Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Don't go changin', to try and please me
Ouspensky, having quarreled with and broken from his old mentor Gurdjieff, gives a series of lectures about man's psychology and his evolutionary mission. Humans are robotic creatures who for the most part wander around being acted upon by external forces, all the while laboring under the misapprehension that they are free. Only through hard work--the cornerstone of which is to remember oneself--can low-grade humans ever hope to achieve their fullest potential.
Ouspensky briefly describes seven types of humans, three of which are asleep, one of which is borderline awake, and three which are of a spectacularly different order of being (presumably avatars and saints are amongst them). Humans must awake and contact a school whose teachings are in line with ancient wisdom traditions in order to progress. Evolution through individual study is impossible.
Ouspensky's claim that schools are necessary directly contradicts Steiner, who seems to think you can start on the path alone. Of course Steiner was a special case; he met the ailing and comatose Nietzsche, who communicated to him via pituitary brain-waves a collect phone call from the serpent. Steiner was so special, in fact, that a school went looking for him. Ouspensky's dictum: remember yourself and awake is also contradicted by many Eastern schools, which advise you to forget yourself because you don't really exist.
Balderdash, fowlderall, fiddle-faddle? Or, perhaps, the door to another world?