Depression, Manic States, Psychosis, and My Beloved Beelzebub



All my life, since my childhood which otherwise was a happy one, I have been suffering from deep depressions. Alternating with these bouts of depression I have had what is called episodes of manic states. Doctors call this alternating bouts of depression and manic states a bipolar disorder. But what a bipolar disorder is nobody knows for sure. It is attributed to certain abnormalities in the chemical and circuit functioning in the brain. But environmental conditions are also blamed for the causes of this disorder. My own take is that bipolar disorder is due to very complex causes which involves complex phenomena including the soul of man. The purpose of this article is to share with others my own perspectives on this matter and how I have dealt with it.

My Depression

We all have seen those TV ads showing miserable people asked to tell their doctors about a particular medication that supposedly alleviates depression. We all know that these are strategies from the people in Madison Avenue doing what Americans do the best: Selling. But the misery shown in the faces of people is real.  This misery, is the manifestation of feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, self-pity, very low self-esteem, lifelessness, lack of purpose, and others miserable ones.

But depression goes deeper than all those feelings. Depression involves the soul. Man feels that his soul has been diminished and that he does not belong to any place. He is alone here and alone there. No matter how many people around, and no matter how close they are, the depressed person feels that it is all the same: The loneliness is here to stay and sometimes seems to be eternal. Man is isolated from life and from others. It is like the spirit has been hijacked. There is nothing to be done; man feels himself condemned.

It is this feeling of unbearable loneliness that makes many depressed people to look for the final solution and many find it. It is believed that in the Unites States alone over 30,000  people commit suicide every year because of depression. I can believe it. Many times I just wanted to end everything and I still vividly remember a period of about two months when I lived submerged in a world of wanting to put an end to my life. if it had not been by my passion for my search, the fact that I grew up as Catholic, and my responsibility to my family, I would have done it. Let us say it, depression is a serious business; depression can kill and depression does kill. And if it does not kill, it puts the person suffering it in bed for many of the hours of a whole day.

It has been during the last seven years that I have had to struggle with depression the most. Two years ago I was forced to take a semester off my teaching job because I could not drive to the University. During my younger years and my young adult life I somehow managed to deal with it through keeping myself busy with the affairs of life. But lately, as my children grew up and my job became less demanding I had more time to be depressed and I have been. And there is also the fact, as stated by doctors, that as we grow older we get more depressed. As it has been said: “ Old age is not for sissies.”

I now have serious doubts about the treatment of depression through medications, though I have been to four different psychiatrists to treat my bipolar disorder. What I mean is that medications not always work and that no matter what medications I have been taken, the fact is that I am depressed for entire months. And suddenly, like by an act of magic, the depression is gone and I am fine or switch into a manic state. Then, in the same way and while still taking the medications I am back into the depressive mood. It is like external forces and not the medications that are in charge of the situation. I cannot explain it but I am now experimenting with putting my medications aside and taking charge of the situation using other ways than medication.

My Manic States

If in depression we feel hopeless and like a total nullity when it comes to do things, in our manic states we feel like we own the world, that we can do anything. Manic states is the opposite of depression. It is during manic states that the great decisions, sometimes very great wrong decisions, are made. However, I have found from my own experience that all the great decisions I have made under manic control, have resulted to be correct. It is as if the decision made during manic states comes from a part of me that is always correct, a form of intuition or the subconscious mind let us say. When I look back at my life I see that I have been helped by my manic states. For example:

It was during a manic episode that I went to the American Embassy in Cuba, in 1960, and dared to ask a vice-consular member of the Embassy to give me a visa for the USA, when it was very difficult to get a visa. And he gave it to me.

It was during a manic episode that I left New York for California in 1961 to get a degree in electrical engineering, all by myself and with very little help from my father. And finally I succeeded to get my degree which was for me a great opportunity that open the door to become a professor and live a life that was possible and tolerable under my bipolar disorder.

It was under a manic state that the day after graduation I married my wife of more than 45 years, who has helped me to live through my condition and is still helping me.

It was during a manic state that in 1966 I left the USA to go to Venezuela, the country of my wife. Living in Venezuela was a blessing for me because life over there was not as competitive as life in the United State and I was able to deal with my bipolar disorder with greater possibilities.

It was during a manic state that in 1969 I left Venezuela back to the United State to get my Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville, a small city which helped me to live with my bipolar situation.

But the greatest adventure of my life during a manic state was when I left Venezuela for Paris to find a Gurdjieff group and a Gurdjieff group leader who had worked with Mr. Gurdjieff. I remember I arrived in Paris in 1975 with my wife and three children and immediately went around searching for a disciple of Mr. Gurdjieff that I knew had to be living there after his death in 1949. In the passion of my manic state I went around like a possessed man looking for such a disciple and in matter of a month I have found one. I joined a group and for the next three years in Paris and seven in Venezuela, I was part of the so-called Gurdjieff Foundations, something that also helped me with my bipolar disorder.

But the part of my three years adventure in Paris that most influenced me was my encounter for the first time with the book Beelzebub’s Tales. Since the moment I began to read the book, I knew, maybe by intuition or again from the subconscious, that here was a “something” in the book that was going to help me to cope with my bipolar disorder for the rest of my life and it has been so. More on this later.

It was also during a manic attack that in 1985, ten years after I had gone to Paris to find a Gurjdjieff group and now living with my family in Venezuela, that I told my wife that we better pack up and leave Venezuela for the Unites States because conditions in Venezuela were beginning to look to conditions in Cuba when I had left almost 25 years before, and I knew from my own experience what was to follow. Many of my Venezuelan friends later told me that it was a smart move on my part. And it was also from the point of view of my bipolar disorder and my own search. I had time to study Beelzebub’s Tales deeper and in 2000 to publish my first paper with the title “A Personal Reading of Beelzebub’s Tales.” I had spent twenty-five years studying the book before I published my firs paper on the results of my study.

My Psychosis

A psychosis is sort of a bipolar disorder with the mind running wild.  There is at the same time depression and manic state during psychosis. But the main feature of a psychosis is the total loss of reality. Hallucinations take the place of a more or less normal life. One is in another world, one which is almost impossible to deal with within the frame of a rational take on the events surrounding oneself.

My greatest psychosis took place when I was 29 years old and was living in Gainesville attending the University of Florida to get a Ph. D. in electrical engineering. I ended up in the mental medical building for a whole week. What provoked the psychosis was my spending one whole week without sleeping working on my doctoral dissertation and studying the Bible, particularly the New Testament. I ended up believing I was Jesus Christ. However, one cannot believe one is Jesus without believing one is the Devil and my belief in both alternated from hour to hour. In the hospital there was another fellow who believed he was the antichrist after being obsessed reading Nietzsche’s The Antichrist. And to make the psychosis more interesting there was a woman who believed she was the Virgin Marry after having lost a son. It was a psychotic cosmic triangle that took place in that hospital in Gainesville for few days. Luckily for me, in a matter of one week I had recovered from my psychosis and after a good vacation with my wife in the Virgin Islands I was back in Gainesville and in due time finished my Ph. D.

That was my first great psychosis and I have to confess that I have no clue how it is started and how it ended. All I know for sure is that I lived through it.

Since then I have had to go through a number of more benign psychosis, particularly during the last four years. During these years I I have been convinced that I had committed the unforgivable sin, that I had been condemned to Hell for all eternity and, influenced for my readings of Beelzebub’s Tales, that I was the universal Hasnamuss Lentrohamsanin, all in that  order. Now that I am feeling well and standing on my two feet, I look back and laugh about the content of my psychosis. But when I am submerged in them I am living them fully and suffering like all and everything associated with them were true.  For instance, during the time I believed I was Lentrohamsanin I could not sleep and spent many night hours reading in Beelzebub about the particular “something” that made a man become a Hasnamunuss, just to check if these characteristics of this universal type were in me.  Imagine for a moment that you feel you have been condemned to exist on the planet of Eternal Retribution where you will spend eternity alone

My Beloved Beelzebub

On my way from Caracas to Paris my family and I made a stop in New York to visit my parents. It was there that I bought my first copy of Beelzebub’s Tales, three books in one. I did not wait to get to Paris and join a group to start reading the book. And from the very first page I knew that it was the book I was waiting for all my life. Contrary to many other books I had been exposed to this one spoke to my feelings. I began to find sense to my life and to see how we three-brained had been damaged by outside forces as well as by us ourselves. In a moment of clarity I saw that my initial impulse of going to Paris in search of heirs to Mr. Gurdjieff, impulse coming from one of my manic state, this decision had been a very positive, although intuitive, one.

Reading the tales while being member of a group helped me to cope with my bipolar disorder and a little bit of psychosis as well. One day I walked up and down the well-known Boulevard de Capucines where both the Grand Café and Café de la Paix, places known as Gurdjieff’s offices, submerged in a little psychosis of thoughts. I remember that week I shared my experience with the group and Henri Tracol, the group leader, replied to me “More dreaming, Will, more dreaming.” I spent my three years in the city of light mostly enveloped by darkness. But there was always a ray of light in being with my friend Beelzebub. For me Beelzebub’s Tales has been the way of salvation for my soul, I would say.

But not only that, the book gave me answers to questions I was searching for that I could not find in Ouspensky’s book. In Search of the Miraculous, as we know, is a very intellectual book; it gives you a lot of information. But Beelzebub has the magic of touching you emotionally; your higher feeling center is touched directly. And since I’m a person who really likes to laugh, of course when I am not depressed and psychotic…the first time I read it I laughed so much … I really fell in love with the book.

Concluding Remarks

Life with depression and psychosis leads to an unhappy life. However, as a well-known psychiatrist once said: “Our infirmities help us in unexpected ways.” My depression and my psychosis have helped me to embark in a journey of discovery and my soul has been fortified by this journey. As Carl Jung said, “out of brokenness arises liberation and there is no coming to consciousness without pain.”A friend of mine once told me that I should be thankful to God for my depression and all that because it was a way to avoid falling into the temptations of an easy life and/or the absurdity of being involved with fantastic endeavors. Or in the words of G. I. Gurdjieff, “the worse the conditions of life the more productive the work, always provided you remember the work.”

I repeat, I no longer look at my bipolar disorder and my psychosis as an illness I had to suffer but rather as an opportunity to work on myself. From this point of view I am very grateful for this gift from God and Mother Nature.

In this sense, I would like to give a concrete example of how I used the material in Beelzebub’s Tales to work on my illness.

It has been said that everything that has a beginning has an end. I now feel that my bipolar disorder has ended and this for me is a proof that it is not an illness caused by chemical imbalance in the brain. For me it is rather like the crystallization of substances we have inherited somehow, much like those babies who are born with a drug addiction caused by their mother being addicted. My disorder has served a purpose and now it is time to move ahead into new territory. I know this.

When I look back now that I am feeling much better and that my life is cleaned from my depression and my psychosis, I cannot but thank God for this gift from Mother Nature, that has made possible a life full of adventures of the spirit. I also look back wondering where I got the money from in order to move around like I did. Well, the fact is that when I needed money, money came to me, like a conjury. Sharing this with a friend, he told me that in a past life I had developed the will to make money and that now I was reaping the results of my past efforts.

If you want to know the truth of how I stand in my relationship with my beloved Beelzebub, I will tell you. I have found out that all I have to do is to read the book and that is all I have done for the past thirty-seven years. I have not needed the so-called morning sittings, the movements, or participating in group exchanges. Beelzebub’s Tales has the power of repairing the past and preparing tomorrow. Being in contact with the book is the closest to being in direct contact with Mr. Gurdjieff. The book has that magic power. However, as Mr. Gurdjieff himself advised, one has to treat Mr. Beelzebub with great love and great respect

I also know that I have lived in the company of many great men who have suffered from depression, manic states, and psychosis. The best example for me is Isaac Newton, the greatest scientist who ever lived. His bouts of depression and manic state (maybe even psychosis) are legendary. I can very well understand how he broke all contacts with relatives and friends during his times of depression. I know very well what this means because during my depressions I wanted nothing to do with my friends and kept as much away from my relatives as I could.

Even though I broke almost all contact with relatives and friends during times of depression, I kept a minimum contact with few relatives and few friends connected with me through the living teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff. I would like now to acknowledge their presence during my dark nights of the soul.  My wife was always taking care of me, making sure I would take the medicines and encouraging me to go out and enjoy life. My best friend from Venezuela, Danilo Laya, was always sharing with me his own depression and his own search. A group of female friends I have known through the teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff, always kept in touch with me through the internet making sure that I would receive the gift of their subconscious mind. Among them, Mani Gerlach from Germany, Kristina Turner from England, Marcela Huepe from Chile, Angelica Sarkisyan from Russia-America, Tatiana Rovner from Russia, Geraldine Prem from Uruguay, and Mariyana Tavlieva from Bulgaria. I thank all of them for their warm encouragement and external considering and I thank the internet for being a modern place of gathering.


Will Mesa

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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66 Responses to Depression, Manic States, Psychosis, and My Beloved Beelzebub

  1. Scott says:

    Hi Will,
    I think it’s always courageous when someone opens up about their personal struggles. It says a lot. We are on the planet of suffering.
    I have certain views on bipolar, as a 20 year wholistic practitioner, in case you are interested in hearing that perspective; what I think of it, causes, ideas to lessen the swings, etc. But really only if you feel open enough to wish to take in some concept – because I possible could write a decent amount on the topic. I know you know a lot about Gurdjieff and 4th Way ideas, and I would draw upon some of those ideas as well. Obviously it could be things you know of and are aware of anyway.

    Sincerely, Scott

    • willmesa says:

      Hi Scott,
      I would very much appreciate your inputs on the matter of bipolar. I am beginning to have my own views on this matter but I am not a professional. As a matter of fact, I am an engineer. Please, let me know what you think and have found out on this terrible illness.


      • Scott says:

        Hi again: As a beginning, I would say the over-excited phase, manic phase, is the leaking out of sex energy into the other centers. One should be suspect of any personal excitement. As with all things that go to and fro, if a whole bunch of energy is used up, there must necessarily follow a crash. In my experience, although I have not known anyone to be able to do it, and I would think you might be one the very few that could, is that the excitement phase should be tempered. Actually even more than that, the excitement phase should not be allowed any free reign. How else could the cycle be broken. During the low phase one cannot do anything, for there isn’t enough available energy. Only at a beginning of a manic phase would the opportunity be there.
        And, along with that, a conservation of sex energy. As you know, it is with that energy that makes ‘upward movement’ possible.


      • willmesa says:

        Hi Scott,
        I agree with you 100%, if not 200% and I am now working on the advice you give. Thanks for confirming my own suspicions.

  2. Gregory says:

    How kind of you to place this generously affecting post, Will.
    (You see?—-there’s that quality of yours, yet again.)

    Ouspensky reinforces punishing Fear.
    Gurdjieff rewards dive-in Lovers.


  3. Patrick says:

    Dear Will, Thank you for writing such an open and honest view of your struggles with depression (bipolar). I’ve always felt that these wounds of the soul can offer us something of great value. Thanks also to Scott and Gregory for your helpful insights. Patrick

    • willmesa says:

      Dear Patrick, thanks for your input. I am now convinced that we can work on our depression and all the rest using the living teaching Mr. Gurdjieff brought to humanity. In my next post I dwell on this. Will

  4. Gregory says:

    Scott says:
    “Actually even more than that, the excitement phase should not be allowed any free reign. ”
    We can all use that wise reminder, Scott. Thank you.

    Will says:
    “I have found out that all I have to do is to read the book ”
    Until I yielded to a near-erotic interplay with the text NOTHING HAPPENED. No amount of sittings, no amount of other people’s interpretations, no amount of “Right” behavior as opposed to “Wrong” behavior. NONE OF IT. The formalities, practices —- all balderdash to me at this point.
    Only loveplaymaking with the words and phrases allowing ample air space
    for the production of
    word-p i c t u r e s


    f l o a t

    and “present”

    and re-arrange

    as WE (the book and I) needs see fit.

    I have caught myself standing holding the book after reading it and rubbing the cover with my thumbs holding the whole firm and tight.

    There have been times while engaged in the most mundane of the mundane
    I have stopped/been stopped — dead in my tracks, unable to shift —- as two phrases from separate pages, read the night or 2 weeks or more before, slide together to make a new Idea.
    And sometimes when THAT happens
    something deep inside me maybe something broken, hurt, or just plain ignored and forgotten
    asserts itself
    and suddenly, unless that is enough,
    heals and is healed.

    • willmesa says:

      Scott’s advice is something I am taking very seriously. I am now think it is possible to overcome my bipolar disorder only with the work on oneself. During my last visit to the psychiatrist he told me that I was born that way and that I was wired to be like that and that the only thing to do is to control my state with medications. Now, I do not believe him any longer.

      Yes, I have gone through more or less the same experiences you have gone through in my relation with Beelzebub’s Tales.

      • Scott says:

        Yes, it is good advice for us all. We are prone to energy wastage. Nature opposes any aim of escaping. As it’s said, ‘The devil will give you anything you want, because he knows he’ll get it back ten-fold.’ So, here is more caution; if and when we are able to conserve energy and move from where we are, we do need to be aware that there is often something that comes up that seeks to take the results of our efforts. It is often very subtle, insidious, sly, tricky; that is, something in life can quietly develop. A quick example is a yogi, in India. It has been seen that sometimes a yogi, through his practices, attains some very remarkable abilities. But, if he becomes attached to that ability, the ego gets involved, the amazing feelings get involved. Then he comes to a stop, or begins to go backwards. Even a normal Hollywood celebrity. They can gain fame and fortune, and be on top of the world. All is wonderful. Then the ego takes it all – everything. Because they have nothing ‘separate’, they believe in it all. And often then swing to the opposite end; destitution and depression.
        So, to that end, certain practices are vital, I feel. One, practicing relaxation/physical awareness. As Gurdjiefff says, “one should practice relaxation at least once a day.” Sit quietly, allow the breath to fill the lower abdomen. Relax the head and chest centers. This will allow the energy to lower out of those ‘outward directed’ centers. The mind and energy should reside in the low abdomen.
        Also, a page from the Tao Teh Ching: “Ever desiring, only see the manifestation, Ever desire-less, see the mystery.” Which means, when we desire, we see only the material world, and desire-less, obviously, we see something else. If we can cultivate a state of non-desire, that is another way to help plug all the leaks of ourselves. This includes sexual things. Yes, I think normal sex is fine. I would call normal sex, over age 35/40, as having it maybe twice a month, or once a month, for an average person – and not being involved in much internal fantasy other than that time. It is easy to get taken away with sexuality.
        So, here we see the yogic concept of taming the wild elephant – our emotions, that typically run amuck all day, expending our valuable substance. How does one train a wild elephant – by putting two tamed ones on either side of it. Train the emotions – use the physical center and the intellectual center on either side of it.

    • Gregory says:

      Thank you, again, Scott.
      As one who has danced — lo ! , 52 of my 58 years, I can confirm everything you have stated above.
      By some wisdom-accident I did not succumb to technical training until I was able to find someone who taught movement which radiated from the hara, lifted up through the perineum, flowed out through a undulating skeleton with loosened muscles going along for the ride, and cooperated with Great Nature.
      Inevitably, the work in the studio, bled out incrementally in the procedure of everyday life.
      When one sits, one sits.
      When one walks, one walks.
      When one eats, one eats.
      When one breathes one breathes.
      When one does these things, one learns which is the next medicine one next takes.
      Fully embodied/weighted/Present
      Only fear — and I still have a lot of it —- keeps me fighting this inevitable end-Truth.


      • Gregory says:

        PS And
        Nothing too much.
        [not even dancing or posting ; )]
        One of the blessings of your situation Will, is the acute amplification of your experiences. As painful and distressing as I’m sure that must be, you have been able to identify what has gone on.
        Many of us miss those things entirely as they are often salted away in our interior root cellars.

      • Scott says:

        Hi Gregory – That sounds like a ‘true system’ that you took with dancing. Lucky you. Maybe you have that to thank for part of your awakening? That’s Tai Chi too – what you have described, and Tao, and work, etc. I would be quite certain that kind of body instruction would be part of the ancient Sufi/Dervish dancing.

        In regards to Will’s later post, as he knows, life in the Work and life in Life are opposite. It can be said that what appears good in life is actually bad, and what appears bad in life (eg., suffering and difficulty) are actually some things we can be truly thankful for. I think Will would agree, like Gregory with dance, the difficulties are a great factor for your awakening. With Gregory, if he applied what it sounds like he was taught, it would have been very difficult on many levels – he would have ‘suffered’ through much difficult instruction, yes?


  5. willmesa says:

    Yes, Gregory, sometimes I spent two full days and nights without sleeping during my manic states and then during the depression stage I would sleep continuously for two days and two nights. I was forced by the Higher Powers to see all that and have consciousness of my states. I have indeed being blessed, as you say.

  6. Gregory says:

    You Understand a great deal, and articulate it beautifully. It is all certainly true.
    The Dance resists embodiment and therefore must be coaxed carefully down. Only a body that is a clear space — a bell-jar— can capture it. In order for this to happen absolute physical porosity must exist.
    The payment for that?
    For this dancer “what appears good in life is actually bad, and what appears bad in life (eg., suffering and difficulty) are actually some things we can be truly thankful for.”
    Thank you so much for the providing the opportunity to express this.

    • Gregory says:

      And for greater clarity, when I stated:
      “Inevitably, the work in the studio, bled out incrementally in the procedure of everyday life.”
      That is a decades long process which is enacted privately/slyly. Engaging in any procedure other than that would be G.’s “titillation” or a kind of “social cupidity”.
      Traveling on such a journey means you ultimately cannot do what those around you do; there are limitations and privations, beginning, especially, after the length of rope the Dear Heavenly Father has given you to go out and test the veracity of His requirements against “ordinary life” has been withdrawn.
      Even after that, there are no guarantees as to how this plays out. There have been times I have not been able to provide dance: I have been needed to provide something else.
      Hearing distinctly what is required, dropping everything immediate in response to heed that new call is an obedience that is ignored at great peril.
      That is nothing glamorized about this dance of which I speak. Even after it is “brought down” in the manner I previously referenced, it is, beyond the smiling appreciations and and congratulatory handshakes, unconsciously, therefore blamelessly, detested.

      • Scott says:

        Well, that’s an intricate writing. A lot of ideas in there. It’s nice to share ideas of this nature. Thanks.

    • willmesa says:

      Concerning the Dance, let’s not forget that at the end of the first chapter of Beelzebub Mr. Gurdjieff calls himself the Teacher of Dancing, not of dance, but of dancing. He is telling us, among other things that he is going to put us to dance with the material in the book. And he certainly does by continuously throwing into a perpetual Dance.

  7. willmesa says:

    “It can be said that what appears good in life is actually bad, and what appears bad in life (eg., suffering and difficulty) are actually some things we can be truly thankful for.”
    This is quite true and in my post I mention how my difficulties have helped me with the evolution of my soul. Like Mr. G said, the worst the difficulties, the best the opportunity for work provided one remembers work

    • Scott says:

      And thanks to Will for giving us some moments of connecting on these ideas. Let’s make today different than yesterday. A lofty goal for me … but worth trying of course. Thanks guys.

  8. Mike (the mammal) says:

    Perhaps if that science known amongst its adherents as ‘psychiatry’ had any objective right to exist, then perhaps i might do-as-they-do and employ the language associated by this alleged science as though it really had some further significance somewhere beyond the mere arrangement of the letters in the words, and what they sound like when uttered out alloud. My faith in psychiatry has been in taters since my discovery of it during my teens in the 70’s.

    This period in the 70’s was an active time exploring my increasing interest in the mammal brain including my own, and it came before finding out about gurdjieff or ouspensky. Somewhere out there there was, indeed there had to be something, or even the beginnings of a science that was more practical, verifiable, more cogent than the airy-fairy stuff i had thus far encountered in my studies of the mythical medical pinnacle of brain science that Psychiatry presents itself to be on the world stage of subjective suggestions. There had to be a less destructive/violent in the extreme method than lobotomy including those chemical lobotomies to help mammals of any surplanetary concentration in the quest of obtaining a middle..

    Having had a lifelong interest in science/mechanics/electricity etc, there had to be something axiomatic out there with definite structural elements. Nothing in the science of the brain showed a clear reasoning was there that had satisfied me so far. I could not find a single unified structure/concept/formulation that was part of a whole other than ‘seemingly’ at that time. Like certain practical sayings found in diverse sources like those of Marcus Aurelius, or indeed perhaps something i had heard in a conversation on a good day.

    There was a vacuum there in my quest, some might call it ‘a potential’, or ‘center of gravity’, and Ouspensky’s book “The Fourth Way” was my first ‘fourth way’ purchase to satisfy an equalisation of that potential, and not In Search Of The Miraculous or Beelzebub’s Tales To His Grandson.

    From there (Still in my teens) i went in reverse to see the earlier work by Ouspensky ASAP by purchasing Ouspensky’s “Tertium Organum” and tapered off reading material by R D Laing who said this about psychiatry from Wikipedia:

    “If the human race survives, future men will, I suspect, look back on our enlightened epoch as a veritable age of Darkness. They will presumably be able to savor the irony of the situation with more amusement than we can extract from it. The laugh’s on us. They will see that what we call ‘schizophrenia’ was one of the forms in which, often through quite ordinary people, the light began to break through the cracks in our all-too-closed minds.”
    R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience, p. 107

    I can almost remember reasoning that what Mr Laing was saying in this quote might be true, but a working knowledge was not being demonstrated and although he was good at making some astute observations about the limitations of this pseudo science that psychiatry (Science of new formation) and all of its terminologies and systems are, in my view, he was not able to replace the psychiatric model with a real science (IMO (in my opinion)) either.

    A real science contains axioms and constants and especially some kind of metrology to measure findings and so on. Psychiatry is not very friendly to these common scientific tools. Here in Ouspensky i had found something different to such an extent that I was very taken and absorbed from then on with this ‘system’, that some call it.

    It is for me now more palpable/worthwhile to begin all over again on a regular basis ‘until’ something is put right with respect to the ordinary understanding of the mind, and so now i will take a break in this response which i had intended might be more balanced. The rest of my reply is in the oven, or another way of saying it is that i am making a pill….For what was to follow in my more recent ruminations obtained from BTTHG.

    Thanks Will for your insight. I intend, if i have not already, to make at least a part of it my own.
    Something along those lines, and that i do agree that BTTHG is ….
    Hmm…..bye for now. Back to working on a new Haman that is of new design that is nearing completion in prototype form after lengthy consideration of the current prototype performance. And other matters.

    Michele Collalto.

  9. Mike (the mammal) says:

    And that i was hoping to look at BTTHG from the perspective of revisiting ‘account keeping’ as described by Ouspensky to see if i can find some analogue to this process in BTTHG. My hunch is that it should be simple to settle any account you like, for instance/and including, the question of if a house slab of concrete is of sufficient standard in the mind of a tradesman. This and any other account like one in the lords prayer that issues the axiom of ‘forgiving trespass’/’canceling debt’ which is also an ‘account keeping’ is in the domain of ‘conscience’ as the just observer of any account keeping process.

    Obtaining an observer like this, the light of conscience, is the language of a higher metrology IMO, and the best alchemist of any psychotrope. It does not surprise me that you found BTTHG had more efficacy than any drug Will.

  10. Mike (the mammal) says:

    ‘Conscience’ is the ultimate graticule of the mind. IMO

  11. willmesa says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your good and strong comment. If you read my post here in my blog about objective and subjective sciences (here is the link:, you will have an idea of what I say about the science of neuroscience.

    I can only tell you that the science of new formation called psychiatry has failed me. The medications I took for correcting the chemical imbalance in the brain did not work for me and I have left in the position of finding my own cure, for which I have recurred to BTTHG. This is now working for me because I have found in the book explanations about my illness and even what to do and how to do it. The book works for our everyday ordinary life.

    Thanks again for your good comments.


  12. Mike (the mammal) says:

    Assuredly, i myself am revisiting BTTHG often only on the basis of having perused one of your most recent posts.
    PS. Thanks for a brisk reply. I will post you a link on my own work and website ASAP when more comes to hand.

    • Gregory says:

      “For reasons that are many and difficult to understand, the reading and pondering of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson has not, in the past, occupied the central place we believe it should now have for those pursuing Gurdjieff’s teaching.”
      Keith A. Buzzell
      Introduction to PERSPECTIVES ON BEELZEBUB’S TALES 2005

      Thank you Mike for well considered content and air-tight delivery.
      When asked under which topical designation BTTHG should be filed, Gurdjieff reportedly replied “Science and Philosophy”. He did not say “Esoterica, Eastern Wisdom, Sufism, Religion or Metaphysics/Occult”, the bookstore and library designations where his and related Work books are generally found today.
      Reasoning and pondering —“massaging” — the text, in my experience brings up the material so cleverly hidden under a pseudo-Blavatskian ruse (read “ISIS UNVEILED Corrected and Updated for the Contemporary Reader-SOMETIMES”). If you’ve been trained in some sort of deep, scientifically sound, somatic education and thoroughly integrated it so that you can call on it, valuable personal understanding of The Fragments found ensues. Things begin to link up once the body becomes part of the reading. [I have no doubt that The Movements at one time provided this possibility for those who had integrated bodies to feel (“sense”)]
      Ten years of my not reading Ouspensky or any other of Gurdjieff’s “lab-rats” regurgitations the experiments run on them, I was able to read Gurdjieff’s texts relatively influence-free.
      Keep those intelligent posts coming.
      Happy Trails! and Successful Digging,

  13. Mike (the mammal) says:

    Thanks for the reply Gregory.
    “Things begin to link up once the body becomes part of the reading.”
    I would question ‘which body’. Or which servant to be more precise.

    At one level, the internal organisation of my own ‘mammal’ as i call it here is made up of more than one combination or grouping. For instance, there is a parable in the bible that suggest man is legion, or that there are more than one servant that populate our inner mammal/mansion/kingdom and indeed i can observe that on a good day my collective psyche is organised a particular way.

    Each servant in my inner life is keeping a tally to ensure that it is obtaining the required payment in the required currency, for instance that it had obtained the required smile from a lovely lady it had noticed, or another servant might require enough of some other resource like a tasty egg from a free range chicken particularly, and not from an inferior egg or chicken that exists in the most cruel and horrifying conditions… . And so each servant is getting what it needs on a good day, and that enough taxes are collected to maintain this inner organisation/kingdom. That is on a good day, and everything proceeds as it should and soon there is an abundance and every servant is happy or something higher up in my mammals heirarchy.

    All these accounts/requirements and the wide ranging currency systems that are used to measure and weigh including a particular type of energy, or that currency called ‘fiat currency’ and the required tabulations/tallies/accounts are kept to ensure everything is measured and weighed somehow so that my inner kingdom is satisfied and will even tolerate that some of the servants in the kingdom have other interests besides paying taxes or working like going to parties or sliding down the hill on a sleigh in winter snow.. There is also the idea of ‘householder’ which is similar to the idea of ‘kingdom’ from what i have seen.

    But if accounts and payments are not being met, and there is unrest or unhappiness from some of the servants in the kingdom or more, then in BTTHG these seem to have been exceeded in the formulation…….

    “the abnormal conditions of external ordinary being-existence established by them themselves.”

    This formulation seems to indicate that these servants/”themselves” are somehow to blame, or are the cause of depression/austerity/economic collapse/excessive fiat currency emissions/bank fraud/crime/etc. It does not say all the servants, but does seem to indicate more than one.

    My main point is that this formulation can be taken as representing some inner organisation of servants, or taken as an outer organisation of servants. In my new opinion, too often it is forgot that these formulations like the one i did quote that appears often in BTTHG has an inner and an outer content. It was my recent discovery that this quote that is found throughout BTTHG is similar to the one found in the bible. However, this new formulation seems somewhat improved to the one that uses the idea that man is legion, or that we have many I’s, or that my mammal is collectively populated by servants and so on.

    With this in mind, if one of my mammals inner servants is not satisfied, for instance, that a particular lady did emit the expected radiant smile, then this can have the effect of throwing my collective mammal into revolt/unrest/depression/other consequence can ensue that might even be harmful for my entire collective mammal. Just on account of one servant specifically requiring the said smile from the said lady in question, and not getting it. Very sad state of affairs indeed one might say.. I might even need to resort to other methods of extracting what is required by soliciting help from outside like king Kunuzion if all else fails.

    I conclude that i have observed in my own mammal that mostly i needed to subject certain servants in my own inner mammal to closer scrutiny by delegating a more qualified servant or more to monitor the account keeping skills of the servant/servants that is/are in question.

    “Such is the nature of man, that for your first gift – he prostrates himself; for your second – kisses your hand; for the third – fawns; for the fourth – just nods his head once; for the fifth – becomes too familiar; for the sixth – insults you; and for the seventh – sues you because he was not given enough.”

    I will add lastly that one of the worst consequences for a mammal is suicide. In my understanding, this often (If not always?) has a precursor that is made up of an account, like my wife and family did not love me, or that i did not succeed academically in my chosen field. Both these and many other are based on some inner account. I have observed hundreds if not thousands of times in my own mammal that an inner account can change my mammals very chemistry internally. If the account is settled successfully, it is even possible to make a profit !!

    Thanks for the opportunity of adding more detail to my own findings in an unpolished form with minimal editing, and thanks for those you have provided.

    • Mike (the mammal) says:

      RE: “the abnormal conditions of external ordinary being-existence established by them themselves.”
      “external ordinary being existence” seems to indicate that the internal being existence is intact, it is the servants who meet life externally that are in question and need closer scrutiny.

  14. willmesa says:

    “Without conscience we should never work by ourselves without help. Until conscience comes, help is needed.”

  15. Gregory says:

    “I would question ‘which body’.”
    Physical body —- your “mammal”?
    “If you’ve been trained in some sort of deep, scientifically sound, somatic education . . .”
    Somatic refers to physical body as distinct from any sort of generalized hylic pluralism or higher being body specificity.
    While psychic levels may be indeed be apprehended, the only “interior” would be up to the point of physical sensing of fascia, muscles, bones, etc.

    • Gregory says:

      Exterior sensing as well: as in temperature and tension shifts in the skin and on its surface. Movement of hair etc.

      • Mike (the mammal) says:

        Thanks Gregory.. And there are groupings (More than one body or brain.) of hyle or psychic (Mammal) levels with respect to the perception of the physical body that has no physical result directly Or, that the temperature and tension ‘shifts’ as you call them are merely a particle of the “pluralism” or perhaps a “higher-being-body”. Perhaps there are “interior”-‘s or “pluralism’s that have a very negligible physical impressions requirement.

        So in one of my verifications i have a being body, for example, one that is very good at mopping the floor. ‘It’ discovered recently how to use a squeegee and a plastic shovel with a flat blade to scoop up the dirty water that has emulsified the dirt in the vinyl like flooring material.

        In this new floor cleaning technique, the floor is first wetted or sprayed with a solution of bleach or other floor cleaning solution and then it is massaged into the cloor using a broom which will doubtlessly then be wet with solution. The squeegee is then used, and the flat blade plastic shovel to scoop the solution up.

        Instead of rinsing the mop, this new body specifically orchestrated to perform the task of cleaning floors efficiently somehow found a way to perform this task using a squeegee with a rubber blade and a plastic shovel with a nice flat blade to scoop up the floor cleaning detergent. The mop is only used to rinse the floor after this process in this floor cleaning process of mine.

        So my reply is that being bodies work in all kinds of mysterious ways, and, that there are more than one permutation or combination. In my case in this scenario of ordinary being existence, it would seem that, like the lilies, it is is not so difficult once the burden is ‘shouldered’ without compromise, and with a clear conscience.

        ‘Conscience’ is worth ‘shouldering’ or the grouping would not have impartial critique.

        Finding the middle is difficult precisely because the middle is where the pendulum swing is at its highest velocity. The ‘polar extremes’ are comfortable because at this point in the trajectory of the pendulum the swing is stationary. I find this interesting even today.

      • Mike (the mammal) says:

        “Exterior sensing as well: as in temperature and tension shifts in the skin and on its surface. Movement of hair etc.”
        In the case of mopping the floor using this new technique in this case, the ‘temperature shifts’ and ‘tensions’ are servants.

      • Mike (the mammal) says:

        Just some bits of further errata and stuff i was pondering whilst searching the matter of the mop and all its appendages and parts/configurations and my attempt at forming a creative reply…….in the general direction of formulating that the movement of the said “hair”, “tension shifts”/etc,) are a ‘help’. And in turn this is a further help for something else.

      • Mike (the mammal) says:

        BTTHG taught me that i cannot go far with the ‘noosphere’ alone.

  16. willmesa says:

    If somatic refers to the physical body or planetary body, as Mr. Gurdjieff calls it in BTTHG, then it is necessary to remember that the higher being bodies, both the Kesdjan body and the higher being-body per se, cannot be coated without the help of the planetary body. That is why Mr. G put so much emphasis in working with the planetary body.

    • Gregory says:

      Indeed, Will. Hence, some sort of deep and deepening awareness of what is going on in the planetary body. This has never stopped for me and I truly hope it never stops. It is my suspicion based on a long time of reiterating time and time again this awareness relationship to my planetary body that this is the chemical factory that produces “substances” to be drawn on. Every psychic revelation to me in my life seems to have had a planetary body “shift” of some sort no matter how large or minute.
      Any awareness of a higher being body, if I am correct in that apprehension, appears to have a prior movement or “help” from planetary body.
      My disgust at the wholesale medicating of people suffering from various psychic ailments — yours included — is the end-result pharmaceutical paralysis of huge “swaths” of the planetary body’s agencies.
      While, the planetary body is not an end in and of itself in this Living Teaching, talking Ideas without this physical “help” as you call it, renders my knowledge incompletely understood and starts the downward slide towards “lying”.

    • willmesa says:

      We need Conscience too.

  17. willmesa says:

    Through the moving brain, center of gravity of the planetary body, and the sex center, an independent center, we gain access to reality at a level higher than our “fictitious” consciousness can do. It is as if we connected with the subconscious or real consciousness, as Mr. G calls it.

    • Gregory says:

      YES! YES! YES!
      Moving brain — essentially an accretion of ganglia NOT airy-fairy chakras —- produces “something” when educated/organized. That “something” is a sort of chute, in my experience which links me to a differently perceiving self. Everything becomes more vivid and “otherwise”.
      Sex Center is not really such a good label — although I know that is what is used. It implies a localized genitality.I would almost describe my experience of it as “all-pervasive presence” of my personal cosmos.
      The Greeks never built temples to Hades (sex centre) or offered him gifts. It was presumed he was the vitalizing element behind all and everything.
      Are ya diggin’ me Brother Scorpio?

      • Mike (the mammal) says:

        Thanks Gregory… Moving center. An octupus has a ‘moving brain’ capacity/gradation also. This particular organism (I cannot give further sub classifications at this time.) can figure out how to take the lid off a jar multiple times, each following time/occasion of removing the lid from the glass jar, more easily/artfully than the preceding time, according to my anecdotal evidence..
        As for the ‘sex’ question, i found some anecdotal quasi scientific data about ‘octopus sex’ which i did find questionable to say the least, even according to the principal of being to do a lot of/reproduce/repeat what had been done on previous occasions. When i used an Internet search engine to see if i could elaborate this hunch further in my case when ruminating about octopus sex. This cosmos in our care for such a short time is full of surprises..

    • Mike (the mammal) says:

      I am still of the opinion that the subconscious is merely a store house of and of course a little more. The main contents is memory that belongs to each part, emotions, intellectual, and other with respect to memory. It is a repository of data with a secretary or store-man in charge of knowing where everything is.
      Any work with the subconscious must therefore include in my opinion a method and means of making this data subject to classification/accounting data/and so on so it can be found easily instead of being difficult to find or bellow our usual gradation of consciousness for want of a better word. So the grail is not the subconscious per se, but what is in it when it becomes subjected/retreived/arranged and classified a particular way. Which should indeed make all of it easier to find if called upon, or called upo as part of larger whole in which this data in the subconscious is in part of.

      • Mike (the mammal) says:

        Conditions can be optimised for any secretary or storeman. Tonight, my intention is to finally decide what to do with the Borlotti beans that have been shelled and the miraculous Borlotti was before me. Then i need to figure out the cooking method as i usually cook dry beans that had bean soaked overnight in salted water. I am going to keep tasting the bean as it cooks because i am anticipating that it will not take as long as its dry counterpart. I will follow with endives which i usually add towards the end of the cooking process, and lots of them. Winter here in Australia. Craving greens again.
        ” Ashiata Shiemash establishes the Being-Obligolnian Strivings, five rules of objective morality which lead to genuine conscience. These five rules are:

        to have everything satisfying and really necessary for one’s body,
        to have a constant and unflagging instinctive need for self-perfection in the sense of being,
        the conscious striving to know ever more and more concerning the laws of World-creation and World-maintenance,
        to strive from the beginning of one’s existence to pay for one’s arising and individuality as quickly as possible, in order afterwards to be free to lighten as much as possible the Sorrow of our Common Father,
        the striving always to assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings, both those similar to oneself and those of other forms, up to the degree of self-individuality. “

      • willmesa says:

        I think Mike, let me better say, it is my experience Mike that reading Beelzebub with concentrated attention, will put us in contact with the subconscious through the language of mentation by form.

    • willmesa says:

      Yes, Mike, Conscience is on the way of evolution: “Conscience takes us up because we are lower with respect to it.”

  18. Gregory says:

    Let’s not forget, Will, that Christ was born in
    “House of Bread” / “House of Battle”
    “Bread-oven” ???
    “alchemical oven” ???
    “Moving-center” ???
    “Moving-center” as baseline of Solar Plexus ????
    “Heart-center” as upper most point of Solar Plexus ????
    No Fire in the oven = “Our Sun is Cold”
    Ya dig, Bro?

    ; )

    • willmesa says:

      Yes, I do. Our Sun Neither Lights nor Heat.

      • Scott says:

        I don’t get it – I have never understood those words, about a cold Sun – Our Sun neither lights nor heats. May I have some explanation of that please?! Thanks.

      • Gregory says:

        There are a multitude of explanations for that statement including the one some gave away to you above. As you continue to meet BTTHG with sincerity of purpose, true openness of heart, unrelenting intensity of attention and full presence of your organism, “meanings” will arise in direct relation to your being’s state.
        Those meanings, far beyond any outside fixed — “dogmatic, ‘authoritative'” — ones parlayed, will aid you where you are travelling as they are those for which you paid.

      • Gregory says:

        “There are a multitude of explanations for that statement including the one that some GOOFBALL gave away to you above. “

    • Mike (The mammal) says:

      Ok, yes Gregory and yes willmesa. The language of form can contain in it vastly more than a sentence in ‘bon-ton’.
      A dance/story/wise saying can contain volumes in the language of form. This proves that even long sentences can not contain as much.

      • Mike (The mammal) says:

        As for psychiatry, i am reminded of the saying, “For our sins, God has sent us two kinds of physicians, one kind to help us die, and the other to prevent us living.”
        Especially after my own accident which included the very latest in micro-case management of my condition after a car accident so that the above quote resonated clearly in the data that had thus far comprised my subconscious on the matter.

      • Mike (The mammal) says:

        Thanks Will.
        An wiith respect to question i am pondering about ‘subconscious’ or even ‘subconscience’, for me it is not so much a permanent view, moreover, it is more like a question i myself am trying to elucidate.

      • willmesa says:

        “For our sins, God has sent us two kinds of physicians, one kind to help us die, and the other to prevent us living.”
        What a great saying!!!

    • Scott says:

      Haha, “goofball”, but I can’t say I feel much more enlightened about it. No fire in the oven, meaning what? … that we’re cold and without the fire for the proper transformations? I then wouldn’t understand why it is written such that “No one has ever pondered that our Sun neither lights nor heats.” Why speak about everyone as having coldness there – it doesn’t seem relevant. I would like some more direction or clues as to the meanings of those words and that passage. … anyone? …. Thank you.

      • Gregory says:

        Scott says:
        “No one has ever pondered that our Sun neither lights nor heats.”
        Where is it written? Source of quote?
        After years of attempting to slice and dice BTTHG intellectually I had to yield to the slowly dawning realization that the book is written to appeal to feelings. That it is only through feelings that the subconscious gets engaged. This causes further problems for my emotional life is negative — as in: it isn’t terribly REAL. From the beginning I have copied, patterned, painted, duplicated “behaviors” witnessed and deemed “Right”. In the process, I have collaged all this material into an ever densifying papier mache: a layering, a mummification of arranged and rearranged feeling performances. This “swaddling” is designated “My Emotional Life” to those around me. So I read and read and read BTTHG and little if anything gets through.
        The truth is I never feel because I am never in a position to produce or receive. I am always too mannered, too cluttered, too armored, too rigid . . . too shut down. Too afraid. TOO LAZY.
        Sometimes, as it is for others, I will awaken from a particularly deep night’s sleep. My guards are down, my body COMPLETELY RELAXED, and I am in a state that could be described as TRUE HAPPINESS, BLISS or the like. And when it happens “I warm” and “am warmed” In truth, it probably isn’t all that, but tell that to someone as calloused as I. Someone who “does” nothing and recognizes even less.
        I’ll call it A FEELING. It is that rare.
        “Our Sun neither Lights nor Heats”

      • willmesa says:

        “Our Sun Neither lights nor heats.” I can see the psychological and even physical implications of this statement and every time I read I am reminded of the transfiguration of Jesus:

        The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13)
        We now come to the amazing account of the transfiguration of Christ on the mountain. This dramatic event marks a major turning point in the gospel narratives, for Jesus was beginning to turn more and more to Jerusalem and the suffering and death that awaited Him there. But before all of that would take place, there was this glimpse of glory. And we read in the New Testament that it was because of the glory that was set before Him He was able to endure the cross. The revelation of Christ’s glory in this chapter was a clear confirmation to the disciples of the truth of Peter’s confession of faith (16:16); but it was also a great encouragement for Christ Himself as He faced the agony that would occur on another hill called Golgotha.

        Reading the Text
        “After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

        4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

        5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

        6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. He said, “Get up. Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus.

        9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Do not tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

        10 The disciples asked Him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” 11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him whatever they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is gone to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He was talking to them about John the Baptist.”

        We are supposed to be light and heat.

      • Scott says:

        Hi Gregory – I was paraphrasing from memory from BTTHG … “All, without exception …. categorically certain… What is most peculiar, absolutely no doubt … has ever, as yet, crept into a single one of them.”

      • Gregory says:

        OK. Thank you, Scott.

        Thanks Will, for all of that NT quote
        “We are supposed to be light and heat.”
        A visual response from “my world” by one of Gurdjieff’s tacitly similar contemporaries:

  19. Gregory says:

    We live fictitious lives because our relation to our house — body —- is rendered mythological. It’s asleep rendered dark, invisible. We’d rather entertain notions and Grand Ideas.
    How much do we sense and feel it that body with anything other than scant attention.
    What would happen to our consciousness if we were to arrive at a complete sensory experience of its three dimensional moving boniness undulating and rising through a deeply relaxed gushiness of the body AS A STARTING POINT?
    Would this change your apprehension of The World?
    Would this change your feelings towards the World and it’s inhabitants?
    Would this add a granule of conscience?
    How would you apply this to a return to relative psychic health?
    (And that is a question we must ALL ask)
    Remember, “Life is only real then, when ‘I am'”

    Thanks for this opportunity to riff.

  20. Gregory says:

    And there is, of course, another moving brain.
    But we’ll leave off with the above.

    I hope this was of some help, in all sincerity
    And not too far off the tracks.

  21. willmesa says:

    “and with a clear conscience.”
    That is the key to all and everything.

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