From the Blog

Can consciousness meet life’s crises? A Zoom Seminar

Sunday, December 13, 2020
3:00 p.m., Eastern Standard USA Time (15:00 UTC -5).

I live in a world of answers.

All around me, they are fast and abundant. 

I am attracted by innumerable concerns, and I find answers quickly. So many are available, it can be overwhelming. 

I’m tempted to choose the security of what’s familiar, reinforcing what “I know” already. 

These answers provide comfort – a self-calming that allows me to continue daily life. 

They prevent me from paying attention to a nagging thought or feeling that something is missing and my life is still incomplete.

They close the questions.

But my ordinary consciousness still ends up in anxiety and doubt.

Rarely, I can catch my mind rushing to fill in the blanks – to prevent any disruption to my routine. I see my agitation, when something inside forces the admission that “I don’t know!” 

In response to any question of real size and weight, not having the answer can feel like a threat to my image of “me.” 

The year 2020 has brought great disruptions. Chaos follows me home, threatening my routines and habits, my relationships, my livelihood, my beliefs and opinions, effectively everything that gives me a sense of self. 

Why is this happening and how can I manage it all, I ask? What is fact and what is misinformation? Why do so many issues cause “hot button” reactions instead of reasoned responses? 

Mr. Gurdjieff wrote about much of what happens in every generation: what we call “knowledge” is not, and historically never was enough to truly respond to our individual experiences of change and difficulty. 

He illustrates how we build on bases handed down to us, that can’t bring much real, lasting value – because we are asleep to both the real world, and our real selves, hypnotized by both false intensity and false serenity.

He confronts us with our illusions but stops frustratingly short of giving us the complete answers. He demonstrates a way of seeking the unknown for ourselves, where we can find our questions in a search for truth.

Considering the vastness of the universe, what is my place? And what matters?

If I am honest with myself, I admit that I do not know what is going on in the world around me. I do not know what is going to happen next, or what will happen to me. I do not know what life is supposed to be like. 

I seek pleasure and attempt to avoid pain. I know something is missing, but I do not know what it is. I don’t know what is needed right now. I wish I did.

Is it scary to be this honest with myself? Am I afraid to not have answers to these big questions? What is there, truly, to be afraid of? 

I cannot believe myself to be supremely intelligent, moral or all-powerful. I struggle to do the “right thing” almost daily. A hundred things could kill me, and one of them will. Will I figure it all out before I die?

Opposed to this friction, I can see at times an intuition of my smallness. I don’t feel the need to crack the codes. I may not leave a legacy or save the world. But I can start from a simple truth better than from a grand lie.

This part of me that can be humble and be humbled, does not fear mystery. It can respond to a radiance that is felt, even if it’s unseen. I can begin to resist that which does nothing for me and explains nothing, and open to the unknown.

Can we share in our personal journeys as a community, trying to awaken – especially now?

Although these questions, and this state of being -in- question, may feel like they can separate or isolate me from others – and even me from what I think of as “myself” – there are resources to perhaps start to know my inner and outer world in a new way. 

We can, regardless of background, exchange with those who feel as we do.

As Gurdjieff himself said:

“For the work, it is not necessary to have the person next to you. One can work even from a thousand kilometers away. For inner work, distance does not exist.”

—Paris Meetings, 1943

Open to new exchanges and to those with questions, the Gurdjieff Foundation of Ohio, founded in 1963, will hold its first Zoom seminar open to sincere seekers on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 3:00 p.m., EST (15:00 UTC -5). 

Please message to RSVP.