Alan Francis, master and researcher in Taoist and Gurdjieff teachihngs
I want to thank Timur [Schukin] and Dmitry [Itskov] for creating this forum. The lights are turned out, and there was a PowerPoint presentation, but it's not here. The lights were turned out because I wanted everyone to have a feeling and impression of something that existed before the formal mental processes, something that exists now, even here. And, perhaps, you can set aside your ordinary thought processes for a moment. I know you've heard a lot of ideas, a lot of words, but if you want to come to something called wisdom, these ideas and these words must be connected with actual experience, and this experience occurs within this body... Initially, with the human body, which we all share. So... I'm going to just sit down.. Please, excuse my informality... You can turn up the lights a little bit.
The traditions that I'm speaking about - Mr. Gurdjieff's tradition of the Fourth Way was preceded by many thousands of years by the Taoist teachings, which from my studies is also connected with the Fourth Way. The Taoist tradition, was spoken of briefly in the beginning of the explanation by the Lama, but it is a little different in that there is not complete emptiness, but rather with the void that is not empty. That is - it's full of potential, and this is like a pregnant zero. We can represent it by a zero, and then you can represent the beginning of the unified force of consciousness as one.
When you reflect upon this unified force as initial force, like we are now reflecting on it, then one duplicates itself, so it is 0:1:1. And these add together to form 2, which is represented by the symbol of Yin & Yang. This symbol is really the first paradigm. By paradigm I do not mean a simple answer to some situation. A paradigm is holding two
or more fundamentally different views at the same time. Not in saying 'yes, this is right', 'no, this is wrong', 'this is good', 'this is evil', but rather including both the idea of materialization and spiritualiization at the same time, these two do not have to be separated. And this is something people today rarely are able to do.
(You can turn up the lights now).
So that the protoscience of the Tao begins with this idea of 0;1;1;2;3, which you many recognize as the beginning of a natural series, the life spiral. After 2 though there is a division. Two is just like 0:1 in a computer, and, in fact, when you square this
binomial (A+B or Yin & Yang), actually creating a two dimensional square, and from the square it can extend into the 3rd dimension as a cube, and from the cube you begin to move into space and time. And so, the beginning of the Tao's concept is that the binomial Ying & Yang (A+B) to the sixth power becomes what is called the 64 hexagrams of
the I Ching, The Book of Changes. This shows all the basic permutations that can occur from the addition of these two different concepts (Yin & Yang). At the same time, we obtain a very symmetrical, very linear sort of view, which I think is very well represented here, in this conference.
There is another viewpoint, which is that as you move through the development of the world, you discover the triad, which is represented well within the Yin & Yang symbol by the interface (the S curve) and also through the fact of the encirclement which encompasses both factors - male/female, dark/light and so on. From here the series leaps over 4 (which was in the previous series) to 5, 3+2=5, it is simply additive, and we arrive at the 5 elementals which can also found in other ancient systems. Five elements is the beginning of what you call 'function' and 'form'. So, all these things that we are talking about today is based in function and form, even the human brain, which is a form, these are all are far down the evolutionary scale. If we begin to work inwardly, to meditate, to observe ourselves, we can reverse this descent and move back up the scale towards the One - evolving back into the One - Unity, and even back
into non-emptiness - the void that is not empty, where all real potential exists. From the point of view of Tao, you have these 5 elements, and from there you have all the organs of the body, you have all the colors, you have all the smells, you have all the senses. And from here you move from the creation of the form to the potential perfection of the form, which again reveals onew ideas, it brings in the idea of breathing.
Now, some people have spoken about energy, and spoken about how you eat food and gain energy. Of course, this is quite true - you also gain energy from air. And if you take in air consciously, you begin to gain more energy, and that's part of the our truly human function, the main purpose of human beings - to receive, to accumulate, not only just energy of the physical level of the food, of energy of higher levels, which include the air we breathe and also the impressions we take in - the light we take in through our eyes, the sound we take in through our ears - this is also a food, this is also an energy that our body can incorporate. The main difference between, I think, the viewpoints often represented here and the viewpoints of protoscience is that we do not come from a lower place. On the one hand - yes, we did, we can see it in our bodies: we have iron in our blood, for example, we have minerals. But at the same time, and this is a true paradigm, we come from a much higher place, a much deeper place, and we may forget that when we turn only towards the lower, only towards the manifestations of forms and functions, then we lose something, which is inherently human, inherently vital for us.
So, right now what we are going to do is speak a little bit about something, which is common both to Taoism and to the Gurdjieff work, which is this idea of self-observation, because it is fundamental - the witness, the witness to this conscious force. How can I be a witness to my own life, to my own body sitting here? Am I aware that I'm sitting here? This self-awareness is the beginning of real evolution. So, if you are sitting there, you have no relationship to your body, no relationship to your posture, to your form, then you are ignoring something very vital in this equation. Can you be aware of yourself? Is it possible? If you can be, then it's possible to create a practice, in which day by day you will increasingly become more aware of yourself, to be able to see yourself (to know yourself). How can you know yourself if you don't pay attention to yourself, if you don't look and see what happens in yourself?
The second thing that the Gurdjieff work speaks about, which I think is very interesting, is that we need to remember ourselves, we need to feel who we are, we need to be present in our feelings as well as in our mind. Our mind is not enough, and here we perhaps differ with the Buddhist teachings, because the emotions are not the enemy, just as the body is not the enemy. The emotions are part of the human experience - I think what the Arch Bishop was saying before - this is part of our life, part of our gift for being here. But emotions are overrated, because they are mostly reactions. So, what we want to come to, if it's possible, is to feeling - is a kind of awareness, feeling of myself now that I'm here, that I actually exist. I'm not just a virtual reality. I'm actually a person in this body. So, if you're not aware that you are in this body now, you might try it, just as an experiment. Many scientists are heremaybe they would be willing to try it as an experiment. How could I be aware of myself in this body, even just my sensations, my feet on the ground, my butt on the chair, looking out at you.
Real observation begins with looking inside, at the same moment that I'm also looking out. These two must occur together, and then I see that I have an inner world and an outer world. I begin to feel myself and to awaken to myself. And all the powers that exist within the human being, which are trying now to be replicate by machines, we have not explored at all within the human being. These powers that exist within us, which include potentially telepathic powers and many others, exist already inside of us. So, I would like to express this possibility to you that you also can gain more powers and become more human than you are now. And if there's any interest, I thought, instead of my talking, because I've heard so much talking, maybe somebody would like to ask a question, and we could actually have a dialogue instead of one-way talking or otherwise I can continue...
Perhaps, there's somebody interested in this idea of self-consciousness, not just external consciousness. ... Yes... (audience asking questions)
You turned this off...)) ...How can you combine the objective process of speeding up of the technical progress with the Fourth Way inside you?
It's a very, very good question, because Gurdjieff was very interested in technology and even thought of becoming some kind of technologist. He worked with transformers, which were being developed by Nicola Tesla - at the time. Technology was something he wanted to include within the process. But how can you include it if you don't have a really good idea of why you're here? How can you speak about where technology should go if you do not know where you are going, why you are here, what your purpose on Earth is? What is humanities purpose is on Earth?
If we begin to see why we are here, we can guide technology. But until we see that, how can we guide it? (I can't really see out in the audience ...)
One of the fundamentals both of Gurdjieff's work and Taoism is to become in contact with your sensation; the idea being that sensation - all the different sensations we have and all the different ways, in which we get input into our system are part of this conscious force, certainly at a very low level, that part of this conscious force that we could become connected with. By bringing our attention to our bodies we can begin to increase the conscious force within our bodies, we can support the relationships between this force and ourselves. So, for example, you can take the exercise of being aware of your hands during the day - becoming aware that you have hands, that they are your hands, how often do you feel that? How often do you really know that? Not that they're just external sort of things - they are sort of like robotic. We have to stop being robots ourselves and we have to start being human, which means that we have to become aware. So, you can be aware of your hands at the beginning, for example, or the tensions in your face, which can also be very useful, because it shows you something of the mask you are wearing. Each person here is wearing a mask. If we want to see reality, we have to drop this mask. We can't go on looking out or looking in from the point of view of this mask, these ego projections. It takes some courage to drop them, to let them go. But it's possible. So, if you want to relax your face to see yourself that would be a good starting point.
Последний вопрос: можете развеять историю на предмет того, что было связано со Сталиным, с Гитлером? Как Вы видите практики Гурджиева в
Well, the first question - I don't think anybody knows too much about it. Certainly, there is evidence that Stalin lived in the village that Gurdjieff had lived at one time, perhaps even was a tenant with his family for a time. As far as Hitler, I can see absolutely no evidence to support any connection with Hitler. Certainly, he was working against everything Hitler stood for. Gurdjieff was in occupied France, and he was helping Jews to survive the Hitler purges. He had no relation at all to anything like that the Nazis.
As far as the relationship to the Avatar project - I think its a question, I think it's a real big question as to the relation to real human evolution, which I've just spoken about it - is to be incorporating this conscious force more and more in myself and to raise my level of consciousness. I'm not talking about social consciousness - I'm talking about psychological consciousness - of actually going up the scale of consciousness, being more awake. Not just being aware of my body, my presence, but the people around me, nature, being connected with nature - all these kinds of things, greater and greater, to the point of what was called 'cosmic consciousness'. This is my main interest. As far as the technology of the Avatar project - some of these things are going to happen whether we like it or not. It's just a fact - some of these things are going to occur as Arch Bishop said - if we willl survive. I think, we need to be in contact with that, so that there can be some kind of guidance, some kind of wisdom guidance to these technical processes, otherwise we may create monsters,. So, as I asked previously who is going to guide this process? Where are the wise people in the world? I think we have to find them, and then perhaps can help guide the technology and thankfully that is the purpose of this conference. The new paradigm wisdom and technoogy...
Announcer: I'm awfully sorry, I'd like to remind you about my mission, my duty here, to remind me about the time...
Thank you very much, I apologize for taking too much time.
Transcription and translation of Alan Francis's presentation was done by Alexaner Panin, "Russia 2045" member.