Author Topic: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff  (Read 70967 times)

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #195 on: April 30, 2019, 05:20:17 pm »
Just finished reading this book "The Realized Idiot" by Bruno Martin. I really do think that if G were alive today, he would have a place in culture in the footsteps of Mark Twain or George Carlin - at times cynical, at times very funny, and always with a pointed lesson to teach.

Gurdjieff used to host these "ritual feasts", where you'd gather and eat together. They were long affairs, sometimes lasting from early evening until well after midnight. During these feasts, Gurdjieff would ritually toast to the "idiots". His "science of idiotism" classified 21 types of idiots, arranged along a hierarchy called the Ladder of Reason. In any given evening, they'd usually only get through ~7 of them, it was rare to get past 13.

At each toast (which would be vodka or armagnac), Gurdjieff would describe a type of idiot and ask - who feels most like this idiot? Or after he would go through a few of them, he'd ask someone - which idiot are you?

The Toasts to the Idiots has a very "cosmic shmuck" (via Robert Anton Wilson) mouthfeel. The only way to advance, as a person, is to develop an awareness of what kind of moron you are (which is a blindspot). Accept that we're all fuckin dumbasses, none of us are enlightened masters, and every 1% "enlightenment" comes with 50% idiocy as a waste product. As you get more "enlightened" you develop a parallel capacity to have your entire head even further up your own ass.

Interestingly, after Gurdjieff died, nobody felt they could adequately continue the tradition.. so the current "inner circle" decided to make it forbidden. John Bennett taught the details to Bruno Martin, who wrote this book with an acknowledgment that hosting these things is considered tabboo by "Gurdjieff Foundation" groups. Orthodoxy, lol.

The book details the 21 types of idiots. People don't neatly fit into one category, everybody is a couple different types of idiots, and that type might develop over time. Similar to the Discordian society, most people "advance" by moving down.

Idiot #1 is the ordinary idiot, the run of the mill dumbass that you see on the street. Most advancement requires people to return to #1, to recognize that they are not special, they're a dumbass meat popsickle like everybody else.

Idiot #21 (the unique idiot) is God




« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 05:23:27 pm by Cramulus »

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #196 on: April 30, 2019, 07:12:51 pm »
I /had/ to look that up, and it is pretty damned pineal sounding when you have to full list in front of you, at least online. Idiot types include “swaggering,” “square”, “psychopathic”, “polyhedral.” The types before 18 make largely no sense to me as listed online. I /really/ want to make sense of this, but ... well.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

hoopla

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #197 on: April 30, 2019, 08:04:40 pm »
I’m attending a G ritual feast at the end of May. I wonder if I have the balls to bring up the toast?
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

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"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman

Fujikoma

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #198 on: April 30, 2019, 08:13:42 pm »
I went to the antique bookstore down the road, they had three copies of "Meetings with Extraordinary Men" by G, and one of this fictional tale by Ouspensky (apologies for butchering the spelling). Unfortunately, the former was $8 and the latter was $25 (and looked quite fragile, though a hardcover), and I just don't have that kind of money this week. Unfortunately, the bargain basement (literally, in the basement) was a bunch of mass-produced garbage at $2 a pop, about the best I found down there was a "Thieve's World" novel by Robert Lynn Asprin and briefly considered that, maybe next time.

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #199 on: April 30, 2019, 10:02:49 pm »
The full text of In Search of the Miraculous is pretty easy to find. Here's one: http://www.baytallaah.com/bookspdf/80.pdf



I /had/ to look that up, and it is pretty damned pineal sounding when you have to full list in front of you, at least online. Idiot types include “swaggering,” “square”, “psychopathic”, “polyhedral.” The types before 18 make largely no sense to me as listed online. I /really/ want to make sense of this, but ... well.

Yeah, they require some explanation... here's a few.

The Super Idiot
The Super Idiot thinks they have everything figured out already. They enter a spiritual path and go "ah, yes, stuff I already get". The book says "Some of these Idiots travel great distances (for instance to Mongolia or Nepal) just to drink tea with Shamans, attending one of their rituals, and boasting aftewards that they know everything about shamanism...

[This idiot's] complacency and arrogance are based on imagination, whereby he fantsizes about having reached a high level of spiritual growth."



lol this is me -- I read most of a book and then walk around high on myself all week.



The Arch Idiot - Bruno calls this one "the pretending idiot" - they get infatuated with a leader or teacher, and are basically stuck to that person's path. These are classic suck-ups and brown-nosers, and frequently work their way into any group's "inner circle". They need to figure out that they are on their own spiritual quest, not their teacher's.

The Compassionate Idiot - this idiot thinks they are very empathetic and compassionate. They think they should love everybody and are very emotional about everything. They often become vegetarians or vegans.

Gurdjieff says this is stupid because the whole of evolution is built off of feeding from other things -- he called it "Reciprocal Maintenence". That's not to say that you shouldn't be compassionate or empathetic. But Compassion should be an inner, essential urge and not a moralistic or emotional thing. The compassionate idiot is criticized as doing things so as to appear moral. They want to be thought of as compassionate, and so their charity is tainted by vanity.

Gurdjieff gives two subcategories of this idiot, which I won't get into


The Squirming Idiot - this moron squirms between two worlds. They have found something real, but are not willing to sacrifice the unreal. The squirming idiot is afraid of giving up their image of the world.

I have a friend who broke up with a shitty boyfriend, a huge piece of shit. Four months later, she's starting to date him again. Every single friend and family member is going "what the fuck" at her, "he doesn't respect you", "he cheated on you 50 times", "when you were with him, you were miserable", etc etc etc. She hears this and goes "yeah, but..." Receiving good advice but being unable to follow it. Squirming between two worlds.  The squirming idiot is difficult to help.


next, we come to the geometric idiots... there's some ancient alchemical symbolism here. The circle is a symbol of heaven, whereas the square is a symbol of earth.

The Square Idiot - is someone who is sometimes not an idiot. But like a square, they go a distance and then turn 90 degrees. While standing on the corner, they "get it", but then quickly forget and become absorbed by shooting towards the next corner.

Quote from: David Bowie
you drive like a demon from station to station

The square idiot is always stressed and changing direction. Always chasing the next great idea or the next big task. He is always identified with things that are "very important". At the corners of the square, he may be able to slow down and observe himself. He may be able to set his aim on something outside of the square. And by doing this, they can escape the black iron prison for a moment and develop something real.

the square idiot corresponds to the first brain, or body

The Round Idiot runs in circles. Their lives are entirely dictated by external conditions. They cannot take responsibility for themselves or others, as their behaviors are all functions of environment. Nobody can blame the round idiot because the situation they're in determined their behavior. Despite this reliance on the external, they are self-centered.

Part of what keeps them trapped in the circle is striving for perfection. This makes them turn round and round. If a spot on the circle was erased, they could escape, but fow now, it's a jail. And it could be a very seductive jail, because they don't recognize they need a way out.

the round idiot corresponds to the second brain, or emotions

The Zigzag idiot - has managed to shed their self-centeredness. They are interested in ideas for non self-serving reasons, pursuing intellectual interests and questions. They travel along a zigzagging spiral into unknown realms, though they don't know where it all leads. Like the squirming idiot, they are always being pulled in a new direction, distracted by their own thoughts and impulses. The zigzag idiot is unreliable, they change their decisions all the time.

If the zigzag idiot can let go of their personality and acquired baggage, they will be able to move in a straight line, develop continuity, and inner strength. This is someone who is truly working to better themselves, but ends up as a dilettante, someone who samples but never really immerses themselves.

The zigzag idiot corresponds to the third brain, or intellect - their achievements are the product of thinking and ideas, and they remain anchored to thinking and ideas

(I feel this one in a big way too)


The Enlightened Idiot - this is someone who has glimpsed truth, but has not been able to grasp it firmly because they have not developed the necessary stability. This glimpse has been discovered through ego-death, non-identification, letting go of personality. There is another self, a real one, and we want to be inhabited by it. But the enlightened idiot isn't there yet. They rely on the tools which opened the door, and reliance on those tools keeps them from crossing the threshhold.



I feel like that's enough to give you a taste.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 10:14:31 pm by Cramulus »

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #200 on: April 30, 2019, 10:14:11 pm »
That makes a lot more sense, and I do see the utility of this view. It focuses on the flaws of the individual but it makes the flaws less individual and more universal, so they’re easier to look at as part of yourself.

I’d like to believe I’m the Square, but so long as survival has a massive component in how I live my life I think I’m probably the Round. I don’t know if I could be said to ever “get it” when I have the distraction of this huge cliff face back down to hell right next to me.

I do jump from idea to idea, though, but it’s hard to say it’s completely undirected. At the time I’m jumping it is, but I have moments of introspection where I try to synthesize all of the prior points into a single concept, which then I obsess over awhile then go back to jumping around. Call it the katamari idiot perhaps? Because I just have this big jumble of junk I’m carrying around and trying to make useful, and it picks up all the other junk it’s attached to and spirals out of control.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

Fujikoma

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #201 on: May 01, 2019, 12:17:52 am »
I'm, definitely a super idiot. Thanks for the link. Now I know everything there is to know about Theosophy! :P

I know there's a lot of different views on the Tarot. Back when I used to read about it, the Hermetic resources I was reading identified the fool as the card with the most potential in the deck (for better or worse).

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #202 on: May 01, 2019, 05:32:03 am »
I am an Idiot Idiot.  Head's all empty, I don't care.

:whack:
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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #203 on: May 01, 2019, 08:46:30 am »
I guess the last thing I want to say about the Movements is that I can't verbalize what I'm getting out of it. But I can tell I get more of whatever that is every time I go


Somebody said that we are processing the Movements at a non-verbal level. Your words can't really touch what's happening, but you can feel it. I'm learning, but learning what? couldn't tell you

All I am able to envision when you describe this is the "Make contact" gesture from Bloodborne
https://youtu.be/GcPjAMYo8h8?t=87
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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #204 on: May 01, 2019, 08:56:12 am »
Oh my god, I actually feel like I can understand what he’s talking about now that I have a visual to go with it. :lulz:

Given what Bloodborne’s influences were and the people behind it, however, I’d be surprised if they didn’t have at least one reference to Gurdjieff in the game. Actually, that reminds me... someone on the subreddit back then made a post about the early 20th century mystical influences in the game. I’d bet money they brought up Gurdjieff.

*one quick google search later*

Haha! I fuckin’ knew it.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit.com/r/bloodborne/comments/52tdik/spoilers_gurdjieff_ouspensky_and_humanity_as_food/

I even commented on the damn post (no points for finding my dumb comment, I’m not hiding).
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #205 on: May 03, 2019, 07:54:14 am »
What is the form of idiocy where you don't want to believe in any of labels above, not because you didn't believe you was an idiot, but because you loathe the idea that a couple words could sum you up?
"I want to be the Borg but I want to do it alone."

Fujikoma

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #206 on: May 03, 2019, 08:01:47 am »
Labels suffice when people are sufficiently deficient to such an extent that they want to see themselves as anything, even if that is d) none of the above.

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #207 on: May 03, 2019, 05:10:31 pm »
What is the form of idiocy where you don't want to believe in any of labels above, not because you didn't believe you was an idiot, but because you loathe the idea that a couple words could sum you up?

Pedantry; being overly literal  :wink:

The typology is just a tool you can use to examine your own blind spots and failings. The "types" are not exclusive to one another--each is like a band on a rainbow of stupidity. There are no clear borders.

The point of the tradition is self-examination - these categories can be useful to understand the numerous ways humans have their heads up their own asses, even if nobody is perfectly captured by any given type.




and let's be honest with ourselves today - we are all ordinary idiots


somes the stupidity is purely that we think we're unique, above all that
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 05:13:14 pm by Cramulus »

hoopla

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #208 on: May 03, 2019, 05:30:11 pm »
Yeah I definitely read some of myself in all those types. I cover the waterfront when it comes to idiocy.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #209 on: May 04, 2019, 04:08:29 pm »
we are all ordinary idiots

Realizing this makes me feel weirdly special
"I want to be the Borg but I want to do it alone."