Author Topic: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff  (Read 812 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2017, 01:24:21 am »
To the last part, typical cult behavior is grabbing those with no or very poor support systems. It's one of the things that helps people get attached to gurus and other untouchable authority figures. No attachments in your old life but now you belong.

Friendless orphans with money are basically a typical cults bread and butter. Yes, this does mean Bruce Wayne is probably a secret hare Krishna.

This is my general impression.  I'm not an expert on the subject, though.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2017, 02:35:05 am »
I'm no expert on batman either. Layman's view.
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Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2017, 05:03:48 pm »
I wrote a reply to QGP yesterday and then the Internets ated it.  :cry:

Okay, good question...

So, I keep throwing around the phrase "the cult I joined", etc - part of it is tongue in cheek, part of it is the oldschool definition of cult:

  • a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious
  • a social group defined by its religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal.

I am really sensitive to the traps that actual cults use to suck people in and convert them. Here's why I think I'm safe here:

  • They don't ask for money or labor, it seems like the old people running the show just really love to talk about this stuff and don't ask anything in return
  • They encourage us to stay critical, challenge Gurdjieff.. and they are aware he talked out of his ass a a lot.
  • They don't use group language (like using a "we" to speak for everybody), and there there aren't any group norms being set ("we don't do XYZ", or "Gurdjieff enthusiasts love to...")

I mean really, this feels more like joining a yoga group than a religion.

As for how I'm protecting myself - I braced myself from day 1 that I'll hit the ejector button as soon as I start feeling somebody's will overshadowing mine. It would be really easy to walk away.

I think everybody recognizes that G does come off as a bit of a charlatan at times. That keeps my guard up.

I have also alerted my friends to my strange spiritual experiment. When I discovered Taoism at age 15 and Discordianism a few years later, I was intolerable. I became a preachy, insufferable spag. I've asked my friends to let me know if this starts to happen again.


Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2017, 05:10:34 pm »
That all sounds really solid. I'll admit my interest in how you're keeping your metaphorical helmet on isn't strictly altruistic. I am sometimes bad about falling into holes (although not this particular one) and I have a lot of interest in how people protect themselves while engaging in crazy shit.
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Bu☆ns

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2017, 03:59:18 am »
Bill Murray helps a bit


ETA: Also discordianism itself has precautions in place.  I'd be more concerned about someone who didn't hold the values of TFYS and the prohibition of believing everything one reads.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 04:02:37 am by Bu☆ns »

Bu☆ns

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2017, 04:24:35 am »
Cram--not sure if you checked out any of that blogger's other articles but they're quite interesting.  He often compares krishnamurdi, osho, and gurdijieff and their methods. I'm glad i checked in to this thread because it reminds me to follow up on that.

Quote
He described two "walls" in our cell:

-We are slaves to what Gurdjieff calls "considering", which is being concerned with what other people think of us. This is an ego-drive and it keeps us anchored in the smaller, immediate, local parts of the self.

-And we're victims of "identification", which is basically becoming what you experience. When you feel something, it takes over. Most of the time, you have no objectivity about it, and no point of view outside of it.

A lot of the Gurdjieff work involves practical exercises in which you can begin to free yourself of these traps.


When i read this thread I'm constantly reminded of how these different things you describe resemble other spiritual practices.  Mantra, for example is basically a self-remembering technique. Repeat a a phrase and combine it with beads. Then feed all the experiences from the above two points waaaaaaay up inside the mantra.

A lot of it seems to separate out the pieces for better organization especially if one's habits and routines resemble the  automaton.

I'm curious if any of Shiva's 112 Meditation Techniques resemble any of the techniques you read about. I can only find this in reference to Osho, but it seems legit enough.  Plus I think Osho ripped off Gurdjieff all to hell--especially with movement and plain old physical activity. So at any rate, I'm curious as to how they compare.



Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2017, 07:10:11 pm »
Last night, I went to the Gurdjieff foundation's presentation of the Sacred Dances.

As I mentioned, this is the first time in over 50 years that the Gurdjieff foundation has presented the dances in public. Before that, it was another 50 years.

I wasn't allowed to take any video or pictures, but I did manage to sneak in a few:






It's kind of hard to describe - if you look up the gurdjieff sacred movements on youtube, it'll give you a sense of what it looks like.

These were really incredible. It was like watching a living machine. A conscious machine! Like a human engine that is not automatic, but deciding to move in perfect sync.

The dances aren't shown to the public because they're really not a performance. They're more like a form of meditation, or prayer. Each movement references some aspect or law of the universe. As the dancer moves their body, they are meditating on its meaning. If you're in the dance, there is a group energy, a group mind which can be felt.

Through this dance, one can momentarily shed ones subjectivity. This is not the silence and stillness of zen, or the frenzy of the ecstatic... it's something else... they say the dances are a study of the transformation of energy.


Watching them in person, I was really blown away. Haven't had my mind blown like that in a long time! It looks like an incredible amount of work, to learn to move in a group like that, in perfect sync, with that degree of precision and specificity.


« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 10:28:13 pm by Cramulus »

Cramulus

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Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2017, 10:17:36 pm »
When i read this thread I'm constantly reminded of how these different things you describe resemble other spiritual practices.  Mantra, for example is basically a self-remembering technique. Repeat a a phrase and combine it with beads. Then feed all the experiences from the above two points waaaaaaay up inside the mantra.

A lot of it seems to separate out the pieces for better organization especially if one's habits and routines resemble the  automaton.

That's one of the cool things about the Gurdjieff work. He was initiated into a LOT of different spiritual traditions. A lot of the stuff he presents can be found elsewhere, but described from a different angle. It kinda feels like Gurdjieff tried to touch the proverbial elephant in lots of different places.  :fap:


Zen teachers say: you think too much, you talk too much, your reasoning apparatus doesn't know how to take a break, you forget  the "primal" self... (the same 'primal' we're talking about when we say 'primal chaos', the world unfiltered by the mind)



MY UNDERSTANDING (which may be wrong) is that in Mantra meditation, you are basically going deep into the mechanical part of the self. You repeat the mantra over and over again, until it's automatic, until it becomes you, until the person who is saying the mantra is gone and only the mantra is left.

One of the reasons that a lot of mantras are nonsense words (OM MANI PADME HUM) is that you don't want the intellectual part of the self to get stuck in the 'meaning', where it will start free associating and taking you down these little side-paths. During mantra meditation, you want to stay in the mechanical, automatic mind while there is no self.

The goal of this practice is to develop a "solid core", to gain mastery over the random impulses and stray thoughts and daydreams that pull our mental arrows off target.


Gurdjieff thinks, by the way, that this is an "unbalanced" way of training. The zen student has to learn to stop the thoughts that create the world. THEN, they basically have to re-learn to think and feel. Zen says - the intellect and emotions get in the way... if you silence them, what's left? Let's stay there for a little while, that's where the real self lives. If you hang out there long enough, you might meet him!


Gurdjieff, on the other hand, is presenting a way of working on all the "centers" at once. That is, you are not trying to quiet your intellect and emotions. You are trying to observe them, and eventually understand them, and eventually, control them. Zen starts at the other end: trying to control the mind and the emotions, and then discovering the self. Gurdjieff understands the self as fractured, as having no unity. We can't discover the self unless we can take in the whole mosaic at once.



And as a point of order - Gurdjieff doesn't think his work is better than zen, or that zen students are training wrong. It's just a different approach!


Quote
I'm curious if any of Shiva's 112 Meditation Techniques resemble any of the techniques you read about. I can only find this in reference to Osho, but it seems legit enough.  Plus I think Osho ripped off Gurdjieff all to hell--especially with movement and plain old physical activity. So at any rate, I'm curious as to how they compare.


yeah, reading over this, it feels like there's some shared area

I'd need to study it more, though, before I can say anything interesting about it


and even then, what I say will be boring
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 10:28:41 pm by Cramulus »