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“You can take force from your animal and give it to Being.” (Gurdjieff to Kathryn Hulme)

The Holy Equation Exercise

The Fundamental Key To Inner Work

The Holy Equation is the basic pattern of all Inner Work and is based on the Law of Three - "The higher blends with the lower to actualize the middle, which becomes lower for the next higher or higher for the previous lower."  The middle is the Reconciling energy which is coated on the Higher Being Bodies. This process is spoken of by Gurdjieff early in his Teaching career in the unpublished Enneagram Lecture, which was the basis for Chapter 14 of In Search of the Miraculous by Ouspensky :

"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. That is the first half of the formula. The second part of it speaks for itself and thereby points out the direction of the solution."

Gurdjieff makes many references to this process in Beelzebub's Tales. Here is one of them : 

In other words, every wish of the planetary body is taken as undesirable for their higher divine part which has to be coated and perfected, and therefore all three-centered beings of our Great Megaloscosmos 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."
"In this constant struggle of theirs, the equilibrating harmonizing principle is their second being-body, which in their own individual law of Triamazikamno represents the neutralizing source; and therefore this second being-part always remains indifferent to their mechanical manifestations, but for all their active manifestations it always tends according to the second-grade cosmic law ‘Urdekhplifata’ to unite with those desires of which there are more whether in one or the other of the two mentioned opposite being-parts. (3)

This is the Holy Equation, also known as the Holy Affirming Prayer, from Beelzebub's Tales : 

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)

"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)


Step by Step Explanation

1. Observing a Holy Denying force of desire or suffering : During our daily life we will experience situations and desires that cause suffering. 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 derive from Essence. Some examples are given above and on this page.

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 experiencing one of the expressions or terms, the Denying one, of the holy equation of energy transformation according to the Law of Three.

2. Holy Affirming of the energy spent by the Holy Denying force of desire or suffering : There are several aspects to this step of the equation, which involves bringing in 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.

Another aspect of Affirmation of the Denying energy is to channel the energy into another activity. We can use the energy to exercise self-restraint to prevent the manifestation the Denying force. We can accept or bear the suffering without complaint. 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.

3. Holy Reconciled Transubstantiation of the energies of Affirming and Denying : 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.

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.

The Endless Search © 2004 Ian C. MacFarlane