the surroundings.

Open systems / Energy flow / Local decrease of entropy

Energy by itself is not enough — there must be a useful flow of it. This means that to support life, an environment must possess both a "source" and a "sink." Energy emerges from the source, flows to the sink, and is there absorbed.

Living systems customarily establish themselves as intermediate systems, interposed between some source and some sink in the environment. Then, they utilize the energy flow from source to sink to power their own internal functions.

The total entropy of the entire system, which we shall label E, is the sum of the entropies generated in two separate places. First, there is the entropy caused by the source-to-sink energy flow which we shall call S. Then there is the entropy generated by the intermediate system (the living organism) due to exchanges of matter and energy with the surroundings. If we call this L, then we know that the change in total entropy DE = DS + DL.

The second Law of Thermodynamics demands that the total entropy E of any isolated system always increase. Hence, the amount of change must always be positive, so DE > 0. The flow of energy from source to sink (S) consists of irreversible processes, so it too must always cause entropy to increase: DS > 0. Consequently, -DL < DS is our only constraint.

 Negentrophy:
 … local pockets of negative 
 entropy change.

What does this mean in plain English? The last equation above simply says that while the entropy of a living system is always permitted to increase by the Second Law (e.g., upon death), a short range of decrease is allowed as well. That is, it is thermodynamically permissible to have — "negentropy."

… the essence of life is that
it feeds on negentropy.

Life involves a continuing struggle
against increasing entropy.

Dr. Erwin Schroedinger was really the first to point out that the essence of life is that it feeds on negentropy.1678 An organism able to transfer disorder from itself to its environment can reach a plateau for which the steady-state entropy within the living system is less than the formal entropy entering it.85  Life involves a continuing struggle against increasing entropy.

Living systems thus increase local order at the expense of a larger decrease in order within the environment.

Does life really violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics? We’ve seen that organisms can effect a local decrease in entropy by maintaining an energy flow.* This leads to an ordering of the intermediate (living) system. So the Second Law does not hold for nonisolated systems (L), but only for isolated ones (E). It is invalid for lifeforms alone, but does hold if that same living system is considered in conjunction with the medium in which it is immersed.

Life by itself is a nonisolated system capable of achieving negentropic conditions locally. Life plus environment is an isolated system, for which the total amount of entropy must always increase.

As one writer puts it:

Living systems convert order in their surroundings into disorder, and thereby increase their own internal order. To say that living systems feed on negentropy is equivalent to saying that their existence depends upon increasing the entropy of the rest of the Universe.2213

Negentropic Processes

Click for larger image & additional explanation

figure 6 4
A schematic presentation of the origins of living things.

The first graph shows the population of structures — molecules, for instance — against some measure of size
or complexity for a case where a free-energy flow has spread the composition to include species of high free energy.


The second graph shows what happens when some autocatalytic process begins to increase the population
beyond some level of complexity by further degrading the less elaborate, material present.


The last graph suggests how artifacts might be looked at in this process, a second and rarer, but more costly, bump.

figure 6 4 med
Figure 6.4 Life, Entropy, and Organizational Structure

At the most fundamental level, negentropic ordering processes are achieved by living organisms. Life drives its environment to physical or chemical disequilibrium, establishing an entropy gradient between itself and its surroundings.1144 All living systems possess this feature, and it is contended that any system engaging in such negentropic operations must be considered "living" to a certain extent (Figure 6.4).

The question is, of course, to what extent?

Rather than viewing the question of life in absolutist terms, it seems more fruitful to establish the intensity of negentropic processes as a measure of the extent of the life-quality. One of the more fundamental distinctions between "life" and "nonlife" is the degree of organization and internal structure possessed by living systems. Order and structure are virtually synonymous with information content.1012

That is, living systems do more than merely establish a thermodynamic entropy gradient — they establish an organizational / informational gradient as well. As organisms feed on negentropy, they in effect remove information from the surrounding medium and store it within themselves. It is the business of life to accumulate information and complexity.

Aperiodic crystal

In a physical sense, these data bits which permeate all lifeforms may be thought of as being stored in an "aperiodic crystal" — a biological lattice with highly irregular small-scale nonuniformities.2213 The more effective the negentropic processes, the greater the organization which will arise and hence the more aperiodic the physical structure will become. Organization is maintained by the extraction of order from the environment.

It is the business of life
to accumulate information
and complexity.

If we consider every "autonegentropic" system to be alive, then its character or richness of expression may be defined along a spectrum from lesser to greater levels of organization. At one extreme are the viruses, which are not negentropic systems by themselves and thus cannot be considered alive in the absence of living hosts. At the other extreme are mules and bees, earlier rejected by the genetic definition of life because of their individual inability to reproduce. These animals are quite clearly auto negentropic systems possessing a vast degree of organization both in the macroscopic and microscopic realms. Thus they are not only "alive" (because they feed on negentropy to build internal complexity) but also "very alive" (because they are so internally complex).**

The refrigerator in my house technically should be considered a "live" system in the very broadest sense, as it is a well-defined intermediate system which uses an energy flow to decrease entropy within (the icebox gets colder, and well-ordered ice crystals collect on the freezer walls) at the expense of increasing the entropy in the external environment (the kitchen air gets warmer). Yet its organizational structure is minimal. Little information is stored, and there is only trivial interrelatedness even on the macroscopic scale. There is scant evidence of aperiodic crystal, no complexity at all on the microscopic stage. So the intensity of life in my refrigerator is negligibly small.

Note that "machine life" or "solid state life" per se is not ruled out. As machines become more and more sophisticated, complexity follows. Large-scale integrated circuits available today pack millions of components onto a tiny silicon wafer the size of a postage stamp. Under the microscope, significant aperiodicities have begun to appear in the latest generation of electronic devices. It is entirely possible that, in time, machines will evolve beyond the point of negligible life-quality. This is true, despite the fact that modern digital computers (which merely process data without adding any of it to their internal structure) are not yet alive at all.

Conclusion

Xenologists suspect that there are two fundamental properties any system must possess before it can be considered alive:

  • First, it must be thermodynamically negentropic, establishing an entropy gradient between itself and the environment.
  • Second, it must utilize the entropy gradient to create or to maintain structural order internally — that is, it must be autonegentropic or self-organizing.
  • Then there is the quality of organization, known as complex interrelatedness or aperiodic crystal, which reflects the intensity of the life process displayed by a given entity.
For those who prefer succinct and pithy definitions, the author would like
to offer the following as a starting point for further discussion:
Life is negentropic and self-organizing aperiodic crystal.

* A probable corollary is the necessity for "phase separation." In some sense, the sources and sinks should be physically separated with the living system inserted between them. So we expect barriers to exist between an organism’s sources and its sinks. This prevents dissipation of the system, protects it from adverse changes in the environment, and insures the lifeform’s ability to exert and maintain control over its interior.2213 The exact nature of these barriers — whether gravitational, electromagnetic, or utilizing some hitherto unsuspected principle — has not been widely discussed.64

** While evolution and the capacity to reproduce are of immense biological importance, a system need not be capable of reproduction for it to be classified as living.2213, 62

The Essence of Life     From: The Beginning and the End

quote small left214 - 9.1.3 The Case for Postbiology
Already in the 1980s, Feinberg and Shapiro (1980) stigmatized proponents of carbon-and-water life as “carbaquists” who fail to imagine that basic building blocks of life could be very different. But if the essence of life is not its chemical constitution, what is it? Feinberg and Shapiro (1980, p. 147) say it is the activity of a biosphere, which is itself “a highly ordered system of matter and energy characterized by complex cycles that maintain or gradually increase the order of the system through the exchange of energy with the environment”.

We can think much more systematically about life as we don’t know it. Freitas Jr did this when he wrote Xenology (1979), the most comprehensive and systematic study of extraterrestrial life, intelligence, and civilization I am aware of. This long volume covers a much broader scope than the classical (and also very good) book by Shklovskii and Sagan (1966). I consider it a rare scientific masterpiece. Most of the book was written in 1979, although Freitas is constantly updating it and has now made it freely available on the web (www.xenology.info).


219
From the point of view of classical thermodynamics, life is a miracle. Living systems are able to maintain a state that is very far from equilibrium, despite the second law of thermodynamics, which states that all systems tend to equilibrium.

This seemed deeply paradoxical. The key to unlocking the mystery of living systems was to consider them in a larger thermodynamic context. They should be modeled as open systems, meaning that a flux of energy goes through them, and not as closed systems. The second law only applies to closed systems, not to open systems. All in all, the second law is not violated because living systems increase local order at the expense of a more global disorder generated in the environment.

Additionally, energy flow regulation or control is a necessary condition for the growth, maintenance, evolution, and reproduction of complex systems (see e.g. Aunger 2007b; Chaisson 2011a). For example, a stone processes virtually no flow of matter-energy, and most people will agree that it is dead. On the opposite side, we have a wildfire, which grows and uses a lot of energy but is totally uncontrolled.

Whatever a shaman’s view on the matter, scientists generally don’t consider fire as alive. Living systems are in between these two extreme examples. They are able to regulate their energy flow. To take humans as an example, if we eat too little or too much, we die. We thus regulate the amount of food that we eat to stay alive.


220
Energy flow control: Living systems control their energy flow to grow, maintain themselves, evolve, and reproduce.

A living organism can be described broadly by three components: a source of energy, an organized entity, and a sink to waste (to export entropy). The living system increases its internal organization — or negentropy — thanks to this energy flow. As Freitas (1979, Sect. 6.2.3) puts it, life "drives its environment to physical or chemical disequilibrium, establishing an entropy gradient between itself and its surroundings". He adds that all living systems "possess this feature, and it is contended that any system engaging in such negentropic operations must be considered 'living' to a certain extent". This leads to the criterion of metabolism:

Metabolism: Living systems maintain their organization by using a source of energy and producing entropy.


272
Freitas (1979, Sect. 25.1.3) proposed a similar principal thermoethic:

  • “[A]ll living beings should always act so as to minimize the total entropy of the universe, or so as to maximize the total negentropy.”

Freitas explains that "living beings should always act to further the mission of life in the cosmos, which is to reduce the universe to order by building the maximum complexity into the mass-energy available". He summarizes three thermoethical duties, to avoid harming, to preserve, and to create, which indeed are very similar to the infoethics principles of Floridi. A corollary of the thermoethical principal is what Freitas calls the Corollary of Negentropic Equality:

  • “All entities of equal negentropy have equal rights and responsibilities; the more negentropic an entity, the greater are its rights and the deeper are its responsibilities. (See Cocca 1962; Fasan 1968, 1970; Haley 1963, 1956; Nicolson 1978; Rhyne 1958.)”
Table 9.3 - 19 Critical Subsystems of all Living Systems   (Miller 1978, p. 3)

Matter + energy + information

1. Reproducer
The subsystem that is capable of giving rise to other systems similar to the one it is in

2. Boundary
The subsystem at the perimeter of a system that holds together the components making up the system, protects them from environmental stresses, and excludes or permits entry to various sorts of matter-energy and information

Matter + energy

3. Ingestor
The subsystem that brings matter-energy across the system boundary from the environment

4. Distributor
The subsystem that carries inputs from outside the system or outputs from its subsystems around the system to each component

5. Converter
The subsystem that changes certain inputs to the system into forms more useful for the special processes of that particular system

6. Producer
The subsystem that forms stable associations that endure for significant periods among matter-energy inputs to the system or outputs from its converter, the materials synthesized being for growth, damage repair, or replacement of components of the system, or for providing energy for moving or constituting the system’s outputs of products or information markers to its subsystem

7. Matter-energy storage
The subsystem that retains in the system, for different periods of time, deposits of various sorts of matter-energy

8. Extruder
The subsystem that transmits matter-energy out of the system in the forms of products or wastes

9. Motor
The subsystem that moves the system or parts of it in relation to part or all of its environment or moves components of its environment in relation to each other

10. Supporter
The subsystem that maintains the proper spatial relationships among components of the system, so that they can interact without weighting each other down or crowding each other

Information

11. Input transducer
The sensory subsystem that brings markers bearing information into the system and changes them to other matter-energy forms suitable for transmission within it

12. Internal transducer
The sensory subsystem that receives, from subsystems or components within the system, markers bearing information about significant alterations in those subsystems or components, changing them to other matter-energy forms of a sort that can be transmitted within it

13. Channel and net
The subsystem composed of a single route in physical space, or multiple interconnected routes, by which markers bearing information are transmitted to all parts of the system

14. Decoder
The subsystem that alters the code of information input to it through the input transducer or internal transducer into a “private” code that can be used internally by the system

15. Associator
The subsystem that carries out the first stage of the learning process, forming enduring associations among items of information in the system

16. Memory
The subsystem that carries out the second stage of the learning process, storing various sorts of information in the system for different periods of time

17. Decider
The executive subsystem that receives information inputs from all other subsystems and transmits to them information outputs that control the entire system

18. Encoder
The subsystem that alters the code of information input to it from other information processing subsystems, from a “private” code used internally by the system into a “public” code that can be interpreted by other systems in its environment

19. Output transducer
The subsystem that puts out markers bearing information from the system, changing markers within the system into other matter-energy forms that can be transmitted over channels in the system’s environment

Our operating system is pre-installed by our DNA

The Most Important Programs


(3) video clips from "Athene's Theory of Everything"

From: Secret of Secrets

When you purchase a computer from the store, it comes with the operating system pre-installed.

The same way when a child is born, the child comes into the world with their operating system pre-installed.
     ■ You do not teach the child to breath, nor do you teach their heart to beat.
     ■ Our operating system is pre-installed by our DNA.

When you bring that computer home with the pre-installed operating system, that same operating system allows you to install new additional program/software that did not come with the computer.

With humans, after the child is born and brought home, the child has new programs installed by the parents and others close to the child.
     ■ Language is an example of a program.
     ■ We also install programs in the child such as fears, phobias, and behaviors.

The most important and long-lasting programs are installed in children in their first 6 years of life.
     ■ These programs include everything from language to social interactions.

Many things that we as adults suffer from often have their roots in programs that were installed in us during these first 6 years of life.

Just like with computers, these programs tell us and our bodies have to act or react to others, and our environment.
     ■ These programs also dictate our abilities and limitations.

Computer Science Analogy
Computer Science: the Best Analogy

page-10-sm

The mere existence and rapid evolution of computer science is a sign that the maturity of man is at hand.  The universe operates on principles analogous to a vast computer.  This could not be discovered until the computer and computer science developed to a certain level.  It is as if a highly advanced intelligence designed the universe to withhold its secrets from plain site until man developed to a certain degree.

Computer Science is the best analogy we can us for Man, God and the Universe.  Computer terminology supplies us with the best words and concepts to describe the nature, functioning and inter-relationship of Man, God and the Universe.

Computer Science Analogy of Man, God and the Universe

I will begin with some basic definitions and concepts in computer science and show the analogous aspects of man, God and the universe for each term and/or concept.

Let us begin with a basic definition of computer.

Computer – A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem.

Conventionally a computer consists of some form of memory for data storage, at least one element that carries out arithmetic and logic operations, and a sequencing and control element that can change the order of operations based on the information that is stored. Peripheral devices allow information to be entered from an external source, and allow the results of operations to be sent out.

A computer's processing unit executes series of instructions that make it read, manipulate and then store data. Conditional instructions change the sequence of instructions as a function of the current state of the machine or its environment.” [1]

Let us break this definition down piece by piece. First off, notice that is says that the computer is a “programmable machine.”

page-11-sm

The definition of a “machine” is:

“A machine manages power to accomplish a task, examples include, a mechanical system, a computing system, an electronic system, a molecular machine and a biological machine.”[2]

Therefore, we see that a “biological machine” or body is included in the definition of machine. The body manages power to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.

Programmable Machine

Returning to the definition of computer, it says a computer is a “programmable machine”. Programmable means something that can carry out the commands and instructions of a “program”.

A computer program (also software, or just a program) is a sequence of instructions written to perform a specified task with a computer.

The human body is also programmable and carries out the tasks as commanded by certain programs. The same way a computer program instructs a computer what task or activities to perform, humans have certain programs that tell our bodies what to do.

Operating System

page-13-sm

Every computer has an operating system, which is a program or series of programs that give the computer its basic functionality.

“An operating system (OS) is software, consisting of programs and data, that runs on computers, manages computer hardware resources, and provides common services for execution of various application software.” [3]

Many of a computer’s programs run in the background yet control vital functions of the computer. Similarly, there are programs, which run in the background of the human body, yet control vital function of the body. For instance, there is a program (a set of instructions) which tells your heart to beat. Also another program tells your body to breath. These programs run in the background, you do not consciously tell your heart to beat or your body to breath. Thus it obvious that the body is not just like a computer, it is literally a computer. The body is a biological computer, or bio-computer. Just like every computer, the human bio computer has an operating system, which controls the main operations of the body.

When you purchase a computer from the store, it comes with the operating system pre-installed. The same way when a child is born, the child comes into the world with their operating system pre-installed. You do not teach the child to breath, nor do you teach their heart to beat. Our operating system is pre-installed by our DNA.

Individual custom software (programming)

When you bring that computer home with the pre-installed operating system, that same operating system allows you to install new additional program/software that did not come with the computer.

With humans, after the child is born and brought home, the child has new programs installed by the parents and others close to the child.

Language is an example of a program.

We also install programs in the child such as fears, phobias, and behaviors. The most important and long-lasting programs are installed in children in their first 6 years of life. These programs include everything from language to social interactions.

Many things that we as adults suffer from often have their roots in programs that were installed in us during these first 6 years of life. Just like with computers, these programs tell us and our bodies have to act or react to others, and our environment.

These programs also dictate our abilities and limitations.

The Task Manager

page-14-sm

In computers, you can see these programs running in the background if you press simultaneously the keys: control, alt, and delete. This will open up the “task manager” which not only shows you what is running in the background, it also shows how much resources that program is consuming while it is running.

You can also stop the processes of certain programs.

For humans, through meditation, we can access our “task manager” and be able to see what programs are running in the background.

The definition of “computer” also said that:

“Conventionally a computer consists of some form of memory for data storage, at least one element that carries out arithmetic and logic operations, and a sequencing and control element that can change the order of operations based on the information that is stored.”

The operating system and additional programs installed in a computer are stored in a computer’s memory.

The memory of the human bio-computer consists of the DNA and the nervous system.

The nervous system handles both short term and long-term memory and ultimately stores long-term memory in DNA.

page-15-sm

This long-term memory stored in DNA thus can actually be passed down to future generations. This is where ancestral/family memories and tendencies come from.

The definition of “computer” also said that:

“The particular sequence of operations (contained in a program) can be changed readily”

Aspects of the operating system and programs of computers can be modified or altered. The same way programs in computers can be installed, modified and uninstalled, programs in humans can also be installed, modified and uninstalled.

Every computer has an operating system, just as every human has one. Well guess what, so does the universe. Like man, the universe is also a “programmable machine”. Not only is man a computer (bio-computer), the universe is a computer as well. Let us now make the same comparison as we did for the human bio-computer.

Let us recall that the definition of computer said that the computer is a “programmable machine”. We also observed that:

“A machine manages power to accomplish a task, examples include, a mechanical system, a computing system, an electronic system, a molecular machine and a biological machine.”

page-17-sm

Well the universe is both a “mechanical”, “electronic system” or rather “electrical system”, and “biological”.

The “mechanical” aspects of the universe involving the rotation and revolution of planets and celestial bodies is plainly evident,

Less evident is the “electronic” and “electrical” aspects of the universe.

Space does not permit me to go into detail here regarding the new finding regarding the electro-magnetic foundation of the universe, but I plan to in future books and on the website (www.secretofsecrets.info).

( continue reading at Secret of Secrets )

Brain Systems

brain sys 01

Excerpted from: Brain Systems

The brain of every successful organism models the environment of the organism with sufficient accuracy to provide the decisions necessary for its life.  This is true of every living organism from the most primitive protozoan to the most complex.  This is true of plants and it is true of microorganisms such as bacteria.  It prevails in brave Annelida (earthworm), but it doesn’t mean that every robin isn’t a surprise!

If this part of the human organism functioned perfectly, every human would be Conscious.  However, even the idea of perfection of this system in a human organism betrays its lack of proper functioning.  The idea of a system operating perfectly as it receives impressions from the world appears to us as an intellectual center performing without bias.  As usual, our idea of a mind which is not “playing tricks on us” seems to be defined by a purposeful and accurate thinking center.  Being rid of this is the first of many hurdles.

To those seeking Consciousness, a new and objective understanding of the centers and a functional and comprehensive model of the apparatus of thought must become fully integrated into the identity.  Both must become deeply held points of reference which are constantly used in self-observation.

Referring to Diagram 8 the general process of human thought can be described, in summary, by examining the components shown and the flow of information between them.

The sense organs (1) are generally those physical parts of the organism associated the registration of the exterior world.  Although an infant may need to mature for a few days before enjoying accurate vision, no learning is involved, hence, the sense organs are included with the Instinctive Center.

In fact, all the components of the brain as modeled in these symbols are associated with the Instinctive Center.  No child is ever taught to remember or recall, these functions are Instinctive Center operating routines which were in place at birth.  What has been added since birth is the intangible.  The contents of memory, its organization around “topics” and its incredible system of forward addressing (for good or not) are all edifices of the organism’s life.  They were built up through the sensations of a lifetime.  This may be what P. Ouspensky meant when he spoke of the intellectual part of the Instinctive Center.  “The intellectual part of the instinctive center is the mind behind all the work of the organism, a mind quite different from the intellectual mind.”10 

Previously
Word Analysis: Procreation

Procreation describes a basic function common to all forms of life — reproduction.

For all practicable purposes, the word, Procreation, has the same meaning across all classes of living organisms — from protozoa to modern man.

Why is there no distinction made / no alternative word (or phrase) available to differentiate the process of procreating by the only conscious living being (Man) as opposed to all other forms of (non-conscious / unconscious / instinctive) living organisms?

For example if the noun phrase "Unconscious Procreation" is also a pleonasm (redundant phase), that fact in and of itself indicates no distinction made with Procreation within the English language.  (See: Google search to verify that  Unconscious Procreation" is virtually unused in the English language.)  Also indicating redundantcy is the lack of evidence for "conscious procreation".



Word Analysis: Unconscious procreation

Unconscious procreation — a noun phrase that is virtually unused in the English language.  (see: Google search)

It is probably by definition a pleonasm (redundant phase).  Redundant due to the lack of evidence for "conscious procreation".

Quoting from the Meriam-Webster definition of procreation: "Animals have a natural instinct to procreate".

Given that animals (excluding humans) are not conscious (under the generally accepted definition of the word) the usage of the noun phrase (unconscious procreation) would be an obvious pleonasm if it was used in any context of the animal kingdom.

Not to belabor the point, but it's again quite obvious that, again excluding humans, that the only kind of procreation is in fact also unconscious or instinctual — and again, therefore it is unnecessary to be described as such.  How often is the noun phrase, "instinctive procreation" used?

Transformers and/or Food

food diagram 194

Humans are a dynamo for transforming energies.
     ■ We were created to be a bridge for spiritualizing
        life on earth.
     ■ The earth needs the energies that only man
        can provide.



Cliff's Notes version



  • quote small leftLike all organic life on Earth, human beings are apparatuses for transforming energies which are required for some other purpose. However, as a more complicated type of transforming apparatus than plants or animals, human beings possess some choice regarding how to supply the energies required by their existence. They can transform energy consciously or unconsciously, in greater or lesser quantities, and of varying qualities, thereby influencing the purpose and outcome of their deaths.quote small right (LINK)


Food for the Moon



moon hole

“For instance, the evolution of humanity beyond a certain point, or, to speak more correctly, above a certain percentage, would be fatal FOR THE MOON. The moon at present FEEDS on organic life, on humanity.

“Humanity is a part of organic life; this means that humanity is FOOD for the moon. If all men were to become too intelligent they would not want to be eaten by the moon.

“But, at the same time, possibilities of evolution exist, and they may be developed in SEPARATE individuals with the help of appropriate knowledge and methods.”
     – Gurdjieff chapter 3, In Search of the Miraculous

Origin of Life

  • Creationists of all kinds . . .God did it!”
  • Assumes a benevolent God
  • Darwinists of all stripes . . . "It just happened — poof! — like magic!”
  • Assumes unbiased 'law conformity'
  • Outside Intervention . . . They did it!”
  • Assumes conscious intelligence  (LINK)
  • "God exists, but he is insane.  And he works against humanity."  (LINK)
  • Assumes an unconscious intelligence
Universally Accepted Fact of Life

There is a dearth of information regarding how children become slaves at the moment of birth, and the central role this plays to the continuation of the status quo.
     ■ This is most likely due to the confirmation bias that the great majority
        of people hold regarding having children.

Becoming a parent is almost universally accepted as a fact of life (something that cannot be avoided), and thus little thought is ever given to the consequences of creating a new human being.
     ■ What the child may wish for does not exist.

Becoming a parent is never equated with also becoming a slaveholder.

Children are the last of the slaves to be freed. Why is this?
     ■ Is it because they are ubiquitously seen as anything / everything but slaves?

Children's Liberation has no lobby, there is no agency seeking to free kids from parental and societial conditioning.
     ■ In fact, there are powerful forces / groups / organizations aligned to keep
        them in their place — as slaves without rights, chained first to their family,
        and if that fails, chained to a foster home.

As minors by law children do not have autonomy or the right to make decisions on their own for themselves in any known jurisdiction of the world.

Only a few 'causes' result in the great majority of new births. Below are examples of selfish purpose on the part of parents.
     ■ A means to an end.
     ■ Emotional satisfaction.
     ■ Scarcity.
     ■ Provide extra work force for the family.
     ■ Transmit the family name.
     ■ Guarantee support in old age.
     ■ Preservation of a race.
     ■ Obey God's commandments.
     ■ Gain self-esteem or reputation for virility.
     ■ Vehicle of status and conspicuous consumption.
     ■ Source of consumable entertainment.
     ■ Mere emulation of others.
     ■ An illusory sense of immortality.
     ■ Service to self instead of service to truth.
     ■ Unintended consequences of decisions (see below).
Also note the extremely common case in which conception is not intended at all, but is the greatly regretted (but ultimately accepted) by-product of sexual activity undertaken for its own sake.

Primary Specification of Life

Procreation [Reproduction with adaptation] is a:
     ■ Primary specification of life.
     ■ Biological imperative developed over billions of years.
     ■ Instinctual-level program embedded within any/all living organism.
     ■ Human Right – recognized by the United Nations (UN).

Human Progeny are Neotonic

From: http://www.metahistory.org/guidelines/HowMetahistoryWorks.php The truth is, children can resist with determination what they are told to believe, but with no one to confirm their resistance and support their dissent, they gradually comply and come to forget their objections, stifling the feelings that came with them.

In adopting beliefs, children naturally identify with those who share those beliefs, and who insistently impart them. The transmission of belief, hugely celebrated in high-toned rhetoric about spiritual and cultural "tradition," is actually one of the great, unadmitted tragedies of the human condition.

Unlike other animals, human progeny are neotonic, taking a long time to mature. When we are born, the brain is not yet developed as an organ. It takes many years to ripen a brain. While it accounts for the exceptional scope of learning and innovation of our species, this neotonic handicap makes offspring excessively dependent upon what is inculcated in them by adults.

The sight of children cramped in a madrasa, an Islamic kindergarten, nodding like zombies and repeating the Koran eight hours a day is only one example (an obviously flagrant one) of how children are programmed to believe. Such practices, which exist in many forms in diverse cultures and religions, ought to be regarded as child abuse.

Neotony offers to our species the unique advantage of a reverse transmission of generational assets, from younger to the older members of the tribe. (This is the theme of my book, Quest for the Zodiac.) In other words, nature requires the long-term maturation of human offspring so that the evolutionary potential to learn and innovate embodied in the new generation can be shared with the older generation. Children come into the human tribe for us to learn from them, not for us to tell them what we believe. We are all tulkus.


From: http://www.metahistory.org/GAIA%20SOPHIA/visionperverted1.php

“…because breeding happens for the wrong reasons and continues unabated, without conscience or foresight. I object to unlimited procreation of our species, as did Gnostics who condemned human breeding habits as ignorant, joyless, and irresponsible. Those ancient seers and guardians of the Mysteries were dedicated to fostering the genius of our species through education, vocational training, and visionary practices aligned to the living earth. In that role, they opposed the breeding of future generations merely to serve the existing one. In short, they objected to human use of progeny as a means to an end. Sadly, this is just how it goes with almost all breeding in the human population. But no solution to this problem can be achieved through eugenics programming or a geopolitical mandate, only through individual accountability.”

Open-Source Manifesto

cover sm

pps. 45-46

Demand transparency and truth from every person, every organization, every government. Consider this the modern information-era equivalent of the Golden Rule.

Ultimately, this is about reaching the culmina[ing point for humanity's next stage of consciousness, what some call Panarchy, others the World Brain, Global Brain, Global Mind, or Web 4.0. This is about connecting all human minds, all information in all languages and mediums, all the time.

Panarchy

Panarchy is an ideal condition in which every individual would be conneeted to all relevant information and able to participate in every decision of interest to them, from local to global. Panarchy thus represents direct democracy within a nonhierarchical, open-source context. In the ideal state of panarchy, every citizen is:
     ■ fully aetualized,
     ■ deeply steeped in integrity and intelligence, and
     ■ able to participate creatively in the constant social reproduction of their world.55


p. 76

We, Homo sapiens, are defined by what we know in the context of the Cosmos and the Earth - larger Whole Systems.

We, Homo sapiens, were in harmony with the Cosmos and the Earth during earlier centuries when indigenous wisdom prevailed. The evolution of social forms and technology toward ever-greater levels of complexity is part of our human development toward deeper consciousness and self-awareness.

Click for Noosphere definition   

noo·sphere
/nō-ə-ˌsfir/

noun

The noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after:
     ■ the geosphere (inanimate matter) and
     ■ the biosphere (biological life)

Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere.

     ■ In contrast to the conceptions of the Gaia theorists, or the promoters of cyberspace,
        noosphere emerges at the point where humankind, through the mastery of nuclear
        processes, begins to create resources through the transmutation of elements.

It is also currently being researched as part of the Princeton Global Consciousness Project.

 

The technosphere, as Jose Arguelles and others have realized, is the necessary detour that takes us from the pristine biosphere to the psychically collectivized state of the noosphere.


p. 81

Panarchy is the end-state, Radical Man is the soul, Reflexive Practice is the process, and Web 4.0 - all people connected to one another and all information in all languages all the time - is the means whereby we create and actualize a World Brain and Global Game, a Noosphere, and achieve evolutionary collective consciousness.

The goal is to reject money and concentrated illicitly aggregated and largely phantom wealth in favor of community wealth defined by community knowledge, community sharing of information, and community definition of truth derived in transparency and authenticity, the latter being the ultimate arbiter of shared wealth.

When we relate and share knowledge authentically, this places us in a state of grace, a state of "win-win" harmony with all others, and establishes trust among all.


pps. 82-86

Truth, Coin of Collective Consciousness

Truth is the foundation for all discourse and wise decision-making.

There is no such thing as truth in isolation. The definition of meaning is a contextual and communal process, as the following two statements2 communicate succinctly:
     ■ Put enough eyeballs on it, no bug is invisible.
     ■ The truth at any cost lowers all other costs.

The first concept makes clear the role of community in arriving at the truth of any matter.
The second makes clear the moral and financial value of truth, reducing all manner of costs across all domains including time and space.
Neither of these concepts matter to the greedy, selfish one percent, they matter very much to the ninety-nine percent.

Our concept of truth becomes more universal as we reach higher levels of consciousness and awareness, taking in a wider spectrum of information and possibility. As we adapt a more expanded perspective on our reality, our concept of what is true and meaningful changes - from local to regional, regional to global, beyond global to the galaxy, and then to the cosmos.

The evolution of our species and possibly the Earth depends upon the realization of an ever-expanding concept of truth. Anything less keeps us small...

...

The truth is what one shares that one believes to be the case. It may not be true in an absolute or objective sense, but if one believes it to be true, one is not telling a lie or misrepresenting what he or she believes.

...

It is our obligation to speak of what we know as we know it, not dissembling or deceiving. This could be considered the "moral truth," and ultimately it is what can be validated by others so that a consensus can be arrived at and shared. Many aspects of truth can be known - within the limits of individual human discernment and with the advantages that accrue from a collective endeavor (collective intelligence).

The sharing of truth in the form of widely available information creates a foundation for cost-effective transparent decisions that are inherently anti-corrupt in nature. In the field of open-source intelligence, one could say that truth equals all the information critical to any subject, translated into any language, available all the time.

Where the philosophy gets interesting, even challenging, is when it confronts the reality that dogma, opinion, and deception can create in the mind a view of reality that is not real, but that one considers to be truthful.

This gets to the heart of why education is the root requirement and right of each individual in any true democracy, and why democracy dies when dogma, ideology, and propaganda flourish. Truth is our best effort to see reality as it really is, and make the most of it. And please note that science, faith, and philosophy should not be considered antithetical to one another.

Truth does change, both in the mind of man and in the larger reality where man resides. On the one hand, advancing knowledge and paradigm shifts can render old truths sadly insufficient, while bringing forward new, more robust truths. At the same time, actions taken by man while operating under old truths (for example, assuming that the Corps of Engineers can pave over the Mississippi wetlands and levee the largest river in the continental U.S. without having a Katrina-like consequence) create new truths - severe weather events that are not an Act of God but rather an Act of Man acting very badly over time and space.

The truth in philosophy is nuanced. It is not just an intellectual truth that is recognized, but a spiritual and sensual one as welL Truth involves discerning moral values to live by. It appears to prosper when citizens are educated and enjoy civil liberties including freedom of expression.

The moral truth is worth dying for - sometimes a burning monk (Viet-Nam) or fruit vendor (Tunisia) is the catalyst needed to illuminate the culture of fear and lies such that the public reconnects to its own power to be the truth, to define the truth, to demand the truth. How we seek, sense, and share with one another is a function of, among many variables, one constant: whether we are in a state of grace such that the truth is the primary attribute of all that we see, smell, touch, and sense.

My own mouo since the 1990s:
E Veritate Potens
From Truth, We (the People) Are Made Powerful4

Truth is one of the core philosophical concepts most applicable to open-source everything.

...

Truth is the currency for collective consciousness, vital as a means of earning trust, which is itself a currency and a major factor in creating wealth within and among nations.

The philosophical reflections of many great thinkers help put the value and socio-cultural significance of "truth" in perspective. They frame the larger questions of who we are, how we wish to live, and how we relate to one another and to the challenges of our time. They also frame the role of truth in relation to the paranormal and the extraterrestrial, as well as the cosmic consciousness that could ultimately be where science, philosophy, religion, and ideally our individual existences become "One."


p. 118

In order for us to live within this finely balanced constellation of complex systems, in order for the Earth to show resilience and last for centuries into the future as an environment for human life, we have to embody three things: a respect for Earth systems and their details in balance; a commitment to discovering and sharing the truth and only the truth at all times about all things; and a commitment to doing no harm.

We have failed on all three counts since abandoning the wiser ways of our indigenous forerunners and falling into the abyss of empire, domination, and separation


p. 120

Complex whole systems are almost impossible to address functionally in the absence of intelligence and integrity.


p. 124

Resilience begins with a demand for and a commitment to the rigorous application of intelligence that is not restricted or deformed and can take all factors into account. Such a commitment to public intelligence requires an environment of open-source transparency in order to propagate itself.


p. 126

3. A multidisciplinary library of documented lessons from the past, drawn from all cultures, permits new generations to build on the hard-earned experience of our ancestors, minimizing expenditure of blood, treasure, or spirit.

...

Implicit in each of the above is the expectation that the current generation wants to leverage history, will respect history, and seeks to be responsible in relation to future generations. That is in fact not the case, and therefore "lost history" becomes the norm for many impoverished societies.

There exists both a vitality to history when learned and leveraged, and an often significant "opportunity cost" of failing to be responsible about understanding history.


p. 127

The second point, that "the only lasting revolution is in the mind of man," is one that our forefathers clearly appreciated.

The only lasting revolution is achieved through education, and ideally universal education including women and all minorities. Education is not a privilege, it is a necessity.

I like to point out that the only inexhaustible resource we have on Earth is the human brain.


p. 128

Put in another way, it is not possible to divine, discuss, or share the truth of the present without an appreciation for the truth of the past.

Not only do we need to delve deeply into the truth of the past, we must extend ourselves to embrace multiple truths from the past - multicultural truths and multi-class truths.


p. 133

In the context of humanity on Earth, there can be little doubt that religion and spirituality are forces that likely did not exist until ten thousand years ago . . .

[Edit: Religion, yes, Spirituality, no -- read Supernatural


p. 135-136

Before I go more deeply into the emergent convergence of science and religion and philosophy - the absolute heart or, in code terms, "root" for operating Spaceship Earth and restoring the consciousness of humanity - I want to focus very briefly on the human mind, heart, and soul (the scientific, the philosophical, and the spiritual), but in an agnostic sense.

Regardless of what religion we each mayor may not embrace, regardless of our level of sophistication in science or philosophy, we all share the blessings of being human, of being able to seek, sense, and share.

Transparency and truth, and their multiplicand, trust, are what allow the above human inclinations to yield enormous returns on investment of time and energy. It is the human mind, the human heart, the human soul that are at the root of all that we might call progressive (as well as all that we might call evil).

This Open-Source Everything Manifesto seeks to shift the power away from the one percent that exploit and diminish the ninety-nine percent, and back to that ninety-nine percent who are capable of creating a world that works for all.

This manifesto concludes with a model for public intelligence in the public interest and a model for informed participatory democracy, within which I will introduce both a strategic analytic model helpful to whole-systems or whole-Earth reflections and a concept for panarchic self-governance in which all citizens have access to the truth - all of the information critical to any subject, translated into any language, available all of the time.

It is apparent that truth - the combination of intelligence and integrity as well as transparency - is the foundation for both understanding and eradicating these threats, while moving as quickly as possible in the direction of what should be the human mantra toward the Earth and all species including our own: "First, Do No Harm."


p. 137

Integrity, in my view, starts with the individual human being and grows in a compounded manner from there. The citizen must be an "intelligence minuteman."

Reciprocal Maintenance

Reciprocal Maintenance
This law is defined in Tales. When His Endlessness (God) realises that his dwelling place, the Sun Absolute, is vulnerable to time, he creates the universe into which he expels time.

The Law of Reciprocal Maintenance (called by Beelzebub 'the Trogoautoegocrat') functions so that the universe is nourished by an exchange of substances, and this protects the Sun Absolute from the destructive results of time: i.e. change, decay and death.

The fundamental purpose for the existence of men and the other three-brained beings of the universe is to serve as apparatuses through which cosmic substances are transmuted for the purpose of reciprocal maintenance. Organic life, including human beings, was allowed to form on the Earth for the specific purpose of sending emanations to feed the Moon.
(Tales: 136-7, 775, 780-1; Anonymous, Guide and Index to Gurdjieff's All and Everything: Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson. Toronto: Traditional Studies Press. 1973: pps.630-633).

The Great Chain of Being

Excerpts from: Gurdjieff Work - The Fourth Way, Maurice Nicoll, Spiritual Transformation

In his talks, Gurdjieff gave a keen analysis of the modern dilema.

"There is a growth of personality at the cost of essence, that is, a growth of the artificial, the unreal and what is foreign, at the cost of the natural, the real and what is one's own. We see everywhere a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity of all kinds, and in life, we only see new divisions, new hostility, new misunderstandings. To avoid a complete disaster, it was necessary to achieve world harmony as soon as possible. It could not be achieved by politics, philosophy, religion or any organized movement that treated man in the mass. It could only be accomplished through the individual development of man. If enough individuals could develop themeselves, even partially, into genuine natural beings, each such individual would then be able to convince and win over as many as a hundred others who would, each in his turn, be able to influence another hundred and so on."

What Gurdjieff was saying was that everyone, like Atlas, would hold up, be reponsible for, their own world and thus the larger world.

"Man's possibilities are very great. You cannot even conceive a shadow of what man is capable of attaining. But nothing can be attained in sleep. In the consciousness of a sleeping man, his illusions and dreams are mixed with reality. He lives in a subjective world and he can never escape from it. And this is the reason why he can never make use of all the powers he possesses and why he lives in only a small part of himself."

Man, Gurdjieff taught, is an unfinished creation. He is not fully Man, considered as a cosmically unique being whose intelligence and power of action mirror the energies of the source of life itself. That the fate of the earth is somehow bound up with the possibility of the inner evolution of individual men and women resonates with the contemporary sense of impending planetary disaster.

How are human beings to change this state of affairs and begin drawing on the universal conscious energies which we are built to absorb but which now pass through us untransformed? How is humanity to assume its proper place in the great chain of being? It is necessary for individual men and women to awaken, to remember who they are, and then to become Who they really are, to live it in the service of truth. Without this awakening and this becoming, nothing else can help us. But it is very difficult. An extraordinary quality of help is needed. To this end, Gurdjieff created what has come to be calle The Work.

The work of self-observation acquires a completely new meaning as the developing attention lets go of its effort, joining and willingly submitting to a higher conscious seeing.  Through such experience, a man or woman can begin to come into contact with an ever-deepening sense of an inner need which allows an opening to a powerful conscious influence within oneself.

According to Gurdjieff, without a relationship to this more central aspect of oneself, everyday life is bound to be an existential prison, in which the individual is held captive, not so much by the so-called forces of modernity, as by the parts of the self that cannot help but react automatically to the influences of the world.  Read the Introduction to The Gurdjieff Work.

St. Theophan the Recluse

Gurdjieff articulated ancient wisdom to Western man. St. Theophan the Recluse, articulated this same wisdom in the first quarter of the 17th century while a monk at Mount Athos when he said, "Examine yourself to see whether you have within you a strong sense of your own self-importance, or negatively, whether you have failed to realize that you are nothing.

This feeling of self-importance is deeply hidden, but it controls the whole of our life. Its first demand is that everything should be as we wish it, and as soon as this is not so we complain to God and are annoyed with people.  The reason why we have wrong judgment of the things is that we do not look deeply into them to see what they are, but conceive a liking for them or a dislike of them from the very first glance, judging by appearances.   These likes and dislikes prejudice our mind and darken it; and so it cannot form right judgment of things as they really are.

So, my brother, if you wish to be free of this prelest (spiritual delusion) in your mind, keep strict attention over yourself; and when you see a thing with your eyes, or visualize it in your mind, keep a firm grip on your desires and do not allow yourself at the first glance either to conceive a liking for the thing or a dislike for it, but examine it in a detached way with the mind alone.

Unobscured by passion, the mind then remains in a state natural to it, which is free and pure, and has the possibility to know the truth and to penetrate into the depths of a thing, where evil is often concealed under a deceptively attractive exterior and where good is sometimes hidden under a bad appearance." Read Unseen Warfare.

. . .

The People of the Secret

History is not the equilibrant of chance and hazard. It does not just happen. The script for the long human story was written by intelligences much greater than man's own.

Certain gains and goals for mankind - and for the biosphere of Earth - must be attained within certain intervals of Earth time. These gains are essential for the balance and growth of the solar system of which the Earth is a part. The solar system may itself be subject to a similar pressure in the interest of the galaxy of which it is a part.

The direction, speed and end of this process is "the Will of God".

The Will of God is the aspiration of Divinity that the universal process shall proceed in a certain way to a certain end while leaving open the possibility that it may elect to proceed quite otherwise to quite else.

Very high intelligences direct the evolution of the universe in an attempt to ensure that the Divine aspiration shall be realized.

These intelligences are coercive in proportion as their material is unconscious. They are persuasive in proportion as their material is conscious.

The universe is a gradient of consciousness and on this gradient the earth occupies a low level. Its highest raw material is mankind. Mankind is collectively unconscious of the evolutionary process of which he is a part and he is subject therefore to determinism approaching a hundred per cent.

Even so, the direction imposed on mankind is only relatively coercive. Because of the high energies which are potential in him, man may not be compulsively directed. Means have to be employed which do not outrage the integrity of his potential nature.

This is achieved by arranging a bias in favour of those situations which contain developmental possibilities and by limiting man's opportunities for making involutionary choices.

About this line there may be marginal interplay of determinism and free will.

On the "present moment" of a man or a generation of men these pressures may appear both random and hostile.

Responsibility for this process on Earth lies with an Intelligence which has been called The Hidden Directorate. This may correspond to the level symbolized in occult legend as an Individual (e.g., "The Regent" or "The Ancient of Days", etc.). It is to be equated either with Demi-Urgic level or with the level immediately below.

No grounds exist for an opinion as to whether this Intelligence is, in any sense, comprehensible to man, a single or a composite Intelligence, or whether it is discarnate or corporeal.

Below this level, certain members of ordinary humanity, in whom qualitative changes have taken place, are in touch with the Directorate and may at intervals share its consciousness.

This group of advanced human individuals is what has been referred to as the Hidden Executive. It is the reality behind all legends of "masters" and "initiates" from earliest historical times to the present.

The Executive of the People of the Secret

From: The People of the Secret

Summing Up

The time has come to sum up.

To those who claim logic as the highest principle, the material we have collected will be wholly unconvincing. It will appear no more than special pleading and proof by selected instances.

Yet logic at its limits can demonstrate no more than the consistency or otherwise of a closed system. Plato's firelit cave is a closed system and its prisoners find logic adequate to explain all that they experience. No logic can trigger off the intuitive leap which would suggest to them the existence of a reality greater than their world of flickering shadows. And shadows may be thrown by neon lights no less than by cave fires.

To those predisposed to occultism, all that we have tried to bring forward will probably confirm existing subjective preferences. It may also, most regrettably, provide material for developing others.

But there may be readers less decisively committed; readers prepared to try and extrapolate from logic.

They may feel that the material collected here suggests a wholly unsuspected viewpoint; a framework within which the scientist and the priest may sit in peace together: a universe in which freewill and determinism can coexist.

With rashness both unpardonable and unavoidable we suggest the following tentative conclusions.

History is not the equilibrant of chance and hazard. It does not just happen. The script for the long human story was written by intelligences much greater than man's own.

Certain gains and goals for mankind - and for the biosphere of Earth - must be attained within certain intervals of Earth time. These gains are essential for the balance and growth of the solar system of which the Earth is a part. The solar system may itself be subject to a similar pressure in the interest of the galaxy of which it is a part.

The Will of God

The direction, speed and end of this process is "the Will of God".

The Will of God is the aspiration of Divinity that the universal process shall proceed in a certain way to a certain end while leaving open the possibility that it may elect to proceed quite otherwise to quite else.

Very high intelligences direct the evolution of the universe in an attempt to ensure that the Divine aspiration shall be realized.

These intelligences are coercive in proportion as their material is unconscious. They are persuasive in proportion as their material is conscious.

The universe is a gradient of consciousness and on this gradient the earth occupies a low level. Its highest raw material is mankind. Mankind is collectively unconscious of the evolutionary process of which he is a part and he is subject therefore to determinism approaching a hundred per cent.

Even so, the direction imposed on mankind is only relatively coercive. Because of the high energies which are potential in him, man may not be compulsively directed. Means have to be employed which do not outrage the integrity of his potential nature.

This is achieved by arranging a bias in favour of those situations which contain developmental possibilities and by limiting man's opportunities for making involutionary choices.

About this line there may be marginal interplay of determinism and free will.

On the "present moment" of a man or a generation of men these pressures may appear both random and hostile.

Responsibility for this process on Earth lies with an Intelligence which has been called The Hidden Directorate. This may correspond to the level symbolized in occult legend as an Individual (e.g., "The Regent" or "The Ancient of Days", etc.). It is to be equated either with Demi-Urgic level or with the level immediately below.

No grounds exist for an opinion as to whether this Intelligence is, in any sense, comprehensible to man, a single or a composite Intelligence, or whether it is discarnate or corporeal.

The "Powerhouse"

Below this level, certain members of ordinary humanity, in whom qualitative changes have taken place, are in touch with the Directorate and may at intervals share its consciousness.

This group of advanced human individuals is what has been referred to as the Hidden Executive. It is the reality behind all legends of "masters" and "initiates" from earliest historical times to the present.

There may be several Centres on earth from which the Executive operates, corresponding to the division of responsibility for humanity assigned before the Withdrawal of 12,000 years ago.

One such Centre is - or was - in Afghanistan and corresponds to the legend of the Markaz ("Powerhouse"). There may be other Centres corresponding to various ethnic groups.

The Executive works to implement the overall plan of the Directorate. This activity is at extra-sensory level.

The Executive also operates at the level of ordinary life through a descending order of initiated subordinates. These take part in the ordinary life of nations and are almost wholly, but not quite, unsuspected. These are the Secret People.

Those active within ordinary life have been known by many names at various periods of history - and pre-history. Those under a chain of command from the Afghanistan Centre have been known as Sufis.

Side by side with action on humanity-in-the-mass, the Executive and its subordinates are concerned with local attempts to raise the conscious level of individual men exceptionally.

Such specially selected ordinary individuals may aspire to qualify for participation in the work of the Executive. The process by which they may so qualify is the Magnum Opus the "Great Work". This is equivalent to a vertical ascent to a higher level as opposed to a gradual rise with the evolutionary tide.

Opportunities through which ordinary men who have "begun to suspect" may qualify to enlist in The Great Work are never wholly absent at any time in history, but in terms of the Earth's time-scale, they occur irregularly. Such occasions are related to extra-terrestrial events and these events are not at the discretion even of the Directorate.

An "Occasion"

When "the solar wind blows", a major operation of soul-making is begun by the Directorate. As a result, a relatively large number of human individuals may complete a significant part of The Great Work in a single generation. A small number may reach completion. Both categories will serve the evolutionary process of mankind thereafter, but their post-mortem situations may be different.

Knowledge of such matters has never at any time in history been absent, but it has always been available in the form of allegory, never explicitly. Many of the Greek myths are allegorical descriptions of sequences in the Magnum Opus. In recent historical times, corresponding to the development of intellect, suggestions have become increasingly explicit. They have probably never been more explicit than at the present time. This may suggest that the end of a major era is envisaged.

There are indications that an "Occasion" is currently developing and that its possibilities are being focused chiefly in the West. It is not possible to conjecture whether this is a major or a relatively minor event. It seems safe to assert that it exists.

If this is so, and if it is true that information about these matters is now explicit, it may be objected that it is hardly explicit enough to indicate a line of action to those who might be ready to respond.

It may be that matters will never be more explicit than they are and that a successful search for a Source is - and always has been - the minimum price of admission.

Sense & Significance

Discovering/understanding/adapting/evolving from:

Unconscious Procreation → to: Conscious Procreation

is the sense and significance of human life in particular.



Thumbnail Introductions

Prev Next Page:

Sense and Significance

Sense and Significance

  Sense and Significance     by: Tony Lutz Gurdjieff's Lifelong Question What is the sense and significance of life on Earth, Click for footnote ¹    [1] “What is the sense and significance of life on Earth,    and human life in particular?”      (a typical "answer" is given below ↓) Excerpts from: The Gurdjieff Studies Program - G.I. Gurdjieff      At an early age he awakened to a profound experience of the "whole sensation" of himself, a deep, dimensional self-remembering that became the foundation of his Being. Thus at an early age, Gurdjieff had already realized a high degree of being.      Experiencing wars and descrution, and the mindless mechanicality of man who he saw...

Read more

Who Was Gurdjieff?

Who Was Gurdjieff?

Introduction Contents   Who Was Gurdjieff?   Introduction Below are (10) reports on and about G.I. Gurdjieff, ranging from 'hero worship' by various indoctrinated students of the Fourth Way to 'myth busting' accounts by people not within the Gurdjieff-followers community. Gurdjieff's personal story about his father (chapter 2 of Meetings with Remarkable Men) is also reprinted here. Contents Introduction   Gurdjieff's Biography | From: Gurdjieff Club   Who is G.I. Gurdjieff? | From: Gurdjieff Foundation of Austin   Gurdjieff – The Man and the Literature by James Moore   Black Sheep Philosophers: Gurdjieff – Ouspensky – Orage  From: Gurdjieff International Review | by Gorham Munson   The Incomparable Mr. G. | From: selfdefinition.org   The Sufi Conspiracy | From: Conspiracy School Scratch a Magus, Find a...

Read more

Gurdjieff, Beelzebub, and Zecharia Sitchin

Gurdjieff, Beelzebub, and Zecharia Sitchin

  Gurdjieff, Beelzebub, and Zecharia Sitchin       From: Dark Star For a couple of years between 1999 and 2001 I was part of a private and informal online group of researchers from around the world engaged in study of the so-called “secret history” of the human race. This involved looking into ancient scriptures and texts from Sanskrit, Sumerian, and Hebrew sources amongst other things.

Read more