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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion – Part 67 March 4, 2009

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Welcome to the newest addition to the Fellowship of Friends Discussion.

For recent pages from the blog go here

For previous parts of the discussion please click on home and scroll down, or move to the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, or to AnimamRecro for the very beginning. For a more organized reading check out The Fellowship of Friends WikiSpace.

The largest meeting point for former and current members of the Fellowship of Friends is the Greater Fellowship, you can sign up to the Greater Fellowship community and connect with mostly former members of the Fellowship of Friends, as well as: some current members, family members of former/current members, and others interested in the Fourth Way here.

To visit “Pathway To Presence”, the newly created web site for recruiting new members to the Fellowship; http://www.pathwaytopresence.org

For sites in Russian and Italian, click http://fofway.narod.ru/ and http://laliberastrada.blogspot.com/respectively.

To access the Online Petition: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/djindjin/petition.html

For more information check Rick Ross and Steven Hassan.

This is where you can find the website of the Fellowship of Friends.

If you decide to interact as well as digest, this is where you can start.

And as always (and above else), enjoy and have fun.

At the Moderator’s discretion, excessive abuse, personal attacks, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion will result in a warning followed by a ban or a leave of absence from the discussion.

Participants require 1 moderated comment before they can start communicating in real-time. (ie. if you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear about 1 day after it has been posted, any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously).

To visit the site created by Unoanimo:http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/res-ipsa-loquitur/

Comments

1. peter - March 4, 2009

Yes

2. Anna - March 4, 2009

Here are some thoughts about why being in the Fellowship felt so nice.

*

I joined at twenty one and was still very uneasy socially. In the Fellowship we were told that the ability to be socially fluent and the capacity for small talk were properties of the ‘Jack of Hearts’, and that manifesting from there was relatively undesirable.

This was all very convenient. Instead of fidgeting nervously, or being witty in a way which not many people seemed to get, and instead of rushing off when there wasn’t much to say, I could just stand still, say nothing at all, and wait for or invite someone to begin ‘teaching’ me.

I could pre-plan what to say and leave long pauses, and the other party would wait patiently- understanding that I was using ‘Kings of Centres’ to formulate.

There was clearly loads that I didn’t know. Ouspensky’s system which was still in vogue in 1984, was really complicated and mysterious and promising. Everything spoken about was new and interesting and meaningful and deep… it seemed to lead somewhere.

I could talk with men and have long walks with them, without anyone getting the wrong idea; there was no menacing flirting because that would be ‘infra sex’, our interests were ‘enlightenment’ our ambitions spiritual and lofty.

Students seemed more beautiful than other people: they were ‘wide eyed’ because they were dividing attention. They looked shiny and clean because ‘impressions’ were very important. They were picturesque, angelic even.

People hugged me lightly yet meaningfully. They weren’t allowed to be ‘negative’. I was welcomed, encouraged.

It was all bliss.

*

Now I realise the limitations of that paradise… even for newer students. First of all we kept each other superficial by our insistence on showing only our ‘angelic’ faces. Our darker, dirtier sides were part of the ‘persona non grata’; we did not delve constructively into these less digestible bits, or attempt to integrate them, but briskly wrote them off as the King of Clubs, or the Queen of Hearts, Infra-Sex, Chief Feature and so on.

Many students came to the Fellowship bleeding: they had wounds but these were categorised as the soil for ‘magnetic centre’ and we were instructed to leave them behind, to focus on higher non-human things; a kind of disembodied phenomena we called ‘soul’. In a way we were being asked to close our eyes to our human-ness. I see this now as active promotion of sleep.

But those parts of ourselves that we rejected, did not just go away. In fact unattended to they festered and grew. In private many students succumbed in secret to obsessive compulsive behaviours, were vicious, pathologically fearful, addictive, violent or depressive.

*

I loved the ‘angelic’ face of the Fellowship. It seemed worth paying for. In 1990 when I worked in the office and saw for myself that most of our teaching payments were spent by Robert Burton on his personal life I did not mind because I felt I was getting so much and because I believed him to be conscious and to be acting from a higher rationale.

Right until the very end I loved that face.

*

But now I realize just how harmful that admiration was. Even if Burton had been honest and he hadn’t been cheating us all, even if there hadn’t been the sexual exploitation, we would still have lost. Because any teaching which divides a man into ‘good and bad’ and trashes the latter, must ultimately harm him.

So if we had not invested so much in Burton’s angelic seeming group; if instead we had struggled to come to terms with our personal trauma’s, to awaken to all parts of ourselves, to acknowledge how our parents had shaped us, and then to stop blaming them, had struggled to take responsibility for our own weird behaviours, had become adults… we might slowly and painstakingly have developed our own more real communities of friends, our own families, our own professions, our own tastes.

It wouldn’t have been as easy, or as instantly ‘sweet’ as that ‘angelic’ kick we got from membership of the Fellowship, but it might have been more lasting, more true.

3. nigel harris price - March 4, 2009

2 Anna

Brilliant and true…..thank you for that…..Nigel.

4. lauralupa - March 4, 2009

Thanks Anna, your writing resonates so closely with my personal experience and late realizations.
Namaste

5. Mick Danger - March 4, 2009

Anna!
Your sentiments are perfectly expressed.

6. veramente - March 4, 2009

great video and song Lauralupa!

…and so many good posts lately! Thank you Anna, Elena, in2it, Nigel (you designed my wedding ring BTW), Peter and everyone else!!!

7. dragon - March 4, 2009

2. Anna,

love your honesty and your “style” of expression.

8. Kid Shelleen - March 4, 2009

Anna Wrote:

“So if we had not invested so much in Burton’s angelic seeming group; if instead we had struggled to come to terms with our personal trauma’s, to awaken to all parts of ourselves, to acknowledge how our parents had shaped us, and then to stop blaming them, had struggled to take responsibility for our own weird behaviours, had become adults… we might slowly and painstakingly have developed our own more real communities of friends, our own families, our own professions, our own tastes.

It wouldn’t have been as easy, or as instantly ‘sweet’ as that ‘angelic’ kick we got from membership of the Fellowship, but it might have been more lasting, more true.”

And yet, here we are now, doing all the things you mentioned; much, much wiser than we could have ever been without that experience. Don’t misconstrue my intent, this is not a pro-fof post. It just sounds to me as though you may be beating yourself up a little too much. I have regrets too, but here I am and what’s happened has happened. If it could have been any different, it would have been. To know that the FoF and the fourth way led nowhere, one had to experience it. Now I know, as so many others here do as well.

9. somebody - March 4, 2009

10. Anna - March 4, 2009

Hello Kid Shelleen and All,

Kid said “And yet, here we are now, doing all the things you mentioned; much, much wiser than we could have ever been without that experience.”

I have some questions to you all about this.

I’m not sure how wise I am now, for sure wiser than two years ago though. I meet people all the time who would never have fallen into the types of trap we fell in to in the Fellowship; they must have always been ‘wise’ in this respect, or do you think they were just lucky?

Also there are many former followers who left after only a year or two: they realised relatively quickly; for me it took 23 years!

I am very reluctant to use words like ‘play’ or ‘fate’ or ‘karma’ as they seem part of ‘magical thinking’ and I cannot verify them, just ‘believe’ in hopeful impractical way.

Certainly I have used a lot of “ifs”…and am well aware that the past can’t be changed. However I’m not sure that I really am that much ‘wiser’ for the experience.

Perhaps this could all have been learned much more quickly? Perhaps part of my practical work now is to acknowledge, and to come to terms with a tremendous waste of life… of years? What do you think?

Thank you

11. Tatyana - March 4, 2009

Anna,
your questions are very normal questions for anyone with the cult experience. I found Jania Lalich very helpful in answering them for myself. She said that anybody could be recruited in the cult, not just unwise or dysfunctional people.

“All cults, no matter their stripe, are a variation on a theme, for their common denominator is the use of coercive persuasion and behavior control without the knowledge of the person who is being manipulated. They manage this by targeting (and eventually attacking, disassembling, and reformulating according to the cult’s desired image) a person’s innermost self. They take away you and give you back a cult personality, a pseudo personality. They punish you when the old you turns up, and they reward the new you. Before you know it, you don’t know who you are or how you got there; you only know (or you are trained to believe) that you have to stay there. In a cult there is only one way cults are totalitarian, a yellow brick road to serve the leader’s whims and desires, be they power, sex, or money.
When I was in my cult, I so desperately wanted to believe that I had finally found the answer. Life in our society today can be difficult, confusing, daunting, disheartening, alarming, and frightening. Someone with a glib tongue and good line can sometimes appear to offer you a solution. In my case, I was drawn in by the proposed political solution to bring about social change. For someone else, the focus may be on health, diet, psychological awareness, the environment, the stars, a spirit being, or even becoming a more successful business person. The crux is that cult leaders are adept at convincing us that what they have to offer is special, real, unique, and forever and that we wouldn’t be able to survive apart from the cult. A person’s sense of belief is so dear, so deep, and so powerful; ultimately it is that belief that helps bind the person to the cult. It is the glue used by the cult to make the mind manipulations stick. It is our very core, our very belief in ourself and our commitment, it is our very faith in humankind and the world that is exploited and abused and turned against us by the cults…

…I learned a lot, but I’d rather have learned it another way.”

12. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 4, 2009

#10: Now that I’ve been out of the Fellowship for nearly 15 years, my greatest disappointment with myself when I left had been that I stayed as long as I did. (20 years) As someone told me at the time and I listened and felt badly. ‘You put your spiritual life on hold all that time’. However, I can’t say that I would have used my time any more wisely had I not been in the Fellowship all those years.

As Shakespeare put it: ‘Things without remedy should be without regard, for what’s done is done.’ And now I don’t believe time is a limiting factor and the flowering process happens in its own time and when someone is ready for it to happen.

13. brucelevy - March 4, 2009

10. Anna

“Also there are many former followers who left after only a year or two: they realized relatively quickly; for me it took 23 years!”

People’s comings and goings are going to be for widely varied reasons. I think it’s inaccurate and falsely self-deceiving to assume some left because they saw the “truth” faster than someone else.

14. brucelevy - March 4, 2009

It’s another way to self-flagellate.

15. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 4, 2009

#13: So true!

16. Susan Zannos - March 4, 2009

Oh Anna. Yes, it seems to me that there is nothing left but the wreckage of a life that might have been a quiet decent sort of human experience with a healthy family, good friends, all of the possibilities I left behind. Is this just one more illusion? Were there ever those possibilities or was there something so deficient in me that if it hadn’t been the Fellowship it would have been something else equally pathological? How the hell do I know?

17. Jomo Piñata - March 4, 2009

10/Anna

If we could have learned our way out of the cult substantially earlier, we would have. In my opinion.

My sense is that the life challenges we avoided, by entering a kind of suspended emotional animation during the cult years, re-emerge all the more urgently after we leave. As I see it, the idea of “ripeness” applies. Would we have confronted those life challenges adequately earlier, absent the urgency that they now call upon us to deal with them? Doubtful.

In my own case, my cult involvement could have been predicted by my woundedness and my inability successfully to reestablish equilibrium after that woundedness had overwhelmed other things. The attractiveness of the Ouspensky system and the “safe” cult environment which seemed to evade “negativity” can be characterized as a temporarily successful emotional management strategy, on which I embarked during a period of immaturity and woundness. Had the illusions been able more completely to anaesthetize my pain and to stifle my ability to think critically in the long term, my involvement would probably have continued.

18. veramente - March 4, 2009

# 9, Somebody
I wonder if Burton could give out winning lottery numbers, perhaps I can repair some of the financial damage I incurred while “studying” under him.
He has also tuned in with the 2012 Mayan date, no doubt as thinking he will be one of the elected spiritual master-baters (with help of course).
Bitter moi!

19. Tatyana - March 4, 2009

In relation to RB’s obsession with six fingers “teaching” (must be C-Influence)

“A boy has been born in California with six fingers on each hand and six fingers and toes on each foot. The sixth fingers and toes are fully formed and functional, and doctors have advised the boy’s parents that surgery isn’t necessary. “I realize children would tease each other over the slightest thing,” said pediatrician Dr. Michael Treece. “But imagine what sort of pianist a 12-fingered person would be, imagine what sort of flamenco guitarist. If nothing else, think of their typing skills.”

from The Week
Feb 20, 2009

20. Panorea - March 4, 2009

Anna,

I simply do not know why so many of us had to go through 10, 15, 20, 25 …. in that abusive relationship. I do not know why we still have to witness people going through that; people whom we cared about, who blindly follow a hollow dream.

I only pray that that little voice in us becomes stronger. It has always been there. I managed to actually pray last week; I was not able to do when in the Cult. I just prayed simply for what I wanted. No complications, no deals, no conditions.

As Coleridge “mentioned” (in his dark Rime of the Ancient Mariner -was going through it today…), “I blessed them unaware.” Managed to Let something go.

We are becoming bull-shit proof!

21. Panorea - March 4, 2009

There is that book a friend recommended (she does not even know I was in a Cult…). Its title is “A Complicated Kindness” by Miriam Toews(about a girl growing up in in a Mennonite community). Do not know whether I will make the time to read the book, but the title struck me.

Isn’t it what we experienced ? A complicated kindness? Well one could debate the “kindness” part.

22. Jomo Piñata - March 4, 2009

be careful. no such thing as “bullshit proof.” When we think we’re bullshit proof, THAT’s when a clever bullshitter can work us over. If we know we’re not bullshit proof, that ought to give us pause, during which time we can come to our senses while mesmerized by some especially clever bullshitter.

23. Tatyana - March 4, 2009

After Peter’s (was it Peter?) post about positive experiences after FOF I was thinking what have positively changed in my life since I left FOF (6 months ago)
Just what first came to mind:

– no fear of punishment; feeling of personal freedom (feels great!)
– learning about modern art, science, different religions, other cultures (without complicating it with crazy keying etc)
– interest to all kinds of people’s lives and enduring such as dwarfism, adoption, large families, poverty, disabilities etc.
– resting and chilling
– healing the instinctive center (fresh organic juices diet)
– exercising
– almost no alcohol (at the parties only)
– developing a small business
– painting
– spending more time with my teen-children and supporting them financially
– ability to control my expenses and finances (even saving some!) – no more extravagant spending on FOF
– more time to do what I want to do because before all time was used on the “2nd and 3d line of work”
– spending time with people I want to spend time with and not with “friends” that just happened to be at my table
– dealing with normal people on daily basis – no drama, no crimes, no “shocks”

_____________
*I can ‘hear’ current fofers mocking me for indulging in A influence and instinctive center and supporting biological life etc.
But – so what? It’s my life and I enjoy it!

24. nigel harris price - March 4, 2009

23 Tatyana

For a long time now, I have considered it a home-truth that, if you cannot be involved with something that, at its central core, gives you a continuing joy that makes the efforts and sacrifices worthwhile, you are ‘in the wrong business’, as it were. When I found the Craft Design Course at Brighton in England to take my Honours Degree, I never thought of the money I might make – it just seemed like a wonderful thing to which to devote my life. The angels made my art college life part of my fate and despite several intervals due to illness and the need to spend time on developing psychological normality, I am blessed and priveleged to be part of the teaching process in my craft discipline.

If any of the FOFfers mock you for an ‘A-Influence attitude’, just reply that they are involved in bolstering up the materialism of the Fellowship and entrenching REB in his greedy personality.

Wishing you peace in activity and freedom in life…..Nigel.

25. James Mclemore - March 5, 2009

Made it back to California safe and sound, and wish to thank all those for their good wishes and ‘songs for the road’.

I agree with Bruce that length of time spent in the fof means little or nothing about who we are, or who we were. It might have been just dumb Irish luck that got me out of there. I was not sure what it was I was leaving when I left in 1979. I have deep respect for some of you who after a much longer time, became quite aware of what it was you were involved in, and then had the courage to take the needed steps.

I really like Jomo Pinata’s warning about not thinking we are bullshit proof. I suspect we are all getting healthier, but it could be dangerous to think we could not be fooled or fool ourselves, whether it be by an experience, or a new candidate for an intimate relationship, or an especially good con man.

What I would like to say about the idea of wasted time or wasted lives is a bit theoretical, and I do not think this blog is a good place for theoretical metaphysical stuff. I do however think that these ideas are worth considering if for no other reason than to realize that no matter how we spent the last 25 or 30 years of our life, what we know is still going to be comparatively tiny in relation to what we do not know. Perhaps the whole idea of accumulating experiences and becoming wiser is suspect.
Wasted time is partly based on the idea of linear time unfolding in some straight or semi-straight line. What if that is just a wrong idea and wrong perception of time and of the entity that supposedly moves through it.

26. elena - March 5, 2009

Anna: Perhaps this could all have been learned much more quickly? Perhaps part of my practical work now is to acknowledge, and to come to terms with a tremendous waste of life… of years? What do you think?

Nice, thank you all for your posts.

It would be a tremendous waste of life if we, or each one of us individually were unable to embrace the whole of the experience, but we are already beginning to do that. What the Fellowship tells me about is what of a lot of people of our time experience: The ideals, the weaknesses and the practices. We went out there, tried something and failed but no one can take away the experience we got from it.

Now that we are out, we could talk about how the Fellowship wasted us much more than how we wasted the Fellowship. From an individual point of view it has a lot more sense than from a social point of view. We each defended our selves as best as we could but the Fellowship wasted life. Not only our lives but the life we could have given it and each other: the “culture”, the understanding and the love.

One of the most damaging things I’ve been experiencing about it recently, is the fact that only the supposed authorities could talk. To recover the value of anyone expressing their self as an equal to the rest is a totally new experience. In my inner sense of values, the fact that not only one person is worth listening to but everyone, is as if the world of values had multiplied to the tenth and life were already much richer. To “taste” people again… is… exquisite!

27. elena - March 5, 2009

You are each very tasty: We are beginning to sound human!

28. sharon - March 5, 2009

Anna, Susan, others – I’ve struggled with this very bitterness also. But who knows what sort of person we would have been by now? Drug or alcohol addicted? Married to some other abuser? Sure I might have been singing at the Met, but really, surely not…. in fact, I’m pretty sure I’d have been no happier than I have been, perhaps less.

What I regret now is not so much the years I threw away, but more the loss of that imaginary idyllic life we might could have had in a Fellowship that was not abusive, a Fellowship that actually lived up to what we thought it was, where we really helped each other instead of hindering, where we all grew and became the fullness of our possibilities. That was the attraction of the FoF for me – a place where I was working on myself with others and we were all helping and loving each other. But tweren’t so. That became quite obvious living at Renaissance/Apollo/Isis.

A theme I hear over and over from ex-members is that we don’t regret the experience of Fof, we regret not leaving 15 years ago.

29. sharon - March 5, 2009

…well, to be honest, I do regret the years I threw away also….

but I don’t regret my husband and children!

30. veramente - March 5, 2009

It’s funny Sharon how people are different when they join.
Honest to god, I never liked the community living in Apollo, maybe for a year or so, after that it became pure torture.
I was able to survive a little by trying to get close to my drug: Robert Burton, as much as possible. Being female was not easy, but also for many other men it was not easy, they were ignored just as much.
Why this fascination with the superhuman I fabricated in my mind?
I became a Robert Burton junkie.
At first my intentions were real: I wanted to wake up, life was messy, but I went from the frying pan to the fire. Lucky enough I also had good things happen throughout the years in the fof, but not because of the fof, even if they happened during my time in there.
Returning to the drug metaphor, the object of your addiction becomes a road to hell.

31. veramente - March 5, 2009

23 Tatyana
you are doing great! you go, woman!

32. nigel harris price - March 5, 2009

I don’t know who said this, but here is a quote –

“The three great things in life are something to do, someone to love and something to hope for.”

…..Nigel.

33. X-ray - March 5, 2009

’23. Tatyana – March 4, 2009
*I can ‘hear’ current fofers mocking me for indulging in A influence and instinctive center and supporting biological life etc.
But – so what? It’s my life and I enjoy it!’

Keep on going, Tatyana. Live the real life and ‘Let the Dead Bury Their Dead’.

34. elena - March 5, 2009

Sharon: A theme I hear over and over from ex-members is that we don’t regret the experience of Fof, we regret not leaving 15 years ago.

I think I follow the kind of regret you’re talking about and yet for anyone who might understand by it that Cults are an O.K. place to go to for even one day here are some things I regret:

Supporting the Fellowship Cult for any length of time.
Paying for people to be abused sexually, economically, physically and psychologically.
Inspiring people to become members of something I had not checked out sufficiently.
Lending my self to make it look legitimate.
Allowing it to influence me in such a way that I disregarded my responsibilities and love towards my family, friends and human beings included each one of those inside.
Not being able to help my husband free himself from its bondage.
The time I spent trying to accommodate my self into the Cult mentality successfully becoming an automaton that could not stand up for her self.
Becoming so thoroughly dependent to the pseudo-life of the Fellowship
Disregarding everything in me that told me it was a fraud from the first to the last day.
Listening to so much bullshit for so many years without the protest it deserved.
Thinking love could cure anything and everything and that my devotion to the Ideal and the people would sooner or later prove worthy.
Willing to take on the job of working with people who were already beyond reach when I joined.
Not having sufficient strength to stand up against Robert’s form and formatoriness or the practice of rendering people helpless against them selves while I was still inside.
Not having confronted Robert, Girard or anyone else enough, while I was still inside.

I do not regret the suffering I experienced in as much as it allows me to understand how fragile and cruel human beings can be, both at the same time.
I do not regret any effort I made to live for what I believed. That effort belongs to me no matter how badly the Fellowship misused it.

35. Tatyana - March 5, 2009

Elena, thank you for your post, it is helpful. Can you clarify for me what do you mean by this:
“Willing to take on the job of working with people who were already beyond reach when I joined.”

6 months after I left this whole 15 years experience in FOF looks different to me. Similar to when I left an abusive relationship – I was a different person in 1 month when I looked back, I was even more different when I looked back 6 month later. The question: why and how did I attract THAT in my life?

Now looking at all this “teaching and school materials” that I still have in my possession I can’t believe that I bought into it! It is a very clever mechanism of sucking all possible resources out of good kind and naive people.

Just a few official texts from Propylaia (not even including the pathetic “new teaching”…) LIES, LIES, more LIES…

– Guidelines for the prospective students meetings (for those who left more than 3 years ago – you won’t believe how bizarre they have become!),
– Guidelines for new student meetings,
– Guidelines for the Thoughts meetings,
– Guidelines for visiting students, traveling teachers,
– Girard’s journeys.

I was never involved in the council activities – thank god! Check this out: “The role of the council: to submit completely to the teacher; to be the material for the teacher and C influence to mold.”

The Fellowship’s World Wide Mission (from the Canons)
The Fellowship recognizes its mission to attempt to reach as many as can hear the teaching and enter the Fourth Way (!!). For this purpose, the Fellowship establishes centers wherever possible in the major cities of the world.

Center Responsibilities:
Create a school environment
Find and nurture new students
Support Apollo

Girard’s Journeys:
As the primary Guest Traveling Teacher, Girard’s journeys require special organization. Centers are required to raise funds for his visits to their centers. This covers two additional persons to accompany Girard. Girard’s journeys require considerable work with the centers to help them organize their fundraising efforts, ensuring that all events are designed well and proceed at a high level.
It also involves organizing Girard’s travel itinerary, transportation, lodging, and all other special needs.

OK, new prospective students, get ready to be sucked. 30% of your income is not enough…

36. Walter J. Tanner - March 5, 2009

My experience in the FoF (1992-1999) was that by actually DOING the Work–that is, Gurdjieff’s system elaborated by Ouspensky supplemented with the writings of the 44–I eventually realized that Robert was largely a phony and that the Fellowship was not a “school of awakening.”

All the stuff people rail against here (Robert’s lifestyle, the norms and “culture” of the FoF) was very explicitly called–by students themselves–the “form of the school.” I always kept them separate from my own aims and things seemed to work out, I mean in that I eventually left and now write here to tell current students that they don’t need Robert or the FoF, and amongst my current circle I’m the anti-religion/system guy telling people to read Whitman if they want to understand human freedom.

Sure, I knew lots of students who had put their emotions and inner work “on hold,” but they were the ones NOT DOING THE WORK, the “sheep” as G. called them. And sheep get fleeced. I even seem to remember a few older students saying that one could adopt the form of the school without doing any work on oneself, and that was missing the point. Anyone else share that past with me?

walter.tanner@gmail.com

P.S. I was looking for the copy of the letter I wrote to Robert after he kicked me out, but couldn’t find it. I do remember thanking him for helping me realize myself, even if it was despite him and his aims. I still kind-of think that’s the sly man’s way of teaching, but I don’t want to give REB too much credit.

37. Tatyana - March 5, 2009

Wow, Walter! How did you managed to escape a sucking mechanism? Didn’t you help to organize fund raising events? Didn’t you lead the prospective student meetings? Thought’s meeting? Didn’t you work on the other 3-d line octaves? How much money were you willing to donate for the auctions? Robert’s gifts? Building the Theatron? Did you move in the “heart of the school” to experience C Influence better? Did you submit your self to the Teacher and Influence C? Ah? Or where you sitting in your private room reading W.Withman, separating from the form of the school and doing your Work? Are you a Lunar? King of Clubs? Just kidding… You have an impressive resilience. But why in the world did you write RB a letter when you left?

38. sharon - March 5, 2009

elena 34 – yes, that is also true.

39. Tatyana - March 5, 2009

I came back to the question of the distortions by FOF of the 4th way. I still would like to catalog the ideas – what IS and what is NOT the 4th way.

I found 3 different “versions” of the 4th way:
– Gurdjieff’s
– Ouspensky’s
– RB’s

These are the essential ideas from reading the meetings with the GIG in France (his books are very different though)
– Evoking remorse of conscience, by thinking of the mistakes of the past, one’s nothingness (he tells repeatedly to his students: you are ‘merd’, you foo-foo, nothing etc)
– Practicing saying ‘I am’.
– Discipline “inner dog” (you must kill the dog inside you)
– Practicing exercises.
– Parents, mistakes of upraising, responsibilities of the blood, etc.
– Being insincere in life, playing the role and ‘not open one’s cards’, manipulative and advantage taking.
– Connecting 3 centers in the Work and the alchemy of awakening. (He seems to be serious about blood chemistry, pumping energy level, quality of energy (strength of aura) and building astral body as an organic thing.)
– Relationship to the God and prayer. (At our level our prayers are imagination and we are talking to the imaginary god, but it is very important to keep the parents on the place of the God (even if they are the worst criminals).

4th way ideas from the Ouspensky’s book that were DISTORTED in FOF:
• conscience
• 4 centers+higher centers
• self-remembering
• a, b, c influence
• steward, deputy steward, master
• impressions and higher hydrogens
• man #4 etc
• formatory apparatus
• many I’s
• type and center of gravity
• giving up one’s will to a teacher
• crystallization
• awakening
• the law of three and the law of seven
• good householder
• chief feature
• buffers

FOF ideas that are NOT (and never have been) 4th way ideas:
• 44 angels
• Keys and omens from C Influence
• many lifetimes to awaken
• must be born in the male body to awaken
• feminine dominance
• perverted sex with the teacher is an important part of evolution- serving C influence and supporting the School
• impressions and golden alchemy
• true personality
• king of clubs (lower self)
• play

40. lauralupa - March 5, 2009

“…So here we yawn at millennium’s dawn: Bugles are blasting and the walls of civilization are crumbling, chaos is seeping through the cracks and crawling out of the shadows, survivalist monkeys are buying guns and the ice caps are melting besides as chaos gazes unfazed at the clamor of humanity sounding for all the universe like the echo of a distant wind chime. That which we thought was stable, safe, and secure is not, that which we sacrificed so much for is failing, that which told us who we are is collapsing like a psychedelic kaleidoscope. And as our social structures collapse, humanity — barbaric, beautiful humanity — will rediscover the awesome divinity that inhabits the core of our consciousness as one by one we give up control because society may not be our friend but chaos is our mother and our mother is an order unfathomable, a layer of complexity much deeper than the dim and flimsy arrogance of ego can admit to itself. Welcome our selves to the cathedral of eternity, the dimension in which we step out of that steaming pile of ego which passes for human consciousness and at last surrender into a higher order of experience in which our interconnectivity one to another becomes blindingly obvious, and we see, and we know, and we remember, that there is so much more happening in life than we have ever been led to believe.

May your days dare delight with your dreams”

from
http://www.realitysandwich.com/chaos_collapse_and_synchronicity

41. Jomo Piñata - March 5, 2009

36/Walter:

I knew lots of students who had put their emotions and inner work “on hold,” but they were the ones NOT DOING THE WORK

I tried writing about this one way, but I couldn’t do it without draining the ideology out of it first. So let me do that and then I’ll say what I have to say.

First: “DOING THE WORK” — what’s that? What can you mean by that? Doesn’t mean anything unless someone’s similarly yoked in that stockade of constructs (http://tinyurl.com/b4mq3w). Do you mean “dividing their attention” and “trying to transform negative emotions”? How could you know whether they were trying to do these things or not?

Now the main point: Beware of jumping to the generalization that “people who put their emotions on hold” [notice active voice formulation–reality isn’t so simple] somehow cannot be actively engaged in efforts to effect their own spiritual transformation. I don’t think this is correct. The fact that someone doesn’t get anywhere doesn’t mean they weren’t trying. People can be sincerely trying to do something, but they get nowhere because they’re using ineffective methods.

One cannot have the benefit, which I understand to be spiritual, of struggling to live productively with uncertainty, when engaged in the effort to suppress all experience of uncertainty, in order to affirm a fundamentalist ideology. That’s my experience, and I suspect it’s shared by many.

When people are yoked to fruitless pursuits which an authoritarian ideologies and organization forbids them to abandon, it’s like being stuck an interminable game of Pong which they’ve been forbidden to quit. To those in this circumstance, I say, TURN OFF THE TUBE!

42. Bares Reposting - March 5, 2009

‘require considerable work with the centers to help them organize their fundraising efforts, ensuring that all events are designed well and proceed at a high level.

Like mating elephants:
It’s done on a very high level.
There’s a lot of stomping and screaming involved.
And it takes two years to get any results.

Remember, there is a 2 year time period needed for being to catch up with knowledge.
But, of course, conscience never has to catch up with consciousness!
God! What would happen if conscience caught up with consciousness!?!?!? If the struggle between knowledge and being produces understanding, what then of the struggle between conscience and consciousness!?!?!? Can’t get there from here; where ‘here’ is defined as: inside the Fellowship of Friends.’

43. nigel harris price - March 5, 2009

Sorry – I DO believe in angels…..Nigel.

44. lauralupa - March 6, 2009

another reality sandwich bite, about “doing the work”

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.”

http://www.realitysandwich.com/three_forms_forgiveness

45. elena - March 6, 2009

Tatyana,

I joined in London in 1990. When I joined the Fellowship the standard of consciousness or knowledge did not seem very high. I had just divorced and moved to London with my children to look for a School. I thought I’d suffered enough to not have something to offer and enough to not learn from others. I was crystal clear about the fact that no matter how much I loved it did not work! The need for help was obvious. The standard in the center seemed low. No one did anything for anyone but my first “commandment” was: “don’t judge” and the second: “You came here to work on yourself and to give, not to demand”. I was already the perfect cult member and I thought I’d joined a School that would be proud of me if nothing else, for the love I had for it!!

So I was willing to work but unfortunately, looking back, I am convinced that hundreds in the inner circle had already crystallized into a journey without return. I didn’t realize that until I separated Girard seventeen years later but the separation, although it took time to actually acknowledge it, was because I lost all hope that he could stop submitting and hurting people for the benefit of the Fellowship, including me. Life at Isis wasn’t any better when I joined to when I left. Guinever, Steven, Girard, the whole lot of them had already turned against themselves and the rest of us and were like a cancer trying to eat up the raw mateiral without the slightest concern for the people, no matter how much they pretended to care. All they cared about was their job and keeping the company going while they inflated their ego with our energy pretending to teach us something. I was stupid enough to think that they didn’t understand Robert, that they acted like the middle class anywhere willing to submit those who they though inferior while vowing to Robert. I was convinced Girard was genuine but too “straight” to love and relax, relax in the sense of the term in which life is possible without orders. Still, I was willing to work with it and in the meantime thought I had much work to do on my self to worry about how life had conditioned other’s limitations.

They were already beyond reach and we, the outer circle who were in reality almost everybody, were insignificant pawns in a well established cult. By 1990 when I joined, the majority of them had already realized that people join, bring money, work like hell and start demanding things back that they could tackle by photographing selfishness, self centeredness, ambition and the need to continue working hard on ourselves in the hope that Robert would “consider us worthy of his time and energy”. One day… when you least expect it! The need, the desire and the healthiest impulse of every human being which is to “love” or communicate not only verbally but in every aspect of life with the people around them, was labelled as ambition and vanity, identification and wrong emotional work, and we were sent to stand facing the wall of our insignificance with the task to separate and control negative emotions. The natural capacity to affirm our selves was turned against our most human impulse creating a permanent dissonance that mined our self, weakening us consistently. If you prefer you can replace us for Elena. That is what happened to me and I think most of us but if it was only to me that is fine. Depression and low self-esteem, insecurity and fear were the natural result of those conditions but none of them were consciously acknowledged because people working on them selves were not supposed to be depressed, insecure or full of fear! The mask with the “Fellowship grace” had to stay put!

Of course, the process was slowed down by the fact that, although I moved to Isis a year after I joined and lived there for eight months, it seemed such an unhealthy place for us that I returned to Colombia where they could be closer to their fathers. The Fellowship doesn’t do anything for people in centers and I just tried to do my best with what I had in the center, which wasn’t much.

It was when I moved to Isis and married Girard that the rigidity of the place hit the bucket! A rigidity that Girard incarnated in every aspect of his life “crystallizing” him away from his self a little more solidly each day. He was beyond reach even in love but he is no different to the rest of them. The coldness of Fellowship life is its hallmark. It’s the only thing they don’t fake. Being unable to take or receive love must be the main characteristic of people who have crystallized into hasnamusses and also the incapacity to experience and acknowledge suffering buffering it with psychotic neuroses. (Violence in private and compulsive behaviour). “Conscious beings” are not supposed to suffer is another of the Fellowship’s credo as much as the superficial life of people who think that “success”, means, no suffering.

I hope this is not too long for your interest. Thank you for asking Tatyana and all for your posts.

46. James Mclemore - March 6, 2009

lauralupa
Thanks for the reality sandwich bites. They were both very powerful.

Jomo Pinata
Great post at 41

47. ton - March 6, 2009

walter 36

“….Anyone else share that past with me?”

http://thefellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/message/view/home/5725962

48. elena - March 6, 2009

The image I give of Guinever in my post much changed years later when she seemed a lot more critical of Robert. Her “I” s were quickly drowned by the men around us. I suppose she’s still in but how she managed to deal with the suffering that she was obviously experiencing, I don’t know.

49. in2it - March 6, 2009

Walter, Jomo Pinata,

The interesting thing is that Robert actively encouraged people to focus on the externals, and at the expense of any internal meditation or “work”… You leave, you lose the way, period, end of story. You stay, you are fine. Staying was somehow an easy way to really know whether someone was actually “working on themselves.” If they leave, they obviously were not working on themselves. Or they were not working hard enough.

It’s an elaborate mind game, a spider’s web.

The amount of mind fucking going on in the FOF was almost as criminal as the physical stuff. Both are pretty bad.

As far as knowing who was, or wasn’t, “doing the work”, and as far as knowing what “actual work” “is” — the more it becomes a display for others to see… that’s the ego. If it’s silent and invisible, it may still be the ego, but it seems to have a better chance at being something sincere and closer to spiritual growth.

Thing is, the FOF was all about the display. You’re stay, and you’re in. You leave, and you’re out. You stand in a certain way, you talk in a certain way, you use certain words in a certain way with a certain tone of voice — and you’re in. You don’t, and you’re out. It’s all about proving to others that you’re doing something that’s admirable.

50. nigel harris price - March 6, 2009

49 in2it

Yea – covering their “glassy essence”!…..Nigel.

51. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

In2it.

“As far as knowing who was, or wasn’t, “doing the work”, and as far as knowing what “actual work” “is” — the more it becomes a display for others to see… that’s the ego. If it’s silent and invisible, it may still be the ego, but it seems to have a better chance at being something sincere and closer to spiritual growth.”

Yes, this is very accurate. The fellowship gives any numbers of platforms to talk about the Work – alchemy, centres, types, negative emotions – and it makes the Work a very public display. I can recall even in one-to-one meetings with other students, a kind of chess match would often occur, a tiny competition of small but obvious mannerisms to ‘keep oneself present’!!

Gurdjieff was always adamant that whatever work was conducted, went on in secret – and on the outside you went on behaving as before. The character of that work was more subtle ‘realization’, or a succession of them, than anything more active… like a series of gentle openings, which always take you by surprise…

When you talk about something, a realization, you change it either subtly or not so subtly. Maybe, probably, you won’t be understanding it on its own terms any longer. It won’t be happening in the same place.

I feel the complicating problem is that the school has indeed found a way to create the conditions for ‘higher experiences’, or experiences of finer energies, to occur. Think of one of those beautifully-prepared dinners. These are then ‘injected’ into a hurriedly formed work-persona who doesn’t represent ‘You’ at all… who hasn’t had the time, and maybe doesn’t even have the wish to recognize the darknesses and imbalances within. Very dangerous and potentially traumatic.

J.G.Bennett once said, “No practical work for the attainment of the Higher Emotional Centre can, without the danger of catastrophe, be undertaken until a man knows his own weaknesses and has overcome in himself vanity and self -love”.

I don’t feel that the school environment ever really persuaded me to give up my vanity and self-love, it just persuaded them to take a different form… I experienced my first ‘third state’ within the fellowship at my third meeting, sitting next to Colin Lambert. The assumption then and afterwards, was that somehow having enough of these experiences would give you what you wanted. In fact it gives you the opposite, unless all the conditions of the environment agree with each other absolutely. In the fellowship of friends, they don’t.

From what I have seen of the Gurdjieff Society, there is at least a great resistance to talking about the work. People rarely do so. And periods of quiet meditation are encouraged throughout the day.

52. elena - March 6, 2009

Walter (36)

“All the stuff people rail against here (Robert’s lifestyle, the norms and “culture” of the FoF) was very explicitly called–by students themselves–the “form of the school.” I always kept them separate from my own aims and things seemed to work out”

There were different ways of approaching Robert, the Fellowship and The Work and yours was one of them. Many of us thought that we could manage the work on our own terms and good for those who did not succumb to the brainwashing as quickly. Unfortunately, many of those who lived and worked like that, simply ignored what was really going on with Robert and the “life of the Fellowship”, continued and continue to support it without questioning it while at the same time profited from their personal effort to some degree. Many people in centers are of this nature. They use the Fellowship like Catholics go to the Sunday mass. Nothing is a complete loss but the lack of commitment doesn’t stop them from supporting systematic rape in its core.

In my case, I was in the Fellowship for no other reason than because Robert was a conscious being and to work with what he offered was a must. Understanding who, how and why he was what he was, mattered. So did Girard. Who I supported, why and how was important. Unfortunately I was not clear enough then that what really mattered was “life” and how we lived it. The exercises and the form were assumed as thoroughly as I could manage and it was the emptiness in the “Life of the Fellowship” what made me realize that the exercises and the form were meant to control and submit us, not awaken us. Had I not worked with and for Robert, I could have spent a lifetime supporting him and the Fellowship as many are still doing. Were I smarter, as Blind Man said, it would not have taken me so long. The sadness of it is that many of us were and are mediocre in our commitment to Robert, our selves and life and THAT is what allows Robert and the Fellowship to continue. The laxity with which they and us assumed and assume them selves and their work is the same laxity with which we and they allow for the abuses to happen without even recognizing them as abuses. A man like Robert could not flourish amongst people with enough self-respect. True pride would not allow a man to submit sexually, economically, emotionally or intellectually to any Robert Burton of the world. True pride would rather die than submit to such humiliations but the average human being today has had to submit to myriad humiliations before he gets to the cult.

Crouching Tiger,

“Gurdjieff was always adamant that whatever work was conducted, went on in secret – and on the outside you went on behaving as before. The character of that work was more subtle ‘realization’, or a succession of them, than anything more active… like a series of gentle openings, which always take you by surprise…”

I think I understand and agree with what you are saying to a certain extent but I feel there is a division in it that is good to be careful with. What I understand you are saying is: “be humble with the mystery you carry within” and with that I agree but what I sense you are unclear about is where the mystery is and in that unclearness, you are separating life with the Work.

The way I am beginning to feel it is that the mystery has moved from man or the individual into life itself: the Act of Living. The importance of the magic is not in the ego or even the self of no matter who but in the actual miracle that they perform: cleaning the shoes, washing the dishes, driving, forming a sculpture or writing a poem; in other words: living life. Simple mundane life is the miracle! Complex, miraculous life is also the miracle and they are both one and the same because they are happening to me, to each one of us, all the time; because I am what gives it meaning while it is what gives me life. We are not separate, life and I, we are in a fabulous, intricate and at the same time beautifully simple connectedness in which we both flourish or succumb depending on how we relate to each other. If I play the guitar it gives me something that I could not receive without the guitar and the music, but if I wash the dishes with any less care than the care with which I play the guitar, the music escapes us even when I play the guitar! Or write! There is nothing to hide in performing beautifully because one does not perform for the glory of one’s self but in the glory of one’s self for the glory of life. There is nothing men today are more afraid of than of our own beauty and the beauty of life, which doesn’t cost anything but our selves, our willingness to be. We have difficulty carrying it with pride and think there is something we have to hide but that “hiding” is a separation.

The meditation that you mention does not sound like the meditation of the Fourth Way. In the Way of Life, the “meditation” seems to be the “mediation” between one’s self as an objective being with life as an objective reality.

Thank you for your posts.

53. Mick Danger - March 6, 2009

A deep study of the 4th Way leads too….
Even greater knowledge of the 4th Way and all its bizarre permutations.
(A not entirely useless endeavor.)
Join FOF Now!

54. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Elena.

“I think I understand and agree with what you are saying to a certain extent but I feel there is a division in it that is good to be careful with. What I understand you are saying is: “be humble with the mystery you carry within” and with that I agree but what I sense you are unclear about is where the mystery is and in that unclearness, you are separating life with the Work.”

I think I remember the same discussion with you a while ago! I feel you’re intellectualizing something here that probably doesn’t need it…. What I intended to describe, or at least point to, was that sense of your self ‘moving at the speed of Life’ (very fast!), which is what the work is aiming for… In my experience, everything in you needs to move at that speed – which is not the case, for example, if a fascination with thoughts keep getting in the way. Too slow.

From what follows, it sounds like you are describing a delight with, and dissolving into everyday activities, which is fine. I agree. What I am saying is that a definite awareness of your self can move at that speed, and with much the same delight. It doesn’t originate in your mind, which is I feel the problem you are describing from your point of view – “you are separating life with [from] the Work.”

It originates in your body, that great vehicle which connects you unalterably to Life (and which is always available, though not to a typical Fellowship understanding of the 4th Way).

Mick Danger.

Actually I don’t believe a real study of the 4th Way would lead you anywhere near the Fellowship. I guess one of the purposes of the Blog is to put enough information ‘up front’ that people can see that clearly.

55. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Elena.

“The meditation that you mention does not sound like the meditation of the Fourth Way.”

It’s probably not in the books you’ve read – but it is in the practice! It is meditation in and through the body.

56. Jomo Piñata - March 6, 2009

Hey Crouching, I disagree with a couple of your premises. You wrote:

Actually I don’t believe a real study of the 4th Way would lead you anywhere near the Fellowship.

Most people who joined the Fellowship were reading fourth way books and found a legitimate looking bookmark that said “Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Centres.” From one point of view, they were engaged with “the fourth way” through a book, and were deceptively recruited beginning with the bookmark, which was a pretty slick piece of propaganda in its day.

To the extent you are saying, “anyone who knows anything about what’s going on in this organization should and will stay away from it,” I agree with you.

Second premise I have a problem with, tho, goes like this. Fellowship is a con game. Fourth way is legitimate, real deal. Here’s the problem. The doctrine is coated with Teflon. That means you can’t criticize it or even examine it with a critical eye. If you have a problem with it, or think it’s wrong, that’s your fault. The problem is with you. The doctrine is sacred, unchallengeable, unchangeable.

This is simply the blueprint for authoritarianism. The players may be different, the flavor of the month may be different, but it will always function the same way. The doctrine is treated as inherently superior to any human thought or feeling or perception that might challenge its sacred nature. Lifton’s “doctrine over person” idea applicable to thought-reform environments addresses this. Check it out.

57. Tatyana - March 6, 2009

I discovered (probably old and obvious for many of you!) that the “old” first prospective student meeting, the one that made me join FOF was complete swipe from Ouspensky’s Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution! With one exception – the definition of influence c.

Here is what Ouspensky said in relation to that:

“Miss F: Why do you say that it is worse to talk about the system without mentioning where you got it from?

Mr. O: Because speaking about it without mentioning the source of your information would be stealing. For instance, you cannot take ideas from a book and not mention the book. People only do this with my books; they constantly steal ideas from my books.”

That Ouspensky never wrote The 4th Way book is not the fact known by many students, it was somewhat an FOF’s Bible for many years. But what he really wrote himself were these 5 lectures called Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution that he read or had someone read to the public from 1934 to 1940 when they were published in London.

I wonder what Gurdjief thought about this book, because right around that time in 1941 he was giving the lectures in Paris that don’t have a slightest resemblance to Ouspensky’s.

Ouspensky states many times in this book how important 3 lines of work are and how impossible it is to awaken without the help of the school.

Considering that he himself left his teacher after about 3 years of study (from 1915 to 1918), how can he know about the schools? And by his own definition to talk about something you don’t know as if you know is called “lying”.

It does look like he got these ideas (partial and incomplete knowledge) from Gurdgjieff and later made them his business, his “school”, even though according to his own definition: “The man who can conduct work must come from a school; that means he must be connected with a school, or at least he must have received instructions from a school in the past. A self-appointed or elected head of a group also cannot lead it anywhere.”

Check out more about Ouspensky’s school:

“Mr.M: Does this knowledge claim to have connection with esoteric knowledge?

Mr. O: Obviiously, otherwise it would have no meaning. A school can only start from another school, otherwise it would be just formatory invention.

Mr. M: So it is an unbroken chain?

Mr. O: It must be, although you cannot trace it. You can only trace certain connections by ideas and terminology. This system came from the East, yet it has European terminology. In terminology it is connected, evidently through Russian masons of the eighteen century with several earlier authors; for instance, with Dr. Fludd.

Miss J: You said you will tell us in what sense we can call this a school?

Mr. O.: I think I have answered it. Only a two-degree is reliable. Another school may be a school today and not a school tomorrow, as it happened with the Moscow school. Also long ago I explained that organisation which is a school for one person is not a school for another. Much depends on personal attitude and personal work.”

Now I think I am really confused!

58. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Jomo.

Hi. Yes I take your first point – especially since that was the way events happened for me! Perhaps there was no way to see past that slick advertising at that point in time.

On the second point, I have to say that there is a vast difference between Gurdjieff’s original ideas and Ouspensky’s massive expansion of them. If you read the transcripts of Gurdjieff’s meetings (in the public domain) you’ll see that there is very little in the way of doctrine that comes through in practice. Whatever does seep through does not in my experience have the effect of dampening your critical faculties. Remember I’m talking about actual practice here, rather than theory as expounded in ISOTM or one of Ouspensky’s books.

Gurdjieff’s original teaching was designed for the body, and the understanding that it holds within it – hence the Movements as a way of expressing your Being. You learn what your body already knows, and what it can know, and this is the highest authority.

I agree that the second hand version of the 4th Way in the Fellowship does very much depend on circular reasoning and an authoritarian approach. That is why it is second hand.. Since leaving, I have found every one of the Fellowship teachings in books by the likes of Bennett, but they have come down in a bastardised version provided by Burton. For example, the instinctive and moving centres are held to valuable sources of knowledge, whereas they were and are demonised by Burton.

When the 4th Way remains on an intellectual plane, it is highly suspect. The original Gurdjieff version encourages to find a higher authority within, to rediscover the knowledge in your own body. That is its sole aim.

59. nigel harris price - March 6, 2009

Sorry – I see a separateness in the Work of School here from the Work of Life, which I feel prevents people from actualizing their possibilities of a spiritual nature in their daily activities. Even if we deny REB’s premises for awakening (that the FOF is the only environment in which it is possible) do we abstract, in a similar fashion, spiritual possibilities by the ‘right living of our lives’ with all its levels of essence/personality clashes, working with our/others’ features etc? For me, because I have found a rich and colourful environment in my daily activities, the World of Work has ‘opened up’ immensely – something about the ‘seeds that fall on good ground’…..
…..Nigel.

60. elena - March 6, 2009

Crouching Tiger,

While I agree with you in that the Robert demonized the body andit would be worth looking into the connection of that and his own sexuality I don’t understand where you are getting when you say:

“It originates in your body, that great vehicle which connects you unalterably to Life (and which is always available, though not to a typical Fellowship understanding of the 4th Way).”

The body connects us with life in a very particular way proper to the body but the other centers also connect us to life in their own right.

While the body might indeed house us, what happened to the other centers in your theory?

“Gurdjieff’s original teaching was designed for the body, and the understanding that it holds within it – hence the Movements as a way of expressing your Being. You learn what your body already knows, and what it can know, and this is the highest authority.”

It sounds very interesting but while it makes sense that the dances were designed for the body, the body in itself is nothing but decaying material so what do you mean when you say that he designed the teaching for the body?

The body in its own right and beauty has its throne but how have you come to what seems the dethronement of other centers? For example you seem to be demonizing the intellectual center which has its own place.

Surely it is more about the balance between them than making an idol of any one of them?

61. Tatyana - March 6, 2009

28 C.T. “If you read the transcripts of Gurdjieff’s meetings (in the public domain) you’ll see that there is very little in the way of doctrine that comes through in practice.”

Can you say where can I find these meetings? Are there any more materials about his meetings than those with poor translation of Paris meetings 1940-1946?

Thanks!

62. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Elena.

The body is the right channel for the mind and feelings. It has a very healthy regulatory effect on them and brings them into focus, it provides balance or a kind of anchorage so that they can perform their functions more efficiently and harmoniously.

Physically, this usually means a sensation of the solar plexus being the centre of your being, rather than the head….

When Gurdjieff’s dances were performed at Drury Lane in 1952, there was an explanatory introduction to them: “Movements are used as one of the ways of educating a student’s inner force, developing their attention and capacity for thought and feeling… The Dance was a branch of art, it served for acquiring a harmonious state of being and it expressed a certain form of knowledge in esoteric schools of ancient times…Each gesture or position has a definite attitude to which it corresponds.”

Whatever you may think about the ancient reference, other people here have also commented about the success of physical branches of yoga in their daily routines.

Hopefully Nigel, this also answers your fear that the ‘Work’ somehow abstracts you from life…

“For example you seem to be demonizing the intellectual center which has its own place.” This is what the mind is afraid of when it has learned to dominate matters with its train of thoughts! In fact it would just end up doing its work in the right way.

63. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 6, 2009

Belief systems, no matter how wonderful they seem, limit understanding and promote in the box thinking in their believers.

64. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Tatyana.

“Are there any more materials about his meetings than those with poor translation of Paris meetings 1940-1946?”

I have a good English version I got off Amazon “Transcripts of G.’s meetings 1941-1946”

65. sharon - March 6, 2009

elena – do you think that the intellectual and emotional “centers” are not part of the body?

I take CT’s description of Gurdjieff’s teaching for the body as an integration of all parts of the body, including intellectual and emotional – integrated with the moving and instinctive, not separated from it.

Or are you talking about the so-called “higher” emotional and intellectual parts? – a division that I’m personally not at all sure exists.

66. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

WULSWU

“Belief systems, no matter how wonderful they seem, limit understanding and promote in the box thinking in their believers.”

Sure. I agree.

67. Tatyana - March 6, 2009

Crouching Tiger, “I experienced my first ‘third state’ within the fellowship at my third meeting, sitting next to Colin Lambert.” I wonder how Gurdjieff Society explains the Third State? Do you think FOF really helps people to develop self-consciousness and have an access to the objective consciousness?

As I was re-reading the Psychology I found that his description of the third state is very different than the one I was used to in the FOF. Plus no one ever talked about the fourth state…

“If you ask a man if he is conscious or if you say to him that he is not conscious, he will answer that he is conscious, and that it is absurd to say that he is not, because he hears and understands you.
And he will be quite right, although at the same time quite wrong. This is nature’s trick. He will be right because your question or your remark has made him vaguely conscious for a moment. Next moment consciousness will disappear. But he will remember what you said and what he answered, and he will certainly consider himself conscious.
In reality, acquiring self-consciousness means long and hard work. How can a man agree to this work if he thinks he already possesses the very thing which is promised him as the result of long and hard work? Naturally a man will not begin this work and will not consider it necessary until he becomes convinced that he possesses neither self-consciousness, nor all that is connected with it, that is, unity or individuality, permanent “I”, and will.
This brings us to the question of schools, because methods for the development of self-consciousness, unity, permanent “I”, and will, can be given only by special schools. That must be clearly understood. Men on the level of relative consciousness cannot find these methods by themselves; and these methods cannot be described in books or taught in ordinary schools for the very simple reason that they are different for different people, and there is no universal method equally applicable to all.”

68. Tatyana - March 6, 2009

Even if Ouspensky was a true 4th way teacher, FOF that taking it’s knowledge from him did not help me to learn what I came there to learn.
By giving me “higher hydrogens” and a lot of 3d line of work or even the “precious sequence” the only positive influence it had was this exact effect that Ouspensky described, the fact that when people tell you “are you conscious?” it makes you conscious for a moment. I guess this why I was able to entertain myself with the thought that I am getting somewhere as long as I have an environment that reminds me to stay awake. But I did not learn or had a chance to verify what can be done with the machine, how long does it take to stop falling asleep, what to do with the centers besides observing them etc. There was no time, no space for it – too busy “supporting the School”…

69. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Tatyana, ‘Higher states’ or unusually powerful experiences of self can be induced through a variety of stimulants… Ayahuasca was used by a good friend of mine for some time. To me, the environment in which the experience occurs is more important than the experiment itself. The Fellowship environment was fundamentally flawed, which means that the results can be very dangerous for the students in it…. We’ve all heard through this Blog about the common use of anti-depressants in the Fellowship for example. There’s obviously a chemical cocktail here which makes the Fellowship ‘body’ highly unstable.

70. Tatyana - March 6, 2009

Crouching TIger, here is what I found in my “bad translation” of the meetings with Mr.G. Here is what Gurdjieff said at the meeting in Paris in July 1943 about the body:

“Lanctin: Is it possible in actual conditions to avoid a too inharmonic development of the body in regard to the general development?

M.G.: For the physical development, there exist no seasons. Not political seasons. It is always necessary. You must educate your body with your head, consciously. It is very simple. Never allow it to do what it wants. You make it do everything contrary to that which it loves. It likes sugar; you do not give it any. One must insure it to struggle, you are always right when you resist your body. It is simple. Everything contrary; it is, so that God created your body and your intellect. It is a very simple thing. For this it is not necessary to read. The program is very simple. Under all conditions, in all political situations, man must educate his body to be submissive to him. Your personality can educate your body. He in which the body is strong and has the initiative over him, this one is null. He who has his body enslaved is intelligent. You understand what is meant by intelligent? Intelligent means he who directs his body. If the body directs, you are a nullity, a peasant – if you direct your body you are intelligent. Thus, choose what you want. Intelligent or peasant? If you want to be a peasant, let your body direct you. If you want to be intelligent, let your consciousness direct your body. The more you want do direct your body, the more it opposes you. And in resisting you, the more strength it gives you.”

71. elena - March 6, 2009

Sharon,

I think the centres are all part of our self but I wouldn’t place the body as the king of the equation, which is what I feel Crouching Tiger is doing. To me, the centres are not “the Centre”. The human I is the centre. Every human being is in possession of it even if he is a paraplegic, a criminal without feelings or has dementia.

A lot of what we are understanding about the Fellowship has to do with this because the Fellowship created a form without a content so from one angle it was very physical and it was precisely that physicality what made a lot of us believe it was legitimate so the power of the physical is not be underestimated.

In my post to CT what I was trying to convey was precisely that: that in the act of living or the physicality with which one is interacting carries the will or the intention that one is conveying to it: I can say hello to you coldly or warmly. How I do it is what conveys the intention. If we take the Fellowship again, the effort and even some “beauty” were there but it had no soul (for me), just manifested brainwashed doctrine in expression with Roberts full conditioning. It was nevertheless very powerful, we’ve all verified at least that.

So the physical world to me, including the body, has enormous power but I don’t believe that when the body dies everything else dies with it. The body, to me, is a wonderful vehicle but emotions and thoughts are no less wonderful and they are not the body even if they express themselves with it. What we are talking about could be looked as with the analogy of the Earth as the physical world and the Sun as the spiritual world. Who would dare undermine the power and greatness of the Earth? But the Earth is not the Sun even if it bares its children! Nor would I separate one from the other!

I also think that exercises in the moving centre are no less valuable than exercises in the other centres. To me they are each the key to a world of its own. Perhaps the misunderstanding has a little to do with “the body” and the “instinctive centre”. To me the instinctive centre connects us with the world of nature and the world of nature is not what the Fellowship presented demonizing it, but the creation of forces far beyond my present understanding. Nevertheless, the more I connect to my own instinctive well being, the more I connect to Earth and its gift and the whole cosmos. To me they too are “divine”. Movement uses the instinctive centre as a vehicle but in movement we can already see the emotional centre alive as well as the intention of the I of the dancer.

What I’ve perceived is that the moving centre connects to a world of movement in its own right, just as the emotional or intellectual centre pertain to a world or dimension of their own both within an individual and in the world. The way all four of them interact (including the instinctive centre) is what is so complex, rich and beautiful about life.

Unfortunately the Fellowship did not give us the opportunity to explore this worlds, reducing us to its conditionings but I am convinced that anyone can understand and penetrate these worlds through the practice of both self-remembering and external consideration which, poor academic terms as they are, embrace both the individual and the world with all of the worlds within them. The wonderful thing about the Fourth Way is that there is nothing secret about it. All of life seems to be moving in the direction of penetrating life and its mysteries. The demystification of the Gods and the mystification of the individual and his fall, seem to be rendering us into the simply human and for that no less beautifully human. Earth is both hell and heaven depending on how one interacts with it. We do not need to invent death or life, the spiritual or the physical. They are here with us, all the time, interacting with each other both in each human being and the world at large. The wonderful thing about it is that the “world” is no longer “physical” or “fixed” in our perception so great things begin to happen like: if water is not just water, what is it?

72. Renald - March 6, 2009

re Tatyana 35.

“6 months after I left this whole 15 years experience in FOF looks different to me. Similar to when I left an abusive relationship – I was a different person in 1 month when I looked back, I was even more different when I looked back 6 month later. The question: why and how did I attract THAT in my life?“

The answer to that question is `the subject of your focus`.

The question which ought to also spark some curiosity is and always is `Why and how am I now attracting THIS in my life?`

The answer is the same; the subject of our focus.
The reason this seems to be difficult to grasp at first is that it does not matter one iota whether the thoughts or feelings about the `subject“ are actually positive or negative. In both cases the subject is attracted. For example, when we focus on the lack of anything, it is the lack of it that we attract and not the abundance which when it comes down to it is really what we desire although we often are not exactly aware of that fact. I hope this helps to clarify this sincere issue. Cheers!

73. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Tatyana.

Yes, good one! If rather mischievous….

Obviously G.s’s guidance and exercises were designed for specific students. But the general thrust is towards speaking the language of the body so that the head can enjoy its rightful place in the organism – not the ‘king of the equation’ that it would like to be:

G. “The head is one thing. Emotion is another thing. Emotion is a function of the body….. The head is like an apparatus, it plays the role of police. But the centre of gravity of your presence is the solar plexus, which is the centre of feeling. That is where things happen. The head is like a typewriter. You understand what I say?… You must work with your sdensation and your feeling. As for your head, it can only see whether they are together or separate…

“The head is nothing, a function, a typewriter, an apparatus. When you concentrate your energy in your head, you can only state what goes on in you. But the head is nothing… The head can play the role of police, but only of police, who looks how everything goes on, like a watchman. It watches how the functions of your presence are working. Do you understand me?”

In this respect, and particularly given our shared background in the fellowship – which glorified the head – these words are important… The idea is not to allow the head to find reasons to keep things the way it would like them to be (or passages from Gurdjieff).

74. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Elena.

“In my post to CT what I was trying to convey was precisely that: that in the act of living or the physicality with which one is interacting carries the will or the intention that one is conveying to it…”

I would say that this is precisely what is impossible. It’s the other way round – the body has its own intention, which is then justified by the mind’s reasons. We don’t have an overall ‘I’ which can convince the body its wishes need to be carried out! If that was the case, we would always create the impression that we wanted.

Surely your experiences on this Blog must have shown you that impressions are created in other people which ‘You’ cannot have intended? So what did intend them?…

75. elena - March 6, 2009

Sharon,

My thinking on these subjects is much influenced by anthroposophy which I find a much more detailed and complete system than the Work. It has given me better tools to interpret what I perceived in the few high states that I’ve experienced but I am far from seeing all through these experiences or theories so don’t think I am trying to tell the whole truth. Just the truth as I interpret it with those references. I was trying to converse with Crouching Tiger whose experience I appreciate, but it seems you are in a competition CT charged with a lot of other things which I’m happy to let go of. If there is no joy in the communication, there is no communication.

I don’t think Anthroposophy or the Work are worth replacing for ones own experience but as intellectual constructs and like any other real System, they are great maps.

76. elena - March 6, 2009

Crouching Tiger,

I posted 75 at the same time as you 74 so I hadn’t read it. My intention on this blog is to communicate and that is what has happened here no matter how badly the intention is misconstrued or the infinite mistakes I’ve made in my respective states.

It has nothing to do with the body as you conceive it but you seem set on that and I don’t mind. If that’s what you want to have as the central structure of your thinking, good for you, I’m glad you’ve found something that you trust so fully. I was trying to have a conversation with love but you left love out a long time ago and your posts are charged. When you recover it, if you care to, you are welcome to continue the dialogue. I have much respect and appreciation for your opinions and being. Communicating with each other is a great pleasure even if our opinions are different and I have no intention in ruining that pleasure by pretending to convince you of something different to what you’ve set your mind on.

Have a lovely evening or a good rest, since it’s late up there. I remember with great gratitude every time you’ve addressed me publicly and privately.

77. Crouching Tiger - March 6, 2009

Elena, we all (without exception) create impressions on others that we either don’t understand or maybe, don’t like. That’s why it’s crucial to find out what ‘it’ is creating them, where does it really come from and what are its reasons? I have found that going deeper into the body helps me in this regard. Then there’s a chance that the ‘outside’ can accurately represent the ‘inside’ for a time.

What I say may seem to harsh to you but that doesn’t mean it’s not in the spirit of friendship – even if it’s not in any way sentimental.

78. Tatyana - March 7, 2009

Crouching Tiger “..particularly given our shared background in the fellowship – which glorified the head”

Wait a minute… In the FOF we were not thinking – stop thinking, don’t listen to many “I’s” etc. “I am not thinking therefore I am” RB

79. Jomo Piñata - March 7, 2009

72/Renald

[Tatyana]. . .“The question: why and how did I attract THAT in my life?“

[Renald] The answer to that question is `the subject of your focus`.
….

The question which ought to also spark some curiosity is and always is `Why and how am I now attracting THIS in my life?`
The answer is the same; the subject of our focus.

The reason this seems to be difficult to grasp at first is that it does not matter one iota whether the thoughts or feelings about the `subject“ are actually positive or negative. In both cases the subject is attracted. For example, when we focus on the lack of anything, it is the lack of it that we attract and not the abundance which when it comes down to it is really what we desire although we often are not exactly aware of that fact.

Renald, I read what you wrote carefully several times in a row. What I understand you to say is, we “attract” things in our lives because of what we are focusing on. If we are focusing on lack we “attract” lack. If we are focusing on “abundance” we attract abundance. It doesn’t matter how we are feeling about something, it matters what we are focusing on because that’s what we attract. Am I getting your intended meaning?

If I am understanding you correctly, my response is, “this is magical thinking.” And I don’t mean that as a compliment. Kind of like the TM folks who say you can make crime go down in the area in which you live simply by meditating and getting other people to meditate. Sounds like a neat idea, but it’s not true. Feel free to dialogue with me on the subject if you would like.

80. elena - March 7, 2009

Tatyana,

What I think Crouching Tiger is referring to is the fact that although Robert said those things, we were in our mind because where else could you fake so much? Put on such an absurd act? There was no emphasis on the moving or instinctive, emotional or intellectual centres in connection to reality so we sat on the head trying to adapt to the fake environment of what consciousness was meant to be. At least I was very self-conscious and thinking I had to be present to Robert without the slightest success! I agree with him in that we were in the head in as much as we were repeating the doctrine day and night trying to make sense of it or adapting to it as best as we could, consciously or unconsciously. Just the idea of trying to be present without considering the external world as a force of its own kept us or me self conscious and in the mind rather than connected to the world around me. It’s taken a long time to heal but it’s getting better thanks to you all and the much more joyful life that I’m beginning to live. Of course, some people gave a dam about the form, (like Patrizia) and managed to live their life under a lot less pressure, but there were few like her.

81. Jomo Piñata - March 7, 2009

At the same time, I want to validate the question, “why and how did I attract THAT in my life.” I’d reformulate it to take out the ideological assumption implicit in the word “attract.” I’d say, “why and how did THAT happen in my life?” Simple question, fantastic question. Best of all, a question that can be answered!

Doesn’t mean it can be answered right away. The answer may gradually emerge over years of thought, reflection, dialogue and study. That question is your COMPASS! As long as you are using it to find your way to the next place YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT WAY!

82. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

This is a maybe – maybe, for some (or a great deal of us), there was far too much ‘intellectualising’ about how we were/are and too much ‘imitating emotionality’. I find that now (since there was no immediate sense of relief on leaving the FOF – I had to follow a ‘grinding path to freedom’), with the arrival of The Self, that I no longer accept GH’s theories on awakening, nor REB’s ’emotional platitudes’. You can argue with me as much as you like that The Self is not possible, or that I have not attained it, but it will only make me return to an area of ‘quiet certainty’. When YOU ARE, YOU CAN BE, both TRULY THINKING and EMOTIONAL and others will accept you…..
…..Nigel.

83. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

Whitman wrote – “…..re-examine everything you learnt in school…..”, and Rodney Collin talked about “…..making the work one’s own…..”. I posted to Tatyana (above, some posts ago) about how, if you ‘ground your life’ in an area that you find joyful, then you will be able to deal with all the effort and sacrifice required. For some, this may be their profession, for some their family life and the rearing of children – I don’t know for everyone, that is for each individual to discover for themselves. As far as ‘re-examining School Work’, I still use things I learnt in the FOF, such as body-types and features (how to deal with dominant Saturns and Jovials and Mercuries with power features) and how to explain to and encourage people centred in different Centres of Gravity. TOOLS ARE TOOLS, and it is a matter of what use we make of them. I always thought it ridiculous about why we needed so many computer-programmers ‘studying themselves’ and how REB would encourage this (because, actually, of their financial prowess and ability to be globally mobile), by stating that “technology is our art-form”. If this is not an example of “tickling the ears of followers” (The Bible, regarding false prophets), you can tell me otherwise…..Nigel.

84. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguil’d,
Which labouring for invention bear amiss
The second burthen of a former child!
O, that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done!
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
Whenever we are mended, or whe’r better they
Or whether revolution be the same.
O! sure I am, the wit of former days
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.

Sonnet LIX (William Shakespeare)

85. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

“The self by its nature knows itself only. For lack of experience whatever it perceives it takes to be itself. Battered, it learns to look out and to live alone. WHEN RIGHT BEHAVIOUR BECOMES NORMAL, a powerful inner urge makes it seek its source. The candle of the body is lighted and all becomes clear and bright.” – Nisargadatta

Thank you, Ellen.

86. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

Sonnet CXVI (William Shakespeare)

87. Yesri Baba - March 7, 2009

Hey, hows come they are not called ‘Higher Interpenetrating from a Different Sorta Dimension Circumferences’?

I would suggest studying up on these conceptual classifications:

deep sleep
dreaming
waking
subtle
causal
non-dual

not necessarily in that order.

These categories of states are certainly where the bastardized and highly misleading hierarchy of the four states of the 4th way originated.

88. X-ray - March 7, 2009

Do they tell prospective students where Burton hides his consciousness and how do they get there?

89. Yesri Baba - March 7, 2009

85 Nigel

Backatcha-

“Nor is the self something to be attained in some future date. No one is ever away from his self. And therefore everyone is in fact self-realized. Only, and this is the great mystery, people do not know this, and want to realize the self. Realization consists only in getting rid of the false idea that one is not realized.”

Ramana

Wouldn’t it be a hoot if that were true? Wouldn’t y’all crap your drawers if all this melodrama and effort and searching and herky-jerky intellectualizations were all based on a mistake- a false belief that there is something wrong? All these systems and schools and teachings and techniques and disciplines based on becoming something we already are. Wouldn’t that just frost ya!?

Naaawwwww, it couldn’t be…

90. Crouching Tiger - March 7, 2009

Tatyana and Elena.

To be fair we were given contradictory messages Tatyana. All I can say is that when I was given the notion of ‘self-observation’ in the fellowship, I tended to start doing it from my head, and no-one told me otherwise…! It took a long time to learn something different. Most of the energy went to my head most of the time.

Elena, I think you are right – the reason the fellowship and its defenders (like DC here) can lie so effortlessly is because the mind is working unrestrained. Lying (or constructing theories) is much easier when you do not have to refer to your body’s actual responses.

Yesri. Yes, I used to crap my drawers all the time in the fellowship, beset by all the things I was supposed to ‘do’ upstairs in trying to be present. Now I’m much better, I crap my drawers for entirely different reasons.

91. Crouching Tiger - March 7, 2009

Yesri.

Are you saying you never have to change your underwear now?

92. Yesri Baba - March 7, 2009

91 Crouching Tiger

I wouldn’t carry the poopy pants metaphor too far. I put my underwear on one leg at a time just like everyone else.

93. Mick Danger - March 7, 2009

Sound Sleep
Dreaming
Awake…
?
Here we go again with the equal access provisions of the divine law of the infinite.

94. Renald - March 7, 2009

You bet`cha, Mister Magoo !!!!!!!!!!

95. Renald - March 7, 2009

So the trap door was really a crap door?

96. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

89 Yesri Baba
I agree with you, in a way. It’s a sort of feeling, as Whitman would say (I paraphrase) – “I never knew I contained so much!”. Do you mean the life-experience should be the wearing away, as you say, ‘of the crap’? Actually, that’s a rhetorical question, since I ‘shit myself laughing’ when I heard the title of GH’s book “How to Make a Soul”. For God’s sake – it’s not a matter of plugging in and inflating an ‘esoteric bouncy-castle’! I, for one, would enjoy others contributing to this topic, since I believe it is crucial in our understanding of how we came through the FOF experience and where we all go from here…..Nigel.

97. Renald - March 7, 2009

Talk about direct deposit!

98. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

75 elena

Am I correct in assuming that the ‘crux’ behind anthroposophy is that the spirit world gives knowledge of itself by the ‘symbolism’ of the material world? Would it be correct, in that case, that REB bastardises and misinterprets this idea by ‘gassing off’ about how C-Influence are “flying about the dining table” (or maybe up his rectum)?

“Sorry Bob – a knob’s a knob” (ditty by former student)…..Nigel.

99. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

Come near, that no more blinded by man’s fate,
I find under the boughs of love and hate,
In all poor foolish things that live a day,
Eternal beauty wandering on her way.

(W B Yeats – ‘A Rose upon the Rood of Time’)

100. ton - March 7, 2009

thanks nigel 85 and yesri 89:

“Nor is the self something to be attained in some future date. No one is ever away from his self. And therefore everyone is in fact self-realized. Only, and this is the great mystery, people do not know this, and want to realize the self. Realization consists only in getting rid of the false idea that one is not realized.”

the crux of the fof con is the selling of ‘consciousness’ — the trick is to ‘attract’ or otherwise convince the dupes who buy into the con that they are getting something which they ‘need’ but in fact they already have. and they come to the fof already primed with the belief they that what is ‘lacking’ can somehow be acquired. (again, this notion of acquiring and acquisition is all very tied up in the zeitgeist of the age, i.e. materialism and especially ‘spriritual materialism’ see c. trungpa). this is an easy trick to turn because we in this culture are already primed, most of us who bought into the con were/are incubated in the judeo/christo cultural stew which imprints us with a meme, a notion of ‘the fall’ (e.g. the garden of eden myth); that we humans have ‘fallen’ into material existence from a ‘loftier’ spirit world and that with the ‘right’ methods or ‘a system’ we can somehow ‘attain’ these implanted notions of ‘spiritual enlightenment’ or ‘transcendence’ or ‘realization’ or whatever the current term of choice etc.

this bullshit about ‘the lower self’ is part & parcel of the fof con — that the body (instinctive center) is the ‘root of all evil’ etc… this is an attempt to in effect to some degree disconnects mind from body… the sheeple become lost in a baroque labyrinthian ‘system’ of ‘mental exercises’ (e.g. ‘the sequence’) in the name of escaping from the reality of air-breathing bodily existence . thanks CT for reminding us over and again that learning to connect with the body is an ‘essential’ part of ‘incarnation’ — it is i would say, ‘of the essence.’ i would add in this regard and imo, it is of course not all about the body but about balancing head thinking, with emotional and organic/bodily intelligences.

101. ton - March 7, 2009

re: my last post — ‘to err is human’ etc…
read through the lack of editing and you may or may not get the point.

thanks for the poetry nige.

102. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

101 ton

Eh liddle lie-brie wot i’ve Gott!…..Nigel.

103. ton - March 7, 2009

102 nigel

en anliais?

104. ton - March 7, 2009

sorry,
anglais?

105. 411 - March 7, 2009

No wonder we never had time to think for ourselves. look what we were busy doing.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7403/apolloschedule2.pdf

106. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

105 411

Guess what? The link would not open on my Internet Explorer. I’ll take your word for it that there were ‘lotsa culchural’ events to which to donate time, money and features/personality…..Nigel.

107. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

…….opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, – grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

‘Friar Laurence’ from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

108. nigel harris price - March 7, 2009

Great movie, by the way…..Go, go, go…..Di Caprio…..Nigel.

109. somebody - March 7, 2009

Robert likes to see the “jokes from Influence C” in some synchronicities, why wouldn’t he see such a joke and a photograph from Influence C about himself: “Robert Burton is REALLY fucked up” ?

110. ton - March 7, 2009

105 411:
not only ‘busy doing’ —

a ‘good student’ was ‘nose-to-the-grindstone’ busy, making the money necessary for ‘teaching payments’ and of course the extra to afford ‘special events’…. as indicated in the fof advertisement you posted from 2001, there are almost 100 such ‘events’ in one july weekend…. if you figure how much is charged for an ‘event’ and multiply that # X’s the # of dupes, er, i mean ‘participants’ who ‘attend,’ it all adds up quickly and contributes to continuance of the _________ lifestyle for he-who shall-go-unamed… you know, ‘the privileged one.’

111. ton - March 7, 2009

what’s on my ipod ? tried and would have liked to, but couldn’t share ‘broken arrow’ with you… so this will have to do instead:

“questions of a thousand dreams….”

112. elena - March 8, 2009

98 Nigel,

That’s a nice way to put it Nigel. For me Anthroposophy is as if you took the System and developed it! What I think, we wanted to know if we became conscious, Steiner writes it out. In writing it out, it moves into information for the intellectual centre for the readers but a particular kind of information that is both practical and mystical. Still, not one word of what he writes could replace anyone’s own experience but great writers don’t write to replace anyone’s experience, but to enrich the experience of those who dare walk their own path.

To me, he takes the idea of self-remembering and expands it way beyond the individual into the memory of mankind. In other words, he shares what he’s been able to “learn” or “remember” in his own work which, fantastic as many of his ideas sound, I fail to discard, because the whole work in the many different areas connects, can and has been used practically in very different walks of life. He states that knowledge is “remembering” which takes the Fourth Way idea of self-remembering a little further. Ouspensky proposed external consideration hoping, guessing or betting on the possibility that people who were present enough would come to their own revelations or “memory of the world” while Steiner proposes “listening to the world” so that it reveals itself to the listener.

It is very interesting because, in my humble opinion, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky chose to give fragments of the System, in the hope that each individual would develop it on his own, while Steiner gives out the information people ask him about and those people develop the Anthroposophical practices in medicine, art, agriculture and other areas expanding practically on the knowledge. In the past a hundred years Anthroposophy has managed to pour itself out in life with many great authors in different sciences, while, no one has done much since Rodney Collin whose Theory of Celestial Influences gives hints of a great knowledge that we never expanded on. In Steiner, knowledge is not only developed as richly as in Collin’s work, but after doing that, it is left as an open road for anyone to walk it: And they have. Many authors just keep walking on the road of their interest beautifully adorning their path as they walk.

Judging by the Fellowship Cult, one could affirm that the thread was lost before it even began and far from becoming more conscious, Fellowship members became a great deal more unconscious. Many of us seem to be in a very delicate place in which just coping with basic life is difficult.

I keep trying to compensate with the idea that at least we now know in flesh and blood the real crucifix of our time and have the opportunity to do something about it but judging by the blog, I doubt we’ve even learnt to do anything about the only thing we know: cults.

It was a good bet Mr. Ouspensky, but it doesn’t look like we were ready to win it. Instead of remembering we forgot the little we came with and made knots of our lives without even being able to stop the serial narcissistic guru who raped us all. I hope life proves me wrong, now and always, but it looks like we just were not “School material”: not even life material, but the kind that gets raped and hides because he or she is too defenceless to even think that they would find help. The solitude of such thinking is infinitely helpless. Life begins when people know they are people enough to respond for them selves and others but here there doesn’t seem to be anyone able to respond… are we satisfied with acknowledging the facts so that they continue to destroy those who couldn’t get out of their way?

113. James Mclemore - March 8, 2009

Elena- you said

“but here there doesn’t seem to be anyone able to respond…”

Elena, that line sounds like you are ‘baiting’ people.
I hear many people responding, I think perhaps they are just not responding in the manner that you think they should.
And when you tell the other bloggers that they were “not even life material”, is that like a ‘baiting’ technique also that you are hoping will push someone into whatever kind of response you think is the correct one?
So much of what you write is so powerful, and yet for me, this element of accusation reduces the power of what YOUR actual ‘responses are.

114. James Mclemore - March 8, 2009

Jomo Pinata:

You responded to another blogger earlier on this page, and your response had the idea of ‘magical thinking’ within it.
Could I write to you at the GF or through an email? I would love to ask you a couple of questions if you have the time.

115. normal human being - March 8, 2009

I think we are all so luky that RB is so derranged that leaving became the only sane and obious thing to do. Had he been “half normal” many
of us would still be “trying to make more efforts”. After this experience it is much harder to be bamboozeled. Also some of us now are able experience the tremendous freedom that is our birthright. No need to be afraid; if we survived the FOF we will survive anything. We are strong, we are awake, we move forward with confidence guided by our very own Self. The future is full of promise, we are living it right now!

116. Someone - March 8, 2009

26. elena

Regarding wasting ones life. I still verify that real life is a moment to moment occurrence. I know for myself that I haven’t wasted my time in the School.

About four years ago, I remember a small dinner with you and Girard. I felt from you a lot of compassion and true commonsense. There was a moment I saw in you a real focused state that was more instructive than words can express. Even if I imagined all that, I am sure you were in a good state at that moment.

The point I want to make with this example is that such moments are not a waste of life and not everything is connected to the school faults.

117. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

116 Someone

To separate the wheat from the chaff?…..Nigel.

118. elena - March 8, 2009

James,

Talking is not enough of a response to crime. If all we can do is talk I do not believe we are responding in the measure that the problem requires. It is not about baiting people, it is about becoming aware of the limitations and the problem. Even in life millions of people around the world still respond to crime. A hundred signatures on a petition is not a serious enough response in my humble opinion. There are definite ways of being heard. A hundred people on a newspaper are news, a hundred people picketing in front of the gatehouse are effective, a hundred people suing the Fellowship are serious. Many here left twenty years ago and we never heard from them. Will the young people in the Fellowship today say the same thing about us? Don’t we out here know that when one is as brainwashed as those in the inner circle, a blog somewhere in the internet is just not enough to break the spell?

Someone,

I also had my fellowship act and looked like I was remembering my self in events, then went home and cried or remained depressed for days. Manic depression works like that and that phenomenon in which at events, members experience highs and then go home and experience deep lows is an expression of cult life. It is the pattern of manic depression in the whole of a community. To some events I was painfully present (because there was not one in which I didn’t feel like screaming but I thought that suffering was my fault!) to still be able to tell you who sat where and said what but it wasn’t because the Fellowship ever helped me to be more present, it was because I was desperately trying to hold on to my self against the expected idolatry that everyone was supposed to be having for Robert. The wonderful thing about the blog, if you bothered to look at the pattern of my writings, is that I am not going up and down into highs and lows as much any more but being able to remain more stable. The people here have helped me level the way I perceive life as much as my self. No matter how much I change, the Fellowship problem remains.

Please don’t come here with your sweet tongue trying to turn things around for us. You may state that the Fellowship still keeps you on a high but you either hide the lows you experience or, like my husband and Robert, (I’m sorry, that’s the feeling but I should have said:), like Girard and Robert, you do not acknowledge the lows because they have become an aspect of what you termed “the lower self” or a whole world in which you are willing to indulge but not perceive. In the hasnamuss or the separation of high and low, people live in the imaginary picture of the high without being able to perceive the low. It is simply an aspect of reality that does not exist for them, which is why we can call it imaginary picture and how we can explain the fact that not one member who has written here has been willing or able to acknowledge the horrors of the Fellowship. You, as much as Daily Cardiac and the many others, don’t perceive the horrors as horrors, you genuinely think that they are minor aspects of life but that is not because they are not horrors but because the structure of your being has been tampered with so badly that you can only perceive partial aspects of reality. When I say that everyone inside needs tremendous help I really mean it. Even I still need help two years after leaving. You are people who were so afraid of life in its own terms that you voluntarily paid for a dream in a bubble. The harm is not in that and it is not strange to want to avoid the horrors of life itself but supporting a dream bubble in which you as much as others are weakened to the point that there is not enough of you to perceive when crime is happening in your community is terrifying. “Terrifying” when you fail to connect obvious evidence of the deaths of members with Robert Burton’s acts.

Last time you were here I asked you: Wouldn’t one death associated with Robert be enough to stop him? And there are five or six if not more that we even don’t know about in the fifteen thousand who have left. You still haven’t answered that. Your buffering these questions is another aspect of your inability to perceive all of the reality you are being presented with. Daily Cardiac was unable to answer even one question.

Your tone is very kind but you are like Kaa trying to hypnotize Mowgli. Only that Mowgli has grown up! It works with new young people which is what I am trying to avoid.

119. Anna - March 8, 2009

Some thoughts about ‘The Fourth Way’

At twenty one I was still, like many, a teenager. I had discovered that the world is corrupt and unjust, I believed myself to be among the first to see this so clearly, and felt contempt for those not yet graced with my insight.

Although pimples and growth spurts subside, teenage contempt seems to persist until we are in our mid twenties, around the age that men’s motor insurance premiums are halved, and sometimes even to what astrologers call the return of Saturn, and numerologists the end of the ‘formative’ phase which occurs between the ages of 28 and 32.

When I first came across Gurdjief at 21 I was thrilled and vindicated by his abrasiveness towards the world I knew and mistrusted.

More importantly he proposed something spiritual which I could finally relate to. I had grown up seeing others being comforted by their religion and had wished for that comfort too, but miserably had never been able to believe in anything without proof so this was denied me. Then Gurdjief and Ouspensky revealed a new religion: a set of explanations and methods, that didn’t rely on God or faith.

What’s more Ouspensky appeared to have pruned off almost all of the distracting foreignness of the mainstream alternatives to Christianity: we didn’t have to chant, flex, be bald, hairy, wear pink or orange robes, or smell of patchouli.

In prospective student meetings I used to proudly explain that “The Fourth Way was a combination of the other three ways; and that members could evolve without withdrawing from ordinary life; but the challenges were nonetheless equal to those faced by Fakirs standing on one leg in a desert (Way One) or Monks holding leper’s hands (Way Two)” We then gave our potential recruits a glimpse of a crowning ‘Fourth’ way, its name suggesting a cumulatively superior truth which was only known and recognisable to the elect.

We even called it “The” Fourth Way which suggested that some higher authority somewhere had already defined and endorsed its existence and uniqueness. ‘A’ or ‘another’ way would have been less potent.

In retrospect the classification of the ‘Four Ways’ seems to me to be altogether clumsy and contrived.

What we called The Fourth Way was actually just a name for a brand of spirituality which in the early and mid twentieth century was relatively ‘cleaned up’ and modern. Lately I’ve learned that intelligent broad-minded people have known for ages that spirituality points to one underlying truth no matter how garish and warped the overlying cultural and geographical trappings.

Unfortunately and inevitably though, Gurdjief and Ouspensky whilst thinking and describing for them selves this ‘truth’ created a whole load of words which quickly turned into ‘Fourth Way’ doctrines and dogmas, which despite their modern-ness are just as distracting.

Particularly dangerous in my view is the notion that there is a ‘Way’ at all. Firstly we are vulnerable to being lead down the wrong one by someone unscrupulous and crazy. Secondly even if a bad outsider doesn’t lead us astray, there’s a good chance that our own unresolved and burgeoning inner demons will.

I would prefer to see ‘awakening’ and ‘work’ as something non-linear; there is no one ‘Way’ no one, comfortingly narrow, prescribed path. Our world is so huge and varied, like a patchwork which goes in all directions. ‘Awakening’ means opening up a bit and feeling my way around the patch I’ve landed on- sometimes appreciative, sometimes lost and bewildered or afraid. ‘Work’ does not look like a narrow prescribed path; it’s a learning to bear up in the infinite, unpredictable and overwhelming, uncircumscribable variety of that in which I am.

At the moment it includes developing my own truth, and strengthening my own boundaries at the same time… something which I didn’t learn as a kid. It’s also about acknowledging my inner demons and their more outrageous behaviours as cries for help.

In the nineties an even more modern movement took hold in the west; that of the ‘neo-advaita’ which seems to claim that there is no definable way. I have spoken to three liberated people/teachers whose experience supports the claim. They don’t seem to want followers, but have some how been very helpful in answering my spiritual questions. At first I desperately wanted their ‘liberated’ state, but after about a year that longing subsided; and realising that it had been in some part escapism I am now attempting to get my feet on the ground. My therapist, books, you, friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances have also been helpful.

Actually I’m not sure now if the word ‘work’ is even the best description of what we are doing- it seems a bit inflated; perhaps a better word would simply be ‘living’ …

120. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 8, 2009

#119: Clear, concise and well written. Thanks, Anna. I concur completely. Namaste

121. John W - March 8, 2009

Hello All, This is my first post and it is a little belated. It is related to what Tatyana wrote back on March 6. The FOF has always placed much emphasis on Ouspensky´s ´Notes on the Decision to Work¨and all the danger of losing everything if one leaves the school. Shortly before my leaving the FOF in October of 2008, I found at the back of a new edition of ´The Psychology of Man´s Possible Evolution´, a series of 18 points made by Ouspensky about schools. For me, the essay on the ´Decision to Work´ reflects Ouspensky´s attempts to warn NEW students about intervals and the need to be consistent. The 18 points however seem to be directed more at his MATURE students. I want to cite a couple of these 18 points: #8: The appearance of distrust towards the instructor, especially the expression of such distrust, towards the knowledge, methods or personal opinions of the instructor makes continuing the work at the school impossible. #12: Difference of opinion with the instructor can be an indication that the student has already obtained from him everything that he can obtain and that he ought to leave the school and work independently. #13: Independent work outside the school is possible in contact with the instructor or without contact.

122. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 8, 2009

#114 and an earlier blog by Jomo:

The law of attraction does seem magical however has within it definite universal laws and does not work unless there’s a vibratory match to the desire or what one wishes to attract. (Like attracts like, or the vibrations have to match up)

You can want all day but unless your relationship to the desire has changed or your own level of understanding has increased and you have changed or elevated your own vibrations nothing changes. It’s based on quantum physics.

And although it has been ‘guru-ized’ by many and people have made money off the idea some have been helped to understand this law. It takes an effort to make it work so in that way I do not see it as anything ‘magical’ or effortless and as a matter of fact most magical tricks rely on science to make them work.

123. James Mclemore - March 8, 2009

121. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup

Thanks for that. Boy! You are good. You honed in quite well on a part of what I was thinking about, without me saying almost anything.

124. fofblogmoderator - March 8, 2009

#121 is newly moderated

125. James Mclemore - March 8, 2009

119. Anna

“‘Awakening’ means opening up a bit and feeling my way around the patch I’ve landed on- sometimes appreciative, sometimes lost and bewildered or afraid.”

“At the moment it includes developing my own truth, and strengthening my own boundaries at the same time… something which I didn’t learn as a kid. It’s also about acknowledging my inner demons and their more outrageous behaviours as cries for help.”
***
ditto with what wulswu just said. Thank you Anna for writing that.

126. Ralph H - March 8, 2009

119 Anna, Thanks for an excellent summary that speaks for so many.

127. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 8, 2009

I think it’s important to remember that many of us joined the Fellowship because we were searching for people that had similar interests and similar understandings as ourselves (at that time).

When I have a thought that I wasted my life in the Fellowship I try and remember that everything flows in its own time and our understanding comes with it and in fact we are pretty lucky people in a lot of ways.

And here on the blog we are allowed to see people ‘blossoming’ and finding their own way and this to me is quite a gift and worth staying here, watching and listening to others and helping when possible.

128. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Were we searching for a ‘childish certainty’ by relying on following the demands of REB in the FOF? As Anna postulated – “why does there have to be on A or ANY way?” If we, however, rely on our certainty within ourselves to meet what life brings us, are we not ‘actualizing our fate’? To ‘sin’ would be, in fact, not in breaking arbitrary rules, with which many of the cults and fundamentalists concur, but in not being true to ourselves in whatever situation we find ourselves.

To hit the mark is to play the game ‘straight down the line’ by being ourselves…..Nigel.

129. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 8, 2009

Remaining in the Fellowship has an addictive quality to it. For an addict to be successful at quitting their addiction, whatever that addiction may be, requires a personal decision on their part. It is they who decide the time is right.

Others can be supportive, but pushing or attempting to quicken the process or progress of the addict in some cases can be harmful and usually doesn’t work.

130. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ our Lord” (Romans 8:39)

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14)

131. Someone - March 8, 2009

118. elena

Yours:”Please don’t come here with your sweet tongue trying to turn things around for US.”

Great, the tolerance you have been preaching here for so long ends-up when a different opinion emerges.

Suddenly “I” turns into “US”.

I guess if the community you have been longing for would have succeeded, a guy like me could expect a delegation of some guys led by you, holding hay forks and knives, staging in front of my house calling me to get out to chop my sweet tong.

132. elena - March 8, 2009

Suzy 128

How many more boys will you have Robert rape before harming him so that he stops his addiction? Is that really what you consider “harming” someone?

133. Panorea - March 8, 2009

Hello John W. Welcome!

And thank you for sending me those notes back then….They helped a lot!

134. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 8, 2009

131 Hi Elena:

When I speak about addicts taking their own personal responsibility I am not talking about stopping REB from inflicting harm on another person or people. I agree that REB should be stopped just like anyone inflicting harm on others should be stopped and some kind of punishment might do him some good and maybe a little self reflection somewhere quiet.

So yes, I agree he should be stopped from inflicting pain and suffering on others but no, I do not think that I will decide when and if he stops his addictions. That’s for him to decide.

135. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

133 wulswu

Trouble is, foffers are feeding his addictions and receiving praise for doing so (or even posts of high esteem). I don’t actually think he can, or will, make a decision that his addictions have harmed people and that he needs to stop the vicious cycle…..Nigel.

136. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 8, 2009

Nigel: Ever hear of Carry A. Nation? That’s another approach.

137. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

135 wulswu

Do you mean presidents and leaders of countries? If so, I suppose you are correct that REB is not the only one ‘promoting spin’…..Nigel.

138. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 8, 2009

Nigel:

Here she is, a real person.

http://www.kshs.org/exhibits/carry/carry1.htm

.

139. Jomo Piñata - March 8, 2009

114/James McL

Feel free to drop me a line at jomopinata@gmail.com.

140. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

137 wulswu

I’m still a little ‘befuddled’, having visited that link. Did Carry ‘get to grips’ with alcoholics’ problems, or was it just campaigning against alcoholism per se? I suppose the actuality of being married to an alcoholic tends to lead to drastic action, but what can ex-members and current members do that will alter REB’s addictions? Can we believe that the ‘attrition rate’ of FOF members is fast enough to make him ‘sit up and notice’. The definition of a sociopath is an ‘illness of/on society’ – in this case the society being the closely-knit members of the FOF. We have heard tell that some current members are staying because of the Divine Presence and the ideal of a Spiritual Community and pay little heed to REB’s goings-on. It is my belief that there are complexities in the situation that can only be dealt with by a ‘nasty big shock’ to the hub of the wheel – Robert Earl Burton…..Nigel.

141. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

“Your heart is free; have the courage to follow it.”

from ‘Braveheart’, directed by and starring Mel Gibson

142. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

“This is the truth I tell you: of all things freedom’s most fine.
Never submit to live, my son, in the bonds of slavery entwined.”

—William Wallace, his uncle’s proverb, from Bower’s Scotichronicon (c. 1440s)[2]

I found this on the web, under William Wallace Society, when I ‘googled’. Do you think current members of the FOF will wake up to this plain-and-simple fact?…..Nigel.

143. Wouldnt You Like To Know - March 8, 2009

Fellowship members allege investment fraud:

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/southwell_75109___article.html/fellowship_members.html

Background from Stroomwell Investment Group website:

Directors

Huib Stroomberg and Traci Southwell are the directors of Stroomwell Investment Group, Incorporated; a California (S) Corporation, registered in January 17, 2005 with a sister branch registered in The Netherlands, January 2007.

Huib originates from Delft, The Netherlands and Traci is from Oregon, USA. They were living in Northern California and met in the rose garden of a vineyard and winery, on September 8, 2003, they started working together co-directors in the winery, shortly thereafter, and have continued their partnership ever since.

Traci and Huib formed Stroomwell Investment Group, Inc. in January of 2005, and their first success was a start up they created for an inventor friend. They took it through development and reached their aims including a profit of just under $1M, a 63% profit margin, fully trained staff and distributors, international registration, full compliance, and a fully developed production and infrastructure all in one year. They sold their shares to their partner and moved on to their original passion – international properties.

In September of 2006, they met their first well-managed developers seeking project funding, and together with investors, funded their first multi million dollar project by January 2007 with an exit strategy of 14 – 18 months and a high ROI. Their second project was funded in June 2007, also with a high ROI and a 12 month exit strategy. Their 3rd project is a luxury holding with high annual yields as well as high capital appreciation. Their list of projects and funding is growing rhythmically at this point with 5 new projects on the horizon for 2008.

With a mutual interest in real estate, fine art, philosophy and philanthropy and having already acquired their first asset – an antique sculpture, they endeavored to begin investing together immediately, but were approached by a friend/inventor who wanted them to help him promote a software/hardware invention. Believing in their friend and his product, they left him to sabbatical and further inventing, while SIG formed and managed its first start-up in May of 2006.

Its purpose was to bring the company past the start-up and development stage, to reach a million dollars of profit, and to develop a self-sustaining infrastructure; to have an efficient and legally compliant product according to international safety standards, in one year, with carefully chosen and well trained staff and additional distributors.

Stroomwell acted as the managing member and built the start-up together with their colleagues in the company. It managed logistics, production, human resources, technical support, training, marketing and sales, finances, legal matters, product management, etc. In 12 months the project was averaging a gross of 80,000 to 100,000 euros / month with a 63% profit margin $50,000 worth of inventory a fully trained sales and technical staff and trained distributors located throughout Europe and had completed 2 successful European tours. At that point the company was operating without debt, as well. At the end of this phase of the start-up, SIG agreed to sell their Membership shares to their business partner. During that time, they had gained a lot of experience and learned a great deal about start-ups and international business, and sufficiently proven and tested their abilities, handing over a profitable and self-sufficient business to their partner, they were ready to refocus on their previous interests.

By September of 2006 SIG rekindled their initial passion in real estate and found themselves checking out the market in the South of Europe in the company of development partners who were sufficiently well-managed, well-researched investors/consultants, whose particular specialty was in undervalued beach front properties and whose initial backgrounds were in Environmental Science and Geology. The chemistry was very good, and the timing was also perfect for their meeting. The developers were interested in funding their projects, and SIG was looking for expertise and a good investment – they were both looking for people they enjoyed doing business with and working with long-term. The developers were also taking special interest in stimulating the socio-economic welfare of the area they were investing in by working with locals and implementing entrepreneurial training programs for women, as well as maintaining attention to the environmental aspects of the project.

Stroomwell made the aim to support these development projects by investing with these developers and helping to fulfill funding needs for their ocean view developments by attracting investors by word of mouth and referral, who shared a high level of interest and enthusiasm in investing together in these projects.

The (self-directed) investment group started growing while Huib and Traci were traveling in Europe and found themselves extending their stay, until it became obvious that they were to relocate temporarily or permanently to Europe. They chose to locate our branch to Delft, The Netherlands, which is where Huib is originally from. SIG registered their branch with the local chamber of commerce, in January of 2007.

Four short months after meeting the developers, by the end of January 2007 SIG had invested in their first project with the developers in the Dominican Republic, and together with a small but budding network of investors both European and North American, funded the project. It was a high (more than 50%) ROI with an exit strategy of 18 months, which also left plenty of room from phase 2 investors to make a profit as well. Resales are still occurring and a reflection of the successful research and testing of the project by the developers in that market, is that during its first few months of development, an expansion of the development was proposed to a large Fund source from Australia, who after 12 months of due diligence, accepted the proposal and agreed to funding the project with an equity position, which represented the fact driven confidence of the Fund.

The next project was funded in the summer of 2007 in the South of France with new as well as existing investors. The projected ROI is greater than 25% in 18 months. The resale for the second phase has presently begun. (link to Cerbere)

The investment group continues to grow as well as our network of developers and new network of brokers as well as an internal sales support team, which supports the sale of their various investments which further minimizes investment risk and time of return for the investors. If you are a well managed private developer seeking funding for your project, or a private investor looking for a group to invest with or you are a broker interested in selling quality international investment properties to your clients please contact us

144. nigel harris price - March 8, 2009

141

I found the extract on:

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/emtry/William_Wallace

For those who are not interested in Wallace, and what he stood for, the motto for New World Encyclopedia (TM) is

“Organizing knowledge for happiness, prosperity and world peace.”…Nigel.

145. Panorea - March 8, 2009

The prevalent mentality in the Cult Fellowship of Friends of you are my friend as long as you a member and my enemy the moment you exit the Cult, is a sign of emotional instability. It has been going on for really long time and has nothing to do with any form of spirituality.

If you are still part of the Fellowship of Friends, try to consider the idea that you are part of a highly manipulative environment with its main aim to keep you isolated from the outside world.

You are a prisoner.

146. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 8, 2009

#139: Carry Nation went around with an axe in one hand and a Bible under her other arm and physically destroyed bars with her axe. She was a reformist during prohibition. Although she may have closed some bars her actions certainly did not stop drinkers from drinking. I was trying to add a little humor to what I had said previously about personal responsibility.

147. James Mclemore - March 8, 2009

Jomo Pinata

Thanks – however, I have tried twice ‘cutting and pasting’ with the address you gave and I get this error message.

“The email address “jomopinata@gmail.com.” is not recognized. Please fix it and try again.”

ps – my email is jmsmclm@gmail.com if you want to try to send me something just to get the address in my computer.

148. Jomo Piñata - March 8, 2009

James,
You have put in an extra period after “jomopinata@gmail.com” (look at your message above). If it still bounces try veronicapoe@gmail.com [.]
Best to you.

149. brucelevy - March 9, 2009

142. Wouldnt You Like To Know

Greed is an easy to catch disease. It typifies our government, especially the last 8-9 years. Greed also typifies the FOF from many aspects. The “Something for nothing” parasite has reared it’s head in the FOF periodically since it’s inception. I remember people being whipped to a frenzy over the latest get rich quick schemes that have surfaced in the FOF over the years (“short selling” , “options” “gold”, etc., especially before RB’s prediction dates. All people are subject to it’s lure, but it’s especially pathetic when observed in such a closed community. The first few people make some money, the stories grow and inflate, everyone wants in ( frequently with money they were left by family that they have since abandoned).

Viewed as individuals, there are still “some good people” that are still “in” , but the “organism” itself, when viewed as part of the “group mind” of the FOF, should be viewed as the greasy, smarmy parasite that it is.

The FOF: Something for Nothing, and Nothing for Something.

150. Yesri Baba - March 9, 2009

All people are subject to it’s lure, but it’s especially pathetic when observed in such a closed community. The first few people make some consciousness, the stories grow and inflate, everyone wants in.

The consciousness ponzi scheme aka selling water by the river.

151. Anna - March 9, 2009

Dear Someone (116 and elsewhere),

I wrote post 2 on this page specifically with your posts in mind. Please read it if you haven’t already.

I would definately agree with you that Fellowship members are 100% earnest and sincere in their efforts. At the same time I have verified what Jomo said at 41 that we were given the wrong tools. A lot of our efforts just produced a kind of psycological obliviousness which hid a mouting inner corruption.

Many of us were addicted to the angelic surface which the Fellowship insisted upon.

For me it’s still heartbreaking and frustrating to see people that I care about being so lead astray. I know that if they had the chance to re-direct their energies to sorting out the problems which enabled them to join and stay in the Fellowship in the first place.

I personally am not distant enough from the Fellowship to feel anything more than sadness and frustration for current members, and their children and famillies.

Although I try it’s hard to genuinely BE words like “It’s their play” or “It’s not a mistake” “We all have to have our process” “We all have to respect each other” “They will have learned a lot about what the work is not, so no time was wasted” etc… when it is so clear that their development (as mine was) has been arrested, if not eroded.

For me leaving has bought an accelerated ‘evolution’ if you like: it’s some kind of fast forward psycological blossoming. I wish that for everyone.

Hope you continue to enjoy your unfurling.

Cheers
Anna

152. nigel harris price - March 9, 2009

151 Anna

For me, I had something that I was not going to let the FOF touch while I was ‘in’, – my silver and jewellery work. I have it now in abundance and it is “a precious jewel set in a silver sea”, to quote William Shakespeare…Nigel

153. Just the Facts Ma'am - March 9, 2009

148. brucelevy:

‘Greed is an easy to catch disease. It typifies our government, especially the last 8-9 years. Greed also typifies the FOF from many aspects. The “Something for nothing” parasite has reared it’s head in the FOF periodically since it’s inception. I remember people being whipped to a frenzy over the latest get rich quick schemes that have surfaced in the FOF over the years (”short selling” , “options” “gold”, etc., especially before RB’s prediction dates. All people are subject to it’s lure, but it’s especially pathetic when observed in such a closed community. The first few people make some money, the stories grow and inflate, everyone wants in ( frequently with money they were left by family that they have since abandoned).

Viewed as individuals, there are still “some good people” that are still “in” , but the “organism” itself, when viewed as part of the “group mind” of the FOF, should be viewed as the greasy, smarmy parasite that it is.

The FOF: Something for Nothing, and Nothing for Something.’

That and the 142. Wouldnt You Like To Know revealed information reminds me of another story:

One M_r___F_nt_n_ had a business relationship with a fellow fellowship member. There was a business agreement of some kind. When it became time for some compensation, M. F. did not have funds to pay the person. Instead, M. F. gave a credit card to the person so that the person could spend some of the money earned by making purchases on the personal or business credit card. When the charges appeared, M. F. contested them and reported the credit card had been stolen. This turned the hired person into a criminal. What happened since then is not known.

There is likely more to this story than is expressed here, but it serves to illustrates what you describe, Bruce: Criminal enterprise spawns criminal mentality.

But, of course, in the court room and elsewhere, it will be made out that the victim was actually the perpetrator of the criminal act. That’s what lawyers are for, I guess.

154. nigel harris price - March 9, 2009

153 Just the Facts Ma’am

Let’s hear more stories like this. I am sure the recounting will escalate!

“The truth, the whole truth and FAR TOO MUCH OF THE TRUTH”…..Nigel.

155. nigel harris price - March 9, 2009

153 Just the Facts Ma’am

You’re right about lawyers, too. They are hired to BEND the truth to benefit their clients. I am still waiting for the time when the FOF (or FOF members, who have ‘broken the rules’ as it were – story from 153, for example) are taken to court. I think it is just a matter of time…..Nigel.

156. Last Message from ....... - March 9, 2009

Dear Friends,

A week ago Robert mentioned that, ‘The sequence is a stimulus package for higher centers.’

A few days after that he received the following quotation:

Philokalia, Theodoros the Great Ascetic: Prayer is a stimulus towards the Divine.

With Love,
Sarah E.

Dear Friends,

A week ago Robert mentioned that, ‘The donations are a stimulus package for Russian penises.’

A few days after that he received the following quotation:

Philokalia, Theodoros the Great Ass: Russian penises are a stimulus for corrupt old buffoons.

With Love,
Sarah Neverhadit.

157. nigel harris price - March 9, 2009

142 and 153

I bet that there are a whole host of mis-dealings which have been perpetrated by FOF members against fellow-members. I know for
a fact that there was a married couple in the FOF while I was a
member that had been ‘corporate headhunters’ and had hired
fellow members to be part of their employed team. When the
financial situation turned against them and they were not making
the money they hoped, they filed for bankruptcy, leaving the team
to be without the payment they had earned. Robert had held the
couple in high esteem and I suppose there was an admonition for
the employed members to not sue the couple for failure to pay.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I cannot remember the couple’s name.
…..Nigel.

158. Panorea - March 9, 2009

There are numerous stories about going against “feminine dominance” in the Fellowship. There was, and I guess still is, that air of being privileged, beyond the human laws, so special, so on the right path, so under C-influence’s wings, that collectively we went over the top.

All this of course helped to justify Burton’s reckless life. He was beyond all of us and beyond any human moral standards.

159. elena - March 9, 2009

From the Rape of the Mind by Meerloos.

Any form of leadership, if unchecked by controls, may gradually turn into dictatorship. Being a leader, carrying great power and responsibility for other people’s lives, is a monumental test for the human psyche. The weak leader is the man who cannot meet it, who simply abdicates his responsibility. The dictator is the man who replaces the existing standards of justice and morality by more and more private prestige, by more and more power, and eventually isolates himself more and more from the rest of humanity. His suspicion grows, his isolation grows, and the vicious circle leading to a paranoid attitude begins to develop.

The dictator is not only a sick man, he is also a cruel opportunist. He sees no value in any other person and feels no gratitude for any help he may have received. He is suspicious and dishonest and believes that his personal ends justify any means he may use to achieve them. Peculiarly enough, every tyrant still searches for some self-justification. Without such a soothing device for his own conscience, he cannot live.

_________Faithful description of Rober Burton

His attitude toward other people is manipulative; to him, they are merely tools for the advancement of his own interests. He rejects the conception of doubt, of internal contradictions, of man’s inborn ambivalence. He denies the psychological fact that man grows to maturity through groping, through trial and error, through the interplay of contrasting feelings. Because he will not permit himself to grope, to learn through trial and error, the dictator can never become a mature person. But whether he acknowledges them or not, he has internal conflicts, he suffers somewhere from internal confusion. These inner “weaknesses” he tries to repress sternly; if they were to come to the surface, they might interfere with the achievement of his goals. Yet, in the attacks of rage his weakening strength is evident.

It is because the dictator is afraid, albeit unconsciously, of his own internal contradictions, that he is afraid of the same internal contradictions of his fellow men. He must purge and purge, terrorize and terrorize in order to still his own raging inner drives. He must kill every doubter, destroy every person who makes a mistake, imprison everyone who cannot be proved to be utterly single-minded. In Totalitaria, the latent aggression and savagery in man are cultivated by the dictator to such a degree that they can explode into mass criminal actions shown by Hitler’s persecution of minorities. Utlimately, the country shows a real pathology, an utter dominance of destructive and self-destructive tendencies.

160. elena - March 9, 2009

Little Suzy,

It’s an interesting mechanism to ridicule those who question!

When that mechanism is allowed to continue people end up killing the others, not just ridiculing them. Don’t we have enough proof of that in history?

161. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 9, 2009

#159: It is obvious to me that you and I think (and feel) quite differently.

I was merely pointing out through what I thought was a humorous part of U.S. history trying to change something or someone by attempting to control a situation or a person usually doesn’t work.

Having a tendency to be an enabler myself I found it humorous in that in the past I have found myself in a similar situation doing similar things and have actually been called ‘Carry Nation’ for it. If there was any mockery or ridicule it was at myself and my past ways which I now find quite humorous. Namaste

162. fofblogmoderator - March 9, 2009

126 & 157 are newly moderated

163. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 9, 2009

A little bit more on the art of enabling.

After the enabler has ‘allowed the ‘anything goes’ by being a ‘really nice and easygoing person or parent’ trying to help everyone, they then attempt to control situations in an opposite and extreme fashion because they perceive it to be out of control and they are blind to their own part of creating it in the first place.

Since I have seen this in myself my personal relationships with my extended family and friends have improved.

164. elena - March 9, 2009

Thanks Suzy for clarifying.

Crouching Tiger, Sharon,
Following our interesting conversation on the body in which the fact that we don’t agree on a few points does not take any of its relevance away I found something that may help us and strongly supports your position. The relevance of such topic in this forum is the possibility to offer relativity about Fellowship ignorance on no matter what topic. The idea that in the Fellowship we lived in the head also works in the fact that we swallowed hundreds of pretty quotes without ever confronting our knowledge with our practical reality. While on the internet we have such intellectual conditioning, if we can help each other grasp more practical ideas, that alone can help us a great deal to come down from the clouds.

(If I understand anthroposophy correctly, the physical is the physical, the etheric, the vitality of life not only in man but in plants, the astral, what we understand by the emotional life and the I is given more complex qualities than the System offered, directly connected to the physical world)

By Michaele Glöckler:
We can see that the foundation for the activity of the I in the body is the metabolic/locomotive system, the foundation for its emotional activity is the rhythmic system and the base for its spiritual activity is the neurosensorial system.

……In the locomotive system, that is based completely in the metabolic system, are related the physical body, the etheric and the astral while the organization of the I is able to separate itself partially, which gives movement, its personal characteristic.

…The physical body is the guarantee for the life experience of the I in the physical because every body has its own centre of gravity, allowing the I to experience itself in the centre, others next to it and the world around him.

If you have any theory from the Fourth Way perspective that you’d like to offer it’s welcome. What I found difficult to connect was that you would reduce the experience of life to the body no matter how ample but I don’t think that is what you are aiming at and therefore we don’t really disagree. If rather than the body, we used the Physical and included in the physical world not only the body’s experiences but the experiences of the soul and the spirit such as music, art and the like then I think we are much closer to agreeing. What is also fascinating about the clarity with which Steiner exposes it is the way in which such things as music and art affect an individual, and what is strengthened or weakened. I think the System had it in its womb had we been able to work with it but Robert….

What is interesting about Robert is that he did use Art to convince us that the Fellowship was conscious lalaland and we bought it! That Art in which we loved the people that made the effort to give us something more than the doctrine. The power is in the people who stand up for the Fellowship, not in Robert or the doctrine. You fools who support it and think you are worth nothing, are the only power that matters. It is you who allow for everything there to happen and it isn’t pretty.

I wonder if the artists still playing a role in the Fellowship do it because they’ve crystallized in the imaginary picture of that power and know that if they tried society they would not find an audience to applaud them or even a sick dictator to manipulate them. When you betray your self and mankind, you’ve no art no matter how well you play. Being good in a sick bubble makes you twice as corrupt.

165. Yesri Baba - March 9, 2009

fbolgerator-

Thanx for adding the s. However, now I appear to be a complete nincompoop as the next post makes no sense. I hope you realize that I have a reputation for clear, precise and in depth thinking to protect so if you could please delete the post on leaving out the s’s – or not.

(someone told me that you added the s. I wasn’t re-reading my posts to see how smart they are.)

166. fofblogmoderator - March 9, 2009

Mr Baba,
I will delete the post you have requested. I realized the two posts wouldn’t make sense after I added the “s”, but I didn’t want to delete your second post without your permission.

167. sharon - March 9, 2009

Elena – I feel that you make a lot of assumptions about a lot in your post 165. I actually don’t have much time right now, but I will try to address one or two.

assumption #1: the artists in FoF thought they were participating in some conscious artistic venue. I don’t think so. I certainly never did, nor did those I spoke to about such things, generally. In fact, there was a common theme running amongst the artists as to how frustrating it was that there was so little consciousness manifesting in the music scene there, and that it was very clear to us all that RB’s musical taste was remarkably uneducated and unsubtle. Music was our job, our vocation probably, and the apocryphal “school” was something else.

assumption #2: that the emotions and intellect cannot be part of the physical aspect of the human. My observations say that they are, and that the physical is indescribably complex – miraculous, if you will. Just the hormonal system accounts for much of our “emotions”, both male and female. I don’t know much about the soul myself. It is possible that my sense of “self” is separate from my emotions, intellect and senses (and therefore from the physical) but I’m not even sure about that anymore.

At this point, I don’t care to follow any System, not Steiner, nor Nisargadatta, nor 4th Way. So these arguments/discussions seem kind of irrelevant.

168. nigel harris price - March 9, 2009

167 sharon

I think it more a matter of what we can salvage and what we can use from whatever we come across. By “being the words” in the FOF, did we forget that we were given tools with which to escape mechanicality and, in actual fact, become FOF machines in another way?…..Nigel.

169. Josiane - March 10, 2009

Are any of you familiar with James Braha’s book called “My Extraordinary Summer with “Sailor” Bob Adamson?
While most of the book is about “Bob” teaching non-dualist Advaita, the last chapter is much more “down-to earth”, so to speak, in the sense that it addresses the world of appearance we live in and, more specifically, the question about how to reconcile the fact that so many gurus, as realized-conscious-enlightened beings, can have so low ethics, morals, and overall unacceptable behavior from a normal human standpoint.

Braha says that “most seekers who encounter this problem feel the need to choose between four options.”

Option 1: Deny any problem exists. Disbelieve disturbing stories about their guru. It could be true about other gurus but not theirs. It’s all lies.
Option 2: Whatever the guru does is for the good of the student. We may not understand it but the guru knows better. Everything the guru does is perfect
Option 3: The guru is also a human being, so he/she is not flawless. Who are we to judge?
Option 4: You know you have been duped and it’s time to pack your bags.

He then proceeds to talk about having to live with the paradox of the contradicting facts that your guru is less than perfect while still instilling some valuable knowledge in his followers. In that sense, the Fellowship situation is not unique, but rather perhaps represents a certain pattern of late 20th century search/seeking when all sorts of “gurus” popped up out of nowhere and took us under their “wings”.

To end on a positive note, I will support Tolle’s approach of a new consciousness arising for humanity, rather than a doomsday approach. Somehow, life feels better this way.

170. elena - March 10, 2009

Hi Sharon,
Thanks for responding.

I think we misunderstand each other because I don’t make either of those assumptions. In relation to number one:

assumption #1: the artists in FoF thought they were participating in some conscious artistic venue.

What I mean is that Robert USED, MANIPULATED ART and artists to make them and us believe that he and the Fellowship were sincerely working for something honorable, “legitimate” and what we or at least I appreciated was the artists and their effort much more than Robert’s selections of things which, when I found out that he ordered what artists could do, it added to the disappointment and the understanding that people were being submitted into idolatry whether they understood or approved it.

The lack of freedom of self expression even in the artists was an unacceptable expression of mind control. How have you explained that to your self? The fact that you knew it was all absurd but you still supported it for decades? As we all did?

I think most of us had a portion of ego that flourished in the Fellowship and the artist’s ego was highly manipulated by Robert. He USED them because they were grateful for the attention, for the captive public that genuinely appreciated them. If no one can recognize the ego that used the Fellowship to thrive while the others got raped, no one will understand how we supported for those boys to get raped and why those still in are still allowing it. Those still in have threaded their ego so strongly with Fellowship decadence that they don’t know how to untangle themselves. If they were the only ones who are going to get hurt, that would be bad enough but they will keep finding prospective students to include in their imaginary world so that they can justify it. How they justify it is what is so delicate.

assumption #2: that the emotions and intellect cannot be part of the physical aspect of the human.

I haven’t said that anywhere so I don’t know where you see it. On the contrary what I said is that in movement you already see the emotion of the person. Also the text I just presented places the different functions in the body. The idea is the same as in the System in which the moving center is in the lower part, the emotional center around the chest and the intellectual around the neurosensory system. What I’ve been trying to convey is that while this earth might be exquisitely beautiful, I don’t think we are simply earthly beings. The Sun, planets and cosmos count to me as much as the earth and while the piece of matter of the body will remain here, I believe the rest of my self will move on. That doesn’t stop me from agreeing almost all your premises about the body while on earth.

What is significant to me is not Steiner or but the fact that in the Fellowship Robert knows nothing about any center or was ever able to expand on either one of them while in Anthroposophy they’ve been working practically with these ideas for a hundred years and helping thousands of people, particularly disabled children and autistics. It is interesting because it is, whether one likes it or not, an expression of a Fourth Way System in which the people did not separate from life, but picked it up and walked, run and flew with it.

I am not interested in converting anyone into Anthroposophy, nor is my interest in it stronger than my interest in medicine, astronomy, agriculture or art but the comparison ought to be able to give the Fellowship relativity about its stretch because it not only did not teach anything no matter how many trips people made to Egypt or how many quotes from conscious beings they memorized. The Fellowship badly damaged the integrity of our functioning, the balance of our centers and the stability of our self. Understanding how it disrupted us should at least help us try to rebalance our selves. Ignorance about so many things doesn’t help. And I’m talking about those of us who stayed through this last awful years in which we didn’t even speak for the past five years. It was slightly less damaging when people at least gave angles.

There is also such a tremendous ignorance in the Fellowship, about the beauty that can be found out here that I would invite anyone who’s been out long enough and found things worth looking at to show us a little about their world; to invite us to look at things because those of us who’ve been in for decades have such a narrow image of the world. For this I am grateful to Laura who has kept feeding the blog with discoveries. One of thet fears of leaving is the imaginary picture that there is nothing worth looking at in “life.”

We’ve talked about advaita and other Systems, but what matters is not the Systems which to me are all equally great, what matters is that people share and share what they love. It would be wonderful if you shared some of your music with us. I would love to hear you.
I would love to know what you worked for for decades in the Fellowship, what you wanted and Robert never allowed you to offer. It is not just the music that we missed, it’s each other what we missed. I believe that what we are most starving from is not having been able to share our selves. If the blog is not about pulling the Fellowship down it could at least be about pulling our selves up. That is: sharing with respect what ever any one of us is which is what we were never able to do in the Fellowship.

I am not here to hurt you, it’s what is hurt what I am addressing. We can’t heal if we don’t even know we are sick and we didn’t know how sick we or the Fellowship was two years ago.

171. Someone - March 10, 2009

151. Anna

I agree with most of what you wrote.

Regarding frustration:
I have deeply verified that there is a higher place than what lower parts in me have to say about the work.

There is a total disconnection between those who bring mere psychological arguments against the”STATE” approach and those who live only by that approach.

The reason for this disconnection is because both sides are right.

Those who claim that it is sheer addiction to try and strive for a third state all one life are right, yet those who have deeply verified that it is the only aim in life are also right. This Blog can go on forever just as a result of that unbridgeable gap.

This forum is almost dominated by those who have no valuation to the “STATE” therefore everything they say against the “STATE” is completely correct from their perspective.

These sides cannot cannot really meet.

I definitely belong to the “STATE” side even though I left the school.
I left because I saw that the new way is full of positive declarations about reaching presence, yet it provides almost zero tools for reaching it. The new tools do not work for me. I tried them seriously for quite some time and it just does not work.

On the other hand, those wonderful and very useful psychological and mental tools the school used to have, have been neglected and people’s mechanicality has been set free, remaining unobserved and less controlled. Newcomers, just do not know anything about their mechanical aspects and yet they expect to create something higher inside.

I know for myself that if one is not truly verifying mechanical parts in the moment they manifest, it is almost impossible to produce any higher state. Just bubbling syllables does not do it.

172. Crouching Tiger - March 10, 2009

171 Someone.

“Those who claim that it is sheer addiction to try and strive for a third state all one life are right, yet those who have deeply verified that it is the only aim in life are also right. This Blog can go on forever just as a result of that unbridgeable gap.

This forum is almost dominated by those who have no valuation to the “STATE” therefore everything they say against the “STATE” is completely correct from their perspective.

These sides cannot cannot really meet.”

I feel you’ve stated your own problem, and that of the Fellowship as a whole, just about as concisely as it can be stated.

It is indeed foolish to be actively seeking ‘third state experiences’ all one’s life, just as it’s foolish to try and live without any finer energies in it…

The point is that a bridge can be built between ordinary life and such states, that is what a complete human being is – someone who knows how to stand on that bridge… [Before your ears prick up again Yesri, man is already complete, it’s just a matter of realizing it! – difference of perspective only]. But the Fellowship is not capable of teaching that.

The result is the kind of division you’ve so eloquently stated. It’s actually a rather sentimental indulgence to think that the gap can’t be bridged. But thank you nonetheless for the clearest embodiment of ‘the Fellowship predicament’ I’ve heard in a very long time…!

173. Crouching Tiger - March 10, 2009

Elena & Sharon.

I haven’t really been following this debate, but just as a simple bit of common sense…

If you’re trying to learn something about yourself, how you function and possibly, things that aren’t turning out that well or seem to attract the same result…. Yes, you can try to observe your thoughts and feelings, but they are rather unreliable guides. They are always changing and it’s almost impossible to judge which ones are good and which ones are bad.

If on the other hand you try to get some feeling for, or awareness of your body, you can sense immediately what the result of various thoughts or feelings are on it. Do they produce relaxation and a feeling of expansion, or tension and a feeling of contraction? Where is the tension located? The solar plexus? The forehead? What patterns of thinking and feeling are associated with certain habitual physical postures I have?

The answers don’t always come immediately but take time. But the body is utterly neutral, it has no axe to grind, all it does is register the effect of your mental/emotional habits. So it’s sensible to trust it – though this is a very big move as we always trust the head first, even though that’s the very thing that causes most of the illusions…

174. WonderingWhosWatching - March 10, 2009

171. Someone:

Here is reason for ‘disconnection between those who bring mere psychological arguments against the ”STATE” approach and those who live only by that approach.’

When the Fellowship of Friends (aka Pathway to Presence) ceased to be (not to be confused with: seized to be) a spiritual organization (if it every was one), or a school of man’s possible evolution, and became a religion (church), for whatever reason(s), then the constitutional provision of SEPARATION OF STATE AND CHURCH applies. Or, in other words, different STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS no longer can be distinguished and HIGHER STATES are no longer attainable.

ipso facto kiddo
and don’t give any
post hoc ergo propter hoc
arguments!

175. "I see" said the blind man - March 10, 2009

someone 171
Have you ever thought that your golden years in the FOF were more to do with your golden years than with the FOF’s. For others the golden years were when the winery was being built or they were back in Berkeley. Whatever your outward projection of why the school was no longer right for you – this includes being offended by Burton’s debaucheries and financial excess – maybe you just grew up too much to stay.

176. Opus 111 - March 10, 2009

Someone:
Those who claim that it is sheer addiction to try and strive for a third state all one life are right, yet those who have deeply verified that it is the only aim in life are also right. This Blog can go on forever just as a result of that unbridgeable gap.

I do not know about being right , but I agree with the stated dichotomy, and yet, there are so many different ways to express that gap. You could also have said:
Those who claim that REB is a power-hungry dysfunctional man who preys on his youngest, most vulnerable disciples for his own basest purposes, are right to say so and be outraged, notwithstanding all the higher states they experienced while in the FOF. Those who still belong to the FOF and claim that they are still striving to experience higher states are in their right, despite keeping on financially supporting and condoning the reprehensible and corrupt behavior of their leader.

177. Another Name - March 10, 2009

Dear All and somebody

States:

When I look up to the shy day or night …I am in awe and have a state.

In big groups, were there is a lot of intention I have states…

Funerals, weddings, music concerts, plays, meetings ( not exclusive to the fof) etc…..

Adya says a six pack on the cough……a glass of tequila or an Irish coffee can do it for me too..

Seeing children, a baby, a delivery of a baby, a person dying… many states.

a question, looking in somebody’s eye…deeply

Seeing a person who has fun, laugh, the twinkling in their eyes.

Sharing a deep sadness, loss or self discovery o a person

Shutting up and realizing that I could be this person, that I forgive and love the other and myself.

Playing with a dog, seeing the manzanita lighting up in the night, two bunny’s on the road an eagle in front of my car etc.

Seeing flowers bloom

Laying awake in the night, breathing deep in my bones

etc………..

Dear somebody…hen you say you know who is writing on the blog I become alert….I know you and me do not know, nor who reads the blog, nor what they are thinkink or feeling. If I would meet you somewhere and I would hear you say the above and you would not and me any question, I would be apprehensive to deal with you.

I am looking for sharing, equality, win- win situation. I am doing with people who tell me how the world ( blog)……I know this. They (you) do not know….

Dear all enjoy your states or no states. I am going outside….see what will come on my path.

Hug for all who want or do not want….love is in the air…lallallalllalalalalallalal

178. Yesri Baba - March 10, 2009

Hey, have you guys ever seen a tail run away from it’s dog? I just seen that- it’s hilarious!

179. Anna - March 10, 2009

Hello Someone and others,

I personally haven’t noticed many posts about being addicted to states, but I might not have been reading properly. My point was that we were addicted to “angelic” behaviour and appearances- which are quite different.

I’m not sure what you mean about ‘states’. I assume you mean nice ones. I used to talk about first, second, third and fourth states; but now I realise that these are very crude, simplistic and misleading classifications.

I used to yearn for ‘third’ and ‘fourth’ states, but these terms are particularly misleading.

I have entered extra-ordinary states; but these were so dramatically different from my usual ones, that they cannot possibly be seen as gradual progressions along a sliding scale from second to third. If we have to talk in numbers; the transition was more like jumping from one to a trillion.

The human mind desperately wants to classify things on its own terms; and it really wants to believe that ‘mind’ can awaken, can achieve things by working hard along some clear path. Mind wants things to be linear, clear, achievable by itself. That’s why Ouspensky is so alluring to mental types. But I can honestly say that after two decades of reading and ‘working’ using the recipes he described in the Fourth Way and In Search of the Miraculous his (and my) mega mental approach prevented me from finding what I was looking for.

The concepts that sleeping man is ‘in Imagination’, ‘in identification’, ‘in negative emotions’, ‘in the many Is’, ‘in unnecessary talk’, ‘in lying’ were exciting initially: but these I had learned about and experimented with by the end of my first year in the Fellowship. These experiments were quite harsh and encouraged me to believe that I had fewer possibilities rather than more. After a while the concepts became dogmatic, altars that we acknowledged our failures before.

Also I would question what you (Someone) Judge as ‘mechanical’? For example The Fellowship focussed on completing ‘moving-instinctive octaves’ (si-do’s) to a level which stimulated obsessive compulsive behaviour in members. Many people could not be ‘emotional’ until they had gone through a series of tidiness rituals. They believed that these rituals were a sign of ‘consciousness’. Actually they were a sign that part of oneself was desperately fighting to suppress another frightening, unresolved, volatile part. Rather like children who try to drown out unpleasant things by blocking their ears and singing the same notes over and over again.

I have seen Psychotic patients engaged in such behaviour, and it seems Robert Burton was had to a certain extent ‘institionalized’ mild forms of it. I am not sure whether he did this deliberately or whether we were simply imitating him.

Interestingly when I first met a person who had become ‘schizophrenic’ I believed him to have become a conscious being. The symptoms were so familiar from my experiences of the Fellowship and Robert. When I described my friends symptoms to Tony Parsons he said that I should get the person to a doctor quickly because he was suffering from ‘disassociation’ not enlightenment. He said that in ‘Oneness’ there is no fear.

Then I remembered that all those years ago when I had had that state there had been no fear.

Actually I think that the so called first and second states were under-rated. Many have found that our dreams hold many secrets, claim them to be truly esoteric. A psychiatrist, who also has a spiritual bent, explained to me that she believes that when we die, we will all return to our spirit and soul bodies; and that our job while alive is to strengthen our human body/self. She said that psychotic people have partly or wholly left their human body and are trapped in the realms of the spirit and soul. Because their human bodies are so undeveloped they are not strong enough to pull them back from madness.

When Tony Parsons told me that it was the seeker in me which was preventing me from “realising oneness” (being conscious) I was terribly distressed… I wanted to be in a higher state, to be enlightened desperately.

Since then I have become able to live with his suggestion. In fact I am now absolutely happy with the humbler types of life enrichment (‘work’) that many writers talk about here. Liberation may come, but I have no idea.

I have received many interesting ideas, from a variety of teachers to experiment with, these are only experiments, hopefully they won’t crystalize into fixed ‘methods’ and dogma. For example one idea someone suggested was that when a desire is satisfied there’s a moment of peace and silence, free of urgency and gasping, so I have tried to find that moment and to bask for a little in it.

But really, just living seems to be the most esoteric thing in the world now.

180. ton - March 11, 2009

anna,
thanks for your presents here.

james,
good to hear your voice here again…. will email u later.

ysri,
hear a tail….

181. X-ray - March 11, 2009

“143. Wouldnt You Like To Know – March 8, 2009

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/southwell_75109___article.html/fellowship_members.html

“Where’s the money?” the attorney said. “That’s the question.”

Where are the $200K we raised to rebuilt the Bistro?
Bistro never was rebuilt but money has been gone.
Where other hundreds of thousands of dollars generated by the auctions, numerous fundraisings, dinners and meetings during the years?

Where’s the money? That is the question.
Any accounting has been made of what these investments were used for?

182. somebody - March 11, 2009

Rumor says it that E…th M…ne is building a villa in Egypt for guess who…

183. veramente - March 11, 2009

179 Anna
But really, just living seems to be the most esoteric thing in the world now.
——-
Really.

184. X-ray - March 11, 2009

“182. somebody – March 11, 2009
Rumor says it that E…th M…ne is building a villa in Egypt for guess who…”

That’s explains the lawsuit. Builders needs more money.

185. Ellen - March 11, 2009

Hello All,
I’m back from a trip and catching up a bit on the blog. Can anyone post me a link where I can view WR’s video? His original link from page 65 is not working. Thanks…

186. Crouching Tiger - March 11, 2009

Anna.

Thanks for another nice post. It sounds like you have been getting some sensible advice.

I think you are right that the fellowship does attract people with certainly, active minds. Minds that are constantly ‘on the go’ and ever-ready for pseudo-spiritual release. Minds, if you like, with a seeker-complex. Probably that is why many have found advaita, Tony Parsons and Roger Linden so helpful. It is a blessed release from what is basically a constant process of mental identification.

And this feeling of being some sort of ethereal being ‘hovering’ above your earthly life and your own body, all investment for the future – ‘build your soul’, ‘in your 9th lifetime’, ‘drop the body’ – is intellectual in origin. I have found that it has no place in where I am living now, at this moment.

“Actually I think that the so called first and second states were under-rated. Many have found that our dreams hold many secrets, claim them to be truly esoteric. A psychiatrist, who also has a spiritual bent, explained to me that she believes that when we die, we will all return to our spirit and soul bodies; and that our job while alive is to strengthen our human body/self. She said that psychotic people have partly or wholly left their human body and are trapped in the realms of the spirit and soul. Because their human bodies are so undeveloped they are not strong enough to pull them back from madness.”

This sounds very healthy! Strengthening the body. What’s the point of laying out a tea with beautiful silver pots and fine china if one of the legs of the table is missing?

I’ve posted parts of this before, but it seems worth repeating. It comes from one of Gurdjieff’s meetings:

When confronted by a student who talked of working to produce “the impression of the complete disappearance of the physical body”, Gurdjieff replied: “That which you explain now, does not resemble our work. If you continue, you have a fine chance of soon being a candidate for an insane asylum.”

187. nigel harris price - March 11, 2009

186 Crouching Tiger (and Anna)

I am one of those ‘psychotic people’ (bi-polar affective disorder) who has had trouble with the body feeling and functioning normally during extreme high and low states of psychosis. I have found that, both in and out of the ‘asylum’, if I am in those states, practicality works wonders – bathe/shower at least once a day, clean your teeth, wash your clothes regularly, tidy/clean your living/working environment – all things that keep you ‘grounded’ in the present and doing things that balance centres. G. and O. both stressed the importance of being normal before one can become super-normal (I think by this they meant properly conscious, in the work terminology). There is very little point in ‘whizzing about town’, thinking you are Henry V/Luke Skywalker and driving everyone crazy with your high-velocity activity. It may make you feel good but it is actually a case of the psychotic state driving the malfunction of the body. I can give more specific examples if more questions are asked, since I think many people in-and-out of the FOF have, in the past, or presently, experienced their body’s proper functioning (and, by this, I would include all centres) being driven into semi-, or even full-blown psychotic states…..Nigel.

188. Crouching Tiger - March 11, 2009

Nigel.

Student: How can I intensify the sensation of my body when I feel that it is leaving?

G: Stick your head in a bowl of very cold water. Do a difficult gymnastic. For example, hold your arms cross-wise for twenty minutes or half an hour, thinking “I am”, “I want to be”. Think it with the body. Feel your body. Drive out all psychopathic associations.

189. nigel harris price - March 11, 2009

188 Crouching Tiger

Got a funny (peculiar), true story. Last night, I was asleep in bed and dreamt that I was sprayed with an anaesthetic on my back, by an old high-school friend. I was afraid, since I lost consciousness, even of the dream, that I was going to die! So I shook myself awake into the normal second-state. God! Was I shitting myself! Anna’s friend could interpret that one.
…..Nigel.

190. Ellen - March 11, 2009

WR,
Congratulations on your perseverance, good video. (I finally found a working link) Yes, perhaps in time more voices can be added? And still (for me) it is heartbreaking to hear and understand the truth about this sick organization I once revered. “Who” (in me) revered “what” (out there)?

Drain the victim pool, illuminate the mind-fuck and know your neighbor as your Self.

191. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 11, 2009

Nigel: I’m having violent dreams too. ‘Beware the Ides of March’?

192. elena - March 11, 2009

The pattern of creation
The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.
Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

“The integrated view of the world represented by the mandala, while long embraced by some Eastern religions, has now begun to emerge in Western religious and secular cultures. Awareness of the mandala may have the potential of changing how we see ourselves, our planet, and perhaps even our own life purpose.”
(From Mandala: Journey to the Center, by Bailey Cunningham)

Moving on for the fun of creation!

193. elena - March 11, 2009

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.

From google images!

194. Yesri Baba - March 11, 2009

To the innees. If you get tired of getting reamed by the fof i hear the mormons have some secret super-duper esoteric stuff-

http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=356303&GT1=28103

195. Walter J. Tanner - March 11, 2009

Jomo: “First: DOING THE WORK” — what’s that? What can you mean by that?”

I’ve been making the long argument over these many blogs that what the Fellowship taught for its first 30 years or so was the legitimate, dyed-canary Gurdjieff method. Some people’s hatred of Burton is so strong that they refuse to see that he is quite in the line of authoritarian gurus like Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Our search for the miraculous was not hijacked by Burton; it was the very search itself that required such a guide or leader.

Mo’ Jomo: “One cannot have the benefit, which I understand to be spiritual, of struggling to live productively with uncertainty, when engaged in the effort to suppress all experience of uncertainty, in order to affirm a fundamentalist ideology. That’s my experience, and I suspect it’s shared by many.”

Nicely put. Herbert Gunther notes that Tibetan Buddhism moves in a direction from reductionism to creativity: they slice and dice the monk’s psychology into so many pieces, and demand self-observation and labeling, that even a hardcore four-brained Gurdjieffian would wince, while simultaneously (in some schools you get this later) preaching that the true human spark is a unitive something that doesn’t really behave like a substance of any sort, so of course it cannot be analyzed. Both are true, as they used to say.

I don’t understand why some people, like me, need to go through a rather unpleasant period of reductionistic, or even fundamentalist, training, before getting the a-ha. And of course some people never get the a-ha, or get it and lose it. Others don’t think there is an a-ha.

walter.tanner@gmail.com

196. nigel harris price - March 11, 2009

192

Maybe, as a mandala, one only needs a ‘workable circle of friends’. Forget a Fraudulent Fellowship of Freuds (psychological mind-tangling).

There is also another World Symbol – The Tree. It is symbolically visualised in Celtic Weave patterns and derives from the Nordic ‘Igdrassill’. It denotes the fact that there is no death or, rather that death is an illusion or, as Brahms composed, “Tod und Verklarung” (Death and Transformation).

Many bloggers have posted about the ‘finality idea’ of Judaeo-Christian doctrines and sects. When are we going to come to the realisation that everything IS and BECOMES? Beginningless and Endlessness. Nothing and no-one dies.

…..Nigel.

197. in2it - March 12, 2009

195. “I’ve been making the long argument over these many blogs that what the Fellowship taught for its first 30 years or so was the legitimate, dyed-canary Gurdjieff method. Some people’s hatred of Burton is so strong that they refuse to see that he is quite in the line of authoritarian gurus like Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Our search for the miraculous was not hijacked by Burton; it was the very search itself that required such a guide or leader.”

Apparently you’re not alone in thinking this way. However, this isn’t an unusual attitude for many former cult members in other cults as well, who would much rather see their years in the cult as being a sign of their intelligence rather than a sign of their weakness and lack of intelligence. It’s compartmentalized thinking. It’s denial.

Using the expression “hatred for Burton” is a straw man. People see the man as being mentally ill, and they hate the harm that he’s causing, and they hate the lies.

I do agree that our “search for the miraculous was not hijacked by Burton.” But if we did find anything miraculous in the FOF, we found it in spite of this man, not because of him. And we were also exposed to a serious illness, or illnesses by joining this cult. And keep in mind that many illnesses are contagious — the work language, the secrecy, the attitudes about the world, the feeling of entitlement, the lack of compassion or concern for people outside the group, and even a lack of compassion or concern for people inside the group who bear more than others because of the madness.

198. brucelevy - March 12, 2009

I don’t know how many here know the Pastor Fred Phelps and his sicko crew. He’s the guy who pickets soldier’s funerals etc. and complains about our “fag nation”. He’s never stopped protesting….until he protested at Alpha Delta Phi at the University of Chicago (Obama’s school) and the frat boys shut him down.

199. elena - March 12, 2009

Home,
With my self
And you!
What joy!

Would I not fight with my peers
Nothing would be left when we die!
Nothing to take or leave,
to live or die
Like with brothers and sisters,
we struggle and die.

This tangled web
Of the heart and mind
Is sour
Soul bread and butter,
That I gratefully take.

Forgive me,
Forgive me
Forgive me
Forgive your self
if you can’t forgive me!

Forgive me for this frantic mind that made you sick
For this illness that made me sick
For this mouth without self,
For this blind heart.

Forgive your self
for looking for perfection where there is none
where ashamed I still stand
perfectly perfectlessly
and alive.

I beg for forgiveness
For giving is blessed enough
Not for my self
But for us,
Where I am.

200. James Mclemore - March 12, 2009

Bruce –

Yes, I have been aware of Mr Phelps for some time. What a tragic sort of ignorance, especially when you see those small children that they have with them.

If you have not already seen it Bruce, I think you will like this one.

201. brucelevy - March 12, 2009

199. James Mclemore

I love it.

202. Yesri Baba - March 12, 2009

“Reverend, I just took a 31/2 hr. shit and when I looked in the bowl before I flushed I remembered I was going to call you…”

Thanx for getting my blood boiling James

(just warmin’ up)

203. lauralupa - March 12, 2009

Elena, thanks for the poem
Namaste

204. Yesri Baba - March 12, 2009

FOF members in 3rd STATE

205. lauralupa - March 12, 2009

James, nice to have you back… man, that Fred Phelps, what a humorless unbearable douchebag!

206. James Mclemore - March 12, 2009

re: Yesri baba’s link to the Mormon/HBO article at 194 or thereabouts……

“But the attention may also raise fears among church leaders that Mormons will become a target for ridicule or persecution because the details of the sacred temple ceremony will seem strange to non-Mormons.”
***
I thought this statement was very telling somehow. It seemed like this idea itself should just shoot red flags up in the air for anyone whether they are a member of some cult or not.

“the details of the sacred temple ceremony will seem strange to non-Mormons.”

I realize that we can be very different culturally, but other than that, if something looks strange, it is most likely because it is strange.

Easy to see the ‘fof’ians thinking that the details of their meetings about the 40 wordless breaths, and counting fingers, toes, and animal droppings, while Leonardo Da Vinci circles the room, and they await the next of their sexual predator leader’s bizarre predictions to not happen, would seem strange to non-FoFians.

207. lauralupa - March 12, 2009

Yessree… nice example of the joys of false certitudes instilled by braiwashing

208. James Mclemore - March 12, 2009

Yesri & lauralupa

Yes, Fred Phelps seems to break new ground. It is difficult to somehow take in someone being quite that stupid and filled with hate.

209. James Mclemore - March 12, 2009

Elena

Just catching up (from the bottom up) after playing the guitar for a while. Just read your poem.
That is powerful stuff.
Love to you Elena. Love to all of us, as we continue. (and I don’t mean the blog)
I am reminded of an old line from “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rilke. I will have to paraphrase it as I no longer have it written anywhere.
‘perhaps all the dragons of our lives, are actually princes and princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave’

210. nigel harris price - March 12, 2009

208 James McLemore

“Hearts are not had as gifts, but hearts are earned,
By those who are not entirely beautiful.”

(W B Yeats)

211. James Mclemore - March 12, 2009

Thanks Nigel

Never heard that before. It is beautiful.

212. Yesri Baba - March 12, 2009

208 James Mclemore

‘perhaps all the dragons of our lives, are actually princes and princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave’

That sounds like the true story of the Fires of Fear and Hate, and of the Kingdom.

213. nigel harris price - March 12, 2009

210 James Mclemore

I was actually introduced to Yeats’s work by a fellow patient in ‘the loony bin’, the first time I was admitted for hypo-mania, way back in 1992. The patient, Saomsabh Padroaig Farley, an Ulsterman from Belfast, had a quiet pride in his countryman’s poetry and was able to describe the reasons for the poet’s various writings. Looking back, I wondered why there was a dramatic leaving of the FOF for me and now realize it was ‘stop’ on the scale of my life. Since then there have been many false restarts and admissions to the ‘asylum’ up to this time of quiet certainty. Being slowed down from the ‘driven insanity’ of work in the FOF takes time in itself and reminds me of a quote from R Collin – “More fear, less time; less fear, more time.”

In terms of our life’s work, which should continue for all of us –

“The liffe so shorte, the crafte so longe to lerne” (John Donne)

214. Mick Danger - March 12, 2009

Damn that C-Influence. More “School” Shootings. They’re a wiley bunch to be sure, but not without their sense of humor.
Jeez Bobby, it’s probably not a good idea to have so many guns & psychos hanging around.
Don’t forget to lock the doors.

215. fofblogmoderator - March 12, 2009

197 is newly moderated

216. elena - March 12, 2009

Thanks Laura, James
Here is one for you

Calice

Pai, Father, keep that challis away from me
Even quiet, the mouth remains open
There is no silence in the city
What’s the use of being Son of a Saint
Better to be son of another
Of another less dead reality
So much lying
So much brute force
It is so difficult to remain silent

I want to give an inhuman scream
Which is a way of being heard
The silence bewilders me
Bewildered I remain alert.

Chico Buarque de Holanda

Rough translation missing some sentences from the Portuguese.

As I move on, one of the realizations I am coming to is that what prompts the tendency to rely on authorities is the ingrained mechanism of having had to submit to parents, teachers and others throughout life. I’ve been observing that as I listen to the teacher in courses I’m taking. The tendency during class is to have the teacher carry the load. What ever he or she’s saying, people, including my self, tend to sleep on her words and let her carry the moment. It is such passive listening that I’m literally not there, which is why she has to repeat the same thing two or three times before people get it. Being identified with authority seems to have that effect. One looks with emotional surrender but can’t hear the message being stated. Authorities identified with their authority and the pattern of interchange in which the authority is speaking to the “non-authorities”, feeds that pattern from kinder-garden on.

One aspect is the subject that is being shared and another the human relationship that is being established or rather the inhuman relation that is being imposed. It also works vice-versa when people won’t even listen to those who they perceive as less of an authority than them selves. The Phalluship had a master’s degree in this technique with Robert not even allowing people to speak but that pattern is out everywhere in regular society.

I would like to ask how Americans experienced this. Since equality amongst people is so much more practical in American society, how did Americans come to submit to Robert as much as everybody else?

How do individuals incarnate the spirit of their nation?

If the spirit of America is individual freedom, how can America constitutionally support Cults in which submission is the main issue?

Perhaps it is all necessary so that the individual knows where he stops as an individual and proceeds as a human being.

Cults here are flourishing as strongly as in America so it is not an American phenomenon but the causes for falling in that trap vary considerably. Young virgins are being sacrificed in cults. Evil is less “civilized” than in America.

217. brucelevy - March 12, 2009

197. in2it

Yes, I agree.

218. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 12, 2009

197 and 217: I agree too. A hard pill to swallow but true, and after this acknowledgment to oneself moving on becomes a lot easier.

219. Anna - March 12, 2009

Hello Elena,

Connected to your thoughts on authorities in 216, I can’t recommend ‘The Guru Papers… Masks of Authoritarian Power’ enough. If you haven’t read it please do. It’s turned a lot of my notions about everything on their head. I was especially shocked (in a good way) by the chapter on ‘unconditional love’.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts…

Anna

220. nigel harris price - March 12, 2009

Remember how some bloggers posted some time ago about mind and body – how everything in the FOF was work against the body and was mind-contortions? I had an interesting experience this evening. I had only one student attending my class this evening – a Solar-Saturn-Mars, probably centred in the moving part of the King of Clubs (she’ also a Taurean). Her work in jewellery is with quiet certainty and she produces some marvellous creations. Her profession as a holistic therapist and healer means that she listens and ‘teaches/heals’ with her body. I normally do not allow myself intimate contact with my students, but I was describing my aches and pains in my back due to mental strain and she touched two points – one near my spine and one under my scapula. Such positve energy! Real, natural magic! She actually said that she could heal the whole world if it wanted it. I don’t think she was being vain…..Nigel.

221. ton - March 12, 2009

nigel,
from your/her description,
‘sounds’ like
love…
healing ‘the whole world’ that is….

222. Walter J. Tanner - March 12, 2009

Nigel, right on…”energy-working” is a social process, and I’m sure you’re highly attuned to it! Post-FOF, I got absorbed by the meme of Reiki, also MAP (from the Findhorne-fold), that really straightened me out about the “scarcity” of Influence C. God bless the Scots (I’m full-blood Scots-Irish, as they call it here, Galloways and Gillespies).

I cannot disagree with any of in2it’s post at 197, I just disagree in tone, of course, something I will discourse upon tomorrow if the kairos comes!

walter.tanner@gmail.com

223. Tatyana - March 12, 2009

The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power
by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad

The following quotes are taken from Part One of the Guru Papers
and are deemed by ex-members to be strikingly accurate in describing
the dynamics of a cult guru.

“Gurus can arouse intense emotions as there is extraordinary
passion in surrendering to what one perceives as a living God.”
(p.33)

“In ‘spiritual’ realms fear and desire can become
as extreme as they get. When a living person becomes the focus
of such emotions, the possibility of manipulation is correspondingly
extreme.” (p.41)

“So although most gurus preach detachment, disciples become
attached to having the guru as their center, whereas the guru
becomes attached to having the power of being others’ center.”
(p.50)

By holding gurus as perfect and thus beyond ordinary explanations,
their presumed specialness can be used to justify anything. Some
deeper, occult reason can always be ascribed to anything a guru
does: The guru is said to take on the karma of others, and that
is why his body has whatever problems it has. The guru is obese
or unhealthy because he is too kind to turn down offerings: besides,
he gives so much that a little excess is understandable. He punishes
those who disobey him not out of anger but out of necessity, as
a good father would. He uses sex to teach about energy and detachment.
He lives an opulent life to break people’s simplistic preconceptions
of what ego-loss should look like; it also shows how detached
and unconcerned he is about what others think. For after all,
‘Once enlightened, one can do anything.’ Believing
this dictum makes any action justifiable.

People justify and rationalize in gurus what in others would
be considered unacceptable because they have a huge emotional
investment in believing their guru is both pure and right.”
(p.52)

“That interest in one’s own salvation is totally
self-centered is a conundrum rarely explored.” (p.54)

“So disciples believe they are loved unconditionally, even
though this love is conditional on continued surrender. Disciples
in the throes of surrender feel they have given up their past,
and do not, consciously at least, fear the future. . . Feeling
totally cared for and accepted, at the universe’s center,
powerful, and seemingly unafraid of the future are all achieved
at the price of giving one’s power to another, thus remaining
essentially a child.” (p56)

“It is not at all unusual to be in an authoritarian relationship
and not know it. In fact, knowing it can interfere with surrender.
Any of the following are strong indications of belonging to an
authoritarian group:

1. No deviation from the party line is allowed. Anyone who has
thoughts or feelings contrary to the accepted perspective is made
to feel wrong or bad for having them.

2. Whatever the authority does is regarded as perfect or right.
Thus behaviors that would be questioned in others are made to
seem different and proper.

3. One trusts that the leader or others in the group know what’s
best.

4. It is difficult to communicate with anyone not in the group.

5. One finds oneself defending actions of the leader (or other
members) without having firsthand knowledge of what occurred.

6. At times one is confused and fearful without knowing why. This
is a sign that doubts are being repressed.” (p.57)

“The power of conversion experiences lies in the psychological
shift from confusion to certainty.” (p.65)

“People whose power is based on the surrender of others
develop a repertoire of techniques for deflecting and undermining
anything that questions or challenges their status, behavior,
or beliefs. They ridicule or try to confuse people who ask challenging
questions.” (p.66)

“Is experiencing intense energy a sign of spirituality,
or is the experience in the same vein as young ladies who swoon
in the presence of rock stars?” (p.68)

“To be thought enlightened, one must appear not only certain
that one is, but certain about most everything else, too.”
(p.70)

“Gurus undercut reason as a path to understanding. When
they do allow discursive inquiry, they often place the highest
value on paradox. Paradox easily lends itself to mental manipulation.
No matter what position you take, you are always shown to be missing
the point; the point being that the guru knows something you do
not.” (p.74)

“As long as the guru still sees the possibility of realizing
his ambitions, the way he exercises power is through rewarding
the enthusiasms of his followers with praise and positions in
his hierarchy. He also whets and manipulates desire by offering
‘carrots,’ and promising that through him the disciples’
desires will be realized, possibly even in this lifetime. The
group itself becomes an echo of the guru, with the members filling
each other’s needs. Within the community there is a sense
of both intimacy and potency, and a celebratory, party-like atmosphere
often reigns. Everything seems perfect; everyone is moving along
the appropriate spiritual path. The guru is relatively accessible,
charming, even fun. All dreams are realizable-even wonderful possibilities
beyond one’s ken.” (p.78)

“A particular form of seduction that the group participates
in with those flirting with joining is similar to sexual conquest.
The group pours an enormous amount of focused energy and attention
into potential recruits until they surrender to the group’s
authority, which of course has the guru and his belief system
at its center. When someone does surrender, everyone celebrates
the new bonding. This is a bit like a new marriage, and for the
recruit, it is the honeymoon phase. This lasts as long as it does,
and then the focus of the group shifts elsewhere. (This also happens
in romantic love, for after the conquest the wooer’s interest
and focus often move somewhere else.) When the honeymoon is over,
the new converts must shift roles – from being the wooed
to being the wooer.” (p.79)

“But a cult in decline has more trouble selling itself.
. . Members and the guru become withdrawn and the focus gets more
internal, insular, and isolating. . . The fun is over. The rewards
are now put into the distant future (including future lives) and
are achievable only through hard work. This not only keeps disciples
busy and distracted, but it is necessary because the flow of resources
that came with expansion has greatly diminished. This glorification
of work always involves improving the leader’s property
(the commune or ashram), increasing his wealth, or some other
grandiose project.” (p82)

“People are especially vulnerable to charismatic leaders
during times of crisis or major life change.” (p.87)

“People don’t want a second-rate guru; they want the
one who seems the best. Since purity is the standard measurement
– the gold or Greenwich meridian time of the guru world
– each guru has to claim the most superlative traits. This
is naturally a breeding ground for hypocrisy, lies, and the cultivation
of false images of purity. Gurus are thus forced to assume the
role of the highest, best, the most enlightened, the most loving,
the most selfless, the purest representative of the most profound
truths; for if they did not, people would go to one who does.
Consequently, it is largely impossible for a guru to permit himself
real intimacy, which in adults requires a context of equality.
All his relationships must be hierarchical, since that is the
foundation of his attraction and power.” (p.88)

“Since adulation from any one person eventually becomes
boring, gurus do not need any specific disciple – they need
lots of them. Gurus do give special attention to those with wealth
and power.” (p.89)

“Gurus, like fathers, are in a context that gives them enormous
power because of their disciples’ needs, trust, and dependency.
One reason incest is a betrayal of trust is what a daughter needs
from her father is a sense of self-worth not specifically linked
to her sexuality. Sex with the guru is similarly incestuous because
a guru ostensibly functions as a spiritual father to whom one’s
growth is entrusted. Having sex with a parental figure reinforces
using sex for power. This is not what young women (or men) need
for their development. When the guru drops them, which eventually
he does, feelings of shame and betrayal usually result that leave
deep scars.” (p.94)

“Fostering promiscuity, impersonal sex, and interchangeable
sexual partners accomplishes the same agenda as celibacy. It trivializes
sexual attraction and undermines coupling. Casual, disconnected,
modular sex eventually leaves people satiated, jaded, and often
hurt. They become fearful of forming deep relationships, which
fits neatly into the guru’s need to have disciples detached
from everything but him.” (p.99)

“A primary goal in therapy is to free clients from their
need to transfer unresolved issues onto others. This need makes
people particularly susceptible to authoritarian control. Good
therapists aim at being very conscious of how they deal with transference.

Because of the nature of the relationship which demands total
surrender, gurus do exactly the opposite. They cultivate and reward
transference, for a parental type of authority is at the very
core of the guru’s power over disciples. The power to name,
arrange marriages, and dictate duties and behavior are ultimates
in parental authority, especially in traditional societies like
the East. To give someone the power to name or marry you is to
profoundly accept their parental role in defining who you are.
The ostensible motivation behind this has to do with an attempt
to break the ties of the past so the person can become ‘new.’
A deeper reason is that this aids the guru in becoming the center
of the person’s emotional life, which facilitates surrender.”
(p.105)

“As long as people have unlivable ideals, they are manipulable.”
(p.156)

224. ton - March 12, 2009

along with ‘the guru papers,’ this oft quoted source (here) reveals much about the canker at the core of the fof… for those who care to do a bit of ‘homework,’ read hervey cleckley’s ‘masks of sanity’ :

http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath.htm

225. elena - March 13, 2009

Tatyana, Thank you for transcribing those notes. I was really wanting to look at it and didn’t think I could get hold of the book for a long time. I had also already started to miss your posts! So good you’re all here!

One day the words will turn to smiles and a knowing of each other… somewhere!

226. ton - March 13, 2009

james & bruce,
re: the bullshit of religion
sans commentary of that douche bag fred phelps:

227. lauralupa - March 13, 2009

I am just back from an Animal Collective concert…
third state? absofuckinglutely
in fact, I am still so high that at two in the morning that I can’t go to sleep and am poking here to send you all some good vibes and musical blessings

There isn’t much that I feel I need
A solid soul and the blood I bleed
With a little girl, and by my spouse
I only want a proper house

I don’t care for fancy things
Or to take part in the vicious race
But to provide, for one who asks,
I will, with heart, on my father’s grave

I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things like a social status
I just want four walls and adobe slabs for my girls

228. brucelevy - March 13, 2009

223. Tatyana

Thanks. It’s been so long since I read it. It’s still jarring.

Worth repeating:

““Gurus, like fathers, are in a context that gives them enormous
power because of their disciples’ needs, trust, and dependency.
One reason incest is a betrayal of trust is what a daughter needs
from her father is a sense of self-worth not specifically linked
to her sexuality. Sex with the guru is similarly incestuous because
a guru ostensibly functions as a spiritual father to whom one’s
growth is entrusted. Having sex with a parental figure reinforces
using sex for power. This is not what young women (or men) need
for their development. When the guru drops them, which eventually
he does, feelings of shame and betrayal usually result that leave
deep scars.”

229. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 13, 2009

said by someone with addiction problems. I thought it was rather profound.

‘I need to live my life into a better way of thinking; not think my way into a better way of living.’

230. elena - March 13, 2009

“Gurus undercut reason as a path to understanding. When
they do allow discursive inquiry, they often place the highest
value on paradox. Paradox easily lends itself to mental manipulation.
No matter what position you take, you are always shown to be missing the point; the point being that the guru knows something you do not.” (p.74)

This reminds me of the period in which it became mandatory to not question Robert or in fact anything or anyone so as to keep the “state” but by state they meant not the state of the people involved but the established status quo of “everything is perfect” or as my aunt use to say with her great smile when she was perfectly drunk: “everything is under control”!!!!

“Likeable,” “Charming,” “Intelligent,” “Alert,” “Impressive,” “Confidence-inspiring,” and “A great success with the ladies”: These are the sorts of descriptions repeatedly used by Cleckley in his famous case-studies of psychopaths.

This reminds me of T.V. heroes. Maybe our modern psychopaths are all those poor souls that understood that if they were to be loved by anyone they had to adopt all those characteristics from T.V. heroes a la 007 who never have a wife because she always gets shot before he can commit him self, never expresses any negative emotions but kills every body without feelings and is always Likeable,” “Charming,” “Intelligent,” “Alert,” “Impressive,” “Confidence-inspiring,” and “A great success with the ladies”!

It is also the imaginary picture of people with money who give shit about everybody else even if they give a million dollars to the poor in Afghanistan.

The Mask of Sanity connects with the other aspect in which the psychopath seems to copy or incarnate the same indifference that society has for its weakest people: children and elders who, particularly in the civilized world have been sent to kinder-gardens earlier each generation and to old peoples homes probably younger and less disabled each generation!

These, which become norm and accepted attitudes by whole communities, might unconsciously become established characteristics of developing human beings in their childhood. The children with these characteristics never know that there is anything wrong with them since between being brought up in front of a television and not having anyone to care for them or their elders, it might actually become very easy to adopt these attitudes and values as “ideal”. In fact psychopaths just seem extreme versions of most people I know inside and outside the Fellowship, including my self.

I was reading earlier today about the German boy who shot sixteen people then committed suicide, yesterday. His words were, paraphrasing: “I hate this life, no one understands my worth”. When people get to a place in which they feel they have no one to connect to, it is just a step from killing others or themselves but those that kill others are essentially different to those who kill themselves even if the charge is the same. Real communities are needed, not just functional money making cities.

To music!

231. Mick Danger - March 13, 2009

Just as the darkness proves the light, of course there are real gurus.

“If you think of me, these orders will go easy for you. Yoga means control, which is more difficult than cutting off your arms and giving up your eye! When Christ said give your other cheek to be slapped, it means control. But the world thinks that if you get slapped and don’t get excited, you are either a coward or shameless. Innocent and fair criticism does not hurt and is good, but it is quite rare. What I mean by talking ill of others is when you criticize and it hurts; it hurts when you criticize excitedly, out of anger. When you criticize with love and kindness, how can it hurt?
Guatama Buddha gave twelve orders to his circle members, the first of which was to guard against looking at a woman. He meant for none of his disciples to risk being enveloped in lust in the slightest, and to be saved by not even looking at any woman. He knew that this would give rise to one weakness in his disciples – of always being nervous when in the company of women – but Buddha knew that this weakness was better than the risk.
Any remark or criticism that does not hurt is good. Have fun, joke, humor, but do not hurt anyone and talk back. If you point out the shortcomings of others lovingly, without any feeling of hate or animosity, it is all right. Even arguing with love is permitted. Try your utmost to help me, which you can do by acting according to my wish. Sacrifice your sweet habit of hurting others. Fight to overcome lust, anger and greed. To control is not to do that which you have been used to doing.”
-Lord Meher Vol. 7

232. Kid Shelleen - March 13, 2009

“That interest in one’s own salvation is totally
self-centered is a conundrum rarely explored.”

This is the ONE! It’s the question that I’ve wrestled with for years. It is the very conundrum which makes me think that awakening is a joke. It is the concept that makes me scoff when folks talk about destroying their egos or defeating their lower selves. And yet, it’s funny that I would not have come to this place if it weren’t for trying. I think that may be the great cosmic joke.

233. elena - March 13, 2009

If he can’t convince anybody with that evidence, what makes you think you could? What was different about him was that he was not afraid to see what he looked at. Most people are so afraid to see what they are looking at that they refuse to believe it. No matter what you show them, they won’t see it.

From Orgonomy discussion, readapted.

234. elena - March 13, 2009

I meant James Bond and the like, not 007 who was a lot sillier and fun.

235. nigel harris price - March 13, 2009

I realize I am no ‘guru figure’ in my teaching of jewellery and allied arts. All my students contribute and learn of themselves and not to some rigorous dicipline which makes them dependent on me. Many of my students have delved into parts of the trade that I have not gone into, by signing up for courses to learn about those things I do not cover. This type of teaching would be unheard of in the FOF – “REB is right and proper, he has the only answers to your life’s questions.” Yea, right!…..Nigel.

236. Another Name - March 13, 2009

Thanks Mick Danger, When I read your post I think of J, the person I shared a special Saturday evening full of craziness and a Sunday afternoon in the sun….?

I repeat this aprt again as I loveeeee it.

Any remark or criticism that does not hurt is good. Have fun, joke, humor, but do not hurt anyone and talk back. If you point out the shortcomings of others lovingly, without any feeling of hate or animosity, it is all right. Even arguing with love is permitted. Try your utmost to help me, which you can do by acting according to my wish. Sacrifice your sweet habit of hurting others. Fight to overcome lust, anger and greed. To control is not to do that which you have been used to doing.”
-Lord Meher Vol. 7

And for KID

That interest in one’s own salvation is totally
self-centered is a conundrum rarely explored.”

Yes I have found to not think of myself and look in other people eyes when tehy have a hard time is like a melting of something inside of me….a softening.. Call it Mechanical goodness or whatever…it works for me……often. Sometimes I move out of the way when repition appears. Same dynamic over and over without a change, growth, new inside.

Hope the above is clear to all of you. If not enjoy the sun and the sky and yourself.

237. nigel harris price - March 13, 2009

Some old adage –

“There was a man, they called him mad;
The more he gave, the more he had.”

I believe the more we give to others, in all areas of life, the more the Universe helps us in our aims, and our Self is stengthened for more TRULY charitable works (not ‘charitable-tax-deductable-donations’ to some sexually and materialistically vociferous ‘fake conscious being)…..Nigel.

238. Yesri Baba - March 13, 2009

232 Kid

Yeah, it is an absurd conundrum. It only exists because of absurd imaginary crap we believed such as becoming a ‘conscious being’ and individual awakening. It is not awakening of the individual but from the individual and the individual is just fine.

The only salvation is from our own ‘mind forged manacles’ of ignorance and delusion into who and what we already are.

Now, if you will ‘scuse me I gots to go check out the babes.

239. nigel harris price - March 13, 2009

Did anyone read the Fellowship Forum when it was in circulation? There were opinions and travel reviews a-plenty and, most usually, a ‘rambling formatory discourse’ from GH. One of these was on the subject of SUFFERING. Wouln’t you believe it, he went for one of the olden-day definitions that suffering was translatable as ‘allowing’ (“Suffer the little children to come unto me” – Christ). You could also ‘point the finger’ at REB and GH (who share a common feature of dominance) and say that when ‘shit happened’ to students, it was OK to “Allow people to suffer”.

To put words in REB’s mouth – “If you love them, watch them squirm!”

…..Nigel.

240. nigel harris price - March 13, 2009

Royal College of Art……….where I am helping one of my students apply to, so that he can have the ‘proper grounding’ and ‘awards’ to become a fully self-employed artist/craftsman……….

Tel: (44) 207 590 44 44
Fax: (just the fact ma’am) (44) 207 590 45 00

“I’s (eyes) right! Dear God (now), how high the Price!” variation on REB

…..Nigel.

241. nigel harris price - March 13, 2009

For anyone interested in what I was trying to post, go on Google ‘Royal College of Art/Welcome and check their contact telephone and fax numbers. A bit Goddy, my gosh!…..Nigel.

242. elena - March 13, 2009

So many differences and no aim.

Luck never came easy.

243. Renald - March 13, 2009

Without aDDICTIONS WE WOULD ALL BE IN A COMA AT BEST.

Without addictions we would all be in a coma, at best.

There is no such thing as luck, good or bad. Anyone who thinks there is is in denial.

Cheers!

244. elena - March 14, 2009

Cheers Renald,

Have fun with your self especially if there’s no luck!

245. fofblogmoderator - March 14, 2009

240 is newly moderated

246. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 14, 2009

#243: Huh?

247. ton - March 14, 2009

renald 243,

not to get too personal here but do you care to ‘say’ more about addiction, denial, coma, luck?

may be of some interest and may even pertain….

248. nigel harris price - March 14, 2009

In the movie, “I, Robot”, Will Smith’s character tells the ‘good’ robot…..

“Maybe that is what being free means…..to fulfil your purpose”

…..Nigel.

249. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 15, 2009

Anybody else think Bernie Madoff resembles George Washington?

250. in2it - March 15, 2009

Yes, and for what it’s worth, here’s another striking resemblance. See the photo closest to the top of the page:

http://www.usmbooks.com/hoffmann_antlitz.html

251. Renald - March 15, 2009

247 ton. Sorry, I was just dropping my seeds on fresh ground.
It has all been said a thousand times over the blogging years.
I am easy to find, anyone with specific interests in the above can access me directly through GF. These are huge subjects and I would have to spend days just getting started again. Besides the aim of the blog is to stomp on the Fellowship of Friends or whatever name they choose to hide behind till the cows come home, right?

I end up feeling negative when I stick around it too long. Like somebody else said many times, it`s too near self-flagellation.
I like to contribute a little from time to time with hit and miss jabs when I am bubbling over. Cheers!

252. fofblogmoderator - March 15, 2009

250 is newly moderated

253. Yesri Baba - March 15, 2009

250 in2it

It’s friggin creepy. Look at old news reel footage of Hitler and watch his body language and mannerisms. They are just like the foothill Fuhrer.

254. Yesri Baba - March 15, 2009

He can’t tell you ton it’s a ‘secret’.

The Law of Attraction.

When you’ve got it all and still want more, call us at:

I-888-beabiggerpig

255. lauralupa - March 15, 2009

250 in2it
As part of my graphic design research for school, I have come across a large number of posters depicting variations of the same powerful image and concept: a face whose haughty and heroic traits bear no signs of emotion, gazing into the distance, far away from the spectator, to convey an impression of loneliness and total committment to a superior power.

Has anyone still got that classic Burton photo that used to grace many fof centers and member’s homes? If you can post a link here I would be most grateful.

256. nigel harris price - March 15, 2009

Thought a little Whitman might strengthen our spirits…..

Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

(Song of the Open Road)

He puts things in their attitudes,
He puts to-day out of himself with plasticity and love,
He places his own times, reminiscences, parents, brothers and sisters, associations, employment, politics, so that the rest never shame them afterwards, nor assume to command them.

He is the Answerer,
What can be answer’d he answers, and what cannot be answer’d he shows how it cannot be answer’d.
A man is a summons and challenge,
(It is vain to skulk – do you hear that mocking and laughter? Do you hear the ironical echoes?)

(Song of the Answerer)

Whoever he looks at in the traveler’s coffee-house claims him,

(Song of the Answerer)

The earth does not argue,
Is not pathetic, has no arrangements,
Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise,
Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures,
Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out,
Of all the powers, objects, states, it notifies, shuts none out.

The earth does not exhibit itself nor refuse to exhibit itself, possesses still underneath,
Underneath the ostensible sounds, the august chorus of heroes, the wail of slaves,
Persuasions of lovers, curses, gasps of the dying, laughter of young people,accents of bargainers,
Underneath these possessing words that never fail.
(Song of the Rolling Earth)
Give me the pay I have served for,
Give me to sing the songs of the great Idea, take all the rest,
I have loved the earth, sun, animals, I have despised riches,
I have given alms to everyone that ask’d, stood up for the stupid and crazy, devoted my income and labor to others,
Hated tyrants, argued not concerning God, had patience and indulgence toward the people, taken my hat off to nothing known or unknown,
Gone freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young, and with the mothers of families,
Read these leaves to myself in the open air, tried them by trees, stars, rivers,
Dismiss’d whatever insulted my own soul or defiled my body,
Claim’d nothing to myself which I have not carefully claim’d for others on the same terms,

(By Blue Ontario’s Shore)

Charity and personal force are the only investments worth anything.

(Song of Prudence)

257. elena - March 15, 2009

All struggle is meant to lead to understanding and the lesson is rich: Ideals, human ideals, have the ability to focus and restrain the individual for the sake of the community, restrain and channel them. Without focus, the individual grows like thicket and there is no relation to the whole. As long as “individualism” continues to be the consciousness of the people involved in no matter what enterprise, the project turns against them selves, sooner or later.

The Fellowship of Friends is a shrine to individualism: the members adore with blind passion the individuality of Robert Burton and work for him like bees for the queen bee. The pattern of community is perfectly resolved but it incarnates animal characteristics far from the human sphere, in which no one but the queen bee is not “disposable”. It is exactly upside down and backwards to the ideal of human evolution in which the individual works consciously for the well being of the whole, independent of a king or a government, a parent or any authority other than his or her own self. The individual is capable of becoming the authority over his own personal drives and sacrifice them for the well being of the whole. He or she, is also able to submit to the authority of the whole, for the well being of the whole, not, like today, to the authority of a few for the well being of a few.

Increasingly more democratic forms of government haven’t, accidentally replaced the traditional role of authority of the king or the dictator, but the consciousness of the individual towards the whole is far from being in command. Even the government adopts kingly or dictatorial forms in most countries, protecting the few over the many, appropriating goods that belong to the whole in the hands of the few.
Cults, like dictatorships, seem to be retrograde attempts to hold on to the old conditions without the understanding of them in the past or the present, maintaining a stale form of authority that involutes those who participate in it, rather than help them evolve into greater consciousness of them selves as individuals or human beings. The individual of our times is born with the motto: “c’est la vie” in which you can feel the submission to the status quo, without questioning or struggle. The soft comfort of a life of submission but more or less viable independence is enough no matter how many others get trampled on, is the attitude. Communism did not resolve the human dilemma because the government incarnated the king-dictator and was unable to make the psychological transition from the authority of a ruler to the authority of each individual but the necessity for real communities in which humanity can consciously embrace itself, continues to be the ideal worth struggling for.

The superpower of the invisible authority in which mankind lives today imposes a condition of impotence in the individuals who, overwhelmed by the indirectness of life through mass media, cannot grasp the imaginary world that is presented through television, radio or press. The dimensions of “life” are beyond the individual comprehension that does not have the consciousness to connect “that reality” with his immediate reality. There is a great void between the individual’s life and social life or the whole of society and it’s in that void in which people get lost looking for mini-societies in which to exist: cults are another form of escapism, like drugs. Unfortunately, they carry within them selves the same structured pattern of helplessness and hopelessness and the members give in to gurus with the same impotence with which they gave in to life, to society, to the culture that they belonged to in which they disappeared in the mass of nobodies working not for them selves but for a few at the top of the economic and political hierarchy. The problem is not only the political and economic power of a few but also the imaginary psychological impotence of the many. Practical life moulds the individual and it moulds the masses of people to conceive them selves as inferior to others in power. The individual thrives in societies in which there is no regard for the people but that pattern structures those same people to submit to the point in which mass suicide is finally the only answer. That is what we have in cults. Even bees are less destruct full and die for the well-being of the hive but don’t commit suicide.

Teenagers killing masses of indiscriminate victims are the protest of a generation that seeing the process still in their youth incarnate the act without the willingness to go through with the process. They follow the plot without staging the play. Suicide is the recognition of helplessness and hopelessness, the acknowledgement of failure, the unwillingness to struggle, the renunciation to the whole because there is no perception of the holiness. The individual cannot exist on his own and when he stops “perceiving” the whole he willingly sacrifices him self. “Work” binds the individual to society but the lack of meaningful work for both the individual and society, disconnects them both from their sense of worth. Doing “jobs” to make one or a few overwhelmingly rich while the majority survives, deplete the sense of worth of the individual and take away the possibility of Culture from the society. Cults are an ideal micro-cosmos of human societies today in which to observe this process.

258. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 15, 2009

257: Elena, I believe you’re speaking about cooperation versus competition, which seems to be a global lesson right now.

259. nigel harris price - March 15, 2009

257 elena

May I, without wishing to be condescending, congratulate you on.the clarity of that post. It seems you have reached a new level in blog dialogue, where there is neutrality of position of view but a feeling of also being to-the-point. Love you lots for your courage to continue…..Nigel.

260. nigel harris price - March 15, 2009

Walt Whitman said (in relation to 259)…..

“All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
What is there less or more than a touch?

Logic and sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.

Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
Only what nobody denies is so.”

261. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 15, 2009

I’ve been thinking about the Law of Attraction lately since I enjoy the idea so much. Friday I was out of my car delivering baked goods (my new job creation since the great depression). Anyway, I was out of my car and a little old man across the parking lot started backing into (ME). He pinned me into my car. I let out a curdling scream for him to stop, which he did, but not until my car was badly dented by the other side of my body.

Okay, how did I attract this? Well, to be honest I was feeling very balanced that day and in a great mood, and remembered the last time I attracted a negative impact on my body (a flying ball) I was also in a great mood. But one thing that was true in both situations is that I was not paying attention. So in both cases a little hypervigilance would have been very helpful, something I’m not very good at.

So when the Law of Attraction is explained in such a superfluous way that if you think good thoughts and have good intentions you get good things back is just naive. Meow!

262. nigel harris price - March 15, 2009

261 wulswu

I know what you mean. When I go ‘hypo-manic’, I lose track of my ‘peripherals’ (what I have in my pockets and what I am carrying) and cannot concentrate on the (physical) task in hand. Being aware of your body connected to surroundings is a ‘must’ at these times…..Nigel.

263. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 15, 2009

#262: ‘Losing track of peripherals’. That’s a great way of putting. Thanks!

264. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - March 15, 2009

That’s a great way of putting it I mean. Thanks.

265. nigel harris price - March 15, 2009

The way I feel about the blogsite at present – less ‘abrasive’ and more contributory…..

“I would have no friend who could not match courtesy and passion…..”

266. elena - March 16, 2009

Having read up to 265.

WULSuzy, that’s a nice, simple way to put it!

Thanks Nigel for your poetry and willingness to share. It’s alright if we are few as long as we can dialogue! It’s also fine to quit: when I have nothing to say or hear I will too. The emotional dependence on the blog is not strong anymore but I am grateful that you saw me through this period of transition. Thank you all.

267. Renald - March 16, 2009

261. Wakeup…

261. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup – March 15, 2009

“ I’ve been thinking about the Law of Attraction lately since I enjoy the idea so much. Friday I was out of my car delivering baked goods (my new job creation since the great depression). Anyway, I was out of my car and a little old man across the parking lot started backing into (ME). He pinned me into my car. I let out a curdling scream for him to stop, which he did, but not until my car was badly dented by the other side of my body.

Okay, how did I attract this? Well, to be honest I was feeling very balanced that day and in a great mood, and remembered the last time I attracted a negative impact on my body (a flying ball) I was also in a great mood. But one thing that was true in both situations is that I was not paying attention. So in both cases a little hypervigilance would have been very helpful, something I’m not very good at.

So when the Law of Attraction is explained in such a superfluous way that if you think good thoughts and have good intentions you get good things back is just naive. Meow!“

Alright then, since you asked and it is specific.
The first point I would like to make is that the buffer of time which exists prior to 99% of all manifestations needs to be understood.
Can you imagine what life would be like without this buffer? Like in I`m at work and the thought of how much I would really love to be sitting on the beach with a margarita in my hand and boom!

Often when a person lets go of stressful or negative thoughts and attitudes and more or less become open, many manifestations which were pre-created and just waiting to come into being, find their way into the open door. This could be things focused upon which were both positive or negative. This is why it is important to lessen the focus time on the things which are not wanted or transform them into the wanted side of the stick. The sooner you focus on how good it was that the car was stopped before much more severe damage could be done, the better. Every time the negative side of the experience is visited for any length of time, the sooner similar manifestations will appear.

Also on the great side of the law is that we are able to change or transform these unwanted creations in the same way that you can cancel your order at a department store with a simple phone call.
Here it is a matter of projecting vibrations which will cancel out their opposites.

I would predict that if you can remember the times of joy which you mentioned above prior to the event, you will have other experiences which were, are, or will be much more fun. Is there something positive which also happened unexpectedly round about the same time?

My thoughts of joy and love are with you. Thank you for the opportunity to feel it. Cheers!

268. nigel harris price - March 16, 2009

265 the quote by W B Yeats, ‘The People’, should read…..

“I would have no friend who could not MIX courtesy and passion…..”

269. elena - March 16, 2009

Thinking about those who take all the credit away from Gurdjieff or Ouspensky because they weren’t saint-like, I wonder how you manage to live with your selves? Or maybe we shouldn’t wonder since we’ve already shown that we managed to live with our selves making a saint out of a narcissistic sociopath and letting him be.

Unfortunately I’ve never read second hand writings about Gurdjieff but while I am sure all the accounts are true, they matter as much as his work, other wise, wouldn’t we have to discard 99% of the people in history, our selves included?

Isn’t the moment in which one acknowledges to one’s self that one is not perfect or even better, that one is tremendously imperfect and can embrace all that imperfection with the full strength of one’s compassion one of the determining turning points in one’s life? Does it not bring that other dimension in which the race for perfection gives way and the patient tolerance of humility takes place with humble pride?

And if looking at one’s self, such dimension of understanding gives ground for patient confrontation with one’s will or rather one’s will gives space for patient confrontation with one’s drives, aren’t we on the battlefield of life?

If one can more accurately tolerate one’s self after looking at the multitude of one’s misgivings, what stops us from practicing the same tolerance with others? Is not discarding Gurdjieff or anybody else for that matter, putting a load of perfection on our selves that we’d be weak to carry? In discarding the whole of his work because he missed the point in his own struggle so many times, would we not be taking the possibility of valuing where he hit the mark, when he did hit it? Do we pull down buildings because the architect was an alcoholic?

The ideal of perfection that mass media has coined is just as crippling to human development as the idea of imperfection that religion has mastered. To be able to make a difference between the fire that a forest ignites for itself when it needs to burn and a pyromaniac that burns thousands of acres for his own pleasure is an option for those who are not afraid of burning and burning where fire is needed.

In our multiple contradictions, when we bring down a man like Gurdjieff because he is too human, aren’t we demanding the infallibility of a saint that we could look up to? A guru, a God, a divine being of which we are not so that he can carry what we are not willing and not finding one, what is so surprising about making them up like we did with Robert Burton? Do we make them up because we are too afraid of seeing our selves with the necessary compassion? Perhaps we live in a time in which each individual must make his own road towards nobility before we can demand sanctity from others. Acknowledging people’s work is already a good step towards acknowledging one’s own efforts. Unfortunately, no one acknowledges anyone until s/he’s had the courage to acknowledge him or her self as she or he is. The act of pointing where others failed without acknowledging where they succeeded, says more about the person pointing than about the person who failed.

In relation to the Fellowship of Friends and other cults, what is being questioned is not it’s multitudinous imperfections. It’s its crimes. Moving from imperfection to crime is a huge step. The fact that the members are so brainwashed that they sincerely believe that what they are doing is not a crime, does not justify allowing the crimes to continue by the subtlety of the excuse. It is precisely because they are convinced that they are doing good, that they are unconsciously but intentionally acting criminally. If the laws cannot see beyond the surface and protect people from these people, who is going to protect the people? Especially the young people who are so prone to falling into its trap?

It’s interesting that the form of life adopted in cults is two scales down into the behaviour of insects like ants and bees. Not even mammal animals adopt such behaviour. Hierarchy amongst mammals does not impose such extremes and the individual animal preserves a role of submission but not of self-sacrifice. It is the leader of the pack who must sacrifice him self in case of danger which is why he is the leader. Not even in bees is the bee required to sacrifice itself, it dies fighting for the hive and the queen bee but never, ever, does it commit suicide which is a pronounced tendency in cults.

270. fofblogmoderator - March 16, 2009

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