Conscious Labor includes the performance of all recommended exercises requiring conscious effort, gradually leading to Holy Affirming in our daily activities. (Paul Beidler)
We must work toward a constant state of self-observation where we become more and more connected with the observer who is objectively observing "it" (the observed). Self-observing requires conscious effort; the observer is the rememberer, who becomes the doer, who becomes. (Paul Beidler)
Self Observation and Self Remembering
Efforts to remember oneself, observation of oneself at the moment of receiving an impression, observation of one's impressions at the moment of receiving them, registering, so to speak, the reception of impressions and the simultaneous defining of the impressions received, all this taken together doubles the intensity of the impressions and carries do 48 to re 24. At the same time the effort connected with the transition of one note to another and the passage of 48 itself to 24 enables do 48 of the third octave to come into contact with mi 48 of the second octave and to give this note the requisite amount of energy necessary for the transition of mi to fa. In this way the 'shock' given to do 48 extends also to mi 48 and enables the second octave to develop. (ISOM 190)
"The practice of not expressing unpleasant emotions, of not 'identifying,' of not 'considering inwardly,' is the preparation for the second effort." (ISOM 193)
The second volitional 'shock' and transmutation become physically possible only after long practice on the first volitional 'shock,' which consists in self-remembering, and in observing the impressions received. (ISOM 195)
Transforming Impressions - Third Being Food
In the book GURDJIEFF: ESSAYS AND REFLECTIONS ON THE MAN AND HIS
TEACHING (ISBN-13: 978-0826410498), there was a chapter on Questions and
Responses, which contains transcripts from meetings from the 1940s in which
Gurdjieff replies to a question by a pupil (p274-275) :
Dr. B.: I would like to ask a question about the relationship between work and fatigue. It seems to me there is a difference between work efforts and automatic efforts. Outer work takes energy. Inner work is the opposite— it should accumulate energy. It should even be restful if it is done correctly. But for me it is the opposite. At the moment of making an effort something believes that the gates through which energy escapes will close autornatically. But it’s the opposite. I become very tired. I lose my energy.
GURDJIEFF: On the other hand, you keep it. Consciously. we eat the electricity that is in the body and transform it. This establishes in us a force. . . . In ordinary life you automatically lose this. But here it’s not the same thing; it’s not the same kind of fatigue. This other fatigue has a future. It’s tiring but it brings you a substantial result. It refills your accumulators. If you continue, a certain substance will refill your accumulator. Today the more you tire yourself, the more your organism will produce this substance.
DR. B.: Is fatigue favorable or unfavorable to the effort of concentration?
GURDJIEFF: If it’s ordinary fatigue, it’s not worth tiying to make the effort; with that you can’t even do the ordinary things of life. You lose the last of your strength. Work depends on another accumulator. There is a law for this other kind of fatigue: the more you give, the more you receive.
The energy which triggers a sensory nerve never actually gets into the brain, it simply trips a switch, so to speak, which releases pre-existing energy in the nerve to initiate an ionic chain reaction and its accompanying electromagnetic field and transmit an 'electrical impulse' to the brain. The higher brain centers are receiving 'information' about a change of state of our internal electromagnetic environment, not any new energy from the outside world, like the food and air octaves. The information is represented by different shapes and sizes of electrical impulses. The interesting thing about information is that it can be represented by almost any kind of medium. For example, these words appear on your computer screen by illuminated phosphors, they may then be printed on a piece of paper with ink. They have been transmitted to you with binary digits of 0 and 1's represented by pulses of electromagnetic energy. I could scratch these words in the sand with a stick or spell them out with stones. In other words, information exists on a different level of reality than the matter/energy used to represent it.
We 'eat' the information from impressions by moving electrical impulses that represent the information around the brain to certain places where that information is stored in another form of medium, possibly various combinations of proteins. Memory is a mental accumulator of information. The more attention we pay to our incoming information, the more of it gets stored in our accumulator.
Transforming Air - Second Being Food
Gurdjieff was very circumspect about breathing exercises which altered the natural rhythm of breathing. Some of the Movements naturally demand certain altered patterns of breathing. Beyond that, Gurdjieff encouraged the simple practice of conscious attention to the breath.
"This signified that the passengers of the ship Karnak were summoned to the "Djamdjampal," that is, that "refectory" of the ship in which all the passengers together periodically fed on the second and first being-foods." (13)
"After the process of taking in the second being-food, Beelzebub did not immediately return from the "Djameechoonatra"" (14)
"This whole attention of mine, I now intentionally divide into two equal parts. The first half I consciously direct to the uninterrupted constatation and continuous sensing of the process proceeding in me of my breathing." (LIROTWIA 145)
Transforming Food - First being Food
So, my boy, this totality of cosmic substances named 'exioŽhary,' resulting from the evolution of the first being-food in these beings-apparatuses, corresponds in its vibrations to the last stopinder of the being-Heptaparaparshinokh and, according to the particularity of this stopinder, it enters the 'higher intentionally actualizing mdnel-in' of the law of Heptaparaparshinokh. And in order to complete its transformation into new higher substances and acquire vibrations corresponding to the next higher degree of vivifyingness, that is, corresponding to the fifth stopinder of the fundamental process of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, it indispensably requires just that outside help which can be obtained in the presence of three-brained beings only through those factors mentioned by me more than once, and which are manifested in 'being-partkdolgduty', in other words, those factors which our Common Father Creator Endlessness consented to designate as the means by which certain tetartocosmosesas a final result of their service to the purposes of the common-cosmic Iraniranumange could become helpers in the administration of the enlarging world And as for these factors, which are the sole possible means for the assimilation of the cosmic substances required for the coating and perfecting of the higher being-bodies, today we call them 'conscious labor' and 'intentional suffering. (15)
The Endless Search © 2004 Ian C. MacFarlane