Gurdjieff and Actual Freedom

thumbnail
Oliver Myth, modified 10 Years ago at 6/15/11 10:48 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/10/11 8:13 PM

Gurdjieff and Actual Freedom

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
Hello all. Are you ready for the most controversial AF topic on DharmaOverground?

Richard has been famous for claiming that he is the 'first' to attain AF and completely overcome suffering. And although the Buddha claimed the same thing, and many of his followers and teachings teach about the elimination of the fetters and suffering in ways that an Actually Free person may describe, he still claims to be the only one. I offer another source; one that is neither Buddhist nor AF, yet describes clearly, and without a doubt, the process that includes MCTB 4th path (once again, it is described so clearly and to be undeniable) and includes the path to the Actual World.


I quote George Ivanovich Gurdjieff in his book "Life Is Only Real Then, When I Am":[indent][indent]
Among other things, I said then that the most important work for a man who has already cognized with his Reason his real significance- that is to say, who has cognized his error in the sense of the exaggerated importance given to his individuality, which represents, according to his own impartial appreciation in a quiet state, almost a complete "nullity"- is to acquire the ableness to direct for a definite time all his possibilities and all his strength only for the purpose of constating as many as possible of the physical as well as the psychic abnormal facts proceeding in his various functionings, that is, to exercise what is called "self-observation".

It is obligatorily necessary to do so chiefly in order that such undesirable facts, cognized only by his mind, which are still empty of significance for his common presence, gradually assimilating into his nature, should begin to crystallize a steady conviction about everything learned, and through this, as it must lawfully proceed, should come forth in his common presence for the possibility of further work upon himself, an energy of great intensiveness, with the help of which alone is a further work upon himself possible and which is manifested, by the way, in a persistent striving to achieve the "power" during the daytime in his so to say "Waking state," for a definite time to "remember himself."

This is necessary in its turn so that such a man, who has cognized only with his mind the nullity of his individuality and who has decided to struggle consciously with the abnormalities constated by him, which have crystallized in his individuality thanks to the unfitting surrounding conditions of his preparatory age, and which manifest themselves in all sorts of weaknesses that in totality give birth to his will-lessness, character-lessness, inertness and so on, could learn as much as possible not to identify with the surrounding conditions and, continuing to observe his inner and outer manifestations with a simultaneous domination in himself of various feelings of partiality which are becoming inherent in him, and thus constating still more deeply various factors, abnormal even according to his own consciousness, and existing in great number in his psyche as well as in his physical body: all this with the aim of convincing himself with his whole being of his negative properties that are even in his own judgment unworthy of a man, and not only with his, in the present case, meaning-nothing "mind""; so that thus he may again become a person wishing to work upon himself with his whole being, and not only, as I have just said, with his meaningless consciousness.

On account of the great importance of this question, I repeat and underline that all this is indispensable in order that in a man working upon himself should arise and accumulate, as could only lawfully proceed, the needed energy for the possibility of continuing to work with the intensity of striving and power of action upon himself which alone permits the transmutation of oneself from this "nullity" into that "something" which he ought to have been according to even his own "good sense"; this latter, although rarely, does manifest itself in each contemporary man at those moments when the surrounding conditions do not prevent the manifestation of this good sense, that is, to be such as a man ought to be, the, as is said, "acme of Creation," and not what he has become in reality, especially in recent times, namely, as in moments of self-sincerity he knows himself to be- an automatically perceiving and in everything manifesting himself domestic animal.[/indent][/indent]


Ah. Where should a human being begin? He clearly describes MCTB 4th path. Should I mention how Gurdjieff mentions the possibility of stagnating after seeing thru the sense of identity, such as might have been what Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk among others had done for 7 years? Or how he emphasizes using his whole "being" to create the change and how it must be his "being" which wants to let go as opposed to simply thoughts and how it is according to his common sense (as is recorded by Nickolai)?

Let me also repeat part of the quote for an example:
[indent]I repeat and underline that all this is indispensable in order that in a man working upon himself should arise and accumulate, [...] the needed energy for the possibility of continuing to work with the intensity of striving and power of action upon himself which alone permits the transmutation of oneself from this "nullity" into that "something" which he ought to have been according to even his own "good sense"; this latter, although rarely, does manifest itself in each contemporary man at those moments when the surrounding conditions do not prevent the manifestation of this good sense, that is, to be such as a man ought to be, the, as is said, "acme of Creation,"[/indent]

This paragraph is clearly pointing at what Richard calls a PCE. No mention of an EE or Virtual Freedom here, but if I understand correctly these are not even pivotal points for the Actualism method. Also, because the grammar may be hard to read I want to point out one thing: at the end he describes how normal man, if he is sincere with himself, is a "domestic animal", and how this is in contrast to the PCE mode. Reread entire passage again if Gurdjieff's quote doesn't make sense.

---

I should like to mention here that I will say with confidence that the sign of a useful and true spiritual practice is by how well it imitates the spiritual/actual reality that it is trying to achieve. By noting the three characteristics, one is noting how the MCTB 4th path world is perceived, and thus it trains the mind to perceive that way until it is permanent. Likewise, a solid AF practice will imitate the myriad of qualities of what Actual Freedom is like until such a process takes over the mind. This is also in line with the idea that enlightenment is a 'biological' effect. By training the mind and optimizing on what the modern world calls "brain plasticity" the mind slowly comes to perceive and become whatever it does repeatedly, be that perceiving the three characteristics in all things, or by being felicitous, happy and harmless.

---


If you are looking for a public example of someone who might be actually free, since examples are hard to come by and Richard has become less available since he stopped taking emails, look at the Dalai Lama. I cannot imagine anybody more committed to being happy and harmless than him. Having met him in person I can attest that I have never seen him show the
slightest bit of irritation, impatience, stress or anything similar. But don't take my word for it, there are plenty of youtube videos of him. Be critical, look deeply, and give your honest opinion of whether you see him showing the tiniest sign of stress. And I'll add that if the Dalai Lama has done it, then its logical to assume that at least _one_ of the Tibetan schools of Buddhism has gotten it right and is familiar with the path that leads to the complete cessation of suffering.


Another potential example of an AF person would be Osho. Because many if not all of his meditations he taught people were a bit too goofy and pop-psychology-ish and he was very cult leader like (like Richard perhaps?), I would not be surprised if people's reaction to this would be slight disbelief, however he was very famous for rejecting nearly all spiritual traditions and all teachers that he was aware of (even calling Jesus a lot of nasty names). Sound like an Actual Freedom leader that we know of? More importantly, he claimed that Gurdjieff (author of the above quote) had gotten it right, and listed one or two other spiritual teachers he admired (notably J. Krishnamirti, although Osho thought he had insight, he claimed that he was not the most efficient teacher with his students. I've never looked into him much. Maybe someone who is familiar with him can
mention if his ideas are aligned with AF?)

As a side note, Osho was also notorious for making all of his teachings contradictory and making each one seem right in its own circumstance, and then giving the opposite advice two seconds later. This would make it hard to pinpoint his exact beliefs, however a simple reading of his books gives me a strong impression of how he attempts exact communication at the level of the people he is dealing with, similar to Trent's posts here on DhO. He humorously claimed on several occasions that he gave contradicting answers on purpose in order than no religious dogma could be formed after he died. And this flexibility between view-points seems reminiscent of how Actual Freedom is 'without a point of view besides raw sensate reality'.






*END NOTE*
Since this may seem a big wall of text, those interested in AF should at least read the quoted part above (which is tabbed over). The rest… as they say… is geography.


`Olyver Mith

[Edited to create a more accurate post title.]
thumbnail
Oliver Myth, modified 10 Years ago at 6/10/11 8:41 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/10/11 8:18 PM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Territory for the AF Practicioner

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
I have also left out all details of Gurdjieff's history, teachings, or practices, as he has had a very colorful life and the books that he wrote personally are very hard to read, but very worthwhile. The previous post was written solely for the purpose of persuading one that Gurdjieff is talking about the AF territory with the end goal of Actual Freedom. I am familiar with the rest of his works if you want to know something more and I plan to share more later.

Be cautious when reading what his followers write on various websites because not all of them quite got what he was getting at and thus created their own construed versions, esp. regarding things like 'conscious suffering'. For those looking to do more research on their own, Gurdjieff marks out the same territory as the 16 nanas in his Law of Seven and Law of Three. I will describe it in more detail later.


I'll add as a side note that AH Almaas seems to cover the territory after MCTB 4th Path in a radically different way. There is a chance that he is familiar with AF but it's a little unlikely. He reminds me more of Kenneth Folk's take on post 4th path, although I find his material on pre-first path to be immeasurably valuable.
Trent , modified 10 Years ago at 6/11/11 12:18 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/11/11 12:02 AM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Territory for the AF Practicioner

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
hello and welcome,

Olyver Mith:
Are you ready for the most controversial AF topic on DharmaOverground?


im not sure if i'm ready for that, but i was ready for the most loaded question on the dharmaoverground.

speaking of questions, i have a few for you...

Olyver Mith:
Richard has been famous for claiming that he is the 'first' to attain AF and completely overcome suffering.


who exactly is he famous with?

Olyver Mith:
He clearly describes MCTB 4th path.


where does he do this?

Olyver Mith:
This paragraph is clearly pointing at what Richard calls a PCE.


i do not see how the paragraph mentioned clearly points to anything, let alone what richard calls a pce. can you elaborate on why you think that it does?

Olyver Mith:
I should like to mention here that I will say with confidence that the sign of a useful and true spiritual practice is by how well it imitates the spiritual/actual reality that it is trying to achieve.


the 'imitation' you mention sounds indicative of view, and one's view is but a small part of the path ... a factor which is not even necessary to align in some rigidly specified way to bring about freedom from suffering. in fact, it too must be abandoned if one is to finish the task. doesn't it seem, then, that we should instead consider the usefulness of the practice to lie in how well it allows its practitioner to rid their mind of malice and sorrow (and all views dependent upon their being)?

Olyver Mith:
And I'll add that if the Dalai Lama has done it, then its logical to assume that at least _one_ of the Tibetan schools of Buddhism has gotten it right and is familiar with the path that leads to the complete cessation of suffering.


i watched an interview on the news about a year ago which featured the dalai lama. he clearly demonstrated passionate views and feelings, including the passions of nurture and aggression (which must necessarily be sourced in fear and desire), especially during discussion about his being exiled from tibet and related topics.

Olyver Mith:
Another potential example of an AF person would be Osho. Because many if not all of his meditations he taught people were a bit too goofy and pop-psychology-ish and he was very cult leader like (like Richard perhaps?), I would not be surprised if people's reaction to this would be slight disbelief, however he was very famous for rejecting nearly all spiritual traditions and all teachers that he was aware of (even calling Jesus a lot of nasty names). Sound like an Actual Freedom leader that we know of? More importantly, he claimed that Gurdjieff (author of the above quote) had gotten it right, and listed one or two other spiritual teachers he admired (notably J. Krishnamirti, although Osho thought he had insight, he claimed that he was not the most efficient teacher with his students. I've never looked into him much. Maybe someone who is familiar with him can mention if his ideas are aligned with AF?)


since when does teaching goofy and pop-psychology-ish meditations which may or may not be contradictory (and therefore either utterly inefficient or at least quite ineffective), or calling anyone nasty names, or somehow being considered similar to another af person (to you), or having beliefs of any kind, or attempting exact communication at the level of the people he is dealing with (or even perceiving there to be a ‘level’ in the first place), have anything to do with being free from the instinctual passions and the identity built dependently upon them?

lastly, i was wondering ... why did you choose to participate on the forum this way? also, are you up for posting something about your history or practice (such as why you find AH's material on pre-first path to be immeasurably valuable)?

trent
thumbnail
Oliver Myth, modified 10 Years ago at 6/13/11 3:24 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/12/11 4:15 AM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Territory for the AF Practicioner

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
Trent .:

Olyver Mith:
Richard has been famous for claiming that he is the 'first' to attain AF and completely overcome suffering.


who exactly is he famous with?



When I read quite a few posts here and there on whether Richard claiming to be the first to be Actually Free is/isn't a reason to be distracted from practicing AF, I assume they all know about his claim to be the first, and I use the word "famous" when lots of people know about it. Interesting question. Can I ask why you asked that? Is there some common trap in the psyche that is related to this?

Trent .:


Olyver Mith:
He clearly describes MCTB 4th path.


where does he do this?


I think Gurdjieff describes MTCB 4th Path pretty clearly in these sentences:
"a man [...] who has cognized his error in the sense of the exaggerated importance given to his individuality, "
and
"It is obligatorily necessary to do so chiefly in order that such undesirable facts, cognized only by his mind, which are still empty of significance for his common presence, gradually assimilating into his nature, "


Trent .:


Olyver Mith:
This paragraph is clearly pointing at what Richard calls a PCE.


i do not see how the paragraph mentioned clearly points to anything, let alone what richard calls a pce. can you elaborate on why you think that it does?


When other spiritual practitioners use vague terms like "acme of creation" how do you personally judge what they are talking about? How much evidence do you need for something like this before you start proclaiming something as true? I am curious what experience is like for you. You are entirely correct in that he does not point to anything clearly. I liked to think the "acme of experience" part described the PCE because the PCE is the most 'acme' experience I've encountered in the literal sense of the word. Thus, this is also why I asked the question at the beginning of this paragraph along with the hopes that maybe you could give me a more accurate way to view things (in other words, provide me with a good rule of thumb if your advice is in accordance with my own good judgement).


Trent .:

Olyver Mith:
I should like to mention here that I will say with confidence that the sign of a useful and true spiritual practice is by how well it imitates the spiritual/actual reality that it is trying to achieve.


the 'imitation' you mention sounds indicative of view, and one's view is but a small part of the path ... a factor which is not even necessary to align in some rigidly specified way to bring about freedom from suffering. in fact, it too must be abandoned if one is to finish the task. doesn't it seem, then, that we should instead consider the usefulness of the practice to lie in how well it allows its practitioner to rid their mind of malice and sorrow (and all views dependent upon their being)?


And I did not mean 'imitation' in the same sense as a 'point of view'. I meant if the effects created by the practice are similar to Actual Freedom (such as having PCEs by practicing PCE cultivation) then it is likely to lead to an Actually Freedom.


Trent .:


Olyver Mith:
And I'll add that if the Dalai Lama has done it, then its logical to assume that at least _one_ of the Tibetan schools of Buddhism has gotten it right and is familiar with the path that leads to the complete cessation of suffering.


i watched an interview on the news about a year ago which featured the dalai lama. he clearly demonstrated passionate views and feelings, including the passions of nurture and aggression (which must necessarily be sourced in fear and desire), especially during discussion about his being exiled from tibet and related topics.


When you mention that the Dalai Lama expressed passions, could I ask if it is impossible for an Actually Free person to imitate such emotions if they are for the benefit of others? Is this hinting that it is for the benefit of all persons if we _don't_ express emotions? Or do you simply choose to never show any display of emotion-like actions? Does being Actually Free offer some ability to tell if another person is acting out of emotion or not? A sample download video on the AF site under the title ‘A Pure Consciousness Experience’ shows Richard talking with a woman {http://actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/dvdinfo.htm} At one point he suddenly moves his whole body and says "Okay" in response to the woman saying that "It was definitely an all-powerful experience" while talking about the ASC. To me that gives the impression that he is being humbled in a good natured way (an emotion) and it seems he intends to give that impression to the woman for her benefit. It seems this way to me because of the way his body moves and tone of voice and how the communication was not making a logical point, but using body language (which that and emotional vibes are the only way that I know how to tell if someone is being emotional, and its impossible to read emotional vibes over video, such as how you claimed to see the Dalai Lama "Show passions"). How would you, an Actual Free person, tell if this instance with Richard was or was not a 'stirring of passions'? How could you tell in the case with the Dalai Lama? Did you make the judgement that the Dalai Lama was still subject to passions before or after you were Actually Free (I thought you became Actually Free less than a year ago. Where you in a good position to make a judgement on whether someone was Actually Free or not?)?


Trent .:


lastly, i was wondering ... why did you choose to participate on the forum this way? also, are you up for posting something about your history or practice (such as why you find AH's material on pre-first path to be immeasurably valuable)?

trent


Why did I post this way? I assume you mean in such strong terms? I read the inertia here as in favor of not accepting ideas outside of the AF website and from a few people on the board, and I phrased things strongly to break that inertia. And, if I could provide more reading material for people they may become familiar with it and then I would have a broader range of terms and practices that I could relate to them with. Also, in accordance with one my own convictions and one of the founding ideals of the DhO, I think that it is better to try and debunk all the myths possible. Have you heard of the phrase "Bad ideas die when they hit the fresh air"? Meaning that if you voice your thoughts and opinions it becomes easier to tell which ones are worth working with further and which ones can be left behind. It's been my impression that the more accurate information that is accumulated, the better, and thus have followed this motive on the assumption that "truth" was better than 'falsity' and that it would do good for everyone. Progress and science can only progress off of the information that is increasingly accurate and 'true'. Would you suggest dropping this motive in favor of being happy and harmless? But then wouldn't that be a point of view? What kind of point of view allows one to rid their mind of malice and sorrow?



Thank you for the quick response!
Olyver Mith
Trent , modified 10 Years ago at 6/13/11 6:46 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/13/11 5:42 PM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Territory for the AF Practicioner

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
hello,

Olyver Mith:

When I read quite a few posts here and there on whether Richard claiming to be the first to be Actually Free is/isn't a reason to be distracted from practicing AF, I assume they all know about his claim to be the first, and I use the word "famous" when lots of people know about it. Interesting question. Can I ask why you asked that? Is there some common trap in the psyche that is related to this?


i asked out of curiosity. the word 'famous' is vague and its usage tends to indicate something related to identity, so i wanted to know more precisely what you meant.

Olyver Mith:

I think Gurdjieff describes MTCB 4th Path pretty clearly in these sentences:
"a man [...] who has cognized his error in the sense of the exaggerated importance given to his individuality, "
and
"It is obligatorily necessary to do so chiefly in order that such undesirable facts, cognized only by his mind, which are still empty of significance for his common presence, gradually assimilating into his nature, "


although someone of mtcb 4th path could say those things and perhaps be alluding to an aspect of what 4th path means to them, the descriptions are no where near clear or abundant enough to provide a substantial argument regarding whether the guy is 4th path, or whether he's talking about 4th path. and with that as the case, i don't see how any of it is practically useful.


Olyver Mith:

When other spiritual practitioners use vague terms like "acme of creation" how do you personally judge what they are talking about?


how i figure out what someone is talking about depends a lot on the specifics of the context.

practically speaking, vague writing doesn't provide very useful information because it does not communicate much, and may even end up confusing people. their usage tends to imply more about the circumstances (regarding the user) than the words themselves.

Olyver Mith:
How much evidence do you need for something like this before you start proclaiming something as true?


i do not need any evidence at all, because i don't proclaim anything like this to be true (or false). there is no need to accumulate credibility for something when everything is already so undeniably actual.

Olyver Mith:
I liked to think the "acme of experience" part described the PCE because the PCE is the most 'acme' experience I've encountered in the literal sense of the word.


well, there's no wrong in thinking of it that way, if you want. however, due to the ambiguity of his writing, there's no way to know whether he was doing the same while writing that. does it change anything, practically speaking, if he is or isn't talking about the pce?

Olyver Mith:

And I did not mean 'imitation' in the same sense as a 'point of view'. I meant if the effects created by the practice are similar to Actual Freedom (such as having PCEs by practicing PCE cultivation) then it is likely to lead to an Actually Freedom.


ok.

Olyver Mith:
When you mention that the Dalai Lama expressed passions, could I ask if it is impossible for an Actually Free person to imitate such emotions if they are for the benefit of others?


i don't think that's impossible, but the context provided plenty of information suggestive of him being true to his feelings.

Olyver Mith:
Is this hinting that it is for the benefit of all persons if we _don't_ express emotions?


certainly, but don't repress them either. elimination of what causes them to happen in the first place is the way to go.

Olyver Mith:
Does being Actually Free offer some ability to tell if another person is acting out of emotion or not?


i edited my response here a few times... being actually free allows you to see other people clearly, so the information that can be gleaned from body language is quite reliable. this means that one is able to speculate about whether another is acting out of emotion or not, and provided enough information, may allow one to decide upon a (tentative) conclusion about that until something else changes the situation, such as the person actually stating something to the contrary.

Olyver Mith:
A sample download video on the AF site under the title ‘A Pure Consciousness Experience’ shows Richard talking with a woman {http://actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/dvdinfo.htm} At one point he suddenly moves his whole body and says "Okay" in response to the woman saying that "It was definitely an all-powerful experience" while talking about the ASC. To me that gives the impression that he is being humbled in a good natured way (an emotion) and it seems he intends to give that impression to the woman for her benefit. It seems this way to me because of the way his body moves and tone of voice and how the communication was not making a logical point, but using body language (which that and emotional vibes are the only way that I know how to tell if someone is being emotional, and its impossible to read emotional vibes over video, such as how you claimed to see the Dalai Lama "Show passions"). How would you, an Actual Free person, tell if this instance with Richard was or was not a 'stirring of passions'?


i do not see anything about the situation which indicates to me that richard was feeling anything at all. and it's not that i can tell whether he (or anyone else) is or is not feeling a passion, but rather, that i don't see anything indicating that he is feeling passion.

Olyver Mith:
How could you tell in the case with the Dalai Lama?


i was paying attention to everything about the situation ... body language (posture, voice, etc), the words he chose to respond with, cues about his mood, contextual variables such as the speed at which he responded to questions and the emotional rapport being held with the interviewer, and so on.

Olyver Mith:
It's been my impression that the more accurate information that is accumulated, the better, and thus have followed this motive on the assumption that "truth" was better than 'falsity' and that it would do good for everyone.


if that is your impression, then why are you reading --and trying to convince others to read -- the ambiguous writing you've quoted sections of? i ask because, last i checked, accurate information came from articulate writing.

Olyver Mith:
What kind of point of view allows one to rid their mind of malice and sorrow?


any point of view which enables pure intent to operate.

Olyver Mith:
Thank you for the quick response!


you're welcome.

trent
thumbnail
Eric B, modified 10 Years ago at 6/12/11 12:06 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/12/11 12:06 PM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Literature for the AF Practicioner

Posts: 187 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Hi Olyver,

You raise some interesting points which I find intriguing; I'm glad you raised them and look forward to your expanding on them in this thread.

Eric
thumbnail
Oliver Myth, modified 10 Years ago at 6/13/11 3:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/13/11 3:13 AM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Literature for the AF Practicioner

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
Thanks! emoticon

Since one of the reasons I started this thread to add some new practice ideas and culture, I thought I would mention some of Gurdjieff's ideas which are relevant to practice here on DhO. Here is my direct experience with his practices.


Gurdjieff claimed that one of the fundamental laws of the universe was his Law of Three which described the three driving forces of the universe: the Affirming force, Denying force, and Reconciling force which roughly correlate to the head, body and heart respectively (or Shiva, Shakti, Union; Father, Holy Ghost, Son; Heaven, Hell, Man; or whatever you like). The Law of Three explains how these different types of phenomena interact: the Affirming force would act off of an affirmation, the Denying forces are the natural forces that oppose the Affirmation force, and the Reconciling force is created when one has enough drive to work through the Denying forces and achieve a substantial result.

To work on oneself requires effort which will create an Affirming force... Gurdjieff claims that in order to do true work on oneself, kicking off the Affirming force would require a push from some higher level of existence (imagine an A&P event), this then runs into all sorts of phenomena that would normally oppose the Affirming Force (think of all the fear, misery and disgust that opposes that great momentum), and lastly, if the Affirmation has enough force behind it (and with the appropriate "shock" which I will describe below), eventually the forces meld into the Reconciling force. Which, when stabilized, becomes a permanent ground for further work (think stream entry and next path).

I'm going to intervene for a second here to mention that Gurdjieff claimed to be a master of what is commonly known as Magick in the western esoteric sense, claiming to have power over other peoples psyche and being able to kill yaks that were a days march away among other things. When he became very skilled, he gave up all unnecessary powers in order to commit to a life of servitude to his fellow humans (which was a good thing for everyone else, because he pulled off a lot of devious scandals while he was growing up). But the formula listed above should sound similar to any modern practitioner of Magick: one makes an affirmation, which then has to be played against the bits of reality that oppose such an affirmation, and, if the affirmation was strong enough, then the specific result which is created opens the option for further action.

Lastly, The Law of Seven describes one of his most interesting ideas, what he called "Shock Points". Shock points are moments in any process which require the insertion of some sort of "shock" into the system in order for things to proceed in a straight line without getting sidetracked. He claims that everything runs off of this law, stating that this is why stockmarkets never have straight profit or straight loss but instead go all zig-zagged on the charts and why there are two back keys for every octave on a piano. This may seem a bit far-fetched, so lets look into the practical applications of this theory. Gurdjieff states that there are always two shock points to a given process.

When working on oneself, the first shock point involves just getting off your ass and doing something. One needs to have a plan and act on it instead of being "being okay" with how everything is or ignoring the fact that something is upsetting you . The typical Gurdjiefian practice for this is called "Conscious Labor". It's similar to how it sounds: one very mindfully creates an affirmation and mindfully works at it.

The second shock point has to do with working through all the forces that oppose the affirmation. If one wants to write a book, then he/she will have to put in the hours and the brain-power to finish it, which usually entails some degree of suffering. The Gurdjieffian practice to get thru this is called "Intentional Suffering". Probably the easiest way to understand this is to think of passing thru the 10th nana, Re-Observation. One cannot force their way through it, as usually it seems that any kind of strong intention based off of resistance blocks one from passing the 10th nana. "Intentional Suffering" (which is practiced when one is at this stage) is the intentional acceptance of suffering. This surprising force is what allows one to push thru to the last leg of the race, which ends with the Reconciling force and that force becoming the new ground of reality.

--


I briefly described the Law of Three and the Law of Seven above. I highly recommend looking at a few websites if you dig this stuff.

His books are amazing too and have fantastic stories about the most insane situations.

In "Meetings with Remarkable Men" he tells the tale of how his friends decided to adventure far into the Gobi Desert to look for remains of an ancient city and uncover ancient secrets. The Gobi Desert was incredibly inhospitable, so he and his friends split up for a month to do research into ways that could make the journey bearable (a lot of his friends were scientists, archeologists, or wealthy). When they returned they shared their ideas and made a plan: they bought materials under the guise of an eccentric entrepreneur trying to make a fortune, and built wooden thrones on the back of hundreds of sheep and goats. As time went on they would eat the sheep and goats, burn parts of their thrones for campfires, and feed the goats with chemically altered food with chemicals buried beneath the sand. Unfortunately, one of his friends died from a wild camel bite! (which is almost as bad as when a moose bit my sister!)

Another story tells about how he was running low on money so he created these little bird traps in the city park and would paint sparrows and sell them off as rare pet finches from another another country! After eighty sales he fled town before it began to rain and the paint came off!

emoticonemoticonemoticon

I hear that Ouspensky's book "In Search of the Miraculous" is really good read and an easier read than Gurdjieff's books. There are other books out there which may be more or less reliable depending on the author. In the end, what really matters is what is fundamentally true for you. Don't try to live somebody else's life by trying to please their ideals! Work for yourself!- always and sincerely.


And before I leave you all with this new information to ponder, I have to say thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Taking the time and effort to create this post was fun and has helped me organize and better understand the topics which I have covered.

Don't you love win-win games? : )
Olyver Mith
thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago at 6/13/11 7:37 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/13/11 7:33 AM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Literature for the AF Practicioner

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Sure dude, but none of this has anything whatsoever to do with AF. I'm afraid you won't be able to debunk any AF 'myth' until you know what AF is about.
eric d, modified 10 Years ago at 6/16/11 9:39 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/16/11 9:39 AM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Literature for the AF Practicioner

Posts: 6 Join Date: 12/20/09 Recent Posts
Olyver Mith:


Lastly, The Law of Seven describes one of his most interesting ideas, what he called "Shock Points". Shock points are moments in any process which require the insertion of some sort of "shock" into the system in order for things to proceed in a straight line without getting sidetracked. He claims that everything runs off of this law, stating that this is why stockmarkets never have straight profit or straight loss but instead go all zig-zagged on the charts and why there are two back keys for every octave on a piano. This may seem a bit far-fetched, so lets look into the practical applications of this theory. Gurdjieff states that there are always two shock points to a given process.


Hey,

Nice thread. The bold highlighting from the above quote is my own. Although barely familiar with Gurdjieff's philosophy (I am recently discovering some), I think I can clarify that - while you meant to write two BLACK keys - what you are actually thinking of as 'shock points' would be the two HALF-STEPS that come in one octave. Specifically, in the major scale, between the major third and the perfect fourth, and the major seventh and the octave.

There are, in fact, five black keys for any octave on the keyboard... but they don't always matter. The half-steps (regardless of being black or white keys) are what create the fundamental beauty of the major scale.

There is a whole lot of information packed in the major scale and in all of music... I just don't think we're quite advanced enough in our thinking to decode it yet.

Cheers and good music,
Eric
matt , modified 10 Years ago at 6/15/11 3:25 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/14/11 1:47 PM

RE: Debunking AF Myths and Adding New Literature for the AF Practicioner

Post: 1 Join Date: 6/14/11 Recent Posts
Oliver Mith:
...look at the Dalai Lama. I cannot imagine anybody more committed to being happy and harmless than him. Having met him in person I can attest that I have never seen him show the
slightest bit of irritation, impatience, stress or anything similar. But don't take my word for it, there are plenty of youtube videos of him. Be critical, look deeply, and give your honest opinion of whether you see him showing the tiniest sign of stress.


Hello,

The Dalai Lama doesn't seem to show any irritation (far as I can tell) in the following clip...but he does express how he still loses his temper, occasionally. so, I guess if what he (the Dalai Lama) says about occasionally losing his temper (getting angry/irritated/emotion/feeling being) is accurate...then he is not AF.

video link title: Dalai Lama: "Sometimes I get angry, too"


video link: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/dalai-lama-angry-13400561 (now working correctly)



Best, Matt

Edited: to correct dead video link and to clarify
thumbnail
Oliver Myth, modified 10 Years ago at 6/15/11 10:48 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/15/11 10:40 PM

RE: Gurdjieff and Actual Freedom

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
Trent: "i do not need any evidence at all, because i don't proclaim anything like this to be true (or false). there is no need to accumulate credibility for something when everything is already so undeniably actual. "


Haha. This made me smile emoticon

Internalized emotional concepts (like one's I may use to judge someone's credibilty) seem to provide a sense of support which I still feel like I need. It is only when I feel like I can accept the situation as it is and live without them that I can drop them... This would be par for the course, correct?

Other than that I can't really think of any other questions that I can't answer for myself or that don't need experience before I ask them.



Olyver Mith:
Is this hinting that it is for the benefit of all persons if we _don't_ express emotions?


certainly,


Fascinating! Yet it seems common sense now that you've said it.


I appreciate many of your comments and questions. Very valid points.

And Matt, good video. The Dalai Lama does admit to losing his temper sometimes. I stand corrected.

Olyer Mith

Edit: I'm changing the name of this thread because I think it is misleading. I had the best intentions when I wrote it, but time has changed my opinion.