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

Hello wisdom network, for our Friday Inner Tasks I will be posting some simple themes for us to consider in relation to Gurdjieff’s Being Obligolnian Strivings from Beezlebub’s Tales to his Grandson. I had a sense inwardly last year that I wanted to come back to these and focus in on them this year and that has been reinforced by their emergence in many recent contexts I have been in, including the Wisdom School on The Encounter with Evil, so I thought it may be good to bring them here as well.

Simply put the Obligolnian Strivings were meant to assist humanity, who had gotten off track and sleepy (mechanical and habitual in their ways of thinking, reactivity, tensions, and ways of being), operating from less than the whole of themselves and stunting their potential to access objective feeling andthinking. The Obligolnian Strivings were meant to provide an opportunity for a conscious shock so that humans would increase their level of functioning thus preventing them from getting further off track. They still give us helpful ways of working individually, collectively, and for the Whole to raise our level of consciousness to a true human being. If you can let go of any negative associations with the words obligation and striving, you will see they speak of our responsibility in the reciprocal feeding of the cosmos and of the conscious work (effort) and intentional suffering (surrender) that this responsibility requires. They are both interconnected and cumulative guidelines that we can revisit our entire lifetime. We will spend a week or so with each of them but here they are all together:

Obligolnian Strivings

The first striving: to have in one’s ordinary being-existence everything satisfying and really necessary for the planetary body.

The second striving: to have a constant and unflagging instinctive need to perfect oneself in the sense of Being.

The third: the conscious striving to know more and more about the laws of world-creation and world maintenance.

The fourth: the striving, from the beginning of one’s existence, to pay as quickly for one’s arising and individuality, in order to be free afterward to lighten as much as possible the sorrow of our Common Father.

The fifth: the striving always to assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings, both those similar to oneself and those of other forms, up to the degree of the sacred “Martfotai,” that is, up to the degree of self-individuality.

For this first week, our task will be to linger with the theme of the first striving: to have in one’s ordinary being-existence everything satisfying and really necessary for the planetary body. Consider what everything satisfying and really necessary for this world 48 body—in relation to food, water, shelter, clothing, provisions, nervous system regulation, mental health, emotional regulation, etc—may mean. When you consider basic needs in these areas, not what you think or feel strongly you must have or what you are convinced you don’t deserve, what are they? Where do you tend towards access and where do you tend towards withholding?