As this sea-change of a new year gets underway, this comes to call your attention to two timely opportunities for further Wisdom study and reflection along the lines of inquiry I’ve opened up in my two “post-election” blogs this past fall.
Coming right up on January 15, our beloved Wisdom brother Bob Sabath will be leading an 11-week introductory exploration of the Gurdjieff material anchored in Nicoll’s Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky—arguably the most immediately practical access point to this great canon of transformational material. As Bob rightly points out, this is a “soft launch” into the great, wide world of Gurdjieff, geared toward illuminating practical inner skills, and cross-referenced by parallel passages in Christian lectio divina. It’s a beautifully thought-out exploration and will get many of us working and thinking together in this new terrain. I encourage you to join in. Click here for the link to the full details and sign up procedures for this online study work group.
A little further down the pike, beginning February 27— for Ash Wednesday—I’ll be launching a Lenten e-retreat based on Gurdjieff’s “Obligolnian Strivings,” the heart of the Beelzebub’s Tales material I’ve been referring to in those earlier emails. The course will be hosted on the Spirituality and Practice website, with accompanying Spiritual Practice tasks, audio divina, and the 24/7 Practice Circle for posting comments and reflections. Here’s the link to the “Becoming Truly Human” e-retreat.
The “Obligolnian Strivings” are five aspirations (or qualities of awareness) that in Gurdjieff’s opinion comprise the essential earmarks of a true human being, functioning at the level of Being actually required of humans for harmonious cosmic functioning. These are:
>The first striving: to have in one’s ordinary being-existence everything satisfying and truly necessary for the planetary body.
>The second striving: to have a constant and unflagging instinctive need to perfect oneself in the sense of Being.
>The third: the conscious striving to know ever more and more about the laws of world-creation and world-maintenance.
>The fourth: the striving, from the beginning of one’s existence, to pay as quickly as possible for one’s arising, in order afterward to be free to lighten as much as possible the sorrow of out Common Father.
>And the fifth: the striving always to assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings, both those similar to oneself and those of other forms, up to the degree of the ‘sacred Martfotai’, that is, up to the degree of self-individuality.
In our upcoming e-retreat we will spend a week on each of these five strivings, approaching them from a variety of reference points and practical implications, as we strive to understand better what is required of us at this critical tipping point in the evolution of human consciousness and planetary oneness. In the final week we’ll be considering those two sacred transformative agents, conscious labor and intentional suffering.
I hope you’ll join Bob Sabath and myself in either or both of these online opportunities as we discern what the cosmos may have in store for us—or better, is calling forth from us.