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  • Roger Lipsey

Attention -- The Unifying Factor -- 5


Script created at the Prieuré

What is missing? The unifying factor is missing, and this is another of Gurdjieff's primordial insights. The unifying factor is the free attention that can move within us, that is not subservient to any of the centers, that is vigilant, that can watch and see, and make course corrections internally. That free attention is the key to the integration of the three centers.


There’s a third idea. Gurdjieff says that there are two higher centers. They are not the thought; they are not the feeling, not the body. Not sex, none of those five. But when the five are integrated, when they are speaking with each other, when they are united through a unifying attention, when they are balanced so that the head is not all the time dominating, or the feeling all the time dominating, or the body all the time dominating, but there is, rather, a balance among them, there is an opportunity to receive “messages” from the higher emotional center and the higher intellectual center.


The unifying factor is the free attention ...

These terms may sound old-fashioned or strangely formal, but what it does mean is that the balancing of what he called the lower centers lays the groundwork, a kind of healthy inner atmosphere in which, through contemplation or through facing, with incredible sincerity, current circumstances, there can be a moment of something greater, an insight or powerful feeling, unprecedented in one’s experience, and remarkably instructive.


It changes everything. Gurdjieff says that the higher emotional center is alive and, as he puts it, “calling to us.” But it can’t reach us because the lower centers aren’t balanced and aren’t speaking with each other.




For more on the Gurdjieff teaching.


I Need to See That I Do Not Know

A facile “I know" is a rote thought. When I’m faced with the reality that I might not know, I experience a new sense of gravity in my body.

Why We Work on Crafts -- 2

The head knows the steps; the body is the faithful servant of the mind; the feeling surrounds the thinking and the body with love.

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