There are even times when, as human beings, we can be suddenly struck, like a lightning bolt, by visions or experiences of the fourth state of consciousness, where we see lawfulness exposed in an instant, and it absolutely throws us into a cataclysm. We have a convulsion; we go unconscious, and then when we try to remember, what in the world was that? We have very hard time. We tend to put it, then, in mythic images.
Many of the great seers of the past religious followers had visions and experiences of deep spirituality, and so forth, which often you can see in the myth, in the way in which they try to grasp and recreate what they experienced. Not for a moment would we doubt that they had something; they had some kind of experience. When we see it in the fortunes of our human life and we see, then, great expressiveness, great generosity, great efforts at reconciliation that are part of the myth, then we know that we’ve been touched by something that is very different from the second state of consciousness, when I’m all wrapped up in how am I going to make a living and how am I going to pay my debts, and all of that. We are always three-brained, however unconsciously the influences from those higher impulses may be.
So there is this evolutional flow. These are not at all easy arenas to discuss, to talk about because they are so complicated; they are so subtle. Gurdjieff had to try again, and again, and again to put it in another way; approach it from here; talk about it this way, and tried finally, to get across the enormity and subtlety and complexity of these states, when it is very difficult to say anything straight ahead. Because somebody can come along and say, “Well, now, wait a minute; under these circumstances, that isn’t always true,” and they are absolutely right because life is like that. Life is full of unexpected tortuosities that defy our nice, procedural understanding. I think this is so true, especially in the world of relationships.
In my work as a doctor, especially now essentially with older people in a nursing home and hospice environment, there are a host of things to go wrong in the physiologic, but also in the emotional arena. Unfortunately, many people think of a nursing home environment as where old people are, and they just kind of sit around and fa-la-la. But, that’s not true, at all. It’s a very, very dynamic environment. These people get angry; they have totally bizarre behavior. They get very upset over things that we have difficulty identifying what it is that they are upset over. Even more interesting is the interactions and reactions of the family. Then, you get absolute refusal to believe that this person could be demented, that they are not inventing anything, and they say, “you people, (the doctors and nurses) are just being cruel,” and on and on. So, there is that arena, and then there is all the staff. There are all the nurses and the aides, who for the most part, genuinely try to be helpful, and they take all of this stuff coming from both the patient and from the family.
It is a grand mix; it is a marvelous mix in the emotional world, most especially. I find that handling the physical end of this, so far as medicines for their blood pressure or insulin for their diabetes, that’s a piece of cake compared to the dynamic self/other relational world that is all the time just churning and churning.
Then, I look inside and I find it interesting; my gracious, you know, this is my life. I am doing this to myself. I argue. I am totally demented sometimes because I won’t believe what I see out there, and yet, it is there.
Where is that other part of me that is looking at this and denying that it could possibly be so, when it is? I have to be demented.
So, there are all these circumstances that get reflected from the life process out there that I have this great privilege of being involved in, because then I can ask myself, where am I? In this inner world that we were talking about, about all of the Is that I create, all the little Is that go running around on stage, how much of that is really being played out for my benefit right in front of me?