SOMETHING ON ESSENCE
Gurdjieff had mentioned the shortcomings of ordinary language many times. In the ordinary world of ‘Confusion of Languages’, many facts - especially those relating to the “subtler” aspects of being - are difficult to express correctly. So he used the language of the System: in particular, the idea of “Universal Scale” – the “Table of Hydrogens”, showing the place of all events in the cosmic hierarchy.
The essence is material, but its materiality is subtle. It cannot be observed when researching the body or with scientific tools, since the subtlest hydrogen accessible to the sensory organs is hydrogen H192. Even hydrogen H96 (hanbledzoin, life force, etc.) is rarely perceived by humans. The qualities stored in the essence are like ‘computer programs’ or ‘codes’. They are material as well. Due to their ‘subtlety’ and ‘high concentration of information’ they can be transmitted, in particular genetically. Thus, for example, creative abilities are stored in the essence as ‘subtle energy’, ‘codes’ and they can be inherited; although, in order to actualize they should be developed. For example, a child of a famous composer evacuated, let’s say, to the steppes of Kazakhstan [during war time] might never actually develop his musical talent. But he would certainly be attracted to music, even there.
So it is natural that people at the higher levels of being whose higher centers are activated (and those centers are known to use the subtler hydrogens) are able to perceive thinner substances and manipulate them (send, receive, direct, etc.) In particular, baraka is transmitted in this way. For an ordinary, ‘two-dimensional’ person, who lives on the surface of his so-called ‘conscience’ these abilities seem ‘supernatural’ or even incredible. In the Soviet media, years were spent on dumb discussions about the impossibility of extrasensory abilities (professor Kitaigorodskii), even though a simple gypsy woman needs just one minute to prove their existence.
By the way, gypsies are the only nation known to me (of those living in Europe), whose so-called ‘extrasensory’ abilities are transmitted genetically en masse. It can be said that they are ‘represented’ on our planet as a kind of collective ‘safe keepers’ of certain qualities. Almost all gypsies (sometimes even the ‘degraded’ ones) possess a number of unusual abilities, such as seeing the past and foreseeing the future, etc., even though the extent to which these qualities are developed, varies from person to person. Since in the conscious spiritual development gypsies are failing as badly as all other people, they are merely unconscious safe keepers. (*1)
One more example of the genetic transmission of special abilities (although not on a nation-wide scale) is the institute of sayyids. Its degradation happened a long time ago, so it seems that already in the time of Rumi, the sayyids had been treated skeptically (*2). And although the potential of the special, unique qualities is still being transferred to the direct descendants of the Prophet (Peace be upon him!), only a small percentage of the descendants actually realize this potential. Others live and die like ordinary people…
The ‘program’ located in the human essence, gives a predisposition to manifest, say, the creative abilities (if these abilities are developed) and essentially performs the function of a ‘relay’ directing the higher hydrogens to the higher parts of the Emotional and Intellectual centers and thus ‘turning on’ the HEC [High Emotional Center]. In a human organism, there is always some quantity of hydrogen H12 produced as the result of its machine’s work. This ‘surplus’ (unless the astral body is going through its crystallization process) can be spent in various ways. With some people, it can ‘automatically’ be directed to the highest parts of the centers and the HEC. This phenomenon (‘inspiration’) allows them to create masterpieces of literature and art, compose fine music, make important discoveries, etc. Then the circuit breaks and the talent or genius becomes an ordinary person…. until the next burst of inspiration. (*3) Biographers are often astounded by the mismatch of the genius’s creative work and his mediocre character, life style, etc. Quite often he is the same mechanical person as others. As Plato wrote, a poet is like a drainpipe through which the gods pour out the beautiful. Hence it is said the talent comes from God. A person does not possess it, he can only be fortunate enough to express and capture a part of the Divine harmony (*4).
It’s quite a different matter when creative abilities are related to the conscious development of essence. An example of this is a pleiad of genial Sufi poets. In such a case the human development harmonizes with the talent development. Having the opportunity to manage the inspiration, direct it (to various extents, of course) people like these are able to create pieces of ‘objective art’ or such pieces more or less approaching it. Therefore, this type masterpieces usually have several layers of meaning, consciously embedded (or, one could say, passed down from the higher source’, reflected) by their compilers. The key is the creator’s understanding of his creation.
Through the Perfected Human, Messenger (i.e. the one with a harmonized and completely developed essence) it is possible to transmit real objective art, reflecting the Divine harmony and cosmic laws to the maximum of human ability. In writing, this transmission constitutes the Sacred Scripts. That is why every letter in the Torah or the Koran is considered sacred. Traditionally, they are considered to have seven (the octave) layers of meaning. It is known that in order to avoid distortions of the Scripts, the profession of copying the Torah and the Koran has been very important in both religious traditions (*5).
Since the creative abilities depend on the availability and the correct supply of certain energies (Hydrogens) to the centers, it is natural that such abilities can develop in a person on the Path unexpectedly (for this person), even though they had never appeared before and had not been transmitted genetically. It can happen as the result of certain exercises or due to the will (‘grace’) of the teacher enabling such ‘plugging in’ of the disciple’s energy (or the teacher’s own).
This is one aspect of the Sufi’s ‘wine’ in action… (*6)
On the color of essence (*7). As happens with other abilities, there are some ordinary people possessing the inborn gift to perceive the color of essence, regardless of the extent to which they actually recognize this ability by their usual, so-called ‘awakened’ mind. These people have the ability to select the best color of clothes (for themselves and others) with an amazing precision. Often, having discovered this quality in themselves, such people use it professionally.
*1 In the same fashion, the Jewish nation is still represents an unconscious ‘safe keeper’ of the universal cosmic law, inscribed in the Torah, even though it does not make the Jews neither wiser, nor more conscious nor, quite understandably, happier than others (although some ‘safe keeping’ qualities in Jews are transmitted genetically and some via the tradition). Not accidentally, Hitler made it his goal to exterminate head by head exactly those two nations: the Jews and the Gypsies. Similarly, after the [Russian] revolution, the Bolsheviks intentionally tried to destroy the whole nobility class, ‘the blue blood’, as the keepers of the best qualities in the Russian genetic pool.
Or, for example, the same [Bolsheviks] strived to find and destroy Sufi sheikhs in Central Asia. I myself had a chance to witness that the memories about this are still alive in those places. The same thing the Soviet bastards tried to do (already in ‘our’ time) when committing outrages on the sacred land of Afghanistan. The art of destruction, since the earliest times, has been mastered by people much better than the art of creation …
*2 See Rumi’s story about the gardener [or the garden owner, depending on the translation]. By the way, one of the interpretations: the Sufi, the Sayyid, and the Theologian, who came to the garden, are three centers in a person – emotional, instinctive, and intellectual.
“Until the poet is called
For sacred offering by Apollo,
In poor spirit he is drawn
To fuss and bustle of the world.”
and so on…
(A. S. Pushkin)
*4 Since my early years, I enjoyed the work of the Strugatski brothers (and am enjoying it now). Sometimes almost ‘prophetic’ ideas can be found in their books. Many years ago, in some magazine I read a long interview with them and was strongly disappointed by their views and way of thinking, which contrasted so much with their books. Another example. I once attended a performance by Esambaev. This person’s talent (or genius) in dancing has always stricken me. After the performance he gave a speech. What a handicap in both content and form! Let him rather dance….
*5 In this way, the Torah is the Law not only in the sense usually implied, i.e. religious and social. The Torah is the Law since the Cosmic Law is inscribed in it. The esoteric tradition considers the Torah, as a piece of objective art, to have recorded all the past, present and future life of humankind. Not accidentally, all three religions of the “People of the Book” - Judaism, Christianity and Islam – treat the Torah with such respect.
The Lord Himself says: “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18) Nowadays attempts are made to decipher the Torah using computers. See Drosnin, Michael. The Bible Code.
*6 [The ‘wine’ is able to]:
“Pour the greatness to minds and the courage to hearts,
In an instant, turn foolish to inspired and wise…”
*7 See the essay On Types of Essence
Translated from Russian by Nina S. Edited by Vladimir B.