Afterword: Jean Gebser Lesson X
In Beelzebub’s Tales, in the chapter on Beelzebub’s Fourth Sojourn on the Planet Earth, Gurdjieff describes the founding of the original Wisdom School in Atlantis, under the inspired conscience of Belcultassi. The comments and organizational structure seems curiously relevant to the discussion now unfolding around my post: The Horse, The Carriage, and the Driver: A Gurdjieffian Slant on a Gebserian Conundrum, Exploring Jean Gebser Lesson X.
“When the members of that society had become definitely convinced that there was something very undesirable in their presence, they began to search for every possible means of achieving its removal from themselves, in order to become able to be what they ought to have become according to sane logic; and thus to correspond to the sense and aim of their existence…
“As it proved impossible for each of them individually to acquire all the necessary specialized knowledge, they divided up into a number of groups, so that each group could study one of the special branches of knowledge required for their common aim.” (pg. 273; pg 298; Arkana 1999)
The result of this “sectionalized” approach to a common aim was that “Members of this society approached Objective Knowledge to a degree that had never been reached before and perhaps will never be reached again…”
I am hearing some resonances here. Trying to understand how to reconnect, rebalance and re-honor the severed magic, mythic, and mental structures in our culture is a gargantuan task, beyond any single one of us. But I already hear you gravitating toward special work teams.
There is a group of you who are taking seriously the question of the enduring values in the “mythic” structure of Christian religious and monastic practice. Matthew, David G, Amber, have at it! There is a group, already a brilliant convergence of minds, gathering around Karla, Joan, and Buddy P inviting a deeper Wisdom study of core documents of the Founding Fathers of our country—which I personally think could be an extraordinarily powerful imaginal undertaking. Mary Anne E is on the trail of what a healthy magic integration might look like based on her own decades of experience as a psychotherapist specializing in equine therapy. Edie HK and her Fourth Way group have already taken on three-centered awareness as a collective inner task, and will be well poised to anchor our efforts as some of us attempt to extend this as a cultural template for rebalancing “the soul of America.” And I know that a few of you are now girding up your loins for a deeper and more forgiving look at the Catholicism you fled so many decades ago.
Let’s let it percolate a bit longer, but I propose that as in Belcultassi’s ancient Society of Akhaldans, we see if we can formalize three or four different lines of work through which we can address our gargantuan collective task, united by our common aim of attaining Objective (a.k.a. Integral) Knowledge.
Read Cynthia’s original post here: The Horse, The Carriage, and the Driver: A Gurdjieffian Slant on a Gebserian Conundrum, Exploring Jean Gebser Lesson X.
Images from the top: Plato’s vision of the capital of Atlantis, courtesy of Natural History Magazine; The Akhaldan Society Founded Old Egypt, courtesy of Master Gurdjieff blog spot.