The expression of Awareness is exceedingly rare in our species, at least developed to the degree that is of any real importance. The nature of the universe, and everything within it, is perfect. All things in their current state are perfect, it is only our perception of these things which can be imperfect. We are in the habit of not seeing things as they are, but rather as we would wish them to be or how we are told they are. We are programmed to be enamored with the illusion of imperfection; either the misinterpretation of the truth or the purposeful denial of the truth, so much so that most of us will not have the chance to be more than what we are. We will go on believing we are aware, living lives deceiving ourselves and doing things we disdain, only to end no differently, or perhaps worse, than when we began. This is as it should be. Most will not seek to develop themselves in order to become something more. We are what we are, whether we remain the same or choose to be more. Perfection exists in either state, whether we are aware of it or not. Our delusion is also perfect.
Consider pain. Pain is often a negative experience, in that we tend to prefer to avoid it. However, pain is necessary in order to keep us aware of that which harms us and to allow us to act in a manner to help prevent irreparable harm. Pain teaches us how to interact with our environment, and by contrast allows us to truly appreciate that which is pleasurable. Yet, there are schools which teach that pain is “evil”, or the result of imperfection in the world. Pain is an aspect of life, one of the many aspects that let you know you are alive. It may be preferable to avoid pain when possible, but it is no less perfect than any other aspect of our existence.
It is the nature of this perfect universe for potential to be discovered and expressed. Fire burns until its fuel is extinguished. Water seeks its level. The body grows and changes within the parameters set by its genetics. We contain within ourselves the ability to inhibit the expression of our potential. Like pain, this ability is not imperfect or evil, it is merely an aspect of ourselves which is necessary and can benefit us if properly understood. Awareness cannot be achieved without the effort to find it, thus the ability to be closed to our potential, to even deny our potential, serves as a counterpoint which teaches us about our potential. The perfect engine of change in our universe is adversity. Potential only fully manifests when expressed through the birth canal of conflict. Our species must earn Awareness in order for it to manifest. Only those tested by the false nature of our perceived existence will appreciate the fruits of greater Awareness.
We have all encountered men and women who inspire us by their example or have qualities that we see as desirable within ourselves. They may have great beauty, physical prowess, impressive intelligence, emotional depth, or other traits which suggest something special, if not superior about them. Some people we encounter have a quality which suggests a greater sense of being, of human potential being expressed in a manner that is uncommon. Just as encountering superior expressions of various qualities may inspire us to develop these qualities in ourselves, it is contact with such uncommon expressions of potential that is often the impetus of our own exploration of self. The difference is that while greater beauty, strength, or intelligence are common expressions we may readily observe, the potential for greater Awareness is hidden from the majority because its expression is so rare.
Unless a person is fortunate enough to encounter an expression of greater Awareness via art, literature, music, or direct contact, the person is unlikely to seek greater Awareness for themselves. This leads to an interesting tangent; if Awareness cannot be explored in ourselves without first encountering its example, then how did the first person come to seek greater Awareness? Keep this question in mind, as I will discuss it in a future writing.
If we are fortunate enough to come into contact with something that suggests greater Awareness, there will only be a few of us that seek it within ourselves. Only a few of us have that inner fire which hungers for growth and senses the lie being perpetuated by the system we experience each day. Many who encounter that example will have already been broken by that system. They will make excuses as to why that potential which is within all of us is denied to them. They will see the development of greater Awareness as unimportant when compared to the demands of the world, when in fact just the opposite is true. They will see the effort as too difficult, or themselves as too limited to ever accomplish what has been demonstrated by others. They will see the example of greater Awareness and be stung by it, and turn away. Only a rare few of us will see it as an inspiration and personal example for our own lives.
Of those that try, only a rare few will find a path that leads them to greater Awareness. There are many paths to greater Awareness, but far more paths that lead to dead-ends. They are dead-ends because the death of the self is where they lead. Some will make the mistake by misunderstanding what greater Awareness is, and will seek to better themselves by some means tied to this world. This world, for all its pleasures and distractions, is finite. How can one achieve something lasting by means rooted in this finite world? The pursuit of money will bring wealth, comfort, and a plethora of hedonistic pleasures, but there has yet to be born a man who’s wealth served him once his life was ended. Others will be lead astray by false teachers, some who think they know the way but are misguided by ego or the incorrect teachings of another. Others will be false intentionally, preying on those who lack the ability to see the truth. The majority will simply not know where to begin, and end their search before it even starts.
Of those who find a proper path, many will fail because the way is arduous and fraught with peril. The pursuit of a true path boarders on obsession. Such single-mindedness will alienate the seeker from those around him. Friends and family will raise doubts within him about his efforts and will question his motivations. He will be ridiculed by his fellows who do not share in his pursuit. The indulgences of the world will call to him like a siren’s song, urging him to put down his burden, to cease his toil, and to do what is easy. Many who start down the path will turn away before the goal is reached. Their hearts will lack the strength to achieve it.
Of those who find what they seek, many will turn away because what they discover troubles them. They will discover the truth, and truth is undeniable and unchangeable. It can be nothing other than truth, regardless of what we wish it to be. It is what it is. Of those that find it, they will not accept it. Their conceptions of self will be destroyed. The world that they thought they knew will be gone, an alien landscape hostile to their existence. In the face of truth, most whither away, seeking the world again and willfully going no further. They will be forever haunted and bitter about that which they experienced but could not accept.
Those, however, who can see the potential of their own beings, who find a proper path, who pursue that path to its end, who discover truth for themselves, and who can face that truth and embrace it, they will be transformed. To them will be revealed the real wonder of the world and themselves. They will see in fullness the perfection of all and within themselves. Those that know and embrace truth can no longer be imprisoned by the false reality of the world around us. Their minds will be like gardens where only they can decide what is planted there. For those rare few, freedom will be a achieved. Tested, challenged, and tempered in the forge of adversity, they will emerge with something lasting within themselves.
Awareness is a potential born within us all, but rare are those whom are favored with the circumstances within which such potential may be explored, who come into contact with the possibility of greater Awareness early enough in life, and who have the will to pursue its development in fullness. This is also a perfect aspect of our world. If greater Awareness was not rare and difficult to attain, it would lose any meaningful purpose, leading to stagnation. The universe is not trite, it is dynamic. If we are to fulfill our potential, we must seek to develop an Awareness which is equally dynamic. The journey may be hard, but the effort provides many rewards.
Tsun Tzu said “Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”, “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”, and “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”
I have sworn an oath to a lifelong discipline, of creating a self which has the awareness, foresight, ability, and strength to recognize and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Seeking out and utilizing every technique, tool, tradition, weapon, power, and philosophy which lends to producing this result. Just as the magician over time, learns and develops new tricks and perfects the old ones; this Darkhorse is constantly evolving to expand my repertoire. I am certain most would wonder why; why undertake this discipline? The answer to that lies in the three quotes from The Art of War.
To know thyself is an ages old pilgrimage, undertaken to some extent by all of man. Some journey just far enough to come only to a superficial understanding of themselves. Discovering just enough to feel justified in claiming authority over themselves, and therefore assuming qualification to lead other men to themselves. Never recognizing their transformation into detractors of consciousness. You see consciousness lies, not in knowing some cosmic truth; but in the stride to attain that truth.
“And all cosmic truths become known to everyone on those planets because those beings who by their conscious efforts learn some truth or other share it with others, and in this way, little by little, all cosmic truths become known to all the beings of that planet, whatever may be their aspirations and degree of self-perfecting.” Gurdjieff – Beelzebub’s Tales
Notice Gurdjieff does not mistake ‘truths’ for consciousness in the above quote, nor does he seem greatly concerned with revealing these truths. He plainly says that all cosmic truths become known, regardless of the aim or qualification of the seeker. Seemingly, as if we were to just sit back and wait; all truths will be revealed to us over time. So if we accept this as a truth, the natural question arises; why then did Gurdjieff conceive of The Work?
“For, as I have said and written many times over the decades, our attack on the Old Order, on the mundanes and their societies and their governments, is on many levels, just as our esoteric Order – our association of sinister individuals – exists on many levels, each with a task, a goal, and each attracting, evolving, individuals of a certain type, a certain sinister nature. This is how a living-being is: complex; of various diverse forms ultimately (esoterically) co-operating in certain ways (whether consciously or unconsciously) to enhance, to increase, to reproduce and extend, the life of the living organism to which they belong.
Thus Vindex and our tribes are exoteric signs of our living, of our acausal presence in the causal world of the mundanes, and of a new type of life coming-into-being on this planet we have called Earth.” – Anton Long
Long like Gurdjieff and Tsun Tzu, recognizes that transformation is inevitable; save that which is in the hands of the potter. To shape the pot however, requires you know many things on many levels. You must know your hands, you must know the clay, and you must know the wheel. If you don’t know the fire, you’re left with a weak pot. Should your mind be without a clear image, you cannot draw its shape. So for this it must be practiced, worked at; grown.
I wanted to put these thoughts down, as a primer for a future post. If you have thoughts, I’d like to hear them. “A thousand battles, a thousand victories”, so subtle is it not? The Puritan Mandate needs purged, should you aim to rise above. Diligent and deliberate, two of the hallmarks of The Insidious Way.
No one recognizes the Darkhorse!