Each moment is a lock that has a key. First, I must remember my aim to "Be." This, in itself, is difficult, because I am not unified, I forget. But even then, when I do remember, there remain two more elements that determine whether I can unlock the moment: Can I find the right effort for this moment? And can I find the strength to make that effort? In this tutorial, we will explore these two elements. We will draw from a depiction of God creating Man in his own image by Lucas Cranach and see how these two elements are portrayed in this Biblical episode. And we will set a weekly aim that will help us observe these two elements in our moment-to-moment efforts to "Be," an aim that will make us more intimately familiar with our hearts and our minds.


  1. Asaf Braverman Post author

    This tutorial invites a sincere observation of our efforts. Circumstances within us and outside of us continually change. So must our efforts. With each change, a new key must be found to a new lock. The mind (intellectual center) is responsible for finding the key, the heart (emotional center) for generating the force behind its usage.

    Can you observe moments in which your mind knows the right effort, but your heart lacks the desire to make that effort? Can you observe moments in which your heart has the desire to make an effort, but your mind cannot find the right key? And can you observe moments where heart and mind unite, resulting in a higher state?

  2. Nancy-Rebecca McCarty

    Moments where mind and heart unite behind a common theme to ‘awaken’, are indeed, experienced as ‘magical’. How does the concept ‘Be’ become connected to a feeling that ‘motivates’ us to push past resistance, causing us to overcome the inertia of our habitual dull state, and enter a higher state? How do mind and heart unite? through what process? what is the ‘connecting factor’ that unites “man and woman”? In my experience the ‘connecting factor’ is ‘attention’, specifically ‘divided-attention’. When mind says ‘Be’, it is my ‘attention’ that connects the concept behind the word ‘Be” residing in ‘mind’, to specific verified emotional understandings about the value of achieving higher states, residing in my ‘heart’. When a desire ‘to be’ appears, but no thought, of how ‘to be’ comes… the wings of ‘Attention’ can be used to connect the heart with the mind. When self-observation reveals my heart and mind are ‘out of sync’, the wings of ‘attention-awareness’ can be directed to the ‘missing’ center, to ‘unite’ the two.
    In the 1st image below, the circle at the top represents ‘higher states’ the scarab could be said to represent ‘evolution of ‘being’, the wings are those of ‘attention-awareness’, the little shape at the bottom is a basket, meaning ‘all’ or ‘together’, for a basket ‘holds all together’, extending out of the basket, underneath the scarab connected to it are two ‘pillars’ supporting it, one meaning of these is the active and the passive: ‘Man and woman’. This image is symbolic, and contains many layers of meanings, from one angle this image could mean: “The man and woman united together support evolution of ‘Being’, as it moves on the wings of ‘attention’, toward higher-states.” This image is reminiscent of a heart with wings, surmounted by a crown as in the second image. Both images impact on my mind and heart at the same time, and unite them…evoking… ‘Be’.

  3. Dean Whittingham

    I have the privelege of being able to listen to hours of these tutorials a day whilst I am driving ny truck and I find it a lot that when I am listening I get a lot more of emotional force occuring as if the tutorials themselves are producing the inspiration. However outside of the task which the particular tutorial is focused on, I do indeed find it often difficult to find the right key…put another way, whilst listening to tutorials and driving around town I am met with so many opportunities that it is difficult to find the key at that particular moment however the emotional force is definitely present. In saying this I have learnt to default to feeling my senses of touch as a means to continue being in the present as long as possible.

  4. Dean Whittingham

    As for an example of mind present heart absent I have noticed that when I eat my mind knows and will instruct to slow down and savour the food but it is difficult to feel any emotional force behind this and I have observed that these moments of any amount of awareness are extremely short lived

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      Dining is a classic example (discussed in more depth in the tutorial on Habits in the Instinctive Center). It is an effective area in which to verify that knowing which efforts to make does not guarantee being able to make them. The intellectual center alone cannot overcome instinctive center momentum. It must recruit the help of the emotional center. Thanks, Dean, for pointing out this simple and practical way of verifying the need of unifying the mind and the heart.

      1. Dean Whittingham

        Thanks Asaf, I decided to eat and listen to that specific tutorial at the same time. Not only did I manage to slow down for most of the meal I also observed almost everytime I went to bite my instinctive center trying to get me to take huge bites, a habit it is now obvious to me I have.

        1. Asaf Braverman Post author

          Well done Dean. You have won a single battle in the ongoing war of bringing consciousness to dining. Conquering new ground is more difficult than maintaining ground already conquered. Now that you have managed to introduce good disciplines to dining, reaffirming those disciplines should be simpler.

          1. Dean Whittingham

            Thanks Asaf,
            I have noticed a lot more observations in recent weeks that I am struggling to keep note of them all..but one stands out where I observed myself in a state of useless chatter and even butting in before the other had finished what they were saying…the moment I observed this something connected this observation to past events. I cant really explain it too well in words but it was like some part of me remembers all the other times in the past I have engaged in useless chatter and by this recent observation connected them all. There was definitely emotion in this observation. I felt embarressed on one side but extremely uplifted on the other.

            What I also observed was that I had already imagined the content of this useless chatter the day before, as if my machine was hell bent on telling this person this useless information the moment I saw him again, and on cue when I saw him the next day it was obvious at the moment I blurted it out that my machine had been waiting impatiently for a moment to discharge.

  5. Wiky Purohit

    It’s like a flowing river. In river two banks are needed, it cannot flow with one bank. And if you look deeper these two banks are joined together just below the river.

    In India we have picture of Shiva where there is half man and half woman ‘Ardhanarishwar’. Shiva is one, the body is two, the mind and the heart. I think it is the same symbol. It’s hard to find the balance, you’re lost in the middle cause you have to decide between mind & heart. If you can use both then you can ‘Be’. On the surface the banks are two; in the depth the souls have mingled and become one.

  6. Jack

    I observed it, The Rambler, doing inner talk this morning about my wife and what it was going to say and do to get something it wanted. As I observed it, I remembered our work assignment and spoke to it, ” this is not me, nor who I want to be” The talk stopped. I thought this was my mind acting but not my heart. Then it came back to me what I had read this morning about the Work and how a man must revalue The Work, once he comes to it, by the application of the Work ideas to himself and how grateful I had felt this morning. I refelt that gratitude so much then I had goose bumps over my body. I was grateful to the Work that I was being given this opportunity. This is the first time I felt my mind and heart were doing The Work together. It was a great feeling.
    The mind acted first, but the heart came next.

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      Jack, I was reminded of the Ouspensky quotation included here after reading your comment. It sounds like your efforts to stop the “rambler” generated an emotion of gratitude, which is a very powerful emotion in this work.

  7. MarisaM

    Thank you Asaf for this assignment and the clear way you guide in this exercise. To the phrase: “Can you observe moments in which your heart has the desire to make an effort, but your mind cannot find the right key”. I see this with regard to relationships. In one particular relationship where I don’t know how to proceed, the intellectual centre says wait and watch. I’m not sure this is a key to the emotions that come up. I feel my emotional centre wants to make some efforts towards this particular relationship but without this “key” I’m not sure – don’t have verification – on which to act. As I’m in wait and watch mode I can feel the emotions buzzing in a way. Maybe at another level grinding through something that needs to take it’s course.

    1. Charles Rodkoff

      Hello Marisa, your comment made me smile, since this is exactly where I am myself these days. My wife, whom I *almost* always listen to, is encouraging me to not say or write anything to a particular person, because my queen of hearts and queen of clubs (emotional part of the emotional center and emotional part of instinctive center) are active and my thinking (the intellect, reasoning faculty) is not clear. Seems to me you have a strong observer guiding your efforts to evolve.

      1. MarisaM

        Hi Charles,

        Thank you so much for writing and bringing in the perspective of the moon’s influence. I’m usually aware of the full moon cycles (not too much the new moon) with respect to the weather changes or road conditions. Thank you for valuing the emotional cycles in this. Well, I believe I have received some verification to the moon’s influencing as today is exactly when some movement occurred in this particular relationship. My inner work of needing to external consider more helped me see patterns where I would usually be eaten up by negative emotions and would want to express them. Here was an opportunity after having to wait for so long for a response that my thinking could be freer and not be so caught up. Becoming aware of emotions that are not usually addressed and being more considerate helped me. I will have to increase my map and include the moon. Is the intensity of this recent full-moon more so than any other full-moon? The news events, in particular of these past days, have been very disturbing.

        1. Charles Rodkoff

          Hello Marisa! Here in the US, law-enforcement agencies also know that the moon has an effect. Arrests, problems, highway issues, etc occur more during lunar phases. It’s worthwhile noting that as well as lunar phases, planetary motions and meteor showers also affect life on earth. Here are some events and dates to jot down:
          July 28-29, 2016: Delta Aquarids meteor peak
          August 5, 2016: Capricornids meteor peak
          August 12-13, 2016: Perseids meteor peak

          WW1 began just before the beginning of August and WW2 beginning of September. Many cultures stop working during August and take their vacation/holy days – probably to avoid stress as much as possible during August. I remember one time around an August, my wife and myself were quite strained with each other. When we remembered what happens in the heavens, it took the ‘personal’ out of our different points of view.

          Some ancient cultures in Asia, in August, go as far as not signing any contracts, not starting any new projects and making sure to finish what’s been started as soon as possible before August. These ancients knew a thing or two!

          It’s lovely that your efforts include external considering others as a response to inner-turmoil. Reminds me of a line from Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice:
          The quality of mercy is not strained.
          It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
          Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
          It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

          Wishing you a beautiful and serene August 🙂

          1. MarisaM

            Hi Charles,
            Thank you so much for your reply and offer of dates to the meteor showers. I didn’t know there were dates that could possibly be followed. With your information I was able to do some research and mapped out the dates on a calendar. Yikes! this is the week in which Alpha Capricornids and Delta Aquariid peak. (July 28th being the date with two peaks on the same day). For a moment I had the sensation to “head to the hills” and wait out the “rain” especially as interference seemed to increase . I became more aware of “tensions” in the body and with others – especially with others. Then I realized that this is an excellent time to practice. Along with being more aware during meals and eating, I can use the “Be” exercise with more attention and be more aware of how my attention gets pulled in a different direction from my task.

            Thank you also for Shakespeare. It is a good reminder to speak with more gentleness always.

            Wishing you a good week.

  8. George Gurdjieff

    Work on oneself must begin with the driver. The driver is the mind. In order to be able to hear the master’s voice, the driver, first of all, must not be asleep, that is, he must wake up. Then it may prove that the master speaks a language that the driver does not understand. The driver must learn this language. When he has learned it, he will understand the master. But concurrently with this he must learn to drive the horse, to harness it to the carriage, to feed and groom it, and to keep the carriage in order—because what would be the use of his understanding the master if he is not in a position to do anything? The master tells him to go yonder. But he is unable to move, because the horse has not been fed, it is not harnessed, and he does not know where the reins are. The horse is our emotions. The carriage is the body. The mind must learn to control the emotions. The emotions always pull the body after them. This is the order in which work on oneself must proceed.

  9. Hicham B.

    The most common observation is where I know the right effort but I lack emotional energy to do it. A group of “I”s fear tomorrow. I know that tomorrow is an illusion and does not exist. What exists is only the present moment. All my attention must directed towards the aim of being Present, however, that group of “I”s interferes and prevents the achievement of my aim!

  10. anselmo

    Today, 5 minutos after i get up from bed, i observed that i was daydreaming. I knew the key, wich was to remember myself, to be present, however i didn´t have the force to use that key. As a result i daydreamed a lot this morning. I didn`t have the emotional center to overcome that situation.
    What can i do? I thought about doing the prayer a few minutes after i wake up.

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      Yes, the prayer is a good idea, but tune it to your routine morning activities: showering, brushing teeth, shaving, etc. Once you form the habit of doing these accompanied by internal prayer, the effort will come more naturally every morning.

  11. Tim

    “Each moment is a lock that has a key.”

    According to O., in any given moment, one of four things can occur: 1. fate, 2. cause and effect, 3. accident, 4. will.

    Fate is described by O. as something far more simple than what I had once thought… fate is like who your siblings are at the time of your birth. Bravo, Ouspensky.

    Cause and effect is self explanatory.

    Accident was described by O. as when two lines of cause and affect accidentally cross, like a man seeking refuge from a rain storm under a nearby roof and a brick from that house’s chimney is set free by the rain and hits him. Accident can be both negative and positive when measuring its affects on one’s life.

    Will. Not the will you think you have now, but the will you have when there is only one “I” within. Desires, self will, are not the same as this. O. goes on to say that, in Russian, the word for consciousness and will are the same.

    Consciousness was described by O. as a force. Therefore will is also a force. Force requires energy. So to achieve this goal it is clear to me that leaks must be plugged.