Observing the Moving Center

Observing the Moving Center

In the previous labor, we related hay harvest to work on our physical bodies. May — the month of our symbolic calendar in which hay grew spontaneously — was dedicated to observing the instinctive center. June — the month in which it must be harvested, bundled, and...
Observing the Instinctive Center

Observing the Instinctive Center

Of the three brains that make up our microcosmos — body, mind, and heart — the body is the one we share in common with the animals. Although different in shape and skill, our body digests food, breathes air, and circulates blood in exactly the same way any as other...
Small efforts

Small efforts

In March, we pruned our psychology. We observed which ‘I’s habitually drained our energy during the first hour of our day. This placed our habits in a more impersonal light: instead of taking them at face value, we examined them as energy leaks. We sought to catch...
Stopping Leaks

Stopping Leaks

The branches we clip when pruning vines aren’t fundamentally bad. They’re only counterproductive from the point of view of our aim to produce robust grape. If we scale back the natural growth of a vine at this time of year, we redirect the energy it would normally...
Self Observation

Self Observation

Last month, we reexamined our desire to awaken and labored to extract from it a practical aim. Student’s responses naturally revolved around repetitive psychological patterns that inhibited their awakening. Some formulated aims around fear, others around inner...
Setting Aims

Setting Aims

(This post is part of the Labors of the Month teaching. To learn more about this teaching, watch the introductory video here) We lay one brick over another to build a house. We match one note to another to compose a tune. We rhyme one word with another to write a...
December 2017

December 2017

Our farmer sits at his feasting table on the final month of the year with the fruits of his labors spread before him. He’s well-positioned for winter, enjoying meat from livestock sustained by hay harvested in June, bread from wheat harvested in July, and wine from...
November 2017

November 2017

The Chartres November window presents the labor of fattening boar with acorn for imminent slaughter. However, other tasks derive from the symbols featured here, preparations that must also occur as our farmer approaches the barren period of the year. Fattening the...
October 2017

October 2017

What kind of wine would you like your vineyard to yield? A vintner aims at a particular flavor. Conceived in January, this aim dictates the vintner’s March pruning and determines the precise time for harvest in September. It governs grape-pressing, fermenting,...
September 2017

September 2017

Grape harvest cannot be achieved by a single farmer. The window of time from when a grape ripens till it rots is relatively short, so that our farmer must recruit help for the occasion. Therefore, the Chartres September window is the only labor of twelve that features...
August 2017

August 2017

Suppose I’ve observed a tendency to postpone. I habitually let my obligations pile up, delaying responding till forced by circumstances. If this were the habit I’d chosen during last month’s labor, I’d have been called to observe the illusions that kept that habit...
July 2017

July 2017

How can we work with a well-established habit? Suppose I discover that fear of the future is a predominant negative emotion in my psychology. It regularly invents imaginary scenarios of catastrophe that pull me away from reality and hinder my ability to Be. My desire...
June 2017

June 2017

Nature fluctuates. In one season it gives little and in another it bestows much. If this were not so, then mankind could live in nature as Adam and Eve lived in Paradise, feasting freely on its fruits. “There was not a man to till the ground, but there went up a mist...
May 2017

May 2017

Each day offers a fresh start as we get up with recharged accumulators ready for fulfilling the tasks of that day. “The organism usually produces in the course of one day all the substances necessary for the following day,” confirms George Gurdjieff. Let’s say that...
April 2017

April 2017

A miracle is the manifestation in this world of the laws of another world. A higher world is exempt from the laws that govern the worlds beneath it, and this exemption, seen from the vantage point of the lower, comes across as miraculous. If, like Jesus, I walk on...
March 2017

March 2017

We do not lack; we waste. We allocate energy indiscriminately and misuse the tools at our disposal. “Man has quite enough energy to begin work on himself,” says George Gurdjieff, “only it is necessary to learn how to save the greater part of that energy for useful...
February 2017

February 2017

A log suitable for firewood didn’t spring up last month. It grew in the course of years. Smaller branches may serve as kindling, but a fully-fledged fire such as the one that warms the personification of February featured atop this post can only be sustained by proper...
January 2017

January 2017

Where were you a year ago, on the eve of 2016? Were you alone? Were you partying? Were you watching a firecracker spectacle from your kitchen balcony? Wherever you were, 365 days have gone by and the earth has completed a cycle around the sun. The celebratory nature...