Work on Oneself / Sacred Impulses
Sacred Impulses January 19th, 1973, Second Basic Course, Sherborne House (Not available on audio)
“Our feeling nature moves in a different direction from our thinking nature. Our thinking nature moves in breadth, laterally. We are able to go a long way away from this present moment in thought. But where we go is always of the same kind. Even if it is to a distant galaxy or the remote workings of the atoms, it is still always the same kind of thing that we think and even if we think about the higher worlds, and even if we talk about such things as infinite, unconditioned, spiritual, such things as soul and God, we still think about them always on the same level as we think about tables and chairs. We don’t realize this until we try to begin to ask ourselves seriously what we mean by these things and then it comes over us as we really look, that all these words that we use are all meaning to us, the same kind of thing―that is some object which our mind is able to picture and connections that we are able to make in the way that we make connections in space and time, the way rooms and houses are arranged, the way machines are put together and work. And so without noticing it, we ascribe just the same kind of relationships and the same states of existence to God, the soul, the infinite, the spiritual world the state of life after death, just the same kind of thing as we do to material objects, tables, chairs and the rest. This is the limitation of this mind of ours. It appears to be going in depth, it appears to be exploring other dimensions―it never does, it always works in the same dimensions.” …….
“Now as you know, Gurdjieff in his presentation―this is all in what we have read in Beelzebub, in a number of passages, although never with a powerful emphasis so that you can’t help noticing how important it is because one must discover the importance of this. Man’s feeling nature has been dispersed, that he has not an integrated feeling centre, articulated, organized. Although our capacity for feeling is distributed throughout the body, the actual working of it is almost entirely in the region of a circle that you can draw round your navel, your two breasts and your throat. And there is a deep centre there. In Sufism these centres are called the “latifes”; Lataeef, or sensitive, fine places, and in some Sufi schools there is very great importance attached to the awakening of these and in fact the work centres on this until this is achieved. But we do these things all together with various other works. The names that are given to these latifes – Sirr, Esrar, Ekhfa, Khafa … all indicating the most hidden, the secret, and so on, the qalb. They are all to indicate that they are perceptions of different orders of depth. (1)”
(1) See “Sufi Spiritual Techniques” (“Risale-i-Bahaiyye”) for a more detailed description of these locations.