Having been fascinated by (but not affiliated with) the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky tradition and teaching for most of my life, I recently reviewed “Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff – The Man, The Teaching, His Mission” the encyclopedic account written by William Patrick Patterson.
Many “seekers” are completely unaware that the ideas of Tolle, Dyer, Katie, Ehrhard and even Alan Watts have a resonating thread to two men who led groups in the early 20th century, and who each had powerful charismatic personalities, Gurdjieff himself and his most famous student, P.D. Ouspensky.
My own interest in this teaching began over 40 years ago when I travelled to the Yucatan and later Cairo in search of lost wisdom. I had been fascinated by the extensive research into the Great Pyramid and its encoding of mathematical and astronomical truth by Peter Tomkins, in his Secrets of the Great Pyramid and Secrets of the Mexican Pyramids, written in the 1970’s.
At the same time I began reading about Gurdjieff, and mainly devoured Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous, which was the doorway into the vast psychology and cosmology of his teacher, Gurdjieff, which fascinated me with its clarity and scope. (Patterson refers to Ouspensky as Uspenskii)
At that time I tried to find out more about Gurdjieff and find like-minded people but they did not advertise and in fact were quite secretive. What I did know is that Gurdjieff claimed that some of his knowledge was the result of his own initiation in Egypt–where he worked as a guide at the Great Pyramid and encountered fellow seekers, who became his lifelong friends and colleagues. So it was with great interest when I found the Gurdjieff Legacy website, which informed me that William Patrick Patterson had a DVD titled: Gurdjieff in Egypt.
After watching the trailer, I ordered the DVD and have watched it several times.
Patterson is the narrator, author and producer of the film, which follows him on a personal journey to Cairo to get a sense of any possible answers to the question that formed the chief aim of Gurdjieff’s own life:
“What is the sense and significance of life on Earth, and human life in particular?”
Of particular interest to me was Patterson’s own research into what drew Gurdjieff to Egypt –his own search for ancient wisdom which climaxed with the discovery of an ancient map of “pre-sand” Egypt (when the area was not a desert but in fact fertile).
This period pre-dates the time of the pharaohs by thousands of years and has also been the subject of research by rogue archeologists like Robert Schoch, Robert Bauval, John Anthony West and others. (Schoch himself conducted research into the striations at the base of the Sphinx that suggest strongly that they are the result of water erosion –which would place it during that period)
But Patterson’s work is not wildly speculative in the least; while I love the “suggestions” in the Ancient Aliens TV series, Patterson himself makes only one intuitive leap –he conveys strong evidence that what shocked Gurdjieff on the map he found of pre-sand Egypt was, in fact, the presence of the Sphinx. This would turn all of conventional human history on its end, and Patterson takes us with him as he actually explores the ruins of Giza and other great temples along the Nile.
Patterson says that Gurdjieff himself was initiated into the mysteries of the Pyramid three times and begins to eloquently weave the deep meaning of this sort of practice and teaching amid the spectacular structures through which he takes us.
There are wonderful views and examinations of the interior of the structures along with a compelling narrative of the “sacred science” that must have been practiced and preserved by those who built these monuments. Patterson continues up the Nile to the Temple of Luxor, which is also known esoterically as “The Temple of Man” because it encodes ancient knowledge of biology and energy, which Patterson describes. (More about the details of this encoding can be found in “The Temple of Man” by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz a little-known but fascinating figure who devoted his life to unwrapping the mysteries of Luxor)
Patterson’s DVD provides a historical context for the Gurdjieff work that some of us crave, and then also delves into the possible sources of the “sacred science” which Gurdjieff taught; again not with speculation but with actual insight into the symbolism of Egyptian culture (and of course the actual material –the hieroglyphs and works themselves –are right there – demythologized with excellent graphics).
Patterson as narrator is very engaging, going from the markets of Cairo to interact with guides at the various sites, and interspersing his commentary with extremely compelling analysis of what he is showing. Short of going to Giza yourself (with someone as knowledgeable as Patterson) this DVD is a wonderful experience. This DVD is part of a trilogy which also includes Part 2: Gurdjieff’s Mission, and Part 3: Gurdjieff’s Legacy.
I also was able to review another DVD produced by Patterson: Introduction to Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way: From Selves to Individual Self to The Self
When one reads Gurdjieff or Ouspensky, a seminal point is that one cannot do “the work” alone. Gurdjieff was P.D. Ouspensky’s teacher and demanded authority over his students, in order to enable them to eventually become aware of their “sleep” and inability to “do anything” by themselves.
These groups for self-study were called “schools,” and in this DVD Patterson combines a series of lectures elucidating the teaching with actual interactions and responses to the sincere questions and comments from his three-day seminar at the St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista, California.
Patterson himself studied with Lord John Pentland, who was tasked with bringing the Gurdjieff teaching to America, and who worked with both Ouspensky and Gurdjieff himself.
The material is broken up into four parts:
- Images of God and Machines
- Science of Being
- Faith of Consciousness
There is also a section devoted to showing an actual dinner based upon Mr. Gurdjieff’s teaching, and its preparation according to the practices of his students.
Patterson begins by echoing the cautionary note he writes about in another book, “Spiritual Survival in a Radically Changing World-Time” in which he examines the spiritual price that is being paid by our current “devotion” to Scientism and technology –the call of our intellectual “center” and the Ego.
Patterson continues by delving into the historical account he covered in “Gurdjieff in Egypt” by describing the “Sacred Science” which formed the basis of the teaching of Gurdjieff (also referred to as Lost or Esoteric Christianity, the actual foundation for the original teachings of Jesus as described in the Gnostic Gospels). Patterson says that over time the Egyptians lost the thread of this ancient wisdom and the original (Sacred) Science of Being gave way to animal worship.
But Gurdjieff’s teaching was “something completely new and self-contained,” based upon his own studies and was in fact an effort to “reconcile the teachings of the East with the Energy of the West.” Patterson both uses the computer “analogy” and the language of psychology to make the case for how most of us have become “conditioned or programmed bioplasmic machines” rather than conscious beings in God’s image. But the machine model has a positive potential –we do live according to impersonal natural law –so that we can potentially witness our conditioned reactions.
The work is based on self observation leading to self knowledge and ultimately to a tanglible and organic awareness of Consciousness “itself” –and Patterson addresses the illusion of control fostered by modern science with its aim of an “artificial intelligence” –Patterson states categorically that,
“There is no machine that has ever been built or ever will be built that can know itself.”
A machine cannot have self awareness – a machine can beat Gary Kasparov in chess, but it will never “know” it is beating him. This was also demonstrated by the IBM machine that “beat” the Jeopardy champions; it did so with massively fast calculations, but it could not form analogies or “reason creatively or symbolically.” But of course we are not a machine in “our image” like IBM but rather something completely natural –organic life—but living in a false sense of our true nature. We believe we have free will. Gurdjieff thought otherwise.
Patterson goes through the limitations of our ability to actually control anything –much less nature –and then suggests the only “thing” or faculty we can control is our attention. And he also points out “What does society want from us – our attention.” That is why we live in a time of technological distraction based on capitalism, because as he continues, “What follows our attention? Money.”
Core to the Science of Being is going beyond the “formative mind” or what Gurdjieff calls the Intellectual Center and creating a harmony with our total being—this can bring us to a deeper understanding of Consciousness and the recognition (“re-cognition”) of the reality that being “is not an idea- it is an experiencing.” To live consciously “our aim is to be – to receive and transmit (energies)” or “impressions” with complete presence, and not with automatic (programmed) reaction that triggers the many negative emotions that form our personality.
Patterson has a wry sense of humor which comes through the material. When confronted with intellectual queries he is prone to reply:
“No sense asking questions you can’t answer. No sense watching CNN – entertaining yourself with other peoples’ misery.”
The conscious individual is careful what he puts into his body, his mind and his nervous system. As the advertising industry apparently understands, “Impressions are a food.” Imagery has a profound effect on imagination and being—it can be nourishing or distracting and destructive. Patterson’s account of the Gurdjieff teaching echoes its many influences, like the work of writers like Alan Watts, Adyashanti, and Eckhart Tolle. For Patterson, Consciousness is “no thing”. Consciousness is what receives all things. It is the background– what’s up front is the content. Patterson says that through distraction we tend to become completely absorbed in the “outside” – the “content” of consciousness, without an awareness of the underlying, vast space in which this content appears and disappears.
Unlike our “personality,” consciousness is also unsentimental and “impersonal.” Consciousness has no point of view. Patterson also resonates with Eckhart Tolle, among others, when he explains that, “The last thing we will give up is our suffering” – we don’t really want to wake up from our identification with victimhood because it’s “the devil we know” –it is the sense of not knowing that is terrifying–something that Gurdjieff famously called “The Terror of the Situation.”
Unlike other teachings that may suggest a withdrawal from conventional reality, the Gurdjieff Fourth Way seeks to use the conditions in life –to consciously receive Life as impressions –and use that to come to real life –through what is called “self-remembering.” The access to this sense of a true self is not just through the mind, but by deeper awareness of the body, sensation and witnessing (negative) emotions –-
The moment that “I’m here” there is a shock to the organism (a technique for regaining presence might be brushing your teeth with your left hand) – and we slowly begin a practice where we drop allegiance to the hypnotic consensual reality. When I give “my” attention to my “self” (Consciousness itself) rather than its content (thoughts, beliefs, emotions, sensations) then a new flavor of concrete experience comes and I can receive this (unfiltered) directly – this sort of food according to Patterson provides the organism with double the power ‘to be.’
Technology and conventional reality urge and prompt us into self-talk and daydreaming to numb our feelings –Gurdjieff calls them buffers because they insulate us from direct impressions and the shocks we need to wake up. And in this way, through technology we give up our energy or it leaks. “When I identify with a reaction I create a world with all of that energy…” Patterson says, suggesting that the energy is then lost but “If my self-remembering (presence) is equal to the shock of the moment ‘I eat it.” My conscious organism becomes a true “shock absorber.” All of “me” can now assimilate it and I have more energy.
Patterson cautions that through self-observation we can discover that there is a big part of us that doesn’t want to know the truth – that is comfortable with reaction, judgment and “sleep.” But once we get a taste of consciousness it’s like no other taste at all –all fears are “just content.”
Going through the DVD is like having Patterson as a guide or teacher, and it also goes well beyond a mere intellectual understanding by giving the viewer a sense of the dynamic of the profound interaction between teacher and sincere student. This dynamic is not always comfortable or “positive” –it is loving in the unconditional sense because it confronts us with impersonal perspectives on our deluded nature, and ultimately can lead to a deeply felt energetic sense of something far more vast and deep—the subject of Sacred Science—Consciousness itself. This is not some “thing” to be known –it is a mystery to be lived, moment to moment, consciously and with profound gratitude for each breath that we take.
To get a taste of the material in this DVD, check out the trailer at the following link:
Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question
- The Facts:
Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.
- Reflect On:
What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?
The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.
The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.
If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.
You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.
One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.
Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?
There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.
It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.
More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.
A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”
It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.
Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.
I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”
Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.
The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.
Marianne Williamson Admits “The System Is More Corrupt Than I Knew”
- The Facts:
Marianne Williamson stated in an interview on Fox and Friends that she did not realize the political system was as corrupt as it is.
- Reflect On:
This is an important revelation of how leaders often don't quite see the full truth of our system at hand. Through them and their experience, we can learn a lot about what is truly going on. Is it time to let go of the systems we have?
About a week ago Marianne Williamson told the New Yorker, I know this sounds naïve, but I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.” In a segment I did on CETV, I discussed the fact that Williamson is doing a great job of bringing a bit more of a conscious conversation into the mix here, which is very important, but seems to not quite understand what politics is really about and how things function in our world.
In my article about this statement I stated:
Some have suggested that Marianne already knows these truths, and she may, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she is only uncovering these things now. I say this as I belong to a group that communicates regularly that contains many high profile conscious industry leaders like Williamson and other big authors, speakers etc. Many of them are great with spirituality but seem to struggle to see how politics truly functions. I have witnessed this first hand and this is why I’m so passionate about what I do as I feel bringing together both personal transformation and hard truth is imperative.
Some felt that my analysis was off and that Williamson is just ‘playing naive,’ but to me, this did not feel true nor did it seem to be the case. While some might view this as an unimportant detail, it’s very important as for society to truly begin to shift we must not only personally transform but also realize the true nature of the world we live in.
As outlined in the CE Protocol, the formula I built to help awaken and shift the masses, the very first step is Breaking The Illusion about our programmed reality and understand what’s truly going on. From there, personal transformation becomes key.
Williamson Admits She Was Unaware
Here we are a week later and Williamson has stated what I observed in my previous segment, she did not quite realize how corrupt our political system truly is. In an interview on Fox and Friends Williamson stated:
“I would say that I feel that I’ve learned that the system is even more corrupt than I knew and people are even more wonderful than I hoped,
I want to state this isn’t about picking on anyone as much as it is about understanding the importance behind seeing the full picture of the change that needs to take place here. For 10 years now I have built CE to include both personal transformation and truth seeking for the reason that either one of those topics on their own doesn’t create the change we all know is possible in our hearts.
I’ve seen many ‘spiritual leaders’ still deeply support the dysfunctional nature of our systems because they believe there is truth to them when in reality they belong to a consciousness we are shifting away from.
Our political system is built and exists within a system designed for a very limited state of consciousness, some call this 3D consciousness. The goal isn’t to shift our political system, it’s to let it go. Collectively we are shifting and the new state of consciousness emerging doesn’t support the political system at hand. Hence why the chaos around it is increasing, because it’s acting as a mirror for us to see how it doesn’t resonate with our emerging consciousness.
It’s like trying to install Windows on a Mac or vice versa, the systems aren’t designed for the operating system. Humanity is faced with a challenge of ‘letting go of the old,’ not trying to fix the old.
In a brand new segment of The CE Show I did on YouTube and CETV, I discuss Marianne’s latest comments and what I feel we all must realize as we move forward in this journey of shifting ourselves and our world.
The CE Show airs multiple times per week on CETV. Membership proceeds from CETV go towards supporting our journalism and future broadcasts. You can start a free 7 day trial here.
I feel that we have become addicted to the systems of a state of consciousness that we are moving away from. The choice is up to us, we stop resisting and holding onto things of the old, move through the process of watching these old systems fall away, or we continue to fight tooth and nail under the belief that we must hold up the old systems, and suffer along the way.
Ask yourself within, do you truly feel that this is about changing our current political system to be more open and evolved? Or is it about letting go of the rigidity of our current systems and creating new ones that are birthed from a new state of consciousness, not one that is centuries old…
Full Moon In Pisces: Navigating Ideals
We are having a Full Moon in Pisces which will be exact at 4:33am Universal Time on September 14th 2019. It will appear the fullest on the night of the 13th for most of the world and on the night of the 14th for the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand.
This is the peak of the Lunar cycle which began two weeks prior with a New Moon in Virgo. The energies of it build up as the Moon increases its light and are strongest in the days before and after. However, it will still be a part of the backdrop over the following two weeks.
Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Pisces and Sun in Virgo. It can reflect either a conflict or integration of both signs. We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Virgo side and others expressing the Pisces side.
Pisces is associated with sensitivity, compassion, creativity, and oneness. It is spiritually conductive, mystical, energy oriented, dreamy, flowy, imaginative, idealistic, and empathic. Negatively, it can be delusional, lazy, intoxicated, deceptive, confused/confusing, elusive, flaky, and lack critical thinking. Pisces energy is the least compatible with the mundane world and is associated with escapism in its many forms.
Virgo is about productivity, duties, service, physical health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, conscientious, skillful, diligent, efficient, analytical, detailed, and practical. Negatively, Virgo energy can also be overly critical, too cautious, fault-finding, irritable, discriminating, and overly perfectionist.
Full Moon Aligned with Neptune in T-Square with Jupiter and Mars
This Full Moon is close to Neptune which has many of the same qualities of Pisces that were mentioned above. It is viewed as a modern ruler of that sign and it amplifies its energies even more so during this period. Neptune is also associated with glamour, romance, and addiction. It has a dissolving, flooding, and watery energy that doesn’t comprehend boundaries.
Neptune is completing its last of three squares with Jupiter in Sagittarius which will be exact on September 21st and will be strong into the following week. It began last January and peaked again this past June. At best, this can be an expansive period in a spiritual, creative, or compassionate way.
However, it can also be a time of confusion or lack of discernment around beliefs, ideologies, education, and teachers. It can also be a time in which we become aware of us being like that previously. We can be more excessive when it comes to how we express Piscean/Neptunian energies mentioned above.
At the time of the Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is also involved in this configuration along with the opposition of the Sun and Moon, forming a T-square aspect. This can be good for asserting ourselves towards our ideals or with a different Jupiter-Neptune approach (mentioned above). However this can also make our actions scattered, less assertive/direct, and make it harder to apply ourselves with practicality.
Full Moon Sextile Pluto Near Saturn and South Node, Saturn Going Direct
This Full Moon is in a tight sextile with Pluto which is near Saturn and the South Node. This could trigger some of the themes of the previous Lunar Eclipse (that is still reflecting this period) in a more harmonious way. Purging aspects of our past that are getting in the way of us moving forward. This can help to facilitate empowerment through some sort of release or transformation.
Saturn will be finishing its retrograde on September 18th and will move towards its final conjunction with the South Node which will peak at the end of the month and early October. This energy was also strong in mid Spring and part of it in early Summer.
Saturnian themes get amplified and we can be dealing with limitations, obstacles, restrictions, or perhaps issues around boundaries. We may feel a need to make changes around responsibilities, commitments, career, and structures in our lives. Similarly to the last Lunar Eclipse, there can be a sort of ending playing out around how an area of our lives is being expressed.
Full Moon Opposing Mercury and Venus Conjunction As They Change Signs
At the time of this Full Moon, Mercury and Venus are in a conjunction at the very end of Virgo, (Mercury’s sign). They will then be moving into Libra (Venus’ sign) in the hours following with the Full Moon triggering after it begins to wane.
This can be a time of heightened interactions, catching up with friends and other relationships. While it is in Virgo it could lean more towards its themes connected to work, service, fault finding, etc. For some people there can be a feeling of some sort of urgency.
After this conjunction moves into Libra, especially a day after the Full Moon, it becomes more pleasant, social, and creative. Our interactions can be more harmonious, diplomatic, and less critical. We can more easily see both sides to something, find balance, and a great time to discuss relationship matters.
As a result of both of these planets transitioning near the same time, some people may experience some sort of significant shift in other areas of their lives within a few days following the Full Moon.
Things To Consider During This Period
How can you better balance the mundane aspects of life with your ideals, creativity, or spirituality? How have your beliefs been impacted this year and what is the conclusion to your experiences? Is it possible that you may have been confused about some aspects of newly or previously acquired perspectives?
What themes are coming up for you now that have been playing out since last April? What do you need to release? What changes do you need to make when it comes to your work, responsibilities, commitments, structures, or boundaries?
These are just some examples of what could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon when it begins to wane until the next New Moon in two weeks. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on September 14th at 4:33am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.
Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order.
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