What are hope and fear but attitudes? They are ways of interpreting the situation. Each is what an individual, at any given time, perceives to be a reasonable response – perhaps the reasonable response – to whatever life is presenting at the moment or in general.
They are the product, you see, of what the 3D-you is (what it has made itself, from what it began as) and what the larger self, the “external” world is at a given moment.
The same “external” conditions, seen by any two people, will result in different response, for a couple of reasons.
- No two people will ever experience exactly the same “external” conditions, because what you can experience depends partly upon what you have receptors for, and this varies widely. No two people experienced the World War II years identically: How could they have done?
- Beyond the question of receptors, there is another important variable, which is one’s habitual way of seeing things, and this too is individual. Even if any two people could experience the “external” world identically, they would react differently to what they experienced.
Two variables, one in receptivity and the other in patterns of reaction to any given stimulus.
Yes. Your lives, as we have been saying, are not shaped by thought primarily and then feeling, but more the other way around. The interface between 3D-you and the given moment (i.e. the “external” world presenting itself) is always pre-rational, usually unobserved. But you can easily see the results; you do see the results, but it is a question of interpretation. What you observe in others, you may not only begin to observe in yourselves, but may come to understand in its true significance.
I have gotten your meaning directly, of course. But can we spell it out so that the words convey the spark?
It isn’t any different with this than with so much else we have set out over 20 years. It’s mostly a question of righteous persistence on our side and on the side of those who come to it.
You see the people around you and perhaps you categorize them by alluding to their habitual ways of experiencing life. This one is grumpy; that one, hopeful; another one, resentful, or suspicious, or naïve, or mendacious, or devious. You categorize them (and yourselves) perhaps by some scheme: melancholic, choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, or of a fiery or watery or airy or earthly disposition.
What is all this description but a shorthand for the emotional screens through which the individual habitually sees the world? You might say it is a congealing of past experience, fixing one’s default attitude toward life.
It was clearer in my mind yesterday than it has come out here.
The mind is not bound by sequential exposition. Evanescent connections are more easily handled before they need to be put into speech. They are more like reflections in a pool of water with a skim of oil on it, than words inscribed in stone or wax or written on paper. It is much easier to catch the wind while thinking than while writing it out.
What we mean to convey is that you live your lives by reacting to what seems, to you, to be an objective rendering of the world. But in fact there can be no “objective rendering of the world,” because there can be no mental world that does not depend upon pre-conscious interpretation of the data, therefore of meaning. And, as we said, this interpretation is twofold. First you see through a screen of feelings, then you react to what you have seen, and your reaction is largely shaped by your mental habits, that is, by your own past decisions as to who and what you want to be.
Does this not explain hope and fear?
To me receiving it directly, yes. To those depending upon these worlds to spark the recognition, I don’t know.
Then let us try again, saying the same thing differently, in hope that what didn’t create the helpful spark before may create it now when differently dressed.
Suppose you experience yourself as unemotional, or, differently, as subject to only certain emotions. Alternatively, suppose you recognize in yourself that you are prey to wild fits of emotion, or strong tides, or a continuing highly emotionally conditioned existence? (Three variations, you see: occasional, or rhythmic, or continuous.) In either case – perceiving little emotional input or perceiving great emotional input – the underlying situation is the same. You – 3D-you, conscious thinking you – are living your life interpreting events through a set of reactions, and what you are reacting to has been filtered without your knowledge by pre-conscious mechanisms (receptors, we are calling them).
The results may be wildly different. The process is the same.
So when you look at your fellow 3D-souls, consider that they cannot objectively see anything, and nor can you. They always see only what their filters allow them to see, and they react only according to the habits they have developed. The filters may vary with time and circumstance. The processing habits may change as a result of your decisions as to what you want to be. But Mahatma Gandhi, the Buddha, Thomas Edison, Wyatt Earp, Yoko Ono, Alan Turing, Marie Curie, Robespierre, Rasputin, Voltaire, the barber of Seville (so to speak) all lived interpreting the world through filters and processing the result through rules they had consciously and unconsciously decided to live by.
When you realize this, it should result in:
- Compassion for your fellow 3D-souls. They are doing their best.
- Compassion for You are doing your best, too.
- Hesitation to pronounce anything quite so absolutely as you might otherwise have done. Not only is there so much slippage in words; the world various people live in differs significantly from one to the next.
- Recognition that ways forward do exist. Filters can be discovered, examined, altered. Reaction-patterns, too. But neither of these paths can be undertaken by sleepers! You must be awake to do the work.
As Gurdjieff said.
Gurdjieff knew many things. It should not be charged against him that he acquired disciples. That is an occupational hazard for any who wish to share what they know. and he did try to discourage followership.
Jung the same way: “Thank God that I am Jung and not a Jungian.”
Teaching is inherently bi-directional. It involves attracting by one’s teaching, and this is a good thing, and then a certain mutual repulsion as each finds its own center of gravity, and this is also a good thing. It is when flow becomes imprisoned in routine or in expectation that things sometimes stagnate.