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MOMENTS OF CLARITY

Let Us Not Conclude Let Us Not Conclude Some Reflections on the Specificity of This Teaching by Henri Tracol

Let Us Not Conclude

Some Reflections on the Specificity of This Teaching

by Henri Tracol


If specificity means what is “unique” in Gurdjieff’s teaching, let us quickly set aside a possible preliminary misunderstanding: “specificity” is not inevitably, as one might fear, a doctrinaire claim to exclusivity. Because what is unique in any path of spiritual search is its own particular way of approaching and perceiving reality. And this teaching offers us a feeling of just that: something which goes beyond suggested forms of experience and investigation.

Mightn’t we say that one of the clearest vocations of this teaching is that it tends to give birth in us to this faculty of orienting ourselves? And wouldn’t this faculty be a fundamental necessity for such a teaching, as its natural position with respect to the major traditional structures, and yet, at the same time, reducible to none of them?

From the vantage point of such an orientation, I know I am nearer to what is “specific” to this teaching inasmuch as I feel invited to place myself inwardly in relation to whatever presents itself from the outside.

If sufficiently nurtured, this spiritual flair might allow us, over time, to recognize the degree of authenticity of any form of experience which offers itself to our search.

Let us suppose that this form seems to be the bearer of a truth of the same nature as the one which Gurdjieff’s direct influence enabled us to actually live. Such a relation could hardly fail to capture the best of our attention and interest, spurring us on to further study. This similarity, however, would in no way authorize us to conclude there is an identity or a common heredity. Even less would it condone our playing the sorcerer’s apprentice in order to establish, on an artificial basis, an assimilation or some sort of synthesis.

And in the opposite case, if this particular form seemed aberrant, illusory, or dangerous, this would in itself be a precious aid to become more aware of what is essential to preserve, as well as the risks we constantly run of making grievous errors and falsifications in our interpretations.

Forewarned of the danger—and faced with the endless number of guises through which what is “unique” in this teaching might appear to us—we will feel the need to rediscover, there again, the guarantee of a right orientation—and we will naturally look to find it at its very origins.

Gurdjieff’s teaching belongs to what he calls the fourth way. As an embodiment of a fourth way school, it does not have a form defined once and for all—which means: neither dogma nor ritual, strictly speaking.

It ceaselessly disappears, and ceaselessly must be discovered and rediscovered.

It imposes no preliminary renunciation but requires, within the frame of ordinary life, a set of appropriate conditions in view of a genuine work upon oneself.

It opens upon the perspective of a profound transformation of being through awakening and self-knowledge.

It presupposes in oneself a sincere quest for truth, the realization of one’s own “nothingness,” the recourse to effort—and to super-effort—toward the development of his power of consciousness.

It also allows the individual to discover and realize certain hidden possibilities, by means of simultaneous and coordinated engaging of one’s intellectual, emotional, and physical capacities toward a voluntary concentration upon the struggle which takes place within the self between one’s positive and negative tendencies.

This perpetual struggle is carried on within every seeker according to the principle of relativity which regulates the relations among the different energy levels in human nature, as in the universe.

~ • ~

But among these lines of force inherent in the fourth way, what is an altogether essential component of this type of teaching, is that above all, “the principal demand is the demand for understanding;” that the individual “must do nothing that he does not understand;” that he must “satisfy himself of the truth of what he is told.”

However, this primary requirement is the source of many misunderstandings: we must unfailingly return to the meaning that Gurdjieff gives to this imperative necessity for a living comprehension, in which our being totally engages itself. We are far from the false requirements of the ordinary individual who arrogates to himself the right to reduce any truth to a mental construct governing the movement of his associative thinking.

Moreover, the emphasis is placed upon the person, on the individual search for knowledge, upon the work that one must do to know oneself in order to transform and fulfill oneself.

The doctors in tradition have been quick to brand this primacy accorded to individual experience—“each person must initiate himself”—as a tendency toward “humanism,” which spawns the most nefarious deviations.

Indeed, regularly forgetting its cosmic and metaphysical perspective risks depriving this search of any possible breadth and reducing the Work, for some people, to a kind of flimsy psychological inquiry, while it encourages in others their latent predilections to a “pseudo-mysticism” devoid of any real content.

Gurdjieff thus reserves an important place for profound meditation, for silence, as a return to the source of all knowledge.… We are there before a trulyspiritual practice, wherein the indispensable theoretical vision is not arbitrarily separated from a vivifying contact with ongoing experience, just as it is lived and felt.

The errors too often voiced with regard to the meaning given both to “individual search” and to “practice” serve to show the urgency of an imperative task: to try to digest what is essential in the ideas so as not to distort them, and to understand as quickly as possible the master’s aim, the principle of balance without which the Work could not exist.

Efforts to understand and to test the ideas: this is what gives this teaching its dynamic character: the growth of being indeed demands both a direct knowledge and a gradual mastery of the movements of our energy as it manifests itself on different levels.

Ultimately, however, what is unique and irreplaceable in Gurdjieff’s teaching is Gurdjieff himself.

Certainly, nothing could be more obvious to someone who lived this experience at his side, and who naturally feels called upon to bear witness.

A few years later, Gurdjieff—as a man—left us forever.

And yet … How not feel his intimate presence within us as a permanent source of self-remembering?

What at is it, then, that allows a master’s influence to perpetuate itself once he has disappeared?

It is not so much an orthodoxy as a mode of perception inherited from him and which should appear through all things, in the heart of the most intimate experiences as well as on the level of everyday life.

We are quickly overwhelmed on every side, however … and it is the unknown which wins out.… In the long run, this calls upon us to perceive such a gift as an enigma—and as a challenge.

This is what is ceaselessly suggested, in countless ways, in Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, from the “Friendly Advice” to the reader—

OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS MARCH 14,2016

DAILIES

“Every spiritual step must be accompanied by the willingness

and the appearance of feeling foolish. There is no escape from

the prison of your old acquired self without a deliberate, 

consistent willingness to appear foolish before yourself and others.

The willingness to appear foolish causes great, beautiful destruction.
The only question that is left is this: “How fast can I go? 
How ingenious can I be in inventing ways to be foolish before you and myself?”
 You know that the reason we want to appear wise before others
 is because we want a picture of ourselves presented to them. 
Now we are going to do the exact opposite of everything we used to do.
A Treasury of Trueness, # 200

========================
Vernon Howard’s SECRETS OF LIFE   


“There is an _original creation, an original world, an invisible
world_, which actually exists at this moment, which we are here
discussing. It exists right now, but not to the world.
This invisible world that I’m talking about is one in which there
is no strife, no competition, no worry, no strain, but a world of
peace and understanding — something that is unlike the world you
now inhabit.
Now this world is timeless. It has always existed. It is the orig

inal world. 
A happy, free, spiritual — truly spiritual — world.
But somewhere along the way, something happened. Something bad
happened to human beings. And this original world was lost to
them because they insisted on building their own world as suited
their own false values, as suited their own wrong ideas about
themselves, their vanity ideas.
And so having departed from the original true world, men and women
began to build their own kind of a world, and their horror story
began, and it has continued to this day. Now in this world, which
you know a lot about, there is nothing but chaos and self-deception.
Everyone pretending they know and no one does know.”
The Original World
Powerful Guides for Spiritual Freedom, p. 4

=============================

 Twenty-four Hours a Day Day March 14, 2016

Thought for the Day

Can I get well? If I mean, “Can I ever drink normally again,” the answer is no. 
But if I mean, “Can I stay sober?” the answer is definitely yes. 
I can get well by turning my drink problem over to a Power greater than myself, 
that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God, 
and by asking that Power each morning to give me the 
strength to stay sober for the next 24 hours.
 I know from the experience of thousands of people
 that if I honestly want to get well, I can get well.
Am I faithfully following the AA program?
Meditation for the Day

Persevere in all that God’s guidance moves you to do. 
The persistent carrying out of what seems right and
 good will bring you to that place where you would be. 
If you look back over God’s guidance, you will see that
 His leading has been very gradual and that only as you have carried out His wishes, 
as far as you can understand them, 
has God been able to give you more clear and definite leading. 
You are led by God’s touch on a quickened, responsive mind.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may persevere in doing what seems right. 
I pray that I may carry out all of God’s leading, as far as I can understand it.
==================================

The highest mental practice is to listen 
to this Inner Voice and declare Its Presence. 
The Science of Mind page 334 

As the doubter tries the process of prayer, he should begin to add up the results. If he persists, he will almost surely find more serenity, more tolerance, less fear, and less anger. He will acquire a quiet courage, the kind that isn’t tension-ridden. He can look at “failure” and “success” for what these really are. Problems and calamity will begin to mean his instruction, instead of his destruction. He will feel freer and saner.
The idea that he may have been hypnotizing himself by auto-suggestion will become laughable. His sense of purpose and of direction will increase. His anxieties will commence to fade. His physical health will be likely to improve. Wonderful and unaccountable things will start to happen. Twisted relations in his family and on the outside will improve surprisingly.
GRAPEVINE, JUNE 1958 
This season with the friend so near, 
the body dims. 
Heart-light grows more intense. 
Storm clouds finally weep, 
because the Lightning has started to laugh.
 With happy tears everywhere coming down,
 the fields get uncontrollably tickled. 
Rumi (from “Birdsong” translated by Coleman Barks)


 
ACIM Workbook Lesson 73 Insights
“I will there be light.”
In this lesson, Jesus is helping me to build the habit to see the Christ in everyone I meet or even think of. Jesus is helping me focus on the truth in everyone and not the idle wishes and grievances that come from the ego split mind. Seeing the idle wishes and grievances have cost me the awareness of What I am. Remembering that my real will is one with God’s Will brings me back into alignment with my true happiness, my true unlimited freedom.
 
Saying to myself all through the day, “I will there be light,” reminds me of my true will. This helps me behold the Light that reflects God’s Will and mine. I need this practice to free up my mind from the idle wishes and grievances of the ego thought system.
====================
The scenery of mountains painted on the ever-changing canvas of the sky,
the mysterious mechanism of the human body, the rose, the green grass carpet,
the magnanimity of souls, the loftiness of minds,
the depth of love-all these things remind us of a God who is beautiful and Noble.
Paramahansa Yogananda 

 
This season with the friend so near, 
the body dims. 
Heart-light grows more intense. 
Storm clouds finally weep, 
because the Lightning has started to laugh.
 With happy tears everywhere coming down,
 the fields get uncontrollably tickled. 
Rumi (from “Birdsong” translated by Coleman Barks)

OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS MARCH 13,2016

OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS MARCH 13,2016
 
DAILIES
Eye Opener (1950)
The relationship of hours to a lifetime is comparable
 to the relationship of bricks to a house. 
Every brick that is laid must be a separate and distinct operation, 
yet so tied to the preceding and the following brick
 that their positions are level and plumb. 
Each one is an entirety in itself, 
but all the bricks are either supporting or are supported by each other.
 
Our hours, lived one by one, are in no sense different. 
The beauty, strength and durability of our lives will 
be determined by the individual hours viewed collectively.
========================

Vernon Howard’s SECRETS OF LIFE   


“Try to see the difference between you and your spiritual under-


standing. Repeat, try to see the difference between you and your
spiritual understanding. You have no spiritual understanding.
It is always a gift to you from the higher place. That gift
becomes your insight, your treasure of spiritual qualities.
Now think with me on this, it is very important to understand it.
The ‘you’ — does that make it clearer? — the ‘you,’ the self, the old
nature cannot have any spiritual understanding because it has no
existence in itself.”
from a talk given 10/28/1987

=============================

Twenty Four Hours a Day March 13
Thought for the Day

We’ve got rid of our false, drinking selves and found our real, sober selves. And we turn to God, our Father, for help, just as the Prodigal Son arose and went to his father. At the end of the story, the father of the Prodigal Son says: “He was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.” We alcoholics who have found sobriety in A.A. were certainly dead and are alive again. We were lost and are found. Am I alive again?
Meditation for the Day
Gently breathe in God’s spirit, that spirit which, if not barred out by selfishness, will enable you to do good works. This means rather that God will be enabled to do good works through you. You can become a channel for God’s spirit to flow through you and into the lives of others. The works that you can do will only be limited by your spiritual development. Let your spirit be in harmony with God’s spirit and there is no limit to what you can do in the realm of human relationships.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may become a channel for God’s spirit. I pray that God’s spirit may flow through me into the lives of others.
================================

The potential of all things exist in the Universal Wholeness.
The Science of Mind page 271
 
When an individual surrenders, the ability to accept reality functions on
the unconscious level, and there is no residual of battle; relaxation with
freedom from strain and conflict ensues. In fact, it is perfectly possible
to ascertain how much acceptance of reality is on the unconscious level
by the degree of relaxation that develops. The greater the relaxation, the
greater the inner acceptance of reality.
— Harry M. Tiebout, M.D.
Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity? 
Why would you refuse to give this joy to anyone?
 Fish don’t hold the sacred liquid in cups.
 They swim the huge fluid freedom.
Rumi (from “Birdsong” translated by Coleman Barks)
 
ACIM Workbook Lesson 72 Insights
“Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.”
This lesson is one of the clearest places in the Course where it demonstrates that the Course’s thought system is diametrically opposed to the thinking of this world. The thinking of the world reflects the projected belief that God made the body. Yet in this lesson it says that not only did He not make the body, but He could not, because He cannot create unlike Himself.
 
The statement that as long as the body is the center of our concept of ourselves, we are attacking God’s plan for salvation has been a real eye opener to me. I am seeing that thinking I am a body is an attempt to defy God and be what God did not create me to be.
 
TO CONTINUE:
====================
When the mud of our restless thoughts begins to settle,
the power of God begins to reflect in the clear waters of your consciousness.
Paramahansa Yogananda 

Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity? 
Why would you refuse to give this joy to anyone?
 Fish don’t hold the sacred liquid in cups.
 They swim the huge fluid freedom.
Rumi (from “Birdsong” translated by Coleman Barks)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Try to see the difference between you and your spiritual under-


standing. Repeat, try to see the difference between you and your
spiritual understanding. You have no spiritual understanding.
It is always a gift to you from the higher place. That gift
becomes your insight, your treasure of spiritual qualities.
Now think with me on this, it is very important to understand it.
The ‘you’ — does that make it clearer? — the ‘you,’ the self, the old
nature cannot have any spiritual understanding because it has no
existence in itself.”
from a talk given 10/28/1987

=============================

Twenty Four Hours a Day March 13
Thought for the Day

We’ve got rid of our false, drinking selves and found our real, sober selves. And we turn to God, our Father, for help, just as the Prodigal Son arose and went to his father. At the end of the story, the father of the Prodigal Son says: “He was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.” We alcoholics who have found sobriety in A.A. were certainly dead and are alive again. We were lost and are found. Am I alive again?
Meditation for the Day
Gently breathe in God’s spirit, that spirit which, if not barred out by selfishness, will enable you to do good works. This means rather that God will be enabled to do good works through you. You can become a channel for God’s spirit to flow through you and into the lives of others. The works that you can do will only be limited by your spiritual development. Let your spirit be in harmony with God’s spirit and there is no limit to what you can do in the realm of human relationships.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may become a channel for God’s spirit. I pray that God’s spirit may flow through me into the lives of others.
================================

The potential of all things exist in the Universal Wholeness.
The Science of Mind page 271
 
When an individual surrenders, the ability to accept reality functions on
the unconscious level, and there is no residual of battle; relaxation with
freedom from strain and conflict ensues. In fact, it is perfectly possible
to ascertain how much acceptance of reality is on the unconscious level
by the degree of relaxation that develops. The greater the relaxation, the
greater the inner acceptance of reality.
— Harry M. Tiebout, M.D.
Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity? 
Why would you refuse to give this joy to anyone?
 Fish don’t hold the sacred liquid in cups.
 They swim the huge fluid freedom.
Rumi (from “Birdsong” translated by Coleman Barks)
 
ACIM Workbook Lesson 72 Insights
“Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.”
This lesson is one of the clearest places in the Course where it demonstrates that the Course’s thought system is diametrically opposed to the thinking of this world. The thinking of the world reflects the projected belief that God made the body. Yet in this lesson it says that not only did He not make the body, but He could not, because He cannot create unlike Himself.
 
The statement that as long as the body is the center of our concept of ourselves, we are attacking God’s plan for salvation has been a real eye opener to me. I am seeing that thinking I am a body is an attempt to defy God and be what God did not create me to be.
====================
When the mud of our restless thoughts begins to settle,
the power of God begins to reflect in the clear waters of your consciousness.
Paramahansa Yogananda 

Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity? 
Why would you refuse to give this joy to anyone?
 Fish don’t hold the sacred liquid in cups.
 They swim the huge fluid freedom.
Rumi (from “Birdsong” translated by Coleman Barks)

OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS APRIL 12,2016

OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS APRIL 12,2016

 

DAILIES

Eye Opener (1950)
Life is too short even if we live the whole of it to its fullest, 

but we alcoholics have wasted so many years of our lives

that we must now double our efforts if we hope to do any living at all. 

Truly, for us, it is later than we think.

There is one consolation, however, and that is that it is possible 

to use a single moment to produce an eternity of benefits for humanity.

 Much time has been frittered away, but there is still ample time to do good.

Life is not measured by its length but by its width and its depth.

========================
Vernon Howard’s SECRETS OF LIFE   

“Be logical not theological.”
A Treasury of Trueness, # 1711
=============================
Twenty-Four Hours A Day  March 12, 2016

Thought For The Day

The Prodigal Son “took his journey into a far country and wasted his substance on riotous living.” That’s what we alcoholics do. We waste our substance with riotous living. “When he came to himself, he said: I will arise and go to my father.” That’s what an alcoholic does in A.A. He comes to himself. His alcoholic self is not his real self. His sane, sober, respectable self is his real self. That’s why we’re so happy in A.A. Have I come to myself?

Meditation For The Day

Simplicity is the keynote of a good life. Choose the simple things always. Life can become complicated if you let it be so. You can be swamped by difficulties if you let them take up too much of your time. Every difficulty can be either solved or ignored and something better substituted for it. Love the humble things of life. Reverence the simple things. Your standard must never be the world’s standard of wealth and power.

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may love the simple things of life. I pray that I may keep my life uncomplicated and free.
===================================
It is necessary for the practitioner to withdraw
 his thought from things as they appear to be
 and to think independently of any and all existing conditions.
Ernest Holmes “How to use Science of Mind “page 50

The minute I stopped arguing, I could begin to see and feel. Right there, Step Two 
gently and very gradually began to infiltrate my life. I can’t say upon what occasion 
or upon what day I came to believe in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly 
have that belief now. To acquire it, I had to stop fighting and practice the rest of 
A.A.’s program as enthusiastically as I could.
— Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 27 
Two men in a burning house must not stop to argue.
— African proverb
This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun, and animals, despise riches, 
give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your 
income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have 
patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known 
or unknown, or to any man or number of men; go freely with the powerful 
uneducated persons, and with the young, and mothers, of families: read these 
leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life: re-examine all you 
have been told at school or church, or in any books, and dismiss whatever insults 
your soul.

— Walt Whitman

 Poem, song, and story,
 the stream sweeps by, 
moving along what was never mine anyway.
 What I’ve done through an act of will,
 well-meaning, or mean, 
these are brought in briefly by
 moonlight and carried obscurely off. 

Rumi (from “Birdsong” translated by Coleman Barks)

 

ACIM Workbook Lesson 71 Insights
“Only God’s plan for salvation will work.”

As I accept that only God’s plan for salvation will work, I experience great relief. It means that I can let go of all my planning, conniving, manipulating and efforting in trying to make the circumstance in which I feel safe and happy. What helps me accept God’s plan is to remember that His Will for me is perfect happiness. Not temporary, not partial, but perfect, whole, complete, eternal happiness.

The ego world is the result of believing that it is possible to have something better than perfect happiness. Put that way it seems absurd, but in rejecting God’s total Love, given equally to all, this is exactly what the ego thought system represents — I want to do it my way. Sooner or later we will all reach the point where we recognize “doing it my way” has not brought the happiness we want. This also helps bring about the relinquishment of our plan so that we come with an open mind to receive God’s plan. Today I am willing to take another step in letting go of my plans and receiving the perfect happiness offered by God’s plan for salvation.

====================
Your real nature is calmness…. 
It is time you remember who you. are: 
the Blessed soul, a reflection of Spirit. 
Paramahansa Yogananda 

 Poem, song, and story,
 the stream sweeps by, 
moving along what was never mine anyway.
 What I’ve done through an act of will,
 well-meaning, or mean, 
these are brought in briefly by
 moonlight and carried obscurely off. 
Rumi (from “Birdsong” translated by Coleman Barks)