Access to the workshops below is restricted to BePeriod students
Grape harvest is symbolic of work on the emotions. During this labor, we will observe our heart as it functions by nature. Here we find some of the biggest energy leaks, and the roots of many of our habitual patterns. We will focus our first September workshop on one of these leaks, namely ‘identification.’ We will present the theory behind this manifestation and lay down the foundation for observing it in practice.
The last August workshop brings together our observations of the mind, how it works by nature, and how it may be harnessed to consciousness. The mind plays a key role in formulating attitudes and encapsulating them into brief commands. We will break into groups to discuss how students have attempted this, and hear the results of their experimentation.
In this workshop, we will review how the lower centers govern our psychology, and how they divide into parts (Jacks, Queens, and Kings). Just like each of us is born with a dominant left or right hand, a dominant eye, ear, foot, etc., so each of us is born with a dominant part of a center. This is called our center of gravity, in the sense that we gravitate toward it, use it more than other parts, or believe the ‘I’s it generates more than ‘I’s from other parts. Each part of a center in this workshop will be represented by a student who suspects that part might be their center of gravity. They will tell us which kind of ‘I’s it generates, what kind of difficulties it poses for their work, and in what ways it helps their work.
We continue exploring how to harness the mind to consciousness, this time using its ability to name what we observe. “Control of any of our faculties can only be obtained with the help of knowledge,” says Peter Ouspensky. “Each function can be controlled only if we know its peculiarities and speed.” In this workshop, we will study our mind’s role in controlling both mechanical and conscious manifestations, drawing from the Biblical story of Adam naming the animals.
“Consciousness is not thought,” says Peter Ouspensky. “You use thought just to give it a push, and then it begins to move in this direction, and you become conscious without thought.”. We will dedicate this workshop to exploring how our thinking might bring us closer to the shores of consciousness, and what it might mean to reconstruct our thinking to generate consciousness. Borrowing from the Hindu analogy of the horse, carriage, driver, and master, how can we harness the driver to the master?
We will dedicate the last July workshop to the topic of influences. “Man lives in life under two kinds of influences governed by the law of accident,” said George Gurdjieff. “Through a third type of influence, a man becomes free from the law of accident.” We will place this idea in the context of the teaching of our school, and examine how we might filter and choose between these influences.
In the first workshop of this month, we used a Hindu miniature to study the relation of higher centers to intellectual parts of centers in a new way. In the second workshop of this month, we used a Dutch illuminated manuscript to explore the mechanics of daydreaming. In this third workshop of July, we will knit these two ideas together to better understand identification, and how to practically struggle against it.
The labor of July invites us to review the role of our intellectual center in this work. What can we harvest from our mind? What are useful thoughts? To answer this, we must better understand our thinking. “In most conditions in ordinary life,” said Peter Ouspensky, “people think only with the mechanical part of the intellectual center. This is not sufficient. It is necessary to use the intellectual part of the intellectual center.”
We will dedicate this workshop to observing the various parts of our intellectual center.
Wheat harvest in July symbolizes work on the mind, the intellectual center. July also marks the half-year-point in the annual cycle since we formulated aims in January. We will therefore dedicate this workshop to re-visiting aims, to witness the journey we’ve covered in the past six months as well as review the direction of our work from our present level of understanding.