Author Topic: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff  (Read 15538 times)

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #135 on: September 25, 2018, 08:32:21 pm »
Agreed, but it helps me to periodically check in with how I'm compartmentalizing, and if the heuristics are still worth a damn.



In that case, they weren't.

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #136 on: September 25, 2018, 09:05:59 pm »
Agreed, but it helps me to periodically check in with how I'm compartmentalizing, and if the heuristics are still worth a damn.



In that case, they weren't.

Times you should be in the moment:  Spending an evening out with your wife, solving a problem, etc.

Times you should NOT be in the moment:  Listening to the teamwork consultant drone, that stink on the MBTS, etc

Times you ARE in the moment, whether you like it or not:  Getting a root canal, your brakes fail, etc.

Well, that's hardly my fault.  I was just doing what I do, doing my little dance, singing my little song, you know?  And then Hirley0 got on the dance floor and said

SHAKE THAT
First ^  Then V

And I did.  I didn't feel like I had any choice.  Between P-Funk and Hirley0, I became the man reptillian menace I am today.

Bootsy Collins did this to me.

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #137 on: October 04, 2018, 03:27:50 pm »
one of the things I've struggled with for 15 years now is the idea of free will.

There's a "law" in behavioral psychology called the Melioration Principle. It says that an organism will engage in a behavior until a competing behavior offers a better reward. You can see this every day, in everything you do. When you make a choice, what you're doing is really just a quantitative weighing of rewards. And doesn't that sound mechanical? Does that seem like free will? It seems like free will is just solving this calculus equation.

Gurdjieff says there's a way out of this. That there are moments when you can escape this inner slavery. Moments when your actions aren't mechanically dictated by external circumstances. With work, with awareness of the internal world, with "conscious labor and intentional suffering", we can achieve brief moments of internal freedom.

And I say: I will believe it when I see it.

But I'm not dismissing it until I have walked down the path myself. If this kind of freedom is possible, I want to taste it.




I believe it now. It's possible to have a moment of genuine free will.


It's only possible when you've brought about a contact between your conscious and unconscious parts.


Eventually, the limb-sensing exercise becomes a map to that place. In this place, in the inner circle of self, you can become momentarily free of the mechanical influences of the material world (behavioral conditioning ... stimulus & response).

Once you are outside of the ego, your actions can originate from something else.

(a voice in the distance whispers the word "reality"
another voice goes "shhhhhh")





Joseph Campbell talks about Holiness as the thing which bridges the higher and lower worlds, it is the neutral force between up and down.  The Holy Grail, to me, is the correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm. The laws of the inner world and the laws of the universe are the same.

The universe is the big jazz chaos, the AUM mantra. We're just one of the sounds inside of it. But if you sit for long enough, you lose the sense of that sound, you hear the whole composition. Being able to act on behalf of that composition, rather than the instrument in your hands, is holy.



Years ago, I had this epiphany when I noticed the dust behind my computer monitor. It occured to me that I look at this dust all the time, every day, and I never clean it! because I don't actually notice it.

How do we notice these things which are around us all the time, but are occluded by our daily rhythms and the way we choose to distribute our attention?

You need a Shock. I thought, once, that I could build these Shocks into my daily life as a routine. Every other Wednesday, I'd take 2 hours to do something different. And that novelty would allow me to return to the rhythm with fresh eyes, finally sensing the dust behind the monitor -- and also the unnoticed dust behind everything in my life.


This is why the Bible says you must remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. It means you need a break from your life, to go away and return. Because only then can you overcome the ego which drives everyday life and act in service to the higher world - this bigger picture is invisible unless you can step outside of the everyday rhythm and see it for what it is. The Old Testament also tells farmers they should let 1/7th of their fields lay fallow every season. This allows the soil time to regenerate, ensures the long term life of the farm. All things must rest so that they may again awaken.

Madame de Salzmann says that ordering your life so as to create the conditions for this awareness is sacred. In the Gurdjieff work, we don't casually throw around words like Holy and Sacred, they have so much baggage...  But now I understand what it means.



If you exercise every day, you may observe incremental change. But every so often, you can look back and notice how far you've come since the beginning. Right now I'm noticing how far I've come since I started this Work. And I've realized that I was doing the Work before I learned about Gurdjieff. (my Fractal Cult art project / cabal was part of it too.) A moment of ego death is holy. I can now recognize that I may have had a few flickering moments of free will during my life. And I am preparing myself to have one intentionally.  To experience free will, consciously, is like being born again.

Gurdjieff observed as a child that Yazidis were unable to step out of a circle traced around them on the ground. We are all like this, the circle is ego, behavioral conditioning, association, stimulus & response, culture, dogma, good and evil---the circle is the womb.

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #138 on: October 04, 2018, 04:58:46 pm »
one of the things I've struggled with for 15 years now is the idea of free will.

There's a "law" in behavioral psychology called the Melioration Principle. It says that an organism will engage in a behavior until a competing behavior offers a better reward. You can see this every day, in everything you do. When you make a choice, what you're doing is really just a quantitative weighing of rewards. And doesn't that sound mechanical? Does that seem like free will? It seems like free will is just solving this calculus equation.

Gurdjieff says there's a way out of this. That there are moments when you can escape this inner slavery. Moments when your actions aren't mechanically dictated by external circumstances. With work, with awareness of the internal world, with "conscious labor and intentional suffering", we can achieve brief moments of internal freedom.

And I say: I will believe it when I see it.

But I'm not dismissing it until I have walked down the path myself. If this kind of freedom is possible, I want to taste it.




I believe it now. It's possible to have a moment of genuine free will.


It's only possible when you've brought about a contact between your conscious and unconscious parts.


Eventually, the limb-sensing exercise becomes a map to that place. In this place, in the inner circle of self, you can become momentarily free of the mechanical influences of the material world (behavioral conditioning ... stimulus & response).

Once you are outside of the ego, your actions can originate from something else.

(a voice in the distance whispers the word "reality"
another voice goes "shhhhhh")





Joseph Campbell talks about Holiness as the thing which bridges the higher and lower worlds, it is the neutral force between up and down.  The Holy Grail, to me, is the correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm. The laws of the inner world and the laws of the universe are the same.

The universe is the big jazz chaos, the AUM mantra. We're just one of the sounds inside of it. But if you sit for long enough, you lose the sense of that sound, you hear the whole composition. Being able to act on behalf of that composition, rather than the instrument in your hands, is holy.



Years ago, I had this epiphany when I noticed the dust behind my computer monitor. It occured to me that I look at this dust all the time, every day, and I never clean it! because I don't actually notice it.

How do we notice these things which are around us all the time, but are occluded by our daily rhythms and the way we choose to distribute our attention?

You need a Shock. I thought, once, that I could build these Shocks into my daily life as a routine. Every other Wednesday, I'd take 2 hours to do something different. And that novelty would allow me to return to the rhythm with fresh eyes, finally sensing the dust behind the monitor -- and also the unnoticed dust behind everything in my life.


This is why the Bible says you must remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. It means you need a break from your life, to go away and return. Because only then can you overcome the ego which drives everyday life and act in service to the higher world - this bigger picture is invisible unless you can step outside of the everyday rhythm and see it for what it is. The Old Testament also tells farmers they should let 1/7th of their fields lay fallow every season. This allows the soil time to regenerate, ensures the long term life of the farm. All things must rest so that they may again awaken.

Madame de Salzmann says that ordering your life so as to create the conditions for this awareness is sacred. In the Gurdjieff work, we don't casually throw around words like Holy and Sacred, they have so much baggage...  But now I understand what it means.



If you exercise every day, you may observe incremental change. But every so often, you can look back and notice how far you've come since the beginning. Right now I'm noticing how far I've come since I started this Work. And I've realized that I was doing the Work before I learned about Gurdjieff. (my Fractal Cult art project / cabal was part of it too.) A moment of ego death is holy. I can now recognize that I may have had a few flickering moments of free will during my life. And I am preparing myself to have one intentionally.  To experience free will, consciously, is like being born again.

Gurdjieff observed as a child that Yazidis were unable to step out of a circle traced around them on the ground. We are all like this, the circle is ego, behavioral conditioning, association, stimulus & response, culture, dogma, good and evil---the circle is the womb.

Free will is also possible if you are a dumbass.  I know this, because I am an utter dumbass and I engage in free will all the time.  The Buddhists call this "no mind", IIRC, though with me it's "no brain".  Overthinking things will often lead your head directly up your ass.

Consider: I have been a dumbfuck my entire life, but I have a great family life, a good job that interests me, and I am happier more than what would normally be called reasonable.  And all of this without once worrying whether or not I am robotic or not.  The wind whistles between my ears, Cram, and I like it this way.  Also, I didn't have to murder my ego.  It's along for the ride.
Well, that's hardly my fault.  I was just doing what I do, doing my little dance, singing my little song, you know?  And then Hirley0 got on the dance floor and said

SHAKE THAT
First ^  Then V

And I did.  I didn't feel like I had any choice.  Between P-Funk and Hirley0, I became the man reptillian menace I am today.

Bootsy Collins did this to me.

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #139 on: October 04, 2018, 05:06:55 pm »
I wouldn't know what to do with free will if I had it.
What do you do with free will, anyway?
It took less than a week for this thread to go from “U.S. resistance politics” to “international spray cheese.”  --Brother Mythos

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #140 on: October 04, 2018, 05:14:19 pm »
I wouldn't know what to do with free will if I had it.
What do you do with free will, anyway?

That's an excellent question, come to think of it.
Well, that's hardly my fault.  I was just doing what I do, doing my little dance, singing my little song, you know?  And then Hirley0 got on the dance floor and said

SHAKE THAT
First ^  Then V

And I did.  I didn't feel like I had any choice.  Between P-Funk and Hirley0, I became the man reptillian menace I am today.

Bootsy Collins did this to me.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #141 on: October 04, 2018, 05:16:48 pm »
I'd like to make it clear that I am neither mocking nor disagreeing with Cram. 

I just have a question concerning free will and "ego death".
Well, that's hardly my fault.  I was just doing what I do, doing my little dance, singing my little song, you know?  And then Hirley0 got on the dance floor and said

SHAKE THAT
First ^  Then V

And I did.  I didn't feel like I had any choice.  Between P-Funk and Hirley0, I became the man reptillian menace I am today.

Bootsy Collins did this to me.

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #142 on: October 04, 2018, 05:20:10 pm »
Free will is also possible if you are a dumbass.  I know this, because I am an utter dumbass and I engage in free will all the time.  The Buddhists call this "no mind", IIRC, though with me it's "no brain".  Overthinking things will often lead your head directly up your ass.

Consider: I have been a dumbfuck my entire life, but I have a great family life, a good job that interests me, and I am happier more than what would normally be called reasonable.  And all of this without once worrying whether or not I am robotic or not.  The wind whistles between my ears, Cram, and I like it this way.  Also, I didn't have to murder my ego.  It's along for the ride.

The way of the monk is one of the "three traditional ways" (to which the Gurdjieff work is the fourth). Gurdjieff said the difficulty is that the monk practices overcoming desire while in the monastery, but as soon as they come down off the mountain, they're back in the world of Love and Hate, Approach and Avoid - and therefore their actions are determined by external circumstances.

The monk attains inner freedom by halting their judgments, seeing the world (the raw chaos) without attaching our subjective little labels of "good" and "bad", "order" and "disorder". But then the car splashes cold water all over them and they say "this fuckin sucks"--and immediately become a slave again.


I wouldn't know what to do with free will if I had it.
What do you do with free will, anyway?


you do what's needed


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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #143 on: October 04, 2018, 05:20:49 pm »
That question is this:  "If robotic or suspected robotic behavior gets you through you life happily and successfully, then to what purpose is free will and ego death except the promotion of the ego that you're trying to separate yourself from?"

I don't mean ego in the popular sense of the word, but rather the psychological sense of the word.  Assuming that someone is genuine about this, it's still a service to that person's ego.
Well, that's hardly my fault.  I was just doing what I do, doing my little dance, singing my little song, you know?  And then Hirley0 got on the dance floor and said

SHAKE THAT
First ^  Then V

And I did.  I didn't feel like I had any choice.  Between P-Funk and Hirley0, I became the man reptillian menace I am today.

Bootsy Collins did this to me.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #144 on: October 04, 2018, 05:24:24 pm »
The way of the monk is one of the "three traditional ways" (to which the Gurdjieff work is the fourth). Gurdjieff said the difficulty is that the monk practices overcoming desire while in the monastery, but as soon as they come down off the mountain, they're back in the world of Love and Hate, Approach and Avoid - and therefore their actions are determined by external circumstances.

The monk attains inner freedom by halting their judgments, seeing the world (the raw chaos) without attaching our subjective little labels of "good" and "bad", "order" and "disorder". But then the car splashes cold water all over them and they say "this fuckin sucks"--and immediately become a slave again.

Slavery implies a master.  To whom am I enslaved, assuming I am rampaging through the world without concern for their speed limits and their stop signs and their "gravity"? 



(note to self: address gravity issue on home machine tonight)
Well, that's hardly my fault.  I was just doing what I do, doing my little dance, singing my little song, you know?  And then Hirley0 got on the dance floor and said

SHAKE THAT
First ^  Then V

And I did.  I didn't feel like I had any choice.  Between P-Funk and Hirley0, I became the man reptillian menace I am today.

Bootsy Collins did this to me.

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #145 on: October 04, 2018, 05:47:41 pm »
That question is this:  "If robotic or suspected robotic behavior gets you through you life happily and successfully, then to what purpose is free will and ego death except the promotion of the ego that you're trying to separate yourself from?"

I don't mean ego in the popular sense of the word, but rather the psychological sense of the word.  Assuming that someone is genuine about this, it's still a service to that person's ego.

Happiness and success is a fine goal, it does not require inner freedom. Plenty of people are fully satisfied with life without getting into any of this. And for a lot of people, inner freedom leads to misery.

There is a whole commerical cargo cult around selling meditation techniques and mindfulness as a key to productivity - to me, this misses the point entirely. Nowhere in this body of work do they say that Consciousness* is a tool to achieve happiness or prosperity. I've found that "spirituality" is not calming, but upsetting and disturbing.

Talking about the impossibility of not serving the ego... it reminds me of our old discussions about how there's no such thing as "white magic", everything you can do serves the self in some way. This is the ego trap: the everyday mind can only consider things in terms of what rewards they offer to it. The ego cannot comprehend a truly selfless act, it just doesn't work that way.

This is why Gurdjieff reccommended that people practice generosity.. but in secret.




Quote
Slavery implies a master.  To whom am I enslaved, assuming I am rampaging through the world without concern for their speed limits and their stop signs and their "gravity"? 

external circumstances &
the law of accident

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #146 on: October 04, 2018, 05:51:15 pm »
That question is this:  "If robotic or suspected robotic behavior gets you through you life happily and successfully, then to what purpose is free will and ego death except the promotion of the ego that you're trying to separate yourself from?"

I don't mean ego in the popular sense of the word, but rather the psychological sense of the word.  Assuming that someone is genuine about this, it's still a service to that person's ego.

Happiness and success is a fine goal, it does not require inner freedom. Plenty of people are fully satisfied with life without getting into any of this. And for a lot of people, inner freedom leads to misery.

There is a whole commerical cargo cult around selling meditation techniques and mindfulness as a key to productivity - to me, this misses the point entirely. Nowhere in this body of work do they say that Consciousness* is a tool to achieve happiness or prosperity. I've found that "spirituality" is not calming, but upsetting and disturbing.

Talking about the impossibility of not serving the ego... it reminds me of our old discussions about how there's no such thing as "white magic", everything you can do serves the self in some way. This is the ego trap: the everyday mind can only consider things in terms of what rewards they offer to it. The ego cannot comprehend a truly selfless act, it just doesn't work that way.

This is why Gurdjieff reccommended that people practice generosity.. but in secret.

This is true, even altruism itself is a survival trait.




Quote
Quote
Slavery implies a master.  To whom am I enslaved, assuming I am rampaging through the world without concern for their speed limits and their stop signs and their "gravity"? 

external circumstances &
the law of accident

You can't get out of the universe alive.

I mean, not yet.  We're working on that.
Well, that's hardly my fault.  I was just doing what I do, doing my little dance, singing my little song, you know?  And then Hirley0 got on the dance floor and said

SHAKE THAT
First ^  Then V

And I did.  I didn't feel like I had any choice.  Between P-Funk and Hirley0, I became the man reptillian menace I am today.

Bootsy Collins did this to me.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #147 on: October 05, 2018, 04:06:40 am »
I don't have time to type a thousand words, so I'll use a pic. 

Be that guy.

Well, that's hardly my fault.  I was just doing what I do, doing my little dance, singing my little song, you know?  And then Hirley0 got on the dance floor and said

SHAKE THAT
First ^  Then V

And I did.  I didn't feel like I had any choice.  Between P-Funk and Hirley0, I became the man reptillian menace I am today.

Bootsy Collins did this to me.

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #148 on: October 11, 2018, 02:59:04 pm »
just as a coda to this:

Quote
Talking about the impossibility of not serving the ego... it reminds me of our old discussions about how there's no such thing as "white magic", everything you can do serves the self in some way. This is the ego trap: the everyday mind can only consider things in terms of what rewards they offer to it. The ego cannot comprehend a truly selfless act, it just doesn't work that way.

I didn't think this particular jailbreak was possible. You will find plenty of places on this forum where I deny the possibility of free will--after all, we are slaves to tastes, desires, fears, the melioration principle.

But my mind has changed. Disciplined self observation, and the brief moments of ego death I've experienced, serve as fuel for this ... alchemical change.  I do think an act of free will is possible--and it's possible to be truly altruistic--but it's very difficult and requires "fuel".

Quote from: Roger Asks...
to what purpose is free will and ego death except the promotion of the ego that you're trying to separate yourself from?

The short answer to this question is that the self isn't actually the ego.

In the moments when I can wrap my head around that, I gain degrees of freedom.



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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #149 on: October 11, 2018, 03:22:24 pm »
When you get some time, would you mind expanding on the self not being the ego?
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

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