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 another, and avoid being drawn away by insignificant disturbances. I can pull out the golden thread of consciousness from the mesh of mechanicality. Descending the mountain to a lower state, however, I lose these powers. The many ‘I’s crowd upon me and I lack the scale and relativity by which to govern them. Therefore, the more often I travel up and down my inner landscape — the more often I experience fluctuations of consciousness — the more will I seek to set rules whilst above, that will apply down below.
“Rules pursue a definite aim,” says George Gurdjieff: “to make people behave as they would behave ‘if they were,’ that is, if they remembered themselves.” To conclude our August labor of coining aphorisms, we hereby formulate a set of ten rules as guidelines for our community. If each member worked individually, a communal set of rules would be unnecessary, but for group work common rules must be formulated, refined, and applied. Below is the latest draft of ten aphorisms that may serve as the granary for our community’s cache of practical advice. I invite members to suggest refinements or replacements in the comment section.
1. Be, always and everywhere.
2. Seek the higher right.
3. Value small efforts.
4. If not now, when?
5. Welcome suffering.
6. Know thyself; trust no ‘I’s.
7. Avoid negativity.
8. Watch for deviation.
9. Find in yourself what you dislike in others.
10. What you gain everyone gains.