Extracts from a Seminar

Extracts from a Seminar

J.G. Bennett
Undated
(Published in The Enneagram #9, January 1977)

This is what really attracted me to Gurdjieff’s teaching years ago: From the beginning, it was plain that this was an account of a mutual need, of a need the spiritual has for the natural that is as great as the natural has for the spiritual. Of course, it is said by mystics that God would not be God without me, but there is something more than this, the awareness that we are a necessary part because we are so created that we can become a necessary part of the word because there is a certain transformation that is only possible for free beings. As one beautiful lecture of Gurdjieff’s’ says; “Even the Almighty with all his love for man cannot give man freedom. Freedom is the only thing that cannot be given; the only thing that we can be given is the possibility of freedom”. When you really reflect on that then many things become clear. It is impossible to give freedom. We try to give it. We do not see this very beautiful truth that is as self-evident as any truth can possibly be, that freedom is the one thing that even God cannot give. A possibility of being is given to us, but we have to earn freedom buy our conscious labor and intentional suffering, freedom is to be gained by serving nature. Therefore, there is a most intimate connection between the spiritual and material worlds. I believe that there are not two worlds but three worlds; I believe that there is a natural world, a supernatural world and the real world, the world that has to be realized.

Do not think of the spiritual world in terms of arriving at something or achieving something or doing anything. It is not like that. It is not easy to be able to divest oneself of the feeling that the transformation that we are in search of is of that kind, of leaving one place and arriving at another. It is not far away that you should go to find this, it is here and now. The people who have been in the presences of the unfathomable all say this kind of thing and we should listen to them. There is finality in birth and death, but why should we suppose that anything comparable exists in the spiritual world?

It is not to the mind, not to the intellectual power that we have to look, but to the heart. What is the instrument? What is it that enables us to be aware of wholeness? The heart does not make wholeness, the heart is not putting things together, and the heart really is not even understanding and knowing about wholeness. What it is able to do is to respond, to allow the wholeness to take possession of it. Then if wholeness takes possession of the heart the mind is able to do its work without making this separation. St. Augustine tried to describe this state, “Love and do what you will”. The meaning is this – allow the wholeness to take possession of you and you will not harm any part of it.

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