Mister Gurdjieff And Students- A Sampler On The ‘Petrification’ Of Religions
by Igor Mitoraj
Picture by Antonio Liguori.
Today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, is a follow up of Annie Lou Staveley text : ‘Conscience – The Allegory Of The Elephant And The Blind Men’ with excerpts from Mister Gurdjieff, Charles Stanley Nott and Kenneth Walker upon the effects of the law of Seven, when everything becomes its opposite. Here the distortion process in organized religions is made apparent and explained, showing us that nothing escape the outrage of time, when it is not deeply rooted in Life, Love and Light. ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi…’ As a bonus, we added as appendixes, two excerpts from Al-Kindi and Mohyiddīn Ibn Arabī expressing their views on the same subject.
“Life creates order but order doesn’t create life‘,
in ‘Letter to a hostage’,
Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
‘BEELZEBUB continued as follows “-Now I shall also explain to you a little about that ‘stumbling block‘ which was one of the chief causes of the gradual dilution of the psyche of these unfortunate favorites of yours, namely, the peculiar ‘havatviernonis‘ which they always have there, and the totality of whose action and effect on the common presence of beings they call ‘religiousness.
This factor, arch-maleficent in the objective sense, which gradually brings about an automatic dwindling of their psyche, arose on that ill-starred planet when various consequences of the properties of always the same for them accursed organ kundabuffer began to be crystallized in them, and afterward, passing through different outer forms, began to be transmitted from generation to generation.
Thanks to these crystallizations, there began to be acquired in the common presence of certain terrestrial three-brained beings the first germs of what are called ‘hasnamussian properties‘ and, in keeping with their egoistic aims, they invented for the confusion of their fellow beings various fictions, among which were all kinds of fantastic ‘religious teachings ‘. And when others of your favorites began to have faith in these fantastic ‘religious teachings’ and, thanks to the same crystallizations, gradually lost their ‘sane mentation,’ from then on there arose in the process of the ordinary existence of these strange three-brained beings a large number of ‘havatviernonis,’ or ‘religions,’ having nothing in common with each other. “Although these numerous ‘havatviernonis,’ or ‘religions, ‘ have absolutely nothing in common, they are all built upon religious teachings, which in turn are based solely on that, in the objective sense, maleficent idea that your favorites call ‘Good and Evil ‘. This idea, which strictly speaking was the chief factor in the gradual dilution of their psyche, has quite recently been the cause of grave events among the blissful ‘highest being-bodies‘ or, as they are called there, ‘souls,’ who dwell on that holy planet toward which we are falling at the present moment.
I must not fail to tell you, my boy, the history of the events that recently happened on this Holy Planet Purgatory, first of all because they have a common-cosmic character and are connected with the individuality of every relatively independent responsible Individual, and second, because certain members of our ‘genealogical tree‘ were the involuntary cause of these events.
But I shall relate this story only at the end of my present tale, and I have a very good reason for this, connected with the development of your being mentation. Meanwhile bear in mind that among these terrestrial three-brained beings who please you, there have always existed and there still exist all kinds of ‘religious doctrines’ on the basis of which they build up their innumerable ‘religions,’ and these doctrines usually arise in the following way: I have already told you that, owing to the unforeseeingness of certain Most High, Sacred Cosmic Individuals, the consequences of the properties of the organ kundabuffer, which they invented and later removed, began to be crystallized in the common presence of these unfortunates, making it almost impossible for them to be perfected to the degree of Being proper to three-brained beings. Thereupon, our Abundantly Loving Common Father condescended to direct these same Sacred Individuals to actualize more often in the common presence of certain terrestrial beings the germ of a Sacred Individual, so that these beings, having been completely formed up to responsible age and acquiring Reason in the conditions already fixed in the general process of existence of your favorites, would become aware of reality and indicate to the beings similar to them how they, with their Reason, ought to guide the functioning of their separate spiritualized parts in order to decrystallize the consequences of the properties of the organ kundabuffer, and to succeed in destroying in themselves the predisposition to new crystallizations.
And so, my boy, after these terrestrial three-brained beings in whose presences are actualized the germs of Sacred Individuals undergo the sacred ‘rascooarno‘ or, as they say, ‘when they die,’ their contemporaries, in order to remember all their indications and explanations and also to transmit them to the beings of subsequent generations, gather them all into ‘one whole,’ and this ‘whole collection of indications‘ usually serves as the origin of every kind of religious teaching there.
The strangeness of the psyche of your favorites with respect to religious teachings that arise in this way manifests itself in that, from the very beginning, they understand ‘literally‘ everything that has been said and explained by these genuine Sacred Individuals actualized from Above, and never take into account under what circumstances and for what occasion this or that was said or explained.
Furthermore, during the transmission from generation to generation of these religious teachings, the meaning of which had been distorted from the outset, these strange three-brained beings continue to adopt in regard to them two modes of behavior which have already become fixed in their general existence. The first consists in this those beings who in the given period of the flow of time belong to the caste called the ‘ruling class‘ immediately hook on to these religious teachings the ‘maleficent question’ formulated on this ill-starred planet as ‘Religion for the State or the State for Religion,’ and make use of all their cunning to juggle with the known facts to justify their own egoistic aims. And the second mode of behavior is manifested by certain ordinary beings there who, owing to the fault of their ‘producers,’ have acquired in their common presence, from their very arising as well as during their preparation for responsible age, the properties called ‘psychopathy’ and ‘parasitism‘—properties that prevent them from ever having in themselves any data for the manifestation of any being-duty whatever. So these ordinary beings become, as it were, ‘authorities‘ on all the trifling details of these new religious teachings, and begin to ‘peck like crows on a jackal’s carcass‘ at that totality—already pecked at from the beginning—of all that had been said and indicated by the genuine Sacred Individuals intentionally actualized from Above.
In short, the result of these two forms of behavior, fixed in the process of the ordinary existence of the three-brained beings of this planet—namely, the hasnamussian manifestations of the beings of the ruling class and the psychopathy of certain ordinary beings—is that soon after a religion is founded, no matter on what doctrines it is based, your favorites always get split up into their famous ‘sects ‘. Consequently, in all epochs, the same thing occurs with religions as with the countless spoken languages on this comparatively small planet, which our highly esteemed Mullah Nasr Eddin referred to as a ‘thousand-tongued hydra‘, and in the present case he would doubtless describe it as a ‘flood of titillating titillations. ‘
Excerpt from Chapter 38-Religion. In the Penguin-Arkana 1999 edition of ‘Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson’.
‘Men cannot see that it is necessary first of all to do something about themselves; for thousands of years they have been trying to re-form each other. If a man would set about working on himself instead of praying to this far-off God to save the people, he would find that the kingdom of heaven is not indifferent to those who try.’
Charles Stanley Nott, in ‘Teachings of Gurdjieff-A student’s journal.’ From the postscript, page 226 Penguin Arkana edition 1990.
‘There are two great errors’ he said, ‘in the popular view of religion. The first error is the failure of men to realize that religion consist in ‘doing’ and not in ‘thinking’. A man must ‘live’ his religion as fully as is within his power to live it. The second error lies in man’s failure to understand that his religion will depend on his level of being and that the form of religion which suits him best is not necessarily the form most suited to the need of another person.’
Kenneth Walker, ‘A study of Gurdjieff’s teaching’, Jonathan Cape, 1957. From page 197.
‘In speaking to his original Russian Groups, mister Gurdjieff said that every real religion consists of two parts. One part taught ‘what’ had to be done. This part became common knowledge and in course of time was distorted and altered from its original form. The other part taught ‘how’ what the first part laid down. This part was preserved in secret in special schools, and with its help it was always possible to rectify what had been distorted in the first part and to restore what had been forgotten. This secret part existed in Christianity as well in other religions, and it taught us ‘how’ to carry out the precepts of Christ and what they really meant.’
Kenneth Walker, ‘A study of Gurdjieff’s teaching’, Jonathan Cape, 1957. From page 202.
III-1.‘We must be on guard against the pernicious interpretations of many in our own time who have made a name for themselves with speculations (nazar), people who are far away from the truth although they crown themselves with its laurels. They have no right to do this, because they have a narrow grasp of the ways of truth, and lack the understanding which is the rightful possession of those who are sublime in their insight and who exert themselves for the common benefit of everyone, including them (sc. The critics of the philosophers).
III-2. A filthy envy abides in their bestial souls, which shields the vision of their thought from the light of truth with dark veils. They have set down those who have the human virtues, which they themselves fall short of attaining-being in the region furthest removed from them (sc. these virtues)-as insolent, cheating enemies. They defend the fraudulent positions in which they have undeservedly been installed, in order to achieve supremacy and traffic in religion, although they have no religion themselves. For whoever traffics in something sells it, and whoever sells something no longer has it. Thus, one who traffics in religion does not have religion anymore. It is right to divest someone of religion if he resists the acquisition of the knowledge of things as they are really are, and calls it unbelief.
III-3. By knowing the things in their true nature, one knows divinity (rububiya), oneness (wahdaniya), virtue, and, in general (gumlatan) everything, beneficial and how to obtain it, and how to stay away from, and protect oneself against, all harm. The way to acquire all these is what the true prophets brought from God, great be his praise. For the true prophets (may God’s blessings be upon them) brought the assurance that God alone is divine, and made us adhere to the virtues that are pleasing to Him, whilst forsaking the vices that are essentially opposed to the virtues and preferring the latter to the former.’
Excerpted from Al Kindi’s ‘About First Philosophy’ treatise, translated by Peter Adamson and Peter P. Pormann, in ‘The Philosophical Works of Al-Kindi’, Oxford University Press. 2012.
‘…But those adhering to knowledge of the external forms (of religious traditions) do not have this (spiritual) rank, because of their having devoted themselves to their love for (prominent social) positions, the domination of others, (furthering) their precedence over God’s servants and (insuring that) the common people need them. Hence they do not prosper through (following) them. This is the (inner) condition of the jurist (fuqaha) of (our) time, those who desire to be appointed to posts as judges, notaries, inspectors or professors. As for those of them who cunningly hide themselves in (the guise of) religion (al-din)-those who hunch their shoulders and look at people furtively, with a pretense of humility; who move their lips as though in dhikr, so that the person looking at them will know they are performing dhikr; who speak obscurely and in affected manner-they are dominated by the weakness of the carnal self and ‘their hearts are the hearts of wolves’, ‘(so that) God does not (speak to them nor) look at them‘ (Qur’an, 3:77-78). This is the condition of those among them who make a show of religion-not those who are the companions of Satan (Qur’an, 4:38, 43:36). These (outwardly pious hypocrites) ‘dressed up for the people in the skins of gentle sheep‘: (they are) brothers outwardly and enemies inwardly and secretly. But God will examine them and take them by their forelocks (Qur’an, 55:41, 96:15-16) to that level of hell which contains their happiness.’
Mohyiddīn Ibn Arabī, ‘ Meccan revelations’, III, 334.208, in volume 1 of the Michel Chodkiewicz 2002 Pir Press edition. Translation by William C. Chittick and James W. Morris. Form page 83 and 84.