Sleepwalking into War: Gurdjieff and Ouspensky

SLEEPWALKING INTO WAR: GURDJIEFF AND OUSPENSKY

 

 

Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff.

 

 

Whenever this country gets involved in a war, I exhale wearily with the recognition that sleepwalking humanity is at it again. I am thankful to have encountered the ideas of Gurdjieff, expressed to the brilliant mind of PD Ouspensky, in the perfect circumstances of the Great War and Russian Revolution. They have provided me with a grim understanding of these situations for some decades now. I first read Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous in 1982. It became my most-read book of the decade. Here is some material adapted from my Avalonian Aeon on the subject.

Gurdjieff’s critique of the general state of humanity seemed pessimistic at first. He stated that most of us can be said to be asleep in a trance of distraction. Each of us believes in a unique individuality but, on closer examination, most cannot demonstrate any real unity of functioning. We are full of small separate personalities. One part may proudly proclaim the intention to stop smoking, take up a regime of exercise, follow some idealised spiritual path etc. The “I” that likes to smoke or overeat or take drugs, be sexually deranged and so on, will later on assert its own claims and the lofty talk will be worthless. We have many I’s. They can all be “caliph for an hour”. Work on oneself involves the conscious cultivation of a “magnetic centre”. It is the responsibility of this aspect of oneself to seek out those influences conducive to the maintaining and expansion of its function.

What does that mean in the real world? The feeling of it can be better grasped by looking at it alongside another of Gurdjieff’s teaching ideas. Ouspensky discusses the concept of “food.” He takes it beyond the usual definitions. As well as what we eat in the normal sense, the case is made for regarding air as food. If anyone thinks it isn’t, try living without it for a while. Most stimulating of all was the classification of “impressions” as food. What we input through our senses can nourish or poison us. To take an extreme example, a person feasting everyday on splatter movies, hardcore porn and horror, someone who regularly read the literature of hate, racism etc, would be thoroughly poisoning themselves. Contrariwise, a person who immersed themselves in great art, literature, music, and the religious classics of the world, with a view to changing themselves for the better, would be getting some kind of higher food vitamins and protein. Although just what constitutes appropriate input is hugely debatable and variable, the basic principle is a call to some sort of conscious awakening. Gurdjieff suggested that once this process was really in motion, somehow one magnetically attracted to oneself the necessary higher influences. The world was full of them, but to the average tranced-out sleepwalking person they were all but invisible.

The historical situation in Russia during the period that the two worked together was a perfect backdrop for the demonstration of the power of Gurdjieff’s ideas. It began with the archaic Romanoff dynasty still in place as the First World War broke out. Gradually, insane chaos emerged. Russia’s badly led, ill-equipped forces were trashed by the German war-machine. Morale nosedived. The rumblings of the revolution were heard. Before long, a whole dynasty and culture was swept away and Ouspensky faced exile or death. For people with a feeling for history those events in Russia are amongst the most mind-blowing of the twentieth century.

Ideas that may have seemed outlandish or pessimistic were revealed by the events of the time to be spine-tinglingly insightful. Ouspensky resisted at first but the horror of the situation helped him to understand. Gurdjieff had said that we are machines, slaves to certain natural laws and processes that are as mechanical as a motor car. If people were remotely awake they would never submit to going off to war and likely death. The leaders of great nations are likewise sleepwalkers through the strange workings of unknown dynamics.

Ouspensky had difficulties with these ideas until an event he witnessed brought them to life. He saw a truck loaded with artificial limbs on its way to the front. They were for legs that had not yet been blown off but it could be calculated that they would be. There was something so mechanical about this process, something so lacking in conscious awareness, that the insanity of the situation was revealed in all its ludicrous horror. If those legs hadn’t been blown off yet then why on earth did they have to be? The process was surely stoppable. On one occasion, when Gurdjieff was discussing the horror of the war and the hollowness of the ideals it was being fought for, someone asked him what he thought of the pacifists? “They’re even worse,” was his classic reply.

There was a particular function of the mass sleepwalking mind that helped perpetuate the trance that enabled the world-historical madness to continue. Gurdjieff called it “Formatory Thinking”. It is basically that process whereby people are compelled to think and feel in terms of opposites such as black and white, wrong or right, left and right, and so on. This manifests in rigidity in one’s personal life and in the greater horrors of religious conflicts and wars between rival political systems. I could see it being played out all around me. It had turned British political life into a vulgar cartoon. On the larger stage Ronnie “Rapture” Reagan stood against the evil empire of the Godless Commies and megadeath was a possible outcome. 

 PD Ouspensky

PD Ouspensky

 

 

When the first Gulf War was imminent I turned to In Search of the Miraculous again. It had never felt more potent. The 1990 equivalent of those trucks full of artificial limbs that had awakened Ouspensky to the horror of the situation were on their way to the front once more. This time it was helicopters loaded with body-bags. Casualty calculations were being made. All sorts of jargon masked the terrifying reality. It was gratifying when seeing Robert Anton Wilson lecture in London whilst the war was actually being fought also mention the very same point, Ouspensky’s trucks and the 1990 body bags.

And so it goes on. Our responsibility is to cultivate a centre of gravity beyond the pull of formatory thinking and to actually become part of the conscious circle of humanity.

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Crowley and Jung. The Book of the Law and Seven Sermons.

CROWLEY AND JUNG. THE BOOK OF THE LAW AND SEVEN SERMONS.

 

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A year ago today I gave a presentation at a conference in Glastonbury on some of my favorite material from my book Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus. From the chapter Gnostic Revival I discussed the strange commonality between two fundamental experiences in the lives of the apparently very different Aleister Crowley and CG Jung. Crowley had been led in 1904, after a series of strange experiences to write, supposedly over a three-day period, The Book of the Law. This was the most important experience of his life and he extensively promoted it. In 1916 Jung also wrote a mysterious text, The Seven Sermons to the Dead. It was likewise a vital episode in his development but one that he kept very much in the background.
The video of my presentation that day, which I have posted on this blog, didn’t do justice to the visuals I had assembled so I wondered about making them into a video on their own. I have made considerable additions and adjustments. Text was obviously now necessary. A soundtrack of early classic Tangerine Dream was added. I’m very happy with the results. It’s just over half an hour long. I recommend headphones and dimmed lights for best results!

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Cornwall UFO Conference

CORNWALL UFO CONFERENCE

 

 

UFOusethis

 

Further details of my presentation can be found here:  Events

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Promo Video for The Glastonbury Zodiac and Earth Mysteries UFOlogy

PROMO VIDEO FOR THE GLASTONBURY ZODIAC AND EARTH MYSTERIES UFOLOGY

 

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Landscape zodiac? Ancient Astronauts? UFO contact? Visions and quests. From Glastonbury to Giza. A sympathetic look at wild ideas. Experience the mood of my new book through vivid visuals and soothing sounds. Buy it on Amazon UK and USA.

I expanded a powerpoint presentation I recently gave to include more explanatory text and imagery and then added a soundtrack.

Video is 20 mins long and features the track Four Ever Rainbow from Rainbow Dome Musick by Steve Hillage.

 

Buy the book on Amazon UK

Buy the book on Amazon USA

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New Book: The Glastonbury Zodiac & Earth Mysteries UFOlogy.

NEW BOOK:

THE GLASTONBURY ZODIAC & EARTH MYSTERIES UFOLOGY

 

Glastonbury Zodiac & Earth Mysteries UFOlogy

Buy The Glastonbury Zodiac & Earth Mysteries UFOlogy on Amazon UK

Buy The Glastonbury Zodiac & Earth Mysteries UFOlogy on Amazon USA

 

After a long convoluted process, I have manifested a new book. Just over a month ago, the idea to do so was not even in my head.

Some of you may be aware that 2 years ago I was invited to write an extended introduction to a projected new edition of the classic seventies anthology, Glastonbury: Ancient Avalon, New Jerusalem. It was conceived as a joint enterprise with another party. I also commissioned Yuri Leitch to create the cover art-work to my design, a Glastonbury version of the Crowley/Harris Sun tarot card that recalled the original anthology cover.

 

 

1977 edition

1977 edition

 

 

Intended new cover

Intended new cover

 

 

 Time passed and my collaborator stalled on the project. At the start of 2015 I arranged to give a presentation at the Glastonbury Symposium conference (still often known as the Crop Circle conference) on the contents of my introduction. I felt this still gave enough time to get the new edition published. By the time of the summer solstice it was obvious it wasn’t going to happen. I suddenly wondered if it might be possible to expand my intro and get a small book out in time for the Symposium. My graphics man and the publisher gave me the thumbs-up leaving me about two weeks to do it.

I decided to pump-up the text with some material drawn from my other books but presented in a distinct new chronological context. The centre of gravity of the book was always going to be unique material concerning a profound UFO experience of Anthony Roberts (editor of the original anthology) in 1969 and a huge wild ancient astronaut Atlantean Glastonbury tome that he was inspired to write soon afterwards. His wife Jan had given me access to the work and I was the first person outside the Roberts’ household to read it in 40 years.

 

Anthony Roberts by his beloved Glastonbury Tor where he died of a heart attack in 1990.

Anthony Roberts by his beloved Glastonbury Tor where he died of a heart attack in 1990.

 

 

Tony Roberts with his unpublished work, Giants in the Earth, the main stimulus for my new book.

Tony Roberts with his unpublished work, Giants in the Earth, the main stimulus for my new book.

It was an amazing experience to initiate and complete this new project so quickly after spending two years in limbo with its original form.

Here is the back cover blurb.

 

The Glastonbury Zodiac and Earth Mysteries UFOlogy

is a unique exploration of a visionary realm that helped to shape the modern development of the mystical capital of Britain. It shows the influence of ideas concerning Atlantis and Ancient Astronauts during the heady days of the sixties and seventies and places them alongside ley lines and the landscape zodiac.

Includes:

remarkable previously untold UFO experience of author Anthony Roberts and the huge unpublished book it inspired.

Atlantis of the Heart. From Dion Fortune to space migration.

Psychedelic sixties UFOlogy. Flying Saucer Vision and Warminster, David Bowie’s Free Festival.

Andrew Collins journey from Glastonbury to a Giza cave discovery and the Morphian mystery.

Complete survey of work of American visionary Robert Coon relating to the Glastonbury Zodiac, global chakra sites, the Omega Point, and the 1987 Mesoamerican calendar events.

The Contact conundrum, aliens and entities, Secret Chiefs and beams of light, Fairies and Ultraterrestrials, Dark Gods, and Virgin Mary apparitions.

UFOlogical theorists and eccentrics:

John Foster Forbes,  Meade Layne , Desmond Leslie, George Adamski, Trevor James Constable, Brinsley le Poer Trench, Tony Wedd, Jacques Vallee, John Keel, Elizabeth Van Buren.

The Glastonbury Temple of the Stars:

Katharine Maltwood, Mary Caine, Oliver Reiser:  from Blavatsky to Arthur’s Round Table, wandering Sumerians, Atlanteans and aliens, the head of Christ, and the morphogenetic field pattern for the embryogenesis of the World Sensorium!

 

‘Every thing possible to be believ’d is an image of truth.’

William Blake.

The book is 111 pages long. £11.99

Buy The Glastonbury Zodiac & Earth Mysteries UFOlogy on Amazon UK

Buy The Glastonbury Zodiac & Earth Mysteries UFOlogy on Amazon USA

 

avalonaeon_logo

 

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Jung Crowley Lecture Video

JUNG CROWLEY LECTURE VIDEO

 

Abraxas

 

I am very pleased that the presentation I gave for the October 2014 Glastonbury Visible College conference is now available to watch on You Tube.

It is just over 1 hour long.

I consider it to be some of very best material.

In it I compare Crowley’s Book of the Law with Seven Sermons to the Dead, discussing Jung’s extraordinary experience with Mithras.

I also talk about the kind of strange things that can happen when such subjects are investigated, with reference to some distinctly odd Glastonbury events.

 

 

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Other lectures from the same conference are also available to watch.

http://www.visiblecollege.co.uk/blog/2015/4/17/watch-all-videos-from-tvc-autumn

The Jung Crowley material is taken from my Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus.

 

Crowley FrontCover 2nd Edn

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Lady of Space

Our Lady of Space

 

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There’s going to be a bit of a UFOlogical flavour to some of my 2015 presentations so I thought I’d present a taste of my take on the subject from my Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus.

In my opinion there are two indispensable works on UFOlogy that establish the necessary perspective. In Passport to Magonia, Jacques Vallee suggested that there seems to be one phenomenon which has been interacting with the human race from our earliest days. It takes on different forms in various cultures.

Firstly, faerie lore yields suggestive comparisons with abduction cases. The classic tales tell of dome-shaped mounds with open lighted entrances. Once lured within them, time/space becomes dangerously relative. After partying it up with the Little People, and maybe even having sex with one of them, it would become apparent on leaving that fifty years might have elapsed.

 

 

The Children Of Fatima_1

 

During the Christian Middle Ages, the most far-out possibilities of experience would be a visitation from Jesus and the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) or an encounter with an angel or demon. And such tales are by no means a thing of the distant past. Vallee studied modern accounts of apparitions of the BVM, most notably the 1917 Fatima event. I don’t think anyone could really examine that episode with an open mind and fail to feel that something genuinely very strange had occurred. A group of Portuguese children claimed to have seen and talked to the BVM. She initially appeared in a globe of light, telling them she would return at monthly intervals, prophesying a spectacular culmination in October. They kept their appointments, accompanied by increasingly large groups of people. Only the children could see her. They were clearly in some kind of trance state. Some minor, but odd, external manifestations would weirdly validate their stories. Branches of a tree where the Mary figure was supposed to be hovering bent as if supporting weight, and so on. The climax saw a huge crowd, approaching a hundred thousand in size, gather for the last appointment. They witnessed a seemingly miraculous heavenly phenomenon. It was as if the sun fell from the sky and plummeted, revolving, with a spectrum of colours towards the earth. Whatever it was that was happening, it was witnessed miles away. Many converted to Catholicism on the spot. It seemed that the woman clothed with the sun from the Book of Revelation was tangibly present.

Spinning-of-the-Sun

At the very least, a group of small children had been able to assemble a Biblical multitude with exact timing, to witness a spectacular and obviously rare atmospheric event that if it had happened half a century later may well have inspired UFOlogical speculation. That in itself is extremely odd. Looking at other famous BVM cases like Lourdes, it’s interesting that the child visionaries at first don’t necessarily identify their “contact” as Mary. The response of adults that it obviously must be, conditions what follows. What the being looks like often changes to more fully conform to the archetypal Catholic visuals. Once this is established, messages of the “I am the Immaculate Conception” variety follow.

The earlier French case of La Salette in 1846 is another good example of fruitfully comparing the UFOlogical and Catholic realities. Two children saw a globe of light hovering above fields. It opened, disgorging a smaller but brighter light that came down and spoke to them. The Catholic children assumed it must be Our Lady. Prophecies were spoken concerning disease and pestilence which appeared to be validated within a decade. If this had happened in the America of the early nineteen-fifties it seems likely that the light would take on the form of the likes of the legendary Aura Rhanes, the female beach-babe flying saucer commander who wrecked the marriage of contactee Truman Bethuram. It has rightly been intuited that Crowley’s devotion to Nuit is akin to Catholic adoration of the Virgin Mary. Nuit is Our Lady of Space and could be considered to be present in the UFOlogicaly aspected BVM manifestations.

The modern UFO era has mutated the forms and beliefs of an archetypal mythology to always be just ahead of the current science. In the fifties “aliens” talked of coming from Mars and Venus. Once it was established that those planets couldn’t support life, the messages changed. The phenomenon seems to be interactive. We are intimately involved with it. Vallee came to feel that UFOs and their apparent occupants are not necessarily extraterrestrial.

 

www.aleistercrowley666.co.uk

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July 2015 Glastonbury Symposium

July 2015 Glastonbury Symposium

 

 

Glastonbury version of Crowley Sun tarot card by Yuri Leitch that will feature on cover of new edition of Glastonbury: Ancient Avalon, New Jerusalem.

Glastonbury version of Crowley Sun tarot card by Yuri Leitch that will feature on cover of new edition of Glastonbury: Ancient Avalon, New Jerusalem.

 

 

July 2015 sees the 25th anniversary of the Glastonbury Symposium (perhaps still better known as the Crop Circle Conference although the subject matter considerably diversified a long time ago).

I’m very pleased to be giving a presentation there with a retrospective theme.

Earth Mysteries UFOlogy and the Glastonbury Zodiac: the Untold Story.

Anthony Roberts, editor of the mid-seventies anthology, Glastonbury: Ancient Avalon, New Jerusalem, had a profound UFO experience in 1969. He went on to write a huge unpublished manuscript, provisionally entitled Giants in the Earth, dealing with ancient astronauts, Lemuria, Atlantis, and his belief that the Glastonbury Zodiac was twelve thousand years old and created by Atlanteans with probable help from aliens. Paul has been the first person to read the work outside of the Roberts household in forty years. Some of his sources will be investigated on a journey where we will meet Dion Fortune, Desmond Leslie, Brinsley Le Poer Trench, Tony Wedd, and John Michell as a forgotten strand of Glastonbury studies is uncovered that provides a fresh perspective on the later anthology. It makes plain the huge influence of what could be termed Earth Mysteries UFOlogy on beliefs about the place during the sixties and seventies.

The material is drawn from a long introduction I have written for a new edition of the anthology which hopefully will be available at the time of the conference.

Check out the Symposium site for more details and ticket booking.

http://www.glastonburysymposium.co.uk/index.html

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March 2015 Glastonbury Occult Conference

 

March 2015 Glastonbury Occult Conference

 

 

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Another great Glastonbury occult conference is imminent.

I will be giving a presentation on the legendary Babalon Working with material from my Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus.

Once again, I will be in very good company.

There are a number of ticket options.

If you are somewhere half-way across the world, you can still watch the lectures online.

I invite you to avail yourself of this sumptuous event.

Get your tickets here.

http://www.visiblecollege.co.uk/the-occult-conference-2015/

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Twelfth Century Grail Epoch Video

Twelfth Century Grail Epoch Video

 

 

 

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I have created a video inspired by The Grail Epoch section in my Mysterium Artorius.
It features music and imagery from the twelfth century mystic Hildegard of Bingen.  Also included are the prototype Gothic Cathedral at St Denis in Paris, King Arthur, Troubadours, and the Quest for the Grail.

 

www.mysteriumartorius.co.uk

 

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