True identity is neither in Buddha’s discipline nor in Mara’s army; neither in the gods nor the demons; neither in affirmation nor in negation. True identity resides in the part that witnesses the struggle. We are what observes, not what we observe. Once you verify that the struggle with the many “I”s doesn’t last indefinitely, that your persistence brings you to a point of combustion, you have verified the principle of Transformation.


    1. Hicham B.

      I was practicing this exercise for the last days, however I was not able de verify transformation. I was successful in not expressing anger for example against one person but it is still inside me. The turmoil remains inside and I feel it each time I see that person.
      What should I do?
      Are there any simple exercises with which I can verify transformation?

      1. Asaf Braverman Post author

        You can take mental notes of your experiences. For example, did you notice that resisting the expression of your anger towards that person enabled observation? This is the first step (see Gurdjieff quotation below, “The second volitional ‘shock’ and transmutation become physically possible only after long practice on the first volitional ‘shock’…”). The fact that you couldn’t verify transformation means that you have not worked enough on this first step. But clearly, you have worked some. So keep aiming; keep making more effort. Results will come when you least expect them…

  1. Dean Whittingham

    A struggle involving haste, placing more importance on the value of my own time compared to that of others, and imaginations, vs, recognizing this negativity and pulling on it before it is ‘expressed’. Just because I am recognizing that I am impatient does not mean I am not still in a state of negativity, its just that I haven’t expressed it outwardly – I have slowed down even though I still want to speed up, I have recognized that time is equal for all, even though I still feel justified by my legal duties to treat my own time as important, I know the other person is not at fault and yet my imagination keeps seeking other reasons to criticize.

    As far as I understand it, I have not described the observer yet, but someone who has the potential to be observer, because, as I have said, the state of feeling negative still exists within and is very strong still, I am just preventing myself from expressing it outwardly, which takes much effort. This I can verify more than anything else in my life.

    Compare my own work habits today to one year ago, and the number of times I work with haste outwardly has decreased significantly; the number of times I still feel the negativity welling inside even though I am able to prevent it from manifesting outwardly has too decreased – because – the constant struggle to manifest outwardly what wells inside has created a new dimension, one that is neither in haste nor even feels it as in inner tension; it is a calmer state, one that understands that haste is unproductive, pointless, subjective etc, and it is this I assume is the observer, or the real I.

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      Dean, notice that pulling against the haste is a prerequisite for observing it. Similarly, observing the haste is a prerequisite for transforming it. This has to do with the two volitional shocks mentioned in the system (see Gurdjieff quotation below).

  2. Valéria Prado

    Hello, I believe that we should be able to identify and transform the energies that come to us. Disallowing be identified with them. The various “selves” that threaten our times of meditation, search for consciousness state will grow or decrease due to the importance we give to them.
    We must learn to transform negative thoughts and actions into positive actions. The energy lasts as long as we want. We are responsible for her life.
    After a friction generated, can enhance or decrease the power, it is up to us to decide how we feed this energy so that it continued or ceases. The consequences can be turned into positive fuels, such as overcoming points or more friction that will generate even more negative actions and identification.
    As shown in the video, the rain turned embers in a red lotus blossom rain. Everything will depend on how we react and we identified or not.
    The transformation point is in how you can handle the negativity and turn it into positive action to find the liberation of thought or action.
    The comprehension of the negative energy generated by friction leads to understanding, benefit for the meeting of illumination.
    If you are unable to access the top center, while remaining conscious, you will be watching “outside” what is actually happening (Are we being what notes). Avoiding concluções and the judgments that we take when we are watching, because in this state we are not aware of.

  3. Valéria Prado

    The persistence in being in being aware promotes constant struggle against the various “selves” that come along the way, creating the principle of transformation. I believe we should try to keep the states of consciousness to avoid demonstrations and negative expressions. As I understood the video should be the identity change witnesses.

  4. Jack

    I have decided to work on haste. I Have been flipping back and forth the last 2 days about judging, identifying and then meditated and asked to be shown what I needed to work on 1st(there are lots of candidates). Today it became clear I need to focus on haste. I drive fast. I actually love to drive fast. I walk fast. The more I thought about it, the more areas I saw where there is haste. There was even haste in this decision. Haste in the form of wanting to work on something bigger(moving to fast, take on bigger things first), i.e. emotional center. The thought came to me, let’s start smaller and not get ahead of ourselves. My Aim is to tug against haste to the point of transformation and become aware of the different way haste drains my energy. For this I need the help of The Work, and my Observing I by becoming the Observer.

    1. Jill M.

      Hello Jack,
      Reading of your experience with ‘haste’. I notice a lot of haste in myself as well, and one way it manifests is by leaving little details undone, such as leaving the clean clothes on top of the dryer because I am in a hurry, instead of taking the time to put them away carefully. So I have a visible record of my haste – disorder! Also I think another manifestation of my haste is to toss things in the trash, toss things where they go instead of walking over and placing them with care and intention.

  5. Maurice Nicoll

    …the work is about a certain transformation of the instant, of the moment, of the present, through the action of this work. For example, a man finding himself in the depths of despair, if he observes the situation and tries to remember himself, or tries to give himself any other kind of conscious shock at that particular moment, such as remembering his aim — that is, in other words, if he tries to “transform himself”, to transform his mechanical reaction to the circumstances that surround him at that moment — may find to his astonishment that quite suddenly everything is changed, his mood of depression vanishes, and he finds himself in a new atmosphere from which he wonders how he could have been in his former state.

  6. Alen

    I can start with My Mind, to tug against accidentally formed opinions and attitudes. I Observed that I have lived with a foreign Mind, not a thought of My own. These attitudes were always projected strongly to the outside. A kind of bending is needed where I can reflect them. Every attitude and thought is followed with a particular physical sensation. Observing these sensations gives a possibility to see it’s manifestation. Most of the Life attitudes are dry, but some with emotion. In almost all cases, this emotion is the one of negativity. It is painful to see this.
    With a new Mind strengthened, Being comes in and takes the first place. What was a change in Mind, becomes the possibility of growth of Being.
    Before every struggle was for comfort, after that for the Aim of change. Ultimately struggle and suffering are two hands of Being.

    “It” can struggle to make itself important, “I” can struggle and suffer from the Will of Being.

  7. Melissa Sweet

    It is so interesting that many of us seem to be working with haste. This is my main focus at this time. I observe my urgency and notice that what seems urgent, often, isn’t. Sometimes, however, it is. Since my husband’s death, two weeks ago, I have been inundated with paper work.
    A myriad of forms come my way which require my attention. I am uncomfortable until I fill them out and put them in the mail. Then still more are in my mailbox the same afternoon. I am observing that, though they need to be taken care of, I need not do them in haste. This is in such opposition to the I who feels the urgency. When I am not in such a frenzy, I can observe and, therefore, choose. Otherwise I become a machine. It is hard to relax to the point that I can pull against.
    What a perfect opportunity to choose the middle way, to allow the friction to do it’s work.

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      I second Dean, Melissa. You and I were in touch through your husband’s passing and it has been inspiring to see you re-grip your work and make extra effort in the face of such a loss. Big losses remind us of what is truly important. Hafiz said, “Time is the shop where everyone works hard to build enough love to break the chains.” Keep up the good work!

  8. Tim

    I have been tugging against indulgence. Through valuation of the work I decided to walk away from alcohol and I have been working on over eating as a follow up (auto intoxication). Oddly, I have found that indulgence uses energy instead of providing it. Yes, food energy makes you feel better when you eat to compensate for being tired but it is a different kind of energy. You can get away with it as a compensating factor once in a while. But as a business model for the body it doesn’t work in relation to the work nor in relation to healthy living.

    I instinctively stumbled upon indulgence a while ago and it took hold inside of me without my awareness. Drink, sleep, wake up feeling tired, over eat. Repeat. Add negativity. Drink more, sleep, eat more, etc. Brutal.

    The other day I was routinely having my morning cup of coffee with my wife and in a flash saw that I had been living in pity over my financial/career situation and have been using pity to justify many things, like indulgence. This flash was outside of my normal operating mode so at the time I thought it somehow came from outside of me. I think now this flash came from myself (this is practical) and therefore from higher self. I’ve had these moments before but always ascribed them to being from outside and now realize this assumption is wrong. In fact internal flashes of insight about ourselves can only come from ourselves. The amazing thing was that this event was as long and as brief as it needed to be and was succinct and without judgement. And now I wonder how timeless we are.

  9. Orazio Sorgonà

    Daily, I have easy negative reactions toward people I live with, and however I try not to express. Now I am developing a very good work attitude, it is exactly to resist expression /in order/ to /now/ reaching my aim of ‘the Lord’, it is Higher State of Consciousness.It is,
    I practically could conect my subjectivity to my real aim.
    Next instant, another effort. And already ‘everything’ had changed, I am no more worryed… exactly of having those irritations.