The Holy Affirming Prayer
Transubstantiate in me,
For my Being.
"This is a prayer given to us. In it I have found what I
call the Holy Equation which provides us with a basic pattern for most of our
work. Holy Denying equals our inherited mechanical "myself" manifested
by our habits, traits, thoughts, feelings and actions in sleep. Holy Affirming
is our conscious effort to accept, endure and to meet with objectivity all our
Holy Denyings. Holy Reconciling is the resultant of them both leading
automatically to a Transubstantiation. By self-observation we learn to recognize
accurately our Holy Denyings to which we then eventually apply our Holy
"We understand the ordinary pursuits of our lives responding to desires to be educated, well thought of, useful, admired, superior, wealthy or spiritual, as examples of Holy Denyings. We try to meet these denyings with our conscious efforts in our search which we call Holy Affirming. Both are of equal substance and importance."
"This binary is every person who looks into himself. We may live by these transitory dimensions, giving ourselves up to their current and allowing them to carry us away. But to the whole of this process going on within us apart from our will, to all these "it wishes" we may oppose our "I wish", bind together yes and no, provoke a dispute between two opposites, a struggle of two principles, and neutralize them by the tertiary. A great dispute, if it is not purposeless, must give a result, a conclusion and an effect, and then four elements will be available: yes, no, dispute, result; that is, the transmutation of the binary into the quaternary." (Gurdjieff, Enneagram Lecture)
Gurdjieff did the world a great service when he wrote Beelzebub's Tales and included in it the Holy Affirming Prayer or as it was called by Paul Beidler, the Holy Equation. Unfortunately, not all of his students were taught this Legominism or even understood and grasped its significance if they were taught it. This is evident by the current state of affairs of division and secrecy in the Gurdjieff Community worldwide.
The Holy Equation could be said to be the Sly Man's Pill, since all exercises in the Work are based on this formula. Let me repeat that - All exercises in the Work are based on this formula. There are no exceptions; if there are, then the exercise is defective. When you understand how this exercise works, you will see that ALL spiritual practices, from ALL traditions, from ALL times, are based on it. When you understand how this exercise works, you will be able to Work on yourself any where, any time, creating your own exercises on the spur of the moment as required by the situation. You will no longer be dependant on the need for a teacher who resides at the top of a bureaucratic heirarchy to dispense exercises based on the degree of conformity and subservience of his pupils. Rather, Groups of Seekers can meet and share equitably their experiences and discoveries using this formula, provided they have a sound knowledge of Gurdjieff's philosophy as presented in his books.
The Holy Equation is based on the Law of Three as formulated by Gurdjieff - "The higher blends with the lower to actualize the middle, which becomes lower for the next higher or higher for the previous lower." This is the fundamental formula for all energy transformation in the universe. It is also the basis for all spiritual transformation which seeks to develop the higher energies required for self-realization and resonant contact with the Source of all energy.
The Holy Equation acts as a shock in the octave of evolution. It is the formula for the 1st and 2nd Conscious Shocks. As we know from studying the Ray of Creation, the shocks are composed of three notes of a Lateral Octave, each note representing one of the forces of the Law of Three. The Holy Equation, being based on the Law of Three, has the structure required for supplying the two Conscious Shocks.
Whenever anybody attempts to practice any spiritual exercise, they will meet with resistance from their Denying Force, which arises from their inherited instincts, drives, desires, laziness and egoism. The persistence to persevere with the exercises against the opposition of the Denying Forces is the Affirming Force of spiritual aspiration. The result of this meeting of Affirming and Denying forces is the Reconciling force. The Reconciling force is the medium of spiritual growth and its production is the primary aim of all spiritual practices. This aim is not always acknowledged or even understood and the secondary effects of the practices may be mistakenly claimed to be the primary purpose of the practice.
Whenever you observe a Denying force, resist it with an Affirmation. An Affirmation may be as simple as counting to ten when you are angry or Sensing your feet. A successful Reconciliation will curb the expression of the Denying force and the energy thus saved will result in a coating on your higher being bodies, in an increase in your Objective Reason of Understanding and a state of Being characterized by an inner calm unaffected by the turbulence of life. You may even see the Clear Light of His Endlessness suffusing the universe with its unobtrusive radiance and may even come to realize the ultimate datum of Objective Reason which is that you are that Light being conscious of itself.
"Try to understand that resistance is according to law. If there is no resistance,
there can be no struggle; there can be no new energy. Without production of new energy,
there can be no possible contact with higher levels in ourselves. Struggle has to be
accepted as the only means that we have for producing energy. Each time that we have a
little new possibility is that a spark of another kind of energy has linked us with a
different level of ourselves. Every moment of our asleep life we are like a man shut in
the basement of a very big house who has no idea there is anything else than that dark,
bad smelling basement he is used to. As soon as that spark of energy is used up, he is
bound to find himself again in that basement. Struggle is necessary - there is resistance
- and then I affirm more."
(Inside a Question: Works of Henriette Lannes, Pupil of G.I. Gurdjieff, p. 200)
"The essence of the idea of Karma-Yoga is to meet with
unpleasant things equally with pleasant things. That is, in practising
Karma-Yoga, one does not seek always to avoid unpleasant things, as people
ordinarily do. Life is to be met with non-identifying. When this is possible,
life becomes one's teacher; in no other sense can life become a teacher, for
life taken as itself is meaningless, but taken as an exercise it becomes a
teacher. It is not life that is a teacher, but one's relation through
non-identifying makes it become a teacher. Nothing can change being so much as
this practise - namely, to take the unpleasant things in life as an exercise."
(Nicoll, Commentaries, Vol. 1)
The Endless Search © 2004 Ian C. MacFarlane