Self-Remembering and Beelzebub’s Tales.

Self-remembering is arguably the central aspect of the Living Teaching G. I. Gurdjieff brought to humanity. And yet the term is explicitly used only twice in his opus magnum Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, and only in passing. I think it would be worthwhile to quote the two passages in the book where the term self-remembering is explicitly used.  First here is from page 1066:

“And just as nothing could be accomplished by the beings of their planet of former epochs, who, becoming responsible beings had even attained in respect of Being at least to what is called ‘self-remembering,’”…………

Then from page 1109:

“In the male temples, namely, in the Agoorokhrostiny, beings of the male sex of the given locality or of the given district performed in turn corresponding ‘mysteries’ while in the special state called ‘self-remembering.’”

(It should be noted that these two passages where the term self-remembering is used explicitly come from the chapter on war of Beelzebub’s Tales, maybe as a way to emphasize that the special state called ‘self-remembering’ could help us to end wars or at least to decrease here on Earth the occurrence of this process of reciprocal destruction).

Beelzebub’s Tales mentions the state of self-remembering but does not even attempt to describe it explicitly, let alone to define it. But this is one of the characteristics of the book: It teaches by example and not by definitions or even descriptions. For instance, the two ways for self-development constantly mentioned in the book are conscious labors and intentional suffering (which ways certainly involve a certain degree of self-remembering in order to be actualized).  It is true that with respect to intentional suffering, it is explicitly said that the best form on intentional suffering is to bear the unpleasant manifestations of others but that is all is said. Except in every rare occasions is a give term defined or described in details, as it is the case for the two and other cosmic laws. However, if we go to the teaching by example used throughout the book, we see that each of the main personages in the book (like Belcultassi, the two Chinese brothers Choon-Kil-Tez and Choon-Tro-Pel, the Bokharian  Dervish Hadji-Asvatz-Troov, and many others) had to go through the two ways of conscious labors and intentional suffering before carrying out his mission. This fact alone shows the teaching by example.

The state of self-remembering has been the topic of many discussions among followers of the living teaching. There are even books written on the topic. This in spite of the fact that Mr. Gurdjieff never defined it and even asked his disciples this very subtle question, “when your remember yourself, what exactly do you remember?”

All these considerations, and many others, beg the question, is there a place in Beelzebub’s Tales where the state of self-remembering is vividly described? Here we can make use of another characteristic of the book, the fact that what is mentioned in one part of the book is then addressed in other parts of the book. It should be expected that somewhere in the book the state of self-remembering is vividly addressed even when the term self-remembering is not mentioned. This vivid description would help us to understand what self-remembering is all about.

I claim that the state of self-remembering is vividly described in relation to one of the most sacred states mentioned in the book. This is the state of the sacred “Ksherknara” and it corresponds to the state attained by the Most Saintly Ashiata Shiemash after he ascended the mountain “Veziniama” in order to find the sense and aim of His existence. This is one of the states in the book that is further described in exact terms as the state of “all-brained-balanced-being-perceptiveness.” I claim that this state corresponds to the state of self-remembering. It is attained when all the three brained are “balanced” and in that state one attains complete being-perceptiveness.

So, the conclusion is that the state of self-remembering is indeed fully and vividly described in Beelzebub’s Tales and that, in this sense, Mr. Gurdjieff is truthful to his indictment that his book contains all and everything.

A final note is worthy of consideration. If self-remembering is the state of “all-brained-balanced-being-perceptiveness,” then this state will come about when the three brains or centers of man are balanced and work in harmony. What is then taking place during self-remembering is a re-mebering of all the three members or brains of man. Then the term “self-re-membering” is more appropriate than self-remembering.


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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45 Responses to Self-Remembering and Beelzebub’s Tales.

  1. Nigel Ross says:

    Gurdjieff indirectly had a huge negative influence on me and my families life . I think his attitude to women is well-known -he was promiscuous. This trait rubbed off on his follower JG Bennett although Bennetts womanising went a bit below the radar. My parents were Bennett students. My mother caught Bennetts roving eye. Subud arrived on the scene 1957 and within weeks my father suddenly and mysteriously died -at Coombe Springs near London. He was 39 and had 6 children of which I am the eldest. In the last years I (belatedly ) have been trying to find out what exactly happened. Ive more or less got to the bottom of it now. These men may have been great in many respects but in spite of the knowledge they had they were still weak and flawed individuals.

    • willmesa says:

      You are not the only person who has negative feelings towards Mr. Gurdjieff personally and towards many of his students. I guess this is inevitable given that a teacher sometimes behaves in ways which are not socially acceptable. I am not so much concerned with the life of the teacher but with the teaching. The Living Teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff has been very positive for me. Thanks for your comments.

    • jonathan pressburger says:

      have you seen a photo of Pak Subuh. Remind you of anyone?

  2. keith kutch says:

    I take self-remembering to mean that I am not the visual image of myself in my perception but rather that I am the totality of my immediate perception-including perception of the external world, bodily sensation, emotions, and the thinking function. Beyond this will comes in.

    • willmesa says:

      Keith, Isn’t “the totality of my immediate perception-including perception of the external world, bodily sensation, emotions, and the thinking function,” as you say the same as “all-brained-balanced-being-perceptiveness?” Thanks for your comment.

  3. Gregory says:

    In 1989, on the cusp of my 35th birthday, I took an physical assessment in my apartment’s floor-length mirror and “heard” Marlene Dietrich speaking to Orson Welles in TOUCH OF EVIL “Honey, time to leeeff off da candy-bars”. It wasn’t really that bad, but dancers notoriously pick away at their planetary bodies no matter what; a tiresome wasting of emotional energy through “fretting”.
    I hopped on a bicycle which sat unused in a corner and rode 40 miles straight out and back which initiated an every other day ritual lasting regularly throughout the following year. At the end I awaited a new studio and a newly appeared dance to be choreographed which hovered in stillness just above my head.
    During the bike ride, I applied all practices which I apply in dancing, motoring the movement through the ganglia more-or-less accumulating just under the navel, relaxing the musculature relationally outside-in to effort extended, sensing atmospheric changes within and without and watching my feelings and the contents of my Mind.
    At the end of the initial ride, my physical organism buzzing as one whole piece, my feelings in delicious detachment and my thoughts floating, I picked up a book which had frustrated me to the point of infuriation. For the next 45 minutes standing straight up in the kitchen suffused with golden, fading Indian Summer light I read BEELZEBUB’s TALES from a place just above my head reflexively mirrored by a deeply sensing and self-aware physical organism at Peace. The text opened and the words revealed.
    And, while there are a multitude of ways and means to get there, it is from that “place” I stepped into that day —- that place of unified self-remembrance, a “place within/without” — that the book continues to (for me) be best Understood.
    The book has been described — often — as a teaching machine. I’d rather see it as a living, breathing, continually changing organism which reveals itself and myself through the deepest act of LOVE.


    I apologize to you, Nigel , for those acts of destruction and pain —- they are, unfortunately, all too common in the insularity and ultimately incestuous ingrowth known as “spiritual communities” — probably all the more reason to stay away from them.
    They are also, unacceptable and appalling — I can read between your lines.
    I wish for you a level of Forgiveness towards yourself and your parents if you have need for that — you know best. For the rest of us who keep reiterating on the grounds of your very deep and real pain, you do whatever works best for you and listen to nothing else, unless you choose to do so.
    I’ve never met a spiritual leader I really and thoroughly liked. And for whatever its worth ( and it ain’t worth much) I’ve met many Greatest Spiritual Hits of the 20th Century and spent time in their company. I’ve never been impressed. And I don’t really “thinkfeel” that’s what it is all about anyway. I refuse to “follow” anything/one” I move towards what affirms,supports AND CHALLENGES my present developing awareness. I maintain rigorous self-inventory and self-criticism as best I can. ( I am told about the latter that I am to hard on myself — I’m not convinced)
    My initial reason for glomming to the Living Teaching — besides its personal affirmations and unique character— was my deep loathing of “Mr. G”. There was — and is — no way, shape or form that I will ever mistake him for the teaching he was appointed to bring forth.
    My observed experience in groups of the residue of regressive treatment towards women and male homosexuals, and a grudging inclusion of lesbians (as a result of The Rope?) speaks volumes concerning an initial taint from the Initiator and it’s (copycat?) maintenance by “disciples”
    I detest “Mr.G”s persona above all others, acted or not.
    In point of fact, other than Maurice Nicoll , AR Orage, Jane Heap, Katharine Hulme, and Kenneth Walker, I can’t stand the lot of them. I find most of the rest seriously and pitifully damaged, lacking in any interest in humility, cunning (in the wrong way), and surreptitiously “power-seeking”.
    Having said that, I have a healthy and guarded respect for the reality of G’s true worldly accomplishments no matter whatever psychopathic mania of his drove it or “who” or “what” created this teaching (I have many uninteresting, bilious theories about the last, which I’ve yet to have affirmed from the outside although the territory is being minutely broached, as I write)

    I learned a long time ago, through my own field of the performing arts— through some very painful lessons —- that:

    1) it was wise to never mistake the creator for the creation, particularly when the creation embodied/affirmed the most elevated of circumstances.
    2) that Art — and I include spiritual praxis as Art —- and real life should never —- NEVER —- be confused even though each often informs and intersects the other
    3) that more often than not, the least deserving of human animals OFTEN unfairly received The Best.

    I thank you for your time and Will’s (incredible) patience.

    • willmesa says:

      Thanks Gregory for your note to Nigel’s comment. I appreciate it. It is much more than what I myself could have said and I agree with the totality of it. I am glad you mentioned AR Orage as one of the disciples you have respect for. I do too have great respect for his humility and intellectual integrity. Thanks again. Will.

      • Gregory says:

        You are welcome Will. Thank you for your beyond-the-pale generosity in allowing our personal statements even when they might set yours and others teeth on edge.
        This is the first time I have been talking publicly about things which are unacceptable to my sensibility and have bothered my conscience for years.

        I horrifically left off Fritz Peters from my favorites list. The reading of his books opened my heart, at the time, in a needful “threatening” way. Unlike many, I feel Gurdjieff’s conditional love towards him — as unconsciously recognized by Peters himself — is one of Gurdjieff’s lowest moments.

        It led, I believe, to Peters’ unquestioning and uncritical love for G., which laid the ground for his later alcoholism and ultimate self-destruction.

        Peters stands, in my Mind as a wavering, quivering ghost, still haunting the edges of the Work waiting for his “father’s” true love, dialogue and acceptance. He stands there, floating, in a netherworld of incompletion as the possible only true leadership heir of a teaching whose outer formalized manifestion clearly died when the lights went out in Paris in October of 1949.

        May he find peace.

      • willmesa says:

        I think that Fritz Peters already had the seeds of self-destruction with him when he met Mr. Gurdjieff. It is obvious he could do nothing with the material he got from Mr. Gurdjieff and I think he was given good material to work with. I think he did not differentiate between being in front of a real teacher and being in front of a father figure. Like you said, he did not question and was uncritical of his love from Mr. G. But given the circumstances of Peters’ spoiled essence, I think Mr. G did the best he could do for him. In any case, and as you said:
        May he rest in peace.

      • Gregory says:

        Thank you, for this , Will. Interesting.
        Are you saying that Peter’s “spoiled essence” was the psychic result of his being extensively physically and emotionally abused before arriving in Gurdjieff’s care? I know that one of the episodes of beatings resulted in an eye being permanently damaged. He also seems to have never been provided with any real sense of a dependable childhood home base.

  4. Keith Kutch says:

    thanks Will

  5. willmesa says:

    I do think that Peter was already spoiled when he first met Mr. Gurdjieff. Later in life he tried to correct his essence and had enough good material from Mr. Gurdjieff in order to make this correction. Instead he wrote a book called “Balanced Man” which did not reflect his own life. Mr. G told him that homosexuality as a career is a dead end and Peter could do nothing with his homosexuality. It became a career for him and he had to pay accordingly. He nevertheless lived a “poisoned life” as Mr. G. told him it would be the case for him after having met Mr. G.

  6. Gregory says:

    OK. I guess what I’m not comprehending here is how does a child arrive “spoiled”. Simply, what were the grounds for that being so? Is he born that way? Does that connote karma from a previous life from a certain viewpoint. Just saying he was “spoiled” doesn’t tell me the “whys” I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m trying to understand how a child’s essence becomes “spoiled”.
    Additionally, I thought Gurdjieff stated that only Personality could be worked upon, that essence was too deep a thing.

    • Gregory says:

      Are you saying that his essence being homosexual was “spoiled”, and therefore needed to be changed.
      I’ve asked these questions from others in Gurdjieff Work time and again and never receive
      clear and direct answers.

      • willmesa says:

        I think it is the chemistry we inherit that is “spoiled.” We inherit such “chemistries” as being alcoholic and homosexuals and so on. It is for us to work on those “chemistries” if not for us at least for the sake of our ancestors. It would be something like stopping being homosexual or stopping being alcoholic. Not something in the direction of changing as much as in the direction of not yielding to our “chemistry.” Easy to say but difficult to do.

    • willmesa says:

      I guess we are the results of “something” our parents or our grandparents did in the past. We bring with us their chemistry and something may be wrong in this chemistry. What we have to do is to change our chemistry, even as difficult as that may sound, which in a way is to change our personality. But our essence must also be touched. I am talking about biological karma here but I am still guessing. Mr. Gurdjieff said that it was important for us to work in the line of blood, to correct that which we have inherited from our ancestors. We have to work on those aspects of personality that our parents and grandparents could not work on. I think this is the way we become spoiled into the world. But I am guessing here.

      • Gregory says:

        OK. Thank you. That answers some of it.
        And thank you for saying you are “guessing”. That’s honest.
        Homosexuality is a BIG problem for people in the Work. which is rather ironic considering the large — for esoteric groups — acknowledge homosexual population that existed within its ranks. Most rare and unusual.

        So, again, you didn’t answer it directly, but am I to assume that Peters homosexuality is the “spoilage” of his essence —- according to Gurdjieff Teaching, of course?

  7. Gregory says:

    Sorry Will we’re cross answering here.
    You did indeed answer my question.

    That is the first time in 20 years of asking that question that I got a direct and reasoned answer on the topic from the Gurdjieff Work.

    You’ve wona Gold Star!!!
    And I thank you of course!


    • willmesa says:

      Mr. Gurdjieff told the “ladies in the Rope” that they were dirty but that they had something most people did not have, a quality of searching for something else. As far as it is known only Jane Heap was able to deal with her lesbianism in ways that she stopped its practice after encountering Mr. G. She worked on it probably like nobody else and for that she was the only person authorized to read in groups the last chapter in the narrative of Beelzebub, the one about the results of impartial mentation.

  8. Gregory says:

    So, we’re dealing with a biochemical explanation of the biblical
    “‘Sins’ of the father”.
    In such a viewpoint , all ancestral memories deeds, feelings, habits are carried along through the bloodstream.

    Given that, would not Self-remembrance — Self here being Divine Source we all call home — be the purifying agent of that ancestral stream?

    • willmesa says:

      Yes, Self-remembering would be exactly that, the purification of ancestral chemistries.

      • Gregory says:

        Ah-so! to all of the above.
        And this is why he allegedly dismissed Aleister Crowley with “you all dirty inside”
        This has been a very interesting and constructive thread for me and has cleared up much ancestral rubbish from the Gurdjieff Groups “bloodlines”
        It’s like dominos, one after another, many related and unrelated things are beginning to fall into place in my Mind as I write.
        And why? Because I got a clear, honest, reasoned answer.
        This is yet again another example —- and I’m telling myself this as well —- to stay away from the vague or overly-mystified when dealing with this teaching and its Ideas.
        Thank you, Will. Here’s your Gold Star!
        ; )


  9. Gregory says:

    Will, while I believe the book Beelzebub’s Tales can only be effectively read and comprehended in a state of three-brained balanced being — self-remembering — I also believe the book (1950 version*) is deliberately structured to induce the reader into that state through repeated acquaintance. The initial directive of the three readings touches each center in separate succession. It is then up to the reader, as I see it and have experienced it, to continue the work from that point on by himself and within the context of a reading group (if available).

    The group is necessary to

    1) stay the danger of narcissistically hearing only one’s own stance towards the text and
    2) for the words and phrases to sound from without so they can be taken in and absorbed by the individual listening organism.

    Self-remembering is produced through the subconscious. No amount of intellectualizing — in my experience —- will ever comprehend the suggestions of that book. Nor will they develop as time goes on.

    * As I have read and experienced them both:
    Version 1950 is a carefully constructed perpetual motion machine which uses interrelating story parts to do specific awakening work.
    Version 1992 is a set of incomplete story parts that often do not completely interrelate and therefore tell a tale and impart philosophical ideas.

    • willmesa says:

      Gregory, have you read the reply of Mr. Gurdjieff to a disciple who wanted to know how to put his attention on the book? Here is Mr. G’s reply:

      “One thing I can tell you. Methods do not exist. I do not know any. But I can explain now everything simple. For example, in Beelzebub, I know there is everything one must know. It is a very interesting book. Everything is there. All that exists, all that existed, all that can exist. The beginning, the end, all the secrets of the creation of the world; all is there. But one must understand, and to understand depends on one’s individuality. The more man has been instructed in a certain way, the more he can see. Subjectively, everyone is able to understand according to the level he occupies, for it is an objective book, and everyone should understand something in it. One person understands one part, another a thousand times more. Now, find a way to put your attention on understanding all of Beelzebub. This will be your task, and it is a good way to fix a real attention. If you can put real attention on Beelzebub, you can have real attention in life. You didn’t know this secret. In Beelzebub there is everything, I have said it, even how to make an ome-let. Among other things, it is explained; and at the same time there isn’t a word in Beelzebub about cooking. So, you put your attention on Beelzebub, another attention than that to which you are accustomed, and you will be able to have the same attention in life.”
      G. I. Gurdjieff, October, 1943

      • Gregory says:

        Yes, I have read this but not in quite some time. Thank you for posting it because it is always worthwhile hearing Gurdjieff speak again.

        It is that injunction:
        “Now, find a way to put your attention on understanding all of Beelzebub.”
        which engages me every single time and part of me really does understand what he’s driving at. The book is one entire piece —- it’s not “pieces”. I never find myself taking it in chapter-by-chapter. I can’t claim to thoroughly knowing all of it, but when I pick it up to read it again and no matter from what point I am reading, I am always reading within the presence of the totality of the book. ( I step up inside the book in the same way I step up inside and past the frame of certain paintings) Other parts — phrases, paragraphs — push up from the background to chime in responsively as I read. One necessity for my reading it over and over again is to keep familiarizing myself with the whole cloth. I am also always amazed at how everything in my life lived and experienced up to this period gets framed and re-framed by this book and always gets put to use. That never fails to happen.

        And the following is so true:
        “So, you put your attention on Beelzebub, another attention than that to which you are accustomed, and you will be able to have the same attention in life.”
        That “another attention” is I believe, the same attention with which I dance and — more to the point —- balance in movement through life. It is actually stillness, but a stillness composed of on-going invisible shifts —some of them treacherously precarious. Who knew that attention was so infinitely complicated? The stillpoint of attention is there but it is hardly static. And it isn’t a staring, controlling focus either — it is again, produced out of the atmospherics (???) of self-remembering.
        When these revelations arrive — and now that I older (dammit!) they arrive at a greater velocity — they x-ray the density of my underlying sleep; I am not aware of what is going on around and through me.

        While I know this ultimately fails communicatively, I hope something came through.
        The foregoing described are nearly impossible to articulate in words but I must continue to Try doing so.


      • Gregory says:

        I re-read your post above before going to bed, Will and woke this morning with an “Uh-oh . . .” instead of an “Ah-so!”
        Thanks again for the post and thanks to Michele for his below.
        OK — back to the book . . . differently.

      • willmesa says:

        Yes, Gregory, back to the book…DIFFERENTLY.

  10. There is no such a thing as a “Living Teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff.” Mr. Gurdjieff is a dead man, and the style of the Fourth Way he was teaching was, perhaps, appropriate for the 1930s-1940s bourgeois, but has been progressively “growing old” in the later years and has become almost completely misapplied in the past few decades (the late 20th-early 21st century). There is a selective approach to Mr. G’s ideas, even though he has clearly stated that the “Fourth Way” teaching is ever changing, always accomodating itself to the time and epoch, becoming more visible in critical times of change, and _NEVER_ bearing the same name. The peculiar tendency of its modern adepts goes directly against the very teaching, showing that a sign of “loyalty” to the teaching and Mr. Gurdjieff is usually a sign of non-critical application of the ideas. It is best to avoid anybody who cries about the Fourth Way and its leaders as “the” Teaching of the Time.

    Interestingly, Mr. Gurdjieff has himself warned against using any idea of the System as the “central” idea. This advice has not been heeded to, especially, in his observations, in American groups – in relation to self-remembering. Interesting how things develop! Or rather not develop.

    Self-remembering, in my opinion, is akin to taking a car off the parking break. It is critical to moving, indeed! However, it is misleading at best to refer to it as the “central aspect” of the teaching. There are many more parts that need to be mastered in the process, while applying a critical and attentive eye to all the functions involved in moving (in the sense of spiritual progress). Therefore, I urge you to see the teaching in its whole form and not misapply its ideas selectively picked. The best thing the modern “Fourth Way” students could do is stop referring to Mr. Gurdjieff altogether and speaking the language he proposed as that of “the System.” Perhaps, a more honest representation of the Work (which has stayed the same) will emerge. Perhaps, it already has.

    • willmesa says:

      It is true that Mr. Gurdjieff is a dead man. It is also true that he left a teaching for humanity in his Legominism All and Everything and very specifically in Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. This teaching is quite alive and it is to this teaching that I refer as the Living Teaching. I am not referring to what he taught in private in the 1930’s-1940’s and that many people mistakenly call the “Fourth Way.” I have written about this and I have said that the real “Fourth Way” is the Way of Conscience. The other three are the ways of “faith,” “Love,” and “hope.” The Way of Conscience is exposed in all its details in Beelzebub’s Tales and it is universal way Mr. Gurdjieff revived in his book. Mr. Gurdjieff wrote Beelzebub’s Tales for future generations and not for contemporary man. He knew that there is no hope for present generations and left us a legacy that will be alive for generations to come.
      Probably what you refer as “Fourth Way” is the System taught by Ouspensky and many other of the direct disciples of Mr. Gurdjieff. And I agree with you that this “System” is already obsolete and that it would be improper to call this system of ideas as the Living Teaching. This system of ideas is dying as the direct disciples of Mr. Gurdjieff are dying too. But the teaching embodied in Beelzebub’s Tales and in the rest of the Legominism All and Everything is well alive and will keep many generations to come working on the Legominism. As far as I see it, this work is a living work that I call the Living Teaching.
      I agree with you that self-remembering is not the central aspect or central idea of the Living Teaching as it is contained in Beelzebub’s tales. There are many other central aspects or central ideas in the Living Teaching.

    • Mike (the mammal) says:

      Hello Pavel Axentiev. The quote that Will refers to on page 1066 of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson does not contain the entire sentence/formulation, so i will add it here inpromtu even though i am quite certain Will Mesa was allready well aware of it, for the purpose of adding more detail in the context of BTTHG with respect to ‘self remembering’.

      “And just as nothing could be accomplished by the beings of their planet of former epochs, who, becoming responsible beings had even attained in respect of Being at least to what is called ‘self-remembering,’ then all the more, nothing effective can be done, devised, or actualized by beings with that Reason which the beings of this contemporary society possess and who in respect of Being are only perfected to the degree which our dear Mullah Nassr Eddin defines by the notion expressed in the following words: ‘Look! Look! He already begins to distinguish mama from
      papa!’ ”


      • willmesa says:

        Thanks Mike for your reply to Pavel Axentiev. I am glad you quoted the entire paragraph on page 1066 of the book. It tells us how without self-remembering we will never abolish wars on Earth and it is a good indication that the book was written for future generations, as I replied to Pavel.

  11. Allan Clews says:

    Ha. I finally get to teach you something about Tales, after all you have taught me! The clearest and most comprehensive explanation of Self-Remembering I have ever encountered IS hidden within Tales. Of course he engaged in the magicians trick of misdirection (knowing vs understanding) and never uses the term Self-Remembering. He starts by describing what it is not (the Reason-of-Knowing), before he goes on to describe it:

    “Although in respect of the Sacred Tria-mazi-kam-no the process of the arising of both kinds of being-Reason flows equally, yet the fulfilling factors for the actualization of its three separate holy forces are different. Namely, for the formation of the Reason-of-knowing the formerly perceived contradictory impressions crystallized in any one of the three localizations which three-brained beings have, serve as the affirming and denying factors and the new impressions proceeding from without serve in this case as the third factor.

    “And for the Reason-of-understanding these factors are as follows: the first, that is the ‘sacred-affirming,’ is the newly perceived impressions of any localization [PERCEIVING] which has at the given moment what is called ‘the-center-of-gravity-functioning’; the second or ‘sacred-denying’ [SENSING] is the corresponding data present in another of his localizations; and the third factor is what is called the ‘being-Autokolizikners,’ or as they otherwise call it ‘Hoodazbabognari,’ the sense of which name signifies, ‘the results of the persevering actualizing of the striving towards the manifestation of one’s own individuality.’

    “By the way, you might as well hear still once more even if you do know it, that the said being-Autokolizikners are formed in the presences of three-brained beings in general in all three localizations exclusively only from the results of the actualization of ‘being-Part-k-dol-g-duty,’ that is to say, thanks to those factors which, from the very beginning of the arising of the three-brained beings, our UNIBEING COMMON FATHER designed to be the means for self-perfection.

    “It is these same formations in the common presences of three-brained beings which are actualized as the third holy force of the Sacred Tria-mazi-kam-no for the arising of the Reason-of-understanding.” (Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson pages 1167-8)

    Think of a triangle. When the first position (+) is involved in clearly perceiving (looking, listening, smelling and tasting) and the second position (-) is involved in self-sensing, these act like the positive and negative nodes that blend together (=) in the form of being-Autokolizikners.

    This is why Self-Sensing is the most important practice we can engage in because we have to get so adept at it (by repeatedly putting it in the 1st position at the beginning to learn how to Self-Sense with the sufficient intensity) that it can eventually effortlessly slip back into it’s rightful 2nd position.

    This is why I like to define the most basic form of Self-Remembering as CONSCIOUSLY PERCEIVING WHILE SENSING. Something I learned from this passage.

    • willmesa says:

      Thanks Allan for your contribution. I wrote in my post that even though the term self-remembering is explicitly mentioned in Tales only two times, at some particular level the whole book is about self-remembering. I also wrote that one should have expected that in different parts of the book self-remembering is described in details and even defined. Besides the description I found, you found another one which makes lots of sense.
      You define self-remembering as CONSCIOUSLY PERCEIVING WHILE SENSING. Your definition is very similar to the one I found of “all-brained-balanced-being-perceptiveness.” This definition implies both PERCEIVING AND SENSING since it presupposes that the three brains are balanced and therefore there must be self-sensing. But I totally agree with you that without self-sensing there can be no self-remembering. Self-sensing is the basis of all the work on oneself.

      • Allan Clews says:

        And if my reading of Tales is correct, the most important task anyone can do if they are concerned about the environment is to Self-Remember. Mankind is causing Great Nature to flail under our weight because we are not doing our part to transform the higher energies She needs.

        We need a Self-Remembering Revolution.

    • Mike (the mammal) says:

      Thanks Allan. That reply of yours again confirms to me that although self-remembering is i-n-d-i-s-p-e-n-s-a-b-l-e, and is even given a mention as an attainment in the paragraph/formulation/sentence on page 1066 of BTTHG, ‘It’ is not enough on its own or it will only be as… “our dear Mullah Nassr Eddin defines by the notion expressed in the following words: ‘Look! Look! He already begins to distinguish mama from papa!’ ”

      I agree with Beelzebub in BTTHG and with what you yourself Allan point out in the formulation you quote so that i can use the quote again, in part, you use as an opportunity to remind myself and to point it out again…..

      Page 1168 BTTHG (1950) “”By the way, you might as well hear still once more even if you do know it, that the said being-Autokolizikners are formed in the presences of three-brained beings in general in all three localizations exclusively only from the results of the actualization of being-Partkdolg-duty,’ ”

      It is because of this “being-Partkdolg-duty”, your recent elucidations, and other reasons of my own that i am in agreement whole-heartedly with the spirit and scope of this new thread by Will Mesa, and that what is contained in BTTHG is a “living teaching” mentioned in an earlier thread.

      :A further incomplete peripheral note about a question i am struggling with, and that i wish to elaborate in the future in such a way as to ‘not-be-too-long-winded’ which might relate to self remembering, although it is still not entirely clear to me (With respect to BTTHG) yet, in my current trajectory of digging for dogs. In particular, i am considering the notion of a number of selves remembering, ( ‘man-is-legion’ according to a formulation of biblical origin), and the singular ‘self remembering’ in this, my logical confrontation of sorts..

      Allan: “We need a Self-Remembering Revolution.”

      It is probably clearer if i refer to that recent chapter i have been reading again in order to make some further sense of it to use the example given by the character Beelzebub himself to his Grandson where he specifically says in the chapter, “The Relative Understanding Time”…. That describes hypothetical beings in a drop of water cosmoses in which objective reason has not yet become fixed. (For me at least, those beings in that drop of water might reflect some of those beings in my own collective mammalian drop of H2O by analogy)

      Page 127 BTTHG (1950) “In the whole course of the process of existence of the beings of this drop of water also, corresponding sequential definite what are called ‘passages’ of the flow of Time are also required.

      In concluding, my own work (Perhaps it fulfills a kind of Partkdolg duty) includes the further materialisation of a task i set myself a long time ago to help great nature obtain a bit of a rest with respect to those accursed apparatuses we call a “bathroom shower” Without going into great detail here, i discovered for the first time that these are nothing more than what is called a “commercial cooling tower” (In disguise) that is used in refrigeration to cool water in the way they function, and particularly with respect to how they process heat energy . As soon as the water exiting the domestic cooling tower that are used by contemporary civilization to obtain what is mythically called “a hot shower”, the said hot water becomes exhausted of its capacity to heat as soon as it exits the ‘shower-rose’ as it is called, and is absorbed into what are sometimes called ‘thermal masses’ and of course extracted d-i-r-e-c-t-l-y outside by exiting through the fan extraction apparatus for removing the hot humid air pronto. . I can constate that the shower apparatus as used on this planet is the most primitive system in the cosmos. Only here on this planet is it possible to have such a monstrosity of what is called ‘biblical proportion’ like the accursed bathroom shower i made brief mention of..

      This new shower apparatus of mine also functions as a Hammam/sauna if desired and reaches the desired operating temperature in less than 2 minutes which is staggering when compared to existing bathroom shower apparatus that cannot even obtain a hot shower without using vast quantities of energy and water at a higher temperature potential and the consumables like soap that are used during a showering process. But more on that later as i will supply a website address in the near future i hope.

  12. Gregory says:

    So, in all these descriptions and discussions above — and they are all excellent and interesting — HOW are people carrying this process out. I’ve been doing it since 1974 when I was first introduced to “an” approach and have been daily on my own with it ever since. And it has gone through many changes.
    Mike, I would suggest that “selves”– “legion” — cannot remember as they are splinters and fragments of / respondents to Self without an actual core or their own.
    Maybe we could say they are the facets of the proverbial multi-faceted diamond (Self)?

    • Gregory says:

      This excerpt from Verse 22 of THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS is very close to my ongoing experiencing down through the years:

      “Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].”

      Does this jive with your experience, Will? Anybody else?
      Not to put a hard and fast definition on the above — I try not to do that — but it does clearly describe my experience of the state of Self-remembrance.

      And it is taken up and begun again all the time


      • willmesa says:

        “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].”
        At that point you are a balanced normal three-brained being of planet Earth and consequently you can remember yourself.

      • Gregory says:

        Thank you Will — that answers my question.
        For the last 36 years, I have asked that question — more or less —- exactly as asked above. You are the first person who has spent time with the Gurdjieff Groups who has actually answered (/ been able to answer ?) that question for me.
        Another gold star —- not that you need them from me.


  13. Mike (the mammal) says:

    Gday Gregory…I too jive with that quote.
    I would add, in my own special case 🙂 , that when you make an objective bathroom shower in the place of a subjective bathroom shower…and even an ego in the place of an ego.. In the case of my soon to be famous, even perhaps on other planets in other solar systems like ours, then with respect to my own peculiar condition (I was expressing my own brand of rage in that earlier post of mine with respect to accursed bathroom showers.) concerning this matter, i suppose it is true that “It is better to be temporarily an egoist than never to be just.” The exact duration of “temporary” in this case might be the subject of a more comprehensive time calculation. 🙂

    My joke is half serious of course, and my old first bathroom shower of new formation was subject to further scrutiny and that resulted in a more advanced one that was in turn followed by another and after even more critisism from various parts of my collective presence resulted in a fourth entirely new design. These breakthroughs or evolutionary steps were more often plucked out of thin air as if by some miracle that was not of my own doing during various intentional contemplations. I tried making a shower in the place of a shower 4 times in this case 🙂

    You call them these selves splinters. Yes i agree!! They cannot self remember, with that i disaggree. Certainly for some it would be almost impossible They are asleep, they know not what they do. They are not aware of their collective existence Or mansion creation or even less about mansion maintenance……like the servants in the biblical parable about lords mansion that are running around helter skelter. There are also some good servants who are at a higher level and gradually convince other servants of what needs to be done to get the mansion in order for when the master arrives. The deputy steward servant at a higher level to the other subjective servants needs to be able to convince one thousand others as it were, so that they can find thier objective respective duty and perform it well so that the conditions of being existence they themselves created in the mansion. That way the mansion to can fulfill the objective reason for being there in the first place. There are mansions and there are Mansions.

    My guess is that those beings in that drop of water with respect to BTTHG (1950 edition) are like the ones in myself. Ordinary self remembering without the divine impulse of objective conscience, intentional suffering and the like can ‘still’ undergo the process of involution at any point until objective reason is attained.

    From “First Initiation” by Jeanne De Salzmann:
    “You must understand that all the other measures—talent, education, culture, genius—are changing measures, measures of detail. The only exact measure, the only unchanging, objective real measure is the measure of inner vision. I see—I see myself—by this, you have measured. With one higher real part, you have measured another lower part, also real. And this measure, defining by itself the role of each part, will lead you to respect for yourself. ”

    The problem Beelzebub has aptly eloquently anticipated De Salzmann’s possible error by providing the formulation ”
    Page 1168 BTTHG (1950) “”By the way, you might as well hear still once more even if you do know it, that the said being-Autokolizikners are formed in the presences of three-brained beings in general in all three localizations exclusively only from the results of the actualization of being-Partkdolg-duty,’ ” …. or duty-duty-duty (servant-servant-servant)

    For me the error is that although it is an act of self remembering to distinguish a higher level in myself with a lower level in myself like a “first initiation”. This can still result in a dramatic involution, so that the new higher level (Self remembering) can ‘still’, even then, lead me down to a lower level/middle, or as Will Mesa points out in previous blog.


    “When the movement is one of involution the actualized middle becomes either higher for the succeeding lower, or lower for a preceding higher; when the movement is one of evolution, the actualized middle becomes either higher for the preceding lower, or lower for the succeeding higher. This latter case, the one for a movement of evolution, corresponds to the formulation of the Sacred-Triamazikamno given in Beelzebub’s Tales, P. 751.
    And then briefly here how he points out.
    “The immediate practical impact of this knowledge is the fact that if one’s actualized middle becomes the higher for a succeeding lower, one then follows the way of involution or the way of descent into the lower planes of existence. Conversely, if one’s actualized middle becomes the lower for a succeeding higher, one then follows the way of evolution or the way of ascent towards the higher planes of existence. In other words, on the way of evolution, each step we take to advance takes us up because we are lower; on the other hand, on the way of involution each step we take to advance takes us down because we are higher”

    This is similar (As if to prove a point about ‘self remebembering’ on its own and the possible results.) for me what Maurice Nicoll, very well in my opinion, also expresses in his book “The New Man” where has a look at Jesus undergooing a final temptation, and with that is the associated possibility of involution.

    Page 24 TNM “”Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. ”
    (Matthew iv, 4. )
    See clearly that the devil has asked Christ to make bread by himself to ease his state—that is, not to await the Word of God. The devil says: “If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. ” That is, nourish yourself by your own powers and ideas.

  14. Mike (the mammal) says:

    There will be errors for sure in this particular mammal.. One of them is that it should have been more like this:
    “They cannot be remembered, with that i disagree.”
    In response to:
    “cannot remember as they are splinters and fragments of / respondents to Self without an actual core or their own.
    Maybe we could say they are the facets of the proverbial multi-faceted diamond (Self)?”

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