November 2020

The first November workshop was about the nature of deviation. We defined “deviation” using examples from several traditions, and we talked about the origins of deviation. We considered some of the possible reasons that deviations arise in us and ended with discussing how to use these deviations to serve our aim of becoming more conscious.

Throughout the week preceding the second workshop of November, our practical exercise was to count the number of times during our day that we thought to self-remember. During the workshop we discussed student’s results with the exercise and how it is viewed as the November Labor of sewing the acreage of our field (time) with good seeds (conscious efforts). We examined how parables and images from many traditions elucidate this effort and expanded upon the significance for making such efforts, as well as the proposed consequence of making no effort.

Our third workshop was centered around the topic of uncovering false personality. We discussed ways of looking at ourselves in order to see whether or not who we think we are is essentially real or is merely composite. Working from the premise that there is more to this being called “I” than the habits of thought, the fleeting passions of desires, or the incessant judgements that comprise most of our moments, we endeavor to uncover and distinguish the real from the molded.

During our fourth meeting, we discussed what “effort toward self-remembrance” entails. Although the concept is simple, intellect by itself is not enough; at best intellect provides an impetus necessary for realizing higher states of consciousness. We examined the need to bring feeling and valuation to our efforts and explored what it means to heed that still, small voice. We acknowledged the force of effort required to develop conscience and considered what is meant by acquiescence to that conscience. Being more than just our thoughts, what does it mean to bring that “more” to the work of remembering ourselves?

The concluding workshop of November was based upon the Law of Octaves. We examined ways by which the knowledge of this theoretical law can assist us in our practical daily aim of sustaining consciousness. In so doing, we built upon the preceding weeks’ exercise of prolonging the flashes of self-remembering to see why and where our efforts deviate from our aim.

There is no attention in people. You must aim to acquire this. Self-observation is only possible after acquiring attention. Start with small things.
Gurdjieff