Gurdjieff, in one of his talks with J.G. Bennett, told him that you must be very careful. You now know your way into the Garden; you must go beyond the Garden. The Garden is the beauty, it is that which is instantly there, but it is not what you are responsible for. You must go further than the Garden. Then, certainly, the Garden is always there.
These are vestibules to what I consider Gurdjieff’s ways of talking about the third state of consciousness, that every effort in this direction, all of the methods that Gurdjieff leaves behind–the exercises and the movements and the study, all the different things–they are all kind of entry points into a vestibule. They are not the fullness of the cathedral, but they are part of the majesty of endlessness, you see, that is in each of us that he is really talking about. Through the physical body, you can enter into this space, and through your feeling world, the really open, real, relational world. You can also enter the same cathedral through your mind, the proper use of the mind. In pondering and in using the abstract capacity of the third brain, you can enter the same vestibule, and then find yourself in the same cathedral. Those are all aspects of endlessness, put in terms of an individual life. So, we are all the time caught in this self-creation kind of image of ourselves as being distinct and separate and worthy of everything in order to survive.
The Second State of Consciousness
Now about the second state of consciousness which Ouspensky raised in his question to Gurdjieff in Moscow as trucks went by filled up with crutches, heading for the front, in the world war: Gurdjieff simply turned to Ouspensky and said, what do you expect, when you have half asleep people confronting half asleep people? They will be at war with each other and they will kill each other and maim each other. There is nothing you can do to change that. This is defining one aspect of this new concept of God: there are states that Man exists in, predominantly, about which nothing can be done. (P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, pp 51-52.)
Now, that’s a heavy load to say that you can’t change that! I mean look around at all of the efforts at legislation and good-hearted people trying to change things for the better, and Gurdjieff is coming along saying, “it won’t work.” He spends a good part of the Tales talking about the efforts in terms of warfare and the coming together of a United Nations 4,000 years ago, 3,000, 2,000, 500 years ago, and they all came to nothing. Then he goes into why it all came to nothing in each case. It has to do, I believe, with the differentiation of what are the possibilities in the second state of consciousness. In that state, which is totally internalized around my uniqueness and survival, there are only so many things that can happen. I cannot be open to you; I cannot give you as much importance in life as I give to myself. I cannot; it is a law that says this is the way my brain works. There is nothing I can do to change that. In order for that to change, I have to be open to a different state of being. In the second state of consciousness,
If we are really only being guided by the second state of consciousness, by the digestion of food and its quality, then we are really living only like a one-brained being, and we are created to be a three-brained being. So, there are resonant functions that, even though they go on quite unconsciously, they are still present in us. There are all those things that we see, and we talked at some length last night, about how women are quite different from men, especially in this world of relationship and comfort and nurture, and so forth and so on. They are, in a sense, more mature; they mature earlier than we [men] do, and so forth. To me that is part of the unconscious influence of the third state of consciousness. It leaks in there or it enters in there, but not consciously. They are not conscious of this as being a different state. They are absolutely convinced that what they are doing and what they are feeling is important, and they are right. But, they cannot put it in the context of this being a different state of consciousness, which it is. So, that’s an important differentiation.