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The Metronome

The Metronome

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Published by MikeSufi
Gurdjieff's movements
Gurdjieff's movements

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Published by: MikeSufi on Jul 19, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The MetronomeBy Kevin RobertsSeveral months ago we began to use a metronome in our movementsclass, which had been suggested to us by our mentor. She had told methat our rhythm was not right, and I was unable to find what she meant.We were working on the six Obligatories.Soon after we began working this way, I began to have a strangesensation. It was like being in the twilight zone or something; I was surethe metronome was speeding up and slowing down. The more I focusedmy attention on it, the stronger I became convinced! It was only afterstopping the movement that I began to grasp what was happening. Weall had gotten so used to speeding up during certain parts of themovement (we were doing ‘Counting’) and slowing down during otherparts that it sounded, and felt, wrong to us to have a constant speed.Even our pianist had become completely used to these phenomena, andfelt natural accommodating our deviation. This was interesting to most of the people in class, and particularly fascinating to me.We began the slow and difficult process of using the metronomeconstantly in class, both with and without the piano, to train ourselvesout of our ‘bad habits.’ The results were very interesting; some peoplewho had musical training, and who had really learned to hate themetronome, began to like it. It was clear to all of us that this metronomewas a help; indeed it had become our teacher. Movements like the FirstObligatory had a new precision to them, and we began to experience atotally new ‘moving together.’ Each of us grew together as a group, and Iknow that I personally had an entirely new experience of movements.For some time I began to ponder this. Why did we speed up and slowdown? Why was it not obvious to us? What strange power were weunder? When associating in this way, it began to think in me; the law of seven says there are places of speeding up and slowing down. We were,in fact, reacting naturally, or ‘law-conformably.’ Then I thought: giventhis naturalness of speeding up and slowing down, what were we tryingto accomplish by using a constant tempo? Again I was consumed by agnawing question.Suddenly it came to me. We practice the movements as a part of ourWork. The aim of Work is to be able to ‘do.’ To ‘do’ we must connect to‘God,’ which is within us, and which is called ‘real I.’ In the Purgatorychapter, it is stated that the Absolute lived with the law of seven beforeit was changed, when all of its Stopinders were evenly spaced, that is,when it was natural for an even tempo. So when we practice movements,we are attempting to ‘do’ by manifesting at an even tempo! We wereconnecting to God.Practice of the movements demands a surplus of attention; attentionbeyond the moving of arms and legs, even beyond inner work. If wepractice the movements in an even tempo, they can never becomemechanical, because the even tempo is not natural for us in our ordinarystate, it will always take effort and attention to sustain. I have foundthat this changing of tempos occurs whether I try to stop it or not; theonly way to be sure is to use the metronome, to ‘submit my will’ to themetronome.

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