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  • Roger Lipsey

Inner Considering, Inner Contortions -- 7

Script created at the Prieuré

The map has so many interesting features, for example two others closely related to sleep. One of them I found initially impossible to understand when I came to this teaching. It’s called inner considering. I had a friend, a doctor, who would say to me, How could Freud have missed this?

Inner considering is the contortions that we go through inside, the tensions that come over our bodies, the troubled minds, the troubled feelings, when we worry about what other people think of us, when we worry whether we’re getting our due from other people.

The social pathology of inner considering becomes a spider web inside. It has many aspects—for example, in front of tall people you feel small, in front of small people you feel big. Ridiculous! And very much a part of the ordinary human condition, of man and woman unobserved.

Identification is being swallowed up ...

The related idea, harder to understand, is what Gurdjieff called identification. Identification is probably our condition most of the time, when we live not in a three-centered way. The mind on its own looks at things, circumstances, and people and entangles with them, becomes identified with them. There’s no independent perception of myself here, relating to whatever is in front of me but not swallowed up by it. Identification is being swallowed up: my thoughts are swallowed up, feelings are swallowed up. Though a characteristic of our lives, it is hard to detect because it is so pervasive. It’s like having a discussion with a fish about water. Water? What’s that? Self-observation can reveal it, just as it can reveal inner considering.

For more on the Gurdjieff teaching.


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