When talking about, what we consider to be, “liberation”, that is, “awakening” in the full sense of the word, we mustn’t allow the mechanical, ordinary mind to interpret those terms in the ordinary way, in the same way as it interprets ordinary life. Such interpretation provided by the mind is unable to bring you to the maturation point, to that moment when you realize that you need to liberate yourself from precisely this which is interpreting everything it comes into contact with. The mind is a good servant but a bad master, as is often said by those who understand its function. Mind is a structure enabling the contact between the inner being and the reality of manifestation. If it weren’t for this structure an undeveloped being would be destroyed by the contact with the reality of manifestation, for its structure of “self” isn’t strong enough to endure the contact with the outside world. This is why the being manifests the mind as a means of contact with the reality of the world. Still, the manifestation of the mind is itself always dependent on, and limited by, the undeveloped being, by the undeveloped consciousness. A being that hadn’t completed its process of maturation, that had manifested maturation to a limited extent only, now brings all those filters it had created through previous interpretations or insights, through its development of consciousness – and manifests those filters in its current incarnation.
In this respect, we could say that the current manifestation of a being, with all of its qualities and flaws, is a sum total of all its former manifestations, be they human or un-human. What adds to the confusion is a statement made by some spiritual schools / teachings, one made with a lack of real understanding if I may add, that “our being comes from the level of the galaxy”. Or, in the words of some other philosophies, that “our being is already awakened” and as such it is manifested in this reality via the soul. Since most beings hadn’t reached their full potential, and consequently have undeveloped minds, minds which don’t understand what philosophy even is – these kinds of philosophical postulates remain misunderstood and misused.
Philosophy always precedes theory and without it theory would not be possible. Speaking in a strictly limited way of course, in terms of an individual’s maturation of consciousness. Also, since a limited, or even degraded mind, is unable to comprehend cosmology properly, these kinds of statements and instructions that are given through philosophy can hardly be explained on the level of theory, much less be used in a concrete way on the practical level. Many will ask “what’s so practical about this?” to which I reply – everything about this is practical. But, the level of consciousness through which you are interpreting is not mature enough to understand these kinds of ideas. These ideas are given to a specific kind of man; to a man who had matured, who had developed the Real I within himself; who had entered the Awake state of consciousness. He understands philosophy, he understands theory and due to this he can use such ideas practically. In order to understand seemingly contradictory philosophical statements – consciousness is needed – consciousness able to unite the apparent contradictions, able to realize the truths contained within the contradiction by virtue of being outside of it.
Although our Being does come from the level of galaxy – which requires special clarification – it passes through a complete manifestation of soul within a limited space-time continuum. It needs to complete the manifestation of maturation as a separate soul and then re-enter that state from which it had manifested into a separate soul. It needs to pass through separateness, needs to mature through a series of incarnations, and then re-enter the state of unity. The Being itself has nothing to do with (its) incarnations, it never enters an incarnation. It is the soul, a manifestation of Being, that enters incarnations, that has its scheme of incarnating.
Soul is the one that is developing, maturing, making progress and, in the end, returning to its primeval state. The soul manifests itself and its level of consciousness into the mind and the body, and through them the soul experiences this reality. Through the development of the mind and body, through their maturation, the soul itself matures and develops thereby getting closer to the original state of the Being and, in the end – the soul unites, unifies with Being.
Being is a direct manifestation of the Absolute. It is Absolute itself but with limited properties; it has all the aspects of the Absolute, but in a limited way. The soul is manifested from Being as that aspect which enters into incarnations, from the lowest to the highest kinds, and is limited by cosmology that is below the level of Being, while keeping all the aspects and powers of the Being. The Soul manifests the mind which is subject to change in various incarnations and is dependent upon the level of the soul’s maturation, yet mind too keeps all of the aspects and powers of the soul. The mind manifests the body and the reality of (its) life, the so called ego or the false personality which also keeps all of the aspects and powers of the mind. The distinction here is in the amount of the power and the aspects on the levels above a certain level of manifestation. In other words, each lower level keeps the concept of the one above it, but in a limited way in relation to it. Thereby, every level keeps the tendency toward creation, i.e. the tendency to create and to form, but in a way which is limited compared to the level above it.
If you understand what I have said so far and you are able to grasp it theoretically, we can go a step further in relation to the Work and internal development. If not, go back and try reading this in a conscious way, without interpretations coming from the mind because the mind is unable to interpret this, whereas consciousness has the means enabling it to intuitively sense what it’s all about.
The soul, in its power, might and consciousness, is divided into two parts within manifestation. The part manifested as the mind, that is, the three minds, and the part manifested as the observer. The Observer is, in a way, an “imitation” of the power of Being – the observer is a function of Being, a power or a Force of Being on a lower level and limited. As the mind matures, so the observer matures. And owing to their maturation the soul is making progress, it’s moving toward its final, its “preordained” goal, although the way in which it will mature is not preordained. The soul has something man might call “destiny”, a destination course, and also that which man calls “free will”, not understanding what it means. Just like the mind and the body the soul can die; it is not immortal as is commonly thought. Being is immortal, and as long as the soul doesn’t reach the level of Being, the level of the Truth of itself, it doesn’t possess immortality. The problem with this is that immortality and Truth of oneself (of one’s Being) are not what we imagine them to be – you can read more about this in a previous article “Being Awake – being Awakened (enlightenment)”. The Soul has its own rules, its own laws, and its own manner of motion within the Reality of the Absolute, and those can’t be realized by mind’s speculation – even though philosophy does provide explanations of this motion by a series of puzzling and often contradictory statements. Those statements can’t be properly interpreted unless the interpreter had reached the necessary level of understanding, and of development and growth of Being.
The Observer, i.e. consciousness not identified with the processes of the mind, is connected to the power of Being. Therefore, in a direct work on oneself, in the work on developing consciousness, reaching the level of observer is a mandatory step if we wish to reach the full potential of the Being’s manifestation. Obviously, there are other ways of self-development, ways where this isn’t mandatory, and I will not call wrong, but I will call them limited. Their limitations are reflected in the (wrong) way they are interpreting the four states of consciousness i.e. the four levels of manifestation of Being: Deep sleep, sleep, awake state and the objective consciousness. The awake state does not belong to man’s ordinary mental state. Although man thinks he is “awake”, he had not even touched upon awakeness. And this is the problem of present-day eastern spirituality; for it interprets the ancient truths it no longer understands. This very state of awakeness is the one containing the manifestation of the observer and the observer is an imitation of the awake state. When the observer is completely developed it reaches a new level, that of witnessing, and witnessing contains within itself all of the three minds – because, in a limited aspect, the power of being resides within each of the minds as a “soul” of those minds, as the purusha (witness), while the soul is linked to the observer in a general sense. If it were not so, the minds would be unable to observe one another for they would lack the observing function itself.
This is why it is said that man is in a “dream”. The observer is the way out of it. But the observer itself is within the dream, since it resides within each of the minds. By maturing the observer reaches the state of awakeness. In the Awake state of consciousness you are no longer participating in the dream, you are not dreaming your personal dream anymore but you’re still not out of it, as I have been explaining in previous texts. This is what makes this step so crucial in order for a man to mature internally and to liberate himself.
The observer, a manifestation of the soul’s power, is manifested in all minds. It is as mature as the minds themselves are, that is, as the manifestation of the observer in the minds is mature. That’s why spiritual ideas about destroying the mind are not only meaningless but plain wrong. If you destroy the mind you will have nothing with which to continue your progress, thus, the mind shouldn’t be destroyed. However, the mind needs to be awakened to the utmost degree in order to enable it to use its highest creative aspects, those aspects through which the soul reaches its maximum and becomes ready for the final merging with its Source. When the state of observer(s) within the minds is changed, the sum of witnessing is changed too, the general state of observer is changed and as it matures it brings you to the awake state from where the evolution continues.
In the general sense the observer is manifested within the minds, and at the same time it is also manifested as a separate “entity”, as the essence of observer. The development and growth of its consciousness through the minds is its own development and growth. By virtue of this the soul matures; its samskaras mature, its manifestation changes so it enters into increasingly more intelligent aspects of manifestation, as we would say, it is changing regarding its incarnations. By this I mean that its incarnations are increasing in strength, in capabilities, in consciousness. Man becomes a higher level of man: a man No. 5, 6, and 7, as Gurdjieff had explained. Every lack of proportion between the observer and its evolution on one side and the mind on the other side, results in the imbalance of the whole structure of man. Through this very imbalance man gets an opportunity for further growth, an opportunity to notice those parts of the soul that haven’t matured and to bring them to the level of maturity needed for his further development. In time, man becomes an adult human being, he becomes a being of a mature consciousness, of a mature “I”, and the so called “ego” or separate personality, false personality – ceases to control him. This, however, doesn’t mean that the ego had died or had ceased to exist, rather, it had been transformed into something much higher, into a structure that is much more complicated than the ego – whereby the manifestation of this man’s consciousness is a master of his body, of his mind, and of his sub-minds alike. The state of the Master, i.e. the Awake state of consciousness, is a state of a mature man, of an adult who is continuing his evolution through the levels of Man No. 5, 6 and 7. From a conscious man to a conscious Absolute, as one might say.
The observer of a conscious man, the observer “in” a Man No. 5, is not the observer you can now feel, unless you are a Man No. 5. The observer you feel while practicing the Work is not the observer of an Awake man. When the minds are balanced – as in a Man No. 4 – when the observer within the minds is awakened, then such an observer starts resembling the observer of a Man No. 5. You are still in need of a lot of energy, of a lot of strength in order to maintain the observer. When you are Awake (Man No. 5), when you had come to know yourself (the Real I) then the observer manifests as simultaneous consciousness of all the three minds, and it manifests through these minds as the highest aspect, the highest power, of each of them. People perceive you as a fully awakened man, but you have not reached liberation yet. The way you observe is through all the minds simultaneously, a higher intelligence is awakening, you feel the process of witnessing in an emotional way, you feel the whole process of manifestation within the body and mind in an emotional way. This is what Gurdjieff called “Higher Emotional Center”. You are enveloping the reality you are experiencing, and also the one experiencing this reality, in a specific way. This opens up a new possibility. You realize that even the manifestation of your consciousness, even the Real I, is limited, but the ideas of the Work are no longer applicable in your case, they can’t be applied in the same way as before. The Work, as it stands, is no longer applicable. The teaching loses its purpose, it is unable to provide you with the strength needed in order to breach into the higher levels of consciousness. All that you had learned becomes worthless – in regard to your current state – as you are taking the next step forward.
With respect to the internal evolution, the evolution of the observer is the evolution of yourself. You cannot be separated from the observer because the observer is your nature. And yet, the observer evolves just like everything else. Consciousness is developed in a direct way, not indirectly as is taught in spirituality. Developing the observer in a direct way begins by observing, by separating from the mind’s processes of manifestation. By doing this the observer is maturing, it is collecting the observing “substance” which is leading it toward the higher evolution. According to the “amount” of the substance the observer had collected, it is changing the reality you find yourself in, it is changing the one who is being manifested, the “world” gets changed. The change of the world is the change of the level of consciousness in you; consciousness which in the beginning is the observer and afterwards it is the witness and the awake consciousness. You are changing; maturing, quitting the games which are childish from the point of view of your current state, and you are coming to the next threshold of the internal development. You’re becoming a mature human being, one with a different mind, a different consciousness, manifesting in a different way.
Then, you fully realize what it means that “you are already awakened” or that “your being comes from the level of the galaxy”. You realize the contradictions of the mind and of manifestation, and for you it is no longer a contradiction. Your way of thinking includes “good and evil”, i.e. “yes and no” but also “either yes; either no” at the same time.
The first step is to observe your life as if it weren’t yours. Know that your nature is related to the one observing. Know that the evolution of the observer is the evolution of you, of you as consciousness. Don’t be identified with the mind or the body, nor with the processes that arise. Observe them, with zeal and as if your life depends on it. This will enable you to see all the concepts, ideas, attitudes, beliefs you have as a human being, and you need to observe them intensely on a daily basis. Observing will separate you from them but it will also loosen their grip on you, their power of keeping you in prison, deluded, in sleep. This is the basis of the first steps in the Work. All the rest builds upon this with the aim of crushing the illusion of imprisonment, the illusion of the dream. All else is just adding on this base with the aim of pushing you deeper, of breaking all of the soul’s unconscious bonds with this world, breaking of fetters that are binding you as CONSCIOUSNESS, as the WITNESS, for this is your nature that is trapped within processes, within the mind and the body.
All that I write here in the future will build upon what I have explained so far in the texts. I have been writing all of this so that you may have at least an intellectual understanding of the basic ideas, of what they mean and of why they are presented in this way. To this basis we will be returning often. And upon this base an evolution begins, a wholesome evolution which doesn’t exclude any part of you as a being, any part of you as a human.