Author Topic: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff  (Read 4149 times)

Fin

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #75 on: January 03, 2018, 05:07:00 am »


Like, there's a whole chapter about the alchemical processes going on inside of us, how consciousness requires a certain kind of food, and this food is created by processing other types of food, such as impressions. And I don't think any of it is true in a material sense. First time I read it, I tossed it. He claims that self-remembering builds up a definite kind of energy inside of you, and this energy fuels certain processes that are otherwise frozen. He explains it all in extremely material terms. And I thought - yeah, all of this could be easily disproven. But you know... talking about presence and awareness as something like a muscle that you develop... Talking about how you need new impressions to have new thoughts, how your being can be hungry, how impressions become behaviors through this quasi-metabolic process... there's some meat there, if understood abstractly.

It comes back to something I've been saying recently - that religions are maybe not best understood as a literal explanation for how the universe works... They should be approached as a network of symbols which correlate to how things in the world (the external and the internal) are arranged. By understanding that there's a relationship between the big macro universe and the personal microcosm, the next step is to embark on a quest (like the quest to find the holy grail) to find patterns which exist
                                                                                                     I too feel there is some real alchemical meat there to be digested. It's only abstract when we talk about it .  It's nitty-gritty when you feel and see it happening.
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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #76 on: January 03, 2018, 06:05:49 am »
Like you, I entered a work group through attending a public reading. It was a chapter from a short Ouspensky book.  Afterwards the speaker said that the most important idea to him was though "We have none presently, we do have the possibility  of creating a soul which can be immortal within the confines of the Solar System" I threw up in my mouth hearing that.  At that point in my still young life, my years of lucid-dreaming had turned into full-blown out-of-body experiences. And if a moron like me was directly experiencing his non-physical body, then EVERYONE had to have one. In other words, it's an innate thing for every single person. Not something that needs to be created. Nothing unique. Nothing mystical. It just is. Folks might not be consciously experiencing it, but it is there as a core part of every single human being. ( 'fore I go on. I am nobody special. I am a statistic. A strange statistic yeah, but still an idiot. Like you)  I have since found out, that at least in the S.F. Gurdjieff Foundation, that fucked-up idea that you need to "form a soul", a non-physical body, is dogma. Well cupcake, if you believe you can't consciously leave your physical body and explore non-physical reality, you will never do it consciously. Because if you don't think it's possible, you will never pay attention to it. You are already doing it every fucking night anyway. Unconsciously. You just need to remember that you are actually doing it. In the present moment that you are actually doing it. It's not that hard to become aware of. Takes some practice. And you do need to be able to pay attention. But still. C'mon! You're not a little baby anymore! Am I right? You can do it! ( I'm ranting 'cuz I'm pissed) Fuck you Gurdjieff fuck-heads for saying it's only advanced holy beings that have immortal vehicles. I'm living proof of that. If I'm an example of an advanced being, then honey we are all fucked. Granted, your soul might be at  the level of a petulant 5 year old, but you are still an immortal being that will never truly die. You might need to grow the fuck up, but fellow immortal, I salute you!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 06:33:34 am by Finn »
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Fin

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #77 on: January 03, 2018, 06:28:52 am »
Another Gurdjiffian notion I find to be (mostly) bullshit is the necessity of making "super efforts" to effect change. It's true, there are circumstances that arise where you do need to amp up things as high as they can go, to really force the juice along. Yet in my life what's been way more important is consistent on-going effort. The "pay attention and stay awake" game requires a deeply relaxed  yet focused attention.  Instead of using a sledge hammer to vanish a rock "Hulk go Smash!"  I favor the wind & water way. Steady relaxed focused attention. Wind & water over time will smooth down that stone  into nothing. You have to be patient and not expect immediate results. But steady relaxed effort bears fruit.  Super-efforts mostly create tension which can cramp attention. Yet there are times to amp it way up. Nothing is written in stone.
"Fuck off and die in a car accident or something"  Dr. Howl

St Accelerated Evolution

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #78 on: January 03, 2018, 06:30:22 am »
In Search Of The Miraculous is a great book, gotta crack it open. It's been a while since I read that, I finished my tenth read of Beelzebub.... about two months ago 
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Fin

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #79 on: January 03, 2018, 06:39:49 am »
Tell me something you've got from Beelzebub. If you have a mind to.
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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #80 on: January 03, 2018, 08:19:58 am »
Tell me something you've got from Beelzebub. If you have a mind to.

Me personally?

Well, there are a lot of things but the epic size of it and density between the message, the allegory, the real life aspects (expanded on in later books) and so forth, make it a book that takes so long to make sense of but I don't claim to have or haven't.

The opening soliloquy "Arousing of thought", to me gets at the essence of the experience of life as an individual, and the daily distractions we face.

The massive scifi story backdrop is fun, which is another aspect that draws me back.

The last few hundred pages tend to really break the guise a little, which intrigues me a lot. As it becomes moreso Gurdjieff himself talking to the reader then Beelzebub.

From my perspective, the first chapter instills the essence of Gurdjieff's philosophy, the book as a whole being more of a primer into the rest of his work + The Fourth Way. But the thing that has made me come back so many times, is that it is simply a really unique experience to read and feels like a different story each time (in some sense  :wink: ) - (I would add that I have never read the entire thing back to back [god forbid] and it always takes me a while to get through it) Would it be not to wrong to say it is his most challenging book, reading-wise?  :horrormirth:

As I (think) I've said before, I'm not a Gurdjieffian but I love reading his books (and music)

"I wish I had cosmic Jesus' cool spaceship"

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Fin

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2018, 08:28:59 am »
Shit Man... You told me nothing.  For reading it ten times?  That's all y'all got?
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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #82 on: January 03, 2018, 08:43:17 am »
If you have a mind to.

Precisely my point, I don't choose to. My mind is in other places at the moment, I'm just snooping around this thread in the meantime. Don't mind me pal  :lulz:
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Fin

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #83 on: January 03, 2018, 09:00:55 am »
Uh...O.K. I was just hoping that after having read Beelzebub ten times you might could offer some insight into it. You know...reveal a hidden gem you uncovered. Maybe after the eleventh time you read it? Only if you're not too tired and care to share of course.
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Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #84 on: January 03, 2018, 02:39:57 pm »
Like you, I entered a work group through attending a public reading. It was a chapter from a short Ouspensky book.  Afterwards the speaker said that the most important idea to him was though "We have none presently, we do have the possibility  of creating a soul which can be immortal within the confines of the Solar System" I threw up in my mouth hearing that.  At that point in my still young life, my years of lucid-dreaming had turned into full-blown out-of-body experiences. And if a moron like me was directly experiencing his non-physical body, then EVERYONE had to have one. In other words, it's an innate thing for every single person. Not something that needs to be created. Nothing unique. Nothing mystical. It just is. Folks might not be consciously experiencing it, but it is there as a core part of every single human being. ( 'fore I go on. I am nobody special. I am a statistic. A strange statistic yeah, but still an idiot. Like you)  I have since found out, that at least in the S.F. Gurdjieff Foundation, that fucked-up idea that you need to "form a soul", a non-physical body, is dogma. Well cupcake, if you believe you can't consciously leave your physical body and explore non-physical reality, you will never do it consciously. Because if you don't think it's possible, you will never pay attention to it. You are already doing it every fucking night anyway. Unconsciously. You just need to remember that you are actually doing it. In the present moment that you are actually doing it. It's not that hard to become aware of. Takes some practice. And you do need to be able to pay attention. But still. C'mon! You're not a little baby anymore! Am I right? You can do it! ( I'm ranting 'cuz I'm pissed) Fuck you Gurdjieff fuck-heads for saying it's only advanced holy beings that have immortal vehicles. I'm living proof of that. If I'm an example of an advanced being, then honey we are all fucked. Granted, your soul might be at  the level of a petulant 5 year old, but you are still an immortal being that will never truly die. You might need to grow the fuck up, but fellow immortal, I salute you!


Thanks for the reply, a great discussion point.

My Gurdjieff work group always emphasizes that you shouldn't blindly believe stuff that you haven't verified yourself. I'll frequently bring up some far-out star-eyed claim in some book, and they'll be like "Okay, that stuff is really hard to talk about." Several times, I've brought up something like the vagueness of the word Energy, the unfalsifiability of claims relating to immortality, stuff like that --- and frankly, most of my objections are about their claims about objectivity, objective consciousness, objective meaning. I've spent decades of my life in a postmodern absurdist reality tunnel, and this work predates those ideas, so some of them just don't have a house in my existant mental landscape. Generally, the Gurdjieff people will tell me:

"Don't sweat it too hard. Those of us that have been talking about this stuff for decades, we rarely talk about the "big cosmic stuff", it's a little harder to relate to. Most of us are drawn to certain parts of the work because they resonate with us. Gurdjieff wrote a lot of stuff, not all of it is going to be right for you. When he had a big idea, he tried to build a lot of different roads to it."

And I'm down with that, to a degree -- I'm not here for immortality, I'm here to wake up, to escape the mediocrity of my life. In the 1900s, there was a lot of talk about seances and the "other side", and Gurdjieff kind of needed to put a paw down into that topical world--but it's really not the focus of his work, nor my goal personally.

So -- all that is saying, I haven't gotten tooooo deep into that part of the pool.


On the topic of the immortal soul, I'll say this ---

1. The Gurdjieff work regards a part of us as immortal already. This is atman, in the Upanishads. It's Emerson's Over-Soul. It is fundamentally distinct from ego and personality.

2. I dig the part in in search of the miraculous where someone asks about immortality and Gurdjieff tells them, look, you change every frickin day. There is nothing constant about you other than your environment. If something big happened in your life, you'd become a different person. If something as big as death happened, whatever part of you remains is also going to be dramatically changed by it. If You (Today) met You (Dead), you might not even recognize each other.

3. If you're talking about immortality in the sense of your ego, your personality surviving death ... that's probably not gonna work out.

4. When Gurdjieff writes about immortality, I think it's best read it non-literally. Every passage I've read about immortality can scan as talking about something pretty ordinary and terrestrial. He basically says that if you were a really strong presence in the world, you might continue to affect it even after you're gone. In my reading of the text, I think he's talking about how, today, we are still influenced by Ghandi and Elvis and Gurdjieff even though they have been dead for a long time. When they were alive, they affected the world so much that parts of them remain and essentially continue to function. That kind of immortality, for sure, is earned--not everybody gets one. And there's nothing mystical about it.


And I'll be honest, I'm skeptical of astral projection. I don't doubt that you've had experiences, I just am not clear on what they are or what they tell us about the world. Do you think the astral body you project is the same thing as Gurdjieff refers to as the immortal (kesdjan) body? Does astral projection give you knowledge of those that have already died physical deaths, an understanding of that world? How do you know that you're not just in a trance of heightened imagination? How confident are you that your astral-body is will still be around after physical death? and not just yours, but everybody's? In what sense are they still part of the world, given that it doesn't seem like they do anything that we can notice?



thank you for the thoughtful post!

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #85 on: January 03, 2018, 02:59:00 pm »
Another Gurdjiffian notion I find to be (mostly) bullshit is the necessity of making "super efforts" to effect change. It's true, there are circumstances that arise where you do need to amp up things as high as they can go, to really force the juice along. Yet in my life what's been way more important is consistent on-going effort. The "pay attention and stay awake" game requires a deeply relaxed  yet focused attention.  Instead of using a sledge hammer to vanish a rock "Hulk go Smash!"  I favor the wind & water way. Steady relaxed focused attention. Wind & water over time will smooth down that stone  into nothing. You have to be patient and not expect immediate results. But steady relaxed effort bears fruit.  Super-efforts mostly create tension which can cramp attention. Yet there are times to amp it way up. Nothing is written in stone.

I've really only read one or two chapters that talk about super efforts, so I'm not real savvy. And I'm grounded in wu-wei, so I get what you mean. Go with the flow, and yo often get there without wasting your breath.

Here's how I read it though -- there are a lot of things that you cannot accomplish through ordinary efforts. I think about some of the major life changes I've made, some of the moments when I really stopped and took an assessment of who I was and what I wanted to be and corrected my course --- in those moments, I was really awake. And none of those moments happened under ordinary circumstances, they happened because I was facing an enormous pressure and needed an enormous response.

The Wu-Wei thinking from Taoism is that you should be able to approach these "super-efforts" head on. Ideally, you should make life changes as effortlessly as you order a pizza. In the Chao Te Ching, we said "Universe isn't sweaty, why should you be?" Sometimes, you do have to go into the crucible. You just want to walk out okay, not all wounded and burned, self sabotagued by doubt and insecurity.


I think about how the work groups which Gurdjieff led would engage in fasting, or the Stop exercise, or demand other hardships from their members. On some level it's a literal exercise--you face a hardship on purpose in order to develop "muscles". If you have no practice using your will, fasting is hard. Your body keeps throwing "go get some food" instructions into the processor. Without will, you just follow those instructions mechanically.


tl;dr:
Mastering the self, controlling your impulses, escaping your prison cell... you get better at it with practice. And you get more practice by climbing a difficult mountain than from a lifetime of climbing easy hills.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 03:01:59 pm by Cramulus »

Fin

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #86 on: January 04, 2018, 01:31:01 am »



And I'll be honest, I'm skeptical of astral projection. I don't doubt that you've had experiences, I just am not clear on what they are or what they tell us about the world. Do you think the astral body you project is the same thing as Gurdjieff refers to as the immortal (kesdjan) body? Does astral projection give you knowledge of those that have already died physical deaths, an understanding of that world? How do you know that you're not just in a trance of heightened imagination? How confident are you that your astral-body is will still be around after physical death? and not just yours, but everybody's? In what sense are they still part of the world, given that it doesn't seem like they do anything that we can notice?



thank you for the thoughtful post!
                                                                                                     You should be skeptical. (,can't stand the phrase "astral projection"  though. Too occulty for me)  Nobody should believe what I've written in that post.  You'd have too see for yourself, repeatedly verify it within your own experience  to think I'm not delusional. Me, I didn't go looking for it at first  It happened on it's own. I began to try to voluntary initiate it happening. Basically by remaining alert and watchful as my body fell asleep. When my body was so relaxed I couldn't even feel it any more I would try initiating movement.  If I succeeded at that, the game became to see how much attention I could pay, to amp up my presence. You ask very good questions, like how do I know it's not a trance state. Basically,  my own conscious awareness is equal to or greater than my own everyday physical awareness ( as little or as much as that may be) I was as awake just as I am in daily life, the same sense of self, the same ordinary me. Except I'm in a different environment  (usually) and... I can fly.  It's different from lucid dreaming . With that there's still the feeling of "dream". With this other thing, there is no feeling of dream. You are as awake as much as you are in ordinary life (however much that is for you)  It's hard to explain. After decades of this, I became a member of a small group where we would verify the experience. An example: I took a nap. Went to a group members house ( in another state ) Saw and heard her talking to someone she called Suzie. When I got up from my nap, I emailed her and described what I heard and saw. She said her daugher-in-law was visiting her. Suzie. I had no knowledge of her name or that she existed. We all did these kind of verifications. Eventually you go "fuck it, this is boring verifying shit.  Let's explore!"  So basically my answer is: if that non-physical reality is an illusion, then ( for me)  so is this physical reality. Because the sense of realness is equal for me.  I'll answer yer other questions later, frustrating though my answers might be.  Gotta do some things.  Don't believe any of this. I wouldn't respect you if you did.  And hey! Maybe I'm completely  bullshitting you! You have no way to tell. It's text on a screen.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 01:33:59 am by Finn »
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Fin

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #87 on: January 04, 2018, 05:17:49 am »
Do I feel that I'm exploring the afterlife? Yes. (Or as I choose to call it: more life )  Want a little map? Makes a weird story.  The afterlife is a whole lotta real estate. Immediately out, there are the Belief System Territories.  Any specific belief has it's own piece of non-physical real estate. No matter how beautiful the belief,  each  belief territory is a trap, a static stuck place. That can only be escaped from once a crack in your belief in that place occurs.  These places are to be avoided. Believe in a specific heaven? Great! You'll go there. And be stuck. Maybe for a very very very long time. My interests lie outside of the Belief Systems. That's where I hang. There's higher realms past  where I can access, but I am quite dense as I am now. Too much load. Gotta lighten up quite a bit more. Too heavy as I am . Damn, this sounds fricking nutso, donut? The most important spot for all of us is...here. Physical reality. Having the Human Experience. There is stuff available here that exists nowhere else. That has incredible value, here and elsewhere. Yes, some things you can take with you. Like a sense of humour, a sense of having fun. You have no idea how valuable those things are in the "after-life".  Incredibly valuable. So why bother accessing "more life" if we are already in the most important place we can be, the Human Place? Well....you lose the fear of death for one thing. That really takes a certain edge off of things. Not that I don't fear the potential process. Pain & suffering etc. But not the outcome... I completely understand if y'all think I'm insane. I'm fine with that. I rarely talk about this shit.  And will not mention it again. Frankly, it's kinda boring for me to talk about. Oh, but back to Gurdjieff terminology. Does your personality survive death? No. Your essential self does. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 05:23:20 am by Finn »
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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #88 on: January 11, 2018, 06:14:10 am »
For  short time, before I moved to the West Coast, I was in a group on the other coast. The teacher had a sense of humour, was spontaneous...unlike many I've met. (Damn, lot of stiff folk in any belief-system!)  I loved his presence.  Kind & full of laughter and enjoyment. His teacher was still alive and had been a student of the Dude Himself. I worked in a group on the West Coast until that teacher died.  All in All, maybe.. 8, 9 years total in the formal "Work". I was a short-timer. For a decade I was an associate of someone who the Foundation dislikes. He published a hoax Gurdjieffian book called "Secret Talks with Mr. G.", including hilarious  photos of my friend dressed up as Gurdjieff. He and I are intertwined in a way that's difficult to explain.  He did use the notions in a practical way and had recieved teachings from several of G's core students.  But I see my friend more as an artist and a showman than a spiritual teacher. Which is how I can identify with him and remain close....I'm not a "Gurdjiffian", just like I'm not a "Buddhist" or a "Discordian".  There is a category  I might apply to myself and reveal if I was under torture but that's private and Ain't Nobody's Fucking Business but Mine. (As the song goes)  'scuse for mucking up your thread. You probably know more about Fourth Way stuff than I do at this point. I was in it for the gritty juice, not the ideas so much. G'luck!
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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #89 on: Today at 11:52:56 am »
Hailing from the western lands, I (still lacking full comprehension of the subject) was drawn to question this:
>> So -- all that is saying, I haven't gotten tooooo deep into that part of the pool.

>>On the topic of the immortal soul, I'll say this ---

>>1. The Gurdjieff work regards a part of us as immortal already. This is atman, in the Upanishads. It's Emerson's Over-Soul. It is fundamentally distinct from ego and personality.

The "part" that is immortal, do you think that if it could, somehow, it would default to /not/ introducing itself? 
Hic Salta?
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