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A Parable

October 18, 1994 Dear Fourth Way Spiritual School, I was talking to the Electric Buddha the other day and he asked me to ask you, “Is it true Gurdjieff was a Sufi?”  Please Reply. Sincerely, Your humble Observer B.H. Biloxi, MSDear Bradley, A seeker of the Fourth Way once approached Mr. Gurdjieff while he was sitting in a favored café drinking a foul smelling concoction of Turkish coffee and Calvados.  The student stood before Mr. G at his...

Are We the Universe?

… The technology of our new century excites the possibility of probing ever more deeply into the mystery of existence. As cosmologists search for a theory to unify the energies underlying the material universe, neuroscientists peer into the patterns of energies flowing through the human brain, looking for clues to the enigma of consciousness. The two directions of search appear opposite, one outward and the other interior, but is that so? Is...

What Do I Serve?

I need to ponder the question: What do I serve? No matter what we do or fail to do, we serve something. Our attention and energy can easily be taken by the things of ordinary life, and in that case, that is what we serve. We serve it through the payment of our Attention. But the attention and energy can also be directed toward something higher, what we call our aim, and in that case, we serve this aim. Many different deeper questions point to...

The Place of Outside-Inside

… It is difficult to know where to begin this story since it may be tainted in the eyes of many, as it was for me for a long time because the experience was facilitated by marijuana. Nevertheless, this and related experiences, both prior to and afterward, raised for me a profound question about what we call ‘reality.’ So, there are really three stories here: one about the specific experiences I will describe, one about the legitimacy of...

The Mystery of “Feeling”

… How Do I Know What I Feel? The music sounded “soulful”. I’m feeling “melancholy”. That is really “irritating” me. I feel “hopeful”. I really “wish”. I am “lonely”. I feel “grateful”. I am in “awe”. How do I know what I feel? How did a particular feeling get its name, its label? How do words describing invisible, subjective states, arise in a linguistic system? How can a feeling-state be verbally shared? Are we truly sharing experience just...

The Call

The Workshop In my late 30’s, I attended a Jungian weekend retreat run by an Episcopal Priest. Two primary experiences occurred to me during this weekend. Either one alone would have changed my life, but they were both just precursors of the tidal wave that was to come. As a result of experiences at this mind-bending retreat, I “saw” the reality of both the individual and the “collective unconscious,” the reality of Symbol as a living design of...

Desire

“All that desires seeks to make a connection with what it lacks, something that is not present at the moment...there is undoubtedly a striving, an urge to satisfy a need not immediately present; the fulfillment is not immediate, as is the case of reactions.” -J.G. Bennett, A Spiritual Psychology p. 118 Can I desire what I have never known? Can I desire something if there were not already a resonant receptor within me corresponding with that...

Being in the World, But Not of It

The Judeo-Christian bible makes multiple references to the concept of “being in the world, but not of it.” How can this be achieved, and what does it imply about responsibility to the world around us? From the perspective of “The Work,” as practiced by followers of G.I. Gurdjieff, how can this be understood? As I experience it, “being in the world, but not of it” does not eliminate my responsibility in the ‘world’ outside my body. The questions...

Federico’s Collected Quotes – 2

This is a collection of quotes, created by Federico Balsa from conversations that took place in The Seeker's Café... SEEKERS´ QUOTES INSTALLMENT # 6 TAKEN FROM MEETING HELD ON DECEMBER 14, 2019 EDITOR´S NOTE: THERE MAY BE A DEGREE OF PARAPHRASING IN THE QUOTES. QUOTEES ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO PUBLISH ANY CORRECTIONS THEY FEEL ARE NECESSARY QUOTED FROM: STEFFAN SOULE ON THE TOPIC:   “What is CONVICTION?”   Conviction is an interesting part of...

Federico’s Collected Quotes – 1

Federico Balsa, one of the Seeker's Café regulars, has chosen to record what he regards as wise or significant statements made by various memebrs of the Café during their regular Saturday morning meetings. What follows is a collection of those quotations. From Records of Gurdjieff's Paris Meetings, 1943 quoted by Robin Bloor ON THE TOPIC:   “Ashiata Shiemash”   “In the beginning, the sexual act was only meant to be used for the...