Here are a couple of more facts: the universe consists of about 88% Hydrogen, 11% Helium and for all the other elements combined in toto, about 1%.
Is it any wonder why Gurdjieff would have used the word hydrogen to speak of matter?
I want you to get this simple fact into your head -- a "hydrogen" is the word for a matter, period. I am looking at one of the speakers on my computer stereo. That speaker is a hydrogen.
I am considering my right foot -- in fact, my entire body. My right foot and my whole body are both hydrogens. Everything and anything I can think of is a hydrogen. That's the first part of Mr. Gurdjieff's alchemy -- a chemistry which is objective.
Now we go on to the second element which is Helium. It has an atomic number of two. Helium is the second-most abundant element in the universe. Although in terms of numbers there are about eight times as many hydrogen atoms as helium atoms, helium and hydrogen together account for 99% of the observed matter in the universe.
To me, this is as strange an idea as the one Mr. Gurdjieff postulates about the Moon -- more about that later, but that what I look at, touch, smell, hear, taste or intuit is 99% hydrogen and helium is pretty damn amazing.
Mr. Gurdjieff is silent on helium. His approach to alchemy (a term which I will use as shorthand for the more proper phrase objective alchemical chemistry) only uses four elements -- hydrogen, and three others that we will be getting to shortly.
I am going to take a wild and audacious path. I am going to speak about matters upon which Mr. Gurdjieff remained silent. For those who are followers of Mr. Gurdjieff's work, this audaciousness may seem ill advised, even sacrilegious -- to have the nerve to think that I can add anything to or explicate facts about objective reality and authentic objective chemistry which Mr. Gurdjieff left unsaid; and yet I have no choice, as the mandate to teach for the benefit of all mankind, and to help Mr. Gurdjieff, as he is no longer here to speak for himself, has ripened and is poised to fall from the tree.
Hydrogen is atomic number one. It is matter.
Helium is atomic number two. It is the appearance of the opposites. Since the Tantras (the body of sacred writings connected with the other teaching I follow -- the Shaivite) proclaim that three is the first number (and this brings us closer to the beginning of the discussion of the three forces or Gunas), the appearance of opposites did not need to be spoken of, when Mr. Gurdjieff first outlined his teaching in 1914 and 1915, but now it does need to be spoken of.
Here is the beginning of the book of Genesis:
In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth (opposites already). Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the Waters.
And God said "let there be Light," and there was Light. God saw that the Light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day" and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning -- the first day.
So out of One is created Two. Helium was one of the elements produced by the Big Bang, along with hydrogen and lithium. And stars like the Sun produce helium by the fusion of hydrogen nuclei. In doing so by the fusion of hydrogen nuclei, massive amounts of energy are released. Later we'll talk about a lovely anthropomorphic way of looking at how the Sun works, but for now we return to Helium. I am going to make a Proclamation. You should not believe me. You should take it for what it is -- an outrageous statement which makes no sense except that the more you think about it the more sense it makes, because it takes information that is Objectively True, and it presents it to you in a way that ( I am doing my very best to attenuate and minimize cognitive dissonance in you, my esteemed reader) you should have very little trouble understanding, even if you aren't a chemist, and even if you are a fabulously intelligent chemist -- you are going to find the following proclamation to be ridiculous:
HELIUM IS THE LAUGHTER OF THE UNIVERSE.
That's why Mr. Gurdjieff was silent upon it. Some of you may be familiar with the Chinese spiritual classic which has been translated into more languages more often than any other book except for the Judeo Christian Bible, and which is called the Dao De Ching. The Dao de Ching is one of the most sublime statements of "seeing reality" and it's deepest laws that has ever been written, and it is written in only 5000 Chinese characters. For those of you who are editors, to imagine a book still selling like hotcakes 2500 years later and which is written with only 5000 words, would be publishing house heaven.
One of the chapters (you can find it for yourself -- I am not big on "pp" or on locating quotes or providing footnotes -- I speak on my own authority. I do not need a Dao de Ching -- but you do) says the following (OK, Chapter 42 -- OK? Now get off my back!! (:-->)):
The Dao bear one; one bear two; two bare three; three bear 10,000 thing. 10,000 thing carry Yin and embrace Yang; mix force to serve -- as Harmony...
That was a word by word translation from the Chinese ideograms and pictograms which serve as "words" (they are not in fact, "words," but rather richly valenced conceptual symbols, so much so that there is a "well-known" phrase among scholars of classical Chinese writing which says: "To know what the first word in a book of classical Chinese writing means, you have to have read the whole book!" What this means is that the ideograms and pictograms contain all possible meanings all at once when they are written down. The following ideograms or pictograms serve to narrow the "meaning" of the first Chinese character. By the time you read a sentence or two, the original first word would have been narrowed and delineated in its meaning so that you would have a pretty good idea what it meant. (The idea that you need to have read the whole book is designed as a shock, to remind the scholar of classical Chinese writing of the extraordinarily multi-valenced properties of these ancient Chinese characters -- by the way, modern Chinese writing has lost much of this significance -- being practically an entirely different language)
Now here is a more user friendly reading of the same chapter 42 of the Dao de Ching, and please forgive me and indulge me in my previous lengthy detour and aside from the point I am trying to get across. Trust me only and as far as to believe that I still know exactly what I want to say and that after I'm finished you will have a document which will help you and in fact, if you are of reasonable intelligence and you read it with attentiveness, I can warranty and guarantee that you will know exactly what I want you to know about the matters of which we are speaking, with the hope that the "knowing" will percolate into a kind of gnosis, ultimately reaching your deepest and most important interior parts all the way down to your bone marrow. One of my personal aims in writing this blog is that by following it and participating in it, you will be gently assisted in a restructuring of your entire organism, so that ultimately, you may become a Real Man or Woman -- what the Chinese call the True Man, and what Mr. Gurdjieff called a Man without quotation marks.
Dao De Ching, Chapter 42:
The Path of the Dao traces a single line (the "tai ji") and gives birth to One. --------------;
One gives Birth to Two;
Two gives Birth to Three;
Three gives Birth to the 10,000 things
(a phrase which means simply a colloquialism or idiomatic speech meaning the multiplicity of "things", in other words, the 10,000 things is a phrase that stands for everything.
All things carry Yin and embrace Yang; (we have not explained Yin and Yang yet -- we will get to it)
All things mix these Forces together to create Harmony.
Translation by the author. (rlnyc)
There we are again, back to music. After all, what does the word Harmony imply?
I was an only child, until my half brother was born but I was already 13, so you might as well say that I am an only child. Only children tend to be more intelligent -- they get more attention from their parents and their left more time to ponder. In my case, trust me a little, I have been pondering from the very first moment -- right out of the womb, and I remember it and I trust my memories. I have tried everything under the sun to go to the brink of consciousness and unconsciousness and for those Gurdjieffian's who don't like to talk about or feel threatened by drug use or the use of intoxicants as sacred tools, I would point them in the direction of Rene Daumal, who wrote Mount Analog and who is considered to be a highly honored member of the Work, his personal teachers being Madame De Saltzman and Mr. Gurdjieff himself. He spent his youth getting so stoned that he would knock himself out, all for the purpose of finding out where the brink of consciousness was, and if he could stay conscious while being knocked unconscious. I consider Rene Daumal an essence friend, even though he died in 1944 from tuberculosis.
So an only child has no one to play with. That's hydrogen. 1 electron. Atomic weight 1.00794
and atomic number one.
Helium is atomic number two -- 2 electrons, with an atomic weight of 4.002602.
Now the electrons have someone to play with. They are happy and they laugh. Not only that, but with two electrons they can now play the game of opposites, which is the first GAME of the universe. Or perhaps I should be more accurate and say that in the Shivaite tradition which I follow and two vehicles in which I ride (Yoga and Samkya), this game which the universe plays (or one could say is the enjoyment of the Creator), is born of the separation of opposites. Remember Genesis -- God separated the light from the darkness -- the white marbles from the black marbles. And then he separated the other opposites for more fun.
WITH THE TWO ELECTRONS STANDING FOR THE PLAY OF OPPOSITES, AND WHIRLING AROUND DOING THEIR THING, HELIUM IS PERMANENTLY HAPPY -- SECOND CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE. AFTER THE PRIMORDIAL CREATOR SAID "LET THERE BE NUMBER AND RATIO, " HYDROGEN AND HELIUM ARE THE RESULT -- THE OCTAVE OF HYDROGEN, IN A RATIO OF 1:2. (actually it would be two octaves up, being a ratio in atomic weight of: 1.00794/4.002602. Since the human vocal folds are about double the length in a male as in a female voice - which is why women have higher voices than men), it would be reasonable to say that the second born child Helium is a girl. Perhaps SHE IS ALSO KNOWN BY THOSE WHO KNOW AS SHAKTI.