Parts of Centers

The labor of April invited us to break our day into smaller units of time and examine which were routinely wasted in sleep. Another way to approach our ‘acreage’ is by dividing it into centers and parts of centers. Which parts of centers habitually put us to sleep? In this workshop, we will attempt to answer this question by sharpening our understanding of the four lower centers and their subdivisions.

Talking Consciously & Unnecessary Talk

In the previous workshop, students mentioned self-remembering while talking as an area of difficulty. It is more challenging to separate our identity from our ‘I’s when we verbalize them than when they remain unexpressed. We will therefore dedicate this workshop to talking consciously, as well as examining the habit of unnecessary talk. We will examine how the effort of separating one’s identity from the many ‘I’s is personified in the myth of David and Goliath.

Turning Routine into Ritual

The dictionary definition of ‘routine’ is ‘commonplace tasks, chores, or duties that must be done regularly.’ The definition for ‘ritual’ is close to ‘routine,’ except that the regular activity carries a sacred undertone. If we are to introduce consciousness into the routine tasks that comprise our day, we must turn them into rituals. This will be the subject of our first April workshop.

What have we learned?

Let us celebrate the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere by pausing to consider what we’ve learned so far this year. Students of the Be community have made considerable efforts and gathered genuine verifications. We will dedicate this Saturday’s workshop to sharing these verifications. During the workshop, we will break up into smaller groups to allow intimate discussion, and then reconvene to conclude where we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’d like to head.

Self-Government

In the first week of March, we focused on observing and plugging leaks. In the second week, our focused shifted to generating energy through voluntary suffering. Entering the third week of March, we will look at our efforts to govern our energy from the point of view of self-government. “When there is one single I,” said George Gurdjieff, “there is individuality, dominating the physical body and its desires and able to overcome both its reluctance and its resistance…” We will review various forms of self-government and aim to emulate the most fitting form for the micro-cosmos.

Recovering Self Remembering

In last week’s workshop we explored the need of catching the first ‘I’ in a group of habitual ‘I’s. We set a community-wide aim to resist habitual energy leaks during the first hour of our day. Most students reported success in catching their leaks, but difficulty in stopping them. What do we do when we observe a manifestation of sleep that we cannot control? In this workshop we will explore how to respond to our apparent failures and recover self-remembering.

Catching the First ‘I’

In the first workshop of March, we will explore the value and need of catching the first ‘I’ in a group of habitual ‘I’s. “Some habits are quite ordinary and harmless,” said Peter Ouspensky, “but if you begin to put obstacles in their way it will give you good material for self-observation and you will be able to distinguish identification when it enters.” We will end by setting a community-wide aim around catching the first ‘I’ that will reinforce the March Labor.

The Law of Three

Maurice Nicoll refers to the Law of Three as follows: “Every manifestation in the universe is the result of the combination of three forces. These forces are called Active Force (1st Force), Passive Force (2nd Force) and Neutralizing Force (3rd Force). The first one, can be defined as a Starting Force, the second as a Resisting, and the third as the Balancing, or Combining, or Connecting force.”

In the forthcoming workshop, we will explore how the Law of Three manifests in our micro-cosmos. We will share observations of the second and the third forces, focusing on moments of our daily life in which we encounter “triads,” and seek to understand how our work could possibly affect the unfolding of events.

Consciousness and Functions

Building on last Saturday’s workshop on Body Types and Features, we will dedicate this workshop to the relation of features to consciousness. Features are part of our functions, and this teaching makes a sharp distinction between functions and consciousness. How can our features serve consciousness? “A man’s feature can be either his undoing or his salvation,” says Rodney Collin. “If it is at the service of personality, it will be his weakness, that which trips him up. But if the same thing serves essence or an ideal then it is that which justifies the man’s existence in the world, which enables him to fulfill himself and to serve the Work.”