Saturday, December 22, 2012

unless you work on yourself....,

We have to grasp the teaching of the Work more and more clearly in this respect. The Work says that, as we are mechanically, force is drained from us. Yes—continually, by worrying, by anxiety, by getting negative, and, in fact, by every variety of identifying. So the Work teaches at the start: "A man must remember himself." Why? Because if anyone remembers himself, it stops this terrible draining of force that takes place through continual identifying—yes—even identifying with having lost a dollar, and crawling under beds, lifting carpets, in order to find this dollar and worrying about it all day and night.

Do you regard this as an exaggeration? I assure you that all of us are just like this. We make, through this customary identifying and so lack of Self-Remembering—we make, I say, the most trivial and silly things of enormous importance and therefore suffer most patently from this great illness, this disease of sleeping mankind, which the Work diagnoses as Identifying. Mr. Gurdjieff called it the most terrible illness on this planet. And, as you know, the Work system explains that when a man or woman is thoroughly identified they are asleep and then are in a condition of hypnosis and so are used by the two sheep-farmers controlling the Earth-Moon terminal for their own purposes—namely, for meat and wool. So wars, revolutions, epidemics, go on—a good opportunity for plenty of meat and wool.

Now this "good news", as Gurdjieff called the Work which he brought to the West, has as one of its main ideas that it is possible for a man to awaken from the Earth-Moon hypnotism and separate himself. How? By an inner act called Self-Remembering. This gives a shock—the First Conscious Shock. But all that the Work teaches is also necessary—about selfobservation, not considering, not identifying, not self-justifying, not self-pitying, not falling into negative emotions without any struggle, not believing the thoughts that come while in negative states, not allowing yourself to lie to yourself, not living in pictures of yourself, and a hundred and one other things that we have been studying in this system during these years. But the supreme thing is Self-Remembering.

If we leave out Self-Remembering we leave out the real psychic act, performed internally, that constitutes the First Conscious Shock. It is by means of this First Conscious Shock that we are separated from the strange hypnotic sleep of mankind on this Earth. This is the heart and substance of the "good news" brought by Gurdjieff to the West—and Gurdjieff called it "esoteric Christianity". Bear these words always in your mind. Exoteric religion is one thing: esoteric teaching is another. And once you have begun to realize, for your own private selves, the message of this teaching, you will be able to read the Gospels in a new way and see for yourselves that Christ was not teaching Christianity as we are taught it—if you can bear this paradox. I will add here that it is more than interesting to read again the scattered fragments of Christ's teaching present in the Four Gospels and pick out what was really meant, in the light of the Work. Nothing is more releasing for the fast-bound religious mind that holds many in prison—yes—now—at this moment.