Acharya Prashant on Gurdjieff: Man is a machine

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Questioner: Acharya Ji, Pranam.

Gurdijieff said, ‘Man is a machine’. Please shed some light over this statement.

Acharya Prashant: Very practical, very precise, one simple observation, man is a machine, man is a programmed machine. It is just that, the mechanics, the functioning of the machine remain hidden behind the belief of consciousness.

Just expose how we function as machine, make it very obvious, how programmed we are and, in that exposure something new happens.

He was not very bothered with what is that new.  He just left that, surrendered to that. But, he was a master in devising a lot of ways, that helped expose functioning of the machine. Some of the ways were quite crude. He rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, including himself, probably he is the only Teacher who conduct experiments upon his own body.  The experiment as esoteric as banging one’s car deliberately against a tree to figure out whether one can witness the fracturing of the bones. That kind of a teacher!

‘Is it possible to remain centered even when you have ten cracks in your body and forty-eight wounds?  Is it possible to remain centered?’

Must have been a pretty faithful fellow. With out deep faith, you cannot risk that kind of an experiment and he was very choosy. Very choosy.

Q: What was the result?

AP: He managed to survive! In fact, he walked all the way to the nearest hospital.

Q: Is he aware of what he is doing?

AP:  Yes, of course, deliberately, and of course he was aware that he has not to bang the car beyond a certain speed, he wanted to be physically alive to witness.

He would call students to a particular location, and many would come, and when they would come and they would find a notice saying that Gurdjieff will be found at a place 200 miles away tomorrow morning. And then most of them would evaporate and only few reach there. And, there they would find another message saying, ‘Oh, we have returned to the base’, and finally only 3 or 4 will be left. Then he would impart his teaching.

He was a pattern-breaker. So, if you go to him and tell him that you would never get angry then he would ensure that he provokes into anger. You go to him and tell him that you don’t take alcohol, he would fill you with alcohol right till up to the throat.

So, while some people really liked him, there was also a big cross-section that, who don’t, he inspired many people after him, led a controversial life.

Have you heard of the book called ‘The Fourth Way’?

Ouspensky?

Even Osho took a lot from Gurdjieff.


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: Acharya Prashant on Gurdjieff: Man is a machine


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Who would believe in poor Jesus?

When you follow even without understanding, that is Surrender.

That is what Surrender is. You do not know what the whole thing is about and yet there is something that tells you, to just go along with it.

AP: You have a beautiful body; how will you use it to make people come to you?

L: Display it.

AP: Now look at Mahavir and Lalla. If you want people to listen to you, they must first of all be present in front of you. Why not attract them this way?

Stories have no use, in fact, those stories must be dropped, after a point. After a point, if you are really wise, you will see the foolishness and the falseness of those stories.

L: Why are Miracles added to all the stories?

AP: We need them.

Otherwise, who would believe in poor Jesus.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on a Sufi story: The obvious falseness of our stories


 

Acharya Prashant on a Sufi story: The obvious falseness of our stories

Mojud – The man with the inexplicable life

There was once a man named Mojud. He lived in a town where he had obtained a post as a small official, and it seemed likely that he would end his days as inspector of weights and measures.

One day when he was walking through the gardens of an ancient building near his home, Khidr, the mysterious guide of the Sufis, appeared to him, dressed in shimmering green.

Khidr said, “Man of bright prospects! Leave your work and meet me at the riverside in three days’ time. ” Then he disappeared.

Mojud went to his superior in trepidation and said that he had to leave. Everyone in the town soon heard of this and they said, “Poor Mojud! He has gone mad.” But, as there were many candidates for his job, they soon forgot him.

On the appointed day, Mojud met Khidr, who said to him, “Tear your clothes and throw yourself into the stream. Perhaps someone will save you.”

Mojud did so, even though he wondered if he were mad.

Since he could swim, he did not drown, but drifted a long way before a fisherman hauled him into his boat, saying, “Foolish man! The current is strong.

What are you trying to do?”

Mojud said, “I don’t really know.”

“You are mad,” said the fisherman, “But I will take you into my reed-hut by the river yonder, and we shall see what can be done for you.”

When he discovered that Mojud was well-spoken, he learned from him how to read and write. In exchange, Mojud was given food and helped the fisherman with his work.

After a few months, Khidr again appeared, this time at the foot of Mojud’s bed, and said, “Get up now and leave this fisherman. You will be provided for.”

Mojud immediately quit the hut, dressed as a fisherman, and wandered about until he came to a highway.

As dawn was breaking he saw a farmer on a donkey on his way to market. “Do you seek work?” asked the farmer, “because I need a man to help me bring back some purchases.”

Mojud followed him. He worked for the farmer for nearly two years, by which time he had learned a great deal about agriculture but little else.

One afternoon when he was baling wool, Khidr appeared to him and said, “Leave that work, walk to the city of Mosul, and use your savings to become a skin-merchant.”

Mojud obeyed.

In Mosul he became known as a skin-merchant, never seeing Khidr while he plied his trade for three years.

He had saved quite a large sum of money, and was thinking of buying a house, when Khidr appeared and said, “Give me your money, walk out of this town as far as the distant Samarkand, and work for a grocer there.”

Mojud did so.

Presently he began to show undoubted signs of illumination. He healed the sick, served his fellow men in the shop during his spare time, and his knowledge of the mysteries became deeper and deeper.

Clerics, philosophers and others visited him and asked, “under whom did you study?”

“It is difficult to say,” said Mojud.

His disciples asked, “How did you start your career?”

He said, “As a small official.” “And you gave it up to devote yourself to self-mortification?”

“No, I just gave it up.” They did not understand him.

People approached him to write the story of his life.

“What have you been in your life?” they asked.

“I jumped into a river, became a fisherman, then walked out of his reed-hut in the middle of the night. After that, I became a farmhand. While I was baling wool, I changed and went to Mosul, where I became a skin-merchant. I saved some money there, but gave it away. Then I walked to samarkand where I worked for a grocer. And this is where I am now.”

“But this inexplicable behavior throws no light upon your strange gifts and wonderful examples, ” said the biographers.

“That is so,” said Mojud.

So the biographers constructed for Mojud a wonderful and exciting story: because all saints must have their story, and the story must be in accordance with the appetite of the listener, not with the realities of life.

And nobody is allowed to speak of Khidr directly. That is why this story is not true. It is a representation of a life. This is the real life of one of the greatest Sufis.

~ Idries Shah.

Tales of the Dervishes.

Acharya Prashant: When it comes to you, it is never the output, of anything. It is never part of story. No story can ever explain. Why things happened? Why the real happened? You may as well say, “I climbed a tree, I feel down a tree, I chased a dog, I hopped on to a bus, I ate a fruit, I slapped a stranger and it happened.” That’s the most logical, it can get. This is what happened. Now, real is not happening because of any of these, it just happens. And mind you one is not allowed to talk of Khidr directly. How do you, narrate the role that Khidr has been playing in your life.

Khidr is?

Listener: Truth.

AP: Grace. Yes, Truth, Grace whatever.

And how do you tell someone, how and when Khidr comes to you and what he says? Because even you do not understand. How can others understand?

When you follow even without understanding,

that is Surrender.

Continue reading

If anger besets you, look at your entire life, the full spectrum.

If anger besets you, look at your entire life, the full spectrum. Nothing short of that would do. Anger is not a disease in itself. Anger is an indicator. And, anger is a very powerful and gross indicator. Anger becomes necessary so that you may see how bad your condition is. Subtle signs of discomfort and bad living are always there, but one misses those signs. Because you miss those signs or ignore them, hence your system has to forcibly show you that there is something wrong with you, hence you erupt.

When you erupt then you cannot miss what is happening with you. It is so violent, so loud, so apparent. You might get slapped. How will you miss the marks on your face? Something this gross has to be done because you are not ready to read the fine print, the subtle message. Are you getting it?

Anger is a message. Anger is not a message that the twenty-fourth hour is misplaced, or infected. Anger is a message that the entire spectrum of twenty-four hours is going wrong. You are not living rightly. You are just not living rightly. If there is sugar in your urine, do you start treating the urine? You are not eating rightly. The malaise lies elsewhere. Don’t take a canister of urine to the ICU. The urine is merely an indicator. You are living wrongly.

What is it to live wrongly? There cannot be anger without the frustration of desire. You cannot be angry if your desire has not been defeated. Anger is an upsurge of energy. Do you see what happens when you are angry? What happens? There is a rush of adrenaline. Your limbs start shaking with energy. Your eyes lit up. Your cheeks get flushed with blood. You are all ready with more energy to do something. Do what? Have you never noticed?

It’s like this, you have a desire to reach there and there is an obstacle in the way. Now you are angry, now there is so much of energy and it is needed to overcome the obstacle. That is why anger provides you with so much energy, so that you may defeat the obstacle and fulfill your desire. Where there is frustration of desire, there is anger. Do you get it? Whenever you would place your desire outside of you, you would find that there is an obstacle.

Do you know what is that obstacle? That obstacle is yourself. All anger in some way, therefore, is against yourself and hence is self-destructive. Are you getting it?



Read the complete article: Is anger really the problem?

Is anger really the problem?

SR Generic_ EnglishQuestion: “How to overcome impulsive feelings, like anger, and how to increase tolerance?”.

Acharya Prashant: Why do you want to overcome anger? Why do you want to overcome anger?

L:  Because you are insufficient and you feel incomplete.

AP: That looks like an academic explanation. When you say you don’t want anger, why don’t you want it?

L: That is not my nature.

AP: Is that so? After, a bout of anger, after an upsurge of anger, after a violent episode of anger, you say, “I shouldn’t have done this. I shouldn’t have been angry.” Why exactly do you say that? Go into it. Go into such moments when this might have happened. Why do you regret being angry?

L: Because it caused me a certain loss.

AP: Right. You did something in that moment which caused you loss. Right? So, there are the twenty-four hours of the day, and in half an hour of anger, you did something that impacted the remaining twenty-three and a half hours. Correct? Your reputation got spoiled, or a relationship got hurt, or you broke something, or you took a bad decision. All of which impacts the remaining twenty-three and a half hours. Right? Continue reading

To witness is to know everything, without knowing anything

To witness is to know everything, without knowing anything. That is why the witness will never be able to produce a proof of his witnessing. Only he will know. But if he questions himself he says, “How do I know? Is there a justification? Is there some kind of an evidence then there will be no evidence?”

To witness is to know without the eyes. To witness is to hear without the ears. To witness is to know without information. You have no information, yet you know everything. That is witnessing. How can you have information? Because you are not interested in the information, how will you have the information? Yet, you will know everything. That ‘everything’, is not details.

When I say, “You will know everything, that does not mean that you will know all the petty details, you will know the essence and that is witnessing. In witnessing all you get to know is the essence and that essence is not new, that essence is just that the thing that I witnessed was worthy only of witnessing. That is what you have known. When you are not interested, what have you known? You have known that the world is not worthy of being shown a great interest in. And that is witnessing.

So, what does the witness come to know? The witness comes to know nothing. Witnessing essentially then is nothing. The witness only comes to know that nothing deserves to be known, that is all that the witness knows. The witness only comes to know that what he already knows is sufficient, so nothing else needs to be known.

See, knowledge is interest, knowledge is power, knowledge is satisfaction, and the witness does not want any satisfaction or power or knowledge. He gathers no information. So, please don’t be in any kind of assumptions about witnessing. Witnessing is nothing, witnessing gives you no information after witnessing. 



Read the complete article: What is meant by awareness, or witnessing?

What is meant by awareness, or witnessing?

21125331_1485233508231414_8341813784503617778_oQuestion: Osho said, “Love is a state of your being.” And Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “Love is a state in which there is no ‘me’”, so if I am aware of my ego all the time, am I love? Or is there a different way to dissolve my ego?

Acharya Prashant: Osho said, “Love is a state of your being.” And Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “Love is a state in which there is no ‘me’”, the question is “If I am aware of my ego all the time, am I love? Or is there a different way to dissolve my ego?”

There is no great fun playing a watchman, it is never relaxing when you are all the time keeping an eye on someone. One cannot become a spiritual spy. So much of what we call as witnessing or awareness is so frequently defined as something which is practically no different from playing a policeman. One says “keep an eye,” one says “remain conscious,” one says “remain alert”. What do all these really, practically boiled out of? They all fundamentally mean “Remaining in the zone of dualistic consciousness”.

What do you mean by watching the ego? What do you mean by that? Who will watch? And what do you define watching as?

Continue reading