Author Topic: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff  (Read 4797 times)

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #90 on: January 16, 2018, 03:10:38 pm »
I'm not sure I follow the question..?

LuciferX

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #91 on: January 18, 2018, 03:16:18 am »
Me too. It was late. I suppose I was fishing for Gurdjieff's stance on the "question" of the immortal thingie. I don't really know his work at all; still I figured he'd be one that understood the value of the question to be above any teaching of its answer. Beyond the anxiety that riddles my monkey when having to parse such questions, I do find myself in fear of derailing the thread (a general condition of mine). I did like distinction offered between selves personal and essential, though I perdure in being unable to suffer the semantics of essence(s) over experience. This clarification is more considered than I thought it would be (not ever intending disrespect, just crazy stressed by various monkey business things that "essentially" only allow me to concentrate for a moment when I can excuse myself)
[*Lu, having difficulty UN-depressing the irony button, starts bashing it with huge bags of empty fucks*]
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Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #92 on: January 18, 2018, 04:24:47 pm »
 :lol: sorry I am still having trouble parsing what you're asking?


LuciferX

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #93 on: January 18, 2018, 10:57:07 pm »
I think I was looking for this:
>>"Immortality is one of the qualities we ascribe to people without having a sufficient understanding of their meaning,"
—Gurdijeff
Hic Salta?
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Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #94 on: February 15, 2018, 03:41:35 pm »
In our group, we've been talking about the Black Iron Prison. (They don't use the "black iron" part, but it's defintiely the same idea.)

Our automatism takes over our lives. We need habits and schemas and heuristics, but we get stuck in them like machines.

Through dilligent and continual self-observation, we can develop an internal "watcher" who can notice when we have slipped into our mechanical routines.

When you notice yourself acting mechanically, that in itself is a type of freedom (or a sign post pointing towards it). When you observe the Robot, the part of you making the observation is not the Robot. If only we could remember that part of ourselves all the time...


There are practical things you can do, physically, which help you develop this watcher. The body and mind and emotions are tightly linked. Your postures and habits always seem to lead you back to your normal automatic way of being. You might try to be different from how you are today, but then you fall into a habit (smoking a cigarette, answering the phone, whatever) and suddenly the Robot is driving again. So maybe there are postures and movements which the robot cannot do. If we experiment with them, perhaps we can find a new way of thinking, feeling, being.




I'm reading this James Moore biography of Gurdjieff. He keeps invoking this image of the Yazidi children who Gurdjieff played with when he was growing up. The Yazidi are thought of as devil worshippers. If you draw a circle of salt around a Yazidi, they won't be able to get out of it.

Gurdjieff's role as a teacher was to disturb the circle of salt that people draw around themselves.

For example, the Hartmanns came from an upper class background, approached Gurdjieff at the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Gurdjieff school was about to embark on a terrible and dangerous journey through the wilderness, ultimately passing through the front lines of the war five times before they found respite. A weak person would not survive. The Hartmanns wanted to join G, but he knew their status and propriety would be an enormous burden. So he began breaking them out of this circle of salt.

Gurdjieff, the sly man, lured the Hartmanns in by presenting himself as a wealthy prince, someone like them - but when they made the journey to meet him, he adopted the mannerisms of a pauper, made them stay in a hovel, and eat cheap food. (this, btw, was also an act)

When they were about to leave, Gurdjieff told Olga de Hartmann - "You won't be able to come with us. For money, we'll be getting jobs as rock breakers on the road. It's enormously hard work. At the end of the day, the women have to wash the men's feet, and Zaharoff's feet will be very smelly, so you won't be able to do it."

This puts Olga in the position of insisting that she can do it, this won't be an issue --  because this assertion comes from her, it is stronger and worth more than if somebody else told her she could do it. Gurdjieff had to shock her, tease out her strength, make her choose for herself to shed her status and ego. And then, she was ready to become.



that sly man
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 03:57:03 pm by Cramulus »

Ziegejunge

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #95 on: February 15, 2018, 10:45:12 pm »
At risk of being redundant, thank you again for this thread and for sharing your Gurdjieffian experiences with us!

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #96 on: February 19, 2018, 06:17:00 pm »
In our group, we've been talking about the Black Iron Prison. (They don't use the "black iron" part, but it's defintiely the same idea.)

Our automatism takes over our lives. We need habits and schemas and heuristics, but we get stuck in them like machines.

Through dilligent and continual self-observation, we can develop an internal "watcher" who can notice when we have slipped into our mechanical routines.

When you notice yourself acting mechanically, that in itself is a type of freedom (or a sign post pointing towards it). When you observe the Robot, the part of you making the observation is not the Robot. If only we could remember that part of ourselves all the time...


There are practical things you can do, physically, which help you develop this watcher. The body and mind and emotions are tightly linked. Your postures and habits always seem to lead you back to your normal automatic way of being. You might try to be different from how you are today, but then you fall into a habit (smoking a cigarette, answering the phone, whatever) and suddenly the Robot is driving again. So maybe there are postures and movements which the robot cannot do. If we experiment with them, perhaps we can find a new way of thinking, feeling, being.

This got me thinking about the behavioral tendencies of those who always seem to counter the status quo and the natural order of things, and how they connect to the brain.

I'm sure we all remember that kid from grade-school that wouldn't keep still. He/she's always rocking back and forth in their chair, tapping their feet, tapping their pencil on the desk, tilting the desk back and forth, etc. They were often clumsy, and would occasionally tilt their chair back too far and eat shit in front of the whole class. And on the other end of the spectrum, we all remember that person who was almost pathologically consistent and precise with their movements. They didn't move unless they had to, and when they did, they tried to make sure it was quiet and unnoticeable. Each action was often completely calculated.

These behavioral tendencies represent the opposing sides of the awareness/consciousness scale from a neurological standpoint.

The kid who can't stop moving is often described as the kid with ADHD. More complex disorder symptom presentations exist, of course, but for the sake of simplicity and concision, this will suffice.

The kid who calculates all of their decisions and movements could potentially have some sort of OCD or anxiety disorder.

Each of these disorders is involved with the relationship between the Basal Ganglia, which is an important set of brain structures that are essential for the Reward Center of the brain, and the Prefrontal Cortex, which is responsible for establishment of memory, as well as conscious awareness and lucidity. It's theorized that focus and attention manifest as a result of a reverberating feedback loop between these two brain structures, and that dysfunction of this circuit results in disorders like those described above.

When the Basal Ganglia is active, but requires higher-order processing for executive function, it triggers activation of the Prefrontal Cortex. Here, information is processed and stored for later retrieval in the form of consequence cognition, and other information required for conscious decision-making. When the prefrontal cortex is finished, it sends a "cool, message received and handled, now fuck off" message back to the Basal Ganglia, reducing its overall activity to prepare it for the firing it will need to re-activate the prefrontal cortex in the future. For the kid with ADHD, this relationship is weak. The Basal Ganglia's signals aren't strong enough to trigger or maintain activation of the prefrontal cortex effectively, reducing the amount of information that is stored for executive functioning and memory, and reducing the person's overall awareness. The brain, which requires this relationship's success to function properly, craves dopaminergic release in the Basal Ganglia to strengthen the bond between the two structures, since they mainly communicate with Dopaminergic circuits. This is achieved with self-medication using stimulants, or with the excess physical activity we've been observing, since motor control in the brain is also regulated largely with Dopamine. This habitual, excessive physical activity acts as an anchor for consciousness and awareness, and demonstrates precisely what you were describing above. Without it, the ADHDer remains a slave to habitual monotony.

The person with calculated decisions has the exact opposite problem. Their Basal Ganglia is suppressed by excessive activation of the prefrontal cortex, and that "fuck off" message that gets sent as a response. They lack the ability to form the habits that allow them to go on autopilot, placing them in a state of constant awareness. Minor details, like their movements and physical actions, get hyper-analyzed and the person loses the ability to naturally focus on the important details in their current situation. The mind's reaction to this is the ability to multitask constantly, which overloads and exhausts the person, leaving them unwilling to go out of their comfort zone.

Most people who don't have pathologies are somewhere in between these two points on the awareness scale in terms of behavior and cognition. Developing a method for intentional, and productive (As opposed to habitual) awareness should likely be based on the neurological circuit behavior of the person who intends to change. For the person who is often too aware, the solution may be scheduling a simple set of actions to take regularly (Either every day, or every couple hours) that require little effort and attention, to allow for the prefrontal cortex to take a break from processing menial tasks once the scheduled task has become habitual. Otherwise, it may be applicable to take a GABA-A receptor agonist, like Valerian Root in order to calm the prefrontal cortex and allow for productive awareness when it's intended, and not at all times.

For the person who is often less aware, the solution could require stimulants to fix the imbalance, or similar actions to the ones you've described previously regarding leaving yourself triggers for momentary consciousness. It could also be assisted with the ADHDer's natural supplement: Excessive physical activity. Make it a point to tap your fingers or feet on something to anchor yourself to your surroundings and environment and trigger awareness. But be sure to avoid consistent timing and activity patterns, so as to prevent it from becoming a habit. As you mentioned before, the moment you perform something habitual, you put yourself at risk of losing your awareness.


I'm reading this James Moore biography of Gurdjieff. He keeps invoking this image of the Yazidi children who Gurdjieff played with when he was growing up. The Yazidi are thought of as devil worshippers. If you draw a circle of salt around a Yazidi, they won't be able to get out of it.

Gurdjieff's role as a teacher was to disturb the circle of salt that people draw around themselves.

For example, the Hartmanns came from an upper class background, approached Gurdjieff at the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Gurdjieff school was about to embark on a terrible and dangerous journey through the wilderness, ultimately passing through the front lines of the war five times before they found respite. A weak person would not survive. The Hartmanns wanted to join G, but he knew their status and propriety would be an enormous burden. So he began breaking them out of this circle of salt.

Gurdjieff, the sly man, lured the Hartmanns in by presenting himself as a wealthy prince, someone like them - but when they made the journey to meet him, he adopted the mannerisms of a pauper, made them stay in a hovel, and eat cheap food. (this, btw, was also an act)

When they were about to leave, Gurdjieff told Olga de Hartmann - "You won't be able to come with us. For money, we'll be getting jobs as rock breakers on the road. It's enormously hard work. At the end of the day, the women have to wash the men's feet, and Zaharoff's feet will be very smelly, so you won't be able to do it."

This puts Olga in the position of insisting that she can do it, this won't be an issue --  because this assertion comes from her, it is stronger and worth more than if somebody else told her she could do it. Gurdjieff had to shock her, tease out her strength, make her choose for herself to shed her status and ego. And then, she was ready to become.



that sly man

Very clever indeed. I'm building quite a bit of respect for Gurdjieff, even through indirect, interpreted understanding.
Listen carefully. I don't have much time, and I only have 462 characters left. I'm a scientist from Area 52 (Area 51 was used to draw attention from Area 52, where the aliens were ACTUALLY stored) who was working on neural interfacing with networked devices. In an experiment gone wrong, I accidentally uploaded my mind to the internet. In the 2 seconds I had before my mind scrambled itself with the world's network traffic, I was able to store this snippet in this random internet signature. If you're reading this, let the world know tha