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Nicolescu Nature & Gurdjieff

Nicolescu Nature & Gurdjieff

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Published by Susannah Hays

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Published by: Susannah Hays on May 01, 2012
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02/16/2013

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Gurdjieff'sPhilosophyofNature
BasarabNicolescuAparticle-physicist'sbold,rigorousexplorationoftherelationshipbetweenGurdjieffscosmologicalmythosandleadingtheoriesinphysicsandcosmology.
 
It
isbecomingveryfashionablealmosteverywheretofindparallelsbetweenmodernscienceandthisorthatteaching,thisorthatphilosophicalsystem,thisorthatreligion.Themoreorlesshiddensociologicalrootofsuchatendencyisquiteobvious:thecontemporaryall-powerful"god"oftechnoscienceisevokedasevidenceofthe"seriousness"ofanotherfieldofknowledge.Even
if
theintentionsofcertainseekers(andIincludeherethosefewwhoaredrawntowardtherelationshipbetweenscienceandtheGurdjieffteaching)arenottiedtothissociologicalmotivation,thereisstillahugemisunderstanding.Themethodologyandperspectiveofateaching,asystemofphilosophy,orareligionareverydifferentfromthemethodologyandaimofmodernscience.Tocompareresultsorideasjudgedtobesimilarcanonlyleadtotheworstillusions,toanalogiesthataresoftanddevoidofmeaning,and,inthebestofcases,toresonancesthatarefeltas"poetic."Nevertheless,thesearchforarealrelationshipbetweenscienceandsuchfieldsofstudywould,inouropinion,beworthwhile.Sucharelationshipcouldbeestablished
if
theteaching,thephilosophicalsystem,orthereligioninquestionderivesfromaphilosophyofnature.'ThefactthatGurdjieff'steachingcontainsaphilosophyofnatureisobvious,andthepresentstudywillattempttosupportthataffirmation.ThehypothesisofacorrespondencebetweenmanandnatureisformulatedwithoutambiguitybyGurdjieff:
It
isimpossibletostudyasystemoftheuniversewithoutstudyingman.Atthesametime,itis
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impossibletostudymanwithoutstudyingtheuniverse.Manisanimageoftheworld.Hewascreatedbythesamelawswhichcreatedthewholeoftheworld.Byknowingandunderstandinghimself,hewillknowandunderstandthewholeworld,allthelawsthatcreateandgoverntheworld.Andatthesametime,bystudyingtheworldandthelawsthatgoverntheworld,hewilllearnandunderstandthelawswhichgovernhim....Thestudyoftheworldandthestudyofmanmustthereforerunparallel,theonehelpingtheother."Thecomparisonbetweenmodernscienceandthistypeofphilosophygoesbeyondanintellectualexercise.
In
thefirstplace,somegreatscientificdiscoverieshavebeenguidedbyideasfromaphilosophyofnature.Forexample,therolethatGerman
Naturphilosophie
playedinthediscoveryofelectromagnetismin1820byOerstediswellknown.Suchcasesarerare,butitistheirexistence,nottheirnumber,thatishighlysignificant.Thesecasesshowthatthereisanintrinsicrelationship,whichisnotdevoidofmeaning,betweennatureanda
"realistic"
philosophyofnature.Asecondaspectseemsstillmoreimportant.Theabsenceofmeaning,abovealltheabsenceofavaluesystemguidingtechnoscience,isperhapsthecharacteristictraitofourepoch.
It
isjustinthiscontextthatwearegoingtoexamineGurdjieff'sphilosophyofnature.
THEPRINCIPLEOFDISCONTINUITYANDQUANTUMDISCONTINUITY
OneofthemostsurprisingaspectsofGurdjieff'sphilosophyofnatureisthecentralrolewhichitgivesto
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