We want something to take place and we believe it will be the result of our efforts. We believe we must force a passage toward being. But it is just the opposite.
Being is always working in us, trying to break through the hard crust of our ego into the light of consciousness.
The primordial impetus animating human will is the striving of being toward this light. Thus it is not our efforts that produce the experience of being. They simply prepare the way.
The experience is not of our doing, but a revelation of WHAT IS. If we repeat unceasingly our efforts–and they need to be repeated–it is to learn to let the reality of Being emerge.
We wish to try to open without fear, to open not once or twice but constantly, until we become conscious of the power of the ego which separates us from life. We undertake this adventure of opening in order to know all the signs by which Being makes itself felt.
We learn not to look at ourselves as the measure of all things and as the master of our lives. We begin to feel that we participate in a great unity, in a great Whole.
Mme de Salzmann
Our overall Theme remains Staying Calm in a Raging World. We are working this week with Transforming our Denying Force. The denial force is sacred, the negativity of our personality is not. Seeing two forces, the affirmation and the denial together, not being identified with either, is the beginning of freedom.
Our denial force is deep within us and our centers. Whether through aversion, being slothful or indolent, strong dislike, feeling inadequate, avoidance, rejection, evading unpleasant situations or people, being indolent, arrogant, feeling superior, complaining in general – This keeps us stuck in a small and automatic part of ourselves.
Can we see the depth of our denial automatism, the denying force in our nature.
Freedom comes when we become free of duality, of likes and dislikes.
When we see this in us, put the energy of it into sensation and presence. When we see our automatic denial, can we see its opposite at the same time and hold them together. If this occurs what happens to us in the moment.
Work with our new and powerful Morning Exercise. Keep it simple, just do it.
These are challenging times. Making believe this is no big deal, or over-reaction are both fantasy. Take care, be skillful and not-identified. For us ‘idiots’ into this work, this is a time of accelerated transformation. Let’s take advantage of it.
Our Theme is Listening. Listening consciously, listening not from automatic personality, listening from three centers.
Listening to others – Not answering inside—not judging–giving space—being receptive–really hearing.
Not just with others, but sounds, hearing what the ear is picking up. Active listening. Listening Consciously.
Our theme is seeing our many I’s. It is not possible to see all our I’s, but ‘we can notice how many of our daily activities keep us from our lifetime goals and aims.’
Why are we in unprovoked denial? Mindfulness, from the word sati in Pali and Sanskrit, means to remember. Being present is to embrace life, its richness and blessing as well as the painful and tragic.
If we wish to be present, develop an inner life, be happy, we have to embrace our suffering as well – I understand this is counterintuitive. Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Important distinction.
Let us be with our experience objectively, not become that which we experience through our lower centers and self. This is our aim and the beginning of freedom. Seeing our I’s is seeing the sway likes and dis-likes have over us.
Notice how many of our daily activities keep us from our lifetime goals.
Our theme is working with Identification. ‘Something attracts our attention, stimulates us, or we dislike something, or we have a feeling of pain or pleasure, or our curiosity or intellectual activity is stimulated. Equanimity is the radical acceptance of not-knowing and a means of not taking everything so personally. Unhooking is our theme.
One can never emphasize too strongly that nothing is gained by avoidance. Only by exposing oneself can one arrive at anything. If I dislike some situation and I avoid exposing myself to it, I am no longer free and I even throw away the chance of freedom.’
We should attempt to be untouched by bitterness, self-pity and victimhood.
Identification is losing ourselves in what we are doing or in our imaginary world. We are often identified by our need to be busy, to always be doing.
In particular we are observing our identification with impatience and complaining.
Next week’s meeting is on Christmas Eve, Monday December 24th at 7pm. We will do a short exercise, speak about our work that evening in relation to the true meaning of the day and then wander around the city together. Bring change for a bus/taxi as we will travel and walk together around New York.
This year I want to address a theme: ‘The World Situation as it is now and the relation of our work and our group work in particular to the world situation’. We will explore this from time to time and focus on that theme on the work weekend of June 1st – 2nd.
We lose ourselves by becoming absorbed in events, emotions, thoughts and other people. We become interested in something and a second later we don’t exist anymore. We lose ourselves and our impartiality.
Identification is taking things personally.
We are often not aware of our identification or our likes and dislikes, they are invisible.
We can identify with anything – with people it is inner considering; with our possessions, ideas, self-image, and so on.
Identification is one of the six negative triads, it is the world of delusion (96), the extreme negative of Freedom; Identification is the ‘false freedom’.
From JGB: “Gurdjieff said more than once that this teaching originates from a conscious source. To understand it we have to be able to approach it consciously, to be able to approach it through and not from the machinery of our ordinary selves.”
Work on seeing Identification in our daily life. See it in the moment; work with sensation in separating from it; can we see impartially. What effect does this have on our energy in the moment.
I wanted to summarize the work we did together during our day this past Saturday.
Continue doing the Morning Exercise and for those who were present Saturday add on the new section. If you have questions about this let me know.
We spoke of the importance of staying within our atmosphere during the day and that self-observation meant that we are aware of ourselves being aware. It is not just seeing something or someone with awareness, but seeing ourselves as we see.
We spoke and stressed the importance of spontaneity in our lives, having a ‘spontaneous mind’; the ability to laugh at ourselves and maintain a healthy sense of humor. “Spontaneity is the striving that is non-striving and allows a higher power to act”.
In a moment we may feel Gratitude, not because of any reason. Or experience a Joy that has no cause, not the satisfaction of desire.
We worked with Zikr Dayim together. If you are moved to work with this, do so during the day, good to do for 15 minutes at a time with the holdings.
We also worked with the exercise of ‘voluntary passivity’. Do this after the Zikr if you wish, or at any time. Truly let go, be completely passive and allow.
Be grateful to everyone and try not maligning others.
Try not make unimportant things important.
Work with the Morning Exercise I-Me-Am and use it during the day as you can when waking up to become more collected and present. It is important that our waking up not only be in our minds, our thoughts, but also that we wake up in our bodies through sensation as well as feeling the presence of our emotional center.
When we are asleep and identified our aura, the energy of us, goes out to whatever we are identified with, gets sucked away from us. When we are present and gathered in our atmosphere, present to ourselves, our collected energy stays and feeds our inner life and higher connections. Try and be aware of this each day.
We spent the entire meeting last evening speaking about our Morning Exercise. Many of the observations had the quality of sincerity that allowed for deeper conversation.
Our Work is about plugging and stopping our automatic leaks of energy and opening and allowing higher energies in. Our Theme is seeing our leaks of energy. What is my major leak of energy, what are the two or three ways I leak energy the most during the course of the day.
Speaking in general these may fall into negativity, imagination and daydreaming or habitual patterns of behavior and stress.
What occupies my thoughts during the day!
First I need to be sincere and see what my major leaks of energy are.
Second, can I see these impartially.
Finally, over time a leak becoming a reminder to awake, to be present to myself.
Be sincere and genuine with yourself. Whether it is inner considering, stress, food, fear, imagination, envy, judgment, pride – See your leaks, work with them and make note of how it effects your energy and work.
The active and receptive work are not separate, we have to see that in working on our presence and collected state there has to be sacrifice, a letting go at the right moment in order to both sustain and deepen our presence.
We think and trust that our will and active work will keep our state, we hold on to our presence, our higher state, where what is needed in the moment is a letting go. In that moment we are receptive to the higher, finer energy within us. We let go of our ordinary will in order to experience a deeper presence and inner life.
We work with strong intention to be in three centers deeply; don’t worry about losing your state and open to something higher, something that sustains a deeper presence. The strong experience of being collected and non-identified is the first and important step, the letting go and opening to the finer sustains and deepens our experience.