We were talking about Kundabuffer earlier as being, essentially, an absence of consciousness, reflexive behavior.
William James is probably one of the turning points, at least in Western psychology. In his scholarly lectures that he gave in his full maturity, he was really the first to lay down a linkage between modern science and human psychology. Many of his observations are right on the button. Carl Jung, (contrary to Sigmund Freud and to B. F. Skinner, and to others of the schools that emerged) for me, also touched into the reality of the inner world and the world of relationship of symbols and meaning and also the great symbolizer, Joseph Campbell. Again, there is this elaboration into the inner world of oriental cultures, of occidental cultures, and with many, many insights pointing to the value of the inner world, with all of its distortions that appear in myths. But, still in all, Campbell was, himself, a very gentle soul and placed great value on the inner life of man. This is why it led to his own explorations of the mythology of the ancient world. Contained in those myths are many, many, many perspectives on what is real. So, I do think that there are people, quite aside from Gurdjieff, who with James and Jung and a few others who did touch on this interface in their writing.
Seeing the Mechanical is the Beginning
You are absolutely right; by and large, there has been almost a kind of . . . I won’t say conscious, but certainly a kind of mechanically intentional opposition that appears, for instance, in Skinners work, and so forth. I think this is an example of seeing our mechanicalness and then thinking that’s all there is, so you’ve got to work with it, and not seeing the possibilities or the potential. Because you don’t see the Spirit at all; you don’t see the reality, for instance as I would put it, of the second octave, of the Air Octave, that there is great potential here, but we have to plummet and we have to work hard inwardly to plummet. We have to get real in our relationships with our children and with our cohorts and so forth. Real in the sense that we feel their pain, that we feel their suffering and that we become more and more aware that my inner world of anguish, anxiety, apprehension and joy and so forth, I must give that to everyone.
There is no answer as long as we stay in this second state of consciousness, as long as we stay in the mechanical automaticity, which so emphasizes the first-brain prerogative of staying alive. The core of egoism just feeds on that. We see that in the world today. We see the monstrousness of what we are doing in so many different countries, or what’s happening in so many countries. And we ask, what can be done? Unless we are willing to suffer, nothing can be done. It will be what it is, unfortunately. We will invent explanations and solutions and pursue those, and produce more of the suffering, because we cannot escape our own arrogance and our own presumption that we are right. We will impose that on other people the same way tyrants have, forever, as long as they are in that state of consciousness, where you simply don’t see what’s going on. So, you do, say, think and feel all kinds of monstrous things and are totally justified inside of yourself that you’ve gone down that particular path. There is nothing except consciousness that will change that–nothing can if you are blind.
We were talking about Kundabuffer earlier as being, essentially, an absence of consciousness, rather than a thing. Kundabuffer, in Gurdjieff’s great conception, is a singularity, whereas In Search of the Miraculous it is multiple. But in the Tales, he treats it as a singularity. What he is singularizing around is the lack of consciousness. That’s at every level inside of us in our three-brainedness–all that we construct, all that we invent, all of the circumstances of life that we come up against, where we then create an “I” to deal with it, all of that is so constructed that there is no consciousness of each other–of the multiplicity of Is. So, inevitably, there is concealment. The concealment is not intentional, that we imply a kind of consciousness that I am consciously going to conceal . . . No, it’s the law, and we are, unfortunately bound to be that way as long as we are in the second state of consciousness.