What is a cosmos? Why may a human being be considered a cosmos? And what are the implications of this special status? In this tutorial we see that one of the important implications of this status is that we can learn by seeing ourselves reflected in other cosmoses. This echoes the ancient saying of “As above so below” and “As within so without.” We draw from the Biblical creation of man as depicted in the mosaics of San Marco in Venice, and highlight a particular nuance in the creation that is often overlooked. And we set an aim to learn more about ourselves through studying the behavior of others.


  1. George Gurdjieff

    A man sees the faults of others more easily than he sees his own. At the same time, on the path of self-study he learns that he himself possesses all the faults that he finds in others. In order to see himself in other people’s faults, and not merely see the faults of others, a man must be very much on his guard against and be very sincere with himself.

  2. Lenny Schwartz

    i dont think judgment can be “transformed” – our place within ourself can be changed… all that is required is to notice we are in formatory mode and immediately we are raised to a state of self observation and in the moment, a glimpse of self remembering – and then… the interaction between the other person and ourself will be observed more objectively – without judgement/labels or thought

      1. Nancy-Rebecca McCarty

        Yes, this happens to me too, often self-judgment, takes the form of ‘inner-considering’, which, in myself, is a group of ‘i’s’ that are ‘really’ concerned with what my ‘vanity’ imagines others would think of me, if they knew my ‘i’s’ were indulging in ‘judgment’. These self-judgment ‘i’s’ occupy the space where the experience of my ‘Self’ occurs, in more lucid moments. What makes it possible to shift my ‘attention-awareness’ into the neutral space of ‘the observer’, and ‘see’ these ‘i’s’ for what they are, is to loosen the ‘attachment’ of my ‘attention-awareness’ to them, and ‘divide’ attention between, the judgment ‘i’s’ ‘observed’ and the ‘Experiencer’, who is observing them, this allows me to ‘separate’ my ‘self’ from them. The attitude that councils, me to simply see the judgment ‘i’s (or any other kind of ‘i’s’), as just ‘i’s’ and then to ” let them go, loosely, fluttering off into space”~Rilke, helps me rise above them. Letting go of ‘judgement ‘i’s’, clears a space where the ‘Self’ can simply exist, as it is, in the moment, without any ‘need’ to attach any attention to self-judgment ‘i’s’.

      2. John

        This is a few days later and after some thinking about the situation. My observations of others are going to take the form of seeing something in them that I can admire, that is good, and that to which I may aspire. My first thoughts (above) were based on the experience of being more negative in my observations of others; a tendency that would be better eliminated.

    1. Charles Rodkoff

      Lenny, you’re spot-on about negative emotions unable to be transformed. You’re also spot-on when you say that “…our place within ourself can be changed… ” Exactly. Through the practice of non-expression of negative emotions (judgement, boredom, anger jealousy, etc), observation begins and identification – one’s sense of ‘I’ with the subject of identification is lessened because you’re no longer attaching your sense of ‘I’ to the negative emotion – instead it’s re-located to the observer.

      The energy of the emotion remains and this can be transformed into an effort to Be. Remove imagination and identification and what’s left is You, observing your own micro cosmos.

    2. John F. Walz

      Hello Lenny, thanks for an excellent comment, it sounds like it comes with quite a lot of experience and Being.
      I agree, in my experience transforming judgement is quite different then transforming real suffering in Essence, such as the death of a loved one.

      With judgement, the issue is not so much the individual “judgement i’s” (which are a corrupted and low level hydrogen) as much as it is the identification with “The Judge”, which is a major aspect of the “False Ego” or false I sense.
      As you said, we need to observe and separate from the judgement i’s and “The Judge” and shift our I sense into the Steward. One word single syllable “commands” I often find helpful for this, such as “Drop”.
      From the Steward, we can access the directed part of the emotional center. There, emotions such as compassion for suffering exist, rather than judgement or condemnation. Those emotions are of a hydrogen that can be transformed into a wordless higher state which may include and experience of Conscience.
      Please check in with us soon with your observations from the exercise for this week( from the end of the video)

    3. Hugo Ferraguti


      One cannot help that a judgmental ‘I’ appear, but one certainly can make the effort not to express it. The effort, if succeeds, will surely give us a taste of a higher state, even for a moment, and in this brief moment we will be able to learn something about the external situation, something that will help us not to judge in future events. Good luck!

  3. Nancy-Rebecca McCarty

    After listening to the video, the question comes to me, “What does it mean, to be sincere with myself about my faults? An ‘i” in me, says: “of-course ‘i’ know, what that means … isn’t it obvious?” Yet, that is only one ‘i’, there are so many others, that don’t know what it means to be sincere about my own faults. These ignorant ‘i’s’ produce judgment about others, in each encounter, be it in person, or on line. In fact these judgment ‘i’s’ can be counted on to automatically to begin judging almost immediately, so much so, that if my attention identifies with them, the actual meaning, of what another may be saying or doing, is often lost. My judgement ‘i’s’, unattended by my ‘work-‘i’s’, match and project their own meanings (which come from faulty attitude patterns, already existing within me) onto, what another, says or does, and ascribes ‘that meaning’ to the other’s actions. To realize, that the foundation the ‘i’s build upon, when they judge others, can only serve, as a base, if the ‘i’s’ successfully mange to ‘attach’ my attention, in a moment of ‘waking sleep, to the patterns of preexisting faults within my own psychology, which my un-directed ‘mind’, then projects onto the actions of another.

    Recognizing that Judgment ‘i’s’ mechanically arise from my own mechanical attitudes, is useful for my ‘work’, with this understanding, it is possible to discover, through the act of ‘observing’ my own ‘judgement’ ‘i’s about others, and tracing those ‘i’s’ to their source in my own psychology, what faulty attitudes’ exist in my own programming. The process of ‘changing’ judgmental attitudes toward others, then begins with ‘self-observation’ and a sincere admission by my ‘work-‘i’s’, that the ‘faults’ my judgement ‘I’s’ recognize in and ‘ascribe’ to others ‘as bad’, are those that they have already recognized, as existing in my own psychology. Shifting my ‘attention-awareness’ into the neutrality of the ‘observer’, allows me to endure the ‘uncomfortableness’, that is produced in the ‘lower-self’ by this admission. To ‘see’ the ‘faults’ in my own psychology, brings my ‘Self’ one step closer to being free of their influence.

      1. Nancy-Rebecca McCarty

        The judgment ‘i’s’ are so numerous, it is impossible to name them all …yet, here are a few examples: Meeting a person for the first time yesterday, and shaking hands: a judgment ‘i’ came that assessed the firmness and method of the other’s grip, and unfavorably compared it to my own, evoking a ‘feeling’ of ‘superiority’ in my vanity. Talking to another lady, a few days ago, who gave my form of dress, the ‘once over’ with her eyes…evoked an imagination in my mind, that she was ‘judging my style of fashion’, a judgment ‘i’ immediately appeared in myself, which judged her for ‘judging me’ …this kind of judgment ‘i” is particularly insidious, (catching ‘i’s’ that judge others for judging me, is quite difficult, as those kinds of judgment ‘i’s’ evoke a strong feeling of justification, in my emotional center). When in conversation, with a certain friend, who habitually, takes all the space with their talking, and interrupts others, when someone tries to say anything in response, a judgment ‘i’ invariably appears that judges them for ‘mechanical talking’… as if ‘it’ never did the same… and so on. On examination, all of my ‘judgement ‘i’s’, can be seen to arise from my own ‘features’ or ‘faults’. When lucky, an ‘alarm clock’ ‘work ‘i’ ‘goes off’, in a moment, when judgment ‘i’s’ appear. The most useful ‘work-‘i’s’ remind me to shift my awareness, into my experience of “Self”, and if my valuation for “Being present” meets that ‘work-‘i’, with enough ‘force’ (so to speak), the shift occurs, then, from the position of the neutral observer, the ‘judgment ‘i’ of the moment, is clearly seen as arising from a familiarity, with the very same fault, in my own psychology. This recognition arouses a feeling of ‘compassion’ for the other, this recognition evokes the realization, that we are all ‘equally enslaved’ by our own ‘brand’ of sleep, which sparks off an empathetic feeling of ‘compassion’ for the other, in my emotional center. The presence of ‘compassion’ circulating within my emotional center, helps me to respond differently, to the other, and if the feeling is strong enough, it seems to defuse the negative ‘charge’ of judgment in my ‘self’ releasing the energy in judgement, which can be used for presence. Ideally, the event, releases enough ‘energy’ to propel my ‘attention-awareness’ into my ‘experience of ‘Self’. Infusing my ‘Self’ with the ‘vivifying energy’ of ‘attention’ promotes a different ‘state’ of ‘Being’.
        The presence of Judgement ‘i’s’ creates barriers between ourselves and others, which prevents us from learning from each other. Judgment ‘i’s’ promote dishonesty within our selves and toward others, they are, in fact, ‘lies’, the ‘i’s’ tell, to keep up the pretense that they are ‘real’, which the lower-self also uses to ‘justify’ keeping our ‘attention’ tied to our own brand of sleep. As judgment ‘i’s’ are rendered invalid, through the power of ‘light’ (self-observation), a ‘safe environment’ is created between people, in which essence can emerge without fear of being judged, developing true friendships, in this safe space, suddenly becomes possible. ……True friendships are quite rare and to be treasured. The compassionate and honest exchange of insightful observations with our True friends, helps us learn how to stretch our own wings and fly.

        1. philippe bitton

          Very eloquently expressed….A circumstance of life causes me to experience existence in my present personality, and as easily another I could have been. For like me, as it seems, all found themselves in the mist of this world in a similar manner.
          So, of course many “judgement I’s” will be found. For in all, one needs to know how to evaluate, but when the judgement arose a negative emotions (a discord in the melody of life), it is driven by the personality (ego). Though, not so dismissive I would be with its presence. For a side of me, that might at time elude me, is revealed. A facet to observe, and as you expressed, an alarm clock to bring to attention.
          The harder one to transform seem to be the judgement of myself, for in a kind of competition one is found. A need to be better, do better, be….The idea that somewhere one is going is the veil for what is right at the moment.
          I find that when loving with the whole of me, a kind of compassion and empathy one would have with others as they trudge upon this world, judgement is transformed in observation, and gratitude.

          Thank you for your posts, I really enjoy reading them.
          Peace and Love

  4. Jack

    Wthin a few minutes after reading our assignment, I was reading some comments on our site and realized Jack was judging one of the comments made. Jack was in the yes or no mode and had put their comment in the no side. I then observed the strong group of i’s in me(that I have observed before) that need to be right that mingle with judging i’s that was were placing this on someone else. It also came back to me that I especially should not be judging someone in the Work. I see where I need to listen more and stay out of the mechanical yes or no mode. While I do not like these things that I see in me, and see in me, and then again, I love these assignments and this group.

  5. Lazaros Lazarakis

    Good evening dear friends and members of the community.My verification for the “mirror principle”” has arrived from a story from Mount Athos’ monk Paisios :”YOU ARE WHAT YOU LOOK UPON” :there are two kinds of thoughts (logismoi in greek) ,good and bad.The man with the good thougths is like the bees:they are looking for sweet smelling flowers indending to pick their glitter for making honey (spiritual food).On the other hand the man with bad thoughts is like the flies:they are attracting by the bad smells of the human waste!So,everytime the Observing “I” catches my machine to criticising others with negativity I recognize the “fly”inside me and beginning the transformation to “Be(e)”.Be present!

  6. Tim

    I live in a resort town that attracts the super wealthy. They come by jet, they come by helicopter, but most come by car. The simple act of driving down street to run an errand can be fraught with peril. Aggressive drivers tailgate, pedestrians cross without checking, the very important cut you off. The whole time I am an oasis of calm. I enjoy the challenge of being patient, non judgmental and, dare I say, forgiving.

    My wife texts me to ask if I wouldn’t mind stopping at the grocery store on my way home from work. I say I don’t mind but I really do. I am queued up before I even get out of the car. I am red hot by the time I get to the door. I get inside and quickly deduce no one is sharing the aisles and the expected five minute excursion will now cost me eight minutes. How dare they? See that one there? They are so wide they don’t even need a shopping cart to block the aisle. Another waddles so badly I have to wait for them to pass. I myself have 60 lbs to lose.

    On reflection these two environments are identical. Both involve sharing the road. In peeling back this onion the first layer is expectation. I hadn’t expected my wife to text me with an out-of-the-way request. And it was her desire imposed on mine – I felt like I was losing something. Once inside the store, my anger was so quick it had to have come from the store, not from inside me.

    Passing judgment is just a symptom of something else. I am hypnotized in my own sleep. Nothing really works in sleep except the formatory apparatus. Get food. I am over weight. I need to lose weight. These people are in my way. They take up space, they are overweight, too. Some waddle (I don’t yet, I don’t think). There was also no filter in place; my anger was thoroughly justified. How do I justify? Part of what pulls me through is knowing there is a better place than my own feeble mind. So at least there is right valuation.

    But peeling further I realize, in a moment of sincerity with myself, in the first example, where I am gracious on the road, is merely a passive state. And if I am honest with myself, this passiveness gets me nowhere sooner in The Work. I am reminded that we must voluntarily sacrifice something that’s dear to ourselves if we are going to have any chance whatsoever at remembering our selves at the time impressions are received.

    1. John F. Walz

      Thanks Tim for such a sincere post. Peeling away the buffers reveals the machine for what it is; a selfish animal in human form. If we can deeply accept what we see about “it”, “I” can experience a moment of Conscience , and since Conscience is an aspect of Higher Emotional Center….Voila’, there You are.

      1. philippe bitton

        Shalom John,

        Yes indeed, the machine is a selfish animal in human form, for it is what it is, so it was formed. And I shall assume that not in a negative way you expressed that statement, but indeed as an observation. For indeed, when we “can deeply accept what we see about it” in a different state one is found, amid the higher center.
        It is a wonderful tool at my disposition. The machine is what I have to express myself in this physical world.
        Peace and Love

    2. philippe bitton

      Thanks, and nicely written. The discovery of ourselves, -that tool at our disposition to craft our own world – is a present work, To known the tool at one’s hand.
      The sacrifices (transformations) are a kind of giving in to our will rather than our desires, likes and dislikes.
      Peace and Love

  7. MarisaM

    Thank you everyone for sharing your observations and impressions. The practice of prayer and breath seems to be working on so many levels – more than I can put into words. Working with judgements, I saw a judgement with person completely turn around. Five or six months ago I initiated a project expecting a follow-up call or meeting to see what the next steps might be. The meeting never happened for some understandable reasons. Eventually some negativity appeared as more time went by and I learned many things about myself. Still there was one part , judgements – of sorts , that lingered on the other person. Than I saw the not calling on a new level as an expression of how they might view the project, respond to the efforts and decided it was not suitable or of right timing. This helped release judgement in the other person and in myself in appreciating values on the personal perspective. All of a sudden I felt grateful and valued the other persons perceptions and could respect their decisions.

    On another level I feel judgements present which seem to be there and sometimes come in so fast that I don’t know where they are coming from. Also not sure on the difference between judgements and impressions from a Work point of view. I observe how releasing judgements in one area helps me see more judgements with deep emotions in another areas.

    1. Charles Rodkoff

      Hello Marisa, thank you for your observations. Is interesting when I hear or read someone else’s experience, how it helps me think about and assess my own experience with the non-expression of a negative emotion. Is the advantage of working with people rather than alone.

      What you expressed about the speed of judgement is an astute observation on how fast the emotional center is. For myself, I have not been able to stop judgement. What’s possible for me is to recognize it when it comes. The more familiar I become with this state, the quicker I recognize it and can return to efforts to Be. Also, as you also described, observing judgement and resisting it makes encounters with people less troublesome.

      The speed with which judgement occurs, is a key element in working with this negative emotion. It’s connected to the emotional center (specifically the emotional part of the emotional center, also known as the ‘queen of hearts’ when using the deck of playing cards as a map of the four lower functions).

      The emotional center is an organ of perception. The queen of hearts is a keen observer. The challenge is to allow insights without drawing conclusions. This requires the intellectual part of the emotional center, the king of hearts. It’s not a quick process. What’s more interesting, at least for myself, is that this process can be applied to my external world, that is my relationships to the people around me and my environment, *and* my own inner-life – my effort to Be and what prevents it.

      Wishing you many continued and successful efforts to Be!

  8. Jack

    I was playing cards in my weekly game with friends, when I asked X if he had done something correctly. I received a quick sharp reply driven by anger, which before I knew it, Jack had responded with a sharp response, backed by anger. I had judged this person on previous times with similar responses to others in our group. After it had responded and the game continued, I observed that I was judging myself because the same mechanical i’s in me were reacting to the mechanical i’s in him. I have spent some time consciously thinking about this anger in me and can see where there are a number of these i’s that I need to Work to not identify with, starting with changing some of my attitudes. This is not a small item for my machine. Hopefully I will be better prepared in similar circumstances in the future with the aims I have set.