Issue #21 March 2023
“Lies and fears — this is the atmosphere in which an ordinary man lives.”
For me, March is a month dominated by Lent. It begins on Ash Wednesday, which falls either in February or March. On that Wednesday, Christians have ashes applied to their foreheads in the shape of a cross. The ashes are said to be made from the previous year’s Palm Sunday palm branches–burned and then mixed with oil or holy water.
Lent lasts 40 days. In reality, it’s forty-six days spanning six weeks plus four days, but the Sundays are not counted and so it is said to be 40 days. 40 is symbolic of the time between conception and completion, as in a woman, there are 40 weeks between conception and giving birth.
Jesus spent 40 days spent fasting and praying in the desert, while the Devil tempted him. Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.
Ashiata Shiemash spent 40 days on Mount Veziniama on his knees in concentration, and another 40 days fasting from food and water and analyzing the perceptions he had acquired during the period of his “self-preparation,” and yet another 40 days fasting from food and water– every half-hour plucking two hairs from his breast.
For Christians, Lent is a season of spiritual transformation and renewal, punctuated with prayer, fasting from meat, and almsgiving.
And then comes Easter.
The Guest House
Being human you are as a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy or depression or a meanness,
or some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome them all and entertain them!
The Web Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope (WST) is the largest, most powerful, and, at a price of about $10 billions, the most expensive telescope ever. For about a year, since Feb 14, 2022 to be exact, it’s been taking snapshots and reporting back to base.
Its mission is fourfold:
1. to look as far back into the past as possible, at the galaxies of …
The Nature of “Life is Real
Life Is Real Only Then, When ‘I Am’ has a different character to the First Series, Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, which has a dense writing style that intentionally employs the grammar of associations in order to pepper the reader with perspectives. The Tales is a critique of Man that presents him (and hence you the reader) in a very unflattering light.
Mysticism, Contemplation, and Exercises
I’m very rarely moved to review a book on The Work, but I have spent time recently taking a long look at Joseph Azize’s Gurdjeff:
Mysticism, Contemplation, and Exercises.
In my view, it is the most important book published about The Work since the publication of Gurdjieff’s Paris Meetings 1943. Azize delivers a
Sayings from the Gurdjieff Work is a thought-provoking collection of over 1200 unique quotations that offer deep insights into the Gurdjieff Work. In this book, you’ll find a wide range of quotations that cover a variety of topics, including self-knowledge, consciousness, how to approach The Work, aspects of Gurdjieff’s objective science, and the purpose of man’s existence.
Each quotation has been selected for its clarity, its beauty, and ability to inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and their personal work.
Aside from Gurdjieff, there are chapters of aphorisms, sayings and epigrams from A. R. Orage, C. S. Nott, P.D. Ouspensky, Jeanne de Salzmann, Maurice Nicoll, Jane Heap and Rodney Collin, sourced either from their writings or from accounts of people who knew them. It also includes quotations (usually of Gurdjieff himself) from the writings of A. L. Staveley, Rina Hands, Katheryn Hulme, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Bernard Metz, Fritz Peters, Loise March, Henri Tracol, Henriette Lannes, J G Bennet and Michel Conge. It devotes a whole chapter that provides all the quotations from Mullah Nassr Eddin – not just those that are to be found in Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, but also those from The 1931 Manuscript and Meetings With Remarkable Men.
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