Practice of the Straight Path: Initial Methods

Impressions as “Food” for the Soul

But material substances are not the only food that we consume. As “food” we, as souls, also use impressions (Russian religious psychologist George Gurdjieff was among those who talked about it in these terms in the beginning of the 20th century [62]).

And if we want to “turn away from what is evil and cling to what is good”, we need to take all opportunities to use “food” of this kind — in nature, art, communicating with spiritual people, etc. and attuning to the subtle and harmonious phenomena. At the same time we need to keep away from coarse impressions, which are primarily created by people of the tamas guna.

Initial Control of Emotions

Avoiding outer coarseness is just one of the methods. But the main task for us is to eliminate inner coarseness, including that which comes out of us. This can be attained by controlling emotions, which are states of us as consciousnesses.

Each emotion emanates beyond the body, affecting surrounding people and other living beings. And the more intensive it is the further from the body it emanates.

Solving the task of controlling the emotions radically will be possible only at the next, higher stages of work. But if we do not set this goal right now and start to accustom ourselves to self-control, we can hardly expect ourselves to achieve any success in the future.

For now, an effective method of struggling with bursts of coarse emotions and various manifestations of egotism is penitential work, which we have discussed in detail.

About Compassion

Let me note that a superficial and shallow attitude towards ethic issues can sometimes produce an opposite effect compared to what is expected.

For example, we discussed acceptance of the COMPASSION principle as one of the first steps towards LOVE. But does everyone clearly realize that compassion does not have anything to do with plunging into unpleasant emotional states of “worrying about” someone?… People who fall into states like that become unbearable for others, especially for those whom they “worry about”. The bioenergetic impact of the fields with such characteristics sometimes can be the “final blow” for those wounded or sick people who become the subject to such “worrying”. The victims may feel a desperate need to get rid of this “compassionate” monster who overwhelms them with such a state — to get rid by all means, at the level of the deepest instinct of self-preservation, which is beyond the control of the intellect…

Such “compassion”, just like bioenergetic vampirism [7], ruins loving relationships between people, destroys families…

No, compassion does not mean “heavy” emotions, but overall pure and careful attitude towards all manifestations of life, avoiding causing any unnecessary harm to anyone, as well as willingness to help everyone in everything good.

Self-Discipline and Energy

The initial stage of spiritual work is not sattva yet. It is rajas. And among the most important factors that determine success at this stage are energy and self-discipline, cultivating the ability to make efforts and super-efforts on the spiritual Path.

One can develop these qualities well by engaging in various dynamic sport activities, of which especially great are those that connect us with living nature (hiking, mountain climbing, etc.). Practicing oriental martial arts would also be very good for that purpose. But it is important to emphasize, that this practice should in no way lead to growth of aggressiveness, brutality and rudeness. Another important thing to understand is that the techniques of martial arts per se cannot conduct the seeker to spiritual heights: this can be achieved only by working with the chakras and through mastering the art of meditation, which are integral parts of the training in the best schools of this orientation.

In any specific kind of classes at this stage — be it karate, hiking, or something else — both instructors and students must pay their principal attention to increasing the level of their morality, which is based on causing no unnecessary harm to any living beings.

It would be appropriate for everyone to start thinking about and to make right decisions regarding their service according to Karma Yoga principles and change professional occupation, if necessary, or start studying in order to acquire a new profession.

Ecopsychology >>>
See film:  Psychical Self-Regulation

Vladimir Antonov
Ph.D. (in biology)

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