Awakened Consciousness, Part 3

by George I.Gurdijeff

There is also the possibility of being awakened by mechanical means. A man may be awakened by an alarm clock. But the trouble is that a man gets accustomed to the alarm clock far too quickly, he ceases to hear it.

Many alarm clocks are necessary and always new ones. Otherwise a man must surround himself with alarm clocks which will prevent him sleeping.

But here again there are certain difficulties. Alarm clocks must be wound up. In order to wind them up one must remember about them.

In order to remember about them one must wake up often. But what is still worse, man gets used to all these alarm clocks and after a certain time he only sleeps better for them. Therefore alarm clocks must be constantly changed, new ones must be continually invented.

In the course of time this may help a man to awaken. But there is very little chance of a man doing all the work of winding up, inventing, and changing clocks all by himself, without outside help.

It is much more likely that he will begin his work and that it will afterwards unnoticeably pass into sleep, and in sleep he will dream of inventing alarm clocks, of winding them up and changing them, and simply sleep all the sounder for it.

Therefore, in order to awaken, a combination of efforts is needed. It is necessary that somebody wakes the man up. It is necessary that somebody looks after the man who wakes him. It is necessary to have alarm clocks and it is also necessary continually to invent new alarm clocks.

But in order to achieve all this and to obtain results a certain number of people must work together. One man alone can do nothing.

Before anything else, he needs help. But help cannot come to one man alone. Those who are able to help put a great value to their time.

And, of course, they would prefer to help, say, twenty or thirty people who want to awake rather that only one man.

Moreover, one man can easily deceive himself about his awakening and make awakening simply a new dream. If several people decide to struggle together against sleep, they will wake each other.

Therefore a man who wants to awake must look for other people who also want to awake and work together with them. This, however, is easier said that done because to start such a work and to organize it requires a knowledge which a sleeping man cannot possess.

The work must be organized and have an awakened leader. Only then can it produce the results expected from it. Without these conditions no efforts can result in anything whatever. Men may torture themselves, but those tortures will not make them awake.

This is most difficult of all for certain people to understand. By themselves and by their own initiative they may be capable of great efforts and great sacrifices. But because their first effort and their first sacrifice ought to be obedience, nothing on Earth will induce them to obey another.

They do not want anybody to tell them what to do. And they do not want to reconcile themselves to the thought that all their efforts and all their sacrifices are thus useless.

Work must be organized. And it can be organized only by a man who knows its problems and its aims, who knows its methods; by a man who has in his time passed through such organized work himself.

Artwork courtesy of and copyright by Daniel B. Holeman at Awaken Visions Galleries.

A Unified Theory of Consciousness, Part 1

by Dinu Roman

Yoga and Tantra form the primitive lode of the Indian spiritual tradition, a foundation deeply connected to universal philosophies. Much has been written and discussed regarding these studies, but due to their profoundness and hidden symbolism they remain opaque. A secret throughout the centuries, Tantra remains diffuse, mysterious and puzzling yet constantly present in the diversity of yoga techniques, especially in its Tibetan forms.

With purposeful investigation, it presents a genuine science of man where cosmic forces mingle with physiology, psychology, magic and spiritualism. Tantra offers a practical, multi-leveled vision of the human being, a unified theory that explains the most intimate aspects of man’s behavior which have evaded current research. A detailed, sincere study and practice of Tantra would contribute to the enrichment of contemporary science and psychology in a manner not as yet conceived.

Tantrism recognizes in Kundalini the source of a mysterious energy — an energy still not properly defined by modern science but of paramount importance for a complete spiritual emancipation. If we add that the Ageless Wisdom defines Tantra as the spiritual system best adapted to our era of Kali Yuga, where spirituality is declining even as man and woman are desperately trying to reintegrate themselves into a creative and spiritual cosmic center, we realize the significance of these techniques. Today we are bound to an “objective” knowledge which is becoming more and more mechanical and inhuman. Abstract thinking is linked less and less to real life yet defines most of our activities. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to practice Tantra, a highly accurate, subjective knowledge which is accessible to everyone, through personal experience and validation.

Tantra envisions the Universe as an extremely complex, multi-dimensional web of invisible energies. This Science permits the controlled expansion of consciousness beyond the web of illusory appearances and thus liberates us from ignorance. Tantra is also called Vama Marga, i.e. The Left Hand Path, due to the fact that women, who are of lunar influence, negative polarity or the left, play an essential role in this Science.

However, The Way which is recommended here is not at all made of negations or austerities as in most other spiritual systems, but of pleasure and beatitudes. Tantric tradition puts forth clearly that the state of harmonious integration and spiritual freedom can be obtained only through direct experience and living of everyday life. The inferior levels of consciousness cannot be effortlessly controlled and surpassed unless fully and frantically, intensely and totally, lived in the whole plenitude of their power.

In this respect, Tantric texts say that nobody will be able to obtain spiritual perfection using difficult and boring techniques. Perfection can be realized easily using the fulfillment of all wishes. The very same processes that for others could cause decay or death, venom or evil, can be used wisely and firmly for spiritual uplifting and transformed into a miraculous cure of the soul.

“One can fall due to the earth, another one can, without doubt, raise himself with the help of the earth.” (Here “earth” is the symbol of woman and sexual pleasure).

Another text says:

“If a man is an Yogin, he does not enjoy sensual pleasures; while one who enjoys them cannot know Yoga. That is why the Kaula (a Tantric School) way, containing the essence of sexual enjoyment and Yoga, is superior to all paths. In the Kaula approach, sexual enjoyment turns into Yoga directly. What in conventional religion is considered sin in Kaula becomes meritorious.”

Kularnava Tantra 2.23

In the Tantric tradition, Yoga (union with God) is simultaneous with the passionate yet detached living of worldly delights, leading to the state of enlightenment through the supernormal powers (Siddhi-s), which are obtained through practical application of these special procedures. These powers serve a definite purpose in the way of attaining the Supreme.

The human body, with all its biological and psycho-mental processes, is only an instrument in which and through which the cosmic forces operate. The individual human structure and the outer macrocosmic manifestation, or Universe, are similar. Therefore all that exists in the Universe should also exist in a certain form and proportion in the microcosm, i.e. the human body.

The Tantric philosophy itself includes in its theory all the levels of the Universe and gives a paramount importance to astronomy, biology, parapsychology, anatomy, meditation, medicine, music, art and even sexuality. In fact, the sexual experience, considered to be a unification of the Everlasting Male (+) and Everlasting Female (-) principles, has a very important place in Tantric techniques and procedures which are often profoundly erotic.

Tantra is a complex discipline, an accurate method and a profound analysis based on rational foundations, it is a Meta-Science dealing with the different aspects of the Supreme Consciousness and ways to experience it. Here, sexuality forms only the basal, prima facie of its techniques, and in this School, it is subjected to a rigorous discipline, because it is known that the secret of Life lies in controlling the sexual energy.

To understand the Tantric attitude toward sexuality requires a totally open mind and a reversal of perspective. Accustomed as we are by a puritanical mentality to seeing sexuality as a “sin” to be avoided and ashamed of (or, in any case, to keep it “secret” because of its “impurity”), we have all the chances to consider Tantric Love as being a defiant assault on conventional morality and thus to miss completely the tremendous spiritual value of such a perspective.

In order to understand it, we must first come to view the human dimension as vibrating in identity with the sacred, divine aspects of Creation. From this sacred perspective, sexuality is seen as re-producing, at a smaller scale, the continuous and beatific interaction of a Cosmic process which is manifesting the entire Universe from the Absolute Reality. In this new vision, “sin” disappears (it never existed, anyway!), being replaced by pure beatitude and total love. Sexual union is thus a form of meditative discipline with profound psycho-mental and spiritual effects.

The male worshipper has an attitude toward the woman which is different from that of an ordinary person performing the sexual act. The woman is transfigured into a living symbol and earthly manifestation of the Divine Mother of the Universe – Parashakti. Likewise, for the woman, man represents a vital embodiment of the Everlasting Male Principle – Shiva. The sexual beatitude raised at the transcendental level of an extraordinary psychic experience with a spiritual character reflects, then, the ineffable happiness of a subtle cosmic nature, known in Yoga as Ananda (i.e., cosmic beatitude) and in Tantra as Samarasa (i.e., the savor of equality).

Yearning tirelessly to grasp the enigmatic silence and the fascinating mystery of the Cosmos, the Tantric practitioner becomes an integral part of this mystery in the bosom of which he absorbs and identifies himself. For this, the external practice and the internal mutation are both indispensable because they make it possible to understand within themselves (through identification or Samyama) the phenomena, leading to an authentic and sometimes ineffable understanding of the cosmic forces that surround us. Modern scientists are still making weak attempts to decode them, but for the Tantric practitioner these subtle forces are everyday realities.


A Unified Theory of Consciousness, Part 2

by Dinu Roman


Tantra relies
upon the practical realization of its teachings. 
Here we are not dealing with endless talking and
argumentation but instead with engaging ourselves fully
and thoroughly in an exceptional practice which can lead
the practitioner to Freedom, Pure Existence,
Super-Consciousness, Beatitude and super-normal powers (Siddhi-s). 

The Sahitya Tantra

"Start the
practice under the surveillance of a Tantric
initiate. If, after a certain time, you do not
obtain any positive results, then you are free to

In the same way that benefits can be
obtained only by using a remedy, the truth of the Tantric
Science can really be proved only through successful
practice. However, it is necessary to stress here that
the Tantric practitioner
develops and perfects his Siddhis only for the purpose of
raising himself at the level of the Supreme Being and
from there to fuse eternally with the Absolute. The Siddhis
have no value per se; they
are only a modality.  But all these powers cannot be
obtained by only talking about Tantra,
for tireless practice and direct experimentation only can
lead to such unusual achievements. About this, there is
no doubt.


Another important aspect in Tantra
is that the libido, when manifested as sexual
drive, is not at all considered to be only sensuality
but, at the innermost levels, as the soul’s ardent
yearning for spiritual perfection. Here the erotic
impulse appears as the psyche’s abyssal thirst to reach
perfection through unity of complementary polar
opposites.  In this way, re-born as a genuine Androgyne
of the Secret Tradition — magical child of Shiva
and Shakti — the
Individual Spirit will have access to the highest levels
of Consciousness. 


Tantra teaches
that, energetically speaking, woman is magnetic, passive,
lunar, receptive and charged with power of negative
polarity (Yin). In multiple
ways, she attracts, absorbs and stores subtle energy
which remains latent.  When connected in a proper
way with the male electric, dynamic and positively
charged subtle energy (Yang), the
female energy undertakes a complex alchemical reaction
and thus the couple generates an energetic power
station.  This is very easy to verify. Certain Tantric
techniques enable the practitioner to verify that the
bioenergetic differences of polarity between man and
woman are energized to the highest extent through the
love play and that a mutual exchange between these two
forms of energy (Yin/female, Yang/male)
takes place during sexual intercourse in which the two
partners harmonize themselves on multiple
levels. Performed in the Tantric
way (successive orgasms without ejaculation) these unions
can intensify and develop the latent extra-sensorial
capacities and the mental power of both partners beyond
any expectations. The couple who practice Tantric
sexual union use the subtle energies of the man’s
body and the complementary energies of the woman’s body
for attaining the state of harmony with the Absolute.


It is important to emphasize that Tantra
substantiates its techniques of spiritual development on
the perfect yet effortless control of the sexual
energy.   Here the point is to return to the
practitioner the enormous amount of raw sexual energy
contained in semen and in the correspondent female
orgasmic emanations in such a way that this subtle energy
may be sublimated and its efficiency used for higher
purposes, i.e. psycho-mental and spiritual.

Being in perfect physical, emotional
and mental health is a must for approaching any of the
sexual practices of Tantrism taught
in this School. Modern civilization leaves its mark
upon our  integrity, so we need to open up and to
re-learn to experience as intensely as possible our
senses. While it is true that cultivating the
sensory awareness, here being included different
techniques of amplifying the sexual pleasure and of
opening up to experience deep sexual orgasm, can be a
useful preparation for Tantra, these incipient techniques
are not Tantra yet if they
are not accompanied by a total, yet effortless, control.

Tantra, in
accord with the Science of the ancient Sages (Siddhas)
teaches that the sexual reproductive power (the Life
Force) can be transmuted into superior forms of energy
called Ojas and Tejas.
The practitioner causes his seed to rise up to his crown
center (Sahasrara), where it
becomes transformed into Soma,
the Nectar of Immortality. Through the Tantric
procedures, the semen is took over by the lymphatic
system. The lymphatic system consists of the fluid
(lymph) that bathes the tissues, being similar in
composition with plasma. The lymph contains white
cells involved in the immunity system of the
body. These white cells produce antibodies, special
substances which attack the foreign organisms (microbes,
etc.) and render them harmless.  Through the
lymphatic system, the semen reaches the brain (Corpus
Callosum) where it is
processed into extremely subtle energies (Ojas
and Tejas) used by the higher
mind.  As the physical brain needs oxygen and
proteins to function properly, the higher mind
(superconsciousness) needs big quantities of Ojas
and Tejas energy. The
Tejas energy is that
energy which produces the halo around the saints’
head. The Ojas energy
is that energy which confers an extraordinary vigor,
power and virility.

The transmuting of the semen’s energy
into Ojas and Tejas
does not take place only in men.  Women who
practice Tantra Yoga realize
the transmutation of that energy which produces the ova
and the menstrual cycle. These energies are transformed
into Ojas and Tejas
exactly as in the men’s case. As a result, the
menstrual cycle becomes scarce or even disappears
completely, and the ovulation process slows down or even
stops. Nevertheless, when the conception of a baby is
desired, the energies are permitted to accumulate at the
pelvic area, the ovulation returns to normal and the
menstrual cycle appears again.


A Unified Theory of Consciousness, Part 3

by Dinu Roman


The phenomenon of transmutation of the
sexual energy has as scientific basis the phenomenon of
Biological Transmutation. Biological transmutation is the
process through which a living organism can produce
controlled nuclear reactions of transmutation
(transformation of an element into another by nuclear
reaction) at low temperatures, with slow release of huge
quantities of energy. Biological transmutation of
the sexual energy is therefore the transmutation, with
slow release of a huge quantity of energy, of the atoms
contained in the sexual potential through continence.

The characteristics of biological
transmutation are:

  • takes place in all living
    organisms at the cell level, in structures called
    Mitocondria, which occur in the cytoplasm of
    every cell. Mitochondria is the site of the
    cell’s energy production.
  • implies both fusion and fission.
  • the transfer is realized between
    atoms of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon (these being
    the dominant elements in the living beings).

The process of controlled biological
transmutation leads to the gradual awakening of the inner
paranormal powers of the mind, reaching altered (higher)
states of consciousness, awakening of intelligence,
emotional balance, a state of constant happiness, etc.

Through consciously and effortlessly
controlling the sexual function (orgasm without
ejaculation) of the human body, complex reactions of
biological transmutation take place, leading to a slow
and continuous release of an enormous quantity of energy,
which can be directed, through sublimation to higher
levels of being, for a specific purpose (magical,
spiritual). Tantra teaches secret
techniques (for example Oli Mudras
or Shakti Mudras) through which
the biological transmutation can be initiated and
accelerated into the practitioner’s body (both man
and women).


teachings use sexuality for completely transcending
it. Even at the level of ordinary sexual
experiences, the couple sometimes has the strange and
powerful feeling that sexual intercourse releases a
tremendous energy inside the human
psyche. Frequently superior and nostalgic truths can
be inferred in this state. Pedro McGregor in his famous "Psychosexual
" confirms the Tantric
teachings concerning sexuality. Our burning sexual
or emotional beatitudes are nothing other than a
degenerated mysterious enthusiasm. Our highest and
noblest spiritual yearnings, the whole of our
transcendental and sublime potential, would be somehow
imprisoned in matter, i.e. in sexuality. This
enthusiasm is materialized, therefore limited, absorbed
and inert.  It is logical to consider that a
conscious change in our sexual behavior and in our most
intimate attitudes could act as a magical spring,
releasing truly super-human energies in the same way that
a controlled mutation in the intimate structure of the
atom can release a tremendous amount of nuclear


Therefore, another important
characteristic of the Tantric
Way is that
spiritual growth is realized through extreme intensity of
energy  spontaneously born during the passionate
living of intense emotions, including both sexual and
non-sexual emotions. The Supreme Existence reveals itself
instantaneously during the tumult of violent emotions
such as extreme terror, vivid curiosity, deep compassion,
total anger, profound pleasure. 

order to penetrate into the Supreme Reality,
everything that is at hand is to be considered as a
modality; because, as the Trika
system puts it, the human being must not submit to
any restrictions (in order to attain the

When controlled and directed by a lucid
mind, this paramount intensity of the extreme emotions
creates the instantaneous welding of all levels of the
human being (physical-sexual, emotional and
mental-spiritual) which are normally disconnected and
therefore acting independently. Thus, the
practitioner becomes aware of the inner abyssal power
that lies within himself and starts to bring it to the
surface. The transcendence of the inferior levels of
consciousness is realized through an exceptionally
frantic living of every moment of everyday life.  In
this way, the duality disappears into the flashing unity
of the Supreme Consciousness, without change (Nirvikalpa).


An Unified Theory of Consciousness, Part 4

by Dinu Roman


In the act of lovemaking the
couple embodies the dyadic wholeness of the Supreme. Tantric
sexual union resonates with the very foundational energies of
the Universe: it captures, magnifies and re-directs the essential
Cosmic Power of Life. It is therefore not by chance that sexual
intercourse brings the most intense emotional experience that the
human being can have while in the flesh. Therefore Tantra
uses it predominantly to create that overwhelming unifying
energy. The erotic impulse stirs up the Kundalini
energy so that it can rise, through the subtle duct of power
along the spine, to the highest center of power above the
head. This process renders the adept immortal:

"Loss of semen is loss
of power.  Exposure to sexual stimulation arouses this
power; controlled the power is like steam in a boiler, no
longer random."

"The Yogin
who can protect his Bindu (semen),
overcomes death; because death comes by discharging Bindu,
and life is prolonged by its preservation."

Yoga Pradipika,
III, 87

is under the control of the mind, and life is dependent
on Bindu.  Hence, Mind and Bindu
should be protected by any means."

Hatha Yoga
, III, 89

In this vision, intercourse
becomes a genuine cosmic process at the level of the unified
microcosms of the couple, who tries to reproduce the cosmic union
of Shiva and Shakti,
i.e. of Consciousness and Energy.

  "In Yamala
or ViraYogini
tradition [Tantric schools],
there is physical union (Samghatta)
between Vira (the male) and Yogini
(the female). The purpose is only to stimulate NityaAnanda
(the eternal beatitude) by means of the contact of the sex
organs. This contact gives intense delight [for the body and

A text by Abhinavagupta

In this sacred act a savant
analogy intervenes where physical postures (Asana-s),
gestures (Mudra-s), colors, sounds
(Mantra-s), musical rhythms and
perfumes blend to create a paradise-like 
environment. Thus, intercourse serves a purpose much
superior to that of sensuality.  his precise analogical
correspondence leads to a profound intermixing between the level
of the chaotic multiplicity in which we live and the Unique
Macrocosmic Reality.  Through frantic super-sensual fusion
of the subtle complementary principles, man and woman realize the
alchemical sublimation of the sexual energy. This phenomenon,
which leads to a gradual liberation from the painful limitations
of Space and Time that restrain terrestrial life, propels man and
woman towards the cosmic ecstasy (Samadhi).


Stated with extreme simplicity,
orgasm is an intensely beatific state of consciousness and
canceling of ego, with profound harmonizing, relaxing and
regenerative effects.  Male and female ejaculation is only a
complex physiological process of explosively energetic discharge
with a dim manifestation of a brief, incipient orgasm,
experienced in a selfish unilateral way.  During
ejaculation, the energy is quickly wasted and for no purpose
(except when conception is wanted).


The most important differences
between an ordinary orgasm with ejaculation and Tantric
successive orgasms without ejaculation are
illustrated in the following comparative analysis:


(with ejaculation)



(outward-bursting energy). Inevitably, the erotic energy
is lost permanently and uselessly. The intensity of a
following sexual act diminishes greatly compared to what
was felt at the beginning.
(inward-bursting energy). The erotic energy sublimates
and is transmuted in ever more refined forms of energy
which are gradually accumulated in the depths of our
being, producing extremely refined and intense states of
pleasure and expanded consciousness. The intensity of the
following sexual acts increase constantly and do not
diminish in the end.
Lasts a very
short time, creating a nostalgic state of frustration due
to the partial lack of fulfillment (especially for women,
who need a long time to reach the peak of excitement).
Beyond time,
lasting indefinitely therefore is contiguous with
Infinity. Ocean-like state of beatific fulfillment felt
by BOTH man and woman as a shared feeling of happiness
and joy of living which expands the perception of
pleasure. The two lovers become gradually aware of the
God(dess) within. Man can share woman’s multi-orgasmic
capacity without losing the erection.
In the physical
body only.
Inside as well
as outside the physical body, in the subtle invisible
body and in the surrounding environment. All beings and
objects seem to make love at the same time.
Playing with
the other.
Playing within
yourself with a simultaneous, telepathic perception of
the other through empathy, "I feel the other
as if he/she is myself."
Dependency. Independence.
The other "disappears" due to the spontaneous transfiguration.
Both man and woman expand endlessly their merged
consciousness into the Universe.
passive/man active.
active/man passive.
Easy, calm and
quiet breathing.
A reflex or
instinctual act leading to loss of control, an
unconscious, animalistic, irrepressible experience.
and fully controlled act leading gradually to ecstatic,
erotic abandon and happiness which lasts as long as two
to three days after a successful Tantric
followed by slow wavelike movements to which the other’s
body answers tenderly and insatiably in a perfect
Limited sexual
availability due to the exhaustion which follows
ejaculation. This leads gradually to a state of permanent
fatigue and drowsiness which can manifest as instinctive repulsion
for the other or as lack of self-esteem.
sexual availability making possible an overwhelming
erotic experience of a paramount intensity which can last
eight to ten hours without interruption –providing
that BOTH man and woman perfectly yet effortlessly
control the sexual energy. The erotic vitality of the
couple amplifies leading to a clear state of inner power
and of complete sexual fulfillment.
Fear of
undesired pregnancy. The use of contraceptives has many
unhealthy side-effects such as hormonal imbalances
leading to obesity.
freedom of any restrictions or fears. Because of the
total semen retention irrespective of the duration of the
sexual act, pregnancy is out of the question when
undesired. Man becomes a completely safe lover and his
woman will never have to use contraceptives when she
makes love with him. This leads to a totally natural
birth control.
selfish desire, possessiveness and jealousy.
desire transcended into fulfillment, leading to a state
of peace with oneself and of tender happiness which
overflows to other human beings as love and compassion.
Due to the huge
loss of sexual energy, the sexual experiences become less
and less fulfilling and, through a reflex mechanism, the
psycho-mental potential decreases.
Due to the
complete transmutation and sublimation of the sexual
power, the psycho-mental potential is increased leading
to the awakening of paranormal powers (telepathy,
clairvoyance, etc.). A state of overwhelming euphoria
grows gradually, opening the couple to positive,
affectionate feelings. Dramatic increasing of vitality
leading to the shortening of the need for sleep and
awakening of the creative imagination and lucidity. Man’s
virility and woman’s pluri-level multi-orgasmic capacity
awakens and amplifies to the highest extent, leading to
ever more fulfilling sexual experiences.
The dynamics of
the couple decreases with time and desire transforms
quickly into habit. Monotony kills the desire and the
relationship becomes ever more trivial.
The dynamics of
the couple is enriched every day with new and amazing
discoveries of the other’s inner world and, through
reflection, of one’s own inner profile. Desire transforms
gradually into genuine and pure love, a feeling
rarely known by humans and which grows constantly, fed
with new and unexpectedly delicious experiences. Habit
cannot survive due to the hyper-intense and spontaneous living
in the ever-changing present


In Tantra,
sexual union is one of the possibilities offered to man and woman
to concentrate and direct the consciousness’s activity toward the
Supreme Being. Due to the enormous intensity of this union, the
consciousness of both partners develops and fuses, at the
beginning between themselves and later with the Cosmic
Consciousness. The indescribable beatitude then felt embraces all
things and beings. All that still subsists is a never-ending
thirst for unity, only a Lover and a Loved-one.

is a genuine and exceptional form of yoga
which puts sexuality in its right place, recreating the missing
spiritual dimension of the sexual experience. This practice
expands the human consciousness to the greatest extent and
considerably enriches the knowledge of Man and the Universe. At
the same time, through the surprising links established among
apparently heterogenous phenomena and scientific facts, Tantra
opens the road toward infinite horizons, where many extraordinary
discoveries wait for the tireless practitioner.

Awakened Consciousness, Part 2

by George I.Gurdijeff

These questions are the most important, the most vital that can ever confront a man.

But before this it is necessary to be convinced of the very fact of sleep. It is possible to become convinced of this only by trying to awaken.

When a man understands that he does not remember himself and that to remember himself means to awaken to some extent, and when at the same time he sees by experience how difficult is to remember himself, he will understand that he cannot awaken simply by having the desire to do so.

It can be said still more precisely that a man cannot awaken by himself, except in exceptionally rare cases, and we are not talking about those cases.

But if, let’s say, twenty people make an agreement that whoever of them awakens first shall wake the rest, they already have some chance.

Even this, however, is insufficient, because all twenty can go to sleep at the same time and dream that they are waking up. Therefore, more still is necessary. They must be looked after by a man who is not asleep any more, or who does not fall asleep as easily as they do.

The twenty people must find such a man and hire him to wake them up and not allow them to fall asleep again. Without this, it is impossible to awaken. This is what must be understood.

It is possible to think for a thousand years. It is possible to write whole libraries of books, to create theories by the million, but all this is in sleep, without any possibility of awakening.

On the contrary, these books and these theories, written and created in sleep, will merely send other people to sleep, and so on.

There is nothing new in the idea of sleep. People have been told almost since creation of the world that they are asleep and that they must awaken.

Christ disciples even slept when He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane for the last time. It is all there. But do men understand it? Men take it simply as a form of speech, as an expression, as a metaphor.

They completely fail to understand that it must be taken literally. And again it is easy to understand why. In order to understand this idea literally it is necessary to awaken a little, or at least to try to awaken.

I have been asked why nothing is said about this kind of sleep in the Gospels. But it is there spoken of almost on every page. This simply shows that people read the Gospel in sleep.

Generally speaking, what is necessary to awaken a man? A good shock is necessary. But when a man is fast asleep, only one shock is not enough.

A long period of continual shocks is needed. Consequently, there must be somebody to administer these shocks.

I have said before that if a man wants to awaken he must hire somebody who will keep on shaking him for a long time. But whom can he hire if everyone is asleep? A man will hire somebody to wake him up but this one also falls asleep.

What is the use of such a man? And a man who can really keep awake will probably refuse to waste his time in waking others up: he may have his own much more important work to do.

Artwork courtesy of and copyright by Daniel B. Holeman at Awaken Visions Galleries.

Awakened Consciousness, Part 1

by George I.Gurdijeff

George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, b.1872, d.Oct.29, 1949, founded a movement based on doctrines of enlightenment through meditation and heightened self-awareness that attracted many prominent followers in Europe and the United States.

Of Russian-Armenian origin, Gurdjieff established his ‘Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man’ at Fontainebleau, France, where he settled in 1922. He wrote books like “Belzebub’s Tales to His Grandson”, “Meetings with remarkable men” and “Life is real only then, when I am”.

His disciples included architect Frank Lloyd Wright, painter Georgia O’Keefre, writer Katherine Mansfield, and journalist P. D. Ouspensky, whose books helped to popularize Gurdjieff’s teachings.

Note: In the following text, “man” refers not to the male only, but it is used in the sense of “human being regardless of sex, person”

In order to understand what the difference between states of consciousness is, let us consider the state of sleep. This is an entirely subjective state of consciousness.

A man is immersed in dreams, whether he remembers them or not, does not matter. Even if some real impression reach him, such as sounds, voices, warmth, cold, etc., they arouse in him only subjective images.

Then a man wakes up. At first glance, this is a completely new and different state of consciousness. He can move, talk with other people, he can make calculations ahead, he can see danger and avoid it, and so on. It stands to reason that he is now in a better position than when he was asleep.

But if we go a little more deeply into things, if we take a look into his inner world, into his thoughts, into the causes of his actions, we shall see that he is almost in the same state as when he is asleep.

And it is even worse, because in sleep he is passive, but in the waking state he can do something and the results of his actions will be reflected upon him and upon those around him. And yet he does not remember himself.

He is a machine, everything with him happens. He cannot stop the flow of his thoughts, he cannot focus the flow of his thoughts, he cannot control his imagination, his emotions, his attention.

He lives in a subjective world of “I love”, “I do not love”, “I like”, “I do not like”, “I want”, “I do not want”, that is, of what he thinks he likes, of what he thinks he does not like, of what he thinks he wants, of what he thinks he does not want. He does not see the real world.

The real world is hidden from him by a thick wall of uncontrolled imagination. He lives in waking-sleep. He is asleep. What is called “clear consciousness” is actually sleep and a far more dangerous sleep than sleep at night in bed.

Let us take some event in the life of humanity. For instance, war. What does it signify? It signifies that several millions of sleeping people are destroying several millions of other sleeping people.

They would not do this, of course, if they were to wake up. Everything that takes place is owing to this sleep.

Both states of consciousness, sleep and the (false) waking state, are thus equally subjective. Only by beginning to remember himself does a man really awaken.

And then all surrounding life acquires for him a different aspect and a different meaning. He sees that it is a life of sleeping people, a life in sleep.

All that men say and do, they say and do in sleep. All this can have no value whatsoever. Only awakening and what leads to awakening has a value in reality.

How many times have I been asked whether wars can be stopped? Certainly they can. For this it is only necessary that people should awake. This seems a small thing.

It is, however, the most difficult thing there can be because this sleep is induced by our so-called education and maintained by the whole surrounding society.

Artwork courtesy of and copyright by Daniel B. Holeman at Awaken Visions Galleries.