February 2011 Edition of Journey to Essence
The Illusion of Freedom
A Personal Note to Readers
It's been six months since I'd sent the last edition of the Journey to Essence Newsletter. I don't have such a large ego to think that anyone has been sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear from me however it is hoped that the information available at GurdjieffWork.com and in the Journey to Essence Newsletter is of value.
Last August I received word that my younger brother committed suicide. Although a tragic event which deeply affected me and my family, it was not the only reason for my absence. I had over-committed myself at work where I am employed as an IT Communications Manager & Webmaster at the Parkinson's Association of San Diego, writing the Journey to Essence Newsletter, operating a home-based computer repair business, facilitating a 12-week class based on Simple Explanation of Work Ideas, participating in numerous activities with my spiritual community, and my weekly Fourth Way Studies with The Church of Conscious Harmony and Solid Rock Vista, all of which caused my afterburners to flame out.
New Thoughts Section Added to GurdjieffWork.com
At the urging of friends I have added a new section to the GurdjieffWork.com website titled Applying the Work to Ourselves. This is where I will be sharing some personal writings as well as replies to e-mails received from subscribers.
Taking The Work and Our Being Into the World
As we look upon the landscape of current world events, or review man's history over the past 5,000 years on this planet, it is obvious that there is much work to do if we are to transform our world into a more harmonious global community. But, what actions are we to take and how can we know if our actions are advancing the cause of freedom and liberation of the spirit for all of humanity? Mr. Gurdjieff, the Fourth Way Teachings, every legitimate spiritual tradition, and countless spiritual leaders and teachers throughout history have all told us that we must transform ourselves before we can transform the world, that this process of transformation is an "inside-out" job.
Having awakened--to some degree--from the hypnotism of ordinary consciousness, I have come to realize that however enjoyable and liberating it is to experience the manifold benefits of increased consciousness, I now feel it my responsibility, in fact my duty, to share information that, until now, I had not been made aware of in the hope of empowering others to take effective action in the world on issues of importance to us all.
It has never been, nor ever will be, my intention to use the GurdjieffWork.com website as a political platform or to suggest that anyone take sides on any particular issue, but rather to share information which I believe, if ignored, will significantly impact the quality of life for all of humanity. Please see the section on Codex Alimentarius & Diagnosis of the Psychosis of World Politics below to find out more about a matter I believe is of grave concern to everyone on the planet.
Walking the Spiritual Path ... Which One is the Right Way?
Those of us who have the wherewithal, the freedom, and the luxury to pursue the callings of our inner lives have elected to journey along any number of spiritual paths. It is obvious that some of these paths are in great conflict with each other in the outer world, some so divergent that they result in what are referred to as "Holy Wars," and which, from my point of view, seems a rather absurd notion. Somehow the words "Holy" and "War" just don't seem to fit well together in the same phrase.
I am not wise enough to know if there is only one path or one way, or which path is the right one. What has proved beneficial to me is that I am on a spiritual path, and hopefully on one that is leading me in the direction of objective truth and love. It is stated in that Bible that Christ said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through me." That's a pretty big nut to crack, one that I'm still struggling with as to how the pieces fit together. Mr. Gurdjieff, when asked, "What is a Christian?" said, "A Christian is one who can do the will of God." He also remarked of the work conducted at his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man that his teachings were to help students become "real Christians."
Some people may have an adverse reaction to the word "God," thus I offer the following that Maurice Nicoll wrote in Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky about the word God:
"When a man finds no meaning in anything he has at the same time no feeling of God. Meaninglessness is a terrible illness. It has to be got over. It is the same as godlessness, because if you say there is no God you are saying that there is no meaning in things. But if you think there is Meaning, you believe in God. Meaning is God. You cannot say that you do not believe in God but believe that there is meaning in things. The two are the same, in that one cannot be without the other. God is Meaning. If you dislike the word God, just say the word Meaning instead. The word God just shuts some people's minds. The word Meaning cannot. It opens minds."
A few weeks ago, I received an unsolicited e-mail from someone I didn't know who happened across the GurdjieffWork.com website and who, after reading the text I append to the bottom of the Journey to Essence Newsletter, wrote a scathing 4-page letter admonishing me for including a quote from the Bible along with that text...as follows:
"The beginning of spiritual transformation is to observe your own psychology in action."
"Love is patient; love is kind. It is not jealous; it does not put on airs, and is not proud. It is never rude or self-seeking; it is not prone to anger, nor does it keep a record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. There is no limit to love's forbearance, to its trust, to its hope and its power to endure. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love."
This individual expressed her vitriol--in no uncertain terms--that Mr. Gurdjieff was a devil, that he was deceiving his followers, that I should not be looking to him for my salvation, and that my soul was in danger of being cast into the fires of hell for eternity. Of course, she backed up her claims by numerous scriptures. She went on to say, "We don't need to read anything but the Bible", and that she had painstakingly spent several hours writing her letter because, as she said, "Cared so much for me." It was only because of my exposure to the knowledge of the Fourth Way Teachings that I didn't go totally off my rocker. I was not offended by this person's indictment or threats, nor did I respond as I felt it would be fruitless. However, her comments did cause me to take stock of exactly where I stood with regard to the Fourth Way Teachings and the Gospels.
If all people on the planet were in agreement with the Gospel teachings about loving your neighbor as yourself, compassion, forgiveness and mercy, and were capable of following such teachings, it may be true that that we would need no other instruction in order to live in harmony with each other. However, we live in a world with numerous teachings, sacred texts, philosophies, etc., and we must come to a point of understanding as to how we are going to live within this diversity of belief systems. I would venture to say that at the core of all philosophies, sacred texts and cultural teachings, at least those based on the common value of love of neighbor, we might discover that they spring forth from the same fountain of truth.
I recall reading somewhere Mr. Gurdjieff saying something along the lines of, "Christ brought you love. I have brought you consciousness." I will forever be grateful to, and owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Gurdjieff, his first generation students, Maurice Nicoll and P. D. Ouspensky, and to many other teachers of the Fourth Way, such as James Parkinson (www.SolidRockVista.com), Theodore Nottingham, (Spiritual Journey Teachings), and Tim Cook (www.ConsciousHarmony.org) to name a few, whose commitment to faithfully communicating the 'Work' principles has meant so much to me over the years.
Whereas every "self-help" book I've ever read, or my involvement in numerous so-called "spiritual therapies," or attending a variety of Christian churches and Bible studies had resulted in little more than increasing my sense of helplessness and fear of God, the Fourth Way Teachings have lead me to a place where I was ready, even capable of receiving the wisdom contained in the Gospel teachings.
I have chosen to walk the path of "Inner Christianity," what Gurdjieff, the early Desert Fathers, and many students of the Fourth Way, refer to as "Esoteric Christianity". Utilizing the principles of the Fourth Way, this path has the potential to open the seeker to higher levels of awareness and being. I have come to my decision to walk this path because it is working for me at this time, and because I believe that the pure teachings of Christ, when understood in terms of their transformative psycho-spiritual nature, and stripped of the distortions caused by well-meaning translators and ministers of the Faith, have opened my mind and heart in ways I'd never before dreamed possible.
Having tasted but a morsel of the "manna from heaven" contained in the Gospel teachings, this "wisdom from above," I have experienced moments of what the scriptures refer to a "peace that passes all understanding," and better understand what Christ meant when he proclaimed, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within", a Kingdom "not of this world" but of a higher world, a broader world of higher dimensions and levels of being far more satisfying than one can ever imagine possible.
The Christian Path may not be for you. You will simply have to try it for yourself and come to your own conclusions. I do not consider myself a "teacher" nor set apart in any way from visitors to the GurdjieffWork.com website. I am a fellow traveler with you, seeking truth and my highest expression of being. Just because I have chosen to use the GurdjieffWork.com website as a platform to "think out loud" does not mean that I am immune from feelings of doubt and confusion, even very "dark nights of the soul" as St. John of the Cross calls them. Everything shared on the GurdjieffWork.com website serves as a solid anchor in moments of my greatest psychological and emotional upheaval. The Fourth Way and Gospel Teachings simply help me weather the storms of life, as I hope they will do for you. If I err in anything that I share on the GurdjieffWork.com website, I hope those who are more knowledgeable than I in these matters will bring it to my attention. It is my sincere desire that whatever path you are on is leading you towards an objective knowledge of yourself, of the universe, of "God," and to the discovery of the purpose of your existence.
"Then a lawyer asked our Lord Jesus, Teacher, what is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets." - Matthew 22:36-40
Fourth Way Teachings by James Parkinson
James Parkinson of www.SolidRockVista.com has been teaching the ideas and principles taught by Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Nicoll, Jesus, Buddha and others for over 40 years. In his podcasts, James shares his knowledge, and answers questions about how to apply universal truth to ourselves. "Applied anything is more difficult than theoretical anything. If properly applied, these principles will change you, your world, and how you move about in it."
"All this talk about waking up makes it sound as if it's something we can do. Not. This does not mean however that we are without help."
"There's a reason the Work seems so hard sometimes. It's not the Work, it's that with which the Work has to work."
"It's often quite easy to see when others are being mechanical. When we're being mechanical we often think we're working."
Codex Alimentarius & Diagnosis of the Psychosis of World Politics
Rima Laibow's 14 points will provide you with understanding about Codex Alimentarius – health freedom threat number one. It also explains what to do about it. Codex Alimentarius (Codex for short) means "Food Code." This world food code is a United Nations agency, jointly sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It has existed for nearly 50 years and its International Statute gives it a joint mission: protecting food safety and promoting world food trade. It is supposed to do so by adopting voluntary Guidelines and Standards (defining foods in international trade) and its decisions are enforced through the World Trade Organization (WTO) which considers its Guidelines and Standards as presumptive evidence in WTO trade disputes. It has become a creature of the Bigs – Big Govt, Big Agra, Big Pharma, etc.
We invite you to join the other Americans who treasure their ability to make decisions about their health for themselves and become part of the health freedom movement to preserve that right. If enough Americans take the steps below then the sum of our actions will raise a roar for health freedom across the nation. It's simple, really: do what you know is right and there will be an army of us doing what we all know is right.
Diagnosis of the Psychosis of World Politics
"Our world economy, and with it, the familiar world order, is being ravaged and destroyed for self interest and the heartless gain which the powerful few seek for themselves at the cost of the dependent, the gullible, the vulnerable, in short, the rest of humanity." - Rima E. Laibow, M.D.
The Heart and Soul of Maurice Nicoll
"The Work is not a building, place, book, system or tradition. It is something living in our hearts and minds - if we can find it."
Conscious Harmony Audios by Tim Cook
For anyone interested in the Fourth Way Teachings as they relate to the Gospels and the path of Inner Christianity, I encourage you to listen to the audios listed below. If you are unable to link directly to the audios below, please visit www.ConsciousHarmony.org and then click on the audio title. The time notation, inside the parentheses, marks the beginning of the teaching if you care to by-pass the music and announcements. Please note that you can right-click your mouse on the links below, or on the audio links at the Church of Conscious Harmony website to download the audios to your computer.
Now I See
Commentary on the One
The Front Door of Incarnation
Feeling My Oneness with God
Friend, Hope for the Guest
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think...and think... while you are alive.
If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?
The ida that the soul will join with the ecstatic,
just because the body is rotten, that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now,
in the next life you will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth,
find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!
When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
The Illusion of Freedom
The following CNN headline and introductory text caught my attention recently. After reading the full article, I felt compelled to express my thoughts in an online forum where the article was posted, the title of which I decided to use as the by-line of this month's edition of the Journey to Essence Newsletter. Click here to read The Illusion of Freedom.
Mubarak Steps Down as President; Army Takes Over
"'Egypt's embattled President Hosni Mubarak abruptly stepped down as president, ending his 30-year-reign. Egyptian armed forces will take over the leadership of the country,' Vice President Omar Suleiman announced today. Crowds gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square erupted into loud cheers, chanting 'Egypt is free, Egypt is free,' as the historic announcement was made."
If you have any comments or questions please e-mail 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 your own psychology in action.
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