Man the Machine
One of the most upsetting and insulting remarks made by Gurdjieff was his statement that Man is a machine. Unfortunately, Gurdjieff was right; for practical purposes we are machines in multitudes of ways we fail to recognize. We should be upset!
A person may appear to be acting intelligently and consciously, but he may be mechanically "running on automatic". By mistakenly thinking he is conscious, he blocks the possibility of real consciousness. Gurdjieff constantly emphasized that almost all human misery results from the fact that our lives are automatic, mechanical affairs. You (your behavior, thoughts and feelings) are then the effect of external and historical causes, rather than the cause, the initiator of desired actions.
Problems occur when reality changes but your automated responses carry on. Identities and defenses are reactively enacted. Though appropriate for the time they were set up, these are usually inappropriate for the present situation. When the situation fits an internal stereotype, your automated reaction then follows.
If you have an emotional investment in the stereotype (feeling superior, dominant or safe) that makes it even more rigid, and you are unlikely to perceive that reality differs significantly. The automated stereotypings we know of as racist, ageist, sexist, classist, nationalist and so on, are enormously costly. Automated perceptions, emotions, thoughts, reactions and particularly identities, frequently become associated with many situations, so we can be lost for long periods - a lifetime in the extreme - in automated living, rarely being the mature Adult, the truly awake Self.
Man is a machine, but a very peculiar machine - a machine that can know he is a machine - but having fully realized this, he may find the ways to cease to be a machine.
First of all a man must know that he is not one, he is many. He has not one permanent and unchangeable "I" but he is always switching from one sub-personality to another.
First of all a man must know that he is not one, he is many. He has not one permanent and unchangeable "I" but he is always switching from one sub-personality to another. Every thought, every feeling, every sensation, every desire, every like, every dislike and every belief is another "I". Each of them depends on the change in external circumstances and on the change of impressions. When a person says "I" it sounds as if he means the whole of himself but really, even when he considers it represents the whole, it is only a passing thought, mood or desire. In most cases a person believes in the last "I" that expressed itself, as long as it lasts: that is, as long as another "I", sometimes quite unconnected with the preceding one, does not express its opinion or desire louder than the first.
The illusion of unity of Self is created firstly by the sensation of one physical body, secondly by one name and thirdly by a number of mechanical habits that are imposed on him by education or acquired by imitation. Having always the same physical sensations, hearing always the same name and noticing in himself the same habits and inclinations he had before, he believes himself to be always the same.
Return to Transforming the Mind - Contents
Continue to the next article, Consensus Trance
Free 'Inside Hypnosis' video course...
- Free 3-part introduction to the 'Inside Hypnosis' course ~ Learn hypnosis to help yourself and others. These guys have been teaching hypnosis for 20 years, and it's all the creative, indirect stuff - not old-style authoritarian hypnosis. This is one of the best ways to advance in personal development - so it's definitely worth learning about.
Most popular hypnosis downloads...
- The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
- Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
- Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
- Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
- Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
- Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
- Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
- Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
- Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
- Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
- Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
- Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
- Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
We believe that technology can be used in a wise and balanced way to improve our lives. That’s why we recommend using Profound Meditation in conjunction with your preferred meditation technique. That could involve breath awareness, witnessing, visualization, mantra, or any other form. In the User Guide, iAwake provide simple meditation instructions that anyone can follow.
Profound Meditation 3.0 includes 19 audio tracks, 430 total minutes and is available for instant download. It provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
- Establish a daily practice that sticks
- Enhance your focus, flow, and performance
- Relieve stress, anxiety, and depression
- Evolve and deepen your spiritual life
Inspiring Quotes of the Week
When you subscribe to our free service, each Monday you'll receive several transformational quotes on a new topic - with commentary by Peter Shepherd - to inspire you throughout the week...
Subscribe now... it's free!
Your address will remain 100% confidential and it's just one click to unsubscribe.