Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just Human

I have decided to forgo my perfectionism and to write more on the blog even though it does not conform to the curriculum I intended it to. That means that I will speak extemporaneously on subjects which interest me. I hope that they interest you too, and I hope that you are able to derive benefit from them if you should happen upon these words.

Today I'm going to speak of buffers. This is a term that Mr. Gurdjieff used to describe the kind of callous or cushion or shock absorber that exists between parts of ourselves which are incompatible. I will make a very easy to understand example.

A man sets the alarm clock for 6 a.m. -- not because he has to wake up, but because he is sick of sleeping late and wishes to get some things done in the morning. But at six o'clock when the alarm clock rings a very different man begins to wake up and either hits the snooze button or turns off the alarm clock, or throws it across the room. In between these two sub personalities is a buffer -- a device so that the two sub personalities will not meet, because if they did so they would drive each other crazy. And they belong to the same body, so if all the sub personalities within a single person were to meet each other as if at a cocktail party it would simply be mayhem.

In order for a man not to be subject to being driven mad by himself, buffers are developed, which act as walls between different rooms in a man. These buffers are invisible -- they cannot be seen by the man nor should they be if a man wishes to be ordinary, and as the Lord saith: "man's name is Legion".

Even if a man begins to work on himself he cannot see these buffers, just as you cannot be in more than one room in your home at the same time. Occasionally a homeowner will have a wall broken down so that there would be one larger room, for whatever purpose, but within a man's self there are many rooms each with walls between them. Think of the trouble it takes just to knock down one wall between two rooms and then to clean up the mess and make the two rooms into one real good looking room. I mean, come on, you cannot just break down the walls and have debris all over the place -- you've got to clean up after yourself, scrape and paint what used to be the barrier between the rooms, and then you've probably got to re-furnish everything, because the two rooms may be completely different in nature -- one a living room and one a bedroom, or one a bedroom and one a sewing room or library.

That's my contribution for today -- or least for this morning.

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