September 2010 Edition of Journey to Essence
Can We Choose Not to Be Angry?
G. I. Gurdjieff: Teacher of Radical Transformation
"The student is to reach a point where he or she can make the choice not to react automatically to external stimuli. This requires going against the grain, against long established habits and self-indulgences. The question is as basic as can we choose not to be angry in the face of something that makes you angry, rather than being wasted in such an outburst?" Read the full article.
G. I. Gurdjieff on Man's Suffering
"This world of ours cannot be saved in our measure of time. Had it been possible it would have been saved a long time ago by prophets and teachers who have been sent. Those who look for the world to be saved by a single teacher in a given time are shirking their own responsibility. They wait and hope of a second coming with no effort on their part indulging in the disease of tomorrow."
Gurdjieff's System of Human Development
"Only by knowing oneself can one come to understand the Universe. Most people feel unfulfilled and don't understand why, many using mass excitements to solve their problems of inner boredom, frustration and futility. As most psychology deals only with mental and emotional phenomena, and not with the whole human being, it too cannot solve these problems. The solution is to engage in one's own conscious evolution by tapping into the vast store of inner peace, beauty and harmony." Read the full article.
Prayer & Meditation
"O sweet nature of the unborn light, purify my mind.
Enlighten my understanding so that I may be conscious of you."
— Meister Eckhart —
The Be-Attitudes of Mindful Loving
Here is a beautiful mantra, the "5 A's ... And 1" that I pulled from a book which I just added to the GurdjieffWorkd.com bookstore called, How to be An Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo. These six words, whenever brought to mind, will help you create and maintain a "being-presence" through which you can interact with others to transform all of your relationships to a higher level of intimacy as you practice the conscious art of "mindful loving".
1) Attention to the present moment; observing, listening, and noticing all the feelings at play in our relationships.
2) Acceptance of ourselves and others just as we are.
3) Appreciation of all our gifts, our limits, our longings, and our poignant human predicament.
4) Affection shown through holding and touching in respectful ways.
5) Allowing life and love to be just as they are, with all their ecstasy and ache, without trying to take control.
And 1 ... Awake
As I was sharing the above with friend who knew I was involved with the Fourth Way Teachings, she said, "Jeff, you know, you should add "Awake" to this list because you can't practice the 5 A's if you'r not awake."
The Heart and Soul of Maurice Nicoll
"When I see a familiar thing without associations it looks strange. I see it in a new way. Its meaning is altered. If I can look at my friend without associations he seems strange. I see him in a new way. It is not perhaps too much to say that I scarcely recognize him for the moment. In the same way, walking down a corridor with an undetected mirror at the end I may not recognize the person walking towards me. He seems to be a stranger. I see myself without associations for a moment. Ordinarily when looking in a mirror we see ourselves through the veil of associations that we have about our appearance.
The point is that when momentarily the veil of associations is stripped away, something happens. What happens? Everything becomes alive. If you can by sufficient practice relax from the Personality, which is where the network of associations lies, and from, let me add, the wrong feeling of 'I', you find yourself in a different world, a world of another meaning. Actually the world is the same, but your reception of the impressions from it is different and so it's meaning is different. When you are relaxed from Personality and Imaginary 'I', things are close to you. They speak to you. You are then truly taking in impressions. Impressions are falling on Essence. The level of Essence is higher than that of Personality. We understand that a higher level receives greater meaning.
Now when you are blessed, that is, when you are relaxed from the Personality, you feel the intimacy of everything around you, as if things realized they could go on playing and you would not be angry. If you get angry you cannot relax from the Personality. Or it is as if you and everything around you felt quite suddenly at ease and something could creep out from each object and show itself alive to you. And then suddenly life slams the Personality back into its place and everything is dead."
— Maurice Nicoll —
The Esoteric principles presented by G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky and Maurice Nicoll offer a way of helping a man find his right relationship to the Universe. When properly applied, these principles will change you, your world, and how you move about in it. James Parkinson's answers questions posed by students and explains how to apply the universal truths of esotericism to ourselves.
Purifying the Emotions: "Happiness and Other Delusional Fantasies of Imaginary I" by James Parkinson
"Feelings are subjective and sully when compared with any real emotions to which we might otherwise have access. We purify our heart so the eyes of the heart may see clearly. Feelings are like wearing colored glasses at best, or having mud thrown in our eyes at worst." Click on Purifying the Emotions to listen to this insightful teaching by James Parkinson.
The X-Factor: "We Try to Solve the Problems of Life When We Need to be Solving the X-Factor" by James Parkinson
"The 'Work' is about the kind of person you are because that's what attracts your life. Here is where the Work starts: If the kind of person you are always stays the same, you will always take everything the way you always have. The only way for anything to change for you is if you change the way you think. In the Greek, it's called 'metanoia,' which means 'change of thinking'. What this means is that you've got to think like a different person, not the person that you think like now. Every type of person thinks in a certain type of way. The kind of person you are is because of how you think. When you change the way you think, the kind of person you are changes. When the kind of person you are changes, your being changes. When your being changes, you attract different things. Does that mean that different things happen to you in life? Yes, it means that. Does it mean the same things happen in life? Yes, it means that. But what it means also is that not only do you start to attract different things, but you also react or respond to the things that you attract in a different way. You actually attract different things, different people and events, and the same events you respond to in a different way.
X is the algebraic symbol for the unknown. The 'X-factor' plays a huge role in life, and if it plays a huge role in life, then it plays a huge role in our work. And if it plays a huge role in our work, then the Work must talk about it, and the Work must know about it. And the Work must, somehow, give us some light about this or else we're lost. We've got to have light from somewhere. We're not going to be able to rub two sticks together on ourselves and make light. We have to have somebody who has already made it out. Somebody has to send us instructions on how they got out and how we can get out. What's the way out?" Click on The X-Factor to listen to this insightful teaching by James Parkinson.
Note: You may need to download and install Quicktime/iTunes to listen to the podcast. When you click the podcasts link you will be prompted to download the application. For smoother streaming you may want to save the file to your computer and then playback with your installed audio player.
Conscious Harmony: "Our Stories Are Happening in Time But Our Life is Eternal" by Tim Cook
"The spiritual search for God, is also the search for ourselves."
"The question of why we exist has been asked in countless ways for enumerable generations. Why did God create human beings? Because He loves good stories. Each of us represents a story. Nobody else has your story, and nobody else has my story. How did we get our stories? Where did we come from? Our story begins as we are acculturated, as we are impressed by the family situations that we're in, and then we begin to develop these divergent stories. It's easy to see that our bodies have different shapes and forms, but it's not so easy to realize that so do our souls, our psyche. The psyche is formed, takes on the shape of its culture and its traditions, and its times, and then it begins to have stories based on its prior experiences.
When we were little kinds, if we had shocking circumstances and didn't have the capacity to integrate those experiences into a healthy self-concept we may develop inwardness or fear. If we had pleasurable experiences and were encouraged and acknowledged as good, worthy human beings, another kind of experience grows up and we are formed in a different way and we begin to have a different story. But each of us can run our story back to its origins if we pay attention to it. The challenge is that we have become identified with our stories; we think that's who we are. Who we are is what happened to us, what we did and what we thought. That's not who we are. We're spirit. We were created in the "image and likeness of God" who is spirit. And even though the story may be plausible, and even though it may be justified, and even though it may look like it's just exactly the case, the truth is that there's a deeper level of us behind that story that is eternity. Our stories are happening in time but our life is eternal." Click on Because God Loves a Story to listen to this insightful teaching by Tim Cook. If you cannot access the file, click on Conscious Harmony Audio Services and then click the Because God Loves a Story link.
Note: For smoother streaming you may want to save the file to your computer and then playback with your installed audio player.
Quote of the Month
"Anybody can become angry—that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way; that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."
— Aristotle —
On A Personal Note
"We are living at a time when whole systems are breaking down, calling for a whole systems response. It's not just outer change but also inner change that's called for. It's not just that "this" is wrong, or that "that" is wrong. The entire direction of human civilization is wrong, as we have placed economic principles before humanitarian values, and in so doing, have placed the very survival of the human race at risk. We can decide to step up and participate. But we must decide now—not later—for there is no more time to waste. Human civilization as we know it is like the Titanic headed for the iceberg, whether the iceberg is nuclear, environmental or terrorism-related. The probability vectors for the next twenty years are grim, and our job is to turn the probability vectors into possibility vectors—in other words, we have to turn this ship around."
— Marianne Williamson —
I have recently added links to a new video, Earthlings: Make the Connection and articles regarding the State of Humanity to the GurdjieffWork.com website.
Auschwitz survivor, Viktor Frankl, stated in his classic book, Man's Search for Meaning, published in 1946, "The world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best. So, let us be alert in a twofold sense: Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake."
Obviously, due to the worldwide disconnect of man from the source of our being, the Earth is in a grave state. There are countless individuals and web sites urging humanity to wake up to the insanity that is overtaking the planet, that we are, in fact, heading for a disaster—economically, socially, psychologically and spiritually.
The following links will bring your attention to the current state of the planet in the areas of worldwide hunger, war and species extinction and will, hopefully, encourage you to become involved with some of the organizations that are working tirelessly to transform our cultural mindset so that we may, as Marianne Williamson urgently warns us to "turn this ship around."
As of 2010, 3 Billion Human Beings Worldwide Are Now Facing Starvation
Ending World Hunger
"Insuring a safe future for ourselves and our children
should be a global priority for all people alive today."
— Steve Meyers —
Ending the Culture of War
Look into yourself and see what is 'us' and what is 'them' for you. When there is a sense of 'us' then there is a sense of 'other'. When we can give this up, then we can give up the idea that strength comes from having more than others, or from having the power to kill others.
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are the world's time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions-income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion-while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also basic human rights-the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security.
The Peace Alliance
Peace is not a utopian ideal. It is an issue critical to our national and human security. Either we continue reactively addressing ever-increasing levels of violence and the consequent human and economic costs, or we take a fresh approach.
Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace
More and more people are coming to realize that it is only by focusing our energies on tackling all forms of violence, including that to the environment, that the human race will have a viable future.
The Buddhist Path and Social Responsibility
Love is a powerful tool that transforms any situation. It is not passive acquiescence. Hatred never ceases through hatred. Hatred only ceases through love. Love embraces all beings without exception, and discards ill will.
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 back to your Essence, back to your 'Real I'.
The beginning of spiritual transformation is to observe our own psychology in action.
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