What is realSummaryTranscript
Then, somebody comes along and throws the film down on the floor in front of you and says, “That’s what you just saw; it’s just a film—just a film!”
What would be the difference, Michael, for you, if someone were to project on a film a representation of some social interaction in black and white, and you see this and it’s real. This is real; these people are doing this and saying this and doing that, and so on. Then, you came back the next day, and they showed it to you in Technicolor? Both the first and the second showing were without sound. On the third day that you came back and they showed you in Technicolor and sound. Now, they are all images; which is more real? What did you take out of the world of possibilities and put into this representation?
Well, to me, much of what Gurdjieff is trying to do in the myths, in the Tales and many of the constructs that he goes over and inserts, like the octave or the enneagram and so forth, these are all hypnotic images. They are not reality. If we finally caught on to the fact that image is a construction, a resonant representation, and somebody comes along with a much cleverer, a much more inclusive kind of thing, that maybe this one is a Technicolor version of this one, it is still a Technicolor version of an image. So, is it more real? Yes, it has more dimension. You are opened to seeing some of the falsity of this because you can see color here. Then, finally, when you can get sound in with it, you can sort things out even further and be much more discriminating about what may be going on inside of one person in terms of their expression of suspicion or whatever, and then you see it, you hear it in their voice and so forth. So, you get an increasingly crisp view of what’s real, but could you ever say that that’s everything? Well, no. Then, somebody comes along and throws the film down on the floor in front of you and says, “That’s what you just saw; it’s just a film—just a film!”
The Unique Perspective of Hypnotism
Here we are, and Gurdjieff comes along, and let’s say he is in a different place in what he sees. Let’s say, presumptively, that he is able to apprehend reality, whatever that is. Then he comes back from that place and he says, how in the world am I going to help people get from here to there? He has to hypnotize them; he has to give them another image that is fuller, more complete, more comprehensive, but still an image. He can’t show them the reality. They would never believe it; they would never understand it. That would be the fourth state of consciousness.
The exposure of the image has to be something that the image itself creates, say, in the myths, in the Tales and in Meetings with Remarkable Men. These are all images, also, of all the people that he meets that carry these images of the remarkable man, as he creates this image. The same in Life is Real, Only Then, When ‘I am’–, now he is really at the guts, when he is talking about inner exercises, to bring you to a state where you begin to experience something of the order of what is really real.
So, each of these is a necessarily step-wise progression of bringing people through one level of hypnosis, to another level, to another level, to progressively, gradually free them from the hypnosis of the prior level. Unfortunately, I think within the Work that I’m familiar with, and many other people that I’ve talked to, I think they would be very offended at me for what I just said, when I said that Gurdjieff hypnotizes us progressively, but in the process, he creates enlarged images that are more inclusive and more open to what is really going on. His question of, how do things happen? is something that he goes progressively deeper and deeper and deeper into. At each level, you could say that the prior level is one of image, of hypnosis.
You know, there is no such thing as e=mc2. There is no such thing as all of the formulae that come out of chemistry and so forth. They are, all of them, guides to how thing happen, but you don’t eat the map. I mean, you have to go and find the lunch, which means you’ve got to experiment; you’ve got to see how do things work out. So, whatever the map is, it doesn’t matter what the map is, the map is an image. To the degree that we use [any given map], it’s fine, as long as you recognize that part of our mind has to see clearly; I am being hypnotized in this moment. This image that is being put forth by Gurdjieff about endlessness and a new concept of God, this is an image or a series of images and it is not reality. What the reality is, I may never know, I may never be able to experience. But, I think I’m experiencing more of it now than I was when I was 5 years old, or 10 years old, or 30 years old. My world enlarges and becomes a bigger and bigger resonant representation of what’s real. I believe all spiritual progression is like that. I don’t think anybody could go around claiming that they would introduce you to the reality, the absolute reality of something. I believe that is nonsense as a three-brained being.