THE SHERBORNE THEME TALKS SERIES – #1 ~THE FIRST LIBERATION; FREEDOM FROM LIKE AND DISLIKE
THE SHERBORNE THEME TALKS SERIES – # 1
“WHEN I WAS A YOUNG MAN, I had a vision that had a very powerful effect on my life. It was shortly before I met Gurdjieff in Constantinople. I saw the world as a four-dimensional sphere with space and time together. And I saw how this world was expanding, how everything was living in it. But then I saw that inside this there was a dark place where what was left behind, what had not kept up, was lost. I saw also a bright place surrounding this which was occupied by beings who had got ahead of the world; who were free from the world.
It was later that I heard from Gurdjieff the notion of accelerated transformation and the difference between those who can keep up with the evolution of the world, and eventually reach completion; and those who do not keep up, who get left behind; and also those who can go ahead. Later, while studying Buddhism, I came across the phrase of the Buddha ”to achieve liberation in this very life”. The words “in this very life” made a strong impression on me. I saw what is called Samsara; sometimes called the wheel of existence; is nothing more than this world where everything is carried along, and it is very difficult to escape from it. It is also difficult to get lost and left behind. One has to do certain unforgivable things in order to get into that dark area behind. But it is also very difficult to get ahead.”
“Subjection to likes and dislikes really makes people’s lives miserable. And some people it makes very miserable. With others it narrows down and constricts their possible responses to the world. In spite of that, there is something in us that clings to these things and which identifies ourselves. When you hear people saying, as if it were a merit, that they do the things that they like and do not do the things that they dislike, or that they know which people they can get along with and which they cannot and how they are able to keep away from people they cannot get along with and consort with the people they can, as if this were a mark of wisdom; what does it mean? It means one’s shutting oneself off to a whole lot of possible experiences. In the ordinary mechanical way of life, we say we will go along with the things we approve of and avoid the things we disapprove of. Like and dislike is a kind of guardian, a kind of warden that keeps us in prison. As long as we are daunted by this, we remain in the prison of our own imagination. When we are bold enough to walk through, we see that the warden has no power to stop us and we can go free.”