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...

The Taste of a Higher State

It’s been quite a long trip to Italy from Canada. After 10 hours on two planes, 3 hours connection time, and a couple of hours in taxis, I’m finally in Rome, standing in front of the event’s main apartment. It is late morning, and I haven’t slept for more than 15...
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 Granary

August 2017 Granary

In a higher state of consciousness I observe my inner world as if from the top of a mountain. I see panoramically how different parts of my psychology relate to each other. I can discern what is less or more important, give preference to one group of ‘I’s over...
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...
What is the opposite of fear?

What is the opposite of fear?

This post is inspired by Myrto’s and Anselmo’s workshop on emotional fear. We have been working with this subject for a couple of weeks. Negative emotions such as fear, judgement, or irritation, are the largest waste of energy in the micro-cosmos; a good reason for...
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...

Expectations

What do you expect from reading this post? During recent months, the topic of expectations showed up for me again and again. I start working on my excessive planning habit and notice expectation lurking around. I do a breathing exercise and at the back of my mind I...
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...
The Charioteer

The Charioteer

The farmer of April, stands firmly upright, having a clear view of the ‘Potential’ of the healthy leaves, and the lack of life of the wilted leaves.  His calmness, his straight body, his self confidence, make him look to my eyes  like the Charioteer of Delphi, an...
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...
Giving our Aims a Spring Cleaning

Giving our Aims a Spring Cleaning

Just as one gazes out through a window on a February’s day by a fire, we look out on to our landscape we have watched all winter. As the time of spring draws forth one starts to envision how it will look in the future and what potential harvests we want to reap, which...
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...
What began as a simple aim for 2017

What began as a simple aim for 2017

What began as a simple aim for 2017, to self-remember when talking, has blossomed into a new level of understanding in the work I had not bargained for nor knew existed. The aim still exists but it is now part of a greater aim aimed at accepting, moment by moment,...
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...

Identification with ‘doing’

My aim for this month is to observe and pull against my identification with “doing”. This came about as a result of observing haste in myself. Although I have had very little success at pulling against haste, I have, through observing myself in it, been...
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...
What about time?

What about time?

“There seems to be plenty of it,” was all I would answer, when the investigator asked me to say what I felt about time. Take a breath. Experience the sense of I am here in its inhalation. Maintain that sense during the peak of saturation. Exhale consciously. Then...
What is Paradise?

What is Paradise?

What is your aim? To know the truth? To become master of yourself? To be able to Be? This state is represented by Paradise, a garden of abundance where all creatures live in harmony. You are given to enjoy the benefits of this garden on condition that you avoid the...
The Unforeseeable Present

The Unforeseeable Present

“I am Lufthansa flight attendant Hans Schupfer and this is my crew manager Claudia Becker. We are very sorry to inform you that you cannot board this flight.” “What? Why not?” “If we let you on the plane, the Russian’s will not let you off.” “What do you mean, won’t...
Nature’s Trick

Nature’s Trick

“If you ask a man whether he is conscious,” said Peter Ouspensky, “he will answer that he is conscious and that it is absurd to say that he is not, because he hears and understands you. And he will be quite right, although at the same time quite wrong. This is...
Who is the rich man?

Who is the rich man?

“I wish to be famous, rich, and powerful,” I protest. “I need you to be an office-worker,” says God. Reluctantly, I consent. As an office-worker, I must commute five days a week, unwatched by the public, undocumented by the media. Five days a week, I must step out the...
Ritual and Routine

Ritual and Routine

The first half hour of my every day is entirely predictable. I get out of bed, step into the shower, shave, comb my hair, brush my teeth, dress myself, and step into the kitchen to grind coffee. Half an hour a day adds up to three and a half hours a week, 14 hours a...
Is All the World a Stage?

Is All the World a Stage?

Juliet always falls in love with Romeo, always marries him, and always dies with him. A play with any other outcome cannot rightly be called Romeo and Juliet. We, the audience, witness a predetermined progression and end. We enjoy the lovers’ affections, sympathize...
The Narrow Way

The Narrow Way

Our driver has made a mistake. The car is now stranded on one lane trying to merge onto another. Until our destination clears, we are forced to dangerously block the approaching traffic. Cars are racing towards us. I sense a surge crawl from the base of my spine to...
Three Experiments Revisited

Three Experiments Revisited

In the last month, we explored the relationship of the heart and the mind to consciousness. This post brings what we learned to practical use by applying it to a three-part experiment. To get the most out of this experiment, avoid reading the instructions of the next...
The Power of the Mind

The Power of the Mind

“This is a leaf,” I tell my four-month old son. He stares in fascination. His eyes are witnessing something new, but he doesn’t yet know that it is called “leaf.” Nor does he yet know that he is called “Aviv.” Soon I will reverse the lesson: “What is this?” I will ask...
How deep is the moment?

How deep is the moment?

When the wealthy trader Giovanni Arnolfini married Costanza Trenta, he hired the best painter to commemorate their nuptial. After all, this would be their happiest moment, and the value of a portrait conveying that memory throughout the rest of their lives was rightly...
Pocket-sized ideas

Pocket-sized ideas

“Which you like most?” Yang Longming pulls out from his collection a bronze Lohan, a porcelain Kwan Ching, and a miniature Buddha. He sits back with a half-smile and observes me, as if there is an obvious right choice between these three artifacts, and after having...
To Desire and to Want

To Desire and to Want

We get what we want. This is a surprising law. The imagined narrative of our lives seems to contradict it. “Am I guaranteed to enjoy good health, or the benefit of using my talent to earn a living, or the fortune of a positive relationship with my spouse? Are you...
Unfound Solutions

Unfound Solutions

In Hinduism, the health of a cosmos relies on the struggle of good and evil. As long as gods and demons perpetually oppose each other, the cosmos they inhabit remains healthy, but if evil gains the upper hand, its well-being is threatened. At such times, a God of a...
Reviewing our New Year’s Resolution

Reviewing our New Year’s Resolution

On the 26th of December 2015, we invited readers to formulate their New Year’s resolution. We quoted Aristotle, who said, “All man’s well-being depends upon two things: one is the right choice of aim, of the end to which actions should tend, the other lies in the...
Struggle of Yes and No

Struggle of Yes and No

“You can take one photo,” says the stubborn guard. “You mean, a photograph of only one painting?” “Si.” Our negotiations have borne fruit; one is better than none. We step into a hall of a thousand sculptures, portraits, and landscapes, some poorly lit, some nestled...
To See or not to See

To See or not to See

We daydream involuntarily, but can we daydream by will? (Can you look at this screen right now and force yourself to daydream?) We become identified involuntarily, but can we be identified by will? (Can you become so fascinated with this screen right now, that you...
What does it mean, to Be?

What does it mean, to Be?

Am I looking through the windshield of my head as I drive through the tasks of my day — eating breakfast, talking on the phone, typing on the keyboard — or is my mind wandering elsewhere while my vessel cruises on autopilot? Autopilot is sufficient to navigate through...
What is your gift to consciousness?

What is your gift to consciousness?

A vineyard rushes by, an orchard, a moor, a mountaintop village. From my train window, they dash in and out of sight, presenting themselves only for an instant. Now I take them in, then I forsake them for daydreams. Much is wasted. I cannot stay for long. My eyes...
Attending While Dining

Attending While Dining

Monks stood in attention. The Abbot appeared, crossed himself at the doorstep, and entered. He was led by a retinue to the farthest table at the hall, and was seated. The assembly sat in response. A bell rang and our neighbors jumped to their food. In an instant, the...
What is the Price of Transformation?

What is the Price of Transformation?

High-end jewelry stores typically hide the price of their merchandise. Jewels are beautiful and price tags are functional. A dangling tag reduces the visual value of what it prices. Moreover, high-end jewelry costs might scare potential buyers from entering the store...
New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

In this work, aims cover distances. I am here and wish to move there – here and there being psychological locations. It is within our power to change considerably, it is only a matter of effort and time. Therefore, aims are measured in time: I am here now and wish to...
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