A.R. Orage – Gurdjieff in Tibet, Buddha & Self Remembering

original recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWn_OKB9zn0
D.J. Elliott YT Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPPUxEeml6er4DFUwCgX1Rg/videos

an excerpt from the chapter “Orage´s Commentary on Beelzebub” from the book “Teachings of Gurdjieff” by C.S. Nott

How many people regard public celebrities as “great people”, celebrities who in private arc vain, conceited, and touchy. The masses worship dictators and regard as “great men” those who in reality are immersed in vanity, self-pride, self-love and egoism to the point of madness. We admire showmanship. H. G. Wells, for example, when young, read the books of C. H. Hinton, which were full of strange ideas. Hinton was a mathematician who put his ideas into the form of stories — Scientific Romances; but he was an indifferent writer. Wells was a good salesman, showman. He developed some of Hinton’s ideas in The Time Machine and other books, and made a name and money for himself. Hinton remained obscure.

Only in the form of myths and stories can people absorb truths. Gurdjieff’s other book on which he is now working. Stories of Remarkable Men he had met, are masterpieces of the short story in narrative form — stories containing fragments of truths. Apropos, Gurdjieff when young studied Indian philosophy, and later read Madame Blavatsky’s books, and in the course of his travels in India and Tibet discovered that nine out of ten of her references were not based on her personal knowledge. He said that it cost him several years of exploring to verify this. In Tibet he was not a foreign agent; he got himself appointed collector of dues from the monasteries for the Dalai Lama, and in this role was able to go into any monastery. He discovered instances of abnormal development, “high elevations”, what are called “magic powers”, but he says that he found little, apart from something in certain dances and ceremonies, which could be described as objective knowledge. Most of the powers developed by certain monks were diversions from the normal — interesting, but not useful for a method of self-development for people of the Western world, such as he had in mind. But the life of the Tibetan people was far less spoilt and nearer to a normal life than perhaps any on the planet at the present day. It has been less subject to the deteriorating influence of Western civilization on the one hand, and to the destructive influence of Communism on the other, than any other country. But the time is not far distant when the “sea of mud”, as Gurdjieff calls it, of these two forces, will engulf the life of the Tibetans, as it is smothering the old life of the rest of the planet.

During the journey to Tibet, Beelzebub relates how he and his companions had to make a ring of fire at night to keep away wild beasts. When we are in a state of self-remembering, we are safe from the attacks of negative emotions. When we are asleep, off our guard, “at night”, they attack us. Buddha taught the method. He taught his disciples how to bear the displeasing manifestations of others; but gradually they went off the path, and eventually reached the heights of intellectualism where “life” is not possible. In the West, too, there are people who know with their minds everything about Buddhism, but understand nothing with their “being”. Buddha, like Pythagoras and Jesus, was a practical workman, not merely a talker.’

Post time: Jan-26-2018


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