Neologisms in Beelzebub's Tales
(Presented at the All and Everything Conference, Bognor Regis, UK, 2008)
Listen to Audio of the presentation (MP3, 22mb)
Gurdjieff once said: “All the keys are in Beelzebub, but they are not near their locks.” I don’t know whether this Paper will open any locks for you, but I hope to point out a few of the Keys.
In this paper, I am going to outline some reasons why I think Gurdjieff used Neologisms. Then I am going to provide a basic framework for categorizing them. Thirdly I will examine a few particular Neologisms and their cross connections with other parts of the book. Finally I will discuss their possible significance for Inner Work. One aspect of the Neologisms that I will not attempt to address, since I am not a linguist, is the etymological roots of the Neologisms. I will leave that to others more competent than I. Since this is an ongoing study, the preliminary results that I present here should raise more questions than answers, and any conclusions should be viewed as tentative.
What is a Neologism? The etymology of neologism is rooted in the Greek language: the modern form is based on νεολογισμός [neologismos] (from νέος [neos] new + λόγος [logos] word, speech, discourse + suffix -ισμός [-ismos] -ism) - literally, “new word”. A neologism is a word, term, or phrase that has been recently created (or “coined”), often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. Neologisms are especially useful in identifying inventions, new phenomena, or old ideas that have taken on a new cultural context. (1)
Gurdjieff's use of neologisms in Beelzebub's Tales is, for many of us, one of the difficulties in reading and comprehending the book. Another difficulty is his use of long sentences with many sub phrases. Fortunately, however, Gurdjieff did provide definitions, descriptions and illustrative examples of the neologisms. For many of us the Neologisms have come to represent in a succinct way the meanings of the various ideas and principles that Gurdjieff described in the pages of Beelzebub's Tales. By drawing on word roots from many languages, Gurdjieff has managed to capture in his Neologisms, in a highly encapsulated form, numerous verbal images that speak variously to our conscious and unconscious intellectual and emotional associations in order to assist a slow unfolding of meaning and insight into the Laws of World Creation and Maintenance.
One possible reason for using neologisms might have been to add a degree of descriptive realism to the language used by beings from the various other times, places and planets encountered in the pages of Beelzebub's Tales. Another reason for Gurdjieff using this literary device might have been to overturn our previous intellectual and emotional associations and pre-conceptions with the more traditional esoteric terminology used for the concepts in order to effect an other-wising or upside-downing of our habitual understanding of the concepts that he wishes us to look at in a new way, unencumbered by past associations. Another reason might have been to “bury the dog deeper”; that is, to put us off the scent trail of various concepts by hiding references to them beneath the unfamiliar words and phrases. This would effectively make it more difficult for us to “fathom the jist” of his writing and would require of us more concerted efforts of Active Mentation to “connect the dots” between the ideas that are buried beneath the neologisms in various places throughout the text. Conversely, the use of several different Neologisms to denote one particular concept may be a flag or a hint that points us towards noticing a particularly important idea or piece of the puzzle.
Fortunately, Gurdjieff provides definitions in contemporary language for most of the important Neologisms, although those definitions are not always given with the first usage of the Neologism, thus necessitating several readings of the book to piece things together. Some of the Neologisms could even be considered as one word Legominisms since they are constructed from word roots of many languages in such a way as to give a shorthand, verbal picture of the meaning of the Neologisms. Perhaps the most well known one is Trogoautoegocrat: Trogo = eat; auto = self; ego = I; crat = rule.
First off, I would like to make a few comments on the overall title of Gurdjieff's trilogy, All and Everything. Nicholas Tereshchenko in his pamphlet The Hapax Legomena in Russian had this to say about the title -
“In fact, ‘ň’ is the only exception of a Russian letter, in this case ‘E’, being modified in its sound by the diacritic points. So far as I know, Mr Gurdjieff has not used the ‘ň’ (pronounced as the yo in yolk) in his Hapax Legomena (legominisms), but he has used it in the overall title of his trilogy: All and Everything, which in Russian is BCň И BCЯ. Actually both words can be each translated either as ALL or as EVERYTHING, depending on the context of the expression in which they are used.” (2)
In other words, All and Everything could also have been called Everything and All, Everything and Everything, or All and All. The last phrase is reminiscent of the Biblical phrase describing God as “All in All”. The phrase “All in All” was used 3 times in the New Testament. (3)
This observation brings to mind the Hermetic Dictum, As Above; So Below, and the Biblical assertion that we are created in the Image of God. Bearing in mind the assertion made by many students of Gurdjieff that the Book is a mirror or allegory of the ideal human Self, and that it contains a complete exposition of the aspects of our Being that we will find within ourselves through the process of Self Observation, I ask you all to consider what part of yourselves that Endlessness refers to. Who or what is Endlessness in you?
Classification of Neologisms
One of the first attempts to classify the Neologisms in Beelzebub's Tales was done by Nicholas Tereshchenko in his pamphlet The Hapax Legomena in Russian. There he provides three lists of Neologisms used in Beelzebub's Tales -
1. 490 “Universal” Neologisms
2. 7 Martian Neologisms
3. 14 Saturnian Neologisms
I have called the list of 490 “Universal” because many of the Neologisms, although not all, appear to be part of a common language of Objective Science used by Beelzebub and the other beings he associates with. In addition to the Martian and Saturnian Neologisms, we could subdivide Tereshchenko's list of 490 “Universal” Neologisms by creating separate classifications for Neologisms that were used exclusively in various places on earth such as Atlantis, China, India, etc. One could further classify groups Neologisms by the commonality of certain word roots used in them. I have not compiled a comprehensive list of classifications, but I will offer a few examples. It should be noted here that due to differences in the various translations and editions of Beelzebub’s Tales, not all of these words have the same spelling nor can they be found in all editions.
The first figure shows the Martian and Saturnian Words from Tereshchenko's pamphlet The Hapax Legomena in Russian. The Russian spelling and pronunciation is given.
Notice the similarities in the construction of the words. In the Martian there are a lot of “oof”’s and “foo”’s and in the Saturnian t here are a lot of “h”’s and “r”’s.
Figure 1 - Martian and Saturnian Words from Tereshchenko
The Neologisms in the following list are used in chapter 40, The Law of Heptaparashinokh, and are the scientific terms used by the Chinese scientists to explain their Law of Ninefoldness. It is rather strange that there is no Chinese Neologism for the Law of Ninefoldness. It is also interesting to note that the word Enneagram is not used in the Tales. It is also interesting to note that there is no mention in the 1931 edition of Beelzebub’s Tales of Harnel-Aoot, the disharmonized fifth Stopinder. The Chinese brothers Choon-Kil-Tez and Choon-Tro-Pel discovered two of the Mdnel-Ins, called by them Sooanso-Toorabizo which means ‘obligatory-gap - aspects - of- the- unbroken- flowing- of- thewhole.’ but they failed to discover Harnel-Aoot. Similarly there is no mention of Harnel-Aoot in Ouspensky’s writing. That being said, there are two words in the following list which sound similar to Aoot and which refer to the fifth centers of gravity or Dooczako of two octaves. Those words are Khooti-Pikan-On and Khooti-Noora-Chaka.
The Neologisms in the following list are used in various places in Beelzebub’s Tales when referring to words used in Atlantis.
There are two important Atlantean Neologisms that I would like to draw attention to - Amarloos and Amarhoodan - which have the corresponding Universal Neologisms - Abrustdonis and Helkdonis - as well as being clearly defined in contemporary language as the 2 being foods derived from substances in air and impressions, and which are significant as “help-for-the moon” and “help-for-God”. When we transform these 2 substances through conscious labors and intentional sufferings, we release from them Askokin, which is described as food for the Moon and Anulios, and the remainder is transformed into Hanbledzoin and Aiesakhaldan, the blood of the Kesdjan body and the blood of the Irankipaekh body or soul, respectively. I think that this multiple usage of Universal and Atlantean languages as well as our Contemporary language is a way of drawing our attention to several important aspects of Gurdjieff's teaching about these being foods.
The following 3 lists are examples of word roots used in some of the Neologisms:
Root - nokh
Root - dja
Root - aie
The Root “aie” word list also shows the alternate spellings that appear in various versions of Beelzebub’s Tales.
Figure 2 shows the Russian spelling and pronunciation of the 'aie' root words, and the number of times they are mentioned in the text.
Figure 2 - Root “aie” Words Russian Spelling and Pronunciation
Figure 3 shows the variation in usage of one of the 'aie' root words and a similar sounding word, Egoaitoorassian-will, which Tereshchenko lists as being on page 485, whereas it is actually on page 563 in the 1950 version of Beelzebub’s Tales. I suspect this is an editing error.
As you will see, Essoaieritoorassnian-will is used once in the 1931 and the 1949 based versions of the Tales, but in the controversial 1992 revision the word is not used, but is replaced by the word Egoaitoorassian-will. Conversely, Egoaitoorassian-will in not used in the 1931 version but is used in all other versions. In the 1992 version it is used in place of Essoaieritoorassnian-will on page 485. Whether this substitution has any bearing on the overall meaning of the Tales, I don't know, but it is disturbing to see the text being modified in such a manner. Neither of these Neologisms are defined in the text and although they are mentioned in different contexts, they are both the result of conscious labour and intentional suffering and seem to indicate a quality of will possessed by someone who can “Do” or act consciously. Here are the two references:
“… Essoaieritoorassnian-will, (egoaitoorassian-will in the 1996 version) which in its turn can be obtained thanks to always the same being-Partkdolg-duty, that is, to conscious labors and intentional sufferings.” (p485)
“... the force of the sacred reconciling, should by itself crystallize data in them for engendering that something which is what is called being-Egoaitoorassian-will.” (p563)
Figure 3 - Variations in Usage of Egoaitoorassian and Essoaieritoorassnian
Another interesting example regarding words that have the 'aie' root are these two contradictory references to the action of AIEIOIUOA:
“In those days it was possible for the three-brained beings to pass through these places only, as they say, 'by day,' that is to say, when in the atmosphere of their planet the process of 'Aieioiuoa' proceeds in the Active Element Okidanokh.” (p 253)
“... only when the sacred process 'Aieioiuoa' proceeded in the Omnipresent Active Element Okidanokh in the atmosphere of their planet, or, as they themselves say - according to their understanding and their own perceptions - 'on dark nights.'“ (p 305)
In other words, Beelzebub says in the first instance that AIEIOIUOA occurs 'by day' and in the other 'on dark nights'. What are we to make of that contradiction? Is it an inconsistancy according to law?
Significance for Inner Work
How can the study and reading of the Neologisms help our Inner Work?
First and foremost, they point us towards the key concepts of the Work, either by their unusual spelling or by their frequency of appearance in the text. They alter the tempo of our reading, sometimes prompting a pause to reflect or ponder on their possible meanings, or creating a space where inner silence may allow for the manifestation of new thoughts and insights. If one reads the book out loud, it is certainly going to alter ones breathing pattern, with the neologisms marking a place for an in breath. The sounds may also have a vibrational or resonant effect on our centers and organs.
The core of Gurdjieff’s Work revolves around another Neologism - being-Partkdolg-duty. This Neologism is mentioned several times before Beelzebub defines it on page 292: “… thanks to their being-Partkdolg-duty, that is to say, thanks to their conscious labors and intentional sufferings…”
So, being-Partkdolg-duty is conscious labors and intentional suffering. Partkdolg is mentioned 39 times in Beelzebub’s Tales. Conscious labor is mentioned 30 times and intentional suffering is mentioned 21 times. The number of times these words are mentioned is indicative of the importance that Gurdjieff placed on this practice.
The motive force that drives us towards being-Partkdolg-duty comes from the promptings of our Conscience. Conscience is the one higher emotion that remains uncorrupted in the depths of our “unconscious” mind and that is available to us to retrieve and use for our evolution. One aspect of Conscience is Remorse of Conscience. The concept of Remorse is expressed by the Neologism AIEIOIUOA. AIEIOIUOA is mentioned 5 times in the Tales; Remorse is mentioned 33 times; Conscience is mentioned 92 times. The number of times these words are mentioned is indicative of the importance that Gurdjieff placed on this feeling.
A close reading of Beelzebub’s Tales will show that efforts towards being-Partkdolg-duty are necessary for coating our higher being bodies and our highest being bodies; our second being body and our third being body soul; our Kesdjan body and our Irankipaekh body. Kesdjan body is mentioned 52 times and, one might say significantly, Irankipaekh is mentioned only once. Given the importance to each of us personally of developing an immortal soul, mentioning the Neologism Irankipaekh only once in the Tales seems to accentuate the importance of this aspect of our personal efforts. One might say that we only have one chance to accomplish this task. Either that or we “die like dogs”. This single mention of Irankipaekh may sound like a logical inconsistancy, but perhaps it is a dog that has been buried?
The substances that go towards developing or coating our higher being bodies are derived from substances in air and impressions. These are the two Atlantean Neologisms referred to previously - Amarloos and Amarhoodan. The corresponding Universal Neologisms are Abrustdonis and Helkdonis. The importance of these substances is underlined by the very fact that Beelzebub mentions them in three language systems - the conventional, the Universal and the Atlantean.
So what methods does Beelzebub suggest that we employ to accomplish the task of following our Conscience and fulfilling the imperatives of being-Partkdolg-duty?
Self-remembering is one method, but that phrase is only mentioned twice in Beelzebub’s Tales; that’s quite a change from In Search of the Miraculous, where Ouspensky mentions it 47 times. The second mention of self-remembering in Beelzebub’s Tales is on page 1115, where it is said of the Atlanteans that - “they devoted their whole time to active and conscious contemplation, and in this state performed these corresponding sacred mysteries, so that there should be transmuted in them the sacred substances abrustdonis and helkdonis.”
Self observation is mentioned 6 times in Beelzebub’s Tales, but only in the last chapter, ‘From the Author’.
Other methods that are mentioned are active mentation, Pondering and Contemplation. These activities generate Zernofookalnian-friction (p 1174), which helps with the crystallization of new perceptions for the Reason-of-Understanding. These efforts appear to be an ongoing process of refining ones understanding. Certainly Gurdjieff lists many levels of Objective Reason that can be attained by sufficiently motivated Beings, but in retrospect, given that the deliberations of the High Commission of Archangels closest to His Endlessness resulted in gross miscalculations, these degrees of Objective Knowledge should not bee seen as conferring Absolute Infallibility on the recipient. Indeed, even His Endlessness did not foresee the arising of the Tetartocosmoses after he changed the Heptaparaparshinokh.
So the three mainstay practices of conscious labor are self-observation, self-remembering, active mentation and contemplation. An alternative word for contemplation is Pondering. Contemplation is used 13 times in Beelzebub’s Tales and Pondering is used 54 times. The equivalence of Contemplation and Pondering is verified by C. Daly King in the Oragean Version (4). I won’t go into the details of these practices here, but instruction may be obtained from a competent Fourth Way Teacher or from Fourth Way books written by A. R. Orage (5), Seymour Ginsburg (6), Nikolas Tereshchenko (7) and Paul Beidler (8). These practices are similar to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of Raja and Jnana Yoga.
The assimilation of substances from air is particularly controversial in the Gurdjieff Work. Ouspensky’s recounted that Gurdjieff advised against breathing exercises, except with an experienced teacher, or in conjunction with specially designed Movements. This view is reiterated in Meetings With Remarkable Men. Never-the-less, the assimilation of air is not so harshly delt with in Beelzebub’s Tales. Indeed there are two particular compartments in the Beelzebub’s spaceship where second being food is taken. There is a Djamdjampal, “…that “refectory of the ship in which all the passengers together periodically fed on the second and first being-foods.” (p 1059); and there is a Djameechoonatra, which is like “…a kind of terrestrial “monasterial refectory” in which the second being-food is collectively taken.” (p 1160) This procedure is mentioned in passing, as a matter of course. Conscious breathing is an integral part of the life of Beelzebub and his cohorts.
The connection between breathing and Movements should be apparent to many students of Gurdjieff. Having practiced and taught Movements myself for 20 years, I am very aware of the connection between Movements and breathing. There are also some Sufi Zikrs and Hindu Pranayama exercises that are practiced in some Gurdjieff groups. By far the easiest breathing exercise is the simple, conscious, watching of the in and out breath. This is a fantastic aide to Self-Remembering and Self-Observation during our daily activities. As mentioned previously, reading the Tales out loud could could be an opportunity for conscious breathing.
Finally I would like to mention Intentional Suffering, or Voluntary Suffering as it is sometimes called. This seems to be Gurdjieff’s most emphasised message - it seems to be the Sunum Bonum of the Gurdjieff Work. Suffering is mentioned 80 times in Beelzebub’s Tales, 28 times in Life is Real, 17 times in Meetings With remarkable Men, 6 times in Herald of Coming Good and 34 times in In Search of the Miraculous. There are at least four aspects to Working with Intentional Suffering.
Beelzebub mentions, Sirkliniamen or ‘mechanical suffering’. He mentions the suffering of AIEIOIUOA, or Remorse of Conscience. He mentions the suffering caused by the unpleasant manifestations of others. He mentions the suffering caused by our own inherent egoism and the consequences of the organ Kundabuffer. There is another type of suffering that he mentions, which may arise from the efforts we make towards helping others and for the welfare of future generations. This is the Third Line of Work - the Work that we undertake for the Work.
There is another kind of suffering that is mentioned in Life is Real. Gurdjieff recounts certain realizations that he had at Christmas of 1927. These realizations were about the value of what he called the “automatic - that is, passive - experiencings of suffering”. Listen to what he says about this:
“And this time, beyond any doubt, I again established that during the first three years of my authorship, my labour-ability, as well as my productivity, in reality at all times strictly corresponded in its duration with the length and quality of the, so to say, “degree of contact” between my consciousness and the suffering proceeding in me on behalf of my mother and my wife.” (9)
Gurdjieff was perplexed by the effect of this automatic suffering on himself. Previously he had been convinced that “to attain any self-imposed aim it can only be done exclusively through Conscious Suffering.”
Gurdjieff goes on to say:
“To explain my case, however, by such an objective possibility was utterly impossible.
And it was impossible to explain because in this particular case I suffered unconsciously, while this process proceeded in me automatically in accordance with my typicality and the accidental crystallization in it of corresponding psychic factors.” (10)
Which of the above mentioned types of suffering are Intentional Suffering? I suppose that with the right attitude, they could all be made Intentional. In any case, suffering is an essential ingredient for our development, as was made abundantly clear by Gurdjieff in a meeting on December 7, 1941, when he said:
“One needs fire. Without fire, there will never be anything. This fire is suffering, intentional suffering, without which it is impossible to create anything. One must prepare, must know what will make one suffer and when it is there, make use of it. Only you can prepare, only you know what makes you suffer, makes the fire which cooks, cements, crystallizes, DOES. Suffer by your defects, in your pride, in your egoism. Remind yourself of the aim. Without prepared suffering there is nothing, for by as much as one is conscious, there is no more suffering. No further process, nothing. That is why with your conscience you must prepare what is necessary. You owe to nature. The food you eat which nourishes your life. You must pay for these cosmic substances. You have a duty, an obligation, to repay by conscious work.”
The fire is created by friction - Disputekrialnian-friction, which Gurdjieff mentions on page 805:
“In other words, every wish of the planetary body is taken as undesirable for the higher divine part which has to be coated and perfected, and therefore all three-centered beings of our Great
Megalocosmos constantly carry on a relentless struggle against the wishes of their planetary bodies so that there should be formed in them, in this struggle from the what is called
'Disputekrialnian-friction,' those sacred crystallizations from which their higher Divine being-part arises and is perfected in them.”
All of these practices lead us towards achieving our own “I”, and our own inner Sun Absolute. This is called the state of Ischmetch or the Sekronoolanzaknian-state, whereby we “... become such individuals as have their own sacred law of Triamazikamno and thereby the possibility of consciously taking in and coating in their common presence all that 'Holy' which, incidentally, also aids the actualizing of the functioning in these cosmic units of Objective or Divine Reason.” (p 145)
From this we understand that all of our Inner Work must conform to the Law of Three, the Triamazikamno, the most basic Law in the Megalocosmos, which functions according to the process of Harnel-Miatznel.
I would like to conclude with a few words from my one of my teachers in the Work. His well chosen words very succinctly sum up the method of Inner Work, as he understood it:
“Conscious Labour includes the performance of all recommended exercises requiring conscious effort, gradually leading to Holy Affirming in our daily activities.”
“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.”
“Intentional Suffering is the intentional acceptance of all suffering which is a part of all existence. To prepare us for this type of Holy Affirmation in our daily lives we are assigned special exercises including seeking out or welcoming suffering in all its forms, especially those forms which are overlooked or moved into different categories, such as “anxiety”, “fear” or “depression”. It is sometimes useful as a preparation to induce self-imposed suffering but this is to be abandoned when we learn how to meet the normal lot of humanity's suffering.” (11)
Finally, it might be instructive to view all that has been said in light of one of Gurdjieff’s aims, as stated in the final paragraphs of Beelzebub’s Tales:
“… one of the fundamental tasks I have set myself under essence-oath; a task which consists in this: ultimately also to prove, without fail, theoretically as well as practically, to all my contemporaries, the absurdity of all their inherent ideas concerning the suppositious existences of a certain “other world” with its famous and so beautiful “paradise” and its so repugnant a “hell”; and at the same time to prove theoretically and afterwards without fail to show practically, so that even every “complete victim” of contemporary education should understand without shuddering and know, that Hell and Paradise do indeed exist, but only not there “in that world” but here beside us on Earth.” (12)
2. Nicholas Tereshchenko, The Hapax Legomena in Russian, privatley published pamphlet handed out at the All & Everything Conferences. An expanded version has been published.
3. 1st Corinthians 12:6, 1st Corinthians 15:28; Ephesians 1:15.
4. C. Daly King, Oragean Version, privately published.
5. A. R. Orage, Psychological Exercises.
6. Seymour Ginsburg, Gurdjieff Unveiled.
7. Nikolas Tereshchenko, Mister Gurdjieff & the Fourth Way; Le Message De Gurdjieff.
8. Paul Beidler, Adventures in Awareness, privately published.
9. G. I. Gurdjieff, Life is Real, Then, Only When I Am, p.41.
11. Paul Beidler, Adventures in Awareness, privately published.
12. G. I. Gurdjieff, Beelzebub’s Tales, p.1238.
© Copyright 2008 by Ian C MacFarlane
The Endless Search © 2004 - 2005 Ian C. MacFarlane