It has often been said that this Work is to make us thing. Mr. Ouspensky used to emphasize that people do not think. They read the newspapers instead or ask their friends what they ought to think or they follow the general consensus of opinion. This lack of individual thinking leads to mass-thinking. Mass-thinking is directed by someone who tells people how to think by broadcasting, by propaganda. On one occasion, when I was talking to Mr. Ouspenky about this, he said that in the past century people used to think for themselves far more than they do nowadays. “People,” he said, “used to think more individually. Today it could be said that people have given up thinking and simply wish to be told what to think. The Work,” he added, “is to make us think for ourselves.” On another ocassion he said that the only way for a man to be awakened nowadays is through his thinking part. “Look at the increasing sleep of humanity,” he added. “It is extraordinary that people give the one thing that is left to then -namely, the power of thinking for themselves. All these books, papers, radios, and so on, prevent people from thinking, but they are supposed to increase thought.”

Maurice Nicoll in Commentaries On The Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspenky Vol III [1945] (Google Books)

 Refuge in the Colonnade by Lawrence OP, on FlickrImage by Lawrence OP on flickr


Humanity can be roughly divided into three sorts of people–those who find comfort in literature, those who find comfort in personal adornment, and those who find comfort in food.

Elizabeth Goudge in The Little White Horse

Emotional intelligence is important, but the unbridled enthusiasm has obscured a dark side. New evidence shows that when people hone their emotional skills, they become better at manipulating others. When you’re good at controlling your own emotions, you can disguise your true feelings. When you know what others are feeling, you can tug at their heartstrings and motivate them to act against their own best interests.
Adam Grant

A social affliction

morning sunlightImage by withrow on Flick

The matter that matters

La Palma (Canary Islands)Jung met Swami Pavitrananda (from a Vendatic Order) and they began a discussion about the main concern of men: sex or espiritual yearning. Can you guess who won?

Let me first start with the Hindu concept of mind, As the story goes, a Western philosopher was once asked, “What is mind?” He replied, “No matter.” He was asked again, What is matter?” And he replied “Never mind”. The implication of what the philosopher said was that mind is not matter. Hindu philosophy emphatically declares that mind is matter — although extremely subtle matter.
Hindu psychology does not see any difference between matter and energy.
Hindus recognize psychic energy, which they considered to be the manifestation of the cosmic energy called Prana, long before Professor Jung felt the need for a concept of psychic energy. The oldest school of religious philosophy, the Sankya school, which is several thousand years old — saw no difference between matter and energy. (Ed: nor later did Einstein!).
Swami Bhaskarananda

One of Jung’s important teachings is that if you can find a way to befriend the Dark Shadow, it will not come out in harmful, cruel, or antisocial ways. To be a whole person does not require that you are only good or perfect; it only requires that you be real.

Al Link in Soul Sex

There is a time for departure
even when there’s no certain place to go.

Tennessee Williams in Camino Real

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