I approach 50 entries in this WordPress thing since September 2011 and I’m still asking the question, ‘What am I doing here?’ I wrote down what I thought I was doing and the result was the following diagram. It may help to suggest the range of approaches any human-being can adopt towards Life. It’s suggestive of the broad front on which I imagine I advance.
It is a combination of elements in the teachings of GIGurdjieff and Gregory Bateson’s so-called ‘Logical Levels’—a very useful tool employed as a way of figuring out how a person is operating towards the world in the discipline called Neuro-Linguistic-Programming.
I can talk the process through here now but it would be much better were you to be able to walk through the circles, being coached by me. My courses are only being charged at 1970’s prices to assist those who are being cut down by The UK Coalition’s so-called ‘Deficit Reduction’.
One can start anywhere in the concentric circles but let’s begin at the beginning with the Universe. The best way to do this is to come in from looking at the stars at night after raising your arms to encompass them and take them all into your self. A reading from the writings of Marcus Aurelius would fit here.
Then there’s a circle representing the outer layer of your environment. You’re probably not aware of this overarching layer but it constrains all we do & think. Mister God lives here together with the mysterious characters that Gurdjieff calls the ‘Power Possessors’ who, at the moment, manage the world. ‘An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group [around 50] of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy…’ (New Scientist 24.10.2011). You may have to come back to this layer as you begin to keep up with the News and find out about the global OCCUPY movement.
The next circle towards the centre is more familiar though not perhaps as it is described here: we imagine we live in a democracy, that we are able to control events but you have to ask yourself if this is the case. Politicians are the slaves of the Power Possessors; they are impotent when it comes down to it except for being able to brain-wash us into accepting the need for the military machine and what Gurdjieff calls ‘periodic bouts of reciprocal destruction’…
The next circle is that which is our immediate vicinity: the need to earn a living; cultural influences; the promotion of ‘work’ as a way of keeping us out of mischief…
All the outer circles are an elaboration of the word ‘environment’. Stepping into the circle labelled ‘the physical environment’ we are into Bateson’s Logical Levels proper. In our immediate Environment we DO things of all kinds, most effectively when we balance our human faculties of emotion, intellect and physical prowess. The next circle represents the idea that we could do more when we put our minds & bodies to it… Our potential is subject to the beliefs and values we have come to adopt through our programming. The whole of the preceding is subject to interpretation by our Multiple-I’s, our Multiple-identities. At the very centre of things is a mystery that is often defined by religion as ‘spirit’, ‘psyche’, ‘soul’ or ‘Essence’—perhaps it would be worth trying on the Gurdjieffian term ‘Magnetic Centre’ which actually does describe what happens at the centre of our being: we attract to us various Influences like iron filings to a magnet; when we live a life choosing to subject ourselves to A Influences (money, mortgage, sport, politics, state religion, popular culture) the chances of our Magnetic Centre growing stronger are minimal; to make Magnetic Centre more powerful one has to go to the great sources of soul-life, the Bible, the Upanishads, the writings of the Buddha and so on; taking these teachings (‘B Influences’) seriously, learning from them, applying their wisdom to our lives, enables soul-growth. Magnetic Centre then enables us to cut through all the irrelevancies of life—watch them as they go past—to take us out into the universe so that we embrace it without all the clutter we are surrounded by.
Were you to take this walk by my side, all kinds of other things would turn up for you.