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June 14, 2011

The SLUGS

On G. I. Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson

Section II
conscience

7.  The Awakening of Conscience: the remaining Sacred
and Divine Being-Impulse in the Subconscious

“Objective-Conscience, is not yet atrophied in them,

but remains in their presences almost in its primordial state.”  (p. 359)

Gurdjieff explains that a human soul is given by Mother Nature but only as a possibility for growth.  The awakening of conscience is ascribed a central role in determining a human’s fate:

“Nature only give possibility for soul, not give soul.  Must acquire soul through work.  But, unlike tree, man have many possibilities.  As man now exist he have also possibility grow by accident–grow wrong way.  Man can become many things, not just fertilizer, not just real man: can become what you call ‘good’ or ‘evil,’ not proper things for man.  Real man not good or evil–real man only conscious, only wish acquire soul for proper development.”


“... Think of good and evil like right hand and left hand.  Man always have two hands-two sides of self-good and evil.  One can destroy other.  Must have aim to make both hands work together, must acquire third thing: thing that make peace between two hands, between impulse for good and impulse for evil.  Man who all ‘good’ or man who all ‘bad’ is not whole man, is one-sided.  Third thing is conscience; possibility to acquire conscience is already in man when born; this possibility given-free-by Nature.  But is only possibility.  Real conscience can only be acquired by work, by learning to understand self first. ... (In Peters, 1964, pp. 42-3)

Gurdjieff assigns a central role to the awakening of conscience in the alchemy of transformation.  Conscience is a state in which a human “feels all at once everything that he in general feels and can feel.”  (Ouspensky, 1949)  This form of feeling together serves to unify an individual’s presence, overcoming the inner inconsistencies and contradictions maintained by “buffers” or defences.  Buffers prevent an individual from realizing their falsities and inner “nullity.” 

According to the Tales, the impact of the organ Kundabuffer and its crystallized ill-effects is to isolate the “Divine being-impulse of objective conscience” in the “subconsciousness.”   At least, this helped to avoid the final degradation of this sacred being-impulse, as happened to the other sacred being-impulses.  Beelzebub particularly regarded the infamous ‘education’ as fostering the formation of a dual consciousness system within your favorites, rendering them incapable of being ‘sincere’ and encouraging only ‘deceitfulness.’  Beelzebub comments upon the maleficent side effects of education and how it effects the emotional nature of children:

“To teach and to suggest to their children how to be insincere with others and deceitful in everything, has become so ingrained in the beings of the planet Earth of the present time, that it has even become their conception of their duty towards their children; and this kind of conduct towards their children they call by the famous word ‘education.’

 

“They ‘educate’ their children never to be able and never to dare to do as the ‘conscience’ present in them instinctually directs, but only that which is prescribed in the manuals of ‘bon ton’ usually drawn up there by various candidates for ‘Hasnamusses.’

 

“And of course when these children grow up and become responsible beings, they already automatically produce their manifestations and their acts; just as during their formation they were ‘taught,’ just as they were ‘suggested to,’ and just as they were ‘wound up’; in a word, just as they were ‘educated.’ 

 

“Thanks to all this, the conscience which might be in the consciousness of the beings of that planet is, from their earliest infancy, gradually ‘driven-back-within,’ so that by the time they are grown up the said conscience is already found only in what they call their subconsciousness.

 

“In consequence, the functioning of the mentioned data for engendering in the presences this said Divine impulse conscience, gradually ceased long ago to participate in that consciousness of theirs by means of which their waking-existence flows.   (p. 378)

Beelzebub describes the effects of parents and educators in cultivating insincerity and deceit, all according to the good manners or bon ton of Hasnamussian influences.  Recall that Hasnamusses are those who lack the Divine being-impulse of conscience, as we shall explore currently.  The child does not learn to act in accordance with their own conscience, which is instead ‘driven back inside.’ 

 Contemporary education and culture encourages the formation of “egoism” in those strange three-brained beings; a false consciousness system which is the basis for an array of other abnormal and unbecoming ‘being-impulses.’    Beelzebub frequently lists some of these unbecoming qualities; including such things as ‘cunning,’ ‘envy,’ ‘ambition,’ ‘hypocrisy,’ ‘contempt’ and so on.  Beelzebub refers to the central ‘egoism’ itself as involving a “‘Unique-particular’ being-impulse” which results in an “exclusive regard for their own personal welfare.”  However, this sacred being impulse did not simply disappear.  Beelzebub explains:

“... in that consciousness of theirs, which they call their subconsciousness, even in the beings of the present time, the said data for the acquisition in their presences of this fundamental Divine impulse conscience does indeed still continue to be crystallized and, hence, to be present during the whole of their existence.”  (p. 381)

According to Beelzebub, the awakening of conscience is one of the few avenues remaining to change the sorry state of those unfortunate three-brained beings.  The data necessary for the awakening of the sacred being impulse conscience have not undergone the more complete “degeneration to which all the other sacred being-impulses were subject”–those sacred impulses of Faith, Love and Hope.

The need for the awakening of conscience is a primary theme of Beelzebub’s Tales, especially given the horrors of the situation, with humankind engaging in the processes of reciprocal destruction, war and animal slaughter, and producing an increasingly inferior quality of Askokin vibrations.  Whereas human beings asleep are governed by the push and pulls of the good and bad, “real man only conscious” –and he has acquired “conscience.”  Beelzebub states that this objective conscience has to be acquired by work and the fulfilling of one’s being duties and obligations. 

Beelzebub describes conscience as a “fundamental Divine impulse.” Unfortunately, he explains that there is “... a total absence of the participation of the impulse of sacred conscience in their waking-consciousness.”  Humankind came instead to “strive to arrange their welfare during the process of their ordinary existence, exclusively for themselves.” Beelzebub provides shocking insights into how mechanical human beings usually deal with what he calls, so humorously, the arising of the prick of conscience:

“...  these favorites of yours (humankind), particularly the contemporary ones, become ideally expert in not allowing this inner impulse of theirs, called Remorse-of-Conscience, to linger long in their common presences.

 

 “No sooner do they begin to sense the beginning, or even only, so to say, the ‘prick’ of the arising of the functioning in them of such a being-impulse, than they immediately, as it is said ‘squash’ it, whereupon this impulse, not quite formed in them, at once calms down.

 

“For this ‘squashing’ of the beginning of any Remorse-of-Conscience in themselves, they have even invented some very efficient special means, which now exist there under the names of ‘alcoholism,’ ‘cocainism,’ ‘morphinism,’ ‘nicotinism,’ ‘onanism,’ ‘monkism,’ ‘Athenianism,’ and others with names also ending in ‘ism.’” (p. 382)

Beelzebub’s tales are full of subtle and rich humour, portraying so simply the follies, weakness and stupidities of humankind.   There are many ways of squashing the pricks of conscience, part of what Beelzebub labels the ‘Evil-God’ of ‘Self-Calming.’  It is because of this egoism and “self-calming” used to squash any prick of conscience that the sacred being impulse of conscience remains within the subconsciousness. 

 The remorse of conscience brings about a form of conscious suffering, compared to the unconscious sufferings based on desires and attachments of the planetary body.  Beelzebub provides a cosmic perspective of the origins of the sacred being impulses of conscience, while recounting the insights of Ashiata Shiemash:

“The factors for the being-impulse conscience arise in the presences of the three-brained beings from the localization of the particles of the “emanations-of-the-sorrow” of our OMNI-LOVING AND LONG-SUFFERING-ENDLESS-CREATOR; that is why the source of the manifestation of genuine conscience in three-centered beings is sometimes called the REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CREATOR.” (p. 372)

Beelzebub explains that human beings can actually assume a role in bearing the “Sorrow of our Endlessness” through the remorse of conscience and that this faculty is still present within those strange beings of planet Earth:

“My later detailed researches and investigations very definitely and clearly showed me that, in that consciousness of theirs, which they call their subconsciousness, even in the beings of the present time, the said data for the acquisition in their presences of this fundamental Divine impulse conscience does indeed still continue to be crystallized and, hence, to be present during the whole of their existence.  (p. 381)

Morality, as humans commonly understand it, is very different from the moral sense awakened with the remorse of conscience and the attainment of consciousness.  Ordinary “subjective morality” is an accidental thing based on conditioning, imitation and rote learning, indoctrination, education, external rewards and punishment.  Subjective morality differs from one individual, time and country to another.  Recall that Beelzebub described your favorites morality as dependent upon the four sources of action of the local officials, which were “‘mother-in-law,’ ‘digestion,’ ‘John Thomas,’ and ‘cash.’ In contrast, “objective morality” is the same everywhere and involves a consciousness of the objective nature of self and the realities of life and the cosmos.  Objective morality and conscience are based upon a deeper consciousness than people ordinarily know and the “instinctual sensing of reality” and cosmic truths.

Beelzebub explains that humans can work in order to have the Divine function of conscience in their presence by “transubstantiating” in themselves their being obligations or duties. These being obligations are elements of an objective morality.  Beelzebub explains that after the teachings of Ashiata Shiemash concerning the importance of conscience were spread throughout Asia, it had a major effect upon the people and brought about the cessation of war and a normalization of life on Earth:

“All the beings of this planet then began to work in order to have in their consciousness this Divine function of genuine conscience, and for this purpose, as everywhere in the Universe, they transubstantiated in themselves what are called the ‘being-obligolnian-strivings’ which consist of the following five, namely:

 

“The first striving: to have in their ordinary being-existence everything satisfying and really necessary for their planetary body.


“The second striving: to have a constant and unflagging instinctive need for self-perfection in the sense of being.

 

“The third: the conscious striving to know ever more and more concerning the laws of World-creation and World-maintenance.

 

“The fourth: the striving from the beginning of their existence to pay for their arising and their individuality as quickly as possible, in order afterwards to be free to lighten as much as possible the Sorrow of our 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.      (p.386)

        

The first being-obligation refers to maintaining the physical body and not being overly indulgent and conditioned by physical desires, the stomach and sex organs.  The second involves striving for one’s self-perfection, the attainment of real “I,” one’s individuality.  The third involves seeking after truth about self and the nature of the world, striving to understand the fundamental cosmic laws which create and sustain life.  The fourth involves paying for our arising in order to help lighten the Sorrow of our Common Father, overcoming egoism and striving to lessen the suffering and madness within the world.   The final striving, or being obligation, is to help others towards their self-perfection, to attaining real “I.”

Beelzebub explains that if it were not for the cosmic catastrophes which occurred, it would be natural for humankind as three-centered beings to strive in these directions.  The degradation of humankind has led humans to forget their sacred being-Partkdolg-duties and their ‘being-obligolnian-strivings,’ and to strive instead only for their own welfare–their own pleasuring, egoism, self-love and vanity, all through insincerity and cunning.  The sacred being obligations and duties form an “objective morality” serving to connect humans to deeper cosmic processes, the sacred and divine.

 Beelzebub describes humans “as beings bearing in themselves particles of the emanation of the Sorrow of our COMMON FATHER CREATOR.” (p. 385) The awakening of conscience is thus a profoundly important stage in the transformation of the emotional life, leading to the awakening of the higher emotional center and connection with the life of the Common Father.

 The possibility for remorse of conscience also prevents the “final degradation” in humankind of the other sacred being impulses of “Faith, Love, and Hope.”  The experience of the remorse of conscience and the bearing of the sorrow of the Common Father are steps to awakening and transformation.  Fortunately, the data are still present within the strange human beings for such “sacred being impulses,” although they have passed into the subconsciousness.  Meanwhile, humans invent ever new mean for their Evil-God of self-calming. 

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