“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 Aviv, pointing to a leaf in a picture book, testing whether he can recall its corresponding name. With enough repetition of names and images, images and names, he will gradually connect things to their accepted labels and develop the capacity for language.

In so doing, Aviv will be acquiring a talent unique to the human species. He will gain the mental power of causing things to appear and disappear by will. He will be able to say “leaf” without there being a leaf present, and bring its image to his mind’s eye. The same with any other object, event, person or place he will have ever experienced. Within the limits of his inner world, this is nothing less than telekinesis. It won’t single Aviv out from among his own kind, but in comparison to all other species, he will have attained the status of a superhero.

Superheroes share similar fates. The first phase of their development is always one of discovery, in which they realize their unique potential. Then follows a period of learning to harness that potential to their will. During this second phase, the hero’s powers are more of a curse than a blessing, rendering him dangerous to society. Superman’s futile attempts to hide his physical superiority come across as clownish, the Incredible Hulk socializes like a bull in a China store, and Jean, the first mutant student at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, has some of her powers secretly suppressed for her own security. Typically, our hero cannot advance from this second phase by his own will. An external challenge must call his powers forth, one that cannot be resolved by mortal means. Civil strife, geological catastrophe, or extraterrestrial invasion usher our hero into the third and final phase: mastering his talent, saving the day, and regaining public favor.

Our mental telekinesis, however, rarely arrives at this final stage. Perhaps because we share it with others and consider it commonplace. Perhaps because it is invisible from the outside and unimpressive. Be that as it may, throughout our lives, our thinking associates erratically, like the clownish Superman. It recalls the wrong things at the wrong time, like the blundering Hulk. It neglects personal verification in favor of adopting safer, popular views, like the suppressed Jean. We remain locked in the saddest phase of heroism, estranged from ourselves and our surroundings.

If we wait for civil strife, geological catastrophe, or extraterrestrial invasion to force our mental powers to their potential, we may well die waiting. But if we shift our focus to the very realm where our powers manifest — our inner world — there we may find a different kind of strife, catastrophe, and invasion to spur our talent into fruition. The civil war of our many ‘I’s, the devastation of our vanity being punctured, or the intrusion of our negative emotions may well put our minds to the test if, like heroes, we rise to their challenge.

Here, inner telekinesis succeeds where external telekinesis fails. Aviv will soon learn to bring the image of a leaf to his mind’s eye by saying “leaf,” but he won’t be able to make a real leaf appear. The practitioner of inner telekinesis, on the other hand, learns to bring the image of consciousness to his mind’s eye by saying “Be,” and then really becomes conscious.

Responses

  1. Asaf Braverman Post author

    Last week’s tutorial on Separation and Naming introduced the tool of naming our habits to help separate our identity from them. This post expands that usage into our work disciplines. Once we name the effort of self-remembering “Be,” we can then use that command to invoke consciousness each time it is absent. Try this out: each time you catch yourself asleep, intone “Be.” Share your observations and questions below.

    1. Hicham B.

      Hi Asaf! I have one question about the exercise. When you “catch” your self asleep implies that you are awake or conscious (at least for a very short time). Is the purpose of the exercise to create a “conditioned reflex” which consists of each time you intone “Be.” a state of consciousness will arise? Because if you catch yourself asleep you’re already there. Thanks

      1. Asaf Braverman Post author

        Yes, you could call it creating a conditional reflex if that helps. The point is to give the state a name, just like we teach our child the name of a new object. Then see whether having this name increases the frequency and duration of self-remembering.

      2. Michael Prochazka

        Hi Hicham! Your insightful observation regarding the state of consciousness called ‘being awake’ as opposed to ‘being asleep’ (i.e. the third state of consciousness vs the second state of consciousness) is very interesting. And yes, that has indeed been my own experience. The state of being awake comes and goes, so to speak, as it may. That is, when it comes, my Conscious Self (Observing ‘I’ comes into ‘being’ as if by magic! I then become aware of the fact that until that had actually happened (i.e. this “spontaneous awakening from sleep) ‘I’ was not present to “what was before me!”. In other words, ‘I’ was asleep and therefore not present to what was going on outside of me as well as inside of me which, as I know from own experience, can only become possible through the practice of dividing attention. Anyway, the trouble is that it seems I need some means of being able to ‘prolong’ that state of consciousness into which I am so suddenly and mysteriously and periodically ‘thrown’ into, so that my being aware of myself does not disappear again so quickly, thus allowing my machine to take over my life for me! My intentional aim is to live my own life more consciously in accordance with the Fourth Way teaching. One of the ‘I’s in me is beginning to think that to attain a ‘permanent’ state of consciousness is an impossibility, a futile attempt at something which may be an illusion! However, this does not prevent me from trying to take advantage of the third state of consciousness every time it appears. And when that happens, saying ‘Be’ seems indeed quite ‘superfluous’. Could you please respond to that? Thank you.

        1. Charles Rodkoff

          Hello Michael! Some time ago I had the same question which Asaf was kind enough to address. I haven’t spoken about this with him since, so before I go further, if Asaf, reads this and sees that my understanding or memory is inaccurate, I hope he’ll step in and correct 🙂

          There are two possibilities of attaining consciousness: the first is that consciousness ignites or awakens and sends an impulse down to the observing ‘I’ or that intelligent part of the four lower functions that values higher states and thereby strengthens itself with the help of the lower functions.

          The other possibility is that observing I or that part of the four lower functions that values the effort to Be understands it’s situation and ‘begs the Lord’ as it were, to appear – almost as if inviting a guest into your home.

          Are you familiar with the Old Testament myth of Jacob’s Ladder? Jacob dreamed that he saw a great stairway leading to Heaven. On it were angels ascending and descending. Asaf suggested to me that, esoterically, this represents the state of a man coming into being; the ascending angels were I’s from the lower functions (observing I, deputy steward, steward) that valued consciousness and were requesting the presence of higher centers (‘Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers.’ ‘Labourers’ being the I’s suport the effort to Be).

          The angels that were descending the stairway, were the impulses that consciousness generates for the lower functions to sustain itself. Maybe you’ve seen religious icons or paintings where God the Father seems to be blowing on a dove. Higher centers sending the impulse to the lower functions to continue making the effort to Be – at least that’s one interpretation of this image.

          There’s also your question of how to prolong consciousness. This is what the prayer does, one word, one breath at a time. There’s a fairy tale about the blacksmith who won the princess by jumping to the top of her lofty tower (the only way to reach her by order of the king) and thereby winning her hand from the king, her begrudging father. What the blacksmith did was jump to the top of the tower *one step at a time*. No-one said he had to do it in a single leap. We can attain prolonged consciousness one moment – one breath at a time. It’s a question continual strengthening of that commitment to doing so. Think of the blacksmith and his continued re-affirming of his aim to reach the top of the tower in spite of the aches in his thighs, calf muscles and ankles. He must have rested a couple times and because he was committed to his aim to reach the top, didn’t fall back down to the bottom when he had to rest. Our efforts to Be are the same; a movement and a rest, a movement and a rest.

          1. Hicham B.

            Hi Charles,
            Thank you for making it clear there are two possible ways how consciousness triggers: one coming from higher centers and the other from lower centers.
            One should be able to verify that by observing how he emerges from sleep into a state of “BE”.
            PS: Picture: “Sleeping Man” from Mutus Liber

              1. Hicham B.

                Hi Charles! Thanks for this image! Indeed symbolism plays such an important role in helping illustrate tricky concepts in the Fourth Way.
                Here is another one depicting the Jacobs Ladder by Shalom of Safed. Some angels are ascending, others are descending…

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      Not automatically. We must first connect the name “Be” with the state of being conscious, just like a child must learn to connect a name with the object it designates. This takes some repetition. Then see whether that name helps you gain better command over the state.

      1. Luís Sales

        In my experience it is easy to the connect the name “Be” or whichever name you choose that fits the purpose, with a sense of Higher State state (inner telekinesis), when i am doing activities that feeds my essence or has a third force envolved. For exemple: Since i am in the firsts stages of the work I try to make that connecting during weekends when i am not envolved in many activities and is involved in something pleasure to the soul. I also make more efforts when i am in the presence of my brother Anselmo, which is also a Fourth Way student.

        That way i can try to bring this state back by saying the word ‘Be” during the weekdays, which in my case are days with a lot more activities.

        Asaf, is this a proper way to do it ?

        1. Asaf Braverman Post author

          It makes sense to practice new tools in an environment that is conducive to the work. At the same time, aim to slowly introduce those tools to more difficult environments. If you succeed in connecting the state of consciousness to the name “Be,” then that command should eventually invoke consciousness also in moments of activity or distraction. That is the reason to give the state a name; so that you can recall it at will.

      2. Nancy-Rebecca McCarty

        Let us also remember the 4th way idea that ‘understanding’ is a result of the connection between ‘knowledge’ and ‘Being’. ‘Words’ are ‘knowledge’, they represent ‘concepts’, that is: information compressed (so to speak) into the ‘form’ of a ‘word-sound’. When we enter a higher state of consciousness, we experience our own ‘Being’ on a higher level, connecting a ‘word-concept’ like “BE”to that state, is connecting ‘knowledge’ to ‘being’ and this produces ‘understanding’. The concept of the word ‘understand’ has to do with ‘that which supports’, ‘that which is fundamental’. We slowly build our ‘work’ upon such a foundation, which is laid down by the connection of ‘knowledge’ to ‘Being’ within the scope of our own inner experience.

  2. Melissa Sweet

    Good morning, Essence friends.
    Asaf, your latest commentary,on The Power of the Mind, touches me in a very personal way. My grandson, Ben, was afflicted with severe autism when he was 8 months old, before he had learned to form words. He is now 24 years old and has never spoken a word. Words, even when spoken by others, have very little identification for him. Fortunately, his motor skills were developed before his affliction occurred so he is able to walk and feed himself and even ride a scooter. When I visit him, he does recognize and respond to me which is rewarding. He also responds to music.
    Several times, I’ve had dreams in which he speaks to me, directly, with fluency. While dreaming, I know exactly what he tells me and it’s always significant but different in each of my dreams. As soon as I wake up, I lose the content of what he told me. How I wish that I could remember. This young man has a very beautiful soul. He touches the heart of everyone who meets him.

  3. Dean Whittingham

    Give the state a name.

    Quite some time ago I observed for the first time a relationship within me that resembles this very topic of giving a state or circumstance form because I actually observed the formless substance first.

    It occured as I turned a corner in my truck and noticed (in substance) that it had been a while since I had driven down this very road. I say ‘noticed in substance’ because I didnt make that connection in any words in my mind – however – it was very soon after, if not within a second that the substance turned into a form and my mind said in words what it had noticed in substance. And what I also observed was that the substance/noticing part was very short, whereas the formatory part was long in the sense that my mind ‘had’ to spell out in words what it had noticed in substance.

    When it occurred I wanted to share with this group but the timing of it didnt seem to fit any topic at the time and so I have thought less of it as time has gone on, but I feel it has connection with this topic this week or so.

    It appears to me that our mind is going to give some type of form to any moment whether we like it or not.

    I have been experimenting using the word ‘serve’ and variations of it too, to help with duration, which I can report has helped also along with using “Be”. But I must also confess that it doesnt take long for any type of form to lose its effectiveness and become automatic again….I have observed that I need to add an element of feeling or sense to the form of “be” or “serve” which may just be sensing my foot, focusing on a sound to keep it going just that little bit longer

    1. Tim

      Hi, Dean. I read your post and appreciate the way you are able to describe the scene as it unfolded. I’ve also read about other people that have also used a word, but instead their word was ‘submission’. I never really knew what this meant until I started inner work myself and realized it means submission to the present. Thank you for reminding me of this. One of my favorite characters in history is a guy who went by the name of Voltaire and he once said ‘in all things we describe we merely only describe ourselves.’ I’ve been thinking of this, of describing and naming, and realize through self remembering that I bring to the present a lot of noisy description. Which is a different kind of naming than the useful tools Asaf has instructed upon (house of cards for one).

      I remember reading somewhere that in order to receive we need to first empty our bowl. Submitting to the present, using the command “Be”, empty and nothing, invite the guest in…

      1. Dean Whittingham

        Many thanks Tim,

        I will try and remember those two quotations you have referenced. They are quite insightful.

        Regarding the most recent workshop, when I first began with Beperiod I had at that point created a ‘one form fits all’ way to name anything and everything that I knew was representative of sleep, whether it was tenseness, imagination, negative emotion etc, whatever it was which I sensed or knew was sleep I simply named it as ‘sleep’…but since Beperiod it has appeared that there seems to be a need to go deeper as it were than merely using a catch-all phrase, or even just ‘negative emotion’ to catch all the negative emotions, but even further, and so I have gone out of my way to try to observe things like vanity, self-pity, boredom etc. I must confess I have found it more difficult to do, but when actually catching it, it has been far more revealing of the motivations of the machine, and especially in the last few days after the latest workshop.

        I have now observed, that I have ‘dread’, both in the morning and during the day whenever I think or remember that I will have to do the same things over and over, especially in relation to people and with any expectations I ‘imagine’ they are going to have, and which is stemming from vanity and some ‘expectation’ some of my I’s have regarding how life should be. I don’t act out this dread most times when I do interact with people (which is a far cry from the past), but I have noticed the dread and the vanity now beforehand, and so this will obviously be an aim to watch for.

        Incidentally, I caught myself humming a song yesterday in the shower, which I am ‘not’ a fan of, but which has the lyric ‘you’re so vain, you’re so vain, you probably think this song is about….’. Only in the last few weeks have I found myself humming this from time to time and when I observed it yesterday, it was straight after I had been in an imagination of dread as I just described!

        1. John F. Walz

          Hello Dean,
          thanks for sharing from your experience. I also use the word “Serve” as a shortened version of “External Considering”. where I am making an effort to Divide Attention, connect with the Directed Part of the Emotional Center and Serve another person. This also serves my own Higher Centers and possibly “Higher Forces”.
          This is probably an effort on the level of the Steward.

          1. Dean Whittingham

            Thanks John,
            I found that I began using it because it created some ‘feeling’ of inspiration or similar which was more than just the peace and presence felt with “Be”, especially as it relates to other people, and so I am grateful you shared this with me.

            On the subject of other people, and I must second what Christine said about this most recent workshop, as it has revealed some observations I had never seen before.

            A few weeks ago I told Asaf how I experienced many of my negative emotions in situations that did not involve other people; for example, if it was raining and I am trying to load or unload my truck I get angry at the situation for making me uncomfortable, as if I was blaming God. And yet just recently I have observed that deeper down I am actually looking for someone to blame, I had just never noticed it before. Now I can see that my mind gets angry at the situation and then projects it on to someone else, even someone I don’t even know, as if to say “Some person is to blame for this load not being covered at dispatch, and now I am being inconvenienced by having to place a tarp over it” – or “if those I work for weren’t so tight with money and always hinting that they want me to work quicker, I wouldn’t have to rush and load in the rain”..and so on.

            Maurice Nicholls said that negative emotions only occur in relation to other people. I was unable to accept this at the time I read it, but now I am starting to see that this may indeed be correct. It prompts me to ask, “Why is this so – why are negative emotions only the product of relations or circumstances involving accounts with other people?”

            1. Dimitra Metaxa

              Hello Dean, i don’t know if this is correct, but i believe that the reason is that we do not know really ourselves. Negative emotions appears only when we are identified. When i am identified with Dimitra and i love of course Dimitra, every other behavior that is bringing me in a “difficult” situation is an “enemy” and the reaction from my machine is negativity. But if i could put my self in the place of the other and understand his behavior because i have also this behavior and i see it also in me, than negativity disappears.

              1. Dean Whittingham

                Thanks for the response Dimitra.

                I posed the question because I had always believed that negative emotions could be caused by anything, whether people or simply natural causes (like a flat tyre). But Nicholls expressed in one of his books that all negative emotions are related to other people without exception..and I found this difficult to accept based purely on the fact that I have observed many many times negative emotions within me from circumstances where other people are not an element, for example, a flat tyre, its raining, the roof is leaking, a light globe blows, and so on…obviously none of these instances involve other people, and thus, when one of these examples makes me angry, am I really angry in the negative emotional sense as the fourth way describes ‘negative emotions’? Or is the anger something else?

                1. John F. Walz

                  I agree with you Dean, it seems that Dr. Nicholl made a generalization here that may not be true. I also experience negative emotions that are in relation to situations and events (and mechanically self generated through imagination) that seem to have no relation to other people. One thing to remember is that, although he has given us quite a lot, that most people agree that Dr Nicholl did not awaken, so perhaps he made a few mistakes.
                  The other thing that comes to mind is that perhaps he was differentiating reactions from the instinctive center that we generally call “emotions”, from real emotions that are in the emotional center. Some of the examples you give for example are instinctive frictions more so than emotional frictions. But, I’m not 100% sure because I don’t have the whole context of the passage you are referencing.

                2. Charles Rodkoff

                  Hello Dean, Tim, Dimitra,
                  Our condition is, unless we are making the effort to Be – dividing attention, practicing self-remembering,etc, – we’re in imagination and/or identified with people, places or events. Imagination and identification are the causes of all negative emotions.

                  Dean, this nugget from your comment caught my eye: “I have observed that deeper down I am actually looking for someone to blame.” Exactly. This is an astute snapshot or photograph of identification. Can you – and all of us – think back to what our imagination related to our circumstances was? You don’t necessarily have to answer. Reviewing where identification and imagination took hold helps untangle the knot of what draws us into these states of negative emotions.

                3. Dimitra Metaxa

                  I have not the knowledge to answer to your questions but from my observations first of all it has to do with the type from the enneagram which somebody is. For instance the martial type is more easier irritated from other things than a venusian type and so he has the work to separate his Self from these irritated- angry I’s. Negative emotions and anger (one of the negative emotions) exists only when we give them life by identifying with them. Everything that do not fit in our plans (weather, flat tyre) irritates us only when we are identified with this plan (this “i”) that wants to satisfy his self. If we accept the things as they are we are not the denying force and everything flows without touching us. You can work on it… by observing, naming and separating from these i’s.

                  1. Charles Rodkoff

                    Hello Dimitra, yes, you’re absolutely correct that different types will have different reactions to the same stimulus. What is common to all the types though, is imagination and identification. The naming and separating helps us, as different types, give a name to the various imaginations and identifications that take us away from the effort to Be.

                    The question about imagination was not really meant to elicit an answer, so much as to stimulate a review of *where* we fall into imagination – which subjects take us there (naming). It’s usually the same ones, as are the identifications we experience.

                    Whether it’s a punctured tire, the weather, a love affair, one’s bank account, the spider on the wall – these are different stimuli and each of us will have a different experience in relation to then. Imagination and identification are the same no matter what the subject or object. Observe these two elements and work on negative emotions becomes more possible, since these are what negative emotions are based upon.

        2. Tim

          In the Fourth Way O. mentions much about false personality and that anything that takes you away from self remembering should be considered part of false personality. As an exercise I believe he means that one is to take this quite literally. So if you are hungry then hunger for food and drink is part of false personality. If you want to watch TV, false personality. Write a letter, false personality. If you want to do anything, anything that isn’t self remembering, it is one of many false personalities. This makes inner observation a lot easier for me to understand from a starting point. Literally there is only one thing to do during the day, to self remember. While this higher state is very far off for me I can now be more ruthless while observing myself. In the past I was perhaps too comfortable in my chair, wishing to keep some things while trying not to keep others. My aim now is to find the door by feeling along the wall. One door, but many substances in the wall. Serious choices have to be made.

          For example, in trying to perform Asaf’s exercise this past week, I realized it is too far off for me. I am learning there is much about myself that is “tramp” and when the I’s of tramp appear they tend to suck away energy. There is no motive force left and now I have to wait a bit to replenish. This loss of energy validates to me that 4th way is and has been true. But now I have to figure out how I do tramp and leave it.

          1. John F. Walz

            Thanks Tim,
            I would not say that real and true hunger is an aspect of false personality. I’d say that hunger is an aspect of the Instinctive Center, it can be “right work” of the Instinctive Center to send a signal that its time to put fuel in the machine. Responding to that signal with the right amount and right type of food is all correct work of the Instinctive Center. Being identified with the hunger, eating poor quality food based on habit and taste, eating too fast and too much is all a type of wrong work of the machine where you lose energy in the process of eating as well as in the processing of the food.Dividing attention, being present to eating, tasting every bite, making efforts to intentionally eat while dividing attention, being grateful for eating can all be aspects of efforts at Self Remembering. Having lots of i’s about food, being a “foodie”, being identified with being a Vegan and having imagination that this makes one special (while disdaining all those carnivores), being overly concerned about health and eating can all be aspects of false personality.

  4. Christine Mattera

    The Power of the Mind Tutorial put so many pieces into perspective for me! Thank you. Often times way deep within it seems we don’t really know if anyone shares the same meanderings, and to learn that we do and best of all to NAME them, is enlightening!

    While I was on my daily speed walk today I paid special attention to the dastardly Jacks! It seems when I go on my walk they like to gang up on me with the most foolish, aimless thinking … and I don’t even want to grace the aimless chatter with the term “thinking”. Much like Marissa, I find past conversations being gone over and over! I can’t stand it! It seems like a form of madness, ha ha. I noticed that it is generally a selfish pop-up of repeated scenes in order to justify my behavior. Not that my behavior was poor … so why do these I’s rip and tear at the scene to create a better view themselves. I don’t like them. I am naming them “Selfish Justification”.

    Also I want to ask, in an over-organization of things, is the King of Hearts noted as Adam & the Queen of Hearts as Eve (i.e., Ishah/Woman since she wasn’t called Eve until after the fall). And, the King of Diamonds as the Resurrected Christ and the Queen of Diamonds as Mary Mag? In such, the Intellect is what is needed to bring us higher in terms of resisting the temptation of the emotions and their tendencies to mislead. It’s a very nice way to keep sight on it! Many thanks Asaf, and to all who share.

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      I am glad you could relate to examples given in the workshop. It helps to realize that our challenges aren’t personal.

      Regarding your attempt to relate Adam, Eve, Jesus, and Mary to parts of centers, it isn’t as clear-cut as that. The mind and heart are embodied in masculine and feminine archetypes. Adam and Jesus both embody the mind; Eve and Mary both embody the heart. Our centers never work independently, so these various mythological “couples” typify different possible relationships between mind and heart, and their consequence. The temptation of Adam and Eve is an example of the mind and heart inhibiting consciousness by biting on the apple of imagination. The redemption of Jesus and Mary is an example of the mind and heart aiding consciousness by avoiding repeating that same mistake.

      Back to your observation during your daily walk, your jack of spades (naturally active during a walk) stimulates your jack of hearts (reviewing past conversations) which stimulates your jack of diamonds (formulating justifications). The serpent offers Eve who offers Adam. To resist that apple, you must first recognize it (for which the name “Selfish Justification” is very effective) and then find a way to rise from the jacks to the kings.

      The looking exercise (mentioned here: https://beperiod.com/en/posts/how-deep-is-the-moment/#comment-449) is one possibility. By deliberately taking in impressions during your walk, you will be engaging your king of hearts, and that will jam the uninterrupted work of the jacks. Try this out. Follow your observation of “Selfish Justification” with some kind of effort to rise to the kings.

  5. Orazio Sorgonà

    You actually then truly begin to talk!
    You learn things just by trying to be present,
    the basis for any real conception is observation.
    it is thus said: ‘the book of the Sufis are the things themselves’.

    When I was very young, I attended university in Philosphy.
    I realised that “those men”, it is the Philosphers, as I conceived thaem, knew things that i did not, or could know. I mean, their
    very words seemed to me to address to a ‘different’ reality that may customary one; and they knew and named things of which I didn’t know at all.
    I had this feeling at about any word.
    And I wanted to gain the same as them (I thought I could).
    Well, the boy was right (let alone “professors” who, facing the same unknows, began to ‘fill’ the words with an imaginary meaning of theirs).

    In second state, we can name “table”, “chair”, “glass”, etc.
    Ouspensky said: -you can say: ‘I’ go and buy cigarettes;
    but you cannot say: ‘I’ think this and that.
    He spoke there of the word ‘I’ , the one which we mostly abuse.
    But which we don’t?

    While, properly our naming shall be founded on work-observation.
    In general, “he who is not with me he is against of me”, if we aren using one function of ours in the work to be present, it is because the thief had taken it away.

    Ouspensky also said: if at this stage (at the beginning of the work) we cannot control our minds, we cannot control anything else.
    In order to ‘call things with their own name’, we shall begin by ceasing
    to miscall them by names which aren’t theirs, it is at random, subjective, mind “thinkings”.

    1. William Scholte

      This is a very useful angle Orazio. We have a tendency to ‘sugar -coat’ or justify our ‘I’s, legitimizing their expression. Some ‘I’s in myself which I used to call ‘humor’ are now more correctly known as ‘sarcasm’. This has given an alarm quality to ‘I’s that once seemed to have some value.

    2. Thomas Neuschatz

      Hello Orazio. Thanks for many useful thoughts. From one point of view, both naming and using an ‘I’ such as “Be” are both efforts at controlling the movements of the intellect. This is where work often begins, by attempting to control and stabilize the slowest of the lower centers, directing it toward consciousness, and learning to avoid ” random, subjective, mind “thinkings” which will fill the day and our lives if not monitored.

  6. George Gurdjieff

    It can be said without any exaggeration that at the present time the third state of consciousness occurs in man only in the form of very rare flashes and that it can be made more or less permanent in him only by means of special training.

  7. Melissa Sweet

    I had such a marvelous opportunity to practice this past week. To notice the pull of the serpent and to calm it by saying, within, BE.
    My youngest daughter was married several hundred miles from where we live. This was a wonderful and joyous occasion. However, with the combination of traveling, heavy traffic getting to the airport, a need to change our reserved accomadations, terrible weather the day before, I found myself ” biting the apple” many times. This took the form of worry, projection, annoyance, imagination and dread. Many, many times I ” caught it” when it occurred ( not always ). When I was able to catch it, I immediately spoke to my inner self and said, ” BE”.
    This was nothing short of amazing. Whatever state I was in simply dissolved. I woke up and all was in perspective. Truly, it was the antidote to the poison apple.

  8. Jack

    Since I have started naming self-remembering “Be” I have been rereading Self- Remembering pages 317-319(volume one) daily from the commentaries to help me remember that “Be” is in me. ” It is to be reached by ceasing, even for a moment, from all one’s thinking and willing-“when thou standest still from self-thinking and self-willing and canst stop the wheel of the imagination and the senses.” I find this helpful in putting meaning behind the word as Asaf did for us with the prayer, I want to be serious I, by telling us to attach meaning to each word.

    1. Tim

      Hi, Jack. I want to be sure I have the same book you refer to, what is the full title? Was that “view from the real world” or “a further record”? Many thanks.
      Tim

      1. Hicham B.

        Hi Tim!
        Jack was referring to the “commentaries”, that’s to say “Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky” a six-volume set written by Maurice Nicoll.
        Warm Regards;
        Hicham

      2. Jack

        Tim, the book was Volume one of the Psychological Commentaries on the teaching of Gurdjieff & Ouspensky by Maurice Nicoll. There are 5 volumes and a 6th Index book for all topics, which is very useful. You can find them on Amazon, soft back or hardback copies. I use the index book to go back to topics we are studying in our school. I had read them before coming to our school, I see now why it is stressed in The Work you can not go far without a school. I am so grateful to have found our school and teachers. My understanding is growing, whereby I had some knowledge before.

    2. Charles Rodkoff

      Same here Jack. The intentional thought that I’ve been using to stop thoughts and desceding into imagination was “Is this self-remembering?”. Now with just a one syllable imperative, the the thought “Be”, I can bring more consciousness to whatever I’m engaged in, whenever I remember to bring it to the moment.