Tuesday, 26 January 2010
There are many important issues that have not been mentioned in this blog yet. The reason is not only that I tend to indulge in fringe topics, but also that I hesitate to write about certain subjects. Like sex for example.
I have been deeply interested in some ideas that I got from (books written by) Gurdijeff. He uses models that I have never seen anywhere else. There is quite some discussion going on on where he got these ideas from, but even if he made them all up, which I think, the fact is that they are very useful to understand how certain things work. A good example is the model of the different functions that we have.
Human beings have several functions, that can be seen as having a hierarchic order. All functions need energy to work. That is why dead people do not function very well. Energy is first used for instinct and internal body movements. If there is energy left, it is used for physical movement, which include talking. On the next level energy produces thoughts, and after that you get emotions. Healthy people have enough energy to function on all these levels, but often things go wrong in the proces.
The energy used for lower functions is not the same as the energy used for higher functions. Gurdijeff said that the energy has to be transformed before it can be used for a higher function. It would take too long to explain what this means or how it works, but it helps to see the bodymind as a machine. The machinery for producing emotions is more subtle than the machinery that makes us move, and so it uses finer energy. The word “fine” has these two meanings, so it doesn’t have to be expained any further.
People that have no idea how their system works, tend to use lower energy for higher functions. That causes the machinery of the higher functions to run amok. You cannot think straight with the crude energy that is meant for physical movement. Also, when you think too much, you have no energy left for emotions. It is that simple.
But a bigger problem is that there is one other function in the bodymind system, that is rather difficult to handle: the sex function. Everybody knows how difficult it is to think or feel straight when the system is sexed up. Most people use sex to get rid of this energy.
But the trick is that energy not used for a lower function can be transformed in energy for a higher function. The way this is done is by simply letting it happen, it is a natural proces. But letting the proces happen is not as easy as it sounds, as everybody will know from experience. If you don’t know how it works, the build up of energy will feel uncomfortable. If there is a surplus of energy, most people will start to move to get rid of it. And if that doesn’t work, masturbating, emotional outbursts and talking is the usual way to get rid of energy.
The model is not yet complete: the bodymind system has two more functions, which Gurdijeff called “higher emotions” and “higher thoughts”. But I would prefer to call them intuition and insight. If the energy is not wasted on lower functions and if one can stand the process of transformation, the two higher functions start to produce intuition and insights.
The five lower functions are personal, individual. The two higher centres are not: they are unpersonal, meaning that the intuition and insights cannot be said to come from you. Real Life begins when the two higher functions are operative. The five functions of the personality feel like a prison, they are not in touch with Real Life.
This is a very short version of very big idea. But there has been said, written and sung a lot about this idea. One of my favourite sings is one by Robbie Williams, who expresses the viewpoint of somebody who has serious difficulties transforming energy at the sex level:
Models are not how things really are, they only help to understand how things really are. So this model of the way bodymind systems work should not become a point of discussion. It is just an idea. I know that there many altenative ideas that deal with these matters. Kundalini, chakra’s, ascension, Jacob’s ladder, serpent power, praying, all these words are used to shed some light on the workings of the bodymind. But i think it is basically very simple, and you do not need all these words to describe it. Just listen to Robbie Williams! Here is a song in which he desribes the viewpoint of a bondymind in which two higher functions began running, but not yet in full effect.