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Mesa, Will
A Personal Tribute to Mr. Gurdjieff
An Experiment Extracted from Beelzebub's Tales
A Lawful Voyage Through Time and Space and the Transformation of Us and Earth According to Law
An Informal Interview with Dushka Howarth, A Daughter of Mr. Gurdjieff.
The Spirit of Christmas and the Teaching of Gurdjieff
Time, the Merciless HEROPASS
From Being Double to Being Single Again: Testimony of One Year of Inner Work
Two Direct Ways of Penetrating the Subconsciousness
Hadji-Asvatz-Troov and the Feeling of Pity
A One Thousand and One Words Review Of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson

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Mesa, Will
Will Mesa received his Ph.D. in electrical engeneering from the Univeristy of Florida. He spent three years with a group led by Henry Tracol in Paris, and six years with the groups of Nathalie Etievan in Venezuela, followed by four years with the New York Chan Meditation Center. He pursues a lifelong interest in the investigation of certain aspects of the Omnipresent-Okidanokh.

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Two Direct Ways of Penetrating the Subconsciousness

“These ponderings of His then first of all fully convinced Him that though it were indeed possible to save them by means of the data which survived in their common presences for engendering this sacred being-impulse, nevertheless, it would only be possible if the manifestations of these data which survived in their subconsciousness were to participate without fail in the functioning of that consciousness of theirs, under the direction of which their daily-waking existence flows, and furthermore if this being-impulse were to be manifested over a long period through every aspect of this consciousness of theirs.”

Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, p. 365

Convinced as I am that penetration of the subconsciousness in order to retrieve the data necessary for engendering in us the Divine impulse of objective conscience is the essence of the Teaching of Mr. Gurdjieff (see my short article “The Spirit of Christmas and the Teaching of Gurdjieff” in this same website), I began to wonder how to find ways to penetrate this undiscovered and fertile region of our being. In this article I describe two direct ways that everybody can have access to. The only requirements are good disposition, good attention, and good feeling.

The first of these two ways I found it accidentally. I had bought three CDs with the music of Gurdjieff/de Hartman. I began to play it while driving to work. At first, I listened to it the way I am used to listen to music in this kind of situation, just as a way of killing time while driving alone. One day, however, I noticed that after having listened to a particular composition not one mental image had crossed my mind during the process of listening. And yet I had not experienced emptiness because some form of feeling that I could not verbalize had arisen in me. I found this fact very interesting because of my innate tendency to analyze and mentalize everything. Stimulated by this realization I decided to take the three CDs home and listen to them with both more intention and more attention.

At home I began to listen to the music during my free time. Instead of watching television or read books and newspapers, I listened to the music. In the beginning it was difficult to concentrate because of the interference of my mind. But I tried and tried again. The key is to make an effort to listen to the music and let the music do the rest. We have to let the music break our resistances. Little by little I began to notice that each composition had a particular resonance in me in the form of a concrete feeling. Feelings of joy, of sadness, of religiousness, of crying, of elevation to higher levels, and others were arising in me in response to the music. And these feelings were always accompanied by quietness and tranquility.

I do not want to share specific experiences in order not to take pleasure of experiencing the feeling away from the reader. But there are two specific experiences that I want to share because they arose from my very first attempts to listen to the music. One composition I love is the one with the name “On Leaving for Cannes.” Every time I listen to this composition I experience the feeling of joy I always experienced in my childhood whenever I was about to leave for a trip. But the most interesting aspect of the experience is the fact that every time the joy comes alive anew; it is not the result of remembering the joy I had experienced in a previous listening. It is obvious that this joy is there in my subconsciousness waiting for the moment to come alive and the music brings it alive. The other experience may not be shared by everybody. It has to do with the composition with the name “For Mr. Gurdjieff’s Wife.” Every time I listen to this composition a renew feeling towards my own wife arises in me.

One thing I have to say. I did not have a real experience of the Three Holy Forces until I listened several times to the composition “Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, Holy Reconciling.”

I thought about the whole phenomenon I was experiencing. There is no question in my mind that Mr. Gurdjieff objectively composed this music to help us to penetrate our subconsciousness. Since the being-impulse of conscience is a function of feeling, the aim of the music is to bring from our subconsciousness those feelings stored in that region of our being in such a way that the Divine impulse of Conscience begins to manifest in us.

In one of the CDs Thomas de Hartmann makes some remarks. He says, among other things:

“Here we understand why Gurgivantch (Mr. Gurdjieff) put always a great weight on music; he himself played it and he also composed it. If we compare with the music of all the religions we can see that music plays a great role, a great part, in so to say religious service. But after the work of Gurgivantch we can understand it more, we can understand it better, that music helps to concentrate oneself, to bring oneself to an inner state when we can assume with greatest possible emanations. That is why music is just the thing which helps you to see higher.”

Thomas de Hartmann is right. Here higher also means lower because “as above, so below.”

The second way I describe in this article I found it more intentionally, although the final answer came to me unexpectedly. This way has to do with one of the most guarded secrets in Beelzebub’s Tales. The essence-loving Ashiata Shiemash gathers His Great Initiates and explains to them the nature of the Divine impulse of Conscience:

“The factors for the being-impulse conscience arise in the presences of the three-brained beings from the localization of the particles of the ‘emanation-of-the-sorrow’ of OUR OMNI-LOVING AND LONG-SUFFERING-ENDLESS-CREATOR; that is why the source of the manifestation of genuine conscience in three-centered beings is sometimes called the REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CREATOR.” (B.T. p. 372)

I knew this statement almost by heart. I had read it many times and I had quoted it in some of my writings. Every time I had come across it I had been intrigued by this “emanation-of-the-sorrow.” This time I asked the question more seriously. I asked myself, what is it, this “emanation-of-the-sorrow?” Right away I knew that with my ordinary mind I was not going to answer my question. I knew that with my ordinary mind I could not understand this “emanation-of-the-sorrow.” There had to be another way. And the only way was to have a direct experience of this “emanation-of-the-sorrow.” I said to myself that given the fact that the data for engendering in us the being-impulse of conscience is stored in my subconsciousness, it is there where I had to go in search of a direct experience of this “emanation-of-the-sorrow.”

I tried to go into myself; but it was of no avail. All I could experience was a background mental noise: my noisy and treacherous mind attempting to fabricate a ready made experience of this “emanation-of-the sorrow.” I kept thinking about my question but also began to accept the idea that maybe it was not for me to experience this “emanation-of-the-sorrow.”

One day I was holding in my hands my copy of “Beelzebub’s Tales,” the one published by Two Rivers Press, Aurora, Oregon. On the back of the jacket there is this picture of Mr. Gurdjieff sitting on a sidewalk bench in some street of Paris, probably during the war. I had seen this picture many times before and it had always impressed me. But this time, the moment I looked at the picture, in a flash, I saw the “emanation-of-the-sorrow” of OUR OMNI-LOVING AND LONG-SUFFERING-ENDLESS-CREATOR. Well, I better put it in another way because we do not want end up saying that Mr. Gurdjieff is God. I saw a particle of the “emanation-of-the-sorrow” of OUR OMNI-LOVING AND LONG-SUFFERING-ENDLESS-CREATOR. And the moment I saw it I also saw this particle of sorrow that is also inside of me. I looked at the picture again and again, until I became saturated by it, and the more I looked at it the more I realized that the entire picture represents a “body of sorrow.” Every fiber of Mr. Gurdjieff’s being emanates sorrow.

Mr. Gurdjieff in 1949

I want to make one final remark. I am now convinced that with his picture Mr. Gurdjieff left us who were never in his physical presence the opportunity to experience the “Sacred Aieioiuoa” or “Remorse:”

“And this cosmic law is, that there proceeds within every arising large and small, when in direct touch with the emanations either of the Sun Absolute itself or of any other sun, what is called ‘Remorse,’ that is a process, when every part that has arisen from the results of any one Holy Source of the Sacred Triamazikamno, as it were, ‘revolts,’ and ‘criticizes’ the former unbecoming perceptions and the manifestations at the moment, of another part of its whole –a part obtained from the results of another Holy Source of the same fundamental sacred Cosmic Law of Triamazikamno.” (B.T., p. 141).


Polish director and "teacher of Performer" Jerzy Grotowski wrote in text called Performer (1988):

" - - The looking presence of the teacher can sometimes function as a mirror of the connection I-I (this connection is not yet traced). When the link I-I is traced, the teacher can disappear and Performer continue toward the body of essence; that which can be recognized in the photo of Gurdjieff, old, sitting on a bench in Paris. From the image of the young warrior of Kau to that of Gurdjieff, is the way from the body-and-essence to the body of essence. - - "

jonimatti joutsijärvi, Finland
added 2007-04-06

Mr. Gurdjieff's Picture
Dear Jonimatti:

Thanks for your comments.

I was not aware of Jerzi Grotowski's comments on Mr. Gurdjieff's picture. He is correct. The picture does represent the body of essence. And it also represents a body of sorrow because sorrow comes only from essence.

Will Mesa

Will Mesa, United States
added 2007-04-15

Dear Will,

When I read your article, I remembered Grotowski's text immediately. Another thing that I was thinking, was that can I penetrate into the unconscious, or is it the other way around: the unconscious penetrating into me, when I'm not closed. Is there a real difference, or is it only in language? I don't know. But it doesn't happen automaticly.

jonimatti joutsijärvi, Finland
added 2007-04-16

TO JONIMATTI: I think that both ways are the same way of saying the same thing. But it does not happen automatically, as you say. We have to ask the question, sometimes ask it many times and for a long time. While we are engaged in the questioning, our subconsciousness (I later explain why I use this term) is working on the question, although we are not conscious of it because we are not fully awake. Then, at one given moment, prompted by some event or circumstance, our subconsciousness answers the question. So, you may say that the subconsciousness penetrates us. By penetration I mean both to ask the question and to be open (active and passive). Sometimes, when we work closely with some person, this person becomes our subconsciousness and we see in this person what we need to see in ourselves. That is why is so important to work with others. In any case, the answer always comes from the real world because the subconsciousness represents the real world, according to what is taught in The Tales. If our subconsciousness were to participate in our everyday ordinary life, we would be fully awake and we would be Sons of God. Reijo's article "Getting the Best out of Gurdjieff" in this website also addresses some of these matters. To be open is also pert of the secret. For instance, if you listen to a composition such as "Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, and Holy Reconciling" and you are open to the music (no resistances), you will experience three resonances in three different parts of your body in response to the music. This is how you will be able to tell one Holy Force from another. Letting your body resonate or vibrate in response to the music is the key to the listening. This is true because feeling is a function of body and Conscience is a function of feeling. But for this to happen you have to be open to the music. TO REIJO: I use the term subconsciousness in the first place because is the term used in The Tales and I try to be faithful to the book. But I also think that this term is appropriate. One of the fundamental principles of hermetic teaching is this: "As above, so below." I think that the subconscious contains all that is Above. So, in this sense the term subconsciousness, as it is implied in the The Tales, is correct. But I totally agree with you that BEING is the best term. For the simple reason that BEING implies all, the subconsciousness, the unconscious, and the waking consiciouness.

Will Mesa, United States
added 2007-04-17

added 2007-04-17

To Will and Jonimatti
I was going to write to you and thank you Will for your article, but luckily I looked here and saw the comments from Jonimatti.

I wrote somewhere else that I do not like the word "subconsciousness"; this is mainly because the "sub" makes it sound like it was something lower than the "waking consciousness" (which is in the Gurdjieff terminology known as sleep). Nevertheless, the Tales uses the word subconsciousness, as it apparently was popular at the time of translating from Gurdjieff´s original.

Unconsciousness is for me a better word, because we are unconscious most of the time of above and below (and not only below).

To receive anything, to be in contact with anything, to be able to listen, taste, see etc. the first requisite is BEING. This word is used in the Tales very often.

What does BEING mean?

What does it mean that "man can not do"?

Reijo, Switzerland
added 2007-04-17

Isolated Incidents, the stage play
Man does not do, but can when he leans from his reflections what he has done and who forced him to do; Lord Carlos would be the one pulling the strings. his face no one sees, probably because he is a she, most likely veiled. Her face is visible to me, now and then; and a cry out to her, "save Me." She is my mother, herself who calls to say she has a terrible headache, and when I hold her close to be and feel her head she tells me, "your hand is so hot." There was not enough time for Bruce to get her to the hospital to save her; and now she lives on the moon. I which to go to the moon, and bring her back, but she doesn't want return to earth. Noa Ain, when will I see you agin? I wait at the front door waiting for you with your round canvas. Paint be a globe, again.

Robert Bruce Lehman, United States
added 2012-05-26

To Reijo and Will
I totally agree with Reijo; I don't like the name "subconsciousness" or "subconscious". As we all know, the power of "subconscious" is much greater than that of the "conscious". The connotation of the word gives us different impression as the Subconscious is less powerful than Conscious. We definitely must suggest in change it... :)

Zini Mustafovski, Canada, Canada
added 2013-08-10

subconscious in relation to who ?
unconscious in relation to who ?

who is the identity that is reading this article ?
and is this the only identity that is reading the article ?

is the subconscious aware of itself ?

if there are different identities is there an effort to bridge them?

how can we understand the goals of the spiritual search in terms of areas of being which have or have not identity and are not in contact with each other

lastly ... i have often read that "higher forces" enter in order to create higher being bodies ... does this imply that all the work done on the human, for instance the awakening of the subconscious and harmonizing with the rest of the human ... is a harmony of the human body mind ... and that the higher goal is the entry of a higher dimension of life ?

and if this is the case why do we bother with the harmonization of the 3 centres ... if in the end we still are awaiting for the higher forces to arrive

the reason i ask this is because yogis with self-enquiry practice totally ignore the 3 centres and aim just to trigger the awakening of the entry of higher forces

are the goals of self-enquiry and of the 4th way the same ?

rideforever, United Kingdom
added 2014-09-20

Unitive I
Yes I agree with "rideforever" point of singularity, recognizing the influence of the 3 centers while seeking to remain open
to the Eternal Force of 3.

added 2016-06-17

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