Mr. Gurdjieff insisted again and again that sex is a function and an independent function for that matter. He said that it is not necessary to mix the sexual function with the feeling function or the thinking function. For example, mixing sex with love may help love because then it becomes one of the aspects of love, the love of body. But love of body depends exclusively on type and polarity and it is therefore dependent on cosmic laws. People may spend a whole life engaging in sex without actually having type and polarity on their sides. Maybe that is one of the reasons why so many marriages fail but it is certainly not the only reason because there are many other reasons. Love does not need sex and the proof is that a man can love another man or a woman another woman and even a human can love an animal. On the other hand, mixing sex with feeling may be sometimes dangerous and harmful because it may very well lead to such abnormalities as masochism, sadism, and fanaticism. Mixing sex with thinking may also be harmful because it may lead to a thinking that is not productive at all, like falling in a state of continuous and constant argumentation, as it is the case in many members of the intelligentsia. Sex is neutral and we better understand that. As an engineer I love experimentation. In writing this paper I brought with me a bottle of Cuban rum (with lemon so I can mix it with coke and have a Cuba-Libre) near my PC. I am now looking at the bottle of rum. What do I see? I see a container of a particular shape holding a colorful liquid. That is it. Now, what I do with this container and the liquid inside depends on me and only on me. But the container and the liquid inside are totally and completely neutral. It is the same with sex. Sex is a bottle of rum and nothing more than that. In the same way that I can get cirrhosis of the liver because of too much Rum, I can get herpes because of too much sex. It is better for all of us to stay away from one’s night stands as it is better for us to stay away from too much booze.
Of course, there is another dimension here that is marriage and children and all that. Sex in those cases becomes mixed with feeling and sometimes it works for the better and other times it does not work at all. And when children are involved it is even more serious. But it is not necessarily sex that really keeps a marriage going. A recent study by Harvard University shows that only nine percent of marriages are truly happy marriages. And what do you think is the most important factor, the number one factor that makes marriages happy? It is not sex. It is friendship. Couples that are friends to each other and that share with each other at a friendship level are the happiest. The more couples are connected in an essence friendship, the happier their marriage, is the conclusion of the Harvard study.
But let’s go back to what Mr. Gurdjieff had to say about the sexual function because this is getting interesting.
Mr. Gurdjieff said that not only sex is an independent function but a subjective one as well. Some people need more sex than other and I say people because I think it is the same for men than for women. The fact is that sex or “love of body depends exclusively on type and polarity” (Page 361 of the Original 1959 English Edition of Beelzebub’s Tales; never read the 2006 English Edition distorted by the New York Foundation under direct command of Madame de Salzmann). Some men need little sex while other men need lots of it and it all depends on cosmic type which is of the essence and not of personality. It is important to understand that the sexual substance, the greatest gift given by Great Nature to man (and woman as well) is en grained in our essence. One good example of type and sex is Isaac Newton, the greatest scientist who ever lived, greater than Einstein according to many scientists. One week before he died he was asked what his greatest achievement in life was, and he had many of them. He immediately replied: “My greatest achievement in life is that I am going to die virgin.” Compare that to another great physicist, the late American Richard Feynman, who was professor of theoretical physics at renowned California Institute of Technology, who used to solve problems of physics while watching topless girls dancing around the tube in a Go-Go bar. Another good example here, by the way, is the pianist Arthur Rubenstein who loved women so much that at age 90 left his wife for a 30 years old woman! The thing is that sex may be very important for some men and not important at all for other men. It all depends on cosmic type and essence. It is the same for women I suppose; although I leave them speak for themselves. What is really bad in this sex business, and Mr. Gurdjieff made emphasis on this, is any form of aversion. In matters of sex there is either pleasurable sensation or indifference. Of course, Mr. Gurdjieff also said that that all pleasure is shit but went ahead and had lots of women. So, what did he really mean by that? I leave the question open for interpretations.
In any case, the use of the sexual substance for the perfecting of the so-called higher being-bodies is the most guarded secret in the Teaching and the Work. Those who know won’t say it and those who don’t know will write books after books on the subject because of lack of honesty and humility in recognizing that they do not know. In these matters I always go to the source and the source here we all know what it is: The Legominism All and Everything and very specifically Beelzebub’s Tales. Well, my friends in the Work, I am sorry to inform you that you will not find the secret in Beelzebub’s Tales. It is not there. In fact, if we go to page 796 we are told:“Very well, my boy, said Beelzebub. We will talk about the ‘sacred-sacrament-of-the-Serooazar’ when we return to our dear Karatas.””
The “sacred-sacrament-of-the-Serooazar” is the process by which sex is used for procreation and for creation. So, if you want to know the secret you better pack your luggage and fly to Karatas. In Beelzebub’s Tales we are only told that the ways to the use of the sexual substance in the formation of higher being-bodies are “conscious labors” and “intentional suffering.” The problem is that these two ways are never spelled out in the book, other than to say that the best form of intentional suffering is to bear the unpleasant manifestations of others. So, my friends, we have to wait until we figure out what “conscious labors” and “intentional suffering” mean to us. I think I have a very good idea of what they mean but it has taken me many years of sweating and cannot give it to you in a matter of few minutes.
But Mr. Gurdjieff and Beelzebub’s Tales do tell us about one of the most dangerous situations about sex and the use of the sexual substance, namely the practice of abstinence in the process of perfecting our higher being-parts. On page 809 we are told about the harmful results arising from a wrong abstinence in “monks.” Two kinds of harmful results here: Monks who become fat like pigs but are very pleasant and monks who stay thin but become expert cynics. I have to say that I spent four years at a Chan (Zen) meditation center and I could verify in part this situation. Fat monks were nice and thin monks were intriguing. The abbot of the center was very thin and many times approached me and other lay people with this very cynic comment:”You still practicing sex?” The fat monks all they wanted is to end the sitting meditation so they could go to the basement for refreshments and chat with each other while having a piece of cake .
Mr. Gurdjieff insisted again and again on the need to get rid of the sexual substance when it is not being used for a higher purpose. He said that not doing it may bring all kinds of nervous and organic diseases. I am now going to share with you something I was told when I was in a Paris group and that I have not been able to confirm first hand from the writings of Mr. Gurdjeiff. One of the group leaders in Paris was a Spaniard who had been in the Work for some twenty years. He had not met Mr. Gurdjieff but was one of the closest student of Henri Tracol who spent some ten years with Mr. Gurdjieff (Tracol was my group leader). This Spaniard and I became very good friends because of our common language. One day while having few beers he told me that he knew that in one meeting with men Mr. Gurdjieff said that the expulsion of the unused sexual substance was so important that if a man had not a woman to do it and needed to do it he should opt for masturbation and that masturbation was preferable to keeping the accumulation of the sexual substance. If any one reading this post knows something about this I would certainly like to hear your opinion on this matter. I repeat that I never read anything from Mr. Gurdjieff on this matter.
But as an avid student of Beelzebub’s Tales I have done my own research on related matters. I was always struck by what is said on the fourth descent about the time men and women had to exist separated from each other. Of course, there is in all this an allegorical teaching. But what I found very interesting is that at that time men opted for the practice of masturbation and pederast and nothing really abnormal came out of all this. But women, more inventive and creative than men, and of course all this has to do with the manifestations in us of the body or Holy-Denying, went for sex with two brained-beings and the results of this practice were the apes-beings. The allegory here is almost obvious because now we behave like apes, the body commanding “I” instead of being commanded by “I.”. But what I found more interesting was the fact that this abnormality was possible because women or females beings were the active source in this sexual engagement of female three brained-beings and male two brained-beings. What we see here is real adultery because adultery is the mixing of substances of different rates of vibrations, like mixing one kind of wine with another kind of wine. But more than that what we see here is a great abnormality that takes place when the passive source transforms into active source.
I think that here we have been given, at one of the seven aspects of every complete statement in Beelzebub’s Tales, a hint to a kind of sexual abnormality that is very common in present day civilization. I am referring to the sexual position during the act of making love or having sex between a man and a woman. Magnetic therapy shows that the correct flow of the magnetic substance is from the active pole to the passive pole. I have practiced magnetic therapy and the magnetizer always places himself in front of the person to be magnetized. The only time the magnetizer places himself in the back of the person to be magnetized is during what is called test of sensitivity to check the magnetic sensitivity of the person to be magnetized. This front to front position insures that the flow of the magnetism is counter-clockwise (when looking from behind the magnetizer or active source) and goes from the right shoulder of the magnetizer to the left shoulder of the person to be magnetized and then through the back and the right shoulder to the left shoulder of the magnetizer through his back and then back to the right shoulder. The flow is from active to passive and in a counter-clockwise direction.
One of the benefits of sex is the generation of magnetism or Handbledzoin during the sexual act. This exchange of magnetism between the man and the woman benefits both and it is a form of actual exchange of substance or reciprocal feeding. This Handbledzoin is of great importance for us because among other things it serves to make the connection between the feeling center and the thinking center. Well, for this exchange of magnetic substance to benefit both members in the sexual act there is one and only one sexual position: The man on top of the woman and face to face. In this position the flow of the magnetism generated by the sexual act is from active to passive and counter-clockwise (when looking from on top of the man on top of the woman). Any other position is abnormal from the point of view of a normal exchange of magnetic substance. The woman on top of the man implies a flow from the passive to the active and the female becomes active while the male is passive. The flow goes from the right shoulder of the female to the right shoulder of the male, which constitutes an inversion of the law of polarity. The male on top of the back of the woman is even worse because the flow now is from right shoulder to right shoulder. In this sense we can see one of the Hasnamussian aspects of Hollywood where in many movies the position shown is the woman on top of the man. There are even jokes about it as the one I heard in a recent movie where one guy tells another: “I prefer women on top. Let them do all the work.” This is an example of an inverted joke.
I like to see myself like those wondering monks in the Zen tradition who go from one monastery to another. I do not belong to any group but I go and visit and participate in groups in the United State, like the group of Keith Buzzell in Maine, a group I visit every two months in Baltimore, a group in Holland I have also attended, and the Two Rivers Farm group in Oregon, near Portland. I have also been in groups in Paris, Venezuela and Ecuador. Well there is only one group that I know that follows the correct practice of the flow of the magnetic substance during the morning sitting practice and it is the Two Rivers Farm group in Oregon. I think that the reason for this is that this group was founded by A. L. Staveley who was a disciple of Jane Heap who was a faithful disciple of Mr. Gurdjieff. All the Foundations around the world not only do not follow this magnetic practice but under the influence of Jeanne de Salzmann, they have completely changed the practice by eliminating most of the exercises Mr. Gurdjieff gave to his people in Paris. In the group in Oregon, and I have been there, the group leader who is leading the sitting sits in front facing the group. Men then sit to his/her right and women sit to his/her left. In this way the magnetism generated by the force of the group flows counter-clockwise ( when looking behind the group leader leading the sitting) from the right shoulder of the leader through the active members to the passive members and back to the leader. The most important flow in the process is the one from the men-group to the women-group and it has the right direction and polarity. It is indeed a group flow similar to the flow taking place during the sexual act in which the man is on top and face to face to the woman.
For those of us who follow the Living Teaching Mr. Gurdjieff left us in his Legominism All and Everything, and very specifically in Beelzebub’s Tales,,the one important question is: how do we use the sexual substance in the perfecting of the higher being-bodies? This is indeed an important question because the perfecting of the higher being-bodies is an important aspect of the Living Teaching. One only has to go to page 60 of Beelzebub’s Tales and look at the first observation Hassein made to his Grandfather: “But I am curious to know whether there dwell three-brained beings on the planets of that solar system and whether higher “being-bodies” are coated in them.” We know that the book does not give us a clear and specific answer on this matter. We are told that only “conscious labors” and “intentional suffering” can do it. But we are given hints to possible abnormalities respect of our use of the sexual substance and two have already been pointed out here. We should not mix the sexual substance with other functions except when the mixing favors the process of procreation and creation. In this respect, I have observed one abnormality in my own life and I have worked on it. Given the changed that have taken place in women in the last one hundred years with respect to sex we can say that this abnormality now is present in both sexes. I am referring to mixing sex with certain unbecoming being-impulses such as vanity, arrogance, power, domination and so and so. I have observed that having sexual affairs is not necessarily the same as having sex. Sex by itself is a sign of very high development. But when sex becomes a way of having power over the other or a way to satisfy our vanity or ego, then sex is not served and what are served are parts of our lower nature. Sex is natural but when sex serves our lower nature is not natural. In this sense animals are more normal in the natural environment. The other abnormality we have pointed out here is sexual abstinence.
But one of the most abnormal behaviors in relation to the sexual function and always according to Mr. Gurdjieff, is what he called abuse of sex by our brains or centers. Here is something on that.
Each center possesses its own source of energy, generated by its own unique substances and can sufficiently guarantee normal brain functioning, including its participation in the process of exchange of substances, without the need of any additional energy supply. Therefore, only under very precise conditions, based on a deep understanding of man’s inner structural/functional organization can successful functioning of the brains be intensified through use of additional energy such as that generated by the sexual substance. Even in such case, the intensification would have to be harmoniously and proportionally distributed among the centers or brains. However, whenever highly vibratory energy is used inappropriately, the result is always an abnormal intensification of functioning. The obvious features of such abnormal intensification, (or sexual abuse), are the sterile vehemence and futility of purpose observed in whichever brains’ functioning or operation.
A normal functioning of the thinking-brain provides performance of the associative process of idea organization needed for generation of other ideas, as well as its participation in the more advanced forms of mental activity such as pondering and being-mentation. However, when the thinking-brain uses sexual energy to accomplish its own functioning, the result is always an abnormal intensification of the associative process. This abnormal intensification, then, results in the subjectivization and the crystallization of fixed ideas. In this way, the thinking-center engages itself in the formulation of any variety of subjective theories which lack correspondence to the reality dictated by everyday common sense; in endless discussions of theories of others; and/or in the merciless elaboration of any idea or theory. The unfortunate end result is that thinking-center functioning becomes useless for man’s successful utilization of it and its potential contribution to the process of life shared in common and its normal exchange of substances.
The normal function of the feeling brain is that of channeling and distributing the ensemble of feelings and emotions needed to maintain the life of the individual, the normal process of life shared in common among men, and the normal exchange of cosmic substances in which the feeling-brain participates. However, when the feeling-center uses sexual energy to accomplish its own functioning, the result is always an abnormal intensification, characterized by a subjectivization and a crystallization of certain, very definite emotions. The feeling-center identifies itself in the variety of emotions whose common denominator is their degrees of violence as well as their highly charged negativity. This identification, then, manifests itself as fanaticism, of religious, ideological or doctrinaire character (the burning of witches, the final solution, the sacred war, and so on). Yet, another form of manifestation of such identification can be seen in the diversity of emotional dependencies associated with sexual activity (sadism, masochism, fetishism, jealousy, etc.).
Normal functioning of the moving-brain coordinates and regulates the voluntary and automatic movements required by the individual for physical actuation in the process of common shared existence, as well as the normal exchange of substances in which the moving-brain participates. However, when the moving-center uses sexual energy to accomplish or enhance its own functioning, the result is always an abnormal intensification, characterized by exaggeration. For example, the moving-center engages itself in a variety of sports as part of its normal activity and development; however, when its functioning is intensified by sexual abuse, it is compelled to break all established records (the ballerina strives to perform the impossible pass). The end result is that the moving-brain becomes useless to the normal life of the individual as well as the necessary exchange of substances.
So, what to do?
I think that the safe thing we can do until we know what to do is to be as safe as possible. This may very well mean sex based on a relationship that not necessarily involves marriage and children but that necessarily involves mutual caring and good friendship.
Best Regards to All,