Exact Remembering

Life can be very busy, giving us a great number of things to remember: items to buy, people to meet, tasks to perform. Some people make lists. Some people trust to their memory. There’s no right or wrong to this, in ordinary life, though any law enforcer will tell you that untrained memory is very unreliable. What makes it unreliable is that many important facts don’t get remembered, because they aren’t significant at the time. And the trouble with lists is that one could forget to add things, or even forget to bring the whole list. In ordinary life, that’s not really important, but in spiritual awakening, remembering is critical.

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Hate Crime

There is a growing trend, around the world, for people to react with various levels of violence against what they perceive as threats to their own, preferred way of life. Their feeling of threat becomes so great that what may have started as mere fear escalates into hate. Most would not call themselves hateful. Indeed, they may see what they do as simply what is needful, to protect and preserve what they value. But just because there is no malice, does not mean that there is no hate. Hate is simply the dark “negative” of any strong desire. Whoever has strong desires that are not gratified and resolved quickly will have hate.

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Relaxing Lockdown

There is no doubt at all that the lockdown measures that are required in order to stop Covid-19 cases spiralling to the point where public healthcare cannot cope are, themselves, causing a lot of anxiety. Businesses face collapse, with terrible consequences for both the owners and the employees. And we cannot expect governments or financial institutions to keep “cushioning” that blow. It will mean massive change for many people’s lives. Unemployment is ugly, and in countries where there is no social welfare, it can be fatal. Crime is likely to grow; taxes are likely to rise. No-one will be immune. But relaxing the lockdown isn’t simple.

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Fallen Angels

In my post “Triamazikamno”, I illustrated the second of G. I. Gurdjieff’s “common-cosmic” laws – that throughout any arising (on any scale), the higher blends with the lower to actualise the middle. And in the scale of Life, so it is too with Man. We are the result of the blending of a higher possibility with a lower arising. Our nature is a combination of those three things. But we are also, in turn, drawn to a higher that lies beyond our nature, that can lead to our completion.

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Online Mobilisation

When a person is emotionally committed to “doing the right thing”, it is natural that they seek to persuade others to follow the same ethos. And often their ethos really does have merits. They seek support because the larger voice of a multitude will attract more attention from those who can change laws and public policy. And because, quite often, real change happens through the majority slowly adopting new beliefs and altering their own lives accordingly. But convincing people to support you – whatever the cause – is now big business. There are even university courses about it. Some people are making a good wage as “internet influencers”. But in order to mobilise people quickly, you need to whip up their emotions with aggressively polarised messages. And that is deeply insane.

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The Shortcut

When it comes to life, everyone is looking for a shortcut – some clever formula that guarantees success. Every time we try some task, we’re looking to see if we will be successful, by checking against the formula. If we don’t get the “right” results when we expect them, we condition ourselves for failure. Or we give up and conserve our energy. You’ll see the same behaviour if you watch a predator chasing prey – or even a domestic cat, playing at doing so. It is a deep part of our animal heritage. Even prayer is often a shortcut: “Oh Lord, forgive me for I have sinned.” It’s a hard habit to break.

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The Spaceship ‘Karnak’

Many who try to read G. I. Gurdjieff’s first book of the series “All and Everything” – the impressively large “Beelzebub’s Tales To His Grandson” – struggle with what is undeniably a complex book. The whole thing is written in the style of a biblical parable, where every real element that Gurdjieff describes is replaced by a figurative representation. The “starship” is the current span of awareness of a man. The “planets” are the different zones of a man’s world of experience. Their “scientists” are the creators of various ideas that try to explain the psyche of man. Beelzebub himself represents a seeker, relegated to the far reaches of society for challenging its ideals. And Hassein – the grandson – represents an ordinary man who might one day become a seeker. The journey gives Gurdjieff a vehicle (literally – he loved a joke) to talk about the general nature, follies and weaknesses of Hassein’s “favourites”.

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Almost Back To Normal?

We are definitely living in weird times. Lockdown measures against the spread of Covid-19 (SARS-Cov-2) are being relaxed in many countries and yet many people are still not back at work. A holiday mentality is growing – perhaps a reaction to “cabin fever”. People are still on “furlough” or on extended social security payments and with summer weather, it must feel a bit like a paid holiday. Maybe the same people who bought huge quantities of toilet roll and pasta at the beginning of the crisis have finally run out. But we are not “back to normal”. We are very far from it. Most people still have no immunity. There is still no vaccine and no effective treatment (whatever Donald says he believes).

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Triamazikamno

The title of this post is one of G. I. Gurdjieff’s made-up words. It refers to a principle that everything in the universe – both physical and non-physical – can be viewed against a “scale” of different density. Within that scale, matter of different density interacts via a very simple and universal rule, namely “the higher blends with the lower to actualise the middle”. That rule is what Gurdjieff named Triamazikamno. When I first came across this “law”, in the study of his system, it truly puzzled me. The root of my confusion was that I didn’t have a proper concept of this “density” of matter. I could very roughly – though incorrectly – see material things and energy as different but had no concept of differing “densities”.

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