Tending the Seed of Man: The ‘Spiritualization’ of Man from a Fourth Way Perspective

In the ideas The Fourth Way, Man is seen as only ‘half-baked’. This refers to the process of development and transformation that is the potential of each Human. Each person is born in an ‘embryonic’ state regarding this possible transformation, each person has this ‘seed’ of potential regarding the possible further transformation that is the destiny of Man.

In this sense, each man is ‘pregnant with himself’, each man bears within himself a seed of higher development. The ‘gestation’ of this embryonic potential is not automatically guaranteed in man, and hence it is said that a man must actively participate in this process of the development and birth of this higher potential.

Various traditions speak of man as being born ‘blind’ to the higher worlds, and hence he must work to develop the ‘senses’ that correspond to these higher worlds. A man is given his physical senses and body for engaging with the physical world, but when it comes to the other worlds mentioned in various traditions, it is said that man lacks the senses and body that is required in order to ‘perceive’ and act in these worlds. Hence in various traditions it is said that man has, or can acquire and develop, multiple ‘bodies’ that correspond to the different realms or ‘worlds’ that compose reality. Man can appear unique among the forms of life in this regard, that he is not born ‘complete’ but rather ‘incomplete’.

In Nature, we have such forms of life as the Butterfly and Frog which go through various stages of ‘metamorphosis’, such that they are born with one form of body and go through a process of transformation in which a new form of body is developed. These forms of Life have long been associated with Man and his possible transformation and development. With Man, the process of transformation is even more radical than the shift from Caterpillar to Butterfly; which is centered in a change in the physical body and form.

Man’s transformation is more radical, even though it is less obvious; due to it not being a change that is centered in the physical form as available to the senses. The Caterpillar may be said to ‘enter a new world’ when it becomes a Butterfly, such that there is now access to the ‘world of flight’, but we can see that this ‘new world’ is still present within the same physical world of the Caterpillar. An extra degree of freedom is attained by the Butterfly, such that another aspect of the physical world becomes available, but this is still a development that is centered in the same world. With the development of Man, it is not only a new mode of action in the same world that is acquired. The transformation is more radical than this and it is access to a really new world that is acquired.

Here we may have to consider what our current notions are regarding the idea of ‘other worlds’. We may see here that most conceptions of change and transformation are centered in the physical world, concerning physical changes. If our experience is dominated by the physical nature and the senses, then this will influence our conceptions of transformation and ‘other worlds’.

A transformation of ‘what something is’ is then mostly conceived as a change in physical form, as the given physical form is equated with the ‘identity’ of the thing in question. In the general notion then, it is impossible for something to ‘change what it is’ without changing its physical form. For example, in regard to an object like a chair, we might say that in order for the chair to change what it is, or to ‘become something different’, would necessitate a change in its physical form. The chair could be chopped up into small pieces, such that at some point ‘chair’ ceased to be, and instead there was now ‘pile of sticks’.

Would we say here that ‘chair’ had ‘become’ ‘pile of sticks’ ? We might say so, or we might consider that it was not ‘chair’ that ‘became’ anything as ‘chair’ may be thought to be a temporary form produced by an arrangement of pieces of wood, in which case ‘chair’ may then be seen as simply a ‘mental construct’ rather than a ‘thing’ itself with its own ‘identity’ and potential to ‘become’.

What is being pointed to here is the conception of ‘identity’ and how this is related, or differentiated, from ‘form’. Is a change in ‘form’ a change in ‘identity’, and vice versa. With the transformation of man, it appears that he can change ‘what he is’ without an obvious change of external form. Man can acquire other bodies, akin to the sprouting of wings of the Butterfly, though these other bodies are not of the physical nature and hence not available to the general senses. Further than this, the transformation is at a deeper level than merely the acquisition of new capacities, it is a change in what a man Is.

Here again we have to consider what is the actual nature of ‘Is-ness’, such that we can then consider what is involved in a change of ‘what something Is’. In the Fourth Way there is the notion of a change/transformation in ‘Being’ and also in the direction of ‘I’. What is the nature of ‘I’ such that we can consider the nature of its possible transformation?

In the following pieces of writing, the question of Man’s ‘regeneration’ and the development of his latent potential is explored in regard to the notion of the ‘Kesdjan Body’ as presented by Gurdjieff in Beelzebub’s Tales. This also bears relation to his expressions on the ‘Astral Body’ as recorded by Ouspensky in ‘In Search of the Miraculous’. This ‘Kesdjan Body’ is expressed as the ‘second body’ in comparison to the physical or ‘Planetary body’, and it is considered the first major transformation that is possible for Man.

Along with the Kesdjan Body, there is also exploration of the notion of ‘Conscience’ and the ‘Subconscious’ as presented by Gurdjieff in various of his writings and recorded talks. ‘Conscience’ is a feature that is regarded as being ‘buried in man in his subconscious’, and in this sense it represents a latent potential and faculty of Man that can come to be awoken. The stimulation of the Conscience present in the subconsciousness, such that this conscience becomes an active influence upon our general ‘waking consciousness’, is regarded as a necessary step in Man’s possible development and ‘Spiritualization’ such that he may fulfil his evolutionary destiny in the Cosmos.

It must be remarked here that Gurdjieff regarded the ‘subconsciousness of Man as his real consciousness’, such that what man generally refers to and experiences as his ‘consciousness’ is in fact a ‘fictitious’ form of consciousness that has come to be mistaken for the real thing. It must also be said here that Gurdjieff’s notion of the ‘subconscious’ goes beyond the general psychological notions and definitions of this. The development of Man is pictured in terms of a change in relationship between his two forms of consciousness, such that the subconscious becomes the active director and seat of selfhood, and the fictitious consciousness comes into its appropriate place as a means of function to the subconsciousness. This transformation also concerns a radical change in the nature of the ‘ego’ and form of ‘self identity’. The arising of conscience is seen as the only thing that is capable of ridding Man of the ‘egotistical’ impulses which have taken root in his being and dominate his functioning. It is these impulses which produce the form of self-identity and self-conception that make man incapable of ‘loving his brother as himself’ and subject him to the action of lower desires and passions as related to hatred and violence and ‘sin’ etc. It is only through the action of Conscience that a man may become a ‘true Son of God’, a Man ‘made in the image of his Father in Heaven’ who is able to enter into the ‘Body of Christ’ in Holy Communion with all Life.


Counting Sheep and Goats-

There is the Biblical separation of the Sheep and Goats to the left and right hands of the Father. In one sense, this separation and discernment can refer to the work of attention, such that both ‘being’ and ‘non being’ are able to be held together simultaneously in one’s experience. One side of our being is of the ‘existential’ nature, the other side is of the ‘essential’ nature. Man straddles these two worlds and engages in both. In the work, there is the idea of the requirement to develop the higher nature so as to be able to engage with the ‘essential’ side of our being. There is the work to be able to bring the ‘essential’ into the ‘existential’, also referred to as the process of ‘Spiritualization’.

In the Bible, the Man of Spirit has to be developed, and re-born, so as to become aware of, and able to participate in, the world of Spirit. It is the establishment in the world of Spirit that gives the appropriate relation to ‘values’ and the ‘unseen world’, and this appropriate relation to the world of Spirit reflects in the attitude to the world of ‘existence’ and the ‘flesh’ etc. To be able to engage with both the world of Spirit and flesh, in an appropriate and balanced way, leads to the realization of freedom and the Kingdom of Heaven etc. It is an inner transformation that enables Man to stand in both worlds simultaneously, and in this transformation, Man performs a role of reconciliation between the two worlds and their contrary natures. The discernment of attention, in being able to recognise and pay due regard to the different worlds, enables an appropriate ‘hierarchy’ to be established between these different worlds and their varying natures.

There is the transformation of Being so as to become ‘born’ into the different worlds, and then the further transformation of understanding in the act that brings these different worlds into harmonious relation. In order to be able to give appropriate valuation to ‘being’, there must also be an appreciation of ‘non-being’ etc. In the work there is the idea of the need to be able to discern and bear the two contrary forces of affirmation and denial, to bring them into an appropriate relation that can give transformation or liberation as related to the third force etc. Man is called to participate in a work of ‘Judgement’, where this judgement refers to the act in/through which everything is given its ‘place’. This could be spoken of in terms of ‘law’, such that Man is to participate in the creation and ‘upholding’ of the law. The upholding of the law being a continuous work which ‘decides’ that things should be the way they are. In the work, the laws of reality are upheld by an act of will, and Man can come to participate in this act or action.

The act of separating the sheep and goats refers not just to a kind of recognition, but also to a kind of creation or decision. This act of separation has been related to suffering, and one aspect of this suffering is due to the fact that the separation requires Man’s own participation, his own ‘flesh and blood’. By participating in the act which decides the difference between the sheep and the goats, Man assents to submit himself to these two different natures, and to the results of his decision.




Hanbledzoin and The Spirit Vessel-

The ‘Spirit world’, as related to the ‘Kesdjanian world’, is present around us all the time, being active in our general functioning. The present condition of man, in regard to his consciousness, appears to be one in which the ‘Spirit world’ has been ‘interior-ized’. This has led to a ‘submergence’ of such a ‘spirit world’ into functioning. This submergence then reflects in the general subjective experience, where such a ‘spirit world’ appears to be absent from perception and experience.

The ‘Spirit world’ is then pushed ‘behind’ the operative ‘screen’ of the general consciousness, the attention of the consciousness becomes focused only upon one level and form of functioning. The ‘Spirit world’ is then pushed into the ‘subconscious’, in terms of it being outside of the general conscious experience and awareness, being ‘subliminal’ to it etc. This means that the form of attention, present in the given consciousness, has to change in order to be able to register the ‘Spirit world’. The shift in the form of attention reflects a change in the form of ‘perception’ and experience of the given consciousness.

The development of this new form of ‘perception’ and experience relates to the development of the given ‘organs’ of perception and reason. This can also be expressed as the development of new forms of perception and reason, new ‘organs’ of perception and reason. This process of development can also be expressed in terms of a kind of ‘synesthesia’, which is to say that the current systems of perception and reason, which exist and operate in a ‘separatised’ form, come to be united in a new form of operation, giving a new form of perception and experience. This is partly why there can be problems when attempting to communicate and describe the resulting form of perception and experience that is connected to the ‘Spirit world’.

The higher form of synthesis and unity, that is present in the perception and experience of the ‘Spirit world’, cannot be accurately translated or expressed in the terms of the general separatised form of experience. It is the given form of separation and distinction, between the different experiential means and systems, that provides the basis for the operation of the given reason and conception. The given ‘separatised’ form of experience determines the potential conceptual capacity, as it provides the structures and categories to this conceptual experience. The higher form of unity present in the ‘Spirit world’ cannot be pictured by the lower separatised form of conception and experience.

The very distinctions, which enable the given consciousness to have an articulate experience of a ‘world’ and ‘self’, are not present in the higher form of experience. The separatised form of experience, of the given consciousness, provides it with a necessary ‘structure’ and ‘foundation’ in order to have some sense of coherent experience. Lacking this structure and foundation, the given consciousness cannot maintain itself, and hence higher levels of experience are removed from the general consciousness. This also means that experiences of connection with a higher mode of perception and reason can involve a disturbance and disorientation to the given consciousness. This is because a new means or principle of unity is yet to be established.

A new principle of unity means a new category of experience, a new meaning to unity and multiplicity, a new means whereby experience is made coherent, a new form of relation to experience itself, a new form of ‘intelligibility’. This is also expressed in terms of the establishment of a new, higher ‘Law’ that corresponds to living in a ‘higher world’. In order to live in a higher world, or for such a world to become really meaningful for us, the Law of that world has to become manifest and actualised inside of ourselves. A change of Law means a change in the central ‘axis’ through which the given experience is constructed and maintained. The central axis of experience concerns the operative form of relation between unity and multiplicity, one and many, self and other etc. This is also reflected in the form of operative relation between the different experiential systems themselves. To really enter a new world, and be a real member of such a world, requires a revolution in the operative form of ‘logic’ and conception.

This can be seen as acquiring a new kind of ‘language’, a new form of meaning. A language has a form of logic and conception embedded in it, and thus to really acquire a new language involves a change in the form of logic and reason. To be able to speak a really new or different language, which has its own form of logic, requires a real ‘change of mind’. This is to say that to speak a new language requires to think new thoughts, and this means that a new form or mode of ‘mind’ is active. A new mode of mind means a new form of ‘thinking’, rather than simply having ‘different thoughts’. A new form of thinking means that there is a new kind of ‘mind’. Here, ‘mind’ refers to the total experience itself rather than one aspect or system of experience. ‘Mind’ refers to the way in which experience is given structure and coherence, its basic form of ‘intelligibility’.

Establishment in higher worlds has long been pictured as involving a ‘change of mind’, however, this has often come to mean simply a change of ‘opinion’ in relation to some topic, as expressed in a change of attitude and behaviour towards something. This is quite different to a transformation of the given ‘mind’ itself, a transformation of the nature of ‘mind’ itself, rather than simply a change of content to the given form of ‘mind’.

Speaking of the ‘Spirit world’ can be troublesome due to the acquired associations. Speaking of such a world can appear as useless, because it can appear to be talking of something quite removed from our given experience. Talk of ‘spirit beings’ which populate such a ‘spirit world’ can appear nonsensical simply because this appears as something absent from the general experience. Instead of such ‘beings’ and world being removed from our experience, being ‘elsewhere’, they may be considered as present in the given experience, only requiring a shift in understanding and conception. What determines whether something is experienced as a ‘thing’ or as a ‘being’ may be a fine line concerning the operative form of perception and conception.

In the Work, there is the requirement for a being to use their own living substance in order to bring their ‘inner world’ to life. The inner world has to be made living through a being’s own creative action. The ‘Spirit world’ is often depicted as requiring ‘blood sacrifice’, and in terms of an individual’s own access to the ‘Spirit world’, we can see this ‘blood sacrifice’ as representing the use of a being’s own ‘life force’ in order to ‘blow life’ into their inner world.

In the terms of the Work, this living substance is expressed in relation to ‘Hanbledzoin’, the ‘blood of the spirit’. This ‘spirit blood’ is also expressed as the blood of the Kesdjan body. This ‘blood’ is present in every man, present in different degrees of vivifyingness and coherence. This substance is at work in his common functioning, but particular expressions of it can be found in the activity of dream and imagination.

In the Work analogy, of Man as a horse, cart and driver, ‘Hanbledzoin’ is expressed as the ‘reins’ or means of connection and communication between the ‘mind’ and ‘feelings’. It is also involved in the intentional contact between ‘thought’ and ‘feeling’. The use of ‘Hanbledzoin’ may be seen in a form of ‘synthesis’ and operative unification of ‘thought’ and ‘feeling’. Thought and feeling are transformed into a singular ‘organ’ of experience, which may be used more intentionally and creatively.

In being involved in imagination and dream, ‘Hanbledzoin’ may be seen as involved in the creation of an experiential world that is experienced as ‘real’. Something is required in order for imagination and dream to be experienced as ‘real’, a creative substance is required in order for an ‘inner world’ to be created. This substance bridges the gap between ‘simulation’ and ‘reality’, ‘living’ and ‘artificial’. When this substance comes under control of the ‘I’, there is the ability to exercise individual creativity in a way that can yield ‘objective’ learning. The substance can be used to create an intentional inner experience, which experience can be used as a means to learning.

The development of the use of this substance is related to the development of the Kesdjan body; this being a vessel for higher experience and reason. This body gives a functional competence in the ‘Astral realm’; which realm is also connected to that of dream and imagination. This functional competence corresponds to the ableness to direct and navigate the ‘dream world’, which world is equally present and active in thinking and imagination etc. In gaining this functional competence relative to the inner world, there is then the ability to ‘disengage’ with the realm of the ‘senses’ in an intentional way. In the general dream and imagination, there is a form of ‘dislocation’ from the ‘senses’ and ‘physical body’. This ability comes under a greater intentional control and use.

To be able to persist coherently ‘outside’ of the realm of the ‘senses’ requires a suitable coherence to the substance of ‘mind’ and to the substance which links such ‘mind’ with the ‘physical body’. A principle and means of ‘anchoring’ is required to be established, so that the ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ worlds can be navigated effectively. This means of ‘anchoring’ needs to be other than the general means, which revolves around the unintentional activity of the physical organism and mind, as stimulated by the general external and internal flux and shocks etc. The general condition is one in which Man is reliant upon the automatic working of his mind and organism in order to give coherence to his experience. Such automatic activity determines how he can ‘leave’ and ‘return’ to the general state, as expressed in dreams and imagination for example. Man’s ability to intentionally create experience, and intentionally navigate the different experiential worlds, is stifled.

The general kind of thought, imagination, and dream are partial expressions of Man’s true individual creative potential. Man’s triadic nature gives him the potential to create his own real inner world, the potential to create real experiences which he may undergo and subject himself to in the spirit of evolution and self-knowledge.

Kesjdania-From ISOTM:

” But in the same organism there is a further possibility. And this is the possibility of creating a new life within the actual organism, in which the si 12 has been manufactured, without the union of the two principles, the male and the female. A new octave then develops within the organism, not outside it.
This is the birth of the ‘astral body.’ You must understand that the ‘astral body’ is born of the same material, of the same matter, as the physical body, only the process is different. The whole of the physical body, all its cells, are, so to speak, permeated by emanations of the matter Si 12. And when they have become sufficiently saturated the matter Si 12 begins to crystallize. The crystallization of this matter constitutes the formation of the ‘astral body.’
The transition of matter Si 12 into emanations and the gradual saturation of the whole organism by it is what alchemy calls ‘transmutation’ or transformation. It is just this transformation of the physical body into the astral that alchemy called the transformation of the ‘coarse’ into the ‘fine’ or the transformation of base metals into gold.”

We can imagine the increased sense of having ‘two’ lives, or two forms of life, within oneself when this new inner life begins to develop. The mother may feel some sense of the independent life within her when she is pregnant, particularly as expressed in the felt movements of the baby in the womb. We can try to transpose this experience into that of the experience of the ‘kesdjan embryo’, with the difference that we are in effect pregnant with ourselves in another form of life. There is an added multiplicity and simultaneity when one is both the mother and the baby that is born.

I find the remarks of J.G. Bennett (pupil of Gurdjieff) very helpful in this area, when he speaks of being ‘born’ into the realm of Being and the spirit world. Another simple metaphor for this concerns the nature of ‘essence’ and ‘existence’, and also, roughly speaking, the inner and the outer. If the kesdjan concerns being and the spirit world, then it also concerns the essence and the inner side of things. In a simplified sense, we could call the essence and inner side of things all that which is not of the senses. That which does not have the properties of ‘objects’ as related to the apprehension of the senses. The inner and essential is invisible to the senses, which deal with the existential and outer side of things.

The ‘new organs of perception’ of the kesdjan body correspond, in part, to the development of the ‘inner senses’ that can ‘perceive’ the essential and inner side of things. Evidently this ‘perception’ of the ‘inner senses’ is not like that of the outer senses, such that it is not simply the case that the essential side of things suddenly becomes ‘visible’ to the outer senses, even though the outer senses are changed to some degree by this development of the ‘inner senses’.

Here we might have to consider what a new form of perception could entail and involve in our experience. This new world of ‘perception’ and experience mirrors, in some part, the nature of the outer senses and sensory world, but it also has elements and aspects that are radically different to the sensory world and are unique to the kesdjan world. Another kind of metaphor or analogy for this new world of ‘perception’ can come in the form of the ‘extra dimensional’ experience that could be seen to result from a ‘synthesis’ of the different senses, which currently operate with a form of ‘separation’ and ‘boundary’ between them. If the given senses ceased to operate in their given form of separation and differentiation, then this would produce a quite different experience and picture of the world. If things were equally smelled, touched, tasted, heard, and seen in equal measure, then an ‘object’ would be experienced and engaged in a quite different way.

Generally, I do not smell and/or taste you from a distance, and this is because of the operative relation between the different senses and their different individual varied natures or properties etc. This varied action and ‘proportion’ of the different senses, this form of operative relation between them, produces the experienced sensory world and gives it its apparent form and nature etc. We might see here that perhaps animals and insects operate according to a different form of relation between their different senses, such that their resulting experience of ‘objects’, and ‘space-time’, is quite different to the general human sensory experience.

It may be said that a given insect can ‘smell’, or ‘detect’ in some form, a mate who is up to a mile away. Someone may then consider that the insect must have a much more developed sense of ‘smell’ in order to detect the mate a mile away, because this doesn’t appear possible with the given human sense of smell. The insect’s sense of smell may then be imagined to be much more prominent and potent in its experiences, such that the insect may then be imagined to ‘follow’ its ‘nose’ over the course of a mile in order to find the mate. This is a picturing of the insect’s experience according to our own given form of sensory operation. The fact that an insect appears to be able to detect a mate who is a mile away may simply express that the form of his sensory operation and experience is quite different, such that the ‘mile’ in question then also becomes something quite different. The mate might not appear to be any ‘distance’ away from the insect in terms of its own experience. The insect and its mate may experience direct contact over what appears to us a ‘distance’ of a mile, and hence ‘detection’ would not be needed in the general sense, as the presence of the mate, and ‘where it was’ in relation to the insect, would be ‘obvious’. When I am ‘touching’ you, I know ‘where’ you are, ‘automatically’ or obviously, because we are ‘in/at the same place’. ‘Finding’ you doesn’t have the same meaning when we are already in direct contact.

Such things as ‘morphic fields’ have been considered in order to account for a different mode of interaction between forms of life, and in science we have such as ‘quantum entanglement’ and ‘spooky action at a distance’. These things can be seen as expressions of the kesdjan realm, and hence the kesdjan body has its accompanying extra dimensional capacities as compared to the physical body, extra capacities in terms of space and time etc. I mentioned the possible synthesis of our different senses, and also the possible varied form of sensory experience of the insect, in order to give a comparison to the acquisition of the ‘senses’ of the kesdjan body. The kesdjan realm can represent a higher form of unity as compared to the physical realm. Hence, things that appear separated in physical experience can be co-present and coalescent in the kesdjan realm. This higher form of unity can appear as a greater chaos or discord to the given physical experience, and this is because the greater unity can appear as ‘overwhelming’ to the given subjective self. An apparent lack of ‘boundaries’ can appear to give an experience of greater confusion to the subjective self that is not acclimatised to this realm and its form of greater unity.

The three brains of man have a different form of relation and differentiation in the kesdjan realm, and hence thought, feeling, and sensation are experienced differently. An analogy here is the different powders in the alchemical retort or vessel, which exist in a separated state and in flux. In the kesdjan realm, the different powders achieve a greater form of unity and coherence. Thought, feeling, and sensation become akin to one substance instead of three separate ones, and this gives access to this kesdjan and essential world. Another analogy here is with the realm of dreams, where there can be the apparent experiential presence and blending of thought, feeling, and sensation into a singular whole experience that is the dream. Thought, feeling, and sensation seem to be blended in order to appear as being present in the dream experience. The nature of the action present in dreams has long been connected to the astral realm.

When the three brains significantly change the form of their relation, there is a change in the ‘world’ that is experienced. This has to be differentiated from a change that is simply of the given state within a given world. This discernment can present problems, and hence people can confuse the kesdjan realm for simply a heightened version of the given experience. The kesdjan realm does give a change in the given form of experience, such as to have an influence on the experiential state in the given physical world/body, but this is a bi-product to the kesdjan experience. A similar change in the given experiential state may not be accompanied by access and establishment in the kesdjan realm, in which case there is simply a change in state and not the world of experience. That which is new in the kesdjan realm is really new and is not simply a matter of a change in the intensity of the experience of the given world. New organs of perception are indeed new organs and are not the same organs operating ‘better’, even though, as said before, there can be some degree of overlap between the different senses of the two bodies, and evidently there has to be in order for there to be possible coherent relation and communication between them.

Flipping the picture of the creation of the kesdjan body, we could say that it is not the three brains that come to produce this higher material or energy through their own work, but it is rather that this material/energy can come to participate and act in each of the three brains in a mutual way. This higher material or energy must then have a nature that is equally mutual with thought, feeling, and sensation. In the general conception there is then the idea here of attention and awareness being what corresponds to this higher material or energy that can equally engage and participate in each of the three brains. It may be closer to say that there is a material or energy that can participate equally in the nature of the three brains, and that it is from the interaction of this material/energy with the attention and awareness that there can be the transformation. Here it should be said that the attention of the kesdjan realm is not differentiated simply by intensity, it is not simply the given form of attention increased in some fashion. We may see here that the general attention is only differentiated according to the notion of intensity and to whether the attention is of a singular or multiple focus/direction in its form.

The attention of the kesdjan is differentiated according to its different organs of perception. That the kesdjan body is, in part, produced from the material of the given subjective attention and awareness, does not mean that such body is equated to a development of the given attention in terms of simply prolonging its action and intensity. Again, the kesdjan may influence the given attention and its functioning, but this is a bi-product to the kesdjan operation. Here we can think of something like parallel processors in computers, where instead we have the two worlds of experience, and their given forms of attention and organs of perception, in a co-present simultaneity. Two bodies gives the potential for ‘being in two places at once’, but here I don’t mean in the crude literal sense of ‘place’ in the physical sense, which is also possible. The kesdjan is not equatable to any given state or functioning of the physical body, and hence it may interact with the physical body in various of its states and functionings.

Experiences of the kesdjan realm can be accompanied by a certain ‘taste’, and hence there can then be the possible mis-identification of what may be a bi-product to the central action. Various experiences can give a temporary coherence to the material/energy of the kesdjan body, and this coherence can also reflect in various experiences, or experiential expressions.

Essence Language: The Reason of Personality and the Reason of Essence-

Essence knows essence. We deal with the world of essence all the time, ‘essence perception’ is occurring all the time, but it is mostly screened from our subjective conscious awareness. Essence deals with essence, whereas personality deals with ‘form’. Hence it is through the essence that we can know the essence of other life forms, as well as the various essence classes that are below and above life etc.

For example, we may see a Cat, and in this moment there is the action of essence perception which engages with and ‘perceives’ the essence of cat. This essence perception may enter the subjective awareness to different degrees, and hence the apprehension of personality may dominate the awareness. The data of the personality, about cats, may dominate the subjective awareness, in which case there can be little room for the essence perception of cat to be experienced.

The essence of cat is present and expressed in all the various instances and forms of cat. Hence this essence is both immanent and transcendent to any given instance or form of cat. The personality may operate through the acquisition of various experiences and data of cats, acquired through time. This experiential data may enable various connections to be established regarding the knowledge of cats, and hence this data can be stimulated by the sight of a cat. This data enables one level of ‘recognition’ and classification of the perception of cat, however this recognition and classification is different to the action and perception of the essence.

The essence has a means of perception and recognition that is ‘timeless’ and is not acquired through time. Hence the essence immediately knows and apprehends the essence of cat on the first instance of perceiving a cat. The content of the perception and knowledge of essence goes beyond ‘form’, hence what it is that the essence ‘sees’ in a cat goes beyond sense perception and sensory based knowledge. The world of ‘forms’ serves to reflect the world of essence to some degree, but this reflection is always limited as it is present in a different medium. The manifest form of any given essence corresponds to that essence, but this can only truly be seen from the side of essence.

Essence perception is required in order to engage the essence and also to see the correspondence between the essence and it’s given manifest form of expression. This seeing, of the correspondence between a given essence and its given form of expression, also requires the appropriate use of personality; which is involved in engaging the realm of form. Both essence perception and that of the personality are needed in order to fully engage a given essence and it’s manifest form and to develop the understanding of this. The understanding depends on the development of the perception of essence itself as well as the development of the use and functioning of personality. There are various exercises for developing the essence perception and the functioning of personality and their relationship.

In regard to something like a flower, the knowledge of the personality consists in a series of separate perceptions of the flower that have been acquired through time. These snapshots form a collection which may be compared with each other and may be compared with other perceptions, experiences, and thoughts etc. For the personality to know the ‘totality’ of the flower requires a series of perceptions of the flower in its various states of development from seed to flower to seed etc. The personality can only deal with one actual perception at a time, a perception consisting in a snapshot of the flower in one given state of its totality. The personality can look at the flower in one of its given states and can then infer the other states of its totality. The knowledge of the totality of the flower is always segregated in the perception of the personality, as the personality is limited by ‘causality’ in its action. The personality can never engage the totality of the flower as a direct perception, the totality is inferred by the connection of a given perception with other previously acquired perceptions of the flower.

For the personality, the totality is approached by addition and combination of parts, it is attempted to be known by combining separate perceptions into a whole, into a representation of the whole or totality. For the essence, the totality of the flower is available as a ‘perception’, as the essence is not limited to ‘causality’ in the same way as the personality and senses etc. The essence does not perceive by separate instances, it does not perceive in terms of parts but rather in terms of wholes. For the essence, the totality of the different manifest states of the flower are available as a single direct perception. This would be to say something like the essence perceives all the different states of appearance of the flower at once. The essence knows the flower as both flower and seed simultaneously, as these separate temporal states of the flower issue from the total essence of the flower itself. What is separated in time and space for the personality, is a direct ‘timeless’ perception for the essence.

For the personality, to see the totality of the flower would consist in gathering a collection of separate perceptions into one ‘collage’ in the attempt to produce a picture of the totality itself. Evidently the totality itself is beyond this form of representation. The totality of the flower as perceived by the essence is not a collection of separate perceptions that are merged together. In terms of the perception of objects, the essence perception would be akin to seeing all the different sides of an object simultaneously. This would be a different perception to the equivalent of the personality, which can only see so many sides at once. The personality could attempt to recreate the perception of essence by combining all the different views of the object into one picture for it to look at, but evidently this picture is not the same as the direct perception of essence itself.

We can see that the essence perception is comparatively ‘extra dimensional’ as compared to the perception of the personality. Essence perceives in the dimension of eternity, whereas personality perceives in the dimension of time. This is why there are always issues when attempting to speak of the nature of essence and essence perception using the language of personality.

A Coat made of Air-

There are various ways of dealing with negative emotions and unpleasant sensations. Depending on the form of our self-knowledge, and our degree of ableness towards our own functioning, we may use different means to deal with such emotions and sensations.

In regard to the body, the breath may be a central means of transforming sensation and emotion. If the current of air is being received in a more active way, such that more of the air is assimilated by the being, then this provides a greater means for neutralization and reconciliation. The ‘substance’ of air provides a means of ‘containment’ to the activity and expression of sensation and emotion. If more of the air is being ‘coated’ in one’s being, then this ‘coating’ can serve in a role of containment to sensation and emotion. More of the ‘substance’ of air is blended with the functioning of sensation and emotion, and this provides a greater means for such as the ‘non expression of negative emotion’. The higher nature of air enables it to serve in an active role towards the functioning of thought, feeling, and sensation. The blending of air with sensation and emotion can bring greater order to their functioning, and air may serve as a relative middle-man in connecting the functioning of sensation and feeling to something higher.

When the air is assimilated with greater intensity, there is a greater capacity for the ‘circulation’ of one’s own ‘being-foods’. This means that less material and energy is ‘wasted’ and ‘leaked’ to the external environment. The greater assimilation of air provides a greater means for the inner circulation of one’s own material, there is a greater capacity to ‘feed on oneself’ in one’s own form of ‘reciprocal maintenance’ and ‘Trogoautoegocrat’.

The breathing process may be connected to the activity of the mind and emotion, and this is expressed in one example in Gurdjieff’s ‘assisting exercise’ presented in ‘Life is Real’. The breathing process is here connected to the process of mentation, and this connection is centered in the solar plexus. This enables thought and feeling to blend, and enables them to blend with sensation. This can be felt in a change to the somatic experience, where the ‘stuff’ of thought, feeling, and sensation can literally be felt to blend and come into form an inner ‘circulation’. The establishment of this inner circulation of the blended results of thought, feeling, and sensation can come to form an ‘atmosphere’, and this atmosphere may be expressed as a kind of inner body, or subtle body etc. The establishment of the inner circulation corresponds to the second blood flow mentioned in Beelzebub’s Tales in regard to Hanbledzoin and the subconsciousness.

Part of the expression of this inner circulation, or part of the atmosphere that it forms, concerns the establishment of a ‘centre’ of experience in the ‘chest’. This corresponds to a greater presence and functioning of the feeling center/brain, where the material of this brain, which is in a relatively ‘diffuse’ state in the being, comes into a greater coherence. The greater assimilation of air has a direct connection to the greater functioning of the feeling center/brain. When feeling takes a greater form of coherence in the being, then it is more connected to the functioning of the other centers/brains. Feeling is then able to act in a role of neutralisation and reconciliation in regard to thought and sensation. This could be expressed by saying that the higher material of true positive emotion is able to be actualized and brought into connection with the functioning of the three centers/brains. This transforms the common functioning of the centers/brains that is associated with negative emotion and internal considering etc. When the activity and flux of thought and sensation are connected to the ‘Heart’, rather than operating in segregation from it, there can be ‘alchemical’ fusion, where the energies of one’s own experience are able to be contained and directed towards transformation.

The establishment of the inner atmosphere not only transforms our functioning, but it also changes the form of our own participation in our own being-functioning and experience. The establishment of the inner atmosphere concerns the degree of ‘contact’ with oneself that is present in one’s experience, it enables different aspects of our nature to come into contact and relation with each other. The nature of air and breath bridges that of impression and sensation, and hence the second food plays an important role in enabling ‘mind’ and ‘body’ to move as one. The coherence of the feeling center, that is brought by the assimilation of air, serves as a relative ‘philosopher’s stone’ to the activity of the lower centers, enabling a means for neutralization and reconciliation of their divided and polar functioning. The establishment of the inner atmosphere enables our inner and outer natures to come into contact such that a process of ‘magnetization’ may begin between them. This concerns the role of the mentioned second blood in connecting the kesdjan body with the physical body.

The intentional blending of air with mentation brings added vitality and vivification to the mental life, thought becomes much more vital and living when it is given greater connection to feeling and sensation. Sensation and embodiment is equally vitalised when the substance of air is infused into sensation, the body is enlivened. Greater assimilation of air concerns the development of attention such that the results of the breath are made more clear to the awareness, these results being those that the breath gives to the centers/brains and vice versa. The relationship between air and the centers/brains needs to become more conscious to us, as well as greater clarity coming to the nature of air and breath itself in our own experience.


Two Faces, Two Bodies: Making the Inner like unto the Outer-

Part of the essence of the Work involves bringing the inner and outer sides of our Being together, such that they correspond and come to co-operate. It takes work to bring consciousness to the inner and outer worlds, and it takes work to bring them into mutual operation.

In regard to the physical body, it has its ‘gross’ nature but also its ‘subtle’ nature. This subtle nature of the body could be thought of as a kind of ‘atmosphere’ that penetrates and permeates the physical body, as it is of a ’finer’ material. This material may be brought into greater organisation and it may be connected with the physical body in a more conscious and intentional way. The intentional sensing of the body is one means of approach towards this development of the subtle material of the body and its relationship to the gross material. Sensing brings the physical body into a greater state of coherence such that it may receive and be acted upon by the subtle material. Sensing also provides a means of apprehension and engagement of the subtle material of the body. Sensing raises the state of the physical body, such that it is more mutual and compatible with the subtle material. Sensing can here be seen to give a certain ‘shape’ to the subtle material of the body, such that it corresponds more to the actual gross form and action of the body.

Another means of bringing the subtle and gross sides of the body together concerns the use of the mind. One form of this is in the use of ‘visualisation’. An example here can be when visualisation is used in order to perform a complex series of movements with precision. The mind is used in order to behold the series of movements as a whole, and to keep this before oneself as the movements are performed in sequence. Here the mind is used both to bring order to the subtle material of the body itself, and also to bring connection between the subtle and gross sides of the body. We may see here that the mind is used in order to bring the subtle and gross sides of the body into tandem and synchronisation. When the outer performance of the gross side of the body is mirrored by the simultaneous tandem inner performance of the subtle side of the body, there can be a liberation of higher energy that is transformative and gives results in the way of ‘coating the higher being-bodies’.

Consciousness and intention can be developed towards the subtle material of the body, and this material may come directly under the action of intention. There is also the potential to act upon, or stimulate, this subtle material indirectly. It takes the development of attention in order to work directly with the subtle material of the body, and it takes a certain form of ‘inner separation’ in order to be able to actively work with both the subtle and gross sides of the body simultaneously. In such practices as the Movements we may see this aim, to stimulate the subtle and gross sides of the body and to enable their more conscious exchange. The postures of the movements are not only physical, gross postures, they are also subtle postures. This means that the movements are movements of both the gross and subtle sides of the body. To participate in the subtle movement requires the development of our ‘subtle senses’. This requires greater awareness and intentionality in the subtle side of the body. It is the correct subtle performance of the movements that enables a higher form of meaning to be received. It is the subtle side of the body that can understand the higher information that is present in the language of posture and gesture, and it is the organisation of the subtle side that may lead to the communication and assimilation of this higher meaning.

Active work with the subtle and gross sides of the body can take various different forms. Two key aspects are sensing and ‘visualization’. Each can be used to bring order and correspondence to the gross and subtle material of the body. We may see that the subtle side of the body serves as a middleman between mind and body, having a nature that partakes in both body and mind. This subtle side of the body has hence been considered as the ‘mental counterpart’ to the physical body. There is an ‘imaginal’ counterpart to every sensory perception and gross form of manifestation. Hence man lives, simultaneously, in both the world of sense perceptions and gross forms, as well as the ‘imaginal’ counterpart to this world. Man has two ‘parallel’ lives in this regard, and part of the work concerns bringing the two separate lives together. This concerns bringing consciousness and intention to both worlds, and the development of the capacity to actively stand and work in both simultaneously. A certain development of attention and being is required in order to be able to coherently take in the perceptions of each world. This is the transformation and fusion relative to the formation of the second body, which enables participation and citizenship in two worlds.

We could think here of the ‘illusion’ that is performed by two people, where each mirrors the other’s actions in order to give the appearance of a ‘reflection’. We could consider what the equivalent act would be in regard to our own inner and outer world. In the trick performance, the reality of the ‘reflection’ is shattered by one person ceasing to ‘mirror’ the other. This contradiction reveals the independence of the ‘reflection’, proving its falseness as merely a reflection. In our own functioning, the discord between our inner and outer being can come to show us the reality of each side, such that we realize our own existence in two worlds. A degree of independent being is realized to be present in each world, for it is this degree of independence that enables there to be both contradiction and conformity between them.

Our general condition is one in which the ‘reflection’ doesn’t ‘mirror’ the person, but is still taken to be a ‘reflection’. Our work is here to bring the ‘reflection’ into correspondence with the person, such that they do mirror each other. For us, this has the reverse effect to the trick performance, in that when the two sides ‘mirror’ each other the ‘reflection’ becomes ‘alive’. Here it is conformity between the two that brings the ‘reflection’ ‘alive’. In the trick performance, the ‘reflection’ comes ‘alive’ through dis-continuity between the two people, and here the ‘reflection’ becomes alive as ‘other’, as an other person. In our own work, the ‘reflection’ comes alive but not as other, and hence it is us that ‘becomes two’ or realizes ourselves in two forms of being. In our own work, we ourselves become alive in both sides of the mirror, and it is us who ‘comes alive’ out of the ‘image’ or ‘reflection’ of ourselves. We recognise the ‘reflection’ to be false and that it is no reflection at all, merely ourselves in another form of being. The ‘falseness’ of the mirror operates when one side is regarded as ‘more real’ than the other. It takes work for us to be able to equally stand in both sides of the mirror, to meet ourselves from both sides. The nature of our being has to change in order to change the nature of the ‘mirror’, such that it becomes a living mirror which is able for two-way living exchange, rather than simply the one-way exchange of dead reflections with no substance.

Inner Being-
The ‘inner being’, such as I use the term, refers to the consciousness and being of the subconsciousness. Three-centered work can indeed shift the relationship with the subconsciousness, such that it becomes our centre and seat of authority. The subconscious deals with quality and essence rather than form, and it uses the ‘waking’ and ‘fictitious’ consciousness in order to deal with the realm of form etc. Entering the three centers, such that they may then change their working and relationship, can yield a transformation where the three-centered vehicle attains a sufficient degree of coherence that it may serve as instrument for the subconscious and Real I. Real I operates through both the subconscious and conscious and is equatable with neither.

The first operational ‘structure’ between the subconscious and conscious concerns the formation of the inner body, as related to the kesdjan body. By entering the centers via active work, a degree of unity can be achieved such that they are able to move as one. This also concerns the arising of a new authority and relation to the centers, such that the inner body provides the means of ‘inhabiting’ or ’embodying’ the centers and directing them. The development of the three centers operational relation, in the form of the coating of the inner body, also provides means for the higher centers and the world and perceptions that they give access to. The inner body has the ‘organs of perception’ that correspond to the ‘subtle’ realm, or realm of ‘spirit’ as used in some teaching terms etc. This realm is again related with ‘essence’ and quality. The inner body also constitutes a different form of ‘mind’ or mentation, as related to the development of ‘mentation by form’.

There is also an important point here about the difference between ‘observation’ and ‘participation’. Gurdjieff emphasised the need for three-centered attention, in which the attention is not just connecting with a given center and its activity, but is involved in directing its work. His basic beginning exercises in ‘Life is Real..’ can be seen in light of his remarks about Alfred Orage and his group, where he sees that they have misunderstood and misapplied the idea of self observation etc.

Attention can be felt to be divided and directed to the three brains, but this can happen, and remain, at a superficial level. There can be the illusion of three-centered attention when this is simply the action of one, or perhaps two, centers. One center dominates the action of attention, such that attention is not actually established in each of the centers themselves, and instead there is a one-centered (or two-centered) ‘projection’ of real three-centered attention. In three-centered attention, there is the requirement for the arising of three independent sources of attention and consciousness. Attention may begin by being directed towards the centers from ‘without’, but at some point this attention has to proceed within the centers themselves, such that attention issues from each of the centers themselves.

Christ and The kesdjan Body-
The different directions that form the Cross refer to the different forms of Will, or qualities of action, that are each required to be satisfied in order for there to be balance and transformation. Gnostics see The Christ as the Alpha and Omega of time, the centre point that is the origination of ‘past and future’. The Cross is the means for time to be worked upon such that the ‘Fall’ of causality does not set everything in stone. Real change requires some other kind of time to causality, it requires an action upon temporality.

‘Cause and effect’ only refers to one dimension of time, there can be other forms or modes of temporality. Many people simply regard time in the dual form of ‘linear time’ vs the ‘timeless/eternal’ etc. This is a limited perspective on the possible nature of ‘time’. If Christ is the centre point of the Cross, then past and future, and other dimensions of time/temporality’, all issue ‘simultaneously’ from this center, whose ‘body’, or conscious present moment, embraces all times and moments. The linear line of time, and other forms of time, are being worked upon ‘now’, such that future and past can change, along with the other dimensions of time.
The ‘act’ of Will of the Christ is only partially temporal, and has to be such in order to be able to work upon, and in, time. Christ represents an act of Will of a higher dimension, such as to permeate and transform, or redeem, a lower dimension. In Greek ideas there is the notion of Chronos, and the act of sex that was cut off mid act, such that the member was severed whilst in penetration. This penetration and severance closely concerns the nature of Christ and his earthly story. The severed member caused a ‘disjointed’ nature of time, a dislocation between worlds or dimensions of different natures. This reflects in the nature of man’s consciousness when it comes to ‘space and time’ and his experience and conceptions of such.

The Advent of Christ is considered as a Cosmic, Universal ‘event’. This ‘event’ is then active and reflected at every level of reality. The notion of the human Christ, and the story around him, is one reflection of this ‘event’ at the human level. Even when the story around Christ is considered in ‘planetary’ terms and cycles etc, this is still a reflection, at the human level, of a reality that is much more vast. What is generally spoken of as ‘Christ consciousness’ can be achieved by ordinary people, as it concerns the consciousness that man has access to. This consciousness itself has been related to Christ. In the terms of the Work, it is Man 6 who has entered ‘The Body of Christ’ in true union. This union refers to a union of the sense of the ‘individual consciousness’ with the objective, and omnipresent, consciousness that is Christ. This union also reaches beyond consciousness into the nature of Will. Will is ‘prior’ to consciousness and determines the given ‘form’ of consciousness in operation, and how this consciousness relates to material existence and manifestation.

The advent of Christ is not just to change events in time, but to change the very nature of time and that of consciousness, particularly human consciousness. Man’s common form of consciousness experiences a kind of dislocation in time, where ‘past and future’ appear separate to his own present moment and only enter into it as a form of ‘abstraction’ etc. Man’s present moment of attention and awareness is dislocated from the greater present moment, which he can come to participate in. This being the present moment associated with Christ, and this being a present moment of a vastly increased ‘size’ relative to ‘space and time’. This is also a form of present moment that is not limited to ‘linear time’, nor to a ‘dead, ‘unchanging’, ‘eternity’ etc.

In the terms of the Work, it is the Kesdjan body that begins to open up this direction of a different form of present moment and experience of time. This is often expressed in terms of the different laws that such a higher body is under, which enable certain capacities that are regarded as ‘impossible’ for the physical body and its general form of consciousness. The Kesdjan body enables another order of ‘work’ to proceed in one’s being and consciousness, this other order of work referring to the ableness to participate in other forms of ‘space and time’ and temporality. The form of consciousness related to the Kesdjan body is one which can enter into other modes of time, such that it is not limited to the general form of experience of ‘causality’ and ‘linearity’. It is only this added capacity and ‘extra dimensionality’ of the Kesdjan body, or its form of consciousness, that enables the ‘reparation of the past and preparation of the future’. The Kesdjan body is not limited in time, and space, in the same way as the physical body.

In one aspect, the development of the Kesdjan body refers to the development of a form of consciousness that can enter and bear ‘higher worlds’. These higher worlds are not ‘elsewhere’, though to become aware of them and participate in them does give a radical shift in experience, experience of ‘self and world’ etc. The Kesdjan body can be seen as a vessel for experience, for higher experiences etc. To come to be able to experience the higher worlds requires a certain capacity to ‘disengage’ from the general experience of the body and mind. In the Work this can be spoken of as a kind of separation and liberation between our ‘higher and lower’ natures etc. There is a higher seed present in us which is able to engage with these higher worlds and their varying natures to the physical world and body-mind. These higher worlds are already present in our experience to some degree, their influences reach us in some of our general experiences, but these influences and experiences tend to be distorted or go unrecognised for what they are etc.

Gurdjieff speaks of the Higher Centers that are already present and active in man, and which are ‘calling to him all the time’, but which go unnoticed due to the inability of the lower centers to connect with the higher in an orderly way. The general functioning of the physical body, and its attendant form of ‘psyche’, is such that it prohibits higher experience. Part of this prohibition is ‘physical’, in terms of being a result of the general functioning of the organic nature, and another part of this prohibition is ‘psychological’, in terms of the acquired habits, attachments, and conceptions of the given psyche.

Due to the given condition of the Being, higher worlds can be ‘unbearable’, in the sense that there is not a principle of ‘order’ and ‘coherence’ which enables persistence in these higher worlds. Persistence in higher worlds requires a different form of ‘substantiality’ and ‘integrity’, which the general person is not able for/of. A different kind of ‘force’ is required to ‘hold oneself together’ in the higher worlds, so to speak. In the general physical world experience, the principle of order and coherence, or apparent persistence and continuity, is provided automatically by the environment and organic functioning. There is no real effort required of the individual in order to maintain their ‘place of being’, or their sense of self and world, as this sense of self and world is provided automatically without the requirement of their intentional participation. In the higher worlds, this coherence to self and experience has to be provided ‘from within’, a coherence of ‘Being’ has to be developed such that an individual can maintain their own being and individuality in higher worlds. Without this established principle of self-coherence, the higher worlds simply give ‘disintegration’ of the self and experience. This gives distortion to the experience of higher worlds and the relation to them, and it also brings negative results to the being themselves in relation to their ‘psyche’.

Without the development of an inner principle of order that can provide its own coherence to itself and experience, it is only the lower reaches of the higher worlds that can be accessed and engaged with, and this will be in a distorted form due to the lack of development. The higher worlds lack the form of supports that are present in the lower worlds. Without the form of supports provided in the physical world, the given being would ‘disintegrate’. These supports of the physical world do not so much refer to those that give coherence and persistence to the physical body, but more so to that which provides apparent psychological support and an apparent coherence and continuity to the sense of self and identity and experience. If some of these supports were removed, then the sense of self and experience would become disordered in the extreme, and experience would become ‘un-intelligible’ with no sense of order and continuity etc. The whole sense of ‘self’ and ‘world’ would disintegrate, the ‘structure’ and ‘scaffold’ for ‘human experience’ would collapse.

The human is given means that automatically provide structure to his experience of the physical world, and also his experience of his given ‘inner world’. In the higher worlds, that which provides structure to experience has to be engaged more intentionally, via an act of Will and Being. The ‘body’ aspect of the Kesdjan body refers to this ableness to provide order to the higher experience, to maintain an ‘inner order’ in higher worlds. Comparatively, the lower physical world experience is akin to a ‘dream’, when compared to the nature of higher worlds. This also reflects in the opposite fashion, such that, for the general denizen of the lower worlds, the higher worlds appear ‘dream-like’. The higher will appear to the lower as more disorganised, vague, abstract etc, and this is because a means has not been established to engage with the higher on its own terms. The degree of Being of the general person is ‘dream-like’, and this means that for them the higher is occluded, just as they are occluded to the higher.

The lack of development of Being, and the reliance upon the given forms of support in the physical world, prohibits access and participation in the higher worlds. The given supports of the physical world, supporting ‘mind’ and ‘body’, are so taken for granted that higher worlds become inconceivable, or they become conceived in terms which simply mirror the given form of experience and conception. In a simple sense, we can see how the given senses and automatic shocks upon the organism provide the supports for the sense of self and experience. If these were removed, we may see that the general person would have no means to provide themselves with a sense of self and experience. Without these supports, the ‘I’ and experience disappears into ‘void’ or into some disorganised state that is akin to a fevered, incoherent ‘dream’. Nothing ‘independent’ has been developed in the general man, such that he is able to provide his own means of support and coherence to his self and experience. This independence refers to the ability to find another form of support that is of a more ‘rarefied’ nature, which, to the given physical experience, would appear as something less substantial than the physical nature.

In the Work, there is the ableness to ‘feed’ upon higher and finer energies and materials etc, and these nourish the higher bodies. In Christianity, this is put in terms of the ableness to ‘walk upon the waters’, and also in terms of the requirement to have the appropriate ‘garment’, or ‘body’, to be able to enter the wedding feast. In the Work, it is also mentioned that the general Essence is stunted in its growth, remaining at the level of a young child. This means that if the given Essence were to be removed of its ‘personality’, then it would have no means for ‘self direction’ and would be limited in its reason and experience according to a few simple pieces of acquired data and a few typicalities of its given characteristics. Here we can imagine the nature of the ‘feral child’ who becomes unable to learn and communicate and participate in human society. Or, we could imagine here the result of a toddler’s ‘mind’ being put into an adult body, with its attendant responsibilities for self care and self preservation etc.

The general person is removed from the higher worlds in exactly the same kind of way as the toddler who cannot enter and participate in the adult world, as he does not have the related capacities of knowledge and language and reason etc. The adult world does not as yet exist for the toddler, he sees the adults from his own world, according to its nature. The adults can represent influences of another order, which may help or hinder, and which may draw the baby on such that he actually comes to enter the adult world through an action of his own Will and a transformation of his Being. Enough influences of the adult world reach the baby, in a suitable form, and are met with a sufficient quality of action of the baby itself, and it is this that enables the ‘birth’ of the baby into the new world of the adult.

A change of world, or the acquisition of a new world, is also a process of becoming able to ‘recognise’ or ‘cognize’ a new form of ‘meaning’, a new dimension to experience and self etc. The acquisition and entry into a new world also concerns a change in the given relation of worlds, or ‘cosmoses’, that compose the totality of the being’s experience. The acquisition of the new world then also changes the nature of the experience of the given worlds, and their meaning. The nature of ‘self’ and ‘identity’, as well as ‘materiality’, must also change with the presence of a new world.

Through the work, the ‘husk’ of the higher seed present in us can crack, liberating the higher nature from its ‘submergence’ in the lower nature, and this then enables a more appropriate and fruitful relationship between the two natures and the different worlds they engage with. The real adult Human is able to participate in multiple worlds with their differing natures, and it is this Reconciliation of different worlds, through his individual act of Will and Being, that enable him to perform his essential duty in regard to the ongoing purpose at work in creation.


Written by

Joshua was born to parents and family members interested in the Work and teachings of Gurdjieff. He consequently began engaging with the material and ideas of Gurdjieff from a young age. Joshua has been mainly influenced by the work of J.G. Bennett, pupil of Gurdjieff. Joshua's parents were involved with groups in this line of the Work. Joshua has made connections with many different individuals in the Work over the years, including those in the American groups as well as the English groups. Joshua, and his parents, have also had connection with Anthony Blake, pupil of J.G.Bennett. Joshua pursued a career in Joinery and Construction before moving into the world of Social Care and therapy for children. Joshua is currently exploring ways to incorporate the ideas of the Work into social care reform, also with a view to bringing the Work to into mainstream schools in the form of educational programs involving practical work, drama, and inner exercises. Joshua currently attends a small work group based in Cumbria, England. Joshua has an interest in music of all genres and enjoys playing the Guitar. Joshua also has a passion for Nature and for walking and climbing Mountains. Joshua has an interest in the Sciences, Arts, Philosophy, Mythology, and Religious studies, also taking an interest in works of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

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