Appendix IIThe Great Laws
Ben Bennett, with the assistance of Victor McSurely have made a recorded reading of “Appendix II – The Great Laws”
Here is the link to the audio recording:
You can download the audio file and download the text ,using the link above and below. Read along!
“Our customary way of thinking and talking about the world is in terms of objects and events, both of which are abstractions. Gurdjieff saw the world as the universal process of transformation of energies, regulated by two fundamental laws and various ‘second-grade’ laws arising from their interaction. The two basic realities are relations and transformations. The first are governed by the Law of Threefoldness variously called Triamonia and Triamazikamno and the second by the Law of Sevenfoldness called Eftalogodiksis or Heptaparaparshi- nokh. The interaction of these two laws is represented by the Enneagram symbol and by the Diagram of All Living referred to in Chapter II. It is also noteworthy that Gurdjieff refers in the Purgatory Chapter to a scale of energies of different ‘degrees of vivifyingness’, which is divided into twelve steps or stages. We find on close examination that all the first twelve numbers are associated with various laws or principles of the relationships and the transformations of substances. With the exception of the numbers five, seven and eleven, these are all obtained by combining two and three, as Plato does in his exposition of the Pythagorean doctrine in the Timaeus. Gurdjieff himself ascribes this knowledge to the Masters of Wisdom of Atlantis, again reminiscent of Timaeus. He departs however from the Platonic tradition in his description of Reciprocal Maintenance which has no place in Greek cosmology and did not enter European thinking until Gurdjieff came to the West.
Nevertheless, it must have been known in some form, because we can find traces in the Rosicrucian literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; that is just when the Khwajagān had finished their work in Central Asia and were handing their knowledge on to various Sufi brotherhoods, and probably also to European societies with the same fundamental aim. The Rosicrucian symbol of the pentad which appears in Dr. Fludd’s Systema Universi corresponds exactly to the ‘Diagram of All Living’ and hence to the structure of the Trogoautoegocrat. The same work contains the doctrine of the quintessence and transformation. Every cosmic manifestation has its higher and lower natures, the interaction of which produces the quintessence. This is also Gurdjieff’s teaching expressed in the statement (Beelzebub’s Tales, p. 763) “The Higher blends with the Lower to actualize the Middle”. The pentad symbol is:
By placing the five terms at different levels in the diagram, we indicate the five nodal points. Reading from left to right, we show three kinds of relationships:
- What it is in itself; the quintessence.
- The essence classes from which and to which it evolves.
- How it enters into the Trogoautoegocratic process.
We can illustrate these by reference to man. The quintessence of human nature is consciousness. Man is created a conscious being. He is endowed with the power of choice and because he is a three-brained being, he is ‘made in the image of God’. Nevertheless, consciousness is not his highest attribute. Concealed in his nature is the creative power which God has shared with him: this makes him potentially a demiurgic intelligence. He has also an animal nature from which he has evolved but that still makes it possible for him to live unconsciously by sensation alone. Man is one in his essence and threefold in his nature. All men are aware – some strongly, some dimly – of their creative potential and of their animal instincts, and know that their consciousness forbids them to identify with either. It is much harder for us to see that we feed on the germinal essence, and are destined to become food for the Cosmic Individuality. We will examine this Trogoautoego- cratic relationship for each essence class in turn.” ………
To read more and download the article, please use this link: Appendix II, Gurdjieff : Making a New World