Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Gurdjieffian Appeal - REDUX (originally posted 12/26/07)

Gurdjieff was engaged in the practical study of hypnotism between 1900 and 1908. He worked at it in connection with curing people of alcoholism and opium addiction, and with various other influences that increase suggestibility and diminish the power of personal initiative. During those years, Gurdjieff was trying to see whether he could establish a practical means for helping people with this grave condition.

Suggestibility is one of the central causes of contemporary malaise. It is a derivative weakness that is more serious than most people nowadays are prepared to admit. We are all familiar with the concept of political and advertising propaganda, but erroneously believe ourselves personally and individually immune from the same. The overwhelming majority of people have no idea about the history and practical exploitation of suggestibility as a primary instrumentality of governance.

Contemporary with the rise of the exploitation of suggestibility as a governance methodology, i.e., he saw and responded to the problem while it was yet in its infancy - Gurdjieff undertook to discover the means by which people could be delivered from this psychic weakness. Gurdjieff was decades ahead of his time - concerned as he was with something critically important to us all - long before anyone else gained a retrospective understanding of what was being done, by whom it was being done, and how it was being done. In addition to taking on the symptom of suggestibility, and its exploitation by elites as a primary governance methodology, Gurdjieff also endeavored to provide a means by which individuals could train and condition their psychic machinery to realize its full possible range of functioning.

Behind the general condition of suggestibility lurks a generalized and woeful ignorance of human nature. This is one of the most awkward aspects of our general situation. People believe that they know themselves, know their own internal nature, but nothing could be further from the truth. Where precisely does one come upon a deep and sound education concerning the nature of his/her psychic apparatus? Home and family? School? Church? Place of employment? The fact of the matter is that it simply never happens. Education in the methods of self-knowledge are infinitely more fragmentary and sporadic than simple sex education. We're neither provided with a user manual for basic operation of our organism, and, the institutions which shape and control our lives' attention don't trouble themselves to provide such a manual.

Why should they?

Knowing so much about the external nature of the world and of ourselves, and knowing so very little about our own internal nature makes us very easy and very cost effective to govern. As long as people can be made to work very effectively on the outside, while kept weak, ignorant, and ineffectual on the inside, we are as lambs under the care of wolves.

The basic illusion by which we are kept docile and governable is rooted in the nature of consciousness cultivated and permitted within our embedding culture. What we ordinarily call consciousness is only a reflection of true consciousness. True consciousness is the reverse of what men ordinarily call consciousness. To the extent that we learn this fact, and go beyond knowledge to practice, and effect a reversal of the ordinary waking state, i.e., make what is in our subconsciousness the agent and center of what we call our consciousness


snmseo said...

Opium addiction has affected entire populations and international economies, and through the dissemination of other drugs which are derived from it, opium addiction in one form or another has become a worldwide problem.

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