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Learning How To Be Free: An Invitation, from a painter

painter
post Nov 11 2008, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE (dMole @ Nov 11 2008, 02:20 AM) *
I've freed myself of many things. I don't think mine is the path, method, means or ??? for most however.


I have no doubt both sentences are true for you. And you are right, one man's dessert may be another man's poison. Still, if we know anything, especially something learned directly, not from a book (however interesting or informative it may be), we have something few men have. A very valuable asset. Nothing of this kind can be given to anyone. It must be earned for one's self and, indeed, every man's path is different.

But there are relevant questions. What can feed my hunger to know directly, feed the wish to be free inwardly, regardless of my external conditions? If I begin to see, as all here have to some degree, that the outer world is a prison, a market place for slaves (many of whom mistaking themselves for masters), then there arises the wish to free oneself from these external conditions -- and rightly so. But what is the inner counterpart to that dynamic? What do I need to see in myself and, perhaps even more importantly, how can I even begin to see it?
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Wingmaster05
post Nov 11 2008, 02:52 PM
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To answer the question, "tell me who you are"...

I am a product of my desires. I define myself by what interests me most. I am a vegetarian/vegan because i am most concerned with the welfare of animals. I am an alternative history buff because I understanding of the world changed with the understanding of one event; 9/11. I am quiet and shy because I enjoy time to myself...what the people around me have to offer are usually unimportant or detrimental to my philosophy (that stems from my desire), and therefore alone-ness to me is most liberating.

My environment also determines who i am. The people around me do not think as I do. They are most concerned about sports, jobs and money. I don't want to abandon my friends, so i maintain a persona, my old 'me' that was sarcastic, playful, and still into the general entertainment that most people enjoy.
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painter
post Nov 11 2008, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE (Wingmaster05 @ Nov 11 2008, 10:52 AM) *
To answer the question, "tell me who you are"...

I am a product of my desires. I define myself by what interests me most. I am a vegetarian/vegan because i am most concerned with the welfare of animals. I am an alternative history buff because I understanding of the world changed with the understanding of one event; 9/11. I am quiet and shy because I enjoy time to myself...what the people around me have to offer are usually unimportant or detrimental to my philosophy (that stems from my desire), and therefore alone-ness to me is most liberating.

My environment also determines who i am. The people around me do not think as I do. They are most concerned about sports, jobs and money. I don't want to abandon my friends, so i maintain a persona, my old 'me' that was sarcastic, playful, and still into the general entertainment that most people enjoy.


Thank you, Wingmaster.

Do you have a question? -- I don't mean a superficial question such as you might ask a friend or some 'authority' to answer for you. I'm not even asking you to tell me what your question is if you have one. I'm asking, do you have a question that is your own? Perhaps it doesn't even form itself in words in your mind but, nevertheless, it is an inner influence or impulse that motivates you to search for something 'more' in your life. You don't have to tell me, you don't have to answer my question to you. But I'm asking you to ask yourself, to look within yourself, to see what is there -- not for 'me' or for 'us' but for yourself.
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lunk
post Nov 11 2008, 08:38 PM
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The answers are everywhere.
It's formulating the right question,
I have problems with.

It's a thinking/knowing thing.

...I think

lunk
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Rickysa
post Nov 12 2008, 11:57 AM
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I am the same person I was as a small child

I still feel the same way, and view the world around me in the same way....

I have a job, family, and the day-to-day trappings involved in such,

but I still feel the same way I did way back when

I feel I am here, at this time, because something extraordinary is going to happen...I was born into this time for this reason

I feel that there is an additional dimension(s) surrounding us, and that there is some form of barrier that prevents us from experiencing it

I have had enough "synchronistic" episodes in my everyday life that I know the above sentence to be true

I know that I enjoy the hell out of lucid dreaming in trying to get some sort of handle/understanding of the conscious/sub-conscious mind smile.gif

I have had practice (due to dealing with anxiety) in quietly taking in (sensory) all of what is going on around me, and being at one with it....

sorry for the rambling answer to a difficult question smile.gif

Rick
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painter
post Nov 12 2008, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE (lunk @ Nov 11 2008, 04:38 PM) *
The answers are everywhere.
It's formulating the right question,
I have problems with.

It's a thinking/knowing thing.

...I think

lunk


There is an impulse to respond to your words. Something in me wants to respond.

At first, words begin to form in me associatively, automatically, mechanically, reactively. I read your words and words begin to form in a certain part of my brain immediately -- some witty or serious or 'intelligent' thing to say. But in this instance I let that go and admit to myself that I don't really know what needs to be said. Yet I know that I don't know and that is something. That is real for me. True for me.

So, I take my time. I'm in no hurry. I'm watching or at least attempting to watch the movement of attention within myself. I allow the attention to open to include my body a little more completely, to feel the energy that is here in me now -- so far as I'm able. When I'm ready, that is, when I can simultaneously sustain some awareness of sensation, I begin to allow the typed words come -- allow the 'word formation' part of my brain and the well practiced fingers to do what they mechanically know to do so well. But there is a bit of an inner struggle going on because the word formation process has a tendency to absorb all my attention. Its like water drawn by gravity or iron filings drawn to a magnet; this is where and how my attention is in the habit of being. When this happens I 'forget' about the intention of remaining more aware of myself and loose the direct connection with this intention to spread my attention more evenly through my body. As I try to observe all this I see that my effort isn't even or constant. I see that if I'm not careful or diligent, my attention will become absorbed by a 'thought' or even drawn completely away from the present into a 'day dream' or 'fantasy'. I struggle, a little bit, against this habit. I work at sustaining some awareness of the whole of myself. Work at remembering this other intention so that even when I 'forget', soon it comes back again and I re-member myself a little more fully.

It takes time. It takes interest. It takes practice. It takes a certain quantity and quality of energy. I have to want to do this or at least try. But what am I? And how can I even begin to know except by making some inner effort to be aware, to take this question seriously and to be honest with myself when I see that mostly this question is lost, almost completely lost. Forgotten. Irrelevant in contrast to all the other interests and concerns that absorb my attention. From somewhere there has to arise a wish to know, a wish to be, that becomes a new 'center of gravity', a new 'magnet', that calls my attention back into more of myself and into the moment.

This cycle is repeated over and over and over again. But something is forming. A new 'crystallization' has begun to appear. Something more is now possible.
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painter
post Nov 12 2008, 02:30 PM
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QUOTE (Rickysa @ Nov 12 2008, 07:57 AM) *
I am the same person I was as a small child

I still feel the same way, and view the world around me in the same way....

I have a job, family, and the day-to-day trappings involved in such,

but I still feel the same way I did way back when

I feel I am here, at this time, because something extraordinary is going to happen...I was born into this time for this reason

I feel that there is an additional dimension(s) surrounding us, and that there is some form of barrier that prevents us from experiencing it

I have had enough "synchronistic" episodes in my everyday life that I know the above sentence to be true

I know that I enjoy the hell out of lucid dreaming in trying to get some sort of handle/understanding of the conscious/sub-conscious mind smile.gif

I have had practice (due to dealing with anxiety) in quietly taking in (sensory) all of what is going on around me, and being at one with it....

sorry for the rambling answer to a difficult question smile.gif

Rick


Yes, it requires practice and patience and a kind of wish or wordless impulse or desire. It is very subtle. It doesn't have much weight or gravity or importance in relation to what I call "my life." It can seem almost inconsequential. No one has ever told us otherwise. Our attention is drawn to other things: Trapped, imprisoned, even "consumed" may not be too strong a word. But I have to see this for myself. Being told or even 'believing' that such is so isn't enough.

As for being the child, yes, something is there from the beginning. Something essential, an essence that remains although it may be completely buried beneath the formation of the social mask, the persona, that we are taught to identify with as "myself". This essence is our hope but because it was seldom if ever fed or nourished with its proper food, it has not grown along with the body and all our other faculties. It remains 'latent' -- but, still, a genuine hope. Finding it and feeding it in the midst of life can become a new aim.
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painter
post Nov 14 2008, 12:13 PM
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I've written several posts on other threads, most in reply to other members, that are relevant to this thread so I'm going to copy and paste them here:

Source: http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum//index....&p=10758715



QUOTE (beatles64 @ Nov 12 2008, 12:38 PM) *
Please allow me to pick up the pieces of my blown mind [cleanup]

This post is the most recent "event" that I "feel" I have been "waiting for".....it made sense so much that it didn't make any sense, I feel I understand, but what I understand, is that I don't yet understand....

I have the tools...

and so do you....

..so, I guess, the rest is up to me?

EDIT: A couple of things "spoke" to me more clearly.....and now I am finding myself reading George Harrison's lyrics VERY CAREFULLY....

As The Insider said, the truth is "within you, without you"


Yes, but I advise discretion. That is to say, although there are some very big pearls in there, the fact is they are wrapped in a container of BS. Discretion, the ability to "read" (see my "freedom" thread pinned in this forum), to see what is Pearl and what is BS is essential.

The biggest reason why I know "Insider" isn't telling us the truth -- don't misunderstand, he says many true things, but he isn't telling us the truth about himself -- is that he has completely left out the most important thing. For example in this "answer":

QUOTE
Temperance: conscious form of restraint based on selfknowing to achieve inner order of the Soul (which is the unseen you as a whole, the Soul is not a part of you, you are one). Restraining the emotions/desires/passions/energies does not mean cutting it off (that will harm you, beware), but channeling them to work for higher causes after taming them gently. This all does lead to a sober life, yet simpler, filled with gifts because you fully become your own master, instead of your emotions/desires/passions dictating you how to be. Simultaneously with this process you will be cleansing yourself and will be ready to be enlightened by the Universal Mind. Be like that which you want to connect with as much as possible.


He has left out the KEY -- how it is that any "temperance" or "gentle taming" of the emotions/desires/passions/energies is possible. I can't emphasize enough how very important this is. Without the KEY, nothing is possible other than making matters worse than they already are. This is the fundamental point that has to be understood whenever one approaches genuine esoteric knowledge. (Genuine as opposed the fake 'esotericism' that Insider also, and accurately, warns us about).

The KEY is this: The awareness that we can "do" nothing, "learn" nothing, "understand" nothing, and "tame" nothing -- in fact "be" nothing --without a simultaneous inner effort to extend the range of our attention beyond its normal, habitual circuit. This is why genuine esotericism is esoteric. It isn't that anything is hidden, that is a truth he states, but that it is invisible to us because we do not hold, exercise or value the KEY, which is the energy of attention itself. Ordinarily our attention is focused either outwardly toward a figure in the world or, conversely, in some attempt to focus "inwardly" toward sensations or thoughts and feelings. What isn't made evident is that attention can intentionally be divided to operate in more than one direction simultaneously. (I'm not talking about mere 'multi-tasking' but it is related.) This is the "key" and without it nothing can be achieved. For anything to be achieved, conscious attention needs to be sustained simultaneously both toward the "object" and toward the "self". This establishes a new current of energy that initiates a relationship with a higher, reconciling force.

This "key," by the way, is the fundamental meaning of the pyramid symbol we are so familiar with (and many so suspicious of). This simplified diagram, below, represents the actualization of a particular cosmic law:



This is the "affirming" or ascending path, the path of evolution, which is superimposed with the equally lawful (cosmic law) "denying" or descending path or the path of involution seen in the "Star of David." The interweaving of these two fundamental cosmic forces represent the "third" balancing or "reconciling" cosmic force:



Finally, Insider puts forth "the Soul" as "the unseen you as a whole." While this is not a false statement, as stated it re-establishes the inaccurate presentment that "the Soul" is something actual, and not potential; that it exists already, fully formed and independent of any conscious choice or action. This is false, or at least problematic. "The Soul" is "the unseen you as a whole" only when the full meaning of the symbol above is actualized as a fully intentional and conscious energetic exchange with what Insider calls "the One". EDIT TO ADD: From the perspective of a higher dimension, "the Soul" may already exist, fully formed -- but this is outside temporal boundaries. Within temporal boundaries it exists only in potential.

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painter
post Nov 14 2008, 12:15 PM
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Source: http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum//index....&p=10758596



QUOTE (lunk @ Nov 11 2008, 05:17 AM) *
If civilizations were known to rise and fall, by a dominant minority,
who wanted to preserve the harvested knowledge of each civilization,
the moon would make a wonderful archive.

Did anyone notice, everyone is suddenly going to the moon again.
...I wonder, what's up...


Ancient knowledge is everywhere, all around us and in us. But it is the nature of esotericism that this knowledge can not be received or understood if it is not accompanied by an intentional, inner effort to be qualitatively and quantitatively more aware or more conscious. It isn't a matter of a passive acquisition of "more information" recorded like data on a disc. Knowledge is more than information. Transformation is the possibility, attention is the key:

QUOTE
During one conversation with G. [G. I. Gurdjieff] in our group, which was beginning to become permanent, I asked: “Why, if ancient knowledge has been preserved and if, speaking in general, there exists a knowledge distinct from our science and philosophy or even surpassing it, is it so carefully concealed, why is it not made common property? Why are the men who possess this knowledge unwilling to let it pass into the general circulation of life for the sake of a better and more successful struggle against deceit, evil, and ignorance?

This is, I think, a question which usually arises in everyone’s mind on first acquaintance with the ideas of esotericism.

“There are two answers to that,” said G. “In the first place, this knowledge is not concealed; and in the second place, it cannot, from its very nature, become common property. We will consider the second of these statements first. I will prove to you afterwards that knowledge” (he emphasized the word) “is far more accessible to those capable of assimilating it than is usually supposed; and that the whole trouble is that people either do not want it or cannot receive it.

“But first of all another thing must be understood, namely, that knowledge cannot belong to all, cannot even belong to many. Such is the law. You do not understand this because you do not understand that knowledge, like everything else in the world, is material. It is material, and this means that it possesses all the characteristics of materiality. One of the first characteristics of materiality is that matter is always limited, that is to say, the quantity of matter in a given place and under given conditions is limited. Even the sand of the desert and the water of the sea is a definite and unchangeable quantity. So that, if knowledge is material, then it means that there is a definite quantity of it in a given place at a given time. It may be said that, in the course of a certain period of time, say a century, humanity has a definite amount of knowledge at its disposal. But we know, even from an ordinary observation of life, that the matter of knowledge possesses entirely different qualities according to whether it is taken in small or large quantities. Taken in a large quantity in a given place, that is by one man, let us say, or by a small group of men, it produces very good results; taken in a small quantity (that is, by every one of a very large number of people), it gives no results at all; or it may give even negative results, contrary to those expected. Thus if a certain definite quantity of knowledge is distributed among millions of people, each individual will receive very little, and this small amount of knowledge will change nothing either in his life or in his understanding of things. And however large the number of people who receive this small amount of knowledge, it will change nothing in their lives, except, perhaps, to make them still more difficult.

“But if, on the contrary, large quantities of knowledge are concentrated in a small number of people, then this knowledge will give very great results. From this point of view it is far more advantageous that knowledge should be preserved among a small number of people and not dispersed among the masses.

“If we take a certain quantity of gold and decide to gild a number of objects with it, we must know, or calculate, exactly what number of objects can be gilded with this quantity of gold. If we try to gild a greater number, they will be covered with gold unevenly, in patches, and will look much worse than if they had no gold at all; in fact we shall lose our gold.

“The distribution of knowledge is based upon exactly the same principle. If knowledge is given to all, nobody will get any. If it is preserved among a few, each will receive not only enough to keep, but to increase, what he receives.

“At the first glance this theory seems very unjust, since the position of those who are, so to speak, denied knowledge in order that others may receive a greater share may seem very sad and undeservedly harder than it ought to be. Actually, however, this is not so at all; and in the distribution of knowledge there is not the slightest injustice.

“The fact is that the enormous majority of people do not want any knowledge whatever; they refuse their share of it and do not even take the ration allotted to them, in the general distribution, for the purposes of life. This is particularly evident in times of mass madness such as wars, revolutions, and so on, when men suddenly seem to lose even the small amount of common sense they had and turn into complete automatons, giving themselves over to wholesale destruction in vast numbers, in other words, even losing the instinct of self-preservation. Owing to this, enormous quantities of knowledge remain, so to speak, unclaimed and can be distributed among those who realize its value.

“There is nothing unjust in this, because those who receive knowledge take nothing that belongs to others, deprive others of nothing; they take only what others have rejected as useless and what would in any case be lost if they did not take it.

“The collecting of knowledge by some depends on the rejection of knowledge by others.

“There are periods in the life of humanity, which generally coincide with the beginning of the fall of cultures and civilizations, when the masses irretrievably lose their reason and begin to destroy everything that has been created by centuries and millenniums of culture. Such periods of mass madness, often coinciding with geological cataclysms, climatic changes, and similar phenomena of a planetary character, release a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge. This, in its turn, necessitates the work of collecting this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be lost. Thus the work of collecting scattered matter of knowledge frequently coincides with the beginning of the destruction and fall of cultures and civilizations.

“This aspect of the question is clear. The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge, and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear. It is even difficult to imagine all the horror of this slavery. We do not understand what people are losing. But in order to understand the cause of this slavery it is enough to see how people live, what constitutes the aim of their existence, the object of their desires, passions, and aspirations, of what they think, of what they talk, what they serve and what they worship.

Consider what the cultured humanity of our time spends money on; even leaving the war out, what commands the highest price; where the biggest crowds are. If we think for a moment about these questions it becomes clear that humanity, as it is now, with the interests it lives by, cannot expect to have anything different from what it has. But, as I have already said, it cannot be otherwise. Imagine that for the whole of mankind half a pound of knowledge is allotted a year. If this knowledge is distributed among everyone, each will receive so little that he will remain the fool he was. But, thanks to the fact that very few want to have this knowledge, those who take it are able to get, let us say, a grain each, and acquire the possibility of becoming more intelligent. All cannot become intelligent even if they wish. And if they did become intelligent it would not help matters. There exists a general equilibrium which cannot be upset.

“That is one aspect. The other, as I have already said, consists in the fact that no one is concealing anything; there is no mystery whatever. But the acquisition or transmission of true knowledge demands great labor and great effort both of him who receives and of him who gives. And those who possess this knowledge are doing everything they can to transmit and communicate it to the greatest possible number of people, to facilitate people’s approach to it and enable them to prepare themselves to receive the truth. But knowledge cannot be given by force to anyone and, as I have already said, an unprejudiced survey of the average man’s life, of what fills his day and of the things he is interested in, will at once show whether it is possible to accuse men who possess knowledge of concealing it, of not wishing to give it to people, or of not wishing to teach people what they know themselves.

“He who wants knowledge must himself make the initial efforts to find the source of knowledge and to approach it, taking advantage of the help and indications which are given to all, but which people, as a rule, do not want to see or recognize. Knowledge cannot come to people without effort on their own part. They understand this very well in connection with ordinary knowledge, but in the case of great knowledge, when they admit the possibility of its existence, they find it possible to expect something different. Everyone knows very well that if, for instance, a man wants to learn Chinese, it will take several years of intense work; everyone knows that five years are needed to grasp the principles of medicine, and perhaps twice as many years for the study of painting or music. And yet there are theories which affirm that knowledge can come to people without any effort on their part, that they can acquire it even in sleep. The very existence of such theories constitutes an additional explanation of why knowledge cannot come to people. At the same time it is essential to understand that man’s independent efforts to attain anything in this direction can also give no results. A man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who possess it. This must be understood from the very beginning. One must learn from him who knows.”

From P. D. Ouspensky's, In Search of the Miraculous, quoting G. I. Gurdjieff, pp 35, 36.

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painter
post Nov 14 2008, 12:16 PM
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Source: http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum//index....&p=10758718



QUOTE (lunk @ Nov 12 2008, 05:04 AM) *
QUOTE
A man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who possess it.


No, but it could shorten the learning experience.


1: You're still taking "knowledge" as representing information. That is not what is being spoken of. 2: The "learning experience" for what is being spoken about, great knowledge, can not be shortened. It takes as long as it takes. If one does not find "those who possess it," it will not happen at all. Think of it as an exchange of a particular quality of energy. It demands something from both he who gives and he who receives.

QUOTE
I think this guy is getting gold and knowledge mixed up.


The former is a symbol for the latter.

QUOTE
There are a lot of ambiguities in these statements.


How so?

QUOTE
How does knowledge get preserved if it's always getting wiped out?


Knolwedge never gets wiped out.

QUOTE
Where is it stored outside of time?


Everything is, always.

QUOTE
Inventions from civilizations in the past,
all destroyed?

I think not.


Perhaps so, but they may not be available to us.

QUOTE
It only take one simple idea and life could be so much easier.

...take the wheel.

imo, lunk


Life can not be made "easier," it can only be made more comfortable such that we sleep all the more soundly.

I'm reminded of how Plato, in the Phadreus IIRC, relates a story he puts in the mouth of Socrates, saying he was told by a Sybil that an Egyptian Pharoh protested to the god Thoth: "The discovery of the alphabet will create forgetfulness in the learner's soul because they will not use their memories, they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. You give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth. They will be heroes of many things and will have learned nothing. They will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing."

Turns out he was right.

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painter
post Nov 14 2008, 12:17 PM
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Source: http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum//index....&p=10758741



QUOTE (lunk @ Nov 12 2008, 04:05 PM) *
I'm still trying to grasp if it is a particle or a wave.

I would say that gold is like knowledge, and can be expressed
just as well as an idea.
Instead of saying that knowledge is solid like gold.

In reality a nugget of gold is not much different than any other rock on the beach.
While knowledge is worth more than either.

What has weight, but is unmeasurable?
Knowledge.

So, I have to side with the wave, at the moment.

The premise of knowledge being material, like gold, is backwards.

What is knowledge?
How does it differ from information?

I know, dumb questions,
but I must ask.

imo, lunk


There is never a "dumb" question if you must ask it.

First of all, esoteric knowledge is generally presented to the novice, and is commonly available to most everyone, through myth, symbol and metaphor. There are many reasons why this is necessary but like so many things having to do with this subject, the reasons aren't always obvious. In fact they seldom are obvious to us. But perhaps it will help if we begin with at least a partial awareness that the function of esoteric knowledge is the transformation of the human being from one state (our 'ordinary' state) to another state. One common metaphor that is used to express this idea is sleep vs awakening. So it can be said, the purpose of esoteric knowledge is to "awaken" the human being from his his ordinary state of "sleep". "Sleep" is a metaphor not to be taken too literally but, at the same time, it is a far more 'apt' metaphor than we can commonly admit. Those of us who have gone through the 9/11 looking glass see "sleeping" people everywhere all around us, people who are "hypnotized" by government, media, and so on -- and we know we were once one of them (and may suspect that to some degree we still are).

From the point of view of esotericism, the human being is "asleep" to his higher potential. That is, "asleep" to -- or unaware of -- his potential to be far more conscious than he ordinarily is. However, there is a fundamental problem. The man does not know that he is "asleep," does not experience himself as "asleep". Usually if you tell a man he is "asleep" he will get quite irritated and find various means of proving you are wrong. He is an adult with adult responsibilities, perhaps he is quite well educated, maybe even a man of some importance with a lot of money -- or not. In any case, he is quite certain that if he were "asleep" he would know it -- just as many who haven't gone through the 9/11 looking glass assume that it is too big a lie to be kept secret (or whatever excuse you wish). Or, worse, the man told that he is "asleep" may "believe" you just enough that he then takes this idea and turns it into some fantastical "dream" about what it would mean to "awaken". He begins to fantasize about himself and about the history and future of humanity and read all sorts of books, attending lectures and workshops led by authoritative crack-pot sycophants eager to fleece him to his grave.

sh*t happens.

As regards your questions, I think I've said this elsewhere on this forum in some context or other but we can construct a hierarchy that looks something like this:

data > information > knowledge > understanding > wisdom > awakening > transcendence
(Your word choice may vary.)


This hierarchy is not only quantitative but qualitative -- becoming increasingly qualitative as it progresses. Regardless of your data set or range of samples, no amount of data can become "information" until it is perceived and organized, sorted and stored in some way. Similarly, a large quantity of information will not produce "knowledge" until it is somehow put to use.

I hesitate to say anything beyond the mid-point of this schematic, "knowledge," because to go further up this 'ladder' requires qualities that are very difficult to define. Still, I think you can 'get it' at least that even a very knowledgeable man may not be a very "understanding" man. He may be very powerful but he may not "understand" the world, the other people around him, or even himself -- and never quite manages to no matter how many books he reads or authorities he consults. Something qualitative is missing.

But, so far, all that I've been describing with this little flow chart is ordinary knowledge such as you and I possess as we are. We're not yet talking about the kind of great knowledge that Gurdjieff says is "material" and for which he uses "gold" to represent symbolically. To even begin to understand this requires that 'something qualitative' that is missing from mere knowledge in the ordinary sense.

At another place in the book quoted above, Gurdjieff says a man's understanding is equal to his level of being. This word "being" is a bit hairy but suffice it to say that although a rock, a flower, a dog and a man may all "exist", they do not have the same "being". What is being proposed, here, is that men, too, can have different levels of "being" (which, in esoteric terms, can range almost as much as the examples I've used). According to this idea, a man can not understand anything beyond his level of being. Perhaps we could just as well say that a man's understanding is his level of being. If you want to know what a man is as opposed to what he believes himself to be or pretends to be, look at his level of understanding -- of himself, the world, others, etc. You and I and almost any man or woman we come in contact with are on the same level of being (more or less). Therefore, to understand something greater than we do -- and humanity in general does -- requires not only an increase in knowledge but also an increase in being.

The question you are asking (if I've understood you) is, in what sense of the word is this knowledge, esoteric knowledge, "material" in nature. Chances are this is a "new" idea, not one you've ever come across before and, indeed, it seems counter-intuitive -- which is to say, contradicted by everything you know or think you know already. Most everyone would agree with you, I'm sure. In what sense can "knowledge" be "matter"?

Perhaps it will help if we both agree that matter is energy of a certain density, having certain properties that can be analyzed and comprehended. You've seen before where I've said that living beings are transformers of energy. We take in the matter of food and air into our bodies and they, in turn, through various autonomic processes extract the elements and nutrients that are then transformed into all the functional properties of our organism. However, what is not commonly understood is that air and physical food (including water) are not the only materials that enter our bodies. Right now as I sit here typing this and as you sit there reading, our senses are being bombarded with a flood of energetic stimuli. We are being "fed" constantly through our nervous system, "stimulated" we call it, far more so than we commonly realize. And we can prove this to ourselves through intentionally shifting our attention. If I suggest, for example, that while reading these words you shift a part of your attention to sensing your left foot, you may find that, although it isn't easy, it can be done. Wiggle your toes if you need to and sense what that feels like. Perhaps now you can also sense your socks (if you're wearing any) or the pressure of your shoes at specific points on your foot. All that energy of sensation was already there stimulating your brain but it did not rise to the level of your 'conscious attention' because you were not paying attention to it. You should be able to verify this directly for yourself. But I'll go a bit further because if your experience of this is at all like mine as you continue to read these words within a relatively short time you will once again forget to pay attention to your foot and this stimulation, though still there, will no longer be available to your awareness. This is a fundamental model of the entirety of the human condition: We are but we do not continuously and directly know that we are. This is our "level of being." We have learned and been conditioned to focus our attention in specific ways in order to accomplish given tasks. For example, all of us here know how to "read" in the conventional, 'reading comprehension' sense and it isn't necessary to have a sensation of one's left foot (or, indeed, much of any sensation of the body what ever) to do so. Whether it is reading or writing or talking or walking or screwing or driving a car or taking a sh*t or performing brain surgery or plotting the overthrow of the American Republic and the institution of a New World Order -- it is all the same. All these things are done by men and women who are operating out of a certain very restricted level of being, completely unaware that something more might be possible for us if we could only learn to pay attention in a new way.

Gurdjieff speaks of the "matter of knowledge" because he's speaking of the possibility of receiving more directly, consciously and intentionally, the "energy of impressions," -- the "food" necessary for our transformation -- trough a simultaneous growth of both knowledge and being. The whole esoteric proposal is actually quite simple: We will change as the center of gravity of our attention changes. But to read these words is one thing, to engage in the activity is quite another and not without certain risks. Mostly these 'risks' are of no particular consequence. For one thing, most people, even when they come across this idea, and even if they find it momentarily a little bit interesting, soon forget all about it and, like having taken the blue pill instead of the red one, they wake up the next morning believing whatever they want to believe, brush themselves off, and go about their lives as though nothing had happened. It is, indeed, extremely rare that someone becomes sufficiently interested in this proposal to begin to make efforts and experiments coupled with researching the necessary texts that may, in time, lead them to encounter "one who knows". Well, at least someone who honestly knows they don't know enough but may have a clue. Perhaps even someone who has begun to learn how to digest and transform the energies of impressions such that they have begun to develop within themselves a new being.

IMO: painter

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painter
post Nov 14 2008, 12:18 PM
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Source: http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum//index....&p=10758781



QUOTE (lunk @ Nov 13 2008, 06:46 AM) *
Now I feel like I'm swimming underneath the thick primordial muck
with only and inkling of a memory that there is
a less viscous atmosphere above.

hmm...attention...
how does one maintain, awareness of the moment, constantly,
without drifting off into distraction?

still wiggling left toe,
cheers, lunk


Your sense of humor will be a help when it doesn't work against you, as well as the quality of "memory" you speak of.

The answer to your question has to be found for yourself. That is part of the beauty of it. But, in brief, how do we learn to do anything we want to learn? In most respects this is no different. We have to want to enough to overcome the inner and outer obstacles that inevitably come up, we have want to do the necessary preliminary work and research and then we have to want to enough to take the step beyond "theorizing" or "dreaming about" it to actually make the effort to try something, to practice and observe and learn directly from these observations. This is where the "matter of knowledge" comes into play because when we actually learn something, a certain amount of material has been digested and incorporated into our being. Something gets "deposited" and is not so easily lost or taken away. If this progresses, the center of gravity of our attention becomes more even, more stable, more consistent and possibly deepens.

However, there are also "differences". For one thing, it may be helpful to understand that this "drifting into distraction" is lawful (cosmic law). This is the human condition as we are at our current level of being. I'm always a little reluctant to say things like that because it creates in the mind of the reader that I "understand" what these laws are and how they work but the truth is my "understanding" and "knowledge" of these things is limited. What one must be cautious of here is "believing" anything that has not been confirmed by one's own experiential observation. I certainly have confirmed for myself that achieving the aim of maintaining an more or less continuous awareness of the moment is almost impossible. It seems like it should be the simplest, easiest thing imaginable but the fact is it isn't. The question, then, becomes something like "why?" and "what can I do about it?" Esoteric writings indicate that the "reason" is "lawful" (as everything that happens is lawful, however much we may not understand this). "Laws" are "forces" at work. In this instance we are speaking of forces in exactly the same way that certain physical principals of the universe are "lawful". As an analogy, if I toss a rock into the air it will come back down according to the "law of gravity" and when and where it will come down can be predicted provided I understand the principals of "law" that are at work. Moreover, if I can toss the rock at the correct trajectory and with sufficient velocity, the rock can break free of Earth's gravity. But all this, too, is "lawful". It isn't that the "law" has been broken but that it has been understood and compensated for. The rock is not free from "the law of gravity" or any other physical constraint but has moved beyond the influence of the Earth's gravity. Perhaps it will become an orbiting satellite or perhaps it will continue onward out into space. All this, too, is "lawfully" determined.

So, I have to study this phenomena in myself. It may be helpful to also study what has been written by others about this but it will be of no use to study what others have written or said if I do not simultaneously make the effort to try. There are practices and experiments which may also be a help. I might discover that certain conditions are also helpful. The closest I can come to giving you any specific suggestions at this point is to say that I find it helpful to consider that it is somewhat like breathing. I can not only breath in or only breath out, there is a natural rhythm to my breathing that changes with changing conditions. I can observe this for myself. Perhaps in certain quiet conditions when my attention isn't demanded by external influences, I can study this 'rhythm' and movement of attention.

Finally I'll only say that nothing is possible outside the laws which govern our existence. This simple thing that interests us would be impossible were it not for the fact that it is lawfully possible for us to pay attention to our attention itself -- at least now and then, at least a little bit, at least under certain conditions or at least when we remember to try. You began your post above with an analogy and a moment of self-awareness. You are not literally "swimming underneath the thick primordial muck." But there is a truth there, an awareness of something. You've presented it to yourself and to us with an analogy coupled with an "inkling of a memory that there is a less viscous atmosphere above". Just as a stone can be catapulted into orbit or further out and free from the influence of Earth's gravity, intuitively you sense that there is a possibility to be differently than you are. This intuition is a signpost to the path. We only need to be careful not to become too fixated on how our minds articulate these impressions of what may be possible such that they become further distractions. (This is why religions, lawfully, always fail, by the way; and this is the source of the admonitions against "idolatry", which themselves, in turn, have become 'idols' of a sort.) The ordinary mind that has been conditioned by life may not understand any of this very well and yet something within us that the ordinary mind blinds us to (the way the sun blinds us to the constant shining of the stars) is capable of knowing -- and capable of growing. But it is very subtle and easily lost or distorted. Even saying anything in words about it is two-edged for, on the one hand, it may need to be said because it resonates with what is lawfully and truly possible but, on the other hand, if it simply is recorded by the ordinary mind or some portion of it and becomes a matter for "belief" or "disbelief," its transformative potential is lost. This, too, is lawful.

Read again what I wrote in the OP of my "Learning How to Read/Be Free" thread and we'll take it from there.

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GroundPounder
post Nov 14 2008, 01:59 PM
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has any body read 'disappearance of the universe' or 'a course in miracles'?

that whole gurdjieff/ouspensky thing grabbed me for a bit some years back. it doesn't really resonate w/ me anymore.

did like the bhagavad gita, seem to grok it better today.

your soul/spirit (pick a word) is the real you....

my two cents
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sb5walker
post Nov 14 2008, 11:07 PM
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Painter, great series of posts - offers me an opportunity to temporarily break out of my normal patterns of thought. Thank you.

There are a couple things I would like to comment on and ask about.

The first is intuition. In a post above you respond to Lunk: "intuitively you sense that there is a possibility to be differently than you are. This intuition is a signpost to the path."

This reminds me of the struggle I have with this and in fact any online forum: it engages my rational faculty, usually at the expense of my intuitive faculty. (Because of a phenomenon analogous to physical exercise: the muscle I exercise grows and strengthens, while the one I ignore atrophies.)

I find that my intuition is a source of "knowing" (I put that in quotes to highlight the fact that I am not qualified to speak on the term) that may otherwise be unavailable to me. My sense of Western Culture is that it tends to raise up the Holy Rational Mind as the be-all, end-all of existence. I refer to it mockingly as my "brilliant, calculating mind" à la the Coyote in the Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons familiar to Americans. In other words, I find my mind can fool me. I relate to the bumper sticker that reads: "Don't believe everything you think." I felt this way before I came into contact with traditional Native American cultures, but my experiences among traditional people have reinforced this perspective within me. I really feel we in Western Culture are out of balance between the more active Rational faculty and the receptive Intuitive faculty.

For me, what I call "intuition" can take various forms. Perhaps they are not all the same phenomenon. At a simple level, when the phone rings, I may "know" who is calling. (Okay, now in the age of caller ID we all know who's calling. But- do we really?) Another manifestation may be guidance on the intentions of another person. Occasionally after making a choice I may have a "bad feeling" about it. I have been paying attention to my intuition for a number of years and one thing I've learned is that when I have a bad feeling about something, I had better take another look at that choice. A few times, I acted to my benefit based solely on an intuition in the complete absence of objective facts. I am no expert, though. Often I have trouble discerning whether I've just experienced genuine intuition, or some stray fart of imagination.

I don't believe nor mean to suggest that the rational mind is not useful, but I regard it as a tool, rather than something worthy of near-worship. (And I'm not at all suggesting your counsel regarding applying our attention is not needed: in fact my intuition tells me that what you are trying to teach us is important.) Neither do I believe that I could survive on intuition alone, but rather that I should develop it to the appropriate degree to work in harmony and in balance with my other faculties, including the ones I may not yet know about.

Okay, so this is my first question: does your own experience or the work you are involved with have anything to say about intuition, and if so, how does it relate to what you are trying to impart in this topic?


The second inquiry has to do with what you said about being.


QUOTE (painter @ Nov 12 2008, 02:17 PM) *
Source: http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum//index....&p=10758741

At another place in the book quoted above, Gurdjieff says a man's understanding is equal to his level of being. This word "being" is a bit hairy but suffice it to say that although a rock, a flower, a dog and a man may all "exist", they do not have the same "being". What is being proposed, here, is that men, too, can have different levels of "being" (which, in esoteric terms, can range almost as much as the examples I've used). According to this idea, a man can not understand anything beyond his level of being. Perhaps we could just as well say that a man's understanding is his level of being. If you want to know what a man is as opposed to what he believes himself to be or pretends to be, look at his level of understanding -- of himself, the world, others, etc. You and I and almost any man or woman we come in contact with are on the same level of being (more or less). Therefore, to understand something greater than we do -- and humanity in general does -- requires not only an increase in knowledge but also an increase in being.


I relate to this idea of being. I very quickly learned there is something available in a properly-conducted traditional ceremony that can not be gained through discussion or reading. It is a quality of energy, that somehow affects me. Somehow it raises my "understanding" (again with the quotes, and for the same reason). I notice this energy seems to develop as a result of actively participating in the ceremony. In discussing this once with an elder, she referred to the story of Jesus turning water into wine and suggested that it was through the <i>pouring</i> of the water that it became wine. Her comment stuck with me.

So I'm on board with the importance of increasing my "being", but I am unclear how this may be accomplished through the medium of an online forum. You state in your original post that:

QUOTE (painter @ Oct 15 2008, 11:51 PM) *
...I am inviting you to engage with me and one another in some discussion here about this topic. However, I am very aware that discussion of this topic is by necessity limited so long as it remains nothing more than discussion. To go further requires something more of us: Specifically a willingness to engage in exercises and experiments which can begin to move us beyond mere discussion into the realm of actual experience and knowledge based upon that experience.


Do you really believe there is some possibility to achieve this "online"?
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post Nov 15 2008, 02:28 AM
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QUOTE (sb5walker @ Nov 14 2008, 07:07 PM) *
I'm on board with the importance of increasing my "being", but I am unclear how this may be accomplished through the medium of an online forum. ... Do you really believe there is some possibility to achieve this "online"?


That depends on all of us. In general I agree with what you are saying and appreciate your concern. As you've asked the question the obvious answer is "no"-- "being" can not be achieved "online" any more than it can be achieved from reading a book or looking at a work of art. And yet, historically, symbols, architecture, books, works of art and so on have been used for millennia to communicate ideas about being to people who were not present in either time or space with those who created them. Online communication has a lot of similarities with reading a book (and your concern regarding engaging the "rational faculty" wink.gif is an important one) but is also different. It is a bit more participatory, for one thing. One gets to ask questions or state one's point of view. We're all authors and audience. Obviously (like most everything) it is both a blessing and a curse.

Something to ponder: One far wiser than myself once said, "Words do not spoil the silence for those who have ears to hear what is being left unsaid."

From the point of view of esotericism, a ceremony is a condition that is created for the purpose of increasing the possibility of something new appearing within the awareness of the participants. So, perhaps rather than thinking of this as "achieving" anything, it might help to think of this as an opportunity to engage in creating conditions for one's self and others. Obviously there are limitations to this medium and perhaps more could be achieved if we were all in the same place at the same time. As your experiences has shown you, we are energy transformers and when we gather in the same place at the same time with a common aim a certain 'charge' can build up. That said, if the participants in a ceremony bring nothing of themselves to it then nothing much is likely to occur. Doesn't matter how steeped in tradition the ceremony is, how grand the edifice in which it occurs or how sacred the symbols and rituals employed. All these things are (or were at one time) meant to be a help toward a growth of being, which is why they came into existence, but if the participants bring nothing, try nothing, observe nothing, nothing can appear and nothing will be achieved. The same is true for reading books, online forums and everything else.

QUOTE
Often I have trouble discerning whether I've just experienced genuine intuition, or some stray fart of imagination. ... does your own experience or the work you are involved with have anything to say about intuition, and if so, how does it relate to what you are trying to impart in this topic?


Your observation is accurate and it is a good question. When dealing with subtle 'intuitions' or 'feelings' how can I know whether they are, or to what extent they are, real vs imaginary? But before we can begin to ask that question we're going to have to answer the same question in relation to most everything we assume is real for us already. Our "thoughts," for example, are not subtle but are they any more "real" than "some stray fart of imagination"? The point is, we have to observe, study, and try and see more clearly for ourselves what is going on inside us.

The work I'm involved with seldom uses the word "intuition" but does speak of "feeling" -- not to be confused with emotion. Intuition, to me, is a quality of feeling that "knows" something. From where might this felt knowledge come?
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lunk
post Nov 16 2008, 06:40 AM
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Intuition, vs, subliminally planted predictive programming.
How does one tell the difference?

I think, that intuition that is based on personal life experiences,
is real.

Where as, answers, drawn from others or media,
are the results of the predictive programming through a controlling media.

I think, for instance, that if shows on TV like the Lone Gunman, were not shown to
the public, well before 9/11, we would all have, intuitively realized, that it was false flag.

The predictive programming seeds of doubt were sown
and the result was, that we ignored our natural intuition.

imo, lunk

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Willow
post Feb 8 2009, 12:56 PM
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Finding this very interesting, having been asking myself the same question for several years now. Who, or what, am I?

I feel that I’m not my name… that’s just a label others use to refer to me.

I feel that I’m not my job, or my interests… they’re just things that whatever I am is doing.

I feel that I’m not my thoughts (though I am aware that Descartes would not agree!)… because I am having them.

The closest I’ve come so far in answering this question is that whatever I am, I am the observer of all these other things.

Maybe it’s enough simply to say, I am?
(reminds me of that ol' line: 'I'm a human being, not a human doing')

I’ve been trying similar things to some mentioned here… such as simply observing what is going on around me without judgement (not easy); observing my thoughts without following them or allowing myself (whatever that is!) to get drawn into them, and gradually learning to sometimes suspend thought altogether in an attempt to be aware of what remains.

Can’t say I’ve particularly found any answers… but I have found I seem to be much less reactive to problems and issues… a lot calmer… a more peaceful what-ever-I-am.
I’ve also found ‘myself’ feeling as if I am beginning to understand things more deeply… but in ways that cannot really be put into words…
Perhaps this relates to Painter’s idea of ‘learning to read / be free’?
Or maybe not! blink.gif

If it’s any consolation, Painter, the question of ‘Who am I?’ is one explored in depth in at least one classroom every year… with some very interesting things experienced and hypotheses suggested.

A popular response is "I am life"... but my next question is... and what does that mean?! blink.gif rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by Willow: Feb 8 2009, 03:56 PM
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painter
post Feb 9 2009, 03:12 AM
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QUOTE (Willow @ Feb 8 2009, 08:56 AM) *
... and what does that mean?! blink.gif rolleyes.gif


Well, well, well. Welcome to the forum, Willow. thumbsup.gif

I'd almost given up hope!
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Willow
post Feb 10 2009, 03:54 PM
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Why, thank you smile.gif

Would be more than happy to engage in the sort of discussions / experiments you suggest.

After all, where there's hope, there's life!
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Willow
post Feb 15 2009, 02:10 PM
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Been thinking about your ‘go find your question’ statement on the 'Zeitgeist' thread, Painter. Really got me puzzled. I realise you may not have meant it in this way, but your use of the singular prompted me to try and think of a most important, 'ultimate question' as it were.

What is the ‘ultimate question’? Is there an ultimate question? Can there be an ultimate question in an infinite universe? But perhaps there can be within the finite moment of me, here and now.

According to my often perplexed and humorously frustrated students, my favourite question is “Why?”

After some reflection, my current question is thus wise:

After everything external is stripped away… and I mean everything – all influences and conditioning, every external stimulus, every physical sensation, every thought, every emotion… what is left? huh.gif
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