Why We Need to Return Again and Again to Beelzebub’s Tales

Today I want to address the question of why we need to return again and again to Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson BTTHG. Keep in mind that here I am only the pointing finger. Do not stick to the finger and look towards where the finger is pointing.
I think the answer to the question under consideration is given in the first 52 pages of the Book and I am going to quote three paragraphs that for me answer the question:

1.“To destroy, merciless, without any compromise whatever, in the mentation and feelings of the reader, the beliefs and views, by centuries rooted in him, about everything existing in the world.” From the Prime Directive.
2. “I wish to bring to the knowledge of what is called your “pure waking consciousness” the fact that in the writings following this chapter of warning I shall expound my thoughts intentionally in such sequence and with such “logical confrontation,” that the essence of certain real notions may of themselves automatically, so to say, go from this “waking consciousness”— which most people in their ignorance mistake for the real consciousness, but which I affirm and experimentally prove is the fictitious one—into what you call the subconscious, which ought to be in my opinion the real human consciousness” (p.24).
3.Beelzebub once saw in the government of the World something which seemed to him “illogical,” and having found support among his comrades, beings like himself not yet formed, interfered in what was none of his business” (p. 52).

Paragraph 1 tells us what the Book s going to do for us. It is going to destroy our subjective reason. But destroying for the sake of destroying would make the Book incomplete and not self-sufficient. The Book is complete and self-sufficient. Like the Serpent of Knowledge it closes onto itself: The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. It begins with two mentations and it ends with two rivers. In between there is the teaching on Objective Divine Reason. This is the Reason the Book is going to help to develop in us. The Germ is already in us but exists only as a potential actualization. The Book is going to help us to transform this potential actualization into a kinetic realization. And it is going to do it the proper and normal way, by first awakening in us Objective Divine Conscience. Objective Reason without Objective Conscience is an abnormality, the abnormality of the Hasnamuss type.

Paragraph 2 tells us how the Book is going to do it. It is going to force us to penetrate our subconscious or real consciousness. That is the great Hope the Book gives us because it is in the subconscious where that data necessary and sufficient for the awaking of Conscience is now buried. Without that Hope there would be no hope for us.

Paragraph 3 tells us why the Book is going to do it. It is going to do it because there is something “illogical” in the functioning of the Universe. This is why we have to do something about ourselves because we cannot let things go that way. We have to help the Universe to become “logical” again. What is this “illogical” something? We are never told but we know that the Book has the answer. Beelzebub spends thousands of years in exiles trying to find out why this “illogical” something exists. And he does find it and we too can find it if we go to the Book. It is not that it in the Book; it is that it is in us. We too live in exile.

The Book then puts us face-to-face with the three most fundamental questions: Why, What, How. Why is for the thinking center. What is for the feeling center? How is for the moving center.

The Book puts us in contact with the totality of our being: our three centers. The Book helps us to bring normality to the abnormality that now exists in us. By doing so the Book gives us the possibility of accessing the two higher centers which are fully developed in us. These two higher centers are never mentioned in the Book. Why is it so? For the simple reason that the Book is written from these two higher centers and no need exists to speak about them when they are already there.

In the spirit of Returning,

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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10 Responses to Why We Need to Return Again and Again to Beelzebub’s Tales

  1. jonedae says:

    Of course, you have made the right kinds of points in your post, Will; and additionally (but not necessarily) I am in agreement with them, mostly. If I think of any helpful criticisms, I’ll share them.
    JD

    • willmesa says:

      Thanks Jone. I welcome all your comments and criticism. Will

      • jonedae says:

        It seems that most people, I mean of course those intelligent enough to do so, just need to read BTTG in the first place. I wonder what you think about people in the Fourth Way, who not only have not read the Legominism, but say they don’t need it, etc., won’t read it? I remember speaking with one such woman, about 2 years ago. She was a sincere and intelligent woman, and did the publicity for a Movements teacher, actually two Movements teachers; they all lived in Boulder, Co. And I approved of her reading the Psychological Commentaries, and I do feel those are valuable and important, Will, and encouraged her with that. But I felt that I would be insulting her, or, say, challenging her too much, if I pushed my point too hard during our conversation at Naropa; but there it is, I felt and still feel that, if you haven’t read BTTG, and according to the instructions for reading it, you’re missing The Main Piece, you’re missing the most important thing you should do to be in The Work. I wanted to say bluntly to her, if you haven’t read BTTG, you’re not in The Work. But I softened my wording and tried to instead make suggestions along those lines. And I was somewhat distressed by her confidence, and her sense of self-satisfaction; there was nothing I could say to her to shake that, I could only alienate here with stronger statements. And as I say, she wasn’t a stupid woman at all; but I failed to find any way to convey that, the processes one undergoes while reading it, are really central to being in the Work. I’m wondering what you would have said to her?

  2. Scott says:

    My comments, first, for Will, I enjoyed your piece about returning. Well stated and succinct, and always refreshing to connect with these ideas. Secondly, to Jonedae: although I wasn’t invited to comment, I personally enjoy most all comments and don’t mind expressing mine. To me, what you did sounds exactly fine: you value something given by a higher level Being (Gurdjieff and BTTG) and want to disseminate that feeling to another, and therefore tried in the only non-confrontational way you could in the moment, recognizing the difference in valuation of BTTG between you and her. I have met many in the Work who have never given BTTG a good and proper read-through and feel the same way – that’s its a higher level object for us to learn from. It creates a “conflict” in my mind wondering how they could not be enthralled and truly relish anything and everything from Gurdjieff.

    • jonedae says:

      Good point, Scott. But also, there are effects that can be produced by the Legominism, that can’t be produced by any other work of literature or art that we know of. It is really key, to be Working. A person can *understand* the fourth way w/o reading BTTG, but they won’t be *practicing* the Work w/o the lessons that BTTG teaches.

      • Scott says:

        That is entirely possible, but I don’t think a person (like ourselves) can, or should, compel another to read it. If we value it, let us enjoy it and study it as we shall, and if someone else does not want to read it, so be it. If someone has to be convinced to read it, I would imagine the effects might not be so terrific.

      • willmesa says:

        In the Prologue to Life is real only then, when “I am,” Mr. Gurdjieff writes profusely about his own writing of Beelzebub’s Tales. He concludes by saying that he is writing the book fro everyone. This to me mans that he is writing for humanity. He is writing for both the people in life who has never even heard of the expression the Work and for people who are in the Work. Mr. Gurdjieff said that his book was an objective piece of work and that everyone who reads it will get something out of it. Of course, one would expect that people in the Work would read it more profitably than people in life. But the point is that both of then will profit from reading the book. This is what I understand from the comment by jonedae and yet Scott is also correct when he writes about the care we have to take in not imposing on others the book. Imagine the Work imposing on his members the reading of the book according to their own interpretation. We do not want the Work to become another Religion.

        Thanks to Scott and jonedae and Scott for their respective comments. They are welcome and appreciated.

      • willmesa says:

        Scott, I think the way Mr. Gurdjieff put it is that we share with others what we have and the results belong to God. I, or anyone for that matter, can force anyone else to assimilate what we share.

      • willmesa says:

        One of these effects is that our ordinary consciousness or fictitious consciousness, as it also called in the book, is replaced by the subconscious or real mind. The Legominism gives us the possibility to develope the subcosncious mind, to awake it. This in reason that the book is addressed to this mind through the language of mentation by form.

  3. Scott says:

    Yes – I agree – thanks for the follow-ups.

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