THE SHERBORNE THEME TALKS SERIES – # 3 MATERIAL OBJECTS
THE SHERBORNE THEME TALKS SERIES – # 3
Coombe Springs Press; Copyright© 1977 by the estate of J. G. Bennett
ISBN O 900306 35 1
Sherborne House, Sherborne, Gloucestershire GL54 JDZ, England
©2016 The J.G. Bennett Foundation
“We are trying to wake up from a dream world. This has to be done before we can begin to realize our own destiny. There is a spurious kind of inner life that is dreaming and useless imagination. In front of material objects we can assess our true situation. Do we see them? Do we use them responsibly? Do we have any contact with them? Any freedom of attention to direct towards them and their working in our world? If we are asleep, material objects become our masters. If we are to begin to be awake, we must understand how to be worthy masters of the material world.
In the whole of creation there is a feeling of passivity and of activity. At the top is pure activity, which is God. At the bottom is pure passivity, which is matter. We are somehow at the turning point where transformation toward pure activity is possible, as well as escape from inertia. It is equally possible for us to descend further and further into inert and passive states. In this lowest state of inertia and passivity, there is no individualized transformation, only transformation in the mass. We belong to that part of the world in which conscious intentional transformation for each one of us is possible and that is what we come here to work for. But we have our place in the other half of the world that is the material half of the world. Our bodies themselves are almost entirely in the passive hemisphere. When we allow ourselves to be in a passive state, we move from the world of activity and potentiality into the world of passivity and dependency -light into darkness. Do you remember what Gurdjieff said about the two streams? There is the stream which flows automatically and is emptied into the nether parts of the earth. There is another stream which flows actively and merges into the boundless ocean. One is the stream of involution, the other the stream of evolution. The stream of evolution is the stream of transformation. Our aim and hope is that we should belong to the stream of life, the stream of transformation. But does this mean that because we ourselves are destined to the active state that the passive state has no reason for existence? It is neither useless nor inferior. Everything that exists is needed, and everything that exists is still against our tendency toward stupid cleverness, that is thinking up ideas about the problem which is in front of us instead of getting into contact with it. We people are very passive, almost inert, but we are neither the most passive nor the most inert forms of existence. We are created with the possibility for transformation and this transformation would not be there if we were totally passive, or even if we were by nature predominately passive. “