Friday, March 30, 2012

the outer limits



a work friend made some simple statement that she likes spiritual writings she can understand, they are practical and make sense.

immediately i recognized (rightly or wrongly) that she was measuring her potential evolution against what she already likes, against what she already is capable of understanding. and i was immediately grateful for the impossibility of gurdjieff's difficult and convoluted writing.

***

once i was given an exercise to make a certain effort for a period, and then to cease as entirely as possible with just enough “maintenance” to continue to observe. somehow with that direction, for once, rather than being so taken with an energetic buzz, that afforded an opportunity to experience something quieter and stiller – who knew!?!?

from that experience about ceasing to make an effort, i often suspect any “thrilling” sensation to be a “descent” or a “radiation” rather than an “emanation” and am sometimes reminded to try to “try less” and to “watch more” when i experience a buzz, rather than let it take over.

***

among other friends in the Work we briefly touched upon:
Soon after the beginning of my sixth sojourn I became categorically convinced, as a result of my experimental investigations, that most of the causes of the strangeness of their psyche lie, not in that usual consciousness in which they have automatized themselves to exist during what they call their 'waking state,' but in the consciousness which, thanks to their abnormal ordinary being-existence, was gradually driven back within their common presence and which, although it should have been their real consciousness, remains in them in its primitive state and is called by them the 'subconscious.'
and then we sat quietly for a short while. and under the suggestion from that passage, that my waking consciousness wouldn’t “take me there” i allowed some “sleep” to overtake my mind and even the characteristic experience of “energy” subsided and in its place everything became remarkably still and quiet. what was a “buzz” now had a “relatively” “more objective” still and silent quality.

perhaps this seeming breaching of the restrictive structure of my personality was only possible because the idea was somehow novel, not anticipated – that’s why the matrix portals only work for a limited time. ("In the Construct, Neo and Trinity get armaments. 'Neo,' protests Trinity, 'No one has ever done anything like this.' 'That's why it's going to work,' he replies." -http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/synopsis)

i shared my (big) experience. but it met some downplaying, like we’re gathering bits of information, etc., etc., and i realized that i had stumbled into an experience bigger than he credited. but inasmuch as i realized he wasn’t quite right, i realized "i" could not be right either – that my know-it-all'ness, at my level, is mathematically impossible. so in a roundabout fashion i realize my friend was right, we’re just gathering bits of information. i'm also reminded that whenever i share some “insight” with someone, it gets picked up by a something ordinary which “already knew.” that's always frustrating, but, i guess, lawful. here's what i read recently:
The subject of the conversation at my table and across the restaurant was the bad weather. The diners expressed a number of different views on the subject, which the waiters – invested with a presumed meterological wisdom, and locals, after all – took it upon themselves to arbitrate. In the end the faction that forecast good weather for the following day won.
--Robert Bolano, The Third Reich (a novel, but reading that is why i purchased it). (reminiscent of "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.")
every idea in the work, i do not understand them today, but i wish to understand them more and more through work on myself
--attributed to someone in a group, "wish" is my emphasis:
“‘Wish’ is the most powerful thing in the world. Higher than God.” – i don't know where that comes from and cannot vouch that this is a real quote (so if you copy the phrase please include a similar disclaimer).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

georgette leblanc

an account from Georgette LeBlanc's memoir (i think called Souvenirs, but i'll update this post later; in william patrick patterson's article it is attributed as a quote from "Margaret Anderson, Unknowable Gurdjieff, Arkana, 1962, p. 149):
The light that came from the little salon illuminated him fully. Instead of avoiding it, he stepped back and leaned against the wall. Then, for the first time, he let me see what he really is... as if he had torn off the masks behind which he is obliged to hide himself. His face was stamped with a charity that embraced the whole world. Transfixed, standing before him, I saw him with all my strength and I experienced a gratitude so deep, so sad, that he felt a need to calm me. With an unforgettable look he said, "God helps me."
with regard to g.le b., she's portrayed as nothing short of miraculous in her own right:

and now for something completely different

An older Jewish gentleman marries a younger lady and they are very much in love. However, no matter what the husband does sexually, the woman never achieves orgasm. Since a Jewish wife is entitled to sexual pleasure, they decide to ask the rabbi.

The rabbi listens to their story, strokes his beard, and makes the following suggestion. "Hire a strapping young man. While the two of you are making love, have the young man wave a towel over you. That will help the wife fantasize and should bring on an orgasm."

They go home and follow the rabbi's advice. They hire a handsome young man and he waves a towel over them as they make love. But it doesn't help and she is still unsatisfied. Obviously frustrated, they return to the rabbi.

"Okay", says the rabbi, "Let's try it reversed. Have the young man make love to your wife and you wave the towel over them."

They follow the rabbi's advice. The young man gets into bed with the wife and the husband waves the towel. The young man really gets into fucking this guy's wife so he works with great enthusiasm and the wife soon has an enormous, room-shaking screaming orgasm.

Stubborn to the end, the husband smiles, looks at the young man and says to him, triumphantly, "You see, THAT'S the way to wave a fucking towel!"

***

A modern Orthodox Jewish couple, preparing for a religious wedding meets with their rabbi for counseling. The rabbi asks if they have any last questions before they leave. The man asks, "Rabbi, we realize it's tradition for men to dance with men, and women to dance with women at the reception. But, we'd like your permission to dance together, like the rest of the world." "Absolutely not," says the rabbi. "It's immodest. Men and women always dance separately."

"So after the ceremony I can't even dance with my own wife?" "No," answered the rabbi.... "It's forbidden." "Well, okay," says the man, "What about sex? Can we finally have sex?" "Of course!" replies the rabbi. "Sex is a mitzvah a good thing within marriage, to have children!" "What about different positions?" asks the man. "No problem," says the rabbi "It's a mitzvah!" "Woman on top?" the man asks. "Sure," says the rabbi, "go for it! It's a mitzvah!" "Doggy style?" "Sure! A mitzvah!" "On the kitchen table?" "Yes, yes! A mitzvah!" "Can we do it on rubber sheets with a bottle of hot oil, a couple of vibrators, a leather harness, a bucket of honey and a porno video?" "You may indeed. It's all a mitzvah!" "Can we do it standing up?" "No." says the rabbi." "Why not?" asks the man. "Could lead to dancing!"

***

reb yishi asks reb fein a riddle:
yishi: What’s green, hangs on the wall, and whistles?
fein: I don’t know. What’s green, hangs on the wall, and whistles?
yishi: A herring.
fein: But … a herring Isn’t green!
yishi: Nu, so you could paint it green
fein: But a herring doesn’t hang on the wall!
yishi: Nu, so you could hang it on the wall.
fein: But a herring doesn’t whistle!
yishi: Alright already, ok, so ... it doesn’t whistle.

***

In a restaurant a woman walked over to another diner's table, "Excuse me," she said, "but are you Jewish?"

"No," replied the man.

A few minutes later the woman returned. "Excuse me," she said again, "really, you're not Jewish?"

"Really, I'm not Jewish," said the man.

Still, a few minutes later she again approached him, "Are you sure you're not Jewish?" she asked?

"All right, all right," the man said. "You win. I'm Jewish."

"That's funny," said the woman. "You don't look Jewish."

***

shapiro visits the kosher chinese restaurant and is delighted that the chinese waiter addresses his party in yiddish, takes their orders in yiddish, everything yiddish. on the way out he asks the manager if he can talk to the waiter, to compliment him and thank him. the manager said, "thank you, that's not necessary, he knows he's appreciated." but shapiro insists, after all, who would go through all that effort, etc., and they repeat their sides back and forth, until, "please, please, let me have one word with him, just to say thanks!" defeated, the proprietor leans and whispers confidentially, "he thinks we're teaching him english."

***

In the village synagogue, during the High Holydays, the rabbi prostrates himself on the floor, saying, "God, before You I am nothing." Immediately the richest man in town prostrates himself on the floor, saying, "God, before You I am nothing." Right after that the town beggar prostrates himself on the floor, saying, "God, before You I am nothing." The rich man whispers to the rabbi,"Look who thinks he's nothing."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dasher Dancer Prancer Vixen Comet Cupid Donner Blitzen Rudolph Vanity Pride Suggestibility and Ouspensky

of course that last post was all tongue-in-cheek. we all know that st. nick is indeed our all-uni-common-cosmic-father who attained the degree of the sacred onclad through relentless being-parkdolg duty, having harmonized the functions and impulses in the khrh workshop crucible hrhaharhtzaha, and tamed and harnessed the many features and i’s that would otherwise fly off in all directions. and, as we all know, he is a very expensive saint indeed! so that last post was all tongue-in-cheek. or this post is. or maybe that’s just the nature of metaphor – a slippery something, they can go one way or another, or yet another.

but that’s sort of what i want to talk about. because i get hung up on what’s true and what’s false … the yes and no of it all, because i’m limited to that comparing function of the intellectual center.

in the past i’ve gone on about the many wines, and that carbon is the new black, and the differences between all the purported representatives of the higher. but lately, i wonder ... granted the following quote pertains to the mechanical and not people who are on a higher level, except to the extent my perceptions come from the lower level i occupy, i wonder ...
“Quite right,” said G., “people are very unlike one another, but the real difference between people you do not know and cannot see. The difference of which you speak simply does not exist. This must be understood. All the people you see, all the people you know, all the people you may get to know, are machines, actual machines working solely under the power of external influences, as you yourself said. Machines they are born and machines they die. How do savages and intellectuals come into this? Even now, at this very moment, while we are talking, several millions of machines are trying to annihilate one another. What is the difference between them? Where are the savages and where are the intellectuals? They are all alike.
i’ve been reading some martin benson, and some james opie and mme. de salzmann, and they all talk about a certain relationship between the lower and the higher, certain functions, and also service in some mannter which is on a vastly different scale. the most particularly striking correspondences involve the most esoteric parts of the teaching, and it makes me wonder if perhaps they are all talking about the same thing.
Someone asked him about the possibility of a universal language-in what connection I do not remember. “A universal language is possible,” said G., “only people will never invent it.” “Why not?”, asked one of us. “First because it was invented a long time ago,” answered G., “and second because to understand this language and to express ideas in it depends not only upon the knowledge of this language, but also on being. I will say even more. There exists not one, but three universal languages. The first of them can be spoken and written while remaining within the limits of one’s own language. The only difference is that when people speak in their ordinary language they do not understand one another, but in this other language they do understand. In the second language, written language is the same for all peoples, like, say, figures or mathematical formulae; but people still speak their own language, yet each of them understands the other even though the other speaks in an unknown language. The third language is the same for all, both the written and the spoken. The difference of language disappears altogether on this level!’ “Is not this the same thing which is described in the Acts as the descent of the Holy Ghost, upon the Apostles, when they began to understand divers languages?” asked someone. I noticed that such questions always irritated G. “I don’t know, I wasn’t there,” he said.
the point being, as Monty Ptyhon puts it, this is supposed to be a happy occassion, let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who!







happy merry!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

there is no santa claus ...

in addition to suggesting that an evolutionary impulse cannot proceed mechanically, i also alluded to a potentially sinister aspect of the "christmas season" – consider, again:
First of all it must be realized that the sleep in which Man exists is not normal but hypnotic sleep. Man is hypnotized and this hypnotic state is continually maintained and strengthened in him. ONE WOULD THINK THAT THERE ARE FORCES FOR WHOM IT IS USEFUL AND PROFITABLE TO KEEP MAN IN A HYPNOTIC STATE AND PREVENT HIM FROM SEEING THE TRUTH AND UNDERSTANDING HIS POSITION.

There is an Eastern tale, which speaks about a very rich magician who had a great many sheep. BUT AT THE SAME TIME THIS MAGICIAN WAS VERY MEAN. He did not want to hire shepherds, nor did he want to erect a fence about the pasture where his sheep were grazing. The sheep consequently often wandered into the forest, fell into ravines, and so on, and above all they ran away, for they knew that the magician wanted their flesh and skins and this they did not like.

At last the magician found a remedy. He hypnotized his sheep and suggested to them THAT THEY WERE IMMORTAL and that no harm was being done to them when they were skinned, that, on the contrary, it would be very good for them and even pleasant; secondly he suggested that the magician was a good master who loved his flock so much that he was ready to do anything in the world for them; and in the third place he suggested to them that if anything at all were going to happen to them it was not going to happen just then, at any rate not that day, and therefore they had no need to think about it. Further the magician suggested to his sheep that they were not sheep at all; to some of them he suggested that they were lions, to others that they were eagles, to others that they were men, and to others that they were magicians.

And after this all his cares and worries about the sheep came to an end. They never ran away again but quietly awaited the time when the magician would require their flesh and skins. (ISOTM)
* * *
repeat: ONE WOULD THINK THAT THERE ARE FORCES FOR WHOM IT IS USEFUL AND PROFITABLE TO KEEP MAN IN A HYPNOTIC STATE AND PREVENT HIM FROM SEEING THE TRUTH AND UNDERSTANDING HIS POSITION.

of course in the telling of the tale the magician wants to eat the sheep, it’s not like he’s worried that the sheep will encroach on his riches or his dominion. so here’s where my paranoid notions enter. consider that gurdjieff said about IMMORTALITY:
Only the man who possesses four fully-develop bodies can be called a ‘man’ in the full sense of the word. This man possesses very many properties which ordinary man does not posses and one of these properties is immortality.

In this connection, certain teachings compare Man with a house of four rooms. MAN LIVES IN ONE ROOM, THE SMALLEST AND THE POOREST OF ALL, AND, UNTIL HE IS TOLD OF IT, HE DOES NOT SUSPECT THE EXISTENCE OF THE OTHER ROOMS WHICH ARE FULL OF TREASURES. When he does learn of this he begins to seek the keys of these rooms and especially of the fourth, the most important room of all. And when a man has found his way into this room he really becomes the master of his house, for only then does the house belong to him wholly and forever.

The fourth room gives man immortality and all religious teachings strive to show the way to it. There are a great many ways, some shorter and some longer, some harder and some easier, but all, without exception, lead or strive to lead in one direction, that is, to immortality."

... The monk ... is guided by religious feeling, by religious tradition, by a desire for achievement, for salvation; he trusts his teacher who tells him what to do, and he believes that his efforts and sacrifices are 'pleasing to God'. ...

It must be noted further that in addition to these proper and legitimate ways, there are artificial ways which give temporary results only, and wrong ways which may even give permanent results, only wrong results. On these ways a man seeks the key to the fourth room and sometimes finds it. But what he finds in the fourth room is not yet known. It also sometimes happens that the door to the fourth room is opened artificially with a skeleton key. In both these cases, the room may prove to be empty. (ISOTM)
as i said, an evolutionary christmas impulse cannot proceed mechanically, and instead becomes its opposite – such as gate crashing and pepper spray at walmart’s. but, as i alluded to, what if some jealous force wanted to hypnotize people to think that what is down is “up,” or that what is sideways is “up,” but in any case, “up” is not such a big deal after all? so i wondered if the FA LA LA LA LA song is an aberration.

i cannot say why some malevolent magician would want to turn everything supposedly “holy” into a freak show. but sometimes it does seem to this writer that counter evolutionary forces are as conscious as that magician. sophisticated. sinister.

having already drafted the following paragraphs i think it is worth inserting that i know that the christmas story did involve three wise men bearing gifts for the newly born and surely not all christmases are bereft of meaning. in a web search regarding my associations of santa and chimneys i came across this lovely dutch painting from the 1660s, The Feast of Saint Nicholas – replete with gifts and a jesus figure and familial warmth and depth and children looking up in wonderment towards a presumed chimney – lovely and neither scary nor sleazy. i do not doubt genuine meaning exists. i'm just wondering about the outer limits, who controls the vertical? because ...

when someone on twitter suggested that santa claus' knowing when you are sleeping and awake being was characteristic of a stalker, i instead recognized that they are characteristic of an imposter, a usurper. consider:
you better watch out,
you better not cry,
you better not pout,
i'm telling you why,
santa claus is coming to town
...
he knows when you are sleeping;
he knows when you're awake;
he knows if you've been bad or good,
so you better be good for goodness sake.
aren’t those functions of consciousness, or conscience even, or even of god? instead, one should refrain from expressing negative emotions because of the prophesized advent some jolly fat ho ho ho in a dunce cap, someone obviously in disguise as someone who impossibly works with a bunch of arguably mongrel elves and Mrs. Clause in the North Pole, rides a sleigh led by flying reindeer through the air and sneaks down chimneys, and gets seasonal work where he gets other people's children to sit in his lap – better watch out indeed! (just another word of caution, consider that at least in the 1700s and 1800s british chimney sweeps were naked young boys who wriggled through what was then a house's most filthy orifice (though, granted, that filth was rich in carbon) - perhaps they were told that if they were good that once a year “father christmas” would appear and wriggle through that filth in person?! perhaps “father christmas” is part of the trinity? maybe even the holy ghost part, as in the “christmas spirit”!). could it be SANTA?
The point is that in this fashionable language the word for "soul" and the word for the bottom of the foot, also "sole," are pronounced and even written almost alike.

I do not know how it is for you, who are already half a candidate for a buyer of my writings, but as for me, no matter how great my mental desire, my peculiar nature cannot avoid being indignant at this manifestation of people of contemporary civilization, whereby the very highest in man, particularly beloved by our Common Father Creator, can be named and often understood as that which is lowest and dirtiest in man. (B'sTs, Arousing of Thought)
or SAINT nick, as opposed to “old nick”?

contrast what I presented above as possibly the "lower" with a proper fool:

The Mullah Nassr Eddin overheard some visiting mendicant that his doctrine could answer anything – there was nothing to which it could not be perfectly addressed. “Wonderful,” interrupted the Mullah, “just last night someone asked me a question I was at a loss how to respond!” “Tell me the question, I can answer it,” replied the visitor. “He asked, 'what are you doing climbing into my window in the middle of the night?!'”

compare:








lower is not higher. higher is not lower.


These indubitable facts, which I had seen with my own eyes, as well as many others I had heard about during my searchings—all of them pointing to the presence of something supernatural—could not in any way be reconciled with what common sense told me or with what was clearly proved by my already extensive knowledge of the exact sciences, which excluded the very idea of supernatural phenomena. The contradiction in my consciousness gave me no peace and was all the more irreconcilable because the facts and proofs on both sides were equally convincing. (Meetings, p. 83)

stop a moment and consider whether the whole santa notion indeed represents something higher, or whether quite possibly it usurps that which might be a holy impulse before ultimately laying the myth to rest, letting a child down as gently as possible with the “truth” there is no SANTA claus – because only children believe in SANTA.
It is not a question of to whom a man prays, but a question of his faith. Faith is conscience, the foundation of which is laid in childhood. If a man changes his religion, he loses his conscience, and conscience is the most valuable thing in a man. I respect his conscience, and since his conscience is sustained by his faith and his faith by his religion, therefore I respect his religion; and for me it would be a great sin if I should begin to judge his religion or to disillusion him about it, AND THUS DESTROY HIS CONSCIENCE WHICH CAN ONLY BE ACQUIRED IN CHILDHOOD. (Meetings, p. 115)
i’m reminded of someone suggesting that the wizard of oz was similarly some allegedly anti-christian masonic or illuminati allegory of denuding an all-powerful god-like figure to expose a pathetic feeble ineptitutde.

anyway, society is certainly hypnotized, and i don’t know where to draw the line – is it just the fluoridated water? or is it also the Christmas jingles? does it extend to saying god bless you when someone sneezes?

in any case, it is especially important to be vigilant, a reminding factor even, considering that some creepy guy is watching. and perhaps one tantalizing aspect of christmas is that this “slippery something,” avails me the opportunity to transform what arguably presents as lower to the higher, for being.

Friday, December 2, 2011

rabbit season, christmas season

the day after thanksgiving, known as black friday, marks the onset where consumers everywhere are hell-bent on consuming everything they didn’t consume on thanksgiving, and on being consumed in the process. that’s the beginning of a season of no-holds-barred jingles and pretense in support of dollar business. it’s not just that day, it’s the whole season, the holiday season, fraught with jingles and pretense and razzle-dazzle and overstimulation and consumerism. even gurdjieff celebrated christmas with dazzlement, gifts, and certainly a good measure of materiality – but obviously there was also something meaningful, purposeful, and special in the atmosphere. that’s certainly not what i experience. i remember from last year’s christmas eve a muzak version of 'hallelujah' as i was buying toilet paper at the local fine fare supermarket. it is such a fake, i hate it – what’s redeeming about the holidays?

hmmm … redeeming about holidays …

maybe that’s it! there are holydays, of course, and there’s the winter season. but “holiday season” is as much as a merchandising contrivance as a “holiday sale.” like the lesbian activists say, "a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." (the apt juxtaposition even leads me to wonder if perhaps nassr eddin had two mommies??)

any evolutionary christmas impulse cannot proceed mechanically, and instead becomes its opposite – such as gate crashing and pepper spray at walmart’s. or worse, perhaps some insidious force wants to prevent evolution, consider fa la-la la-la, la-la la la and how lamely fa (a note to follow the mi-fa first conscious shock) forfeits its advance, settling back to the do it started from, while maintaining the charade it is la – am i making that up?

in any case, an evolutionary octave must proceed against that!

doesn’t the christmas-jesus-being-born story have something to do with “redemption”? i’m in no position to address ramifications of jesus supposedly being born at all, let alone whether or not it was during this season. but, although fools rush in where angels fear to tread, i am interested in how this potential clash between an evolutionary octave and the ray of creation gets reconciled. et, alors, wiseacring.

from fritz peters:

it was my day on kitchen duty. … the kitchen boy’s first duties were to build the fires in the coke stoves, fill the coal scuttles, … on this particular day, the cook had not appeared by nine- thirty and i began to worry. i looked at the menu, and the recipe for the soup of the day, and since i had often seen the various cooks prepare the meal that was scheduled for that day, i made the necessary preliminary preparations. … when the cook had still not appeared by about ten o’clock 
i sent some child to find out what had happened to her and was told that she was sick and would not be able to come to the kitchen. i took my dilemma to gurdjieff, and he said that since i had already started the meal i might as well return to the kitchen and finish it. “you be cook today,” he said grandly.

i was very nervous about the responsibility, as well as rather proud of being entrusted with it. my greatest difficulty was in having to move the enormous soup kettles around the top of the large coal stove when i had to add coal to the fire, which was frequently necessary in order to keep the soup cooking. i worked hard all the morning and was reasonably proud of myself when i managed to finish the meal and 
deliver it, intact, to the serving table. the cook being absent, it was also necessary for me to serve it.

habitually, the students formed a line, each person with his soup plate, silver, etc., in his hands, and as they passed by the serving table the cook would serve them one piece of meat and a ladleful of soup. everything went well for a time. it was not until rachmilevitch appeared -- among the last to be served -- that my difficulties began. the soup pot was almost empty by the time he reached me and i had to tilt it in order to fill the ladle. when i served him -- it seemed to me that it was decreed by our mutual fates -- the ladle also brought up a fair-sized lump of coke. it was a thick soup and i did not see the coke until it was deposited, with a hard, clanking sound, in his soup plate.

judging by rachmilevitch’s reaction, his world came to an end at that instant. he started in on a tirade against me that i thought would never end. everything that all of the children had done to him during the past winter was brought up, hashed over in detail; and as he cursed and raged i stood helplessly behind the soup kettle, silent. the tirade came to an end with gurdjieff’s appearance. he did not usually appear at lunch -- he did not eat lunch -- and he explained his appearance by saying that we were making so much noise that he was unable to work.

… without saying anything 
to him, gurdjieff picked the lump of coke out of rachmilevitch’s soup plate, threw it on the ground, and asked for a plate of soup himself. he said that since there was a new cook today, he felt that it was his responsibility to taste his cooking. someone went for a soup plate for him, i served him what remained in the soup pot and he ate it, silently. when he had finished, he came over to me, congratulated me loudly, and said that the soup -- this particular soup -- was a favourite of his and was better than he had ever tasted.

he then turned to the assembled students and said that he had great experience and training in many things, and that in the course of his life he had learned a great deal about food, chemistry, and proper cooking, which included, of course, the taste of things. he said that while this particular soup was one that he had, personally, invented and which he liked very much, he now realized that it had always lacked one element to make it perfect. with a sort of obeisance in my direction, he praised me saying that i, by a fortunate accident, had found the perfect thing -- the one thing that this soup needed. carbon. he ended this speech by saying that he would instruct his secretary to change the recipe to include one piece of coke -- not to be eaten, but to be added for flavour only. he then invited rachmilevitch to have after-dinner coffee with him, and they left the dining area together.
coke adds life, indeed. carbon. what if carbon is added to the mix? immediately i associate to recognize that all that décor and cheap music and shopping and holiday motifs everywhere are not only decoration and flavors, to shop or not to shop, to indulge or resist, to approve or disapprove, but what if a reminding factor is introduced into the mix? all that spent trash and contrived sentiment to which i am conditioned to react one way or the other, though generally negatively, could instead remind me to try to remember myself – perhaps i'll find something nutritious in myself and/or in all those manifestations? suddenly suddenly i recall gurdjieff’s instruction to martin benson (and i think kathryn hulme and others but i don’t recall) that during they season they can go to the churches and “steal the prayers” of multitudes who’s prayers are otherwise spent, unable to reach “god,” but, thus, presumably, available as a food for people able to collect and assimilate it (i have no doubt such an indication to steal prayers is more esoteric than just a reminding factor).

isn’t the “christmas season” the clash of these octaves? how might they be reconciled?

Friday, November 11, 2011

just kidding - 3 of 2

i found myself tweaking an old blog entry, but after a while i realized that my new tweakings would make it seem that my old entries were heading in the same direction. but nothing advances in a single direction except for merciless heropass, and even that might deviate.

but at the point where i was referring back to the "killer rabbit" scene in monty python and suggesting that it hopped right out of bennett, i of course borrowed elmer fudd's refrain, "kill the rabbit" which referred to bugs bunny - at that point in my blogging career i hadn't ventured to distinguish between where the mullah nassr eddin invites us from where i wonder till eulenspiegel might be beckoning, so at the time it was irrelevant that it is rumoured by some that bugs bunny is a "personification" of the mullah - at the time it was mere association. now, however, having pulled bugs bunny out the proverbial hat, things have changed. the rabbit sketch has become emblematic - a comic emblem. if only it had antlers.

in any case, back to the function of humor, consider the transformation of that particular rabbit, for better or for worse, was brought about by the holy hand grenade of antioch for the transformation of being:
somewhat as an aside, going back to that prior post i notice i linked the galaxy song - of course that's like the perspective gurdjieff affords when, in the first initiation, he instructs us to go out one starlit night to measure one's insignificance against the constellar immeasurability. but i was likely looking, even then, to include this:and, still on MP and THG, perhaps it is rudimentary humor, but consider the multiple and shifting i's of the knights who first say ni and want a shrubbery but later become ... become the knights who formerly said ni; and consider the siamese giant who can't agree with himself. and then there's the poor bastard who signed away his liver, albeit he wasn't dead yet.

still, what octaves get played? how can humor be used? what's the function of the fool? it is probably not just laugher, according to ouspensky:
In addition to what he had said about accumulators G. made some very interesting remarks about yawning and about laughter. There are two incomprehensible functions of our organism inexplicable from the scientific point of view,” he said, “although naturally science does not admit them to be inexplicable; these are yawning and laughter. Neither the one nor the other can be rightly understood and explained without knowing about accumulators and their role in the organism. You have noticed that you yawn when you are tired. This is especially noticeable, for instance, in the mountains, when a man who is unaccustomed to them yawns almost continually while he is ascending a mountain. Yawning is the pumping of energy into the small accumulators. When they empty too quickly, that is, when one of them has no time to fill up while the other is being emptied, yawning becomes almost continuous. There are certain diseased conditions which can cause stoppage of the heart when a man wishes but is not able to yawn, and other conditions are known when something goes wrong with the pump, causing it to work without effect, when a man yawns the whole time, but does not pump in any energy.
“The study and the observation of yawning from this point of view may reveal much that is new and interesting.

“Laughter is also directly connected with accumulators. But laughter is the opposite function to yawning. It is not pumping in, but pumping out, that is, the pumping out and the discarding of superfluous energy collected in the accumulators. Laughter does not exist in all centers, but only in centers divided into two halves – positive and negative. If I have not yet spoken of this in detail, I shall do so when we come to a more detailed study of the centers. At present we shall take only the intellectual center. There can be impressions which fall at once on two halves of the center and produce at once a sharp ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Such a simultaneous ‘yes’ and ‘no’ produces a kind of convulsion in the center and, being unable to harmonize and digest these two opposite impressions of one fact, the center begins to throw out in the form of laughter the energy which flows into it from the accumulator whose turn it is to supply it. In another instance it happens that in the accumulator there has collected too much energy which the center cannot manage to use up. Then eve[n] the most ordinary, impression can be received as double, that is, it may fall at once on the two halves of the center and produce laughter, that is, the discarding of energy. You must understand that I am only giving you an outline. You must remember that both yawning and laughter are very contagious. This shows that they are essentially functions of the instinctive and the moving centers.”

“Why is laughter so pleasant?” asked someone.

“Because,” G. answered, “laughter relieves us of superfluous energy, which, if it remained unused, might become negative, that is, poison. We always have plenty of this poison in us. Laughter is the antidote. But this antidote is necessary only so long as we are unable to use all the energy for useful work. It is said of Christ that he never laughed. And indeed you will find in the Gospels no indication or mention of the fact that at any time Christ laughed. But there are different ways of not laughing. There are people who do not laugh because they are completely immersed in negative emotions, in malice, in fear, in hatred, in suspicion. And there may be others who do not laugh because they cannot have negative emotions. Understand one thing. In the higher centers there can be no laughter, because in higher centers there is no division, and no ‘yes’ and ‘no.’“
perhaps the unharmonized and undigestable simultaneous ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are two ends of a stick, from whence comes reconcilation? is this related to what "inner laughter" may be?
And yet, if you should chance to be there among them, you would be unable to prevent the process in yourself of the 'being-Nerhitrogool', that is, the process, which, again there on the Earth, is called 'irrepressible inner laughter ', that is to say, you would not be able to restrain yourself from such laughter, if in some way or another, they were suddenly clearly to sense and understand, without any doubt whatever, that not only does nothing like 'light', 'darkness,' 'heat,' and so on, come on their planet from their Sun itself, but that their supposed 'source of heat and light is itself almost always freezing cold like the 'hairless-dog' of our highly esteemed Mullah Nassr Eddin.
i don't know where this is going. i don't know why i feel compelled to chart the course of narrative function. i'm not going to jump over my own knees, i have to aim for higher. perhaps the function of an asokh, a muse, as well as a fool, jester, and idiot, are according to a different measure entirely. fuck - where are my feet? while i was typing i lost my feet someone stole my fucking feet!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a slippery something

i once noticed that some oncoming pedestrians innately assume i will make way for them, and, unconsciously, i always do make way! that spawned some resistance, experimentation, and reasoning. i theorized that part of our ‘social contract’ includes a hierarchy – a pecking order – which is why, when i am minding my own business (i.e., asleep), walking on the 'proper' side of the sidewalk, if some alpha type comes at me (also asleep) and i fail to give way we risk a collision – even though the alpha-type will not be able to state exactly what i did wrong, both that alpha type and i know that my role is to give way, and my breaking that code is as much of a violation as if i ran in front of his speeding car. and now sometimes an oncoming unyielding pedestrian even reminds me to hold my ground. my theory is absolutely true. or absolutely wrong. or neither/nor, no matter.

one end of the stick, the outward result, is just that – i hold my ground, and whether i learned or confirmed something or made some sort of statement i do not know.

but the other end of the stick? even with the most enlightened of intentions, how is my spinning out some theory anything other than the mechanical dissipation of an impulse ultimately feeding the moon?

my brother remembers me waxing philosophical about such things, but has been reading eckhart tolle and used the oncoming pedestrians as a reminding factor to pay attention to his breath. aha! that's it! - he can hold his ground or yield, it doesn't make a jot of a difference because externally our moments might be identical, right? but internally, one might lead to heaven, one to hell.

i thought a knew a story but don't like the versions i find on-line, so here, i'll tell it as if ....
every day the monk woke early, prayed, sat in the deepest meditation, he would have dissolved into the ether if not for the bothersome whore aross the way. from the temple he could see visitors, big and slight, normal or horrible, coming at all hours. all hours! even her most elegant regalia was disgraceful, she wasn't even human, just an orifice! why didn't she just go somewhere else?

that was before the catastophe – the tsunimi swept them away and to their respective hereafters, but first, the pearly gates. they arrived together, the monk and the prostitute, and the prostitute was directed to the majestic golden threshhold of heaven, the monk to the glowering pit! "but why?" protested the monk? St. Peter: "all day long she admired you, all day long she reflected on your penitence, your vows, your service, your humility, your vocation, your dedication. but as for you, all you thought about was her sin and her cunt!
(relish it, it might be the only time i ever use the "c" word ... ever!) compare
"The devil can lead you to paradise, and God, directly to Hell."
or
Nasrudin sat on a river bank when someone shouted to him from the opposite side:

"Hey! how do I get to the other side?"

"You are on the other side!" Nasrudin shouted back.
or
"Shut your trap, you hopeless mongrel offshoot of the Hottentots! What an abortion you are, just like your teacher! Suppose it is true that the greatest physical force of the pigeon is concentrated in that big toe, then all the more, what we've got to do is to see that just that toe will be caught in the noose. Only then will there be any sense to our aim – that is to say, for catching these unfortunate pigeon creatures – in that brain-particularity proper to all possessors of that soft and slippery 'something' which consists in this, that when, thanks to other actions, from which its insignificant manifestability depends, there arises a periodic requisite law conformable what is called 'change of presence,' then this small so to say 'law conformable confusion' which should proceed for the animation of other acts in its general functioning, immediately enables the center of gravity of the whole functioning, in which this slippery 'something' plays a very small part, to pass temporarily from its usual place to another place, owing to which there often obtains in the whole of this general functioning, unexpected results ridiculous to the point of absurdity."
once gurdjieff departed from some of his people at the railway, and those who saw him off saw him in a different light, as though for once seeing him in a certain grandeur even. a reporter happened to be on that train and recognized a certain something which he figured was that he was of a high caste, a sultan perhaps, and insinuated himself in gurdjieff's company to talk, and later he wrote about the encounter, including that when the reporter alluded that political upheavals or wars must be difficult for someone of his position; gurdjieff dismissed the concerns about ups and downs and instead responded, "we always make a profit."

it seems an ideal would be to do anything and everything to wake up, to clean my apartment to wake up - the order would be incidental. but consider,what i read somewhere, that some unfortunate at the priure who, having failed to keep the pigs penned in, proffered that at least he remembered himself! "YOU IDIOT! berated, gurdjieff!" lateral octaves! or octaves of different levels and orders.

but also, incidentally, something i touch on here too is that different stories approximate similar points - that does not make them true! i saw the play doubt on broadway (with cherry jones), later turned into a movie (with meryl streep), where a priest is suspected by a nun of having inappropriate relations with someone in his charge, and the priest gives a sermon about gossip, including a story that some other blogger related as follows:
parishioner went up to the priest to unload his guilt about the act of gossiping ~ so what harm was done exactly, he asks … So the priest asked the parishioner to go back home … take a feather pillow & a knife with him up onto the roof of a high building.. Give it a slash and see what happens…

So, the parishioner did as he was told … he took a pillow & a knife … went up onto the roof & slashed it with all his might… Lo & behold… there were feathers & more feathers flying all over …. The parishioner then returned to the priest to report the act done. The priest proceeded to ask the parishioner to go back up & the roof … to RETRIEVE each and every feather that escaped from the pillow …
after the sermon the nun confronts the priest, "but is it true?!?" obviously the question is based on whether the gossip true - has the priest been sexing the boy up in any respect? but to my ears, and again, my preoccupation, even then, was the story true about the priest and the pillow, because can't a story be spun out of the ether to make any point whatsoever? do we have a standard for stories? because if we don't i'll go all Till Eulenspiegel on you and lose all my followers!

but that's where a moral compass of sorts comes in - absent the ability to believe, that is, faith, the values of the fourth way dictate that towards awakening is good, towards sleep is not good.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

just kidding - 2 of 2

that story – transacting business in his sleep – is cute in its own right: business dealings in his sleep, recognizing the situation, and some sort of compromise accepting as real based on it's not being real, or something ...

but there's a few trains of ideas here.

first, i was was walking thinking thinking thinking and tried for a moment to attend to something other than thoughts: sensation or presence or self-remembering or centers ... and the thinking thinking thinking reclaims its ground. or does it?

does the “joke” convey something archtypal? at once there are multiple levels! the mullah had a glimpse of another level which perspective led him to return to that former level and on one hand take what he could but also to compromise … all sorts of possibilities, but related to the different realities – the different values – of different levels.

after my walk home and it seemed that my thinking is just too strong but then i read that mullah story – at face value a joke perhaps, but also exactly on point – one glimpse of my empty reality and i'm all too keen on returning to dreaming – perhaps it is not momentum, but a wilfull turning away, or rolling over to resume sleeping? or perhaps i am engaged in negotiation on an impossible level and have a have a moment of wakening, but finding nothing, return to what i have on a lower level.

there's a jokes and stories where someone farts or says something with a sexual innuendo, like those Till Eulenspiegel anecdotes, but what levels do those evoke?

gurdjieff invites us to compare:
It is not for nothing that our incomparable teacher, Mullah Nassr Eddin frequently says:

“Without greasing the palm, not only it is impossible to live tolerably anywhere but to breathe.”

And another terrestrial sage, named Till Eulenspiegel, who also based his wisdom on the crass stupidity of people, has expressed the same idea in the following words:

“If you don’t grease the wheels the cart won’t go.”
if you google eulenspiegel you’ll find the crassest stories – perhaps gems are hidden in shit, or perhaps it is truly a descending octave. (notwithstanding gurdjieff's saying outright when introducing the mullah in his first series,
Mullah Nassr Eddin, or as he is also called, Hodja Nassr Eddin, is, it seems, little known in Europe and America, but he is very well known in all countries of the continent of Asia; this legendary personage CORRESPONDS to the American Uncle Sam or the German Till Eulenspiegel. Numerous tales popular in the East, akin to the wise sayings, some of long standing and others newly arisen, were ascribed and are still ascribed to this Nassr Eddin.
however, the word CORRESPONDS indicates they serve a corresponding function but i'd hesitate to equate them, just as a handle to turn on water at a sink might CORRESPOND to a handle to flush a toilet - possibly. however, looking further, i see a quote from the 1931 version of B'sTs, indicating,:
Mullah Nassr Eddin or, as he is otherwise called, Hodja Nassr Eddin, is, it seems, little known in Europe and America. He is very well known, however, in all the countries of the continent Asia. This legendary personality IS LIKE the Russian 'Kusma Prutkov', the American 'Uncle Sam', or the English John Bull'. To this Mullah Nassr Eddin are ascribed numerous popular tales of the East, akin to sayings of the wisdom of daily life. They also now continue to ascribe to him various witticisms recalled from long ago as well as those newly made.
so perhaps IS LIKE indicates a greater correspondence than CORRESPONDS?)

further, consider, with regard to multiple levels within a story, and not least because i've dragged Till Eulenspiegl into this, consider:
"Thanks to this 'grammatical rule' of theirs, in any exchange of opinions the listener is first obliged to consider each proposition as if it were liable to happen, which arouses in him a certain 'being-diardookin' or, as they would say, a certain 'experiencing.' And only later the speaker, in conforming to their grammatical rule, finally pronounces their famous 'nicht,' with the result that there is produced in their common presence each time something that slowly but surely gives rise to the aforesaid specific character of their common psyche, and all this should help you to elucidate the original problem I have set you."
these are not mere musings. i attended lots of what are referred to as "celebrations" - celebrations of gurdjieff's birthday are often sombre, dry, dull - even dour. special too – don't get me in trouble for saying they are not! – but not particularly “celebratory.” granted people might find themselves in higher and more positive states, because negativity results from wrong functioning of centers, etc., and a more vivified, energetic state is more joyful. but at my meager level of being, it seems something is missing, and i wonder about joy's cousin, humor.

if laughter is an expression of a NO meeting a YES, perhaps we can identify their levels? are they the same or does one have to be higher? is there lateral humor as well as ascending and descending humor? do we start with a no or with a yes? and is the next yes or no higher or lower? and if those are 1-2-3 and 2-1-3 might one introduce 1-3-2 or 2-3-1 or even induce a humorous triad starting with 3? because that’s what i’m trying to do here!

(just kidding!)

reading through that thread it seems characteristic that nassr eddin stories either respond to a lower level out of values of the higher or vice-versa.
Otherwise, as they say, 'With what may the Devil not joke?'—they might hear about your insulting them and, to use another of their expressions, 'lay you by the heels.' There is no harm in recalling here another wise saying of our dear Mullah Nasr Eddin: 'What on earth will happen next? A flea might swallow an elephant!'
i wonder what the role of the court jester is - the fool - the one who can say anything and get away with it! recently, my mom related about some joke tellers who just tell jokes one after another which are not related to anything, as opposed to a joke that fits the situation. perhaps the riddle here is to be between two rivers, a simultaneity of experience, to cast one in relationship to the other.
Offered some food from the king's court, Bohlul put it in front of a dog. As the hungry animal began to eat with gusto, Bohlul turned to the courtiers: "Don't tell him it is from the king's banquet."