EL ESPITITU DE LAS NAVIDADES Y LA ENSEñANZA DEL SR. GURDJIEFF

«Sólo podrá llegar a ser y decirse Hijo de Dios aquel que posea Conciencia.» Relatos de Belcebu, p. 180.

Ahora que el espiritu de Navidad se acerca, seria apropiado pensar activamente sobre el significado mas profundo de ese evento.

El Hijo de Dios ha nacido. El Hijo de Dios nace de una Virgen. Solo si yo soy Virgen puede el Hijo de Dios nacer en mi. Como es que yo soy Virgen? Cuando estoy sin imagenes yo soy Virgen. Solo en aquel que esta sin imagenes puede nacer el Hijo de Dios. Lo que esta Virgen, que no ha sido tocado ni contaminado, es el subconciente. El Hijo de Dios nace en el subconciente. El subconciente es la Consciencia Real. De manera tal que la pregunta real es: Como hacer o no hacer para que el subconciente participe en nuestra vida de cada dia? Ese es la pregunta. En el subconciente esta almecenada la data necesaria para engendrar en nosotros el “Impulso Divino de Conciencia Objetiva.” La participacion de este Impulso Divino en nuestra vida ordinaria de cada dia es ahora la unica forma de traernos de regreso a la normalidad. Este es el mensaje central de Ashiata Shiemash y la verdadera esencia de la Enseñanza del Sr. Gurdjieff, tal como ahora la entiendo.

Feliz Navidad a todos

Will Mesa

 

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EL ESPITITU DE LAS NAVIDADES Y LA ENSEñANZA DEL SR. GURDJIEFF

«Sólo podrá llegar a ser y decirse Hijo de Dios aquel que posea Conciencia.» Relatos de Belcebu, p. 180.

Ahora que el espiritu de Navidad se acerca, seria apropiado pensar activamente sobre el significado mas profundo de ese evento.

El Hijo de Dios ha nacido. El Hijo de Dios nace de una Virgen. Solo si yo soy Virgen puede el Hijo de Dios nacer en mi. Como es que yo soy Virgen? Cuando estoy sin imagenes yo soy Virgen. Solo en aquel que esta sin imagenes puede nacer el Hijo de Dios. Lo que esta Virgen, que no ha sido tocado ni contaminado, es el subconciente. El Hijo de Dios nace en el subconciente. El subconciente es la Consciencia Real. De manera tal que la pregunta real es: Como hacer o no hacer para que el subconciente participe en nuestra vida de cada dia? Ese es la pregunta. En el subconciente esta almecenada la data necesaria para engendrar en nosotros el “Impulso Divino de Conciencia Objetiva.” La participacion de este Impulso Divino en nuestra vida ordinaria de cada dia es ahora la unica forma de traernos de regreso a la normalidad. Este es el mensaje central Ashiata Shiemash y la verdadera esencia de la Enseñanza del Sr. Gurdjieff, tal como ahora la entiendo.

Feliz Navidad a todos

Will Mesa

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THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS AND THE TEACHING OF Mr. GURDJIEFF

“Only-he-will-be-called-and-will-become-the-Son-of-God-who-acquires-in-himself-Conscience.” Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, p.368

Now that the spirit of Christmas is approaching, it is appropriate to mentate on the deep meaning of this event.

The Son of God is born! The Son of God is born of a Virgin. Only if I am Virgin can the Son of God be born in me. How am I Virgin? When I am without images I am Virgin. Only in whom who is without images the Son of God is born. What is Virgin, that has not been touched and contaminated, is the subconscious. The Son of God is born in the subconscious. The subconscious is the Real Consciousness. So the real question is: How to do or not to do in order that the subconscious participates in our everyday life? That is the question. In the subconscious is stored the data necessary for engendering in us the “Divine impulse of genuine objective Conscience.” Participation of this Divine impulse in our everyday ordinary life is now the only way that can bring us back to normality. This is the central message of Ashiata Shiemash and the very essence of the teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff, as I now understand it.

Merry Christmas to all!

Will Mesa

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WORKING ON ESSENCE

In the teaching he brought to the West, G. I. Gurdjieff introduced the ideas of body, essence and personality, as the three constituent parts of man. He insisted again and again that we must work on each of these three parts. This post is about working on essence and will limit only to considerations concerning this kind of work.

In the book Views from the Real World, a compilation of early talks from Mr. Gurdjieff, on page 136, essence is described as follows: “Essence is purely emotional. It consists of what is received from heredity before the formation of personality, and later, only those sensations and feelings among which a man lives. What comes after merely depends on the transition.” Further in the book we are told that “Essence is I—it is our heredity, type, character, nature.” In the book Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson (BTTHG), Mr. Gurdjieff’s opus magnum, essence is not described explicitly but many things are said about essence, and related topics such as essence-anxiety, essence-doubt, essence-attitude, and so on. On page 487 of BTTHG we find this statement about essence: “”Hence it is that there just proceeds in them that particularity of their common presence which is that with one part of their essence they always intend to wish one thing; at the same time with another part they definitely wish something else; and thanks to the third part, they already do something quite the contrary.” This statement shows how contradictory our essence can be.

The first thing to do in working on essence is to identify the being-impulses (as they are called in BTTHG) that come from body and personality and separate them from those coming from essence. Most of the being-impulses coming from the body are related to basic instinctive body impulses such as hunger, thirst, instinctive fears, sexual drives, and others. But there are other body impulses related to what are called “desires of the planetary body” such as lust, gluttony, laziness, and others. Most of the being-impulses coming from personality are related to the crystallization of the consequences of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer. Among them are the being-impulses of vanity, pride, envy, hypocrisy, self-calming, self-love, lying, suggestibility, and many others.

Essence being-impulses are in general more noble being-impulses such as the being-impulses of essence-love, essence-faith, essence-hope, essence-compassion, essence-individuality, and essence-Conscience. But there are also essence-impulses arising from a mal-functioning essence, such as the majority of known addictions and psychopathy.

Many serious students of Beelzebub’s Tales claim that the chapter “The Legominism Concerning the Deliberations of the Very Saintly Ashiata Shiemash Under the title of ‘The-Terror-of-the-Situation’” is the central chapter in the book. When I asked Henri Tracol, my group leader in a Paris group and the person who aided Mme. De Salzmann with the French edition of Beelzebub, what his thoughts on the book were he replied quickly and succinctly: “The whole book is summarized in the chapter the terror of the situation.” And indeed this is true if one considers the tragic situation of man on Earth. But if we are concerned with the Cosmology Mr. Gurdjieff introduced in his Teaching then the Chapter “The Holy Planet ‘Purgatory’” is the one to be considered.

“The-Terror-of-the-Situation” is about how the essence impulses of genuine Love, Faith, and Hope deteriorated into similar but false impulses. What happened was very simple. These genuine essence-impulses mixed with certain unbecoming impulses arising from Kundabuffer and with a flavor or gusto similar to the genuine impulses of Love, Faith, and Hope. Now man no longer loves, believes, and hopes as it is proper to normal three-brained beings. As Mr. Gurdjieff said, the work is not so much about acquiring something new as it is about recovering what has been lost.

In the chapter “The-terror-of-the-Situation” we are given a very important hint as to how to proceed in order to recover the genuine essence impulses that have been lost. We are told that the essence impulse Conscience, the very foundation of the psyche of three-brained beings, escaped the deterioration that the genuine essence impulses of Love, Faith, and Hope experienced. The impulse Conscience became buried in the depth of essence, in the region of our psyche known as the subconscious. It is then a matter of penetrating the subconscious in order to retrieve the essence-impulse Conscience. Then the genuine essence impulses of Love, Faith, and Hope will remerge again because they are already there.

But from a practical point of view, how do we do it?

The first thing to do is to experience our nothingness with regards to the presence of these genuine essence impulses in us. We no longer possess them must be our full realization. Then, as a second practical approach, we must suffer our situation.  We must feel Remorse of Conscience for the fact that we no longer manifest the genuine essence impulses of Love, Faith, and Hope. That is why Mr. Gurdjieff puts so much emphasis on the teaching of Remorse, being the only modern teacher to teach the practice of Remorse.

As a third step, we can follow the indications of the Most Most Saintly Ashiata Shiemash in the chapter “The Organization for Man’s Existence Created by the Very Saintly Ashiate Shiemash.” These indications are contained in what is known as the five “being-obligolnian-strivings.” Much has been said about them but it is better that each person forms his/her own opinion and proceed to practice them according to his/her own individuality.

Another aspect of working on essence has to do with changing essence or correcting certain essence- impulses that have been atrophied as a result of exiting on a planet in which the chemistry of certain beings has been inverted (certain chemical dependency, certain perversions, and certain deviations from normality).  This a difficult work because, as Mr. Gurdjieff said, “essence is the devil,” implying that it is difficult to deal with. But it is possible because some men have done it and it is enough that one man does it for others to do it. In any case, this is a very subjective and individualized work because it is for each person to discover and then work on those essence-impulses that have been atrophied. One thing can be said in general, though, and it is the fact that this essence work always entails some form of essence suffering. Essence change demands a corresponding amount of Essence-Suffering and Essence-Hope.

In any case, either work through recovering the essence-impulses that have been lost and/or work through correcting the essence-impulses that have been atrophied, brings about essence purification. Essence then becomes the center of gravity of the initiating factors behind body and personality functioning. Body and personality become functions of essence instead of essence being a function of body and personality as it is the case before essence purification. Man (or woman) meets the Inner Master. Essence purification is also a good preparation for the Sacred Rascooarno or first death.

Good luck with your work. I wish you the best.

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Beelzebub Creation Myth and Us.

Dedicated to my good friend Mani Gerlach who inspired this post

In some sense, Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson is a book of indications, like a cooking book full of recipes.  The book indicates to us, the users of the book, a way to transform our world of abnormalities into a world in which normality is the order of the day. Normality is the three brains of a three-brined being or man working in harmony. Further than that, the book also gives us indications of our sorrowful situation in life, we unfortunate three-brained beings of planet Earth, and how we can escape this situation and become true men (or women) again. In this post, I wish to explore the creation myth presented in the first pages of the chapter The Holy Planet “Purgatory” of the book in relation to our predicament. In other words, how the creation myth gives us indications pointing to an important aspect of our situation in life using the language so dear to the hermetic tradition, the language of analogy.

This is Beelzebub creation myth in a nutshell.  Before creation of the present World or Megalocosmos, our COMMON-FATHER-CREATOR-ENDLESSNESS existed in HIS place of Residence, our Most Most Holy Sun Absolute, with HIS Cherubim and Seraphim, in an endless space filled with the prime source Etherokrilno. Together with the Sun Absolute and Etherokrilno, independent and separated from them, there existed the flow of Time or, as it is also known, the Merciless Heropass. During the course of Time, our CREATOR OMNIPOTENT once ascertained that HIS place of Residence was gradually diminishing in volume by the action of the Merciless Heropass. “Thereupon our ENDLESSNESS became thoughtful, for in HIS Divine deliberations HE became clearly aware that if this Heropass should so continue to diminish the volume of the Sun Absolute, then sooner or later, it would ultimately bring about the complete destruction of this sole place of HIS Being.” Our CREATOR ALL-MAINTAINER then felt the forced need to create our present World. For that end HE reviewed the two fundamental laws that maintained HIS place of Existence and decided to change the operational characteristics of these two laws, to make their independent functioning dependent on forces coming from the outside.  After this change in the two fundamental cosmic laws our OMNIPOTENT ENDLESSNESS CREATOR, by HIS Willful action, sent these two laws together with the Holy Emanation of the Most Holy Sun Absolute or Theomertmalogos into space, creating world after world. The end result was that the system that maintained the Sun Absolute, placed of Residence of our ENDLASSNESS before creation, and known as Autoegocrat ( I maintain myself) began to be called after creation Trogoautoegocrat (By eating I maintain myself), producing the common-cosmic process Iraniranumange or common-cosmic-exchange-of-substances or, as it is also known, reciprocal feeding.  Now our ALL-MAINTANING ENDLESSNESS could rest knowing that HIS place of Residence, HIS Body, could not be destroyed by the Merciless action of Heropass.

It would be almost impossible for anyone of us to verify that this was what actually happened before and after creation. That is why we call all this process a creation myth. And yet Mr. Gurdjieff said about his own book Beelzebub’s Tales: “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.” So, it may very well be that Mr. Gurdjieff’s self-remembering was deep enough to remember all that. But we cannot because our self-remembering is very limited. At least I know that mine is. Most of us do not possess the degree of self-remembering that would allow us to penetrate deep inside of us, deep into the subconscious where all of our past is now buried, including the creation myth.  But what we can do is to use the description of the myth, as presented to us, in order to work on ourselves. Use it as an indication or pointing finger of our own predicament. Use it as an analogy between the higher and the lower.

In this sense, our predicament or situation is not any different from that of our ALLLOVING ENDLESS CREATOR, the difference is only in scale.  Like our ENDLESSNESS our place of residence, our physical body in this case, is being diminished by the merciless action of Heropass to the point of final destruction. And like our ENDLESSNESS we have to feel the forced need to create a new world or new body. Fortunately for us, the body or new body we have to create already exists in us as potential being-body. It would be impossible for us to create it because only our ENDLESSNESS CREATOR can create. We cannot create; we are created beings. What we can and must do is strive for the formation of this body in us. In Beelzebub’s Tales formation of this new body is referred to as “coating the second being-body or body Kesdjan.” Once this body is coated in us, we can then proceed to the coating of still another body, the so-called higher being body or “body of the soul.” This is our actual soul. The term coating is a very good one because it means “a thin layer or covering of something, like a coating of paint.” What we have to do then is to cover the physical body with the second being-body or body-Kesdjan and then the higher being body or body of the soul.

There are many indications in Beelzebub’s Tales, scattered throughout the book, on how to coat the second being-body or body-Kesdjan as well as the higher being body or body of the soul. I am not going to get into that here because the intention of this post is only to bring awareness to the need we have to feel concerning the coating of the body-Kesdjan. There is also a very good and practical book with the title Higher Being Bodies written by Ocke de Boer. I have been very fortunate to work with Ocke throughout the years and I have even attended his group in Holland. I am now lucky to be part of an Online Webinar developed under the auspices of the Theosophical Society in America on Higher Being Bodies. This Webinar is facilitated by Ocke and Gwenn Mayer, also a longtime student of the teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff. I am aware that many in the so-called Gurdjieff Community claim that nothing can replace the in person Gurdjieff groups, more when these groups are their group and their lineage. It may be so but I am also aware that many people around the world, like myself, cannot be part of an in person group simply because of geographical constraints. For them the Internet is a viable approach. I am convinced that if Mr. Gurdjieff were alive he would be using the Internet one way or another. As a true Bodhisattva, he surely was aware of the third vow of the Bodhisattva Way of Life: “I vow to master limitless approaches to Dharma.” I any case I am including a link to the various Webinars on the teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff developed under the auspices of the Theosophical Society in America, including the Webinar on Higher Being Bodies.

https://www.theosophical.org/programs/webinars/current-webinars

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Beelzebub’s Tales and the Grace from Above.

In my previous post I tried to show that Beelzebub’s Tales presents a new approach to Religion and I think I succeeded in doing it. In this post I address the question of Beelzebub’s Tales and the Grace from Above or Grace of God. I try to show that the book indeed considers Grace as an important aspect of the teaching presented in the Tales.  It is my feeling and understanding that we cannot speak of Grace outside the realm of Religion and that is why I had to first address the matter of the relationship between Beelzebub’s Tales and Religion.

Mr. Gurdjieff said that all possibilities for man come from Above.  But what is Above? The idea of Above can have different meanings at different levels. For instance, one of these levels is what is known as the higher worlds and the higher laws governing these worlds. For me personally one of these levels is what we call God.  Yes, the God of Religion. I am sure here I am influenced and conditioned by my Catholic upbringing but that is how I am. So, for me the expression “possibilities from Above” translates into “Grace of God.”

If the existence of some form of Grace from Above is a reality, as I hope to show, then immediately this raises a very interesting question, namely, why do we need to make efforts? Why the need for conscious labors and intentional suffering as demanded by the practice of the teaching Mr. Gurdjieff introduced?  Well, the answer to this question is rather simple. We need to make efforts because there are certain functions and tendencies in our being that we need to clean and/or develop, and for this kind of cleansing or development there is very little God can do for us. It is always up to us.  We have to develop certain tendencies and potentialities existing in us by the very same fact of having been born on a planet. It is through the development of these functions that we can serve as helpers to OUR ENDLESSNESS in the administration of the Great Universe. Let us say that the Grace we receive from Above, the Grace of God, is necessary but not sufficient. We have to complete ourselves and for that we need to practice conscious labors and intentional suffering, as the teaching demands. We cannot escape from the actualization of these individual efforts. It may very well be that the Benedictines of the middle Ages arrived to the correct formulation. One of their most important principles of living was stated in this formulation: “Ora et Labore.” (“Pray and Work.”).

It was in the Catholic context that I first heard about Grace. I first heard about it when reading Saint Augustin’s Treatise on Grace and Free Will. Saint Augustine was one of the first seven Doctors of the Catholic Church and considered by many the most important Doctor of the Church. He lived from 354 to 430 and became Bishop of Hippo in 395. His writings had a tremendous influence in the development of the Catholic Doctrine. In his Treatise on Grace and Free Will he basically teaches to beware of maintaining grace by denying free will, or free will by denying grace; In this sense, he writes “for it is evident from the testimony of Scripture that there is in man a free choice of will; and there are also in the same Scriptures inspired proofs given of that very grace of God without which we can do nothing good.”

In the seventeen century the writings of Saint Augustine on Grace inspired a theological movement within the Catholic Church known as Jansenism, the name coming from the posthumously published work of the Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen, who died in 1638. The movement developed mainly in France. Jansenism emphasized the necessity of Divine Grace. Among one of the most prominent members of this movement was the French philosopher-mathematician Blaise Pascal. Jansenism was opposed by many in the Catholic hierarchy, especially the Jesuits. The opposing views of the Jansenists and Jesuits at one time originated a great confrontation between both groups which became known as the Port Royal Abbey debate, the Port Royal Abbey being the stronghold of the Jansenists in Paris. In this famous and long debate the Jansenist held the view that Salvation came by the Grace of God while the Jesuits held the view that Salvation came by Work.  Without taking part on this debate, it should be noted that the term by the Grace of God is found in many teachings and religions. In Hinduism it is said that Liberation comes by the Grace of the Guru. In Kundalina Yoga, it is said that the substance Kundalina can move up to the throat Chakra with proper work but that movement above this Chakra into the Ajgna and Ahasrara Chakras comes only by Grace.  In the Old Testament we find the expression “if it were not by thy Grace, we shall not stand.” In the New Testament we find the teachings of Saint Paul on the Grace of Jesus Christ. And in the first Sura of the Koran we are told that Allah is Sovereign on the Day of Retribution.

Very little has been said about a possible relationship between Beelzebub’s Tales and Grace, as Grace was understood by Saint Augustine and later by the Jansenists and the debate they had with the Jesuits on the question of Grace vs. Work. As far as I have been able to determine, and I have read most of what has been written about the book, very little has been said on this topic. The intention of this paper is to examine this relationship or connection between Beelzebub’s Tales and Grace.

In order to examine more closely the connection between Beelzebub’s Tales and the Grace from Above or Grace of God, we can take the look at the two pardons granted to Beelzebub by OUR ENDLESSNESS. The first pardon extended only to the descendants of Beelzebub; the second allowed Beelzebub to return to his home in the planet Karatas, a planet near the Center, from which Beelzebub had been exiled. Both pardons came about through the intervention before our ENDLESSNESS of two Cosmic Individuals whom Beelzebub had helped one way or another.  The first of these two Cosmic Individuals is Archangel Looisos whom Beelzebub helped in the eradication on Earth of the practice of Sacrificial Offerings. The second Cosmic Individual is the Most Saintly Ashiata Shiemash for whom Beelzebub had done some kind of special work connected to His mission. Here, in relation to the intervention before his ENDLESSNESS for the purpose of interceding for the salvation of souls, we can see one particular aspect of the Catholic Teaching in the Hail Mary prayer: “Hail Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the moment of our death.” In any case, according to Beelzebub’s Tales we need some form of intervention by a Higher Individual for the attainment of our pardon. But the pardon ultimately comes directly from our ENDLESSNESS, from GOD in the form of the Grace of God. The teaching of a Mediator between God and Man is a tenet of both the Catholic and the Orthodoxies churches.

But there is a piece of objective knowledge in the chapter Holy Purgatory that I am convinced is the proof to my claim that without the Grace of God there is no real hope for us. This piece of objective knowledge has to do with two facts. The first is that once all three-brained beings of the entire Universe are somehow aware of the existence of the planet Holy Purgatory, they feel an organic need to go to this Planet. And the second has to do with the way these beings actually make it to this planet. This way has to do with a struggle between the lower part or planetary body and the higher part or higher being body. It is explicitly said that from this struggle it is formed in these beings “those sacred crystallizations from which their higher Divine being-part arises and is perfected in them.” In other parts of the book, it is spelled out how three-brained beings from the whole Universe can make it to the planet Holy Purgatory. However, nowhere in the book we are told how the higher being-bodies or souls in Purgatory make it to the spheres of the Most Holy Sun Absolute. No amount of work can take a being to these spheres of the Most Holy Absolute. Work can take a being to Holy Purgatory but once there a higher being-body or soul no longer engages in work but only in suffering. Here is the funny side of the story, and we know Beelzebub’s Tales is a very funny book. Here is the most beautiful and richest planet of the entire Universe, everything external is sensed “blissfully-delightfully,” with ten thousand of pure and natural springs, twelve thousand species of the most beautiful and best songbirds, flowers, fruits, berries, and so on, collected from all the planets of our great Universe, and those marvelous “Omnipresent-platforms” travelling at almost the speed of light, and yet the souls existing in this planet live in caves. In these caves these souls are always engaged “in their inevitable state of inexpressible anguish.” The last post in my blog “Gospel According to Beelzebub” is entitled “Purgatorial Suffering.” In it I claim, among other things, that purgatorial suffering not only is higher than voluntary and intentional suffering but that contrary to those two kinds of suffering, purgatorial suffering is not self-initiated but given to us from Above.

Anyhow, the point I am trying to make is that there is absolutely nothing the souls in Holy Purgatory can do in order to return to Center or spheres of the Most Holy Sun Absolute. It is only by the Grace of God that these souls can become worthy of this feat. A case in point here is the serious situation of the soul of Makary Krobernkzion as presented in the chapter on Justice of the book. The case is that our MAKER CREATOR had sanctioned that the soul of this Makary Krobernzion was worthy of being taken on to the Most Most Holy Sun Absolute. But a number of souls in Purgatory, also already worthy of being taken on to the Most Holy Sun Absolute had determined that it had been precisely this Makary Krobernzion the one terrestrial being who first introduced the maleficent idea of Good and Evil. Upon this realization, our ALL-MOST-GRACIOUS-CREATOR commanded that the deserving soul of Makary Krobernzion should continue to exist on the holy planet until the future results of his evil deed should be revealed. The point, again, is that the command came from our ALL-MOST-GRACIOUS-CREATOR.

But the best example in Beelzebub’s Tales of why no amount of work can return the higher being-body or soul to the Center or the Spheres of the Most Holy Aun Absolute, is Belcultassi. Here is a three-brained being that probably worked on himself like none other. He also worked with others and they together formed the society Akhaldan, a society which in its time was throughout the whole Universe called ‘envied for imitation. His work was such that he “was able to bring the perfecting of his higher being part to the Being of a Saint ‘Eternal Individual; and this higher part of his now already dwells on the holy planet Purgatory.” And this is the whole point, that after such phenomenal amount of work the soul of Belcultassi is still in Purgatory. To me this means, and there may be other meanings, that is only by the Grace of God that we are finally released from Purgatory and make our return the spheres of the Most Holy Sun Absolute.

I will conclude by stating that Beelzebub’s Tales indeed shows that it is only by the Grace of God that we receive our final pardon and are able to return to the Center or Spheres of the Holy Sun Absolute, which is the final aim of all souls.

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Beelzebub’s Tales Presents a New Approach to Religion

The aim of this post is to show that Beelzebub’s Tales presents a new approach to Religion. By Religion, I do not mean organized Religion, although being a Catholic myself I attend Mass and respect the Church. But by Religion here I mean the feeling of religiousness described in details on pages 522-623 of Beelzebub’s Tales. This feeling, we are told, is caused by cosmic events and it is the cause of many of the religion festivities appearing here on Earth, such as “Easter,” “Bairam,” “Zadic,” “Ramadan,” “Kaialana,” and many others. Mr. Gurdjieff said that we have lost this feeling and I know this has been the case for me. I had this feeling in my childhood and then lost it. How did I lose it? The answer is very simple: the strong formation of buffers throughout the years of living under abnormal conditions of being-existence.

In order to show that Beelzebub’s Tales indeed presents a new approach to Religion, I will have to go back to an exchange between Mr. Gurdjieff and a young Russian disciple. During his arduous journey from Russia to France, around 1921, and with an entourage of thirty disciples by his side, Mr. Gurdjieff made a brief stop in Constantinople, now Istanbul. Among his closest disciples was a young Russian man by the name of Tcheslaw Tchekhovitch, also known as Able Seaman Tcheslaw. Later Tchekhovitch would write a very interesting book entitled Gurdjieff A Master in Life which I recommend to all those interested in the practical aspects of the teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff. One exercise Mr. Gurdjieff gives to Tchekhovitch and that he mentions in his book is to keep a stupid smile for two hours every day. In his book Tchekhovitch recounts how one day Mr. Gurdjieff addressed him telling him, and I quote the exact words from page 46 of the book:

“There also exists a ‘fourth way’, based on the sacred impulse emanating from conscience, of which a germ is deposited in each human being. This leads to another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion.”

What struck me the most when I read that pronouncement was the phrase– This leads to another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion.

I have to confess that when I read this pronouncement the question that came to my mind was this: “Why is Mr. Gurdjieff saying this?” I knew that he never made idle statements and that behind everything he said there was also a purpose. The answer to my own question came very quickly. By the time I read this pronouncement I was already fully convinced that Mr. Gurdjieff had brought two teachings to humanity and I had written about this idea. The moment I read the pronouncement, I immediately realized that while he journeyed from Russia to France, Mr. Gurdjieff was seriously struggling with finding a new approach to the teaching he was bringing from the East to the West. He was not entirely satisfied with the way he has presented his teaching in Russia as faithfully recorded by Ouspensky in his book In Search of the Miraculous.  Something was missing in the presentation of his teaching. But now while journeying from Russia to France, his struggling was an inner struggle. However, he would have to wait until he was in France in order to end his inner struggle and finally find the new approach he was desperately searching for.

But finding this new approach did not come easily for Mr. Gurdjieff. Most often the resolution of an inner struggle, like the one Mr. Gurdjieff was going through, needs a shock to be resolved. Mr. Gurdjieff was in need of a shock, a big shock for that matter. This big shock came on July 8th, 1924 when while driving alone from Paris to Fontainebleau Mr. Gurdjieff has a near-fatal automobile accident. Against medical expectation he makes a slow and painful recovery. He then decides to change the approach to his teaching. About three years later Mr. Gurdjieff refers to this fact on the first pages of the Prologue of Life Is Real Only Then, When “I Am.” Here it is from page 3 of that book:

“For more than three years up till then I had been writing, almost day and night, with constant self-driving, the books I had resolved to publish.

I say with constant self-driving because, due to the consequences of an automobile accident which happened to me just before beginning to write these books, I had been very ill and weak, and therefore, of course, had not had the possibility tor any active action.

Yet I had not spared myself, and had worked very hard in such a state, chiefly thanks to the factors that formed in my consciousness, from the very beginning, the following idee fixe notion:

Since I had not, when in full strength and health, succeeded in introducing in practice into the life of people the beneficial truths elucidated for them by me, then I must at least, at any cost, succeed in doing this in theory, before my death.”

Mr. Gurdjieff becomes a writer. He now presents his teaching in book form. On December 6th, 1924, a few months after his automobile accident, he commences his magnum opus: Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. Of course, it is a well-known fact that while he writes and writes, he also continues with the oral teaching; a fact that has been accounted for by the testimonies of many of his disciples in France.

Let us now go beyond what is already self-evident; that is to say, the fact that after his automobile accident in the summer of 1924 Mr. Gurdjieff finds a new approach to the presentation and deliverance of his teaching. Sometimes by going deeper we discover new things.

Let us ask the following questions: What is the true nature of the new approach Mr. Gurdjieff finds after his automobile accident? Is it only a matter of presenting his teaching in written form?

I think and claim that this is only the superficial aspect of the new approach he has found. I claim that after his automobile accident in 1924 Mr. Gurdjieff finds the answer to the question he has been struggling with during his journey between Russia and France. I claim that after his accident Mr. Gurdjieff felt he was missing something in relation to the exposition of the teaching he had given in Russia, as faithfully recorded by Ouspensky.

But what is this something that he finds missing in the teaching he presents in Russia? In order to address this question we have to go back to the statement Mr. Gurdjieff makes to Tchekhovitch in Constantinople and that he records in his book Gurdjieff A Master in Life. I will repeat it here:

“‘There also exists a ‘fourth way’, based on the sacred impulse emanating from conscience, of which a germ is deposited in each human being. This leads to another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion.”

I already said that what struck me the most, when I read that statement, was the phrase “This leads to another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion.” I claim that what Mr. Gurdjieff finds after his automobile accident in the summer of 1924 is “another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion.”

While slowly and painfully recovering from his accident, Mr. Gurdjieff is also slowly and painfully discovering another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion. This is the resolution to the inner struggle Mr. Gurdjieff carries with him during his journey from Russia to France, a resolution that he allegorically indicates in the short chapter of Beelzebub’s Tales with the title “A Change in the Appointed Course of the Falling of the Transship Karnak.” The slow and painful discovery process leads to the revelation of Beelzebub’s Tales. According to Orage the entire content of Beelzebub is revealed to Mr. Gurdjieff in a moment of ecstasies. Of course, it would take years to put the revelation into writing but the whole idea is there from the very beginning. And, as I will try to show now, the teaching in the book does represent a new approach to religion. One may say that the revelation is the result of the inner struggle Mr. Gurdjieff carried with him during his journey from Russia to France.

It has been reported that when asked about his strongest whim in life, Mr. Gurdjieff had replied that his whim in life was to bring a new conception of God. Yet there is very little about a new conception of God in the teaching delivered by Mr. Gurdjieff in Russia and faithfully recorded by Ouspensky in his book In Search of the Miraculous. As a matter of fact, the word God and a new conception of God are very rarely presented in Ouspensky’s book. Everything moves around the word and a conception of the Absolute. The fact is that the teaching given in Russia does not in any way represent “another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion.” Here is a man who confesses to us that his second tutor is the Dean of a Russian Orthodox Cathedral and that his first confessor later becomes the abbot of the chief monastery of the Essene Brotherhood, and yet when this man presents his teaching for the first time in Russia, he rarely speaks of religion. Something is missing here. Maybe it was necessary to do it that way, given the audience and circumstances presented at the moment the teaching is given. But something is definitely missing. And this missing something is part of the inner struggle Mr. Gurdjieff carries with him during his journey from Russia to France.

All this becomes more to the point when we compare the languages in both books, In Search of the Miraculous and Beelzebub’s Tales. The language in Ouspensky’s book is highly scientific or techno-scientific. God is the Absolute and many of the most significant aspects of the teaching are presented in the form of tables and diagrams, the motion of the laws, the table of hydrogens, the enneagram and the Ray of Creation, the table of food, the table of time in different cosmoses and so on. That is probably the reason why the book had so much appeal to humanity today, because the language of today is the language of science. And that is probably why the great majority of people who came to the teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff did it through Ouspensky’s book.

That was my case and I am sure it has been the case for many here in this room. By the time I first read the book I already had a Ph.D. in electrical engineering which is the closest to have a Ph.D. in physics. My knowledge of engineering and physics resonated very well with the material contained in the book.

On the other hand, the language in Beelzebub’s Tales is more religious than that in Ouspensky’s book. This does not mean that there is no science in The Tales. We find lots of science in the book; particularly in the first half of the book, during the narrative about the first four descents of Beelzebub to Earth. In fact, in the chapter “The Arch-Absurd” we find this formulation of Objective Science:

“‘… everything without exception in the Universe is material.’

But the language used in The Tales to describe Objective Science or ancient science as we can also call it, is different from the language used to describe what we now can refer to as subjective science or contemporary science. This is due to the fact that both sciences are different in nature. In Beelzebub’s Tales Objective Science is presented in terms of the works of the members of the Society of Akhaldan, as fully described during the fourth descent of Beelzebub to Earth. One of the meanings of this word Akhaldan is to go against the Moon. Another of its meanings is expressed as:

“The striving to become aware of the sense and aim of the Being of beings.”

The Aim of objective science is then the study of the sense and aim of existence. For this purpose, the members of the Society divide themselves into seven groups. All this is extensively described in the chapter on the fourth descent of Beelzebub to Earth. We find physicists, mathematicians, chemists, astrologers, psychologists and other kinds of scientists among the members of the Society Akhaldan. But the aim of their research is different from that of contemporary scientists because, as already said, the aim of objective or ancient science is different from that of subjective or contemporary science. As already stated, the aim of objective science is the study of the sense or aim of existence; while the aim of subjective or contemporary science is to anatomize the corpse of the Universe without any sequence and order, all and everything at random, as Orage well pointed out in his commentaries on Beelzebub’s Tales. Contemporary science is not nor can it be interested in the study of the sense and aim of existence because for contemporary science there is and there can be no sense and no aim in the Universe.

It is during the fifth descent of Beelzebub to Earth, the descent to Babylon and the Babylonian civilization, that the language in The Tales becomes highly religious. That it happens during the fifth descent is not a coincidence. Each descent of Beelzebub to Earth can be taken as a Stopinder in the book’s fundamental law of seven; with the seventh descent being our own descent in order to fulfil the teaching in the book. And it is precisely from the fifth Stopinder that the motion of the law of seven finds its vivifying power. This fact is clearly indicated in the following statement taken from The Tales:

“It is necessary at this point in connection with the actualization of the fifth Stopinder of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh to trace a parallel between two processes which externally have nothing in common with one another, namely: in the same manner as the first being-food cannot acquire its vivifying power until after its transformation into being-piandjiëhari, in the same manner on this piano the vibrations of a chord do not acquire a corresponding vivifying power until they have been fused with the preceding vibrations  note ‘sol.’”

Now Mr. Gurdjieff is at the note “sol” of the fundamental law of seven of his own book and he is ready to present what he calls “a new approach to religion.” He has found from his great knowledge and understanding of the first cosmic law the vivifying power of what he calls “a new approach to religion.”

But before he does that, Mr. Gurdjieff needs to do something. He needs to give us a very important warning. He opens the fifth descent of Beelzebub to Earth with the situation found in Babylon, then the most important center of culture on Earth during that fifth descent. What Beelzebub finds in Babylon during his descent to that center of culture is the “building-of-the-tower-of-Babel” or the time period known as the “confusion of the tongs.”

Hundreds of “learned beings of new formation” have gathered in that city to engage in a discussion of the “burning question of the day.” This question is the question of the beyond or, put more simply, whether or not there is a soul in man. Many teachings arise out of these discussions but in his tales to Hassein, Beelzebub puts emphasis on one of them. This is one of the atheistic teachings of that period. It basically says that there is no God in the world, and moreover no soul in man, “and hence that all those talks and discussions about the soul are nothing more than the deliriums of sick visionaries.” The atheistic teaching had many followers and one may say that contemporary science as we know it is the hair of this teaching. Many of the most intelligent scientists of our time repeat the same statements of those “learned beings of new formation” gathered in Babylon thousands of years ago, although now these scientists use a different language. Stephen Hawking, considered to be one of the most brilliant scientists of our time, said that we do not need God because science has revealed that the universe is self-created. And Sir Frances Crick, one of the two discoverers of the DNA, who spent the last years of his life studying the mechanism of consciousness, said and I quote his exact words:

“ … the most profound implication of an operational understanding of consciousness is that it will lead to the death of the soul.”

Before presenting his new approach to religion Mr. Gurdjieff wants to make sure that we are fully aware that the atheistic teaching arising during the building of the tower of Babel in Babylon is well alive among us. Maybe it was to these atheists that Jesus spoke when He said:

“I thank you Father, lord of heaven and earth, for having hidden these secrets from the wise and learned, and revealing them to children.”

Now, after having given vivifying power to his own teaching through the fifth Stopinder of the law of seven and having warned us about the living presence among us of the Babylonian atheistic teaching, Mr. Gurdjieff is ready to present a fourth way based on the sacred impulse emanating from conscience; another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion, as he mentioned to Tchekhovitch during their exchange in Constantinople on the way from Russia to France. This fourth way, this other specific form of teaching leading to a new approach to religion, is the teaching of Ashiata Shiemash on the Divine Impulse Conscience. As already stated, this is done during the fifth descent of Beelzebub to Earth, during the fifth Stopinder of the law of seven of the book; this fifth Stopinder being the most critical one in the operational characteristic of the law.

Not that Ashiata Shiemash is born during the time Beelzebub descends to Earth for the fifth time. In fact, and I have written about this in my blog, I claim that Ashiata is not in reality a Prophet from the past, but from the future. I showed this based on the fact that Beelzebub’s Tales, according to the previsions of the members of the “Club-of-Adherents-of-Legominism” must contain a number of lawful and intentional inexactitudes. Here is how I did it. The key to my discovery is this paragraph from Beelzebub in relation to some reflections by Ashiata:

“‘All the sacred Individuals here before me, especially and intentionally actualized from Above, have always endeavored while striving for the same aim to accomplish the task laid upon them through one or other of those three sacred ways for self-perfecting, foreordained by our ENDLESS CREATOR Himself, namely, through the sacred ways based on the being-impulses called “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Love.”

This statement contains a contradiction and it is by the way of contradiction (a very powerful mathematical tool in theorem proving) that the chronological inexactitude is proved. Here is the contradiction: The ways of “Faith,” “Hope” and “Love” are specifically and unambiguously identified in the chapter Religion of the book as the way of the full-of-faith Saint Lama, the way of the full-of-hope Mohammed, and the way of the full-of-Love Divine Jesus Christ. Furthermore, no Sacred Individual in the book before Ashiata Shiemash is identified with any of these three ways. It is obvious that the statement above presents a contradiction and that Ashiata Shiemash could not have existed before Divine Jesus, Saint Mohammed, and Saint Lama. Ergo: Ashiata Shiemash is a prophet from the present and from the future and not from the past.

The proof is further corroborated by the fact that Ashiata Shiemash introduces the way of Conscience after having determined that the ways of “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Love” had deteriorated as valid ways of self-perfecting. How could Ashiata Shiemash have made this determination if the three ways had not yet been introduced when He made the determination, at least not in the context of Beelzebub’s Tales.

This is another fragrant contradiction. The only plausible answer is that Ashiata Shiemash is from the present and from the future. I think this fact is a very important one because it points to another very important fact; that with Ashiata Shiemash Mr. Gurdjieff is presenting a new approach to religion, one he is sending to future generations throughout the teaching of a Prophet from the future.

There is absolutely no doubt, in my mind and my feelings, that the teaching of Ashiata Shiemash indeed represents a new approach to religion. It is the one aspect of the teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff that most has influenced me. And it is for me the most important teaching presented in Beelzebub’s Tales. Ashiata Shiemash is the central personage in The Tales. Four entire chapters are dedicated to Him. Allegorically He is now already one of the Highest Most Very Saintly common-cosmic Sacred Individuals. He attains the Reason of the sacred ‘Podkoolad’ and is one of the first assistants of our ENDLESSNESS in the government of the World. It is through His intervention before his ENDLESSNESS that Beelzebub attains His second and final pardon. He is the Essence-Loving Ashiata Shiemash, a Great Prophet from the Future. I claim that He is the javelin through which Mr. Gurdjieff is hurling his teaching into future generations.

Ashiata Shiemash introduces God. His teaching is religious in nature when compared with the teaching of the Society Akhaldan which is scientific in nature. Ashiata claims that different religions do not exist, that there is only one God. He introduces His teaching through the awakening of the Divine Impulse of Objective Conscience. He is very explicit and emphatic about this. He says that

“ … ‘Only-he-will-be-called-and-will-become-the-Son-of-God-who- acquires-in-himself-Conscience’.

He forms an organization for man’s existence which I see as the new approach to religion brought to us by Mr. Gurdjieff. It goes beyond the organization of the Society Akhaldan. It is an initiate organization for our time. It is an initiate organization for life. It is work for life in life. Anyone anywhere on Earth can do this work. All one really has to do is to understand what Conscience is and how Conscience is awakened. For this end, Ashiata explains to His disciples that

“‘The factors for the being-impulse conscience arise in the presences of the three-brained beings from the localization of the particles of the “emanations of-the-sorrow” of our OMNI-LOVING-AND-LONG-SUFFERING-ENDLESS-CREATOR; that is why the source of the manifestation of genuine conscience in three-centered beings is sometimes called the “REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CREATOR.”

There is absolutely nothing scientific in this formulation. What are the particles of the “emanations-of-the-sorrow” of our OMNI-LOVING-AND-LONG-SUFFERING-ENDLESS-CREATOR? It is a mystery. It obviously is a religious formulation. But there is more in this context. He also tells them that

“‘In all three-brained beings of the whole of our Universe without exception, among whom are also we men, owing to the data crystallized in our common presences for engendering in us the Divine impulse of conscience, “the-whole-of-us” and the whole of our essence, are, and must be, already in our foundation, only suffering.

This language is even less scientific. We do not find this kind of language in Ouspensky’s book. It is the language of religion.

In the same way that the teaching in the Old Testament is basically summarized in the Ten Commandments and the teaching of the New Testament is basically summarized in the two greatest commandments given by Jesus Christ, the teaching of Ashiata Shiemash is basically summarized in the five “being-obligolnian-strivings” or five strivings of objective morality. These are strivings and not commandments. In the Way of Conscience, we need no commandments; we need strivings. In The Tales Mr. Gurdjieff raised Conscience to a level higher than the Conscience derived from the Ten Commandments. These strivings are given for humanity and together with the two aspects of being-Partkdolg duty they represent all man needs for the fulfillment of life on Earth. As Orage said,

“… on these two basic principles—Being-Partkdolg-duty and the Strivings—hang all the law and prophesying of the Gurdjieff teaching. They form a basic octave, and nothing can be added to or taken away from them.”

Much has been said about the five strivings and they have been listed again and again in many references. We do not have to get into all that here. Let us say that the first and second strivings are of a personal character. They have to do with the process of development of my body and my being. A connection or a bridge to the Cosmos is now in order. Otherwise our development is only for the service of the Trogoautoegocrat process of local character. The third striving is the required bridge. It is the striving bridging the personal with the cosmic. The fourth and fifth strivings call for participation at the cosmic level. We are here on Earth not only to serve our individual egoism but more importantly to serve the Cosmos through our inevitable participation in the process of reciprocal feeding as well as the process of Creation initiated by the CREATOR of all that exist in the entire Megalocosmos. Our function at the level of the fourth striving is to live our life from the very beginning consciously and intentional in order to alleviate the Sorrow of our COMMON FATHER. Once this is fulfilled, we can engage in helping other beings to attain self-individuality. The fifth strivings is a call to serve others creatures of our COMMON FATHER and it reflects what Mr. Gurdjieff calls the true aim and sense of existence on Earth:

“The highest aim and sense of human life is the striving to attain the welfare of one’s neighbor, and that this is possible exclusively only by the conscious renunciation of one’s own.”

Once again, in the strivings we find a strong religious language that has no resemblance with the scientific language of contemporary science. What we find in the strivings, particularly in the fourth and fifth strivings is a language of the higher emotional center. We know that we first have to pass through the higher emotional center before reaching the higher intellectual center. Otherwise, our development is lopsided. The Hasnamuss, we have been told, is one who reaches the higher intellectual center without having passed through the higher emotional center. This is not the language of the mind but the language of the heart.

I think I have now shown that with the teaching of Ashiata Shiemash, Mr. Gurdjieff has fulfilled the pronouncement he made to Tchekhovitch in Constantinople, during the journey from Russia to France, and that once again I repeat here:

“There also exists a ‘fourth way’, based on the sacred impulse emanating from conscience, of which a germ is deposited in each human being. This leads to another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion.”

And now I go a little further. I claim that this new approach to religion Mr. Gurdjieff brought to humanity with the teaching of Ashiata Shiemash has a very strong Christian flavor. No wonder, in the first draft of Beelzebub’s Tales (the manuscript edition of 1931), Ashiata Shiemash is the Divine Teacher Jesus Christ. In later versions of the book (like the 1950 English edition that Mr. Gurdjieff personally supervised and authorized), and because of obvious reason, Mr. Gurdjieff replaced the Divine Teacher Jesus Christ by Ashiata Shiemash.

So, to conclude, not only Beelzebub’s tales presents a new approach to religion but this new approach has a very strong Christian flavor, all in accordance with the fact that Mr. Gurdjieff grew up under the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church and was buried following the rites and ceremonies of this Eastern Church.

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