A post has been made on Medium, covering Gurdjieff’s Harnel-Miaznel, with regard to thoughts and ideas, and is written for people who may not have encountered Gurdjieff or Work ideas before.
“A Blending of Ideas”
Everything in life is an endless blending of one thing with another. So, what ingredients make us, and what recipes do we contribute to in life?
Nothing exists in isolation, and there is nothing new we can conceive that is not based upon something already known by us. Everything is a compound mixture of something else, and there is no intrinsic “thing” about anything.
It’s said that one could never conceive a totally new imaginary creature that does not have in some part, elements of creatures already known. Try it for yourself. Imagine a new creature with no part or shape that is based on anything you already know.
We very soon realise that it’s not only physical phenomena that has to be a mix of all things that came before it, but our thoughts and ideas are exactly like that too.
“Ideas are like heat”
Ideas are like heat. Higher energy heat transfers and blends with lower energy, to result in a middle temperature. Wherever we find ourselves with our thoughts and perceptions, we blend with what we encounter in life. If we experience higher thoughts and ideas, such as more creative, altruistic, forgiving, inclusive, and understanding ones, we blend up from our present and relative lower state of mind and being. The resulting middle of the two is a higher one from where we began.
If, however, we experience lower thoughts and ideas, such as bigotry, prejudice, hatred, mistrust, dishonesty, vengeance and the like, we blend downwards from our present state of mind and being. The resulting middle of the two is a lower one than where we began.
It’s really as simple as that. If we mix with “higher”, we go up. If we mix with “lower”, we go down.
What does state of mind and being really mean?
State of mind is where you find yourself in your inner world, when examining your overall demeanour with regard to thought and related emotion. Are you in a good frame of mind, open, receptive, warm and friendly? Or are you in a lesser state of mind such as angry, jealous, vengeful, mean, or lying? At a very basic level, we have two worlds — inner and outer. We often and instinctively attempt to change the “outer” (people, places and things), when anything “inner” (thoughts, feelings, hunches) arises.
“Being” is the ability to bear things. Babies have none, and can barely bear a cold breeze. Hardened soldiers have plenty, and can bear more extremes than most. It’s the level at which we can tolerate before we feel the need to speak out, assuming we could not just change something to avoid the issue. The more we experience, the greater our being.
Being and knowledge make up pretty much everything of what we are. Both can grow in life, and ideally should. Suffering and hardship builds being, and education and experience builds knowledge. With more knowledge and being, naturally comes more understanding.
The problem with life is that it brings so many random and varied experiences to us every day, in the form of news, social media, TV and movies, people we meet, books, and any activity, that we get exposed to multitudes of higher and lower ideas and concepts, so we barely notice any real effect until it starts concentrating.
The more we think and feel about a thing, the more we will tune into it in life; like buying a new coat or car, and seeing it almost every time we go out. It acts like a bias filter, that tunes out all else aside from where the focus of the mind is or has recently been.
So, like gravity and mass, the more we think about a subject, the more material we will gather, and our radar-like minds will register more strongly with anything that relates to the particular subject in our life. Our ears prick up. Our eyes catch it. We even taste it at times.
The more mass it builds up, the more it attracts, until eventually, we become it.
This applies both upwards and downwards of course, as all things have to maintain balance.
It seems wise to aim for a general upwards direction, unless one enjoys misery, so, what to do to make sure one only goes up?
“You can’t change where you find yourself, but you can change where you go…”
You simply have to tune out of what feels lower when you come across it. You can’t change where you find yourself, but you can change where you go from there. A lot of what you experience will be habit already, and this makes us numb to it, we miss it. Just decide to begin to watch for it. Watch for that which makes you think worse, feel worse. Pay attention to not only what went on, but how you reacted. Don’t assume the reaction is a just and valid response to everything. Question it. Does everyone feel that way, or just you?
What makes you think and feel better? Keep a mental check internally, and do your best to stop thoughts, when they start to go down. Like naughty dogs, they need to be told to “Stop”. And like dogs, they need consistency and repetition before they learn, but they do learn.
There are many techniques and habits that keep the mind blending upwards when things start going down. Pick a few:
- Change your mind’s subject to happy ones;
- Change your posture to a happy one (do try this, as an unhappy mood will get confused, and disrupted, when you put a smile on your face, raise your arms to the sky like you’ve just been bathed in gold, and focus your mind on what this feels like);
- Focus on the task in hand, like you were being scored on attention to detail;
- Feel gratitude for something, even the air you breathe if nothing else comes to mind;
- Put another person first, take the lower seat and be wrong;
- Show genuine interest in another’s passion;
- Treat an animal kindly;
- Grow things in pots or the garden;
- Forgive someone;
- Learn something new;
- You get the gist…
Do things like the above, put something back into the world, and the mind and being will start to move to a higher middle.
If you are thinking negatively, aim to think neutrally first, then you will be able to think positively from there.
Things to avoid, to avoid blending down:
- The news. It’s biased by nature anyway;
- Expressing negative emotions and negative statements about self. It’s only a part of you right now, and the rest of you, for the rest of the time, will start to believe it, and become it;
- Gossip and judgment of others;
- Envious ideas;
- You also know the kind of thing…
Any thought we take in that is lower than where we are at, will take us down further. Any thought that feels higher, takes us up.
But all of that is just a perspective for ourselves to blend upwards. We are also very much one part of a two-sided blend with another.
If we are lower than where they find themselves, we will pull them down if they believe what we say over what they know. If we are higher in thought and feeling than they are, we will pull them up, if they believe what we say over what they know, and if we don’t believe more in what they say.
With practice, we end up feeling this blending all the time, and become acutely aware of how we affect or may affect others, and what adversely and positively affects us.
We end up only wanting to express the best of what we know. Why not be the best for another? It’ll make your world a better and better place over time.
Life becomes a simple game of mixing. Be the best ingredient, and only mix with the best or better.
If you felt better after reading this, then read it again, and again, until you feel satisfied. Then, find something else that blends you better.