Gurdjieff Quotes

G. I. Gurdjieff

A. R. Orage The Five Obligolnian Strivings

Orage Meeting 16 Nov.1925

Alfred Richard Orage at Wikipedia

Versión en español haqueado por Google:


Conscious or objective morality

We will talk to "I" about it. It is left outside. Use conscious imagination to leave it outside. It is for the moment dead. But it is to be re-entered shortly. What should I do in relation to it?

Ordinary morality is a matter of social convention. In relation to ordinary morality, the organism is subject. But the organism becomes the object of conscious morality. In ordinary perception and observation, the organism is the subject, external objects are the objects. But with us, the organism becomes the object of observation, since we observe it observing. So the organism becomes the object of conscious morality.

The five elements of conscious morality which define the duty the "I" is obligated (under the necessity of reason) to perform with respect to the organism, are:

  1. The preservation and maintenance of its life and well-being. (Self-preservation the first law of life)

    (a) No destructive acts or pursuits are to be engaged in.

    (b) No suicide.

    For it has been given to us by nature on trust, and it is necessary to the life of "I". Moreover, should we quit it, we should pass on a good and even better organism to the next I.

    Figure: [missing] the duty of a responsible tenant towards the house rented from a landlord.

  2. The improvement of the organism.

    (a) Acquiring new techniques.

    (b) Discovering possibilities and realizing them.

    For we must turn over to the next "I" or to our own I at the next recurrence, a better equipped vehicle. (The necessity of acquiring new and many techniques, not for the sake of the techniques, but for the purpose of preparing the body to be used by "I", that is, pliant to demands of the techniques of techniques.)

    These, (1) and (2), can be, and are, subscribed to by ordinary subjective morality. Everyone admits them, and displays this acceptance by evincing the corresponding wishes, namely, to preserve and improve themselves. The organism itself has these wishes. But (1) and (3) of conscious morality may go against or disregard the ordinary canons, not simply for the sate of disregarding them or being unconventional, but for the purpose of experiment. Ordinary conventions and conventional morality are equally mechanical. Not even as contrasts can they serve as guides to conscious morality.

  3. To understand the nature of man, the nature of the universe, and their mutual relations, is the duty of the I. (To understand the nature of the organism and its relation to Nature.)

    Philosophy and science are not mere interests or inclinations (as they are generally considered to be) but obligations, from an objective point of view. Energies are differentiated for curiosity, that is, philosophy and science. If these are not used, they turn back on some other avenue of functioning and derange it. Nervousness and sex perversion cannot be, and are not to be, dealt with directly, but can be cured by stimulating and pursuing the curiosity to understand the nature of man and the universe. The five types of energy. The five pointed star. Each person and situation should be made to yield an understanding of principles (psychological, social, etc.) not only mere likes and dislikes.

    The capacity for reason is the saving faculty of mankind.

    The spectacle of life is the great drama, which I should approach to understand. Every contact should yield something more than a subjective response. It should yield an understanding of habits, traits, motives, etc.

  4. The fourth duty of the "I" is to discover and discharge its function. (To pay for its existence.) The discovery of function can only foliow from having discharged duties (1), (2), and (3).

    Figure: [missing] wheel, nut, wagon. A wheel is such, not a nut. The wagon is such. Taken together, their relationship defines an inevitable function for the wheel.

  5. The fifth duty of "I" is to aid others in their efforts to apply (1), (2), (3) and (4).

Each one of these follows from the other, and, taken relatedly, they are axiomatic, self-evident to objective reason. Although the organism may reject these five obligations, the "I" knows this as true.

The effort should be to apply (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) simultaneonsly, that is, all in any one given action. It is the duty of the I to select, from among a number of possibles, the one which will allow an inclusion of all five. The organism will be determined to select one by past experience. The I must make the effort to non-identify, select, and actualise the one in which its purpose will be served.

This fivefold effort superseded the threefold one (designed for personality) of profit, pleasure, and religion.

These five elements pass quickly from the memory, since society is hostile to them, does not aid them. The difficulty is to remember. This is the main difficulty.

The difficulties in separating and developing I are equal for all. But organic capacities may differ by accident, one being better equipped for certain purposes than another, and hence more suitable for the conscions object of such a one as Gurdjieff. (These capacities may be: strength of personality in influencing people, many languages, diverse crafts, talents, etc.)

Can the I ever be completely separated from the organism? No. There are two forces at work, simultaneously, between the I and the organism, one separating, and one joining the two more closely in union. This antinomy (separation and union) always exists, so that an application of the method will yield in actual experience, at once, a sense of a greater separation and a closer union.

Remember do, re, mi, (organism), fa, (transition), sol, la, si, ("I"). Interposed at every semi-tone are triangles: positive, negative, and neutral forces, purpose being the third or neutral force.

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Jesus: do, re, mi. Christ: sol, la, si. Jesus Christ: the two in one, do, re, mi, becomes one in sol, la, si.

We are now one. We must become two in order to become One. Duality is the precondition of One-ness.

The upper room of the early Christians. The place where psychological conditions are favorable to the "I"s learning their duty.

Governments: Due to accident. All within the organism.

Democracy: the domination of the organism by first one center and then another, due to some chance and uncalculable external stimuli. So now we exist.

Socialism: the continued control of the organism by the instinctive center. Physical appetites. Leading to chaos and anarchy.

Monarchy or Aristocracy: The continued control by the emotional center. The best feelings.

As Plato wished: continued domination by the intellectual center. Philosophers.

Government: Conscious. By a fourth center not contained in the organism. Theocracy.

Our "I"s become gods to the organisms.

Some beings are responsible for the whole of nature.

Some beings are responsible for man. Remember the place of man in the scale of nature, that is, si. Man a sex cell. Si of the food octave is sex.

So we are responsible as Gods to our organisms.

God, for his purpose, in order to maintain perpetual motion, designed that each order of being feed on some other and be fed on.

Unfits among men are symptomatic of disease in nature. They are the pimples through which poison is drawn off. A number of "I"s becoming conscious might so utilize the energies designed for conscious usage as to being-health, as, for analogy, energy used for thought cures nervousness and perversion.

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