Do Not Be Misled by Others, Conscience is the Way

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“If you have not by nature a critical mind your staying here is useless.

Aphorism inscribed above the walls of the Study House at the Prieuré.

The following is a quote from the book The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff by Jeanne de Salzmann.

“I need to see that what is lacking is a connection with my body. Without a connection I am caught in thoughts or changing emotions that give way to fantasy. And my body is either my master, a tyrant demanding satisfaction of its appetites, or my enemy, obliged to pay for all my thoughts and feelings. Yet my body could be the greatest support for experiencing my existence. It is on the level of the earth and draws its strength from it. The action of our life is on this level, this sphere, not somewhere up in the air. I have to feel the body on the earth, the ground. I do this by sensation – sensing its weight, its mass, and, more important, sensing that there is force inside, an energy. Though sensation I need to feel a connection with my body so deep it becomes like a communion.”

I am not going to comment on the book because I have not read it and now plan to read it. However,  concerning the Living Teaching Mr. Gurdjieff brought to us, I only read Beelzebub’s Tales because it is the Prime Source of his teaching. I read other books but they have nothing to do with the Living Teaching. For example, few months ago I read for the 10th time Little Red Riding Hood and maybe because it was the 10th time I clearly understood that the only way to avoid being eating by the Wolf in me, is to listen to the grandmother in me (He who has ears let him hear). Anyhow, the intent of this post is to show, exclusively on the basis of the paragraph above quoted, the lack of understanding that Jeanne de Salzmann had of the Living Teaching Mr. Gurdjieff brought to us in His Legominism All and Everything and very specifically in Beelzebub’s Tales.

I open with the first line of the paragraph, namely, “I need to see that what is lacking is a connection with my body.”

That line shows how much Mme. de Salzmann was connected to what she and others have termed the Work and that she and others call the Fourth Way. The Fourth Way Mr. Gurdjieff brought to us in his Living Teaching, is the Way of Conscience. The other three ways are the way of Faith, Love, and Hope. This is the exact message contained in what many serious students of the Living Teaching call the most important chapter in Beelzebub’s Tales. This chapter is “The Legominism Concerning the Deliberations of the Very saintly Ashiatat Shiemash Under the Title of ‘The Terror-of-the-Situation.’” The heart of the message contained in this chapter is that only the Divine Impulse of Objective Conscience can now restore us to normality. The message in this chapter has nothing to do with what many people in the Work call the Fourth Way. The Fourth Way according to the Living Teaching, is the Way of Conscience and it is a fourth way because three more are identified as ways, namely, Faith, Love, and Hope. All this has nothing to do with the ways of the fakir, the monk, and the yogi

Let’s now examine the first line in the quote from Jeanne de Salzmann in the light of the Way of Conscience. In this light, connection is not with the body but with Conscience. Conscience, and not the body, is the inner guide and inner Master in us, and Conscience is the link to God. We become Sons of God when we acquire Conscience: “Only-he-will-be-called-and-will-become-the-Son-of-God-who-acquires-in-himself-Conscience” (Beelzebub’s Tales, p. 368). Connection with the body is the result, and not the cause, of being connected with Conscience.

Here now is how I have lived all this in my own life and search.

When I connect with Conscience, I connect with the Higher in me and outside of me through a vertical axis. This connection makes possible the harmonizing of the functioning of my three centers and even the connection among them. This is so because the functioning of my three centers is now harmonized about a vertical axis. Then connection with the sensation of the body follows naturally and it must be so because if such connection is not established, there will be no horizontal axis and there must be a horizontal axis because otherwise the vertical axis cannot be brought into Life. This is the meaning of the Crucifying of the Divine Teacher Jesus Christ and the very foundation of Esoteric Christianity, as Mr. Gurdjieff called his teaching: The vertical axis, the body of Christ on the cross, is the connection with the Father, the Higher in us and outside of us; the horizontal axis, the two arms of Christ, is how the higher is brought into Life. In a certain way the teaching of Christianity in the sense that the Divine Teacher died for all of us, is very correct because it teaches all of us what it means to take one’s cross. The body of Christ on the cross is my body in Life; the arms of Christ on the cross are my arms in Life. I must “suffer” in the Cross of my own life if I ever expect to be born and awake to Conscience. Then, Like the Divine Teacher, I too become a Son of the Living God. This “Suffering” is precisely what leads to Conscience and that is why Ashiata Shiemash taught that for the awakening of Conscience in us, “the whole of us and the whole of our essence, are, and must be, already in our foundation, only suffering” (Beelzebub’s Tales, p. 372). “Suffering” and not sensing the body is what is required of us if we ever going to awaken to the Divine Impulse of Objective Conscience and this “suffering” begins with the “suffering” of my situation in  Life which is awareness of my nothingness to start with. Then I have a chance for Conscience and Real Consciousness.

Connection with the body, as Mme. de Salzmann emphasizes in her book, is not the correct aim and it shows a lack of understanding of the Cosmology Mr. Gurdjieff brought in his Living Teaching. This is one of the main critiques to the teachings given in what is now known as the Work, a total lack of the Cosmological aspect of the teaching Mr. Gurdjieff brought to us. What is mostly practiced in the Work today is Psychology and one only has to look at the Psychological Commentaries in the title of Nicoll’s book. Ouspensky, Jeanne de Salzmann, and Nicoll are the three most influential people who have made the expression the Work analogous to the Living Teaching. But it is not and Mr. Gurdjieff never used that expression when referring to his teaching. If we go to the so-called Paris War Meetings where the oral teaching given in Paris is mostly recorded, we will find 144 entries for the word Work but each and every one of them refers exclusively to our need to work and not to an organization of the teaching in a body called the Work. And if one searches for the word teaching one will find that this is the word Mr. Gurdjieff used to refer to his teaching. You can go there and find for yourself.

Now you readers of this post may be wondering and asking yourself “So what. What is this insane little man is trying to tell us here?.” Well, what this madman is trying to tell you here is that we must begin with the right beginning; otherwise and because of the operation of a cosmic law, the law of the initial impetus to be more precise, the initial impulse is of the utmost importance because it is the one initiating the end. In other words, the beginning is the end. If we begin with a connection to the body, we will end with a connection with the body and we will spend the rest of eternity striving to connect with the body living for ever a horizontal life. That is exactly what people in the Work and particularly in the so-called Foundations are telling us again and again and again ad nausea. We must begin with the beginning and then we will end with the beginning and the beginning of the Living Teaching Mr. Gurdjieff brought to us is the awakening of the Divine Impulse of Objective Conscience. Then all and everything else follows according to Law, including sensing the body

It is a proven fact that one does not have to study or read Beelzebub’s Tales to be in the Work. I have known many people who are in the Work and have never read the book one time, let alone the three times Mr. Gurdjieff advised us to do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and not reading Beelzebub’s Tales does not mean that one cannot benefit from the Work. That is not the point here; the point here is that one can be in the Work all life and understand nothing or very little about the Living Teaching Mr. Gurdjieff brought to humanity. Conversely, one does not have to be in the Work to understand the Living Teaching. And finally, one can be in the Work and understand the Living Teaching.

Having said all this, I now plan to read The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff. I want to make sure how Madame presents the teaching in terms of a Cosmology and the awakening of the Divine Impulse of Objective Conscience, as taught by the Most Most Saintly Ashiata Shiemash in the five strivings of Objective Morality.

Regards,

Will Mesa

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About willmesa

I have been studying and working with the ideas of G.I. Gurdjieff exposed in his Opus Magnum Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. The intention of this blog is to share these ideas with people around the world. For more information about me, please search in Google for Will Mesa
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33 Responses to Do Not Be Misled by Others, Conscience is the Way

  1. Gregory says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes … YES.
    Mme De Salzmann, from the written evidence, taught from a somewhat Modernist aesthetic standpoint (“what is lacking is a connection with my body”)
    Might I add, as a dancer, that procedure from Conscience also appreciably alters the QUALIITY of the connection made with the body. Procedure immediately towards connection with the body is an altogether “other” qualitative “kettle of fish”.

    • Gregory says:

      Connection with the body as a beginning and end is a connection with Vertical Time as Source, and therefore is a connection with Death.

      Gregory

      • Gregory says:

        Sorry, Will, the above should read:
        “Connection with the body as a beginning and end is a connection with HORIZONTAL Time as Source, and therefore is a connection with Death”.

        Gregory

  2. willmesa says:

    When I connect with the body from Conscience, I am then aware of what the function of the body is. I am aware that the true function of the body is that of serving the Higher, God and the Welfare of the Whole. I am aware of what the body is for, why the body exists, and how to use the body for the service of Conscience as a Son of the Living God. When I connect with the body just because “what is lacking is connection with my body,” that is to say, as a simple exercise or imposition from outside, which may be needed in the beginning, I eventually become the salve of the body.
    Connection to the body from Conscience makes “I” to be the Master of the body. Connection with the body just because “what is lacking is connection with my body,” as Madame de Salzmann implies, makes “I” to be the slave of the body.
    We must strive for understanding from the very beginning..

  3. willmesa says:

    Connection with the body when it is an imposition from outside, either coming for other or from oneself, is connection with Horizontal Time, as you well say. Maybe in the beginning this connection is needed because in the beginning we are only aware of the Horizontal dimension. But as one advances in one’s search, connection is not with the body but with Conscience. Then connection with body comes naturally because one is connected with the Inner Master who is Conscience. One is then conscious of the function of the body in relation to the Welfare of the Whole, that is to say, in relation to God. With Conscience one is a Son of the Living God and one lives for the Glory of God.

  4. Tom says:

    Hi Will,

    first let me say that I thank you for your very interesting blog! Concerning your last post – you said that the “connection with the body” is not the cause but the effect of finding/developing conscience in us. But isn’t it possible that both is true? Maybe Madame de Salzmann’s view is true, BECAUSE your view is also true. I mean maybe a connection with the body can only be achieved because there is already conscience in us (at least as a potential).

    greetings,
    Tom

    • willmesa says:

      Hi Tom,

      I think that one can have connection with the body and no conscience or act without an impulse of conscience. The best example is the Hasnamuss type. He has a body and has sensation of the body but has no conscience or does not act according to conscience. I also think that the moment one is connected with conscience, one is connected with the body. Yet, I also think that at the beginning of the work on oneself, one must begin with connection with the body, as it is emphasized in group work. So, connection with the body, as Madame said and you seem to support, is a way to the awakening of conscience.

      Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.

      Will

  5. Tom Horn says:

    Hi Will,

    I agree with your answer, but still got a question. There might be people that have connection with their body but no conscience, yes. But why do you think that having conscience makes sure to be connected with the body? Couldn’t it be to have conscience but no connection with the body?

    I am not sure whether I understand these terms correctly. You use “conscience” not in the way it is usually used, right? You mean a kind of connection with something higher, with higher centres, or with the Absolute?

    The term “connection with the body” means to me a deeper kind of awareness of the body. As I began with Feldenkrais-lessons long time ago I experienced a deeper awareness of my body, which seemed to connect my body with my intellectual and emotional functions. And very soon after I began with Feldenkrais I began my search for truth/reality/god/conciousness/myself.

    best wishes,
    Tom

    • willmesa says:

      Hi Tom,

      I think that having Conscience makes sure connection with the body because Conscience is the fire that fuses the three centers, thinking, feeling, and moving. When Conscience is awake then the three centers function in harmony and connection with the body is a must. We are in the body and we know what the body is for when we are in Conscience.

      Yes, I see Conscience as a way to connect with the Higher, with God. It is the vertical axis in the cross. The horizontal axis is the body. When the vertical and the horizontal intercepts, we become the Sons of God. Something like that, anyhow. So, Conscience as I see it goes beyond the conscience of the ten commandments.

      Thanks again for your feedback.

      Best wishes,

      Will

      • Tom Horn says:

        Hi Will,

        thank you for your answer! I am about to finish the first reading of Beelzebub. So I cannot say much about the effects upon me. But I want to read all the books of Gurdjieff three times as he suggested.

        best wishes,
        Tom

  6. willmesa says:

    Hi Tom,

    Reading Beelzebub’s Tales three times is the way to go. You do not need to read any other of the so-called Gurdjieff Tradition books. Beelzebub is self-sufficient.

    May your reading bring you more being-understanding!

    Best wishes,

    Will

    • Tom Horn says:

      Hm, but in “Beelzebub” Gurdjieff wrote we should read also “Meetings” and “Life” three times, didn’t he?

  7. willmesa says:

    Yes, but beginning with Beelzebub’s three times reading. Then Meetings and then Life is real….

  8. Simon says:

    The main purpose of connecting to the body is to make it easier to withdraw your identification from your thoughts and feelings, otherwise you can just get swept away very easily and lost in them and it is only by withdrawing your identification that impartial self observation is possible. Conscience comes in when you can successfully observe yourself and you see that you are not what you should be so your conscience compels you to work to correct your disharmony, the main work is then withdrawing your identification and lifeforce from that which has claimed it. Connecting to your body helps with this as it gives you a stability, force and ground from which you can withdraw your identification from your mind patterns and habits. Conscience is the driving force to work and intentionally connecting to your body helps stabilise the work.

    • willmesa says:

      Hi Simon,

      I agree with you in principle but connection with the body and sensation of the body can become another source of identification. I met many people in the so-called Foundations that the only thing they did was to work on the sensation of the body. One in particular was so addicted to this kind of work that later left the group because he did not see what else had to be done and got bored and left. That is why in Beelzebub’s Tales, the teaching I follow as indicated by this blog, the term sensation of the body is never mentioned. The term always used is being-sensation, which includes sensation of the body but goes beyond it. I see Conscience as the inner master who guides me not so much to work on myself, as you say, but to live the sense and aim of my existence, of course given that I found this sense and aim.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Regards,

      Will Mesa

  9. Simon says:

    That is an interesting point that sensation of the body is not mentioned in Beezebub’s tales I will think about this some more as I am trying to form my understanding from Gurdjieff’s books myself rather than from groups or official organisations. Thanks.

  10. Erin Casey says:

    It should read: Do not be misled by Will Mesa. Beelzebub talks about the body all of the time in the book it just doesn’t use direct language…also I think it is quite rash to make a claim that Madame De Salzmann did not work from conscience or teach that to her students. She does not just talk about only the body, you SHOULD read her book(which was technically just a nonlinear collection of the many notes that she took from the teaching compiled by her family/students of the Foundation. In fact she often talks about having a center of gravity which is not just the body, but energy often manifests itself there in the body, but the emotions and the mind are attached, think of it as a fourth way totem pole within… and to show you just how much Gurdjieff thought of her understanding and being I’ll quote Louise March from her book The Gurdjieff Years 1929-1949, this selection took place in 1948:
    ‘In the last years, when the number of idiots had shrunk from 21 to 18, Gurdjieff emphasized that as everyone ordinarily “exists,” one automatically moves up the list(the order of Idiots) mechanically-but with work on oneself, one moves down. This going down, even out, was a new addition to G’s ever-developing, deepening science of idiots. I heard him declare only one person as “going out of idiocy.” That was Mme. de Salzmann.’
    Gurdjieff himself trusted de Salzmann solely to lead expansion of the Foundations to spread his teaching after his death, and to also publish his books and told her to live to be over 100 so that it would all be done, she died at 101.
    Why not try to be objective instead of identifying with this idea of conscience. Here, let’s see, I’m looking at the table of contents of the Reality of Being:

    1st Chapter…A Call to Consciousness
    -I am Asleep
    -To Remember Oneself
    -The Need to Know
    2nd…Opening to Presence
    -In a Passive State
    -An Experience of Presence
    -A Movement of Availability
    3rd…In a Common Direction
    -A Free Thought
    -An Inner Sensation
    -A New Feeling
    4th…The Work to Be Present
    -In a Quiet State
    -In the Activity of Life
    -Staying In Front
    5th…With Others
    -A Special Current
    -Exchange In a Group
    -Work in Movements
    6th…To Be Centered
    -A Sense of the Whole
    -An Inner Center of Gravity
    -Breathing
    7th…Who Am I?
    -Ego and Illusion
    -Toward the Unknown
    -My True Nature
    8th…Towards a New Being
    -My Being Is What I Am
    -A Collected State
    -From Another Level
    9th…in a State of Unity
    -The Act of Seeing
    -Conscious Sensation ************************ there goes your argument
    -Voluntary Attention
    10th…A Presence With Its Own Life
    -A Pure Energy
    -A Body of Energy
    -Voluntary Suffering
    11th…The Essential Being
    -Recognizing a False Attitude
    -A Reality In Me
    -The Emergence of “I”
    and finally 12th…To Live the Teaching
    -Creative Action
    -An Attitude of Vigilance
    -A New Way of Being

    wow, so not one chapter solely about the body…you should be ashamed of yourself badmouthing a whole person and their collection of writing(that you didn’t read) over one measly paragraph. Gurdjieff would have thrown you out or at least shouted at you until you peed your pants. If it wasn’t for her, you probably would not be writing this blog because Beelzebub’s Tales would not be widely available, or even published for that matter, nor the various Foundations around the world creating access to the teaching to thousands of individuals. Sure, there were students that understood a lot too, but no one as much as Jeanne. I am a part of the Foundation in Chicago, we do not focus solely on the body, in fact I go there to read Beelzebub every week for an hour with a group, I just got back from a work weekend and we read Beelzebub twice in small groups…I’m starting my 6th read, I’m a young one, just 26 yrs old, but you know what? If you READ BEELZEBUB he talks about lopsided human beings…they are either developed more in the emotional or thinking centers and that in order to fix it special work has to be done in the body…THAT is why we sometimes do sensing in our sittings or during the movements. I’m always in my head, working in the body opens up my emotional part of me so that I am whole and awake, you would say that it helps bring me to Conscience. The Foundation does not give the entire teaching to newcomers, you were in a group for 3 years with Tracol, you were a BEGINNER ( I don’t prefer his methods, and I also don’t agree with starting with Ouspensky). Often those newcomers work with the body and self observation…exactly like what Gurdjieff focused on in the Prieure with his newer students…they did hours and hours of movements and manual labor to get in touch with their body, they were intellectuals and artists, they needed to be set right. I don’t think I need to say much more, if you don’t feel a little remorse then perhaps you are a Swaggering Idiot. Also Gurdjieff never finished his 3rd series of writing…he wanted the teaching and exercises to be taught IN PERSON. Beelzebub is not the end all. Sure it has a TON of stuff hiding within, he buried some of those bones real deep. It is, however, my favorite book in the world, it means so much to me, you could say I have a deepening relationship with it. That is why I get upset with people(you) who use BT to make up some theory or heavily misinterpret Gurdjieff’s meanings due to subjective reading on their part, and guess what? You’re making reading and writing about Beelzebub’s Tales a form of Titillation for your head brain that leads others astray from the real Living Teaching that De Salzmann, Nyland, March, Bennett, etc have preserved through direct contact with students, Jeanne was the pupil that was with Gurdjieff the longest of anyone, she could basically be considered his second wife, she had a child with him and all and he would let her into his world much more than the others. But I would bet a lot of money that your type of personality is the kind that hates the idea of having a teacher tell you what to do or suggesting methods of self observation or sensing the body…if you studied under Gurdjieff you would likely leave after 2 days. You want to be the expert, you don’t want to submit to anyone, believe me, I used to be the same way, but it made me run in circles, never getting anywhere. No, no one would pull you away from your God…Will Mesa’s Brain, you are overly confident that you need no one, you can do it all yourself and share your findings on the internet where you’ll get praise from fellow less experienced fourth way loners. I bet your ego is having a field day in regards to you going to the All and everything conference. You seem to get off on being a “Beelzebub expert”. Well one of my teachers studied with some of the best Beelzebub readers back in the old days, and he is our resident expert you could say, but he does not flaunt it, nor does he blog all about it on the internet, he saves it for our readings and group meetings. Your identification of rejecting any organized groups of Gurdjieffians, especially the Foundation, clouded your judgement evident in this lame excuse for an article… It’s too bad I can’t make it this year to the conference as I would sit in and embarrass you in some way to teach you and your “tail” of followers on here a lesson that you really don’t deserve, you know better. I don’t think you are a bad person, I just think that you are heavily identified and needed someone to call you out on it, especially your misrepresentation of Salzmann’s Reality of Being. Thank you for providing me with plenty of negative impressions for food.

    • willmesa says:

      I did not read your whole comment. It was enough for me to see how you call Jeanne de Salzmann Madame de Salzman and you call Mr. Gurdjieff Gurdjieff. You got it all upside down. “The disciple is not above the master. It is enough for the disciple to be like the master. My next post here in my blog will have the title “The Teaching in Jeanne de Salzmann”s The Reality of Being Does Not Follow the Living Teaching in Mr. Gurdjieff’s Legominism All and Everything.” If this article elicited in you negative emotions, wait for my next one. How can anyone be out of Idiocy when God Himself is Idiot 21, the Unique Idiot?

    • willmesa says:

      Thanks! You started the who thing and then you blocked me. How can a person like that be trusted?

  11. willmesa says:

    This is a paragraph from Joseph Azize review of Jeanne de Salzmann book The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff, with which I totally agree. Here is:

    “The major problem, and it is a significant one, is the packaging. The issue would not arise had the book been presented, packaged and titled accurately, for example, as The Reality of Being: The “Vigilant Meditation” of Jeanne de Salzmann. The misstatement that this volume is a representation of the “Fourth Way of Gurdjieff”, which is a way in life, distorts any reading of the contents, because many of the statements here are meaningful or true only within the context of what de Salzmann calls “the work in the quiet” (48) and “vigilance and meditation” (58). This practice was developed by de Salzmann from Eastern models, as Bill Segal states in one memoir. Further, the book as edited moves backwards and forwards between “work in life”, and “work in the quiet” in a manner which is not always clear. It might be a personal development of the Fourth Way, or even a portion of it, but then, why the clunky subtitle The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff?”

  12. David says:

    While I am still pondering your post, here are a few preliminary thoughts.

    ~The biggest thing that jumps out is a tendency for you to think in terms of “one thing OR another”. In inner work initiated actions can and often must occur along multiple lines at once.
    ~ Next, there seems to be some mixing, in your thinking, of different levels of scale in relation to Octaves. Work to establish in oneself Conscience (the representative of the Creator) is a large lifelong octave. Work to establish a right relationship to the body, to the mind and to emotions is work on a different scale. The passage quoted from de Salzmann above reflects that.
    ~The problem for most people today is that they are so removed internally from anything Real that some work on grounding is necessary before any beginning can be attempted. Such grounding work is again a small octave relative to establishing in oneself Conscience.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts after you read the book that you quote from in it’s entirety.

    • willmesa says:

      My teaching is Beelzebub’s Tales and that is why my blog is called Gospel According to Beelzebub. I do not come from the so-called Gurdjieff groups or Gurdjieff Foundations, even though I spent ten years with them. The teaching in Beelzebub is very simple because Mr.Gurdjieff said that he taught simple things: “When it rains pavements get wet.” The book itself is writt6en in such a way that it makes us develop and awake to our true consciousness and our true conscience. That does not happen with the group or Foundations. I read the Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff in its entirely and I did not find any fourth way there. The word conscience is not even mentioned, except in the very little session called Remorse of Conscience. What the book really presents is a teaching adapted from Eastern models like Zen.

  13. David says:

    I gathered from your previous replies that you are not associated with the Foundation etc. I am not either. My main concern is that your presentation seems more reflective of “Reason-of-knowing” rather than “Reason of Understanding” and I was trying to help point out some areas you might ponder.
    Who could be Beelzebub’s grandchildren but us? At least once removed from direct contact with Mr. Gurdjieff himself, his book is invaluable.
    There is a talk describing Christianity and the misunderstanding of the role of Judas. The point being that how could people believe Jesus to be the Son of God and yet think that he did not know what Judas was doing? Seemingly on the one hand he is stupid and on the other Divine.
    In a similar way it seems that by disparaging Mme de Salzmann, you are diminishing Mr Gurdjieff and his judgement.
    Perhaps you need to look deeper, think differently..

  14. David says:

    Rather a harsh reaction from Frank Sinclair was it not?

  15. David says:

    Funny that you complained above, “Thanks! You started the who(le) thing and then you blocked me. How can a person like that be trusted?”. And yet after saying that you will reply there is……….nothing.

  16. jonedae says:

    “It is a proven fact that one does not have to study or read Beelzebub’s Tales to be in the Work. I have known many people who are in the Work and have never read the book one time, let alone the three times Mr. Gurdjieff advised us to do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and not reading Beelzebub’s Tales does not mean that one cannot benefit from the Work. That is not the point here; the point here is that one can be in the Work all life and understand nothing or very little about the Living Teaching Mr. Gurdjieff brought to humanity. Conversely, one does not have to be in the Work to understand the Living Teaching. And finally, one can be in the Work and understand the Living Teaching.”
    I think that, when I say, The Work, I mean the third case, Will. That is, the understanding that I have in my mind, of a human whom I am saying, in in The Work, is what you have called “One [who is] in the Work and understand[s] the Living Teaching”. And: it is a fact, that such a person, either read the Legominism, or came from outside of western culture, or was born a high enough man number as to already be where the rest of us could get to. But the the rest of us, are really clueless twits until we read the complete All & Everything Series. BTW “proven fact” seems a little rhetorical; for instance, if something is a fact, it doesn’t need to be proven; and so on.
    Jone.

    • willmesa says:

      I agree with you, Jone, the person who is in the Work and at the same time strives to understand the Living Teaching Mr. Gurdjieff left to humanity, that person is the one that is seriously contributing to the spreading of the Living Teaching. That is how I see it too.

  17. Gregory says:

    I finally finished re-reading Jeanne de Salzmann’s book THE REALITY OF BEING, Will. Besides the absurd title — which I can’t imagine , given her intelligence , she would have ever chosen — I fail to see a viable Work connection. What I do see is a serious minded, and highly personalized psychological search reported with some— more than a few — statements of undeniable profundity and beauty.

    It is, in that way, a series of erudite sketches which could have been subsumed into a solid, singular work of spiritual diarist art.

    But, that wasn’t the intention here —- I do understand that point. And de Salzmann wasn’t around to oversee this presentation if, in point of fact, she wanted any of this to be placed in readership’s hands at all.

    It reminds me of what happened — on a far more superficial level —- when Annie Besant took over the helm of the Theosophical Society and unwisely returned to The Past rather than following Blavatsky’s directions to prepare for The Future within our present paltry circumstances.
    De Salzmann’s approach is likewise involutionary which, no matter what it’s undeniable difficulties and subtlties , largely remains in The Past and therefore is a sort of working-overtime “easy avoidance”.

    Yes, I would say it avoids the 1238 page elephant standing in the middle of the room.
    It sweetly pets its trunk, and that’s about all.

    There is also a reminding factor for us men in our perceived problem: women.
    De Salzmann’s earliest entries display suggestions of the cowling of an unusually gifted female Person as she describes her “worthiness/lack of” (Guess who probably had a probably had a hand in that. Now, I don’t KNOW that, but given what I do know, I think the lady doth (rather uncomfortably) protest too much. I am embarrassed for her.

    To her credit, she seems to have moved on from someone else’s definition of herself. And good for her, even if that direction turned out to be largely a U-Turn in terms of the stated matter at hand.

    Another book, which will forever be held in the highest esteem by me is Ravi Ravindra’s HEART WITHOUT MEASURE : WORK WITH MADAME DE SALZMANN (1999). It is filled with quotations from de Salzmann which display, if not valuable Living Teaching directives — they do not —- DO display a deeper than usual understanding of the inner life of a dancer which is cleverly cloaked in esoteric language. In fact, within the English language, I know of another such document. Isadora Duncan and Emile Jacques-Dalcroze both hint in this direction, but come nowhere near de Salzmann’s articulation. I’d imagine there are tucked away, untranslated and forgotten ancient documents of similar vein which would affirm her stance.

    I believe Jeanne de Salzmann to have been an exceptional dancer who arrived early at the threshold of the sacred. Probably, unable to fully realize — in the context of her time and society —- her estimable gifts in the Art and Religion of the Dance, she probably sacrificed a fuller personal manifestation, to survive in service to an esoteric practice which didn’t have the scale (room) to meet her talent’s needs.

    Her astonishing contribution, in my estimation, is a somewhat heavily-coded articulation of what is required of and experienced by the Sacred Dancer. She comes the closest of anyone I know, of parlaying something which cannot readily be described.

    And whatever else she didn’t do — through ignorance, poor decisions or life’s limitations and unfair misplacements — she most powerfully and with great comprehension did display here: a description of the agencies of Higher Art assuming the similar level of Higher Mathematics.

    Gregory

    • Gregory says:

      PS
      “(Guess who probably had a probably had a hand in that. ” should read
      (Guess who probably had a hand in that ?)

      “Another book, which will forever be held in the highest esteem by me. . .” should read
      “Quite another book, which will forever be held in the highest esteem by me . . .”

      “In fact, within the English language, I know of another such document.” should read:
      “In fact, within the English language, I know of no other such document. ”

      My apologies.

      The point of this, few, probably unless they are dancers, and amongst those dancers, few of those will be in a position to understand what it is de Salzmann is really referencing. It’s all very clever and it DOES make me wonder about the motivations behind this “swerving” of direction.

      I have my opinion, and I will — uncharacteristically — keep that to myself.
      G.

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