Here is my own recommendation for inner work during this time of profound planetary readjustment. I will send you a fuller explanation as soon as I can, but the internet system has gone very wonky out here on Eagle Island, and you may need to be patient for my further elucidations of this admittedly countercultural course of action.
For those of you who have seen an advance manuscript of my book, this would be a course of action founded on the laws of World 24 (Imaginal) and above, not the laws of World 48 (our earth plane) and below that are presently running the show—futilely, in my estimation. This is not a temporary crisis to “flatten the curve.” This is a permanent and collective reset of our collective human conscience and will resolve itself only as a few more of us become willing and able to step up to the plate to live a different reality.
More on that to follow. For now, my “to do” list:
1. Get Joseph Azize’s new book, Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, and Exercises (Oxford University Press, 2020)
Work diligently with some of the Gurdjieff exercises here assembled for the first time, particularly:
“Make Strong” (pp. 178-82)
“Four Ideals” (pp. 231-240)
“Lord have Mercy” (pp. 241-251)
“Clear Impressions” (pp. 261-269)
2. Continue your own daily practice of Centering Prayer, and within its gentle and surrendered atmosphere.
Do all you can to work as deeply into your being as you possibly can the truth of the Pauline affirmation
“Whether I live or die, I am the Lord’s.”
Work it in until there is no discrepancy between how it falls on your mind, your emotions, and your amygdala.
Work it in until you realize with all of yourself that it confers the only spiritual immunity, the only source of right action.
3. Radically decrease or discontinue altogether your use of internet technology—zoom groups, zoom church—to support social distancing. It is actually aggravating the problem by further intensifying the electromagnetic inflammation of the planetary atmosphere which is actually driving the contagion.
4. Physically connect (I mean in real space time) with at least one person whose life is already being physically impacted by this crisis (food shortage, income stream dried up) and try to help as best you can.
A Note from Northeast Wisdom:
Joseph Azize quotes Gurdjieff in his new book: Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation & Exercises as he directs a person in an exercise:
Make a program.
Decide how much time you will spend on it…
Do it as a service. (p. 191)
We are so grateful for this work; which is chock full of carefully gathered, relevant notes and direct references like the one above. All of the exercises cited in this blog, “Pandemic Homework,” are in Azize’s book; including the “Atmosphere” exercise which Cynthia added to her “to do” list shortly after publishing this post. The book is available here on Joseph Azize’s website, for a 30% discount from Oxford University Press. It is also widely available online.
After first sharing her response to the pandemic sweeping the world in this post on March 23, 2020, Cynthia continues to write, expounding on the homework and exploring the exercises post by post. The series is underway full bore, and we are posting it on Northeast Wisdom as it unfolds. The course began with Pandemic Homework and followed with From the Eagle’s Nest (the background to the instructions); Foundational Points for the Five Pandemic Homework Exercises; Raised Cyber Eye-Brows: More on Internet Technology and the Pandemic Homework. The ensemble continues with a series of “Commentaries on Elements of the Exercises,” which began with “Clear Impressions”: …Part I; “Lord Have Mercy”: …Part II, A & B and “Lord Have Mercy”: …Part II, C.
Coming soon is commentary on the “Make Strong” exercise, in two parts, as well as the tentatively titled post: Going Forward… A Personal Statement re Time, Tides, Benedict and Zoom. Stay tuned!