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Gurdjieff's Levels of Beings: from man no. 1 up to Man no. 7

Gurdjieff on man numbers one through seven.
door Tsenne Kikke - zondag 6 juni 2021 19:46

 “In order to know one’s type one must make a good study of one’s life,
one’s whole life from the very beginning;
one must know why, and how, things have happened.”
(page 247 - In Search of the Miraculous)

"Once again let us take the idea man. In the language of which I speak, instead of the word 'man,' seven words are used, namely: man number one, man number two, man number three, man number four, man number five, man number six, and man number seven. With these seven ideas people are already able to understand one another when speaking of man.

"Man number seven means a man who has reached the full development possible to man and who possesses everything a man can possess, that is, will, consciousness, permanent and unchangeable I, individuality, immortality, and many other properties which, in our blindness and ignorance, we ascribe to ourselves. It is only when to a certain extent we understand man number seven and his properties that we can under­ stand the gradual stages through which we can approach him, that is, understand the process of development possible for us.

"Man number six stands very close to man number seven. He differs from man number seven only by the fact that some of his properties have not as yet become permanent.

"Man number five is also for us an unattainable standard of man, for it is a man who has reached unity.

"Man number four is an intermediate stage. I shall speak of him later.

"Man number one, number two, and number three, these are people who constitute mechanical humanity on the same level on which they are born.

"Man number one means man in whom the center of gravity of his psychic life lies in the moving center. This is the man of the physical body, the man with whom the moving and the instinctive functions constantly outweigh the emotional and the thinking functions.

"Man number two means man on the same level of development, but man in whom the center of gravity of his psychic life lies in the emotional center, that is, man with whom the emotional functions outweigh all others; the man of feeling, the emotional man.

"Man number three means man on the same level of development but man in whom the center of gravity of his psychic life lies in the intellectual center, that is, man with whom the thinking functions gain the upper hand over the moving, instinctive, and emotional functions; the man of reason, who goes into everything from theories, from mental considerations.

"Every man is born number one, number two, or number three.

"Man number four is not born ready-made. He is born one, two, or three, and becomes four only as a result of efforts of a definite character. Man number four is always the product of school work. He can neither be born, nor develop accidentally or as the result of ordinary influences of bringing up, education, and so on. Man number four already stands on a different level to man number one, two, and three; he has a permanent center of gravity which consists in his ideas, in his valuation of the work, and in his relation to the school. In addition his psychic centers have already begun to be balanced; one center in him cannot have such a preponderance over others as is the case with people of the first three categories. He already begins to know himself and begins to know whither he is going.

"Man number five has already been crystallized; he cannot change as man number one, two, and three change. But it must be noted that man number five can be the result of right work and he can be the result of wrong work. He can become number five from number four and he can become number five without having been four. And in this case he cannot develop further, cannot become number six and seven. In order to become number six he must again melt his crystallized essence, must intentionally lose his being of man number five. And this can be achieved only through terrible sufferings. Fortunately these cases of wrong development occur very rarely.

"The division of man into seven categories, or seven numbers, explains thousands of things which otherwise cannot be understood. This division gives the first conception of relativity as applied to man. Things may be one thing or another thing according to the kind of man from whose point of view, or in relation to whom, they are taken.

"In accordance with this, all the inner and all the outer manifestations of man, all that belongs to man, and all that is created by him, is also divided into seven categories.

"It can now be said that there exists a knowledge number one, based upon imitation or upon instincts, or learned by heart, crammed or drilled into a man. Number one, if he is man number one in the full sense of the term, learns everything like a parrot or a monkey.

"The knowledge of man number two is merely the knowledge of what he likes; what he does not like he does not know. Always and in everything he wants something pleasant. Or, if he is a sick man, he will, on the contrary, know only what he dislikes, what repels him and what evokes in him fear, horror, and loathing.

"The knowledge of man number three is knowledge based upon subjectively logical thinking, upon words, upon literal understanding. It is the knowledge of bookworms, of scholastics. Men number three, for example, have counted how many times each letter of the Arabic alphabet is repeated in the Koran of Mohammed, and upon this have based a whole system of interpretation of the Koran.

"The knowledge of man number four is a very different kind of knowledge. It is knowledge which comes from man number five, who in turn receives it from man number six, who has received it from man number seven. But, of course, man number four assimilates of this knowledge only what is possible according to his powers. But, in comparison with man number one, man number two, and man number three, man number four has begun to get free from the subjective elements in his knowledge and to move along the path towards objective knowledge.

"The knowledge of man number five is whole, indivisible knowledge. He has now one indivisible I and all his knowledge belongs to this I. He cannot have one I that knows something which another does not know. What he knows, the whole of him knows. His knowledge is nearer to objective knowledge than the knowledge of man number four.

"The knowledge of man number six is the complete knowledge possible to man; but it can still be lost.

"The knowledge of man number seven is his own knowledge, which cannot be taken away from him; it is the objective and completely practiced knowledge of All.

"It is exactly the same with being. There is the being of man number one, that is, the being of a man living by his instincts and his sensations; the being of man number two, that is to say, the being of the sentimental, the emotional man; the being of man number three, that is, the being of the rational, the theoretical man, and so on. It is quite clear why knowledge cannot be far away from being. Man number one, two, or three cannot, by reason of his being, possess the knowledge of man number four, man number five, and higher. Whatever you may give him, he may interpret it in his own way, he will reduce every idea to the level on which he is himself.

Nota: In het boek 'Op zoek naar het wonderbaarlijke' van P. D. Ouspensky vind je de vertaling in het Nederlands.

Tevens is het een werk dat in DIMschool's 'Werkgroep Zelfkennis' al 18 jaren lang wordt aangewend. Anders gezegd: een échte aanrader voor eenieder die aan zijn/haar Innerlijke Zelf wens te werken, en het dus stilaan beu is zichzelf met het stoffelijke lichaam te blijven identificeren. Eenmaal uitgelezen, kan je misschien de bestaande Werkgroep aanvullen... Wie weet???

"Vind mensen, die in zichzelf zowel de motivatie als de aangeboren drijfveer hebben om aan hun Innerlijke Zelf te werken, en we zullen hen gidsen."

- DIMschool vzw, de énige gespecialiseerd in Zelfkennis, zijnde: het kennen van het Zelf -

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