Way of Life
Balanced Inner Work
Beyond Brain Consciousness
A recurring mistake of modern self appointed teachers, not themselves deeply trained by a true teacher, is to overvalue the quiet state that arises when thoughts are stopped.
Whole systems are then devised from the subconscious thoughts, feelings and actions that arise in this state. This mistake is signaled when people talk mainly of 'awareness', of 'witnessing' and of the 'now' and of 'being present'. This sense of over-viewing separation is a relatively passive brain state, hiding within it the ego itself. The ego does not die and reappear when thought is stopped or resumed. Neither does the Deep Mind (Real Self) manifest or disappear with the cessation of thought or its resumption. Further, neither body stillness nor emotional inactivity nor the state of mental quietness, can cause the ego to fade and the Deep Mind to arise.
No old wise teacher I have ever met has seen the state of no thought, no movement or no emotion, as more than an elementary stage through which we must quickly pass. These are partial methods that have a place in a larger scheme of training, best directed by those who have themselves been transformed over many decades by this same deep process.
Psychology & Religion
Religion is given to the mass of humanity - all those who do not choose to make the personal lifelong effort to directly refine their inner nature - to preserve their tenuous connection with their own divine aspects while supporting the slow evolution, over tens of thousands of years, of consciousness within humankind as a whole.
Psychology & Religion
Struggle, Acceptance, Separation
Struggle (will, effort, aspiration) produces change in the sense of evolution. Acceptance (tolerance, equanimity, submission) partially removes the desire to change from the effort to change. Separation (awareness, consciousness, non-attachment) partially removes the sense of self from the effort to change.
However separation by itself (quietly watching), is not correct training. You should first make an effort to achieve something, then while in that intense process maintain a deeper part of yourself uninvolved in the action. Part of that uninvolvment requires acceptance of the resistance to change (initertia of parts of ourselves and those around us) which will inevitably oppose and frustrate the initial intention. Again however, simply acceptance of all that happens around us with no effort to change, is not correct training.
For balanced work, follow the example of a baby. It makes a tremendous effort to reach out for food, not concerned by its repeated failures but learning each time until it achieves its aim. Then makes a tremendous effort to crawl, then to walk, then to talk. This effort, with awareness of the result and acceptance of the repeated failures builds intelligence on a deep level. Gradually this intelligence takes over and the baby moves on to the next most immediate possibility for advancement - in a potentially never ending process.
Abdullah and Gurdjieff talked of the growth of the Soul or Body Kesdjan. Body Kesdjan means vessel of the spirit and so does soul. Also the term magnetic centre, used by both teachers is a type of receiving place for the spirit. More specifically Abdullah called the 3 grades of vessel - magnetic centre, soul , body kesdjan. Then the next stage he called mental body. But Gurdjieff and Abdullah only described these things quite roughly, so inconsistancies appeared - such as Human#1, #2, #3 being on the same horizontal level but Human#4, #5, #6, #7 ascending vertically through the levels.
More accurately, the vessel of the Spirit is always over 3 energy levels. Initially (past the first initiation or Human#2) it is centred on the etheric level(magnetic centre). This stage does not provide 3 levels in which the Spirit can function - it rests in a passive state within the astral and celestial. This level of development can persist barely changing for many lifetimes - like a seed which is not yet planted in the ground.
Then when past the 2nd initiation the vessel of the Spirit centres on the astral (soul). Only now Spirit takes root in the three energy levels and begins to develop - active in etheric/physical, conscious/unconscious in astral, source of being in celestial. Spiritual balance - balance between the 3 levels through which the Spirit is expressing itself - can begin to appear.
When past 3rd initiation (Human#4) the vessel of the Spirit centres on the celestial or Deep Mental (body kesdjan) - at this stage the astral is the field of action, celestial is field of consciousness, 4th energy level is source of being (intelligence). At this stage the physical/etheric serves little purpose except as an agent through which to act in the world. Physical rebirth is not necessary but the Being may be reborn into the astral after a period of withdrawal to the celestial following physical death.
When past 4th initiation (Human#5) the vessel of the Spirit centres on the 4th energy level (mental body) - at this stage the celestial is the field of action, 4th energy level is field of consciousness, 5th energy level is source of being (intelligence). When in a body some tenuous connection to the 3 levels of the Deep Mind are retained but after death these are severed forever. This is true realisation, liberation or enlightenment.