Care of the Body


Theme Presentation
November 11, 1971
Sherborne House
J.G. Bennett


“The theme which I propose to you this week is the first striving out of what is called in the Ashiata Shiemash chapter, which is the ‘Being-Obligolnian-Strivings’. “The first striving, to have in their ordinary being existence everything satisfying and really necessary for their planetary body”. What does my body need? This is how Gurdjieff expresses it. The Shivapuri Baba who also had ‘Right Living’ principles which were really very beautiful, and so very simple, spoke of the first discipline, the first requirement of life, is to come to terms with one’s own existence in space and time. To study one’s body, perhaps he exaggerated the importance of everything; how much to sleep, how much to eat, how to breath, how to sneeze, how to move one’s bowels, when and how much and so on.”


“The majority have a sane attitude towards their body, but what you have not got is an established attitude towards your body as the instrument by which you fulfill your obligation, let us say as an incarnated being, three centered being. In the golden verses of Pythagoras, (there is one verse that I am trying to find the English translation for), I will have to translate it as well as I can “above all and in everything, keep the right measure, or keep the mean”. From understanding this precept, and all the precepts of those verses, particularly this one, one should understand that there is no safety in extremes; excessive concern with one’s body is one extreme, excessive indifference to one’s body is another extreme.”


“We exist by means of three kinds of food, corresponding to three different levels in our own nature. The central food of man and all other beings who live on the surface of this planet is the air. For us air is not as it is for two centered beings. The breath that we breathe is the means by which we achieve balance between the different parts. Breathing is one of the delicate regulating mechanisms of the body; one can only adjust it with care and with knowledge…but what we can say is that everyone is able to breathe better than they do. Everyone’s breathing could be fuller and more open, more conscious. The third food for man; that is all that comes to him through his senses that is a constant flow of energy through our organism, through the senses, without this our organism could not maintain itself.”

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