This scheme of things is familiar to all followers of the 4th Way – The Ray of Creation depicted on the Octave… What are we to make of this? Unless we attempt to go beyond intellectual acceptance – to feel it on the pulse and take deliberate steps towards understanding – it will remain a dead & mysterious diagram. One way of going beyond Intellect with it is to pace it out physcally and sing the Octave; it makes practical sense to sing something like this (from the bottom up):-
Do…Eternal meaning (All in One)
Si…..Finding the archetypes
La….All possible thoughts on a subject
Sol…A train of thinking
Fa….Many possible ways of expressing an idea
Mi….Speaking one’s own (subjective) sense
Re….Making sense of the words
Do….Hearing the words
It is said that the majority never get beyond Do-Re-Mi which leads to the buttressing of one’s own subjective sense of things; it’s floating voter territory; the place where arms are taken up against opponents of all sizes and degrees of imagined or actual viciousness. The question becomes how to slide on the major scale semi-tone between Mi & Fa… To which the simple answer is the ‘First Conscious Shock’ of Self-remembering… Not so simple to put into operation. But we try (oomphantly).
I suppose it might help if we were aware first of all of something in the way of clarity about the 48 ‘Laws’ that are supposed to be trapping us into certain patterns of being on Earth; if there could be more of an attempt at definition it would help us to avoid the traps – otherwise we run the risk of doubling them up to 96 by ‘feeding the moon’ – I take this metaphor to mean being really (really) slave to all the ‘Laws’ we choose to be trapped, or programmed, by – even more bound by them than we are at the moment.
The intellectual Formatory Apparatus simply requires to know what the 48 ‘Laws’ are – but that’s not good enough. Re-reading Bob Hunter’s Pupil’s Postscript, I was prompted at page 148 to start thinking seriously about the ‘Laws’ which, as most people on the 4th Way seem to do, I had previously regarded as something of a sacred mystery – only for the initiated.
There are different kinds of ‘laws’. I take it that some Laws are essential because, for instance, they constitute the nature of the game – cricket would not be cricket without the lbw or no-ball law and so on. In England it’s quite a good law that traffic is encouraged to make its way along the left hand side of the public thoroughfare. Other laws are invented – to perpetuate the convenience of a political system, for example, or they become self-imposed restrictions to making some deal with life – getting dressed up in your Sunday best when you go on holiday is a ‘law’ that’s long since been repealed; having a cup of tea first thing in the morning is a conventional ‘law’ that I’ve gone along with for many years!
But what on earth (as it were) does it mean to go through the Mi-Fa semitone as the start of a process of getting rid of half the laws that we choose to bind ourselves by? And unless we have at least some rough idea of what the 48 Laws might consist of there’s not much chance of shedding them.
On page 148 of Pupil’s Postscript Mrs Pogson, secretary & assistant to Maurice Nicoll, is recorded as pointing out that there are 3-brain being restrictions that it is quite unnecessary to lumber ourselves with; we carry a lot of superfluous baggage around with us which is the result of long-term habitual identification with people, scenes, activities, things, events, and so on; she called this the Law of Identification which causes us to forget our selves. Another person’s anger or negativity can be catching; we forget that we don’t have to be like they are when we find ourselves in an argument. Currently; towards the end of May 2014, the UKIP crypto-fascist bandwagon is gaining momentum because a %-age of the populace is identifying with what’s called ‘protest’ or with the idea that the European Union is responsible for all the current ills which are in fact brought about by the Global Capitalist Conspiracy to defraud humanity…
Somebody said to Mrs Pogson, “When we’re identified, nobody is at home…” She pointed out that when that happens we are under the Law of Accident which means that things just happen to us beyond conscious awareness; but when you choose to direct attention you can go against the Law of Accident. Disidentification, deliberately holding people, scenes, activities, things, events, and so on, at arm’s length gets you to a place of relative safety. Just opening a book to redirect attention is a very simple useful strategy… But it requires continual practice.
Decide to Name the 48 Laws
Having introduced the concept of ‘Laws’ in a nicely roundabout kind of way, Mrs Pogson delivers a concealed imperative (as we might say in NLP), “Decide to name some of the 48 Laws. This is not meant numerically… but all these laws that are lower on the scale drag us down; the higher laws help us to succeed…” So now we need to have some inkling of what the ‘higher laws’ might be – to know, if ever so roughly, what we’re aiming at.
In Bob Hunter’s book there follows nothing systematic, exactly as befits 4th Way teachings – a piece-meal flow, just as things crop up naturally. But I was intent on obeying Mrs Pogson’s implied imperative; I attended to her clue by starting to list all the things that follow from the process known as Identification – they did begin to seem hidden away craftily in Bob Hunter’s text. In doing this and thinking about making the result into a Glob I was aware that I might be contravening Gurdjieff’s injunction to have things made as difficult as possible – there’s always the danger of over-simplifying which can lead to self-calming (“Got that – so what’s the next thing?” – no need for further chin-wagging…).
A judicious bit of Eriksonian Artful Vagueness is needed.
However, the nagging question is – What are the 48 ‘Laws’ under which we choose to labour on Earth? By ‘Laws’ I understand processes & events which we choose to take to seem to be inevitable: when I look out of the window right now at the drift of clouds and the gentle movement of silver birch fronds the act of looking causes me to forget my self in identification, the act of putting it into words even more so; in ordinary life this seems to be inevitable – it’s a ‘law’ of being – but I can extract myself by going into self-remembering which puts a gap between window-gazing and Gazing-I.
Things are Only Inevitable When You Choose to Have Them Be So
When you know this you can easily step aside from what you take to be the inevitable. You can decide to do things otherwise.
Concentrating before sunrise, I got very slowly to 27 possibilities before I started attaching numbers to each item – then I knew I only had 21 to go! Over halfway! What seemed like an impossible task to start with began to be achievable. Things on the list have undergone change as I realised that there was a lot of overlap – the ‘laws’ are not watertight containers. Bullet points are more appropriate since everything leads to everything else without numerical precision.
Without feeling all this on the pulse, getting it in the muscle, it will remain an inert list of things: a modicum of Understanding only comes about when we combine Knowledge with Being.
48 Laws of Sorts
● Identification – whatever we identify with (tons of it – people, scenes, activities, things, events, and so on in a cumulative historical shower) causes us to forget the self (or all the selves). So we collect stacks of baggage and lay ourselves open to…
● The Law of Accident – we go off in all directions, directionless, attracted to every passing something or other that we choose to identify with, every passing fad or fancy that grabs our attention…
● The Law of Three – there’s one thing and then another opposed to it but we are Third Force blind; either/or thinking has us swinging on a pendulum
● The Law of Seven – we choose to be stuck in the first three stages, unable to build from the feeling of self as capable of initiating being
● This causes us constantly to ‘miss the mark’, lose any aim we might have developed had we stood firm
● We are never ‘at home’ – this leads to self-forgetfulness; the key is lost
● We are always content to do the easiest thing – imagining that self-calming is what’s important in life
● Law of Cause & Effect – the idea that there’s a set order to things & that it’s impossible to change the way things happen
● Law of Creation – as though it were a once & forever event
● We stick to what we imagine we know
● The Law of Denial, incorporating ‘liking/disliking’, making objections to what goes against our own beliefs
● Law of Habit which results in mechanical behaviour
● Law of Being Trapped in Time: choosing to be imprisoned by the ‘Past’ or mortgaged to the ‘Future’ – “I can’t help the way I am – it’s how I was raised…” – “It’s what I was told to do…”
● The Law of Internal Considering – only too absorbed in talking to ourselves & inventing the world we imagine we live in that we neglect to observe that things are never what they seem to be
● The Law of If-only: day-dreaming, falsely imagining a world that doesn’t exist
● Inventing pictures of oneself – acting as though they were the real thing
● The Law of Expressing Negative Emotion – bad talking
● Working out of False Personality
● Regarding life as a test – believing that we have to measure up to some hidden set of requirements
● Self-justifying: “What I really meant was…”
● Making accounts: “I’ll get even with you…”
● Storing up debts – bearing grudges
● Having requirements – impinging on other people’s freedom by requiring them to be & act in your own way
● The Law of Conformity – fitting into a mould created by others
● Evading the idea of mortality – imagining that you will live forever
● The Law of always Being in the Right
● Feeling of being hard done by – or being done to
● Feeling of being special
● The Law of the Mirror – what we see in others is a reflection of ourselves
● The addiction to fun/ambition/vocation (A Influences)
● Subscribing to a belief that nothing changes
● Being addicted to unnecessary suffering – “It’s not fair…” “They never listen…” “Things never work out the way I want them to…” “It’s all hopeless…”
● Living in separate parts of our selves while believing we are single unified-I
● The Law that Being attracts Life
● Relationships fail when people are not properly related to themselves
● Making the choice that no effort is needed to divorce oneself from the ‘laws’
● Dreaming of Perfection
● Being curious just for the sake of it – wanting to know precisely how things are (like craving to know what the 48 Laws are!)
● Making comparisons – “If only I could be as they are, do what they do…”
● ‘Truth’ becomes opinion: ‘…in the twilight world of change & decay there is only opinion…’ (Plato)
● Acquiring knowledge is enough – ticking boxes… Inability to notice the gap between Being & Knowledge
● Needing to possess
● Acting as though we were fully able to ‘do’… – to change ourselves, for example
● Acting out of vanity, for the sake of reward or acclamation of some kind (wanting praise)
● Identifying with single Unified-I
● Identifying with a single Centre – to the exclusion of the others
● Law of Inflexibility
● Imprisonment – we choose to be trapped in our patterns of behaviour
That’s 48 possible ‘laws’! This was a groping forward – and remains so; I’m left wondering how these things constitute ‘laws’. Is it that, when we choose to go along with them, they hedge us about, constrain action, make it impossible to envisage other ways of doing things? They seem to elaborate just how we are ‘asleep’ to other possible ways of being; we imagine that this is how life is. “That’s just the way it is…” A Law of Being. A mechanical acceptance of the idea that there’s no other way. In NLP terms, a hopeless subscribing to the way we’ve been programmed down the ages instead of taking deliberate steps to re-program ourselves with a bit of help from our friends perhaps.
I’ve become aware that this ramble through the ‘laws’ is, in short, another way of going round this circuit which I invented some years ago as a guide for myself of the unsystematic System called the 4th Way:-
Having grasped the idea of something about the ‘laws’ that put us to sleep and keep us there, the next question is: How can we live with fewer pre-suppositions about the way we imagine things are?
It’s perhaps necessary to get one’s mind and its emotional substructures round the idea that the pre-suppositions we entertain are only ‘laws’ because we choose to go along with their processes and the consequences; it’s easier to suppose that they are inevitable – that comes under the Law of Self-calming! We don’t have to disturb the brain-cells over it.
We could, daringly, make the decision to fly higher towards the whole planetary system (24 ‘laws’), towards the sun (12 ‘laws’) & the Milky Way (6 ‘laws’) and onward & upward in the expectation that we’ll get to the one law of the Absolute. What might that be?
How to shed ‘laws’? I’ll tackle this in a subsequent Glob.