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!