The Book of Wolf
Here are some of the thoughts and ideas that I have discovered
over the past 26 years by tickling the ears of Wolf.
I thought that you might like to read them and to give me feedback
by telling me what you think of them, and of how useful you think they are to you or anybody.
I would like this to be an interactive experience for us all.
So, after I write a section I send it off to you for your comments: and for you to share your ideas and wisdom with us all.
I include your comments and our responses to comments in my next ‘send.’ We all have our ideas, that way. Everyone’s
comments and responses, in the book, are kept anonymous, unless you particularly
want to include your name. That is entirely up to you. Just let me know.
Here is my email address for your comments and feedback : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Book of Wolf and Summary of The
From the time of ancient esoteric schools it is said that mankind
is asleep. What does that mean? How can it be said that we all wander around
with our eyes open in a state of semi-unconsciousness, or worse, like Hollywood
zombies, or not even?
Does it have anything to do with feeling sleepy, or not enough,
or too much, actual sleep? You know, that thing that you’re only supposed
to do for 8 hours every night while lying prone in bed? No.
G.I. Gurdjieff, who came from one of those mystery schools in
the late 19th century, taught this. P.D. Ouspensky, who, as a disciple of Gurdjieff, wrote down his ideas in Ouspensky’s
book 1. “The Fourth Way.” So, what is sleep?
Sleep is our inability to actually will ourselves to do things
beyond the mechanical urgings of necessity.
This, in itself, is because we have many “I’s.” Perhaps the difference between a schizophrenic and ourselves is that the schizophrenic
has simply lost the ability to observe when a different “I” arises.
In Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’s system, in order to emerge
from our chronic state of sleep, and in order to get anywhere near the state of achieving our wills on a united front of “I’s”,
it is necessary to observe ourselves; and this is our only power of change.
When we observe that fact of our own inner fragmentation, with
horror we start to wake up to our own ongoing sleep. What we call our “will” is really only our reactions to mechanical
The “I” that started you on a New Year’s Resolution
to next year abandon a personal Xmas Day altogether, and, instead, act as a volunteer in a charity soup kitchen for the homeless,
is long forgotten by Easter, let alone December! Worse, the “I” that
sat you down to write a “to do “ list in the morning, determined, at that time, that you should not waste your
day, looks in horror on it at day’s end to discover that you have done only half, or even that it is forgotten entirely,
due to that phone call, or some other interruption.
So, where is your motive power?
Where is your will? Another way of saying this is, where has your Intention gone?
More about that in a later chapter.
But sleep is more insidious than the above examples. In his book 2. “A New Model of the Universe,” Ouspensky refers to an event
he came across towards the start of World War 1. Outside an inn he saw a truck
of artificial limbs bound for The Front. He asked the driver what they were for. The driver replied that they would be needed.
Ouspensky, P.D “The fourth Way”
– Routledge & Regan Paul Ltd., London, 1975
Ouspensky,P.D. “A New Model of the Universe”
–Lund Humphries., London, 1960
Look, if you will, at the horror of that. The efficient “I” of man can create this truck of artificial limbs because “they will
be needed,” but lacks all power to stop the mechanical and sleeping, reactive
nature of the primate man to actually control events to ensure that such a total disaster as war does not even happen in the
I think that that is an excellent example for the elucidation
of the sleeping state of all humankind; the mad, 3-brained primates that we are. For,
make no mistake. We are all asleep. It is not only the war makers.
Perhaps when each
of us has united our own multiple “I’s” into our own will,
then mankind will have no war.
If you think that you may have heard that before, I would
suggest that you read on.
So, given that
nature controls us, that we are ruled by random, mechanical events, and, in our sleep, believe that we “do” when
we cannot “do”, how can we get out of the sleeping state and wake up? In
other words, how can we transform ourselves?
The work of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and latter day neo-Gurdjieffians such as E.J. Gold, our contemporary, in the USA,
is devoted to answering that. But, be warned.
Only if you are completely devoted to awakening will you be able to put in the necessary effort to do so.
The Earth does not push you.
Nature is happy if we bumble along, eating, breeding, doing what is necessary to survive. But she does not hinder you, either.
Free Will, in essence, is the Universe’s gift to humankind.
If you send out your postulates the Universe will aid you; as you are aiding yourself….as you can conceive of the
possibility of self transformation.
Where to start? By
struggling with negative emotions. Our human bodies are 3. . biological machines which can either conserve the energy needed for transformation in “accumulators” in our bodies, or,
waste it, through the incredible drain of generating and sustaining negative emotions.
The biggest way to avoid the trap of wasting the Work energies
that you have managed to conserve is by the Buddhist solution of “staying in present time;.” by which we are acknowledging that all we actually have is this present moment. If we choose, (that is, if we can choose; this is mainly mechanical, in our sleep) to remain lost
in the negativities of the past- and this is like re-digesting again and again the same meal- then we are living in an illusion
within our hallucinations. The past and future do not exist, otherwise. In every moment you are creating your future and either wearing away past karma, or re-creating the scars of the past
into denser sleeping patterns for your future.
Think of the potential enlightenment of fleeing the prison
cell of your past! Like a freed prisoner, determined not to repeat the same
3. Gold, E.J. “The Human Biological Machine
as a Transformational Apparatus” Gold press 1987 (?)
But how to “keep clean” in the present? How to sever the balls and chains, to not let them slow you down and drag you back
into the quicksands of past sleep?
We need a system to do that.
We need a system to preserve our wakeful moments and to increase them
on an ongoing basis.
Otherwise, these are only words on a page, which, in our
sleep, we will think that we have digested, and then, put aside to forget. The
machine is like that, you see. The machine may believe anything to keep it asleep. It may believe that we are very intelligent and can absorb anything, and, bending
it to our will, triumph! The machine may also believe that we are not very intelligent
and will just forget all of this, because it is just all too hard. Both are illusions
of the sleeping machine. Just trying to assert that anything is is also a trap. Yes, we are lost in the maze, but the Minotaur is us, and, so is
* * *
Sustems for Waking
Pardon my little joke. Didn’t
I mean Systems? Well, I guess you can use them to suss out what you want to believe.
A quick review of some major past ‘systems’ of thought
and belief provides us with a list : Animism, Witchcraft, Shamanism, The Goddess
Religion, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Philosophy, Psychology, Atheism, Bahai, The Occult,
Scientology, Gurdjieff’s System, Science, Art, Literature, Music, The New
It is, of course, up to you what you think of each. I cannot speak
for the above, to you, and will not even try. I would, however, like to impart my own beliefs on some of the above in simple
and general terms. I know that it is up to each person to seek.
To do so, I use the
framework of this question and statement: “How can I awake? How can I transform
the negative emotions of my sleeping human nature and be a helpful contributor to Humanity’s progress beyond the primate
condition? I acknowledge that I have to transform myself first. To do so I seek
first to know, and to have, a united ‘Will’ ( read ‘I’).”
I personally have found that the major religions and ‘systems’
mix fantasy and fiction along with some moral and ethical training in order to socialize the human into fitting into his society’s
mores. They all isolate the need for love as the basic guiding principle. Love
There is no doubt that Love and Compassion – to your concept
of the Universal Creator, yourself, and to your fellow humans, is correct. Who would like to disagree? Feel free to present a good argument, I’d like to
But where I find that most of the above fall down is in providing the actual training on a daily and ongoing basis,
admitting that the responsibility is with the human individual, in contrast to the Sky Father God’s sinful flock of humans who will suffer greatly, in their ignorance, if they displease daddy- that
Some “modes of operandum” of the major religions:
· Prayer to their concept of the Universal Creator
· Admitting that “I cannot do it alone.”
· Love : physical, spiritual, Agape
· Meditation: aim, to stay in present time and quieten the monkey mind’s incessant chatter in order to eliminate
· To gain control over your life by contacting the Gods and Spirits and projecting your will through ritual request for
· Erase negative karma
· Remove the scars of the past through auditing, then, in theory, achieving power of actualisation through OT processing
· Observation of many “I’s” plus exercises using the moving centrum to wake from sleep, which includes not being in thrall to the ego
· New Age methods : a varied composite of all of the above plus attempts to use modern technology to observe the brain
Would you like to add anything?
It would be a pleasure for me to read it. Further to the notion of ego, however. This can be defined as the illusion
that all of your “I’s” are united into one, and that you can splendidly ‘do,’ (hopefully in
a transformed and enlightened way for the good of all 1”:and
it harm none,” – but, usually, as egoists can testify to, it does harm some, or all, if you believe in the concept
of “Indra’s Net”.(See
most references on Hinduism)
What is the origin of this grand Ego illusion? One need go further than the Alpha-Male Gorilla in his jungle environs. Domination of those who fanatically
believe that everybody must compulsorily believe what they believe (read ‘ bullying’) has, as its best exemplars:
The Inquisition, ( started with the attempted abolition of The Knights Templar), persecution of Protestants by Catholicism,
The Muslim empire(s) and so on.
The analogies to the Alpha
behaviour among gorillas and in the animal kingdom in general are obvious. Oh, by the way, females both enact and copy
this, too. “Humans” do it for : territorial expansion, ownership and domination, whether of : souls, material
wealth, or bodies. Children, of course, mimic this behaviour in school yard bullying.
I personally favour methods to deal with the problem of self-actualisation
that are practical and which move me from mere intellectual processing (Sleep), to informed actions. But, how pompous “I”
sound, ( or, at least, this “I”!)
fourth Way” Ouspensky’s Chapter XIV, p. 356, refers to three methods to overcome personal difficulties that prevent
one doing the work of self transformation: firstly, negative emotions, secondly, imagination, and thirdly,
formatory thinking. If you are interested, you may read this yourself. Here, however, is a summary, in which I attempt to
3. “word-clear” these definitions.
Witchcraft – Oral tradition
2. Ouspensky “The fourth Way”
3. all acknowledgements
to Scientology’s “Study Tech.” (many sources.) eg., “Study” course, “Teachers Manual”
L.R.Hubbard, Hubbard Press, 1964, especially pages 6 –8 (Scientology insists, very rightly, on the need to not skip words you do not really understand, hopeful
that the context will clear them enough. That way may lie :confusion, roving
thoughts, light-headedness, uneasy distraction, and feelings of sickness.)
Ways to overcome Sleep
Ouspensky states that we need to overcome these
three obstacles to the awakened state. These are the three ways that we keep
Unconsciously, we may have identified- let ourselves slip
into- the desire to copy others’ splendidly negative emotions. For example,
as a teacher, I know I was affected by, and identified with, dominating teachers in my youth who used : sarcasm, cynicism,
and expressions of anger to hide their: fears, lack of certainties of how to control their students, and, frankly, just to
express their own needs for power- over. The ‘modelling’ from one
generation continues to affect further generations. It is dire sleep indeed.
Ouspensky warns us
1 “Some people cannot stop being negative…and when
negative emotions become hardened and permanent they usually stop every kind of work; everything becomes mechanical and a
person cannot progress.”
To destroy negative emotions you must find your “pet
one” (ibid) and begin there. This may be your 2 chronic tone. You must acknowledge that the cause of this expression of negative emotion is not in the other person,
but in you. You do not have to react. You
have chosen to-or, rather, your chronic defense against the awakened state has
just kicked in, and you have allowed yourself to become taken over by the “I” that this represents.
If you doubt that this
is true, then remember when you have seen other people handle similar situations.
For example, where you have used anger, they have used humour! This proves that the use of anger to control situations is neither inevitable, nor even useful! So, remove the justification; do not try to find reasons to justify it. Don’t express the negative
emotion. Remember yourself. We have only one power in this work when the sleep
closes in: simply, to observe it doing so. If you can remember to do this,
then the situation will change. Control the manifestation of negative emotions by not expressing them.
can do nothing when you are in the negative emotion…(only)…. before and after….You must observe them and
must already have a certain control over their expression…try not to identify as often and as much…for they are
always connected with identification, and if you conquer identification, they disappear.’
For harder emotions
states “you can deal with them by creating a right mental attitude, by thinking not at the time but in-between, when
you are quiet. Try to find the right attitude, the right point of view, and make it permanent.
If you create right thinking
1.Ouspensky “The Fourth Way’
Eulogy For Dian
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead’s quote was the beginning of the transformation for changing the thinking
about adoption not only here in Australia but throughout the western world
A small group of mothers headed by Dian Wellfare brought forth a voice to millions of women
all over the world who had lost their babies to the adoption machine.
Dian was a sixteen year old single mother when she lost her only and beloved baby to the
evil practices that were rampant throughout this country. Her baby swept away and hidden away from her without her ever having
looked into his face. She had suffered the most mortal wound that could beset a mother….. the loss of her first-born
It was a wound from which she would never recover, an invisible wound that would bleed for
many years, until she finally set eyes on her one and only child for the first time.
She referred to her awakening as finally coming out of the “fog” that clouded
her mind. With the determination of a Titan, Dian started to deal with the catastrophic blow that had been dealt to her and
Reaching out to women in 1995 she found a few mothers who shared her experience. It was
from this small group of mothers that Dian founded a support group known today as Origins. It was to be the birth of her vision
that has had a dynamic impact exposing the damage of mother and child separation.
This small group grew and became an organisation that would research not only the mental
health damage of adoption but also the illegal practices that saw 150,000 women like Dian lose their babies in Australia.
Many long hours were spent trawling libraries and bookshops searching for books, papers
and anything she could find on adoption. Her library on this one issue would be the envy of any agency that dealt with the
And over a short period of time it became apparent to Dian, that young vulnerable women
like her were used as “social experiments” to cure the problems of the infertile couples demanding children.
In her own words, “the truth about the lies and crimes of the perpetrators came flying
off the shelves at her”.
Outraged and motivated to expose the truth of one of the greatest violations of women in
this country Dian set herself on a course that would take her voice not only across Australia but across many lands and into
the minds of so many other mothers who were “asleep” or in a trauma blocked out by the catastrophic loss of their
Like a sleeping giant finally waking, mothers across the world finally started to see the
truth of the adoption myth. I was one of those women.
As a student in 1997 it was one of my assignments to study the dynamics of a group. Never
have dealt with my adoption issues I decided to study a support group that focused on adoption.
I made my first phone call to Origins in April of that year and for the first time I spoke
to Di. It was a phone call that would not only change my life but would also bring about a friendship that spanned the past
I went along to my first support group meeting, and for the very first time met a woman
who not only inspired me but the only one who finally gave me the courage to voice one of the greatest catastrophes of my
life, the loss of my baby. It was a secret so horrible, I had held it in silence and shame for over three decades.
For the first time in my life I was finally given permission to talk not only about my loss
but to finally grieve openly for my child.
But this was not only my story, this was the story of many mothers like myself. Dian gave
back the voices to many, many, mothers to do the same. For once in our lives we could openly talk of our pain and suffering,
not as victims but as any mother who had lost a child though any other circumstance.
By helping mothers to finally have a voice, Dian gave us not only the confidence to speak
up, but also gave us the courage to demand accountability for the actions of those who had not only committed us to a life
of misery and shame, but also committed the most heinous crimes against motherhood known to mankind.
As Dr Geoffrey Rickarby once said, “ it was the ultimate rape of the female condition”.
Her energy was breathtaking and her determination and courage was dynamic, she had the capacity
to lead mothers into battle to regain their dignity and reclaim their integrity
With a burning desire for justice, and to prove to her beloved son Andrew that he was loved
and wanted, and that he was stolen from her, Dian took the State of NSW to court in 1996.
She lost her action along with 2 appeals.
The blatant denial of justice would have been enough to crush the most hardened of litigants
but not for Dian. It drove her on to demand a parliamentary inquiry into adoption practices on the ABC Lateline, program.
With nerves of steel she presented her arguments in such an articulate manner that she flustered a seasoned adoption expert
From then on Dian was not to be silenced and encouraged mothers to see their local politicians
and lobby them for an inquiry. After two demonstrations led by Dian outside state parliament house we finally got our Inquiry
into adoption practices.
I was with Origins when this event happened and did my best to support my friend. No one
saw Dian working over her computer day and night putting together the submission that drew together and finally made sense
of the history and crimes of adoption.
Driven on by the loss of her court case and the quest for truth she finally presented a
document of over 200 pages to the Inquiry, the basis of a book and all done over a period of a few short weeks.
She thought that finally the truth would be exposed. It was out there for the world to read
Two and a half years later after mountains of evidence and over 300 mothers stories, we
finally saw the report handed down in the year 2000, the report finally acknowledging adoption practices committed against
mothers like herself were illegal, but what happened to that truth?
As fast as it came out it was swiftly buried once again by a government that cowered from
dealing with its own crimes.
Following the release of the report, Dian retreated from the world. Her thoughts only concerned
looking after and counselling mothers and the adoptees that rang her. She was their lifeline and they hers. Her only contact
with the outside world was through those people that called and those she spoke to through the internet.
Mothers became her sisters, and young men and women adoptees saw her as their mother figure.
Dian was known as “Motherluv” on her forum. She showed love and care, and also took much pride in her boys Matty,
Charlie and Skelly.
In the long hours of the night, hers was the voice that calmed the broken, the traumatised
and the hopeless who turned to her. She was the one that so many people turned to, where they could not find anyone else to
understand the level of their pain.
She was the one who could reach into their wounds and calm and heal their suffering, all
this love and compassion unselfishly given to others and never dwelling on her own pain.
Not only a rock that offered safety to so many, she had become a fountain of knowledge on
adoption, and through that knowledge changed the attitudes of people not only in Australia but also throughout the rest of
Her statements were profound. On typing in her name to Google recently, I brought up many
links to a quote she made, this is one of many.
“In order for an adoption to be successful you must first destroy the mother”.
This quote led to people all over the world debating adoption, from a 12year olds’ essay to a students PHD thesis
Her analogies were famous and attracted much criticism, one of them questioning the art
of parenthood, where she says to an adoptive father.
“Don't flatter yourself too much about parenting. It hardly takes intellect, just
instinct. Even monkeys do it hanging upside down in a tree, scratching their bums at the same time.”
“In case you still don’t get it, which you obviously won't, it means: don’t
think you're superior because you parent. Even monkeys do it.”
“...you sure you can't hang upside down in trees?......oh never mind.”
This one post that she put on an American forum attracted thousands of responses that led
to debates for months, a sure sign of her impact on adoption theories
Still believing that justice must prevail over evil, Dian, a woman of “superior intelligence”
as Dr Geoffrey Rickarby describes her, took her case back into court again in December 2006.
She spent nearly each waking hour, minute and second of the day for 2 solid years, to study
the laws that were broken to argue her case against the state for fraud.
Hidden in a deserted court building away from the view of the public and court reporters,
she single handedly presented her legal arguments in The Supreme Court of NSW.
I was privileged to have sat with her that day, the two of us against the State.
Dian, Courageous, Magnificent, a Lioness, slayed the dragon and tore down the arguments
of the State, and they knew it. Once again their cowardly response was again to deny her justice.
Here is where things become hard to speak of.
Since that day and over the past 2 years I have watched my friend suffering with her health,
never really complaining about the pain she was suffering, and through this pain she still maintained the strength to counsel
mothers and adoptees, and redecorate her much loved home at Dulwich Hill. Still giving of herself to everyone and everything
that needed her.
Her vision was to move into another chapter of her life where she could once more become
active and enjoy life again. But as we know now this was not to be. The pain that disguised its self as symptoms of other
illnesses, manifested to an illness that was to ultimately reveal itself as her most destructive adversary.
Over the past week I have had listened and read messages from people all over the world
paying tribute to her, each one of them acknowledging that she was unique, all agreeing that never again will anyone have
the persona to attract so much discussion on adoption as Dian. She was the catalyst that can never be replicated.
Reflecting now as a friend to Dian, I would like to express my own feelings for her.
Someone told me recently after losing another dear friend that the greatest love stories
were usually those shared by friends, and in the case of Di and I this would be so.
From our first meeting, she gave me the strength and courage to walk with her on a journey
that would take us into places where even the very bravest of people hardly dared to venture.
She awoke my sleeping mind and gave me back a dignity that I had lost for so many years.
She gave me the knowledge to fight for and to find my stolen son and to have him back in my life again.
She gave me the courage to fight at her side for justice for women like myself.
She gave me back myself, a person who was lost to herself so many years ago.
Never a hard word, or too busy to chat, we spent many hours discussing the directions of
Origins, our children, our families and our problems, Dian always playing the devils advocate for difficult situations.
She always had a very special way of seeing the most difficult problems in a clear and simple
These were the gifts that were not only given freely to me, but also to other mothers she
came into contact with, here in this country, and far across the seas.
Never ashamed of herself, she challenged people’s values, beliefs, and minds, and
this brought her respect even from people with the most strongly held opinions.
She was insurmountable and openly declared her love for her son Andrew through her every
deed, suffering and quest, taken not for herself but firstly for him
She elevated mothers from being victims of a cruel and evil catastrophe. She inspired them
to openly speak of their grief as she has done, and not feel ashamed to declare their love for their lost children.
Dian has given Origins and those who have come into contact with her every thing a person
could possibly give. She has given us the ultimate gift, her life, and we can never repay her for her love, devotion and compassion,
and we thank her for the strength she has given us.
We who have loved her can honour her by standing in the truth she left us and by staying
strong and making her life’s sacrifices count for something.
I believe that she is now watching over us, her wings wrapped tightly around us all, her
family, her mothers, their children and friends.
Her love and strength will keep us safe and one day we will all have the justice that our
beloved leader fought so desperately hard for.
We who knew and loved Dian will share the sadness and loss with her beloved family, her
mother Marion, father Gregor, her sisters Dale, Donna and Debbie and their families.
In a promise made to her a few short days before she left us
The committees of Origins, NSW, Queensland and Victoria
promised to carry on with her vision, and even now I know that she is lobbying with a higher authority than anyone
here on earth for justice and peace for her friends.
The journey has come to an end for Dian and we who cherished her were blessed to have shared
it with her.
It is now goodnight and time to say……
Sleep well, beloved daughter, sister, mother and friend.
Comments and Responses
C: I’ve finally
read the second instalment of The Book of Wolf and found it really interesting. I
liked that old Arab saying- Do not name the well at which you will never drink. I liked reading all three parts: firstly Ouspensky’s
and Gurdjieff’s ideas about dealing with negative emotions, imagination and sleep, then the comments and your responses,
and lastly your tribute to Diane Wellfare who sounded like an amazing person whose strength and commitment seem to have been
inspired by integrity, justice and compassion.
I didn’t really
have much to say except that sleep may have a positive or necessary aspect to it which could explain why we (even Gurdjieff
himself) tend to do it, viz. bouncing around in our various “I’s” but never in the NOW where the I’s
become redundant. Animals’ more limited neurophysiology tends to put them
more in the now. This could give them fewer negative emotions and fears; they
just live but they do it in the Darwinian context of having to eat or be eaten. Experiencing
eating is preferable to being eaten which is a horrific in the now experience; utterly terrifying and dreadful as can be seen
in nature docos, e.g., a python devouring a monkey or other mammal, a lion pursuing and catching its prey, a scorpion crunching
its victim, a wasp paralyzing a spider and then laying its eggs in it as food when they hatch, etc.
Now let’s move
on to the more complex human neurophysiology/psychology. Understanding or The
Fourth Way may involve ridding oneself of negative emotions, imagination and sleep and sustaining perception in the NOW where
the multiple “I’s’ merge into a single unitary awareness. If
human societies tend to be patriarchal, hierarchical, unfair and exploitative then we will too often see and experience bad
things like being punished, witnessing violence, poverty and abuse, etc. So if
we have the choice of not being in the now then we might take it as it will remove us from the dread of the now as in Sartre’s
‘Nausea’ where being in the now made the main character nauseous.
So I’m suggesting
(more as food for thought) that the dread of the now may be more a likely situation than the euphoria of the now so that as
we have the choice of not being in the now, unlike animals, we take it. However,
the realisation of a Utopian sex economic society may one day make being in the now a beautiful experience that we will want
In the meantime I look
forward to the next instalment of The Book of Wolf.
R: Thank you for your comments!
Formatory thinking is the mechanical thinking useful for handling danger. It thinks in extremes: safe or dangerous? It is just not what is appropriate for transcendence of the human condition.
The switch to “on”,
“alert for danger” is always on! That does represent the mechanical
thinking, brain of habit, that we all wear, all the time. Any doubts? The adrenaline glands is the main operator, here, in the “fight or flight” glandular centre
near our kidneys.
Ouspensky talks about
“wrong work of centres”, (which I will discuss in Chapter 5), and it is in this context that we need to examine this main use of formatory thinking.
What goes wrong for us is when we use formatory thinking for everything! Then our mind and body become like overwound mechanical toy robots, forever sending us around and around in the
1 “old antique circuits” of : dominance,
submission, with the inner voice of imagination running ourselves down, or 2 “your
playing small”, and, in general, both reducing our effectiveness and making sure that no big lions like 3Napoleon
can ever come along and bite our heads off!
C: Very interesting
subject matter. I’ve read this a couple of times and each time got a little
more out of it. It’s about time someone tied these ideas together. I guess that in later chapters they will be linked towards the conclusion.
R: Yes, thanks, and
everyone’s comments help me to do that.
C: I am assuming that you would want your book to be read by as
many people as possible so as many as possible may be helped, so I would simplify the language, flow and sentence structure
to improve readability and more directly, so that people can relate to them, explain the “I” theories more (or
use multiple facets of our personalities as the description) and show how, beginning with personal observation, we can concentrate
and use our concentrated, focused will for good.
R: Yes, thanks. The
‘showing how’ is the book’s process, and progress. I am hoping
to use simple examples more and more. I’m glad you understand the ‘many I’s.’ Yes, you
have revealed the book’s aim. Many I’s is useful, as it also brings into focus the idea of “I am” = My Ego. And this is why we need to carefully deconstruct this notion of a unified ego, or self. We do not have that yet. We are still all asleep, able to
be taken over by another ‘I” at any time.
C: It seems that
books relating to self improvement/awareness sell reasonably well these days. But
to sell they need to offer people solutions they can apply rather than present a collection of possibly applicable theories. No doubt you will have this covered in later chapters.
Perhaps the first chapter could explain how you are going to do this and later provide, for example, practical methods
for projecting your will and how postulates are collected by… and how the results of them are returned to us.
R: Thanks for your suggestions.
I want this first draft to “grow like Topsy” – organically, as it can… feeding off peoples’
inputs. I take notes of your suggestions, and will address them in later chapters. We
are laying the groundwork, at present.
C: The connections between the arguments and the conclusions you
seem to be working towards seemed a little tenuous. For example, where you draw
the conclusion that ‘war mongers’ will not seek to promote war and murder if they are able to amalgamate their
multiple ‘I’s.’ To me it seems that it depends on what the
amalgamated or even the selected ‘I’ is like. Tighten and explain
the links of progression from self-awareness to self-actualization. Please let
me know if I am missing the point. Thanks for sending this to me. I’d be
interested to read forthcoming chapters.
R: Yes, you are right
on the point, I will be delighted to send them to you…as we all form them…together. The tightening of the links will come. For now, consider Hitler
and his audience- the German people. It has been said that Hitler entered an occult school to hone his will. This he did. However, his will was only put on the German
people because, as was noted by allied military people at the time, the German
people completely accepted the power of external authority. In addition, the
huge rallies allowed them to sink into the arms of the strong men who had wrested authority for themselves, and gratefully
relinquish their own, divided wills to the Alpha Nazi State of the time.
So, Hitler was only Will,
but his subjects were completely taken over by his different methods of hypnotism ( state propaganda, altered school history
books, youth groups, mass rallies). In other words, Hitler created a Reality
for a whole nation, and, in their ignorance, the German people by and large accepted it due to their own disunited wills. What can we create for the future?
In this new stage in
History many of us are now more aware of our status at individuals, not as sheep
to be led by some omnipotent pastor external to us. How will we work towards
a better future both individually and collectively? The old adage “Physician,
heal thyself” is very pertinent here. We must all ‘make a start’, as you say,’ for good.’ As Margaret Mead stated at the beginning of Lilly Arthur’s Eulogy for Dian,
‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed,
it’s the only thing that ever has.’
I would add that the
‘small group’ cannot even begin until we all, as individuals, take on the yoke of self-development. And, for a long time, all we can do is to observe our ‘many I’s.’ Starting a log book can help unify them; jot down what they are- how you begin to
notice them. It is hard work, but
it is worth it. Let’s move towards this.
I know I do, and it has helped, otherwise I would not be writing this. After a while one can successfully just observe
the transitions between the ‘I’s’, and that gentle power of observation does, in itself, change the situation. Water wearing down a stone!
As “The Bhagavad
Gita” points out,
4. “Nirvana (nir “out”: vana: “to blow”)
– Complete extinction of self-will and separateness. Realization of the
unity of all life. “
If this is the final
aim – and I believe it is – we can establish our goal, our Will, our outcomes accordingly en route to this. There are many techniques that have been evolved over the ages to accomplish this:
meditation, yoga, Gurdjieff’s exercises, discussion groups. All of them
acknowledge that we need help to progress – but the self-observation using the concept of ‘many I’s’ is always there, implicit to all our stages of growth. There is nothing theoretical
What do you think?
Robert Anton Wilson
2 Nelson Mandella: 1994
inaugural speech as South Africa’s first-ever black President.
3. A Leo!
4. Bibliography pg. 233
C: Hi. Just finished reading your book about your journey and your learning…I believe the universal consciousness
is evolving all the time and to me and to me it is very interesting that what “enlightened” people are saying
now can be similar to what has been said by others for such a long time.
R: Yes, as in “The
Bhagavad Gita,” and the books don’t get much older than that!
5 “Atman:” (self) “ the innermost soul in every creature, which is divine.”
C: “Experts” tell us that writing things down for
ourselves is the most effective method to evolve our consciousness, so if these writings become published or a drawer book,
I wish you well. I think it is time that you met Eckhart Tolle, who wrote “A
New Earth” and the “Power of Now” (and a few other great books.) I
would be happy to lend you one for a short period if you feel right about the idea.
R: Yes, I would like to read Eckhart Tolle. Until then, would you like to contribute, here, some of his ideas? That
would be great. Please email me.
C: I want to keep
reading this book, but not everybody has problems. People are individuals. Thinking positively means you take
problems or challenges as opportunities in life.
R: It’s wonderful when you get strong enough to realize
that, isn’t it! I agree!
“The Book of Wolf” is not meant to pompously deny, or look down on, the individuality of people,
or to state that people cannot be happy, positive and feel free from problems. It
is simply looking at the fact that man is not a finished work; we are, as a species, flawed in our evolution. We are all a work in progress.
So I am dealing with
our species’ evolution at that generic, collective level; whilst indicating that we need to start at the individual
level to make a difference. Although one may be happy and positive, we all interconnected;
we are all linked.
One afternoon recently
I dug up photos of the graves of the four brothers who migrated to South Australia from Silesia, part of old Prussia, and
who are my ancestors on my maternal grandfather’s side. I haven’t
thought about those photos for years. And, just this afternoon, my natural brother
rang me! He has not rung me for 6 months!
I told him about the photos, and he would love copies!
Another example of how
we are all linked. Recently I dug up an old book in which I had taken notes of
Moonies lectures in the San Fernando Valley retreat I went to for a fortnight in 1980. (I had gone because I thought I might
have been able to sell an ‘inside’ story to the newspapers when I got back to Australia.) I do not recall having opened this book for twenty years. I
recalled how they were thinking of grooming me to be a frontline TV spokesperson for them.
A few days later I was
saying to Wolf that I do not feel as if I am as able to effectively speak impromptu in public as I am able to write.
The next day I got an
email inviting me to speak on a current affairs-type show – to be a representative
of adoptees’ points of view! Lily Arthur from ORIGINS invited me because
she thinks I am “very articulate!”
It is very interesting
how our links open us up to karmic growth, and to each other.
C: That sounds like
religion. People turn to religion because they can’t deal with their problems.
R: The writers of the Bible, The Koran, Buddhism, have all tried
to grapple with our human problems.
Some problems are beyond
out personal control when they are at a group level. Take war, for example. You may have a son who wants to join
the army when he grows up; and you may be wondering “What! You mean they
still have wars! Why?”
Also, some people are
‘wankers’ ( as you mentioned that word in your phone call to me I am using it,) because they are lost in that
particular Bardo ( mind set, in this context!) The fact that they are asleep
to the negativities of their state mean that you do have a problem: it is difficult to have a genuine and natural connection
to and relationship with those people.
R: I see what you mean
C: At the moment
my mind is still absorbing what I read (“The book of Wolf.”) I need
to sleep on it but not in that other sense you mean. That kind of sleep which
you refer to is what I call “blind parrot syndrome.”…I guess a lot of people who meditate on this problem
have their own terminology. …It’s my own original term, and if you
hear it it is possibly from someone who has picked it up from one of my contacts… or it has equally occurred to a kindred
R: I guess they do! I love yours!
C: I repeatedly look
up words in a hope that one day I can find the right ones to wake up the blind parrots and get them to notice what is going
on around them…I understand why Billy Connolly shouts “FUCK OFF!” at such people, and dyed his beard purple
as “an arsehole detector”…I find long blonde hair works well too… at this age I prefer to avoid them
as much as possible, it saves time for communing with kindred souls.
R: Exactly! I like
“House” on TV, too, for similar reasons. In his pain he doesn’t
have time for bullshit… except for playing with.
C: The things you said about ORIGINS and Dian Wellfare…such
a shame she burned out so soon, but what a woman!...I am so glad you found her…You have had quite a journey yourself
and your story should be told, if YOU feel up to it. I am going to watch those
documentaries (on ORIGINS) over again…I cannot comment at the moment because it blows me away.
C: Thanks for this…I’ll print it out…then come
back and make a comment. I really
appreciate your sending it to me.
R: Thank you for wanting to read it.
C: The husband of the much maligned Xanthippe, a certain Mr. Socrates,
who spent a lot of his time in the market place hanging out with the young men, and charging for lessons, while his wife was
at home trying to feed and clothe the children, and keep the rent collector at bay, said “the unexamined life is not
worth living”… this again is a reference to people being asleep and of waking up to themselves…
R: Another great inclusion!
Ibid pg. 228
Internal and External Considering
I have not necessarily
ever been a person who enjoys doing housework. I will do it in a frantic haste,
spurred on by the knowledge that I have visitors coming and feelings of guilt and shame that any traces of dirt might still
be visible. Recently I asked a builder friend if he would like to buy one of my houses, and he went around to look at it. Before I had even spoken to him, before I had even gauged his actual reaction to the
state of disarray that is present in this house, I became very 1 mis-emotional . I felt ashamed. I might need to make it clear that the person who lives in this house does not feel
this way; and so my feelings were also mixed with anger and frustration: I could not ‘make’ this person tidy up
or clear away many items distributed everywhere.
So, in this melting pot
of negative emotion I consulted Wolf, who referred me to “internal considering.”
according to Ouspensky, is part of Identification. Wolf stated that it is Identification.
spend our energy in the wrong way on identification and negative emotion; they are often taps from which our energy flows out.”
This is an example of
how I became lost in the sleep of “internal considering.” In reality,
the builder was not interested in the mess inside. He was only concerned with
the external space of the block. His goal would have been to knock down the old
house and to build townhouses, for which he needed certain dimensions of space.
This, I think, is an interesting extended analogy for explaining the differences
between ‘external’ and ‘internal’considering.
Another example of getting
lost in the internal soup of “internal considering.” I recently visited a friend whom I felt did not want to listen
to me enough, but was only waiting to speak of her own interests, as being more important.
I went away feeling ‘put down’ because I had identified with that situation. And, as previously stated,
internal considering is the same as identifying. Why should I take on board that
person’s belief systems, ( or ‘case”, in Scientology)? But,
by identifying, however, I had.
The antidote to internal
considering/identification is external considering, (surprise surprise!)
If it’s all the
same to you, Ouspensky states, why not treat the other person in the way that they would like to be treated? (Jesus’ “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”)
needs a certain amount of self-remembering; it means taking into account other people’s weaknesses, putting oneself
in their place. “Tact”, empathy, sympathy, perhaps, are closely related
descriptive terms. But tact can be educated or accidental. External considering
means control. If we learn to use it consciously, it will give us a possibility
as I said, is “Identification,” and Identification is lying, even if not consciously, and living life through the
miasmic sleep of false imaginings. It is operating when we feel that people do not give us enough. If one considers internally one misses moments of external considering.
External considering must be cultivated, internal considering must be eliminated.
But first observe and
see how often you miss moments of external considering and what an enormous role internal considering plays in life.
For, how should we behave, in relation to other people, in life? Parents use
the words : self control, relf-restraint, tact, considering others, perhaps even false imaginings e.g., “You’re
only imagining it.” And we may think that we are sometimes paranoid; suspicious
We may try, even, to
actually verify our suspicions of what others think about us, or, of why
we are not treated the way we think we should be.
But all too often we
become reactive, certain that our imaginings are actually correct. Worse still,
taken over by our “chronic” we may then project onto other people
our own negative state.
A simple example. Recently a very talkative woman I know complained about another woman who “would
not stop talking!” This is a relatively harmless example of projection.
Here is another. I recently felt strongly angry feelings against someone who I suspected of using his
authority to trample on me. Some self-observation led me to see how I was only
having that sharp reaction due to “inner considering.”
Yes, the man might be
accusing me of doing things that he himself has done – projection by him onto me.
Conveniently displacing his wrong behaviour onto me – or, I might have attracted this behavior to myself due
to my own innate tendencies. I might have these qualities myself. Another teacher at work did tell me – before this incident- that this man was a “slug”
who “did nothing.” Was I not thereby justified in feeling angry,
or this way, about this man?
However, should I not
also wonder whether the second man was projecting his own stuff onto the first man?
You see the soup that
we live in!
I know something in my reaction, here, is wrong, because of the depth
of negative emotion these interactions with this man produce in me. Because,
otherwise, I could have just used ‘external considering’ to tactfully displace myself from his sights, which,
now that I have finally cooled down enough to observe, is the course of action I will be taking in this situation. (But what
if I am imagining it? I do have some evidence.
The man, who is now ‘in my sights’ – to be fair- did inform me some months ago that he is,
in general, “very disillusioned,” (with life ? with teachers? with teaching? He did not say,) and I think
that that was the original source of my noticing that he seemed to look at me with suspicion.)
This is all to the good-
any ability I may have to externally consider- because, once you see and own inner traits, ‘make them conscious,’ you cannot
project them onto other people and circumstances.
This last statement is
extremely important. It also reminds me of Jesus’ statement “Do unto
others as you would have others do unto you.” That is because it is the
Yes. External considering
is, surely, the best!
Put another way: one becomes a victim by reflex. For example, if your parent was a bully you may have imprinted that yourself.
Then you may observe that you align with authority in order to trample on people.
In other words, you make friends with the bully so that they will trample on people.
You may align with power, or become a bureaucrat and say “It’s my job.”
People who do this just
want to be in the arms of their parents again.
When you’re doing
that unconsciously you project it outwardly. You interpret events in that way;
as if there’s an enemy, and you’re the victim. This then justifies
more negative behaviours.
But it is all really about the miasma of ‘internal considering.’
That is what lands us in the soup. And it is ‘external considering’
that gets us out of it.
Another example. Jesus said if a person strikes you on the cheek, “Turn
the other cheek.” What does that mean?
Forgiveness is only one half of the idea, even though it is a very interesting word in itself – ‘give before.’ That is, disengage before anything happens, knowing
what to expect.
Being conscious beforehand of the state of ‘ internal considering’ that the other person is in – the sleep that they are locked
in, out of which they are acting in this negative way.
So whether you are aware
beforehand, or can only remember to observe after the sleeping primate behavior ‘attacks‘ you, the important thing
is to remember yourself sufficiently to ‘ externally consider,’ not ‘internally
1.Term used by Scientology
when describing a part of the ‘reactive mind.’
Fourth Way” pg. 128
Wrong Work of Centres
Before Ouspensky wrote
“The Fourth Way” he travelled, at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, throughout Europe, Egypt, Indian, Ceylon,
Turkey , the Near East and finally, Russia, during W.W.I. There he met a group
of people who realized that the study of man began with the study of psychology, defined as 1“study of oneself.”
I have discussed in “The Book of Wolf,” to date , the necessity of self-observation, with
a need to observe the changing ‘I’s’ connected with our emotions, and desires : these changing ‘I’s’
that make up man’s inner life.
But, self observation
must be based on the understanding of our ‘functions.’ Whereas ordinarily
we are aware of intellectual and emotional functions as separate to each other, or perhaps we may say to ourselves “My
judgement was clouded by my emotions,” what we may not realize when we
try to observe ourselves is that we mix intellectual
and emotional functions.
So, when we are actually
feeling, we think we are thinking, and vice versa.
This is an example of
what is known as ‘wrong work of centres.’
However, Ouspensky and
Gurdjieff’s system recognizes two other functions: the instinctive and the moving cenrtres.
We realize that we have
autonomic systems that control : our breathing, sleeping, digestion, four senses, temperature and simple reflexive movement. In contrast, our moving centre governs learnt movement, for example: writing, walking,
“there is nothing inherent in the moving
functions and instinctive functions are all inherent.”
Why is it necessary to talk about these
functions? Because when we start to self-observe we start to notice this putting
of things into their wrong places due to lack of ability to ‘self-remember.’
1. “The fourth Way “pg. 3
2. ibid, pg. 4
Ouspensky’s system, then, refers us
to “four states of consciousness:
· one when we are asleep in bed
· one when we are ‘awake’ throughout the day
· one when we develop ‘self-consciousness’ (usually only for a moment…before we become not conscious
· one when we achieve ‘ objective consciousness’
“So at the same time as self-observing,
we try to be aware of ourselves by holding the sensation of ‘I am here’ – nothing more. And this is the fact that all Western Psychology, without the smallest exception, has missed. Although many people came very near to it, they did not recognize the importance of this fact and
did not realize that the state of man as he is can be changed- that man can remember himself, if he tries for a long time.”
We must do this to remember
and be conscious of ourselves and to put order into our functions – to put this right. When we sort out these functions the lengths of times that we can remember
ourselves will extend, and, with self consciousness:
“we acquire a function which is called
higher emotional, although it is equally intellectual, because on this level there is no difference between intellectual and
emotional such as there is on the ordinary level….
With objective consciousness
we acquire another function which is called higher mental. Phenomena of…supernatural
psychology belong to these two functions.”
So, within ourselves,
we have four different people – the physical men (instinctive and moving,)
The emotional man and
the theoretical or intellectual man. We should not always consider that we are always the same.
Although we cannot see
centres we can observe our functions. So we can observe when we are causing ourselves
distress by doing ‘wrong work of centres.’
3. ibid pg.5
4. ibid pg.5
Here is a personal example.
As you know, I am presently attempting to sell my two places. This is occasioning
a lot of stress for me. What is basically open to observation is that my moving centre is becoming quite frustrated, and is getting confused with my intellectual centre! ( I want to draw a funny cross-eyed
This manifests as adrenaline
coursing through my veins as I attempt to sleep at night- keeping me awake- and simultaneously what my daughter refers to
as my being “in worry mode.”
The Intellectual centre is attempting to control action (Moving Centre) that
will only be appropriate to take when the correct time arrives. So I am “out
of present time.”
Being out of present
time is something I can observe; as I note that my two centres - my intellectual and moving centres- need to go to their correct
Trying to keep these
two functions in their places is a skill that athletes and their trainers work on constantly, to achieve peak performance.
Perhaps I need to go for a good long walk, or swim. As my Sagittarius
brother once said to me “There’s no excuse for not exercising. Just
put on your joggers and walk out the door!” Good advice! No thinking involved, and that is why it is good for us.
So our challenge is to gradually increase the moments of self-observation
(wakefulness) as we observe ourselves, correctly identifying any wrong work of centres and taking measures to correct them.
Other ways of describing
this is by : acting appropriately, doing what is needed, being in the right space. The alternative is … the malaprop
( literally ‘out of place.’)
A maverick thought comes
to mind. I recall the frustrations endured in love by a man who- compulsively
cerebral (intellectual) – loses women by being unable to ‘let go’ and to act as ‘emotional man’
when it is the right time to do so. It may be that his sleeping state has even
invented this as a game…so that he is ready to take control of her; or to keep the potential partner dangling on a string. Games of remoteness and intimacy. Human primate behavior with jungle origins.
I am not him, and I cannot
be his personal observer. But wouldn’t it be fun to explore this further?
5 “Observation of functions requires long work. It is necessary to find many examples of each. In studying them we shall unavoidably see that our machine
does not work rightly; some functions are all right while others are undesirable from the point of view of our aim. For we must have an
aim, otherwise no study will give any
results. If we realize we are asleep, the aim is to awake; if we realize we are
machines, the aim is to cease being machines. If we want to be more conscious,
we must study what prevents us from remembering ourselves.
So we have to introduce
a certain valuation of functions from the point of view of whether they are useful or harmful for self-remembering.
So, there are two lines of study: study of the functions of our centres,
and study of unnecessary or harmful functions.”
How? In meditation or
quiet times you notice ‘I am here’ or ‘I feel like myself’, but at other times, in the midst of distractions,
we say ‘I forgot myself’ or ‘I only just remembered myself in time.’
No effort to elf-remember is
ever wasted. It will accumulate in your centres, and will allow you not to lose yourself
at times when normally you would have allowed yourself to become submerged in negative emotions.
Unobserved, wrong work
of centres leads to mechanical sleeping responses: the sudden outburst, for example, or uncontrolled talking. A lot of energy is kept in the emotional centre, often quite wrongly.
6 “Some centres are divided into two
halves- positive and negative. This division is very clear in the intellectual
and the instinctive centres. In the intellectual centre it is “Yes and
No”, affirmation and negation. All the work of the intellectual centre
consists of comparing.
The divisions in the
instinctive centre are quite plain: “pleasure-pain.” All instinctive
life is governed by this. At a superficial glance it seems that the emotional
centre also consists of two halves- pleasant and unpleasant emotions. But it is not really so. All
our violent and depressing emotions and, generally, most of our mental suffering has the same character – it is unnatural,
and our organism has no real centre for these negative emotions; they work with the help of an artificial centre. This artificial centre –
a kind of swelling- is gradually created in us from early childhood, for a child grows surrounded by people with negative
emotions and imitates them….
are rightfully so. They are all useful. The negative half of the instinctive
centre is a watchman warning us of danger. However, in the emotional centre negative emotions are very harmful.”
Here is a summary of information from Ouspensky given in this chapter
The need is TO CONTROL YOUR ATTENTION
· Each centre is divided into two halves- positive and negative.
· Then each centre is divided into an Intellectual, Emotional and Moving part-
the latter being the part most often used.
Intellectual – ‘yes’ and “no” This is the best centre to learn how to
control your attention. This centre gives the maximum of control. Otherwise, mechanical thinking becomes imagination.
Instinctive – pleasure – pain
Emotional - -needs strong, interest or identification. Identification, however, produces the minimum
of control. It is kept by the attraction of the object itself, which induces imagination at a mechanical level. This is very bad, and is the cause of most of the negative ‘Pandora’s
Box’ of human activites.
Moving – Most often used, and most mechanical. It
doesn’t need attention.
We limit ourselves by
using the weakest part of our organism. We lose ability to control our attention. Hence the paramount need to not indulge in negative emotions.
As a teacher I know that learning and negative emotions are counter indicative
The key idea is attention,
as what we put our attention on grows.
“You must distinguish
attention from identification. Attention
can be controlled, identification is mechanical…If attention is fixed on something imagination stops.”
“If one could control
the intellectual parts of all centres and make them work together, that would
be the way to higher centres. Intellectual parts will not make up a centre by
themselves, but their combined work will produce better work than they can do separately.”
of the information on Centers
Where are these centres? Wolf
responds that each centre occupies the whole body, with localization ( centre of gravity) in specific areas.
The Instinctive centre
and moving centers develop first : localization in spinal cord (lower storey)
The emotional centre
develops next: localization in solar plexus in chest (middle storey.)
The sex centre develops
last:- is conditioned by other lower centres. Localization in lower abdomen (Lower
storeys.) (Note that Ouspensky did not refer to this centre in his book “The
Higher emotional centre
and higher intellectual centre are only potential, however they are considered to be fully operational. But not properly connected
to lower centres, if at all.
The subject of attention shows which centre is operating. Each lower centre is divided into three
Mechanical part – instinctive and moving : little or not attention. Attention is wandering or absent.
Emotional part – attention without effort; attracted and repelled; held by the subject.
Intellectual part – attention is controlled and held on the subject with will and effort.
It is important to remember
that in observing different functions it is useful to observe at the same time their relation to different states of consciousness
( first, second, as listed previously.)
Functions can exist without consciousness and consciousness can exit without functions. Human machine has seven different functions, five ordinary and two potential.
The information that
the centres are everywhere throughout the body is not so hard to believe when we now find that heart transplant recipients
start to act like their unknown donor! They start to become interested in the
same hobbies as the donors; their personality changes to resemble the donor’s.
When the previously unknown donors’ families are contacted, it all becomes clear why, as the family describes
how their member was devoted to, for example, motor car sports!
All living things, from
leaves to man, generate a force field around themselves, visible to Kirlian photography.
This unified aura should remove any doubt from our minds that may be left over from older Western ideas of medicine, that each gland or organ in our bodies ,must be somehow ‘ solely in charge’
of its own functions.
Just as our language
has its roots in the ancient pool of the Indo-European cultures, so do many of the ideas that come out of ancient mystery
“The Bhagavad Gita”
is one of mankind’s first written texts. It can throw further light on the ideas in this chapter.
“Yoga, says Gandhi’s
intimate friend and secretary, Mahadev Desai, ‘ is pressed by the Gita into service to mean the entire gamut of human
endeavour to storm the gates of heaven…(It means) the yoking of all the powers of the body and the mind and soul to
God; it means the discipline of the intellect, the mind, the emotions, the will, which such a yoking pre-supposes; it means
a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects and evenly.’ ”
One of the most fascinating
things in “The Bhagavad Gita” is the ‘dawn’ of the Day of Brahma.
“a period of explosive
expansion not unlike the Big Bang with which modern cosmology says the universe began.
At this instant of creation, thrown into imbalance, prakriti” ( defined in the glossary of this book as ‘the
basic energy from which the mental and physical worlds take shape; nature’) “ differentiates itself into three
basic states or qualities of primordial energy. These are the gunas. Every state of matter and mind is a combination of these three: tamas – inertia, rajas- activity,
and sattva- harmony or equilibrium…
Guna means strand…
the very fabric of existence….Tamas, no awareness;…complete ignorance of the unity of life… of any other
need than one’s own basic urges.
Rajas is what we ordinarily
mean by mind, the incessant stream of though that races along desiring, worrying, resenting, scheming, competing, frustrating
and getting frustrated. Rajas is power released, but uncontrolled and egocentric.
Sattva, finally, is the
so-called higher mind- detached, unruffled, self-controlled. This is not a state
of repressive regulation, but the natural harmony that comes with unity of purpose, character, and desire. Negative states of mind do still come up, prompted by tamas and rajas, but you do not have to act on them….
Everything in he world
of mind and matter is an expression of all three gunas.. all three..present’ (in each person) “ …at some
level of awareness, and their proportions change: their interplay is the dynamics of personality…This becomes particularly
interesting in describing personality as a field of forces.
The rajasic person is
full of energy; the tamasic person is sluggish. Indifferent, insensitive; the sattvic person
calm, resourceful, compassionate and selfless…
As long as he identifies with his body and mind he is at the mercy of this play. But the
Self is not involved in the gunas’
interactions; it is witness rather than participant.
‘ without senses itself, it shines through
the functioning of the senses. Completely independent, it supports all things. Beyond the gunas, it enjoys their play. (13:14) ‘
…Left to itself
the mind goes on repeating the same old habitual patterns of personality. By
training the mind, however, anyone can learn to step in and change old ways of thinking; that is the central principle of
Yoga, by the way, is
not only the physical exercises accompanied by ideas that we in the West generally associate it with; but a way of life, as
expounded in “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Did Man “fall?” What is the origin of The Garden of Eden (beyond the physical piece of land known
to Iraq’s Marsh Arabs) ? I finish this chapter with a rather interesting
quote from “The Bhagavad Gita.
“In its natural
state, consciousness is a continuous flow of awareness. But through the distorting
action of the gunas we have fallen from this
native state into fragmented, sometimes stagnant awareness. Seeing through
a divided man, we see life divided wherever we look: separate selves, antagonistic interests, conflicts within ourselves. Evolution, according to the Gita, is a painfully slow return to our native state. First, tamas must be transformed into rajas- apathy and insensitiveness into energetic,
enthusiastic activity. But the energy of rajas is self-centred and dispersed;
it must be harnessed to a higher ideal by the
will. Then it becomes sattva, when all this passionate energy is channeled
into selfless action. This state is marked by happiness, a calm mind, abundant
vitality, and the concentration of genius.
But even this is not
the end. The goal of evolution is to return to unity: that is, to still the mind. Then the soul rests in pure, unitary consciousness, which is a state of permanent
So, in summary, and,
as we have known since we were babies, the only thing to do if you have fallen down is to gradually pick yourself up again
and continue along your chosen path.
5. ibid pg.55
6. ibid pg. 61
7. ibid pg.62
9. “The Bhagavad Gita” pg. 32 (see
11. ibid pgs. 29-30
Korzybsky and the Hypnotism of Language
To what extent are we
seduced further into our sleeping state by language itself? One may say, to what
degree is language, itself, quite insane?
How can language itself strip us of our reason, our attention, our will?
And, by this, I do not mean ‘high falluting’ language, but the simplest language that we use : the verb
As any hypnotist knows,
talking induces trance (read sleeping) states, and thereby has access to the deepest parts of our mind. N.L.P. (Neuro-Linguistic programming) is based on this, using the facts of “suggestion” and
“induction.” Relaxation tapes using the spoken voice soothe and calm us, and offer suggestions to us that we wish
But, to what degree are
we unwitting victims of the forces of authority inherent in the words and phrases themselves?
Advertising is very aware
of this power of suggestion, too. This is well known.
However, in this chapter
I wish to focus specifically on the delusion of stating that something “is.”
The verb “To Be”
creates an identity. When you say something is you’ve made a link between two things, that doesn’t exist in reality
but that causes conviction.
Once, physics stated,
with the authority of “is”, that “light is a wave” or “light is
particles.” At the time this caused some turbulence. Eventually physicists decided something that perhaps could be better stated thus:
seem to show it can be suggested that light may be both waves and particles.”
Let’s look at something
perhaps more contemporaneous:
“Alcohol is bad
To avoid the negative
emotions of confusion that that statement may induce in our intellectual centre “is
it/isn’t it” and the power of suggestion inherent in the verb “to
be” (that, by itself, may have the unconsidered ability to induce sclerosis of the liver) it may be best expressed in
seeming to suggest unproven connections between breast cancer and the amounts of alcohol consumed each day – themselves
in variance- may be suggesting a link between alcohol and some diseases.”
Even more to the point may be the thought that nothing else in the psychic
structure of the people in these statistics has been examined!
Alfred Korzybsky wrote
“Science and Sanity” in the twentieth century. He expounded Transformational Grammar, and was an admirer of Einstein’s
that perception is created by our brain,
and firstly by our eyes. (See how hard it is to avoid using the word “is”?)
Secondly, our brain then
attempts to translate what, and how, it has perceived, into language – clearly a second hand process.
You may look at people,
or objects; you may attempt to communicate to someone else about what that person communicated to you. This is, by now, a third hand process.
Note the room for errors here? Note
how “imagination” and “identification”
creep in here?
To tie this to ideas
expounded in previous chapters Wolf drew this link:
“identity ‘it is’
This link between how
we perceive our world, and identification/imagination is part of Buddha’s reminder of how attachment to the world leads
It is not that things don’t exist; but it is our attachment to the illusions
of our perceptions of how things are that causes us to suffer.
Google Wikipedia for
an interesting entry on “E-Prime”, which is the result of Korzybsky’s work.
“…’the movie was good’ can become ‘I liked the movie’
using the rules of E-Prime, which communicates the subjective nature of the speaker’s experience rather than directly
imparting a quality to the movie. Using E-Prime makes it harder for a writer or reader to confuse statements of opinion with
statements of fact.”
In Wolf’s terms:
“is” = a lock.