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We must endure patiently the life conditions that we cannot change.

Heptachord of Suffering Exercise

Second Conscious Shock - Intentional Suffering 

This page explains the method of using the Heptachord Exercise for applying the Second Conscious Shock of Intentional Suffering to the 'higher intentionally actualizing mdnel-in' of the law of Heptaparaparshinokh. The Heptachord Exercise is used for transforming our suffering based Negative Emotions into the energies required to coat or grow our higher being bodies. It is based on  the Holy Equation which is a law conformable process for transforming energy based on the Law of Three - "A new arising from the previously arisen through the "harnel-miatznel", the process of which is actualized thus The higher blends with the lower to actualize the middle, which becomes lower for the next higher or higher for the previous lower."

This Holy Equation is the basic pattern of all Inner Work.

 When the Holy Equation Exercise is applied twice in succession, it completes the octave of the Heptachord of Suffering Exercise. This is the process that Gurdjieff claims will create our two Higher Being Bodies by transforming the energies of Impressions, Air and Food; electrical, chemical and molecular energies. Some of the Neutral or Reconciling energy resulting from first application of the Holy Equation is used as the input for the second application of the Holy Equation which completes the octave and the resulting Neutral or Reconciling energy is coated on the Higher Being Bodies. Gurdjieff makes many references to this process in Beelzebub's Tales.

This process is also spoken of by Gurdjieff in the unpublished Enneagram Lecture, which was the basis for Chapter 14 of In Search of the Miraculous by Ouspensky:

"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."
"The seven basic tones of the octave express the law of the septenary and the "Do" of the next octave added to complete the process, gives the 8 steps of a complete octave, being the symbolical expression of the binary of the quaternaries: 'Do, re, mi, fa' - 'sol, la, si, do'."

Thus we have: "harnel-miatznel" - "harnel-miatznel" or "yes, no, dispute, result" - "yes, no, dispute, result" or "Do, re, mi, fa" - "sol, la, si, do".


Heptachord of Suffering Exercise

The Holy Equation

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 Affirming."

"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."  (Paul Beidler)

This exercise details the sequential process of applying the Holy Equation twice to form an Octave of Transubstantiation.
Perceiving the suffering arising from our connection to a living system and suspecting that creative enduring of suffering may enhance conscience, we will apply the heptachord of suffering to our daily encounters with suffering.
For example, starting from :

0. Life experience of a personal Holy Denying suffering, followed by ...
1. citing or naming the personal Holy Denying suffering, followed by ...
2. a Holy Affirming of the energy spent in the suffering, resulting in ...
3. a Holy Reconciled "impartiality", making it possible to ...
4. curb the suffering's manifestation, then diverting the energy saved ...
5. to the expression of a companion characteristic such as joy, followed by ...
6. a savoring of a transubstantiated comprehension between the suffering and its companion, leading to ...
7. a coating on an inner-being embryo often surfacing as intellectual deprivation, a quiet mind.

Step by Step Explanation

0. Life experience of a personal Holy Denying suffering : During our daily life we will experience situations and desires that arouse suffering and negative emotions. The basis of suffering is the Holy Denying Force of the planetary body, as manifested through its urges, instincts, desires, wishes, and psychological and social drives. Some of these are attributable to Kundabuffer or our inherent and acquired egoism and personality. Other Denying Forces may even arise from Essence. Some examples are given above and on this page.

1. Citing or naming the personal Holy Denying suffering : When, by Self Observation, we notice or recognize the manifestation of a Holy Denying suffering or trait in the course of daily life, we need to acknowledge its presence by naming it, such as 'this is anger' or 'this is a denying force', etc. We need to Sense its energy in our body. We need to feel its emotional expression. We need to observe the thoughts that accompany it and justify it. In the beginning we may need to allow the Denying force to express itself in action in order to observe all its characteristics, but the ultimate goal is the non-expression of the negativity.

We are a living representation of the Law of Three and by this first step we are placing or entering one of the expressions or terms, the Denying one, into the holy equation of energy transformation according to the Law of Three.

2. Holy Affirming of the energy spent in the suffering : There are several aspects to this step of the equation, which involves placing or entering the second expression or term of the equation, the Affirming one.

One way of Affirming this Holy Denying suffering is to acknowledge that the Holy Denying force is a law conformable and necessary aspect of the universe created by His Endlessness. We can accept or bear the suffering without complaint.

Another aspect of Affirmation of the Denying energy is to oppose the Denying energy with another activity, called an Affirmation, to interfere with the manifestation the Denying force.  We can employ an Affirmation exercise such as Sensing a part of the body or repeating a mantra or verbal affirmation as suggested on the Affirmation Exercise page. This is where the Affirmation is actually exercised. For example, if ones chosen Affirmation was Sensing ones hand, one would actually commence the Sensing here.

3. Holy Reconciled "impartiality" : This step is the third and final part of the equation of the transformation of energy according to the Law of Three. This step yields the Reconciled result of the blending of the higher Affirming with the lower Denying. We will experience this Reconciling energy as an inner state of impartiality or non-identification with the Denying force.

The strength of the result will depend on whether the higher and lower forces were equally balanced. If the Affirmation is not strong enough, the Denying force will predominate and we will be captured by our Identification with the suffering and its manifestation will proceed to varying degrees, depending on the strength of the Affirmation. In other words, the Reconciling energy will become higher for a succeeding lower purpose, that of allowing the physical manifestation of the denying force.

If the Affirmation is strong enough to counter the Denying force, a balanced impartiality will be the outcome and some of the Reconciling energy will gravitate towards the center of gravity of our higher being bodies. In other words, the Reconciling energy will become lower for a succeeding higher purpose of coating the higher being bodies.

4. Curb the suffering's manifestation : If the previous step of the equation had a balanced or positive output of Reconciling energy, we will have succeeded in transforming its energy and thereby curbing or stopping the expression of the Denying force by entering a state of impartiality or non-identification. Some of this Reconciling energy is now available to be diverted into a new second equation of the Law of Three as the Denying term. Note that this Denying energy of a higher quality than the original. It has become the lower for the succeeding higher. The succeeding higher is the next Affirmation that we apply to the new second equation by diverting the energy thus saved.

5. Expression of a companion characteristic : Here we apply an Affirmation which serves as the second term of the new second equation.

This Affirmation can be of several types as suggested above for the first Affirmation, plus the addition of another type of Affirmation, that of expressing companion or contrasting characteristic of the Denying force or suffering or of Evoking one of the Higher Emotions, such as Faith, Hope, Love, Compassion. A companion characteristic could be joy, generosity, acceptance, laughter, tenderness, etc.

6. Savoring of a transubstantiated comprehension between the suffering and its companion : This step is the third and final part of the new second equation of the transformation of energy according to the Law of Three. This step yields the Reconciled result of the blending of the higher Affirming with the lower Denying.

This step will yield a state that could be considered as a manifestation of the Voice of Conscience, wherein we experience the contrast and contradictions between the Affirming and Denying forces in us. It will help us see ourselves and others more objectively and will contribute to our level of Objective Reason or Reason of Understanding.

7. Coating on an inner-being embryo : The resulting Reconciling energy will gravitate towards the center of gravity of our higher being bodies and add a new coating on them for the growth of our Being.

One indication of a successful application of the Heptachord of Suffering will be an inner state of Being characterized by a calm inner silence, unaffected by the whirlwind of life and our atmosphere of Denying urges and desires. We should savor this state as long as possible. This would be a good time to Sense our body and take in Impressions using the Sightless Gaze exercise.

The Endless Search 2004 Ian C. MacFarlane