Obligolnian Strivings: Week Five of Inner Task Series by Heather Ruce

We have spent the last several weeks working with the first striving: to have in one’s ordinary being-existence everything satisfying and really necessary for the planetary body and the second striving: to have a constant and unflagging instinctive need to perfect oneself in the sense of Being. to have a constant and unflagging instinctive need to perfect oneself in the sense of Being. As I mentioned before these strivings are cumulative, just like when we are adding in sensation awareness during the Gurdjieff Exercises as we move through the limbs, meaning we don’t leave the previous striving behind but include it as we expand our awareness to include more.

The next couple of weeks we will add in the third striving: the conscious striving to know more and more about the laws of world-creation [law of three] and world maintenance [law of seven]. This third striving has to do with the holy symbol of the Enneagram, which Cynthia has mentioned is the master arcanum or mandala of the Gurdjieff tradition. Gurdjieff has said that if we could read it, we wouldn’t need libraries or books anymore because it contains within it everything we need to know.

We will focus this week on the first part of this striving and draw on some of the foundational principles from Cynthia’s book The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three. In chapter 2 she speaks of the interweaving of three which produces a FOURTH in a new DIMENSION. It is all about the creation of new playing fields in an ongoing dynamism of manifestation and its real purpose is to show how new arisings, that is, new phenomena, new worlds, new outcomes, new possibilities, new “octaves” (to introduce a particularly important piece of Work terminology) come into being. In every NEW ARISING three forces, which are assigned after accuse observation in any given situation rather than stable or fixed, are involved:

1st Force / Holy Affirming (Manifest): active, desire, magnetic hunger, moving in a direction, flowing

2nd Force / Holy Denying (Unmanifest): passive, agitation, frustration of desire serves only to inflame intensity, its oppositional nature expresses itself in an intensification of the turmoil, not just a frustration of the desire, fighting against or simply stubbornly resisting

3rd Force / Holy Reconciling (Midwiving): neutralizing, serves to bring 1st and 2nd force into connection yet is something in its own right, what is not seen unless one slows down and refrains from splitting the situation into good/bad or right/wrong, this is a third force, not a product of the other two forces

The 4th in a New Dimension / NEW ARISING: new creation as a result of the interweaving of three forces, a new possibility emerges because of the dynamic relationship, a whole new octave

For this week, our task is to work with coming to know more and more about the law of three but in particular in relation to the way we experience the force of the first two strivings within us. There is an dynamic at play between our ordinary being existence (our world 48 self, personality) and our sense of Being (our world 24 self, essence). See if you can become familiar with the sensations, feelings, and thoughts connected to these forces within yourself and rather than pit them against one another in a stand still, open to the possibility of what may arise out of the necessary holding of the tension between them. Allow the Work to become a third force or neutralizing force. Cynthia mentions Nicoll’s suggestion saying, “In the unawakened human being, according to Nicoll, personality is active, essence is passive, and life itself is the Neutralizing [third] force – or in other words, life conspires to keep a person just where he is: conditioned, superficial, and in Gurdjieff’s unlovely estimate, “a machine.” When that person commits himself to a path of awakening and places the Work in the position formerly occupied by unconscious living, a change begins to take place: personality ceases to run the show and the person’s real but heretofore latent essence begins to emerge as the active force” (p. 29). This week pay attention to the play of first and second force within yourself. . . what do you notice about this process within your own unfolding?