[Türkçe çevirisi için yorum bölümüne bkz.]
As a natural follow up to our preceding post about ‘Conscience’ and as an echo of its ‘elephant and the blind men’ allegory, here is a foundational piece by George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, extracted from his Magnus Opus : ‘Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson’, ‘From the Author’, page 1208 to 1210. There is also in the ‘gist of it’ much in common with Jacob Boehme’s ‘ Tree of life’ in the way he describe ‘ the life we think we have’…Enjoy !
‘…A Man comes into the world like a clean sheet of paper, which immediately all around him begin vying with each other to dirty and fill up with education, morality, the information we call knowledge, and with all kinds of feelings of duty, honor, conscience, and so on and so forth.
And each and all claim immutability and infallibility for the methods they employ for grafting these branches onto the main trunk, called man’s personality.
The sheet of paper gradually becomes dirty, and the dirtier it becomes, that is to say, the more a man is stuffed with ephemeral information and those notions of duty, honor, and so on which are dinned into him or suggested to him by others, the ‘cleverer’ and worthier is he considered by those around him.
And seeing that people look upon his ‘dirt’ as a merit, he himself inevitably comes to regard this same dirtied sheet of paper in the same light.
And so you have a model of what we call a man, to which frequently are added such words as ‘talent’ and ‘genius’.
And the temper of our ‘talents’ when it wakes up in the morning is spoiled for the whole day if it does not find its slippers beside the bed.
The ordinary man is not free in his manifestations, in his life, in his moods.
He cannot be what he would like to be; and what he considers himself to be, he is not that.
Man-how mighty it sounds! The very name ‘man’ means the ’acme of Creation’; but…how does this title fit contemporary man?
At the same time, man should indeed be the acme of Creation, since he is formed with and has in himself all the possibilities for acquiring all the data exactly similar to the data in the ACTUALIZER of EVERYTHING EXISTING in the whole universe.
To possess the right to the name of ‘man’, one must be one.
And to be such, one must first of all, with an indefatigable persistence and an unquenchable impulse of desire, issuing from all the separate independent parts constituting one’s entire common presence, that is to say, with a desire issuing simultaneously from thought, feeling, and organic instinct, work on all-round knowledge of oneself-at the same time struggling unceasingly with one’s subjective weaknesses-and then afterwards, taking one’s stand upon the results thus obtained by one’s consciousness alone, concerning the defects in one’s established subjectivity as well as the elucidated means for the possibility of combating them, strive for their eradication without mercy towards oneself.
Speaking frankly, and wholly without partiality, contemporary man as we know him is nothing more or less than merely a clockwork mechanism, though of a very complex construction.
About his mechanicality, a man must without fail think deeply from every aspect and with an entire absence of partiality and well understand it, in order fully to appreciate what significance that mechanicality and all its involved consequences and results may have both for his own further life as well as for the justification of the sense and aim of his arising and existence.
For one who desires to study human mechanicality in general and to make it clear to himself, the very best object of study is he himself with his own mechanicality; and to study this practically and to understand it sensibly, with all one’s being, and not ‘psychopathically’, that is, with only one part of one’s entire presence, is possible only as a result of correctly conducted self observation.
And as regards this possibility of correctly conducting self-observation and conducting it without the risk of incurring the maleficent consequences which have more than once been observed from people’s attempts to do this without proper knowledge, it is necessary that the warning must be given-in order to avoid the possibility of excessive zeal-that our experience, based on the vast exact information we have, has shown that this is not so simple a thing as at first glance it may appear. This is why we make the study of the mechanicality of contemporary man the groundwork of a correctly conducted self-observation.’