Your Digital Safe

George Gurdjieff

"A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering."

Can I have hints of the machine?

To be born, to live, to die always a machine; never knowing I am just a machine, always believing that I am real, exist, have free will and can do what I wish! Suggest to anyone that they are just a machine and they will laugh in your face thinking you are totally nuts. No one thinks that they are not real and can not do what they wish. This idea is a threat to our feeling of being real and important and superior, to our vanity and ego. All our lives we have learned that we our one, individual, unique man or woman. We have no other feelings of ourselves than that we are one, that I am Bruce. I am Bruce with my individual likes and dislikes, my interests and unique talents and tastes. I know who I am and what I enjoy and what I don't like and I sure am not a machine! Any one would think the idea preposterous.

So why would I even be attracted to this idea? Why would I want to know this? What good would it do me to actually know that I am not real? Then to work and suffer so that I could know this? Maybe it is better to stay ignorant and to live more comfortably in ignorance, imagining that I have a good future and will go to heaven and be at peace with the angels. It is an easier life to live ignorant than the life of discomfort in searching for the truth of the real world and of our real situation. Much easier to sit back and believe what we are told by charismatic men and women who seem to know what they are talking about.

First contact with a group.

Early in my search I joined a group called the Fellowship of Friends in northern California. The leader of this group is a very charsmatic man, Robert Burton, who is the most wonderful pied piper. At that time he told us he was a man number 6 ,a concious man! I was really impressed that he was so high and knew so much more than I did and could lead me to a higher plain.

I believed everything he said, he was (according to him) talking directly with the angels! Wow! I was sure lucky to be in his group. He told us that the Fellowship was an arc that was going to carry civilization through the comming Armageddon! There were 44 angels working directly with the school and he even knew their names and who they were. Past great men of history, such as Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Marcus Aurelius and 41 others who had completed their tasks on the earth and, I guess, became conscious and risen to angel status.

Robert also claimed to be a profit and made predictions about things that would happen in the future, such as California falling into the sea in 1996, and a great depression worse than the 1930s happening in 1984 and the atomic war, armageddin in 2006. None of these events took place and I can not tell you how he coped with the misinformation the angels gave him. The Fellowship is still around and prosperous all these years later and so is the pied piper Mr. Burton. Still sending innocent, soul searching people down a path in the opposite direction of where they hope to go!

Don't believe!

The important thing is that I believed him. I believed without doubts everything he said. I believed I was one of the special, chosen ones that was on the way to consciousness. I was one of those destined to survive and help bring civilisation through Armageddon. I believed that I was superior to the rest of humanity which was asleep and not interested in awakening! I was a player who had a part in a great play being orchestrated by higher influences.
It was many years after I left the Fellowship that I began to know that I had been duped and unfortunately I had a psychology that was easily dupable. I of course only saw myself as strong and not easily swayed by others.
Rather than being unique and better than others, always thinking I knew the truth and they were mislead and gullible I painfully discovered that I was exactly the same as all those whom I judged.

One day I was talking with my brother. He was an Evangelical Christian and we were talking about his religious beliefs. He expressed his belief to me of the age of the earth, 6000 years and was very sure that Christ walked on water and gave life to a very dead man and also that Mary who gave birth to Jesus was a virgin at the time. I was discreet and did not argue with him or tell him how mislead he was and what nonsense I thought all this was. I was certainly a very practised judge of others.

It was after this conversation that I began to connect what he believed with what I believed when I was in the Fellowship. Well it became apparent to me that I was not one iota different than Frank! I was not superior, smarter or wiser. I was just as susceptible to nonsense as he was and anyone else for that matter.

I began facing the very uncomfortable fact that I was constructed in a way in which I did not have a facility to know what real truth is.
To know real truth, one must first have had an experience of real truth!

This was very painful to find out about myself. All I could have are beliefs and believing. That is sure not the same as knowing something, which is so obvious when looking at the actions of men throughout history on the earth. I would be attracted to one idea or another solely depending on my attitudes and inclinations. All my attitudes and inclinations were developed from being born at a certain place, having certain parents who also had their attitudes and beliefs which were mostly transferred to me by imitation. I was born in a certain type of body which had its inborn traits and inclinations. So basically I discovered more aspects of being a machine.

Since a machine can not know the truth about itself, how would I even go about finding this out? I can read about it, Ouspenski describes our construction in detail. Science has never stopped uncovering new details of our makeup. I read recently that even our spiritual feelings and interests are located in a particular part of the brain and stimulating this part of the brain will stimulate spiritual feelings. Scientists keep discovering more and more detailed knowledge of our human machine and how it works but never seem to connect the dots and go the distance in pointing out that we have no free will and can not do. That is because they themselves like the rest of us have no tools to cross that river. To be able to see oneself from a distance that is the question.

I will answer that by saying of course I see myself. I can see what I do and what I say and what I think all the time. What nonsense to say I can not observe myself! This is true, we can notice all of these aspects of ourselves. The problem is that in truth it is only a small part of our self looking at another small part of our self. It is like being in a house and in one room of the house and we can look at only parts of the room at any given moment. The whole house we can not know unless we go outside and look at it from a distance.