Last night I watched the brilliant Ken Loach film Hidden Agenda once again. There’s a trailer on YouTube which more or less says it all. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYmGjSCw5ck
At the end of the film I am left feeling that there is no hope for the world, nothing to be done about the skulduggery, the lying and swindling, the machinations of the Power Possessors. And yet one always feels that there ought to be something one can do to make things happen in a different way. Go on a protest march, spoil your ballot paper, make some loud statement of protest… But things will just keep on happening.
It’s of little consequence who imagines that they are ‘in power’—as soon as they are elected they fall into the hands of the system which seems to be way beyond management—otherwise things would by now be completely different from what they are. Individuals come to accept that the way things are in the world just is the way they think things have to be. We are in the icy grip of Tzvarnoharno, Gurdjieff’s neologism for a certain something or other that ensures that nothing will ever change, that ‘learning from our mistakes’ is a hopeless will o’ the wisp because anybody who endeavours to put things right stokes up a reciprocal force against correcting anything.
Last July I set myself
to get the gist
of The Herald of the Coming Good—
an appeal to Contemporary Humanity
to prevent the manifestations of Tzvarnoharno
(or ‘something’) which forms itself by seemingly
natural process in the communal life of people
as an outcome of the ill-considered actions
of so-called common people
and leads to the destruction
of anybody who works for general human welfare
and the extinction of everything
they might already have accomplished
how much easier it is to identify something complex
if there’s just one word that stands for or encapsulates—
a process… for instance—
it does not seem possible to easily get the notion of it clear
get on the inside of it unless there’s a single tag
to dangle on an event—
so Tzvarnoharno is—the something or other
in the human makeup that seems obliged to set going
the process whereby the force and degree
of an individual’s inner benevolence
evokes in others a proportionate degree of ill-will
also there’s the great need to prevent (or at least counteract)
the trait embedded in the human psyche that evokes
(in confrontation with more or less prominent people)
the functioning of the feeling of enslavement
which paralyses the capacity
for displaying personal initiative
which in turn causes at least part of
the Terror of the Situation—
we’re all locked in to Tzvarnoharno;
no individual action can put things right:
by definition the benevolent action of one person
to correct the functioning of Tzvarnoharno
will be seen by others as worthy of their ill-will
as an attempt to do good work; the democratic principle
of change for the better is doomed from the start
This is The Terror of the Situation
We’re all locked into Tzvarnoharno. It seems that no individual action can put things right. The democratic principle of change is just a windy emptiness; in itself it ensures that we three-brained beings stay compliant and unprotesting, sold on the half-baked belief that all’s for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
Chapter 26 of BTTHG—The Legomonism of the Very Saintly Ashiata Shiemesh—a paraphrase…
…in the city of Babylon… I became aware of various traits of being-manifestations, there crept into me and progressively increased an essence-doubt as to the possibility of saving the three-centered beings of this planet…
For various reasons there was inserted into our makeup an ‘organ kundabuffer’ which ensures that we see everything upside down, or cockeyed: the idiot slaughter of war is called ‘fighting to keep the peace’; the suffering of starving millions is called ‘progress towards democracy’… Although the organ kundabuffer has been removed its effects are still felt.
The different manifestations of the beings the Very Saintly Ashiata Shiemesh encountered not only increased his doubt as to the possibility of doing anything to change their outlook, but gradually convinced him that the consequences of the properties of the organ kundabuffer, had passed by heredity through many generations over a very long period and had become so crystallized in their being that they had become a habitual & lawful part of their essence, a kind of ‘second nature’.
In the manner of a similar prophet, the Very Saintly Ashiata Shiemesh pondered the problem for forty days & forty nights up a mountain wilderness and came to the conclusion that it was already too late to save the contemporary beings by any of the three sacred ways… of Faith, Hope, and Love.
Sinkrpoosarams—Belief in Any Old Twaddle
We can say that we …believe in love and hope both with Reason and feelings; but do we really understand?
In a statement reminiscent of Plato’s myth that our birth is but a forgetting, the Very Saintly Ashiata Shiemesh says that there remains a …vague recollection of the crystallisation of ‘faith’, ‘hope’ and ‘love’… but that these are overlaid by ‘…those peculiar properties which are called ‘vanity’, ‘self-love’, ‘pride’, ‘self-importance’, and so forth… The result is that we are constantly subject to sinkrpoosarams—Gurdjieff’s great neologism meaning ‘belief in any old twaddle’.
It is very easy to convince a being of this planet of anything you like, provided that during the perception of this nonsense there is evoked, either consciously from without or automatically by itself, the functioning of one or another corresponding consequence of the properties of the organ kundabuffer crystallized from among those forming what is called ‘subjectivity’, in the shape of ‘self-love’, ‘vanity’, ‘pride’, ‘swagger’, ‘presumptuousness’, ‘arrogance’, and so on…’ This is then thought to be the way of the world. This is the Terror of the Situation: we know that something ought to be done, we are even aware of what that might be, but the terror comes from our sense of impotence.
We can’t even agree on first principles. If ten people were asked to explain how they sense the inner impulse of love, for example—assuming that they frankly acknowledge their genuine sensations and don’t simply parade those they had read about somewhere or heard about from someone else—all ten would reply differently and describe ten different sensations.
One would explain this sensation in the sexual sense; another in the sense of pity; a third as a desire for submission; a fourth, a common interest in outer things, and so on and so forth; but not one of the ten could describe, even remotely, the sensation of genuine Love.
Without the ‘taste’ of genuine Love they cannot have the faintest idea of that sacred being-impulse, the most beatific in the presence of every three-centered being of the Universe, which, in accordance with the divine foresight of Great Nature, forms in us such data that, when we experience their results, we can rest in bliss from the meritorious labours we have fulfilled for the purpose of self-perfection.
Nowadays, if one of these three-brained beings ‘loves’ somebody or other, it is either because this somebody always encourages and undeservedly flatters him/her; or because this one’s nose is very like the nose of that female or male or else he ‘loves’ someone only because this someone’s uncle is in business in a big way and may one day give him a boost, and so on and so forth.
Objective Conscience, feeling for all things at all times, has not entirely atrophied but remains in a primordial state and has sunk into ‘that consciousness of theirs which they call the ‘subconsciousness’ and as a result takes no part in the functioning of ordinary consciousness…’ (p328) The problem is how to retrieve it?
Beelzebub discovers a tablet with precepts & counsels in the possession of the Olbogmek brotherhood—all the rest were destroyed in Big Wars.
FAITH, LOVE, AND HOPE
Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of body depends only on type and polarity
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feeling is slavery
Hope of body is disease.
The Disease of Tomorrow
Hope of feeling is slavery, and hope of body is disease. They both bring about a singular and very curious galloping disease called ‘tomorrow’.
This strange disease, ‘tomorrow’, has brought the most terrifying results, notably that the putting off ‘from tomorrow till tomorrow’, deprives one of the possibility of ever attaining anything real. We almost always put off ‘until later’ everything that needs to be done at the moment, being convinced that ‘later’ we will do better and more.
Things are put off so often that the feebleness and infirmity of old age arrive before we can catch up with working on ourselves.
And of course the Terror of the Situation is that we put off change in the imaginary hope that things will always get better in a few years time. We are brain-washed into accepting this by the Power Possessors who con us into thinking that although we must suffer in order to reduce the gross abstraction called ‘Deficit’, for example, things will turn out all right in the end. I have heard various Power Possessors say this for seventy years. Meanwhile they do very well, thank you, except that they have lost their souls…
10 thoughts on “The Terror of the Situation (R9)”
They can’t see that it is “any old twaddle”.
It is Terrible, but, from another perspective, is is also Just. -Have you had a chance to read The Dialogs of Gurdjieff, by Jan Cox?
I find the world as it is today to be very frightening. All the hostility, all the lack of safety, in normal, everyday life. The “normal” people, just lucky children, with nice homes, cars, sometimes jobs, sometimes a Trust Fund instead, to live off of. They don’t see that they are Lucky. And so many people are just, talking animals, Joe Sixpack, and worse, so many. and so many more with just enough intelligence to have a successful career, but no more. there is an old saying, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”, and it is so true in this way: those with “a little knowledge”, and their successful (?) careers, their homes and cars and so on, being so arrogant, selfish, aggressive, blind, unconscious, and dangerous to themselves and to the rest of us; and it is those people who are “the winners” in “the American dream”, the “successful” ones of our country, culture. And those same people are frightened, and live in fear, and do what they do in fear, because of their fear. This is just how things are, and it is the very thing that Gurdjieff wanted people to wake up enough to see, so that they could indeed see The Terror Of The Situation. Our world of people is ugly, America as ugly as any of it, in its own way.
If I’m reading the “Faith, Hope, and Love” verses correctly, Colin, then the only antidote for both the terror of the situation and the disease of tomorrow is “consciousness”. Is this the proper path for those of us still clinging to the possibility that we might yet change things for the better? And if it is, then can we allow ourselves to hope that we might remain free of the “icy grip” of Tzvarnoharno?
As always, such a thought-provoking post! Thanks ….
I hope that I can find the time to watch that video. Thank you for sharing it.
I missed your last post somehow, Tom! I think that real Consciousness, not just the thing we imagine that we have from day to day because it seems to be there all the time, is what’s needed. I oscillate between pessimism & optimism and have done, I think, all my life. 500 people rule the world their way at the moment; I think Gurdjieff said somewhere that it would only need 500 to make a real change.
It was 300, Colin.
There is not antidote for the terror of the situation; somehow we must accept that that is just how life for us humans is, at this time. I also feel that our best solution for that, is to practice being-parktdolgduty. I really feel that that is the best way, and the best thing to do.
By the way, do you know what the difference is between an optimist and a pessimist?
I sat upon the shore
Fishing with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
End of Eliot’s ‘Wasteland’