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January 2010 Edition of Journey to Essence

Awaken From the Hypnotism of Life

"Unless we have the strength of mind to see what ordinary life on this planet is like, we will remain in imagination, or illusion.  There is one saying that 'the level of being of a man attracts his life.'"

— Maurice Nicoll —

Personal Reflections by J. I. Meyers

Most likely you've heard someone at sometime remark, "Get real!", but what exactly does it mean to "get real"?  This month's issue of Journey to Essence will explore this question from the perspective of the Fourth Way teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff.

All of us, regardless of our country of birth, are born into this world in a state of purity, or pure "essence", what G. I. Gurdjieff calls "Real I".  In the Christian tradition, Real I or essence is referred to as "being made in the image and likeness of God".  When you think about it, what is real in any human being, at least at the moment of its birth, is of the same essence as its creator.  Unfortunately, due to the influence of life, each of us becomes conditioned—by our parents' values, by the morals of the particular culture and time we are born into, by education, by government propaganda, and by various religious and philosophical beliefs—all of which form around our essence, thus creating a unique personality or "face" that each of us parades before the world.

This conditioning, based primarily on cultural prejudice, fear, tradition, and incomplete or inaccurate information about man and his potential, the cosmos, and God, creates in each of us what the Fourth Way Teachings calls "False Personality." As a result of our wrong education, our essence becomes encased in this conditioning.  We fall "asleep" and thus become "hypnotized" by life and its values, having lost touch with our true essence.  We come to believe that our False Personality is who we really are.  We believe that our self, created by life values, reflects the real significance and meaning of our existence with its so-called fame, riches, and success.  The high price we pay for this conditioning is never discovering our true self, our Real I, and never coming to an understanding of why we are born and for what purpose.

The Hypnotism of Life

On Christmas day I experienced graphically exactly how this hypnotism takes place, and more, just how violent that conditioning can be—even at an early age.  While standing outside the door of my apartment, feeling the warmth of the sun, enjoying the taste and aroma of my early morning coffee as I watched two doves courting each other in the trees above, I noticed a small boy, no more than 3 years old, running down the sidewalk towards me wearing what appeared to be a full-face mask and around his neck, a red cape fluttering in the wind behind him.  As he approached my apartment I could see that his mask was similar to the grotesque masks that some professional fighters wear while engaged in the all-out blood baths that take place inside of steel cages, you know, the "normal entertainment" that millions watch nightly around the world.

Little more than 3 feet tall and with arms flailing as if punching an invisible combatant, this little warrior suddenly came to a stop in front of my doorway, looked around to see if he was being watched, and then with all of the force he could muster, slammed my neighbor's bicycle, which was leaning against the railing, down to the cement pavement.  He then raised his arms in victory, let out a growl and scampered away.  I could only imagine what his caretakers must watch on television every night.

The tragedy of the scene that unfolded before my eyes was the realization that the conditioning by life, that is, the "hypnotizing" of one's self, can occur at such an early age.  This child had already developed a False Personality, having unconsciously identified his self with the images and impressions he had obviously been exposed to through watching television.  Further, that he had also been conditioned that violence was the norm, and in fact, enjoyable.  Even more startling was the realization that this boy's parents, themselves deeply imbedded in the cultural trance, were totally asleep to what was happening to their child.  Can you begin to imagine the events this child will unconsciously attract to himself in the years ahead as a result of this early conditioning?

"The Emotional Centre is not born with a negative part—it should not be there, but it is acquired by the influence of people who are negative. By contact with adults a child learns to pity itself, to feel grievances, to speak crossly, to dwell on its misfortunes, to be melancholy, moody, irritable, suspicious, jealous, to hurt others, etc. This dreadful infection of a child is something against which nothing can be done because it is not clearly recognized. This infection forms the negative part in Emotional Centre. And this infection is handed on from generation to generation."

— Maurice Nicoll —

Our Being Attracts Our Life

In this state of hypnotism, individually as well as collectively, we come to many conclusions and theories about how we are to live together peacefully in the world, both at the individual level as well as the global level.  On the one hand, political leaders speak of world peace and continue to express their desire that all men should live in harmony.  But if we look about us we see that this is not the case.  Although they talk of peace, make treaty after treaty, and pray for peace to various "God's" in their churches and synagogues, yet the entire world is at this very moment arming itself in preparation for the next war, a war I am sad to say, when it breaks, will be one in which few of us will escape its destruction and misery.

Throughout the world, children, mothers and fathers are dying of illnesses which could be cured were these individuals' needs tended to.  Isn't it curious that we never seem to have enough money to address the needs of the starving, the homeless or the sick, but governments always find enough money to fight their wars?  Thousands of children die daily, not only in America, but throughout the world, from starvation, or for lack of adequate housing and parental nurturing.  Daily, we read of murder, rape, robbery, unethical business practices, corrupt politicians, and we see injustice all about us.  We are destroying our planet, killing off thousands of species every year, poisoning our streams, rivers, oceans, the air, and our food supplies.  Our hospitals and jails are filled to capacity with the ill, the mentally disturbed, and the persecuted.  In the United States there are more people on prescription drugs than in any other country on the planet.  We are all rushing about striving for individual success and personal salvation, driving ourselves relentlessly to achieve the "American Dream".  It seems more like a nightmare to me!

I ask myself, "Why is this?"  Why, after thousands of years living on planet Earth, even with all the sacred teachings available to us about how to live peacefully with each other, humankind is still killing off its own kind by the MILLIONS, and still unable to achieve a sense of harmony with ourselves, with our neighbors, with our planet, the universe, or with our various "God's".  Man is the only species on the planet who invests trillions of dollars developing new and more destructive ways to kill his own kind—not to mention dropping nuclear bombs on our so-called "enemies"—to settle our differences.  Why is man so intolerant when it comes to accepting other races other cultures, and other belief systems?  (I thought we were all members of the HUMAN race.)  Why is it more important to governments of the world to spend billions of dollars exploring the distant planets, stars, and galaxies, while there is yet a single person on this planet going to bed without a roof over its head or food in its belly?  Why?

In light of the fact that we are all created in the "image and likeness of God", are not the above facts enough to convince you that something is terribly wrong in this world, and that what we have been conditioned by life to accept as "normal" is, in fact, abnormal?  That many of us are, indeed, "asleep" and existing in a state of "hypnotism" should be painfully obvious to any sane person.

So, what is the answer?  The answers are all about us, and they are also within us.  They are all about us in the teachings of our various religious and sacred writings.  Why then, having all the tools, information, and directions needed to live in peace has man been unable to achieve these higher states of relationship with each other on a global scale?  We all know that if we had the will we could create a literal "Garden of Eden" on the planet, all of us enjoying abundant, fulfilling, and meaningful lives, all realizing our highest potential, all sharing our God-given talents in joyful service to each other.  We all know this deep within, but what keeps us from achieving this state of existence with each other?

Frankly, I don't know what the answer is for you.  But, what I do know is that what man has created on this planet is a product of his collective understanding (consciousness) and being.  Due to his sleep, man is attracting to himself individually, as well as collectively, the violence, hatred, and greed that resides in his own heart.

I received the idea for the GurdjieffWork web site in a flash of inspiration and have spent the last eight years bringing it to its current state.  The energy required for such an undertaking is the direct result of my having many years ago been exposed to a system of teachings called "The Fourth Way".  For the past 39 years I have been studying the ideas put forth by Dr. Maurice Nicoll in his 5-volume series, Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.  As a consequence of long study and applying the "Work" ideas to myself, I have discovered what "truth" is for me.

I invite you to begin the most amazing journey of your life by studying the information available at GurdjieffWork.com where you will discover the inner teachings of "Esoteric Christianity", universal ideas which lie at the heart of all sacred traditions and which are truly transformative.  As Maurice Nicoll states in Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, "Follow the path to the end, see what happens and what changes take place in you, and what light begins to dawn in you."

Quote of the Month

"The whole universe is a mirror which reflects
back to you that which you reflect into it."

— Lao Russell —

If you have any comments or questions please Click for Email Address. I trust that your journey through the GurdjieffWork.com website will lead you to your essence—back to your "Real I."

Know Thyself,

Jeff Meyers

The beginning of spiritual transformation is to observe our own psychology in action.

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