Journey to Essence August 2010
The Dark Side of Ourselves
In Talmudic lore, Samael is an archangel, a figure who is accuser, seducer and destroyer, and has beenregarded as both good and evil. Also called Sammael and Samil, he is considered a fallen angel,equatable with Satan, the chief of the evil spirits, but nevertheless remains one of the Lord's servants.In Jewish lore, Samael is said to be the Angel of Death, the chief ruler of the Fifth Heaven, and one ofthe Seven Regents of the world served by two million angels. In Gnosticism, in the Apocryphon ofJohn, found in the Nag Hammadi Library, Samael is the third name of the demiurge whose other namesare Yaldabaoth and Saklas, and in this context, Samael means "the blind god". And is not this "blindgod", this dark side of ourselves, the source of the abnormalities manifested by those two great giantsthat walk before Man³pride and vanity?
is a concept from the Platonic, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophyfor an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. Theterm was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics. Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not quite thecreator figure in the familiar monotheistic sense; both the demiurge itself and the material from whichthe demiurge fashions the universe are considered either uncreated and eternal, or the product ofsome other being, depending on the system.]
urdjieff on Man's Suffering
Gurdjieff teaches many things about suffering. He tells us that His Endlessness ("God") suffers, andthat we must strive to lighten as much as possible the 'sorrow of our Common Father'. He says thatsuffering arises from the consequences of egoism, arrogance, bragging, cunning, envy, hate,imagination, jealousy, lying, offensiveness, partiality, wishing the death or weakness of others, self-conceit, self-love, swagger, and vanity. Is this not what we see being manifested throughout our worldtoday³what Gurdjieff called 'the terror of the situation'?
Man as an Experiment
"Most people only believe in the realities of the senses. But one's state is a far more real thing. Inancient Indian text a conversation is reported between the pupil and Death. Death is explaining howMan comes to die. Death said: "God made sense turn outward; Man therefore looks outward, not intohimself. Sometimes a daring man has looked inward and found himself. Then he is immortal." Nowthe realization that one is not in space but in state only comes by means of working on oneself. Howcan you work on yourself if you never look inward and notice your state, that is, notice where youreally are inside? Here is the beginning of the experiment³to separate from useless states and toremember oneself. This is what Man, as an experiment, has to do. Otherwise he fails." Click onMan asan Experiment by Maurice Nicollto read the full article, or visitwww.GurdjieffWork.comand click the
Journey to Essence button on the left side bar.
The Reason Why We Must Observe Ourselves
"We are told to practice self-observation because it can lead to becoming more aware of the influencesof Higher Centers. We cannot hear these influences because there is a kind of thick substance lyingbetween them and ourselves. What is this thick substance? It is all that part of us that is unconsciousto us, which we do not realize, which we are unaware of as existing in us. As you know, it is often saidthat the act of self-observation lets a ray of light into our inner darkness. This darkness is what I havejust called the thick substance which will not transmit the influences of Higher Centers. A man, awoman, must come to terms eventually with this dark side of themselves, and this is only possiblethrough long and intelligent self-observation carried out for a definite reason and not merely as a