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One of the most amazing things about esoteric ideas is their hidden power. We talk about how ideas that come from outside the Mechanical Circle of Humanity conduct power, and influence us in powerful, positive ways, but when we witness it in action it can be mind blowing. The other day something like that happened to me. If you’ve spent some time sincerely and properly observing yourself you have surely seen that you are a machine operated by outer events. It is true that this body of esoteric ideas given to us by those who went before us in the process of transformation make a place in us. After years of proper Self-Observation something deep inside us begins to be altered, gradually and often in such a way that we are unaware of it, much the same way we are unaware that our hair and fingernails are growing. We become aware of it in a moment of realization when we get a glimpse of ourselves and see it’s time for a haircut or time to trim the nails. Realizations concerning these powerful ideas sneak up on us and often offer us a pleasant surprise. It’s as if time stops, and I’m sure this is more than a figure of speech because when we separate, or are separated by some idea we have accepted and worked with enough, we are pulled outside of time, above time. Gurdjieff called it getting hold of the rope that at every moment hangs above us. It’s when the rope gets hold of us from time to time that we are given a shock.

If you are around other people, it’s simply a matter of time before you begin to realize the wisdom in King Solomon’s simple words. He wrote,

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

If we don’t handle ourselves properly by going with better I’s that have understood and accepted higher ideas, one man can dull another just as easily as sharpen. Most of us have the experience of becoming negative in the presence of another, and some people will even admit becoming negative just thinking about a certain person. If you are able to acknowledge and accept this truth about yourself, you can be certain that your Self-Observation skills are being honed. The experience I had involved listening to someone recite a litany of faults ascribed to another person. As a friend of mine from the mountains of Tennessee is fond of saying concerning Non-Identification, My dog ain’t in that fight. I confess to enjoying the plain talk of many American mountain folk. They are far enough away from the big cities to have avoided being swept away with modern progress. So what, you may ask, is so amazing about hearing someone dress down another person and not being moved to defense or some other negative state? Good question. If we’re not identified with the person, if our dog isn’t in that fight, there’s nothing amazing about it.

The profound moment of realization wasn’t that I wasn’t negative. It was that the other person thought he was talking about me. It was truly as if time stood still as I was hauled up into a higher state of consciousness by the rope of eternity hanging down into time at this Now moment. What did I do to make this happen? In that moment, not one thing. I made no effort. I didn’t have to talk to myself and struggle to bring the esoteric ideas up to the level of the unpleasant incoming impressions. No! It was what religious people might call Grace, free or unmerited favor. Since nothing is free down here where the Work finds us, I can only surmise that the application of these ideas really do change our level of Being. Because I have done the hard work of dragging esoteric ideas up to the level of incoming impressions repeatedly for years, something changed internally. All in a flash I understood in a new way, a quite profound way, that what I was hearing was the autobiography of the speaker. It had nothing whatever to do with me. It was merely a recitation of the unacknowledged, unaccepted parts of this other person’s own unconscious side. All the things that had been hidden for years from the Light of Consciousness were being seen on the screen provided by the other person. What made it profound was not the idea. It was the deep, emotional realization rather than an intellectual theory, that stopped time for me. As with many higher states it did not dissipate immediately. Some come and go in a flash but this one has stayed with me for days now. How I verify that it is indeed a state of consciousness is that other situations have been taken in the same way, effortlessly, without struggle. It may not last forever, or it may. I don’t know and I don’t much care. What is important is that I can taste it, experience it, remember it. I know in a new way, an emotional way, that this is Real, that the Truth of Esotericism is Real and that our potential can be realized one bit at a time, if we will do what is required of us to reach the place where help can reach us. It’s very cool!

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  1. You sound excited and enthusiastic when relating this experience! It gives me hope that my efforts in the Work could have such a manifestation.

  2. Non-Identification is so awesome! It’s so amazing to catch yourself so suddenly unawares and wake up out of being identified, a real “Ah ha” experience.

    I like the verse from Proverbs and the possibility that we can use every opportunity to sharpen ourselves – but only if we remember.

    • That’s a big “if”. It is possible. We can work. Not everyone can, but an individual can.

  3. It is very cool! I was trying to describe this very thing yesterday to a distressed friend. She was feeling very low after yet another of her husband’s constant barrages. ‘He’s looking at you and saying words in your direction,” I told her, “but he’s talking about himself and his own frustrations! It isn’t about you at all!” I feel as if I have spent my adult life trying to get to the point where I can stay centered despite events like this one. Each time I do, I am so excited, thinking I “got it.” But there will be 5 more events that I take the bait before realizing “my dog ain’t in that fight!”

Speak from your heart.

About Esoteric Talks

"No good deed goes unpunished."

The person most frequently credited as the originator of the phrase is playwright Clare Boothe Luce. Also credited have been playwright Noel Coward, writer Oscar Wilde, journalist Walter Winchell and the late Washington Post writer Bill Gold. The original idea is probably an ancient proverb.

Appearing cynical on the surface, a closer examination of human nature reveals the False Personality to be incredibly vengeful and petty due to its hubris.

Plato has Socrates say, "An unexamined life is not worth living." The reason no good deed goes unpunished is because most people are living lives not worth living. If you feel a sting, that probably means you are spending more time and energy examining the lives of others than you are examining your own.