SELF REALISATION |
A Pathway to Transformation.
A series by Michael Mifsud.
How many millions of people who are economically well off and can well afford to live and do nothing, yearn for what we all call peace of mind and happiness ? How many among our friends and family are visibly confused and unhappy despite enjoying good health and live comfortably ? How many do we know who meddle in anything and everything that promises to yield something akin to happiness or joy ?
We all know these people and perhaps we can count ourselves among them, but is all this just a fantasy provoked by charlatans who want adepts they can either seduce or gives them a sense of power ? It is at least, a point to bear in mind before getting too involved with those who see channels of enlightenment through community life exclusive to them and perhaps a sexual liberty which makes it all naughtily different and of course, attractive to most. The physical aspect of these modern cult, community rules, however, were not shared by the ancient masters of what they termed “wisdom” and in fact it was discouraged to the point of discipline. Sex however has played an important part in the development of the emotional balance of adepts but only as a controlled force designed to channel its energies in other direction. Pure gratification may be as innocent and as liberating to some, as it can prove traumatic to others when it is imposed and confused with the question of spiritual advancement. In fact, it is quite easy to say that whoever preaches such things within the same context is creating a harem, not a shared religious experience. Having said that, however, if we are to understand the very complex nature of our psychological and autonomic systems (balance of mind and instinctive response to basic needs) we need to be able to feel the urge to do so with a strength that can drive us up a very steep but extremely exhilarating slope. There is no summit or a way down, but the secret lies in being able to explore a different dimension where psychological balance and joy of living combine to release a powerful sense of forward movement that would be impossible to describe to any other than those already there.
There were many deep thinkers with those particular qualities that drove them to explore themselves every second of their lives and came up with what they thought were fairly teachable techniques which could encourage masses to try. Most of these failed in their attempts – not, to get close to the secrets, but to enable them to put these into instruments or codification that could produce general results at will. The Kaballah was one of these much vaunted pictographic instruments. The Sufi guru Gurdjieff tried it with his pictogram and allegorical language and many with their own versions of the so called “Corpus Hermeticus” which is really no more than a mishmash of everything these compilers could come across that promised not only results, but the sort of mystical reverence that could create followers. None of them get down to the very basic necessities which mental and emotional disciplines need as a base to create a real house of refuge within ourselves and into which we can safely, and honestly, take others, if only for a while.
Awareness not Distraction
To understand basic requirements one must stand still within ourselves and achieve the sort of concentration that we are always so ready to give to the things that distract us – like films, books sport etc. The difference is that what we wish to do is not to create distraction, but awareness. Most oriental philosophy is based on awareness – self awareness, and Gurdjieff was one of them who emphasised this essential platform. Teaching is a process of extracting knowledge from within a pupil and not the superimposition through learning. It is only when this knowledge is extracted that the pupil understands. The realisation is the learning and it does not need to be defined since it has neither form nor verbal expression. The instrument that Gurdjeff utilized to be able to “teach” was his use of allegorical words that produced images in people´s mind but which did not identify a distracting object. Religious teachers have tried to do this throughout the millennia, but succumbed to what they know how to do best – create an atmosphere. Bells, incense, echoes, chants, rhythm – all played a part and all religious teachers depended on them for the attempt to penetrate those recesses of the mind for what is called a “receptive” mood and essential for the brainwashing to follow. I am not being cynical about these processes of induced enlightenment, but merely questioning whether the end results in these case are what they appear to be. Apart from the religious mystics, most members of these churches, have survived every attempt at change, continuing, somewhat perversely to remain untouched and worse, go further down the destructive chain. Most politicians would love to be able to achieve the sense of contentment that like the Church, enables a privileged few to live like Gods at the expense of the whole. The parallels are not too difficult to draw. Is that not, for example, what brought about the so called public expenditure excesses that led to recession in the first place. ? The terrible truth is that in both of these States, the end product has been lost sight of and the fear of pandemonium has led to the child being overfed and pampered instead.
Whereas the religious formula is usually hypnotic, laced with fear and prohibition, the state version is bread and circus, which creates addictions and compulsive sales on which the taxes are conveniently attached. If that was the only source of such revenue, one would perhaps say “well and good” but it has not stopped there and the end product can only be termed economic slavery, as every penny earned is, wilfully, ill spent for its own sake.
Man can and many individuals have, achieved self discovery to the point of releasing their newfound energies in support of the freedom and enhancement of mankind. Most of these never got into the history books for the simply reason that they were too forward and rocked the social boat when it came to challenging the keeping of the masses, united, in fear and contribution. Most of these free spirits were satisfied to obtain their own sense of reward with respect to a life of genuine achievement and public love. Those who did get into the history books, one could say, got away with it, more by luck than ingenuity and because they ultimately became excuses to be popular with on the part of those who sought their limelight. There is no need to even go further on the issue.
Self enlightenment however, is no easy matter to put forward, never mind teach or evoke (educate from latin educare meaning, technically, to draw out). If one were to try and do so, having at least experienced something akin to it more than once, and been able to sustain the “sense-ation”, the very first challenge would be the establishment of master/pupil contact. Gurdjieff as we know, took very little time to determine what the short list would be. I suspect that he was, at heart, an affectionate and generally very generous person with time for all including the most arrogant or wilfully proud. He would evaluate the potential and inner beauty or what Jesus called “humbleness” wrongfully translated as “meek”, in the same way that most of us admire and get caught by the innocence of animals at play. Behind it, of course, lies the need to survive and with it comes what many of us find difficult to accept – the slaughter of others, but even then, one must assume that in a field of plenty, such abominations would not exist. Herein, we find two important aspects of the raw materials of enlightenment energy forces – fields that defy and corrupt and demand to be lined in accordance with our aspirations and those which force us to act in relation to our unalterable priorities. To create or destroy – that is the question. What I want to express is that if we imagine each force field or conduit, labelled and categorised, what will achieve the end result is how they are interconnected or wired to provide the impulse in a required direction. Mere illustrations are not enough. Anger for example can be noble and however vindictive can carry with it a response designed to ensure that the object of the anger does not withdraw but cement the relationship through respect or guilt. Malicious anger is really not that at all, but hate and lust for destruction which it invokes. As such therefore in self watching it is important to determine where the emotions stand and what they really mean with respect to the way we behave. We, as self loved individuals can, all too often, make every excuse to justify our actions and short of doing harm to others, so be it. However, in the path to those quarters where the real power lies – the power to influence and enable us to experience those incredible currents of pure joy and inspiration, if only momentarily, the ability to haul ourselves before our own severest criticism, is a must with all its consequences. Channelling these or sublimating them is difficult and depressing but ultimately the only rewarding way of taking advantage of their energy contents. Gurdjieff called this “coating the upper self” - a form of distribution to the winds of spiritual enjoyment of potentially destructive energies – a partial wiring to earth to enable other more positive ones to flow. Sexual passions are of the same order and they too can be utilized to coat the upper self.
A not so rare experience.
It is not my intention to awaken any interest in things like the much discussed Kundalini, merely by saying it is there, but I honestly believe that once the essential platform has been put into place, that it is not as far away as many would have us think that it is. Some people are closer to its invocation than others but all, given the right type of self discipline, can begin the ascent – for want of a better word.
The Kabbalah is an attempt to place the forces of emotional man in an order of possible symbiosis – a parallel and mutually re-energising path. It is not an exact system of logical numerical ascendance which can be followed to the letter. One emotion does not necessarily carry one to the next, although some of them can be twinned – crying with laughter for example. Love and Hate is another – impossible encounters of the worst type. Yet, that is how it is. Self enlightenment therefore is a question of being able to define and see the essence of our emotions in their proper context as if they were individuals in their own right. Tempering arrogance may be a lifetime of discipline but it can also be held in place whilst changing its colour or putting it under another emotion that converts it to something closer to love – not such a tall order.
The path of self enlightenment is often subjected to trials and tribulations of ordinary life – the traumas and realisation of our fickleness and often malice. Heavy experiences can humble some and makes others even more bitter. It is a question of who the boss is with respect to our fight against our impulses and search for success as we see it. What has to be clearly seen is that all emotional development will create a change in the personality and needs of any individual. The path to knowledge – self knowledge, is strewn with new fears of things that had never been noticed before. It is the ability to look at these fears straight in the eye and convert them to strengths that lubricates the process. The warning is that evolved man is sensitive. Sensitive to the point of spiritual pain, if such a thing can be verbalised. The very essence of life – its own rhythms and its quest for immortality, emerge with a clarity that although disturbing, can be lived with but very very differently to when we first set out to find it.
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self enlightenment, kundalini, self awareness, self motivation, spiritual development, Gurdjieff, The Way, Sufis, cults, religious cults, achievement,