HIGHER NATURE, LOWER NATURE, and the IN BETWEEN
While I am preparing the documents I referred to in the earlier post What did Gurdjieff Leave Unfinished?, and there are many documents to consider, I thought I might share this material from Mr Adie. It is something he wrote on 19 March 1953. It deals with an issue we often encounter: we receive a reminder but then the reminder seems to go no further. For example, a thought might not develop beyond an intellectual recognition that I am in a low state. How can we make the best use of these moments of opportunity?
Higher Nature, Lower Nature, and the In Between
I wish to give in a few words my conception of some of the keys and main points of the line of work which we have been following, and from this to try to formulate a point concerning the development from a moment of partial self-remembering to deeper self-remembering. I find that when I work invariably I am brought to a sense of immediacy – to a sense of the expansion of a moment of time and its contents.
The line we have been working on has shown our duality, and the necessity of recognizing this division. It has shown the necessity of observation, and the weakening of wrong manifestations of our lower centres in order to be able to come into touch with our true lower nature and the higher nature which is present with it.
A first infallible approach to our true lower nature is by relaxation and having sensation of our body, a real part of our true lower nature. By directing his attention and discriminating between his substantial body and his turning thought or chameleon manifestations he becomes truly more conscious of his lower nature.
Without division of attention, what comes from my higher nature can almost at once be lost and lead to fantasy if not balanced by a simultaneous consciousness of my lower nature.
There is a gradual work of becoming more aware of something in-between the higher and lower nature, just that something from which a man can most surely find a representative “I”, and the place from which he can most surely work.
I have felt consciousness of I in that ‘between place’. I have felt unquestionable separated contact between my higher nature and my lower nature; held apart by very relaxed and subtle effort, when there has also occurred a simultaneous approaching consciousness of these as one, as a whole. There is the possibility – and necessity – of gradually increasingly experiencing, through our work, the nature, weight and place of the two natures and the between force. Then one constates “I” in these three places separately and yet also simultaneously as a whole.
One can not hold a sense of the higher nature so deeply in unquiet circumstances as in special quiet preparatory times, nor in life have such deep sensation and experience of one’s lower nature as in quiet moments. But, one can for the briefest second in life make the effort of recollection.
By the reduction in wrong manifestation of lower nature, I have come to establish a contact with it, and discovered its willingness to obey the higher nature, and observe as it becomes imbued with the higher nature.
Many attempts have been made to come to a clearer statement of our higher nature, but it must be emphasised that this can never be defined.
If I have sensation of my body there is no doubt of this, but about higher nature also I wish to become equally certain, and for me the necessary concept, the vital true compass is my AIM. By direct experiencing of my physical being I can approach my lower nature. The lower nature becomes, as it were, active. This approach brings with it also the higher nature but, as it were, the higher nature is passive. Awareness of AIM changes the polarities, and makes the higher nature active. Between higher and lower nature, held apart by an impartial awareness, is the seat of REAL I.
I see that I can immediately test and recognize what is truly pertaining to and of my higher nature by relating it to my AIM. It must relate to my AIM otherwise I know that my attention is attracted, and that fantasy will ensure rapidly, or else that I am simply mistaken. I find that the relationship of my AIM to my higher nature is a key of approach and discrimination.
And the recollection, realisation, visualisation and sense or awareness of the reality and weight of my aim gives an approach to the place and experiencing of my higher nature.
By my aim I can find the most reliable expression of and experience of my higher nature.
By my aim, I may be more alive relatively in the higher nature than in the lower nature, or my attention may be relatively more attracted towards the higher than, as it normally is, attracted towards the lower.
Let no man speak of his higher nature when he has forgotten his aim.
A reminder, a spark of self-consciousness, an impression, may be in the higher, lower or between. Quickly, before the chance departs, recognize which is being touched, and how the attention must be divided, directed and collected. And so time becomes longer, impressions deeper and in the gradually awakening centres, the deposits can be laid down.
By discriminating in regard to his AIM, a man can know he becomes truly more conscious of his Higher Nature.
By consciousness of lower nature, higher nature, and between, he can simultaneously be conscious of these three as one, as a whole, and he then surely knows that he becomes truly conscious of REAL I.