THE FOURTHWAY MANHO E-JOURNAL
Volume 84 October 31, 2019
By Professor Dr. Tan Man-Ho
(An excerpt from the original work, Real World Views, Book 4 by Professor Dr. Tan Man-Ho entitled "A Critique of Material Reflection, On the Modern Innovation to Old Materialism, The Emergence of Tri-Octave Materialism and Some Remarkable Individuals", September 1975 ~ December 1975 Discourses, Chapter 7, Section A : "Louis Pauwels" pp. 178 ~ 183)
A. LOUIS PAUWELS
1 The Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man is one of those rare institutes that prepare obyvatels or ordinary men into remarkable individuals. It appears very repulsive to those from the non-esoteric circle, yet still accessible to them.
For the mechanical man who has just begun the study of himself would have to experience with his inner eyes the various ghosts, and put them in his control. If you dream of ghost now you must say, get lost. And it will disappear, will it? If it does not disappear, then it is essential to meditate. Surely, this will make gods and ghosts as your servants – which will sway and transform at your mercy. That is to say, they become your toys. Instead of them dictating your life, you dictate their lives.
This is what took place, according to Louis Pauwels:
We gathered together in small groups of five, ten or twenty people, under a “master,” formerly Gurdjieff himself. We were taught to become conscious. The first stage of the work consisted in understanding that up to the present we had lived in complete unconsciousness, that in no circumstances or in any respect – physical, emotional, intellectual – had we ever been free, but always identified with our impulses, moods and associations. This side of the Teaching can be compared to psychoanalysis or Marxism. As psychoanalysis teaches us that such and such a noble sentiment is merely the sublimation of sexual inhibition, and Marxism, that religious belief is merely the result of economic constraints, so we were told that our normal behavior. Whether “spiritual” or “external,” was entirely due to mechanisms over which we had no control whatever. This control, the key to true freedom, was what we were going to be taught.
But if we are totally conditioned, how can we hope to escape? The Teaching said: Stop, identifying yourself. Instead of being one with your automatic life, detach yourself from it. Learn to control it by watching yourself live. Say you are walking in the street: try, if only for five minutes, to keep yourself from being absorbed by what is going on around you, or by associations of ideas, and concentrate entirely on yourself. Say you are with other people: detach yourself for a moment from the game of conversation and watch them. Notice how completely they follow their own trains of thought, and how their ideas, far from being the fruits of a free choice, are only mechanical expressions springing from their own particular education, instincts or interests. These exercises in attention were referred to in the Teaching as “self-remembering.” (Louis Pauwels, Gurdjieff, p.328)
Pauwels spoke of the Forest Philosophers group led by Gurdjieff, namely, P.D. Ouspensky, G. E, Bechhofer's, Denis Surat, Dr. Young, Georgette Leblanc, Maeterlinck, Margaret Anderson, D.H. Lawrence, Middleton Murray, A. R. Orage, Katherine Mansfield, Paul Sérant, Aldous Huxley, Pierre Minet, Luc Dietrich, Irène Reweliotty, Irène-Carole, René Dazeville, Dorothy Caruso, Rene Barjavel and Pierre Schaeffer.
2 The conscious life once bestowed in birth, begins its perpetual flow, the very flow which we saw it to be the activities of all men in society, or rather that perpetual activity which is responsible for what we called society. The mechanical men move under the attraction, mechanically, of themselves neither knowing their activities and rather just perform something. To move away from this something makes them trapped into some other things. They neither see nor know the reason for their movements as such, and that their movements control them. These mechanical activities in society have ended in social repulsion. By repulsion is meant the moving away of consciousness along this line of flow of conscious life and to stand in and external relation to it, that this in turn is not possible since the other mechanical men must use force to destroy the other beings. This reciprocal control of men by men, which appears to be maintenance and regulatory but in the end is reciprocal destruction, i.e. the reciprocal destruction of classes, of various order and this is precisely the situation of what is called the world today.
The master and his little slaves in the end find themselves in reciprocal destruction. And why? Because the persistent greediness of the master, the brutal enslavement of this life that the mechanical men will soon be caught in a position to use the weapon to fell the masters. That the center of gravity of conscious flow of life begins to shift its materialization, and that human beings begin to move in a different manner. They form new nuclei and create many centers of gravity.
The mechanical men are beings being controlled by social forces, that the rate of service production in the masters’ command affects the mechanicalness. The one line flow of conscious life is mechanized sill further. This dangerous dilemma of our society where leaders are undoubtedly in favor of the skillful mechanical men, whom one sees it as making a mechanical vegetable out of man’s life. This fearful thing to continue the same job throughout your whole life makes you really a mechanical being. You are a moving part of the gigantic exploiting machine that has enslaved you. The higher beings control you. You are only a mechanical part.
But now that you do not want to be a mechanical being, that you want to leave a machine and you land yourself in another exploiting machine. And to stay in one is wrong and to stay in another is also wrong. Now that you manage to see the whole exploiting machine, you want to destroy it but you must also see those who may be able to help you to destroy it.
3 When consciousness travels in its own physical body, he process can be called to sliding within the body. This slider being enters into the words, the pictures, the pains, the pleasure, the dreams, the organs and the systems. It continues to find itself caught and even died in various parts of the body.
When body harmony is finally attained, the consciousness will center itself in the external world, forgetting itself while moving and centering at outside objects. So long as the inner body does not give trouble, consciousness would forget to return to survey its own body. This “self-reminder” comes naturally in a mechanical man when something or other is irritating the inner body forcing conscious focus to return to it. Labor shifts the center of gravity of consciousness to the object, and the body forgets itself. Serious exploitation in the factory creates a dilemma in work demand and a latent urge to be one’s own. His dilemma cannot be easily resolved. When the focus returns to its own self, it is reluctant to move away from it gain.
Such motion of consciousness is immature, it is developmental and the physical body works badly, the person thinks poorly. When consciousness after much experience in this “journey” of experience finds the body becoming harmonious with nature and with itself, the whole organism would soon function better.
In the present world situation, where “danger” is everywhere, consciousness has a very hard time. Life is hard indeed.
Personal salvation in religion is a typical case of self-centered positioning of consciousness. Experimental mysticism (not mere mysticism) is the scientific conscious self-study. It is scientific yoga.
4 The Marxist method of self-criticism, involves therefore, a mass shifting of conscious center of gravity into the material self, including especially the psyche self, a study of all the “dust” which may be collected unconsciously by the self in the course of the historical sleep. This happy getting rid of dust particles by consciousness is a good experiment and quite pleasurable. This method and practice make man a real man. By this merciless destruction of one’s existing backward self, one is on the threshold of the new superman.
On Ouspensky’s Experimental Mysticism, let me stress that somewhere at the end of 1970 through 1974, I have been experiencing such mysticism; my Material Reflection precisely reflects this state of my consciousness. For the nonce, I have had such experience. Such method has great capacity to oust wrong ideas.
5 In the sacred books, we have some truths, something coming from higher thought. The genesis may be interpreted as an attempt to trace the life issuing force from the Absolute to our world. God created the world in seven “days”. Each day is a time period equal to infinity. I must warn you, there is a lot of “rubbish” in these “sacred books”.
When we study a system of knowledge for truths and accuracy, we must be objective, not “feel” a liking for it and accept without verification.
6 A good obyvatel must not stick to dead ideas, must not be a bookworm, must not arrest his thought. In fact to act in this manner such an obyvatel is not at all an obyvatel. By sticking to dead ideas he to violates the principle of perpetual motion of thoughts – but of course we must not be “fancy seekers” i.e. is to make “fancy seeking” our principle, and to behave in this manner all the time is to stick to a dead system of idea once more. We must constantly be on guard of our mind and our practical activities. We must “put” them outside our bodies and study them carefully. We must watch our activities, our thinking and feelings all the time. They become devils very fast.
7 The contradiction between the true (or standard) language and the colloquial language resembles that between the uncommon and the common, the minority and the majority, the inflexible and the flexible, and the ideal and the realistic. He who thinks he can stay on in the true language is fundamentally an ideal being who has alienated himself from the common people to void the dirt. The “satirical” property of the colloquial has been the target for “penalization” in the so-called contemporary educational institutes.
Louis Pauwels wrote the book “Monsieur Gurdjieff” and published in France in 1954. Together with Jacques Bergier, he wrote “The Morning of the Magicians” published in the United States of America by Stein and Day, 1964, “The Eternal Man” and another “Der Planet der unmoglichhen Moglichkeiten” or “Impossible Possibilities” both by Avon Books.