Gurdjieff, Weor, etc.

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GURDJIEFF ON SEX

[quote=Marnia] Did Gurdjieff have any useful things to say about sex? [/quote]

It is such a plain, straight-shot question, but it has really got me tripping over myself just trying to give you a sensible answer!

Gurdjieff could consider something simple and--through the lens of his vast metaphysical system--reflect something infinitely more complex than one had first imagined was there.

And yet, for the dizzying, all-encompassing depth and scope of Gurdjieff's worldview, he did tend, on the whole, to see things in entirely mechanistic terms. He imagined man as a machine and the universe as an enormous clock-work mechanism. His jaw-dropping feat was to actually describe how such a maddeningly complex system functioned. (The human being, for instance, is described as being composed of seven, semi-autonomous centers, all of which vie for control of his entire being. And the human being is further described as being a conglomeration of thousands of little "selves" which each, in turn, command our attention.)

If Gurdjieff said much about sex, very little of it was written down. The twelfth chapter of "In Search of the Miraculous" (written by Gurdjieff's sometime student, P.D. Ouspensky) contains, to my knowledge, the most complete statement that Gurdjieff ever made on the subject of sex. There he discusses, rather generally, the relationship of the sex center to the our other "lower story" centers (the lower intellectual, the lower emotional, the moving, and the instinctive centers). However, his primary concern, as always, seems to be the creation of a center of gravity (a singular "self" fused together out of all those little "selves") in us, which will, in turn, be able to use that sex center (as well as all of the other centers) properly.

In the chapter I have just mentioned, Gurdjieff argues that "excess or perversion... are comparatively innocent forms of [the] abuse of sex."

What he considers to me be more serious, and suggests may be the cause of a great many of our psychological problems, is the other lower centers co-opting the energy the sex center--which is inappropriate: every center should work with its own energy and in its own "natural" way. He describes the result of other centers co-opting the energy of the sex center:

"The energy of the sex center in the work of the thinking, emotional, and moving centers can be recognized by a particular 'taste,' by a particular fervor, by a vehemence which the nature of the affair concerned does not call for."

For example, he says that the intellectual center, in co-opting the sexual energy, is "always fighting something, disputing, criticizing, creating new subjective theories." The emotional center, under the influence of the sexual energy, "preaches[...] abstinence, asceticism, or the fear and horror of sin, hell, the torment of sinners, eternal fire, all this with the energy of the sex center. ... Or on the other hand it works up revolutions, robs, burns, kills, again with the same energy."

But, according to Gurdjieff, the other centers would not co-opt the energy of the sex center if there were not so much of its energy left unexpended, which is to say, if the sex center were utilized in its proper way. But what is the proper way to use the sex center? Well, unfortunately, he only tells us that the other lower-story centers are not to interfere with it, and we are left to try to figure out the sex center's proper function from that. But before we turn to trying to decipher what that policy of non-interference might mean, is there anything we can glean from his foregoing comments?

As already noted, he considers the impulse to preach abstinence or asceticism to be a symptom of an errant co-opting of the sexual center's pent-up energy by the lower emotional center. And in this we have some agreement: rigid self-denial and self-shaming are certainly neurotic! But that does not mean that the diametric opposite (indulgence and pursuit of orgasm) is the best option either.

And yet, recall Gurdjieff's downplaying of the gravity of "excess or perversion." I think that might indicate that Gurdjieff's view of the proper use of the sex center lies somewhere off the middle path of pleasurable but non-orgasmic sex, namely toward the "enjoy orgasm, but not to excess" end of the spectrum, right before you reach the "you can never have too much sex" position. I think, implied in his idea of an excess of sex energy, is the idea that pent-up semen is dangerous for the human male and that it must be expended in a typical, orgasmic sexual act. And this thinking was, of course, consistent with the contemporary Freudian psychology of his time. Also, I can find nothing in Gurdjieff on the question of seminal emission and whether it is to be avoided. So, presumably, he saw orgasm (as his contemporaries did) as part of the normal and "right" function of the sex center. Also, though I do not wish to dwell on it, I think it is of no small concern that Gurdjieff is believed to have slept with a number of his students and even to have fathered children by a few of them.

As for Gurdjieff's contention that there should be no interference of the other centers (or their energies) in the function of the sex center, let us see if this helps us get an idea of Gurdjieff's notion of a proper function of the sex center.

From this rule of non-interference, I gather that, for Gurdjieff, the ideal sexual intercourse is supposed to be devoid of either sentimentality or mental distraction (as this would entail the involvement of the emotional and the intellectual centers). But perhaps most interesting is that in Gurdjieff's picture of the ideal sex function, there is a complete absence of the influence of the moving and instinctive centers as well. In other words, the act could not be animal or unconscious in any way. In this context, sexual acts are not, perhaps, indulgent. But neither are they loving. They are, for lack of a better analogy, mostly like very carefully conducted laboratory experiments... which is sort of the flavor of the Fourth Way when it comes to most anything.

I could add that Gurdjieff claimed that the sex center, used in the proper way, could aid one in forming that new center of gravity from which would emerge that culmination of the "Great Work": a fused, singular "self." But then, the whole point of the Fourth Way is that it uses all of the centers, so naturally the sex center would be included somehow...

He also says, very much in passing, that the sexual center would naturally dominate the human being if not for the presence of a number of psychological buffers which keep it from acting up. (Again, I am hearing the contemporary Freudian psychology of the day.)

So, in summary, while I think he incorporated the subject of sex into his anthropology in a very interesting way, I don't think that Gurdjieff said much about sex that is really "useful" for our purposes. But he certainly left some room open for later students to develop more complex doctrines about sex and its relationship to the "Great Work."

GURDJIEFF & WEOR

Now, on that point, you also asked:

[quote=Marnia] Let me know what you think of Weor. I find him a bit extreme...and a bit too likely to produce shameful feelings...but his work is immensely popular in Latin countries. [/quote]

Weor was a brilliant synthesizer, not unlike Gurdjieff and many other influential teachers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is interesting to mention Weor in the context of Gurdjieff. After having read about a third of "Perfect Matrimony," I can confidently assert that Weor borrows several of Gurdjieff's unique ideas wholesale, even employing Gurdjieff's unique terminology. He talks for instance of the four ways, even giving them the same names: the way of the fakir, the way of the monk, and the way of the yogi. Weor even describes his method as the "fourth way." Also Weor describes our sense of identity as illusory, and says that we are fractured into hundreds of thousands of little "I's" which need to be fused into one "I." This is taken verbatim from Gurdjieff's system.

Though Weor conveniently employs the most recognizable tools and images of several occult systems (the Qabalistic tree of life, the tantric chakra system, the Roman Catholic church's hierarchical structure, etc.) Weor explicitly states that without sexual magic, it is all for nought and will accomplish nothing. So, while he depends upon, for example, Fourth Way metaphysics to explain his own system, Weor then turns around and says that all gurus (including, presumably, Gurdjieff) who did not employ sexual magick as a part of their systems, will have to be taught it by the Great White Lodge brotherhood on the Astral plane...

WEOR & SHAME

Weor adopts a very authoritarian tone. I think the very best of what Weor says is already embodied in the aim of this website and in "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow."

Weor talks like a prophet: someone delivering a message from on high. Rarely do messages from on high come in the form of a friendly suggestion or a colorful, witty anecdote. So, naturally, there is a kind of polarizing effect when Weor adopts such a traditional modality for his communication. Invoking the image of a prophet lends a certain ambience and authority to his message. But I agree that he can also come across, at times, as condemnatory. I think that that is unfortunate, even if the core of his message (love and non-orgasmic sex) is wonderful.

You and Gary, on the other hand, are just honest, ordinary people, sharing your experiences and observations. That is a much more amiable tone and it is probably better suited to this millennium.

MOURAVIEFF

It is interesting to note that, while Gurdjieff apparently didn't develop the doctrines surrounding sex beyond what we have already discussed, one of his students most certainly did. Boris Mouravieff wrote an amazing three volume treatise called, simply, "Gnosis." In it, he lays out a more complete account of the Fourth Way system than any other ever published (and I include Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous" here). Instead of crediting Gurdjieff as the originator of the system, Mouravieff claimed that his work derived from esoteric Greek Orthodox Christianity. Gurdjieff too, was known to call his system "esoteric Christianity" from time to time. (Nevertheless, it is beyond question that Mouravieff had contact with Gurdjieff during the period when Gurdjieff was living in Constantinople.)

As for what Mouravieff contributes to the doctrine of sex, after describing the fourth way in detail, Mouravieff then describes what he calls the "fifth way" which he explicitly identifies with (in his own words) "courtly love." The bulk of his three volume work, then, is about how the polar couple must work together to achieve immortality and the creation of respective fused "selves." (And this is described within the framework and metaphysical terminology originally introduced by Gurdjieff.)

Brilliant though he was, Mouravieff can be as authoritarian as Weor in places. But what I find most objectionable in his work is his insistence that we must find our perfect polar compliment, and then, even if we happen to be married to someone else, find some way to be with this person, carefully untangling the gordian knot of our lives to accomplish this feat without producing too much damage for all concerned. I would say that this is a serious drawback to his conception of courtly love, but I will refrain from analyzing it further.

MOURAVIEFF & WEOR

It seems that Weor knew nothing of Mouravieff or his brilliant developments of the Fourth Way doctrines. Weor uses Gurdjieff's terminology without modification, for instance, but never makes mention of a "fifth way." On the contrary, he explicitly identifies his methodology with the "fourth way." And Weor never even mentions the idea of needing to find one's exact polar compliment, whether to endorse or condemn such a notion.

So, now you have my answers to two of your questions, Marnia, and then some.

Comments

Fascinating

I'm really glad I asked. Hadn't heard of Mouravieff. Now I'm curious to have a look. Yes, I agree that Gurdjieff seems to have liked his orgasms and making babies. Smile I didn't know about his dalliances with devotees, but I did note that he repeatedly ended up bankrupt, and sometimes bankrolled by others. That was a sign that he was possibly not creating feelings of inner abundance...but who can be sure??

Thanks for taking the time to share your learning and analysis. I'll link to this thread from the Weor material on the site.

Two Points

Point 1: Gurdjieff's Sexual Relationships with Some Female Students

I am providing the following sources, not because I wish to cast aspersions on the legacy of an important teacher, but because I think it is important for our understanding of his views on sex. You can Google "Gurdjieff's children" to find information. Also, these two books (among others) deal with the subject:

"Shadows of Heaven: Gurdjieff and Toomer"
http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Heaven-Paul-Beekman-Taylor/dp/1578630347

"Gurdjieff's America: Mediating the Miraculous"
http://www.amazon.com/Gurdjieffs-America-Mediating-Miraculous-Gurdjieff/...

(And to be frank, not everyone acknowledges that Gurdjieff had sexual relationships with some of his female students. It is a contested issue.)

Point 2: Mouravieff & Ouspensky

In my initial post I felt it important to underscore that Mouravieff had actually had contact with Gurdjieff, despite Mouravieff's claims that he derived the totality of his material from esoteric Greek Orthodoxy. I was so focused on pointing out that particular link (between Gurdjieff and Mouravieff) that I forgot to mention that Mouravieff was in actually in personal contact with Ouspensky for many, many years: I believe until the latter's death.

So whatever Mouravieff might not have gleaned from his conversations with Gurdjieff in the Constantinople period, he was probably able to suss out via conversations with his friend, Ouspensky, in the intervening years prior to his publication of "Gnosis."

Excerpt of Mouravieff's thoughts on Courtly Love

Note: a "polar being" seems to be a sort of "twin soul."

"The romance, by which Christian society expressed the principle of reciprocal choice, reached its climax in the Middle Ages. In spite of the decline it has known since then, and in spite of a current tendency to return to regressive forms of relations between the sexes, it still remains the avowed ideal of our society.

Is it not exact, then, to speak of the death of romance? A revolution is occurring silently which will replace the free romance, distinctive mark of the Christian era, with the singular romance characteristic of the Holy Spirit. Liberated from servitude to procreation, this romance of tomorrow is called on to cement the indissoluble union between two strictly polar beings, a union which will assure their integration in the bosom of the Absolute. As St. Paul says: "Nevertheless, neither is the woman without the man, nor man without the woman in the Lord."

The vision of such a romance has haunted the highest minds for thousands of years. We find it in platonic love, the basis of the singular romance in the myths of Androgyne man; of Orpheus and Eurydice; of Pygmalion and Galatea... This is the aspiration of the human heart, which cries in secrecy because of its great loneliness. This romance forms the essential aim of esoteric work. Here is that love which will unite man to that being who is unique for him, the Sister-Wife, the glory of man, as he will be the glory of God. Having entered into the light of Tabor, no longer two, but one drinking at the fount of true Love, the transfigurer: the conqueror of Death.

Love is the Alpha and Omega of life. All else has only secondary significance.

Man is born with the Alpha. It is the intention of the present work to show the path which leads towards the Omega.

CEC - from Tomato U.

Tomato,

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and analysis. I feel like I should get some Continuing Education Credits. :)

It's been many years since I have read any of Gurdjieff. I became much enamored with the writings of P.D. Ouspensky when I was active in the Unity Church, but have not gone back and read any of them for years.

Thanks again for your contributions.

D.S.

Fascinating article on Gurdjieff and the sexual centre

I found this site from an email alert I have working with Google, Gurdjieff being the "keyword". I was more than delighted, to read your ideas and your take on the manifestations of the sexual centre. I am an avid follower of the Fourth way, although I prefer the Ouspensky and Nicoll approach, over other disciples and teachers.

The cooperative working of moving, instinctive and sexual centres, is the most common place "triad" that mankind can use, given his present state of consciousness. When I say use, my meaning goes to the study of the three forces. These three centres are the most mechanical of all the human centres and as such, can be regarded as the "base magnetism" which handles the care, propagation, mobility of the human "animal". Nicoll once said that it was impossible to understand the "ugly" manifestations of the sex centre, unless one could equally understand, the negative parts of emotional centre. One centre can use too much force, thereby draining force in a way that harms the balance of a person so identified. In my explorations of the kundalini (Kundabuffer as Gurdjieff calls it), I found ways to channel that energy into sex centre manifestation. This led to surprising results both pro and con. In my estimation, this is where Samael aun Weor and Gurdjieff parted company. Weor was for further exploration, while Gurdjieff warned against it. If we consider orgasm and its effects, we see the manifestation of higher energies such as "si 12". Prolonged or multiple orgasm, can lead one to a greater understanding of what is meant by "Emptying the chalice", which is also what Terrence Mckenna referred to in his use of DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). Perhaps we can reach it naturally, then again, perhaps not. The jury is still out in my corner.

Thank you for sharing your views, it is such a pleasure to read the ideas of someone else interested in the "work". I would like to follow along , if you don't mind.

Eso

Hi Eso

Thanks for chiming in. Although discussions here range all over the place and I look forward to hearing more about your adventures, I (as your hostess) will mention that the impetus for this site was a very gentle form of lovemaking that doesn't force the kundalini upward. For more, see http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/neotaoism_and_karezza

Meanwhile, I asked an Italian friend who wrote a book about Gurdjieff if he wanted to add anything to this thread. He's too busy to participate, but he shared these remarks:

I’ve read the thread, and I find it interesting, particularly the post by Tomato, which does actually say, on the subject of sex in the Fourth Way, more than there is in my book.

I could add a couple of things, though, which you can post if you find them worthwhile. Gurdjieff has been quoted as saying that orgasmic sex is a way of cleaning the emotional center of its waste energy. In that sense, according to him, having sex is comparable to going to the toilet. But I’m not sure you’d want to post this…

The other, possibly more interesting thing, is a development on the spiritual use of sex which I’ve learned from a Fourth Way teacher from Argentina I studied with for a couple of years in the Nineties. I’ve written extensively about him in my book. His name is Livio Vinardi (to my knowledge, he’s still alive and theaching), and he says his teacher studied in the same esoteric School as Gurdjieff.

According to Vinardi’s version of Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way teaching, sexual energy is the most potent and refined energy our body produces. It is a creative energy, and it can create in three ways. Through common orgasmic sex, it can create another life on the planet, as we all know, while through the artistic expression it can create works of art. But it’s also possible to use sexual energy in a third, more advanced way, by storing it with particular exercises and behaviors, and making it go “upwards”, instead of “downwards” through the penis.

By going upwards, it can cause another kind of erection, available to both men and women, what Vinardi called “the erection of the pineal gland” – instead of the penis – and a sort of “spiritual orgasm”. This way, instead of creating a new body for another individual on the material plane, the sexual energy can create other, more refined bodies for the person herself. They are the “higher bodies” Gurdjieff talks about in his books and speeches.

From what I know about “the Work”, indirectly through Gurdjieff and more directly through Vinardi, the above mentioned exercises that help storing the sexual energy for spiritually creative purposes are not specifically sexual. But among the behaviors, there are more directly sexual ones, like not masturbating and not dispersing your own sexual energy with too many different partners.

Hope this can be useful.

The Internet Is Not For Porn

Totally off topic...

I love the internet, it's great how someone can be alerted to a discussion on a random site and then join in. Yeah Tomato you seem to have quite some knowledge there.

I had to look up what the pineal gland is and it regulates melatonin which is to do with the sleep cycle, and seems to be inhibited by light hitting the retina, so I'm guessing meditating with your eyes closed could help induce melatonin release which probably kick starts some of the defragging procedures of the mind.

Yes, melatonin helps with

Yes, melatonin helps with "defragging" the mind. Can't think of a better word, since the DMT that our pineal gland produces is regulated by melatonin, and DMT is the ultimate defragger. Lucid dreaming is the best way to defrag. Each time you dream, you're on a DMT trip.

Gurdjieff & Sex

Clarification

I apologize in advance if some of this is off-topic, but the personal stuff is important to me. I am not an expert on the Fourth Way. In my introductory blog entry,

[quote=I] With respect to religious traditions, I'm a pretty serious student. [/quote]

And that much is true. And I certainly do have an interest in the ideas of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Mouravieff, et al, as well an interest in altogether different traditions. But I wish to underscore that that's not, for the greater part, why I am here.

I requested permission to blog on this website in order to focus primarily upon my personal journey and upon my struggle with pornography and sexual addiction/compulsion (mostly in the form of masturbation). I genuinely believe that there are spiritual components to this struggle and to what it is I am aiming at: sexual continence, sexual sobriety, and, ultimately, establishing an intimate, loving relationship with someone who understands these same values and their significance for me.

While I have no formal training, whether in historical research, generally, or in these men's ideas, specifically, I do tend to become obsessive about studying such things. And I'm actually a little frightened of getting overly-absorbed in this thread. I did not anticipate such interest in this subject. I was only answering Marnia's questions, which she posed to me in her comments on my introductory blog entry.

Gurdjieff & Weor: Zoccatelli's Take

Having said that, I want to provide a link to an exceptionally well-researched article, which discusses the relationship of Gurdjieff to Weor. (PierLuigi Zoccatelli makes a fairly compelling case for continuity between them.) And then I would like to make a few comments.

http://www.cesnur.org/2005/pa_zoccatelli.htm

The Limits of Our Investigation

Now, I would like to say a few things about this thread.

It is inevitable that, with a subject as complex as the Fourth Way (complex from its very inception and complicated further still by its various elaborations in competing schools under innovative teachers, including cross-pollinations with other traditions going on almost a century now), one is going to have some difficulty in clarifying subtle points of its teacher's original doctrine with any certainty.

I offered my two cents with respect to what I felt could be derived from Gurdjieff--at least from his public addresses--on the subject of sex. And that, as I think it turns out, is relatively little. As to what he may have taught in private or only to high-level initiates or only to 'inner circle' members, I must confess I know nothing... or, at least, nothing more the rest of the population who wasn't there.

I suppose such discussions as we are having resemble, in some respect, those discussions pertaining to whether Jesus taught a secret doctrine of sexual initiation or spiritual coupling, which the inner circle of his closest disciples consciously chose to conceal from the lower level initiates of the church at the time (perhaps until one was deemed worthy or advanced enough to handle such information). Whether or not something like that did take place, the earliest extant records of Jesus's sayings, unfortunately, do not tell us one way or another--nor would we expect them to, if such published sayings were meant for consumption by those in the 'outer circle' of the church at the time. So, when we finally read, say, in the Gospel of Phillip, that Jesus used to kiss Mary Magdalene on the mouth and preferred her above all the other disciples, we have no way of knowing whether this is a later interpolation or whether it is a glimmer of something heretofore held in secret (since Phillip's gospel appears something like 100 to 170 years after the latest dates proposed for the Gospel of Mark, which is unanimously considered to be the earliest extant record of Jesus's sayings).

How, then, are we to determine what Gurdjieff's original (secret?) doctrines about sex were, when he said so very little on the topic?

Zoccatelli, in the above-linked article, acknowledges that:

[O]ne aspect of Gurdjieff’s teaching [work with the sex center] is not generally held to be either at the center or on the fringes of the “self- realizing” practices performed by the pupils of the “forest school,” [i.e., the Fourth Way tradition] or of their theoretical preoccupations.

It is not until much later that people like Weor or (again, even later) Vinardi, began to raise some suspicion that work with the sex center may have played a more central role in Gurdjieff's teachings than had, heretofore, been disclosed to the general public.

But Zoccatelli says something else here, which I think bears some consideration:

[W]e can but suggest that an attentive reading of Weor will lead us to “reread” Gurdjieff from a perspective not usually taken by the many and often in-depth studies regarding him.

It is definitely interesting how reading Weor (or Mouravieff for that matter) can alter one's reading of Gurdjieff. But I wonder if this isn't somewhat like the early Christian church's experience of--having embraced Jesus as the Messiah, and now re-examining the Old Testament--suddenly finding Jesus everywhere in it, whilst their contemporaries who remained committed to the Pharisaic Jewish faith saw nothing of the kind in their sacred scriptures.

Similarly, the majority of Fourth Way schools see Mouravieff and Weor's "insights" into the Work as pure fancy, precisely because these writers seem fixated on work with the sex center: something which traditional Fourth Way schools don't perceive in the corpus of their founder. Perhaps neither Mouravieff nor Weor chose to acknowledge Gurdjieff as their source because they knew that their interpretations of his work, however profound, would be mercilessly criticized by the established Fourth Way schools.

Even having taken such a precaution, it seems that the eminent Fourth Way teacher, William Patrick Patterson has written a book entitled "Taking with the Left Hand," critiquing the various "heresies" of the Fourth Way, in which he includes a dissection of Mouravieff:

http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Left-Hand-Mouravieff-Phenomenon/dp/1879514109

But for those who have been deeply touched by the visions of either Mouravieff or Weor, Patterson's critique is likely to fall on deaf ears. Or rather, Patterson will be accused of "seeing but not perceiving" and "hearing but not really understanding" the deeper secrets of the Fourth Way (or in Mouravieff's case, the "fifth way.") Wink

Gurdjieff & Weor: On Kundabuffer & Kundalini

(Note: I did not mention this subject initially as I was dealing with Gurdjieff's views on "sex" and, for Gurdjieff at least, "kundabuffer" is unrelated to sex.)

For Gurdjieff, "kundabuffer" was an organ placed in man in order to obstruct his ability to attain consciousness (as explained in chapter 21 of "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson"). The "kundabuffer" in its no-longer-functioning state was called, according to Gurdjieff, "kundalina." However, while "kundabuffer" and "kundalina" might therefore be seen as opposites (and I think there is just a tiny bit of possible ambiguity here), Gurdjieff goes on at length in Chapter 11 of "In Search of the Miraculous" describing how "kundalini" (spelled as we would expect it to be this time) "is not anything desirable or useful for man's development" and also that "kundalini is a force put into men in order to keep them in their present state." Given these statements, it is really impossible to distinguish between the sense of the terms "kundalini/kundalina" and "kundabuffer" in Gurdjieff. In every case these terms represent some sort of force which prevents a human being from awakening.

However, as Zoccatelli notes (and as was pointed out by Esoman), according to Gurdjieff, the sex center works with a high energy called "si 12" (the details of which are beyond the scope of this discussion). Gurdjieff says that this material is present in the semen and that it is important in the construction of the astral body. But he never calls this "si 12" energy either "kundalini/kundalina" or "kundabuffer." On the contrary, for him, "kundalini" (whatever it is) is entirely different from the generative/regenerative energy operating in the sex center (represented by "si 12"). So, if we allow that Gurdjieff could be using the term "kundalini" idiosyncratically (which is to say 'wrongly' from the majority perspective), we may be able to reconcile (to some degree) Weor and Gurdjieff--since Weor uses the term "kundalini"in its traditional sense.

But, without allowing for such distinctions, Gurdjieff and Weor seem hopelessly irreconcilable on the subject of "kundalini." (Interestingly this issue is not addressed by Zoccatelli at all in his otherwise excellent article.) Weor employs the term "kundalini" synonymously with the term "sex energy." And (at least in "Perfect Matrimony") Weor vehemently criticizes those who have warned of danger or urged caution with respect to the activation or employment of the kundalini energy, though he refuses to name specifically whom he is castigating. (He does tell the story of how one such anonymous teacher, who recommended caution with respect to kundalini, had to be corrected by the White Lodge on the astral plane).

Also, I have found an excerpt from one of Weor's books, "The Elimination of Satan's Tail," wherein he explicitly contrasts "kundalini" and "kundabuffer" as designating two diametrically opposed manifestations of the sex energy: one good and one evil. Again, this is in contradistinction to Gurdjieff who apparently used both terms to designate a single thing, and a thing unrelated to sex energy at that.

http://gnosticteachings.org/content/view/288/98/

But for that great synthesizer, Weor, who employs the term "kundalini" in its natural, traditional sense, perhaps he felt obligated to monkey with Gurdjieff's definitions in order to bring them back into line with every other tradition that I know of.

Post-Script

For me, it does not really matter so much where Weor or Mouravieff got their ideas, or even if they made most of them up. After all, a lot of Gurdjieff's biographical details, particularly in "Meetings with Remarkable Men," are dubitable in the extreme. And no one really knows how many of Gurdjieff's ideas were derived from secret mystery schools, read in old books, or concocted in his own brain. But wherever Gurdjieff, Weor, and Mouravieff each got their ideas: whether it was through a process of divinely guided intuitive leaps or through secret oral transmissions passed down from teacher to student (though I suspect it was more the former and less the latter), what matters to me is my own sense of the value of their insights in the light of everything else I have learned and experienced in my life.

If people really want to discuss this further (and I get the impression some do), perhaps I'll check out this thread from time to time (and contribute if I can), but, again, I can tend to get obsessed by trying to puzzle out such things as this and I really think I need to re-focus my attention on journaling my progress and my struggles.

More info

Hello. I wanted to add some information to your post.

Samael Aun Weor usually refers to Gurdjieff as "Master G." There are a few things that Weor says that Gurdjieff was mistaken about. Some details about the "Ray of Creation" being one. Another is the Kundalini vs. Kundabuffer as you noted.

From The Secret Doctrine of Anahuac:

When the Igneous Serpent of our magical powers ascends along the spinal column of our physical organism, it is our Divine Mother Kundalini. When the Igneous Serpent rushes downwards from the coccygeal bone to the atomic infernos of man, it is the abominable kundartiguador organ. The venerable Master G. makes the grave mistake of assigning the hypnotic, horrible powers of the descending serpent (the abominable kundabuffer organ) to the rising serpent (Kundalini). Kundalini is a two-term word: Kunda reminds us of the abominable kundabuffer organ, lini is an Atlantean term which means end. In transcendental grammar, Kundalini must be translated as: “end of the abominable kundabuffer organ.” The Kundalini’s victorious ascent along the spinal column provides the end of the abominable kundartiguador organ. Undoubtedly, Mauice Nicoll and Ouspensky, the great initiate, accepted this error from Master G. The cited Master considered that the sacred prana was his cosmic mother. If Master G. had studied the Binary Serpentine Force in the sacred walls of the Mexican, Toltec and Mayan temples, he would have never fallen in this confusion. Hindu yoga makes meticulous analysis of this annular Serpentine fire (Kundalini) which develops, ascending in the ascetic’s body. Very little is said, nevertheless, about the descending serpent or demonic tail, whose electrical force maintains in a continuous hypnotic trance all of suffering humanity.

So it appears Weor simply stated that he disagreed with how Gurdjieff understood the terms in this case.

For more on the Fourth Way in the context of Weor, read the latter half of the chapter called The Fourth Way & The Human Machine in this book. It quotes Gurdjieff's take on sexual energy (from his book Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson) in the following way (note: "being-exioehary" is sexual energy):

The beings of the present time […] do not use these same substances of being-exioehary at all consciously, neither for self-perfecting nor for conscious reproduction outside of themselves of new being similar to themselves.

And these sacred cosmic substances […] serve […] for the involuntary conception of a new beings similar to themselves, who is without their cognized wish a distressing result for them from the [exchange of sexual fluids] during the satisfaction by them of that function of theirs which has become, thanks to the inheritance from the ancient Romans, the chief vice of contemporary three-brained beings. […]

I must sadly remark that the mentioned depraved inherency already completely fixed in their common presences is for them […] already an ‘automatically acting’ means of destroying to their very root even those impulses which sometimes arise in them from manifestations worthy of three-brained beings and which evoke in them the what is called ‘thirst-for-Being.’

[Contemporary society has] ceased to use these sacred substances inevitably formed in them, consciously for the coating and perfection of their ‘higher-parts’ as well as for the fulfillment of their being-duty foreseen by Nature herself, which consists in the continuation of their species, yet even when this latter does accidentally proceed, they already accept it and regard it as a very great misfortune for themselves, chiefly because the consequences which must proceed from it must for a certain time hinder the free gratification of the multitudinous and multiform vices fixed in their essence. […]

Whereas, this same ‘being-act’ which […] has been turned into their chief vice, constitutes and is considered everywhere in our Great Universe for being of all kinds of natures, as the most sacred of all sacred Divine sacraments. (p. 793-795)

At the present time, very many of these ‘monasteries’ exist [on Earth], and these innumerable ‘monks’ who enter them do indeed strictly abstain from the ejection from themselves in the customary way of the being-Exioehary or sperm formed in them; but of course, no sensible result at all is ever obtained from this abstinence of theirs, and it is not obtained, because the thought has ceased even to enter the heads of these unfortunate ‘contemporary’ monks that although it is indeed possible, by means of these substances of Exioehary formed in them, to perfect themselves, yet this can proceed exclusively only if the second and third being-foods are intentionally absorbed and consciously digested in one’s presence, and this is possible exclusively only if all the parts of one’s presence have been accustomed beforehand consciously to fulfill both sacred being-Partkdolg-duties, that is to fulfill ‘conscious labors’ and ‘intentional sufferings.’ (p. 807-808)

I believe the book I linked above also goes into what exactly it means to digest the second and third being foods and fulfill being-Partkdolg-duty.

Thank you, Athena.

I am inclined to attempt to summarize the significance of what you have quoted. Maybe I won't be able to. It sounds like, in essence, Weor explicitly disagreed with Gurdjieff on his conflation of the terms kundalini and kundabuffer. And Weor even relies on Gurdjieff's own etymological distinction (from Chapter 12 of Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson) in order to give the sense of this distinction between the terms some weight! But to put it even more briefly: Weor argues that Gurdjieff was simply confused about the proper sense of the word kundalini (making too little of the etymological clues, perhaps).

Your quotation of Gurdjieff (which, in turn, originally comes from Chapter 23 of Beelzebub's Tales) demonstrates that Gurdjieff's notion of a particular energy (here called Exioëhary, elsewhere si 12 -- but I have been aiming to avoid the introduction of the whole gamut of Gurdjieff's idiosyncratic jargon in this forum) is at least compatible with the idea of kundalini in most other sources (particularly Weor).

Kundalini and Sex

[quote=Marnia]I'm still not clear that the path of relationship via karezza-style lovemaking has anything to do with raising the kundalini directly. It would be nice to know more.[/quote]

Vivekananda wrote in 1913:

We must give a new direction to the "sun" and "moon" currents and open for them a new passage through the centre of the spinal cord. When we succeed in bringing the currents through this passage called "Sushumnâ", up to the brain, we are for the time being separated entirely from the body.

The nerve centre at the base of the spine near the sacrum is most important. It is the seat of the generative substance of the sexual energy and is symbolised by the Yogi as a triangle containing a tiny serpent coiled up in it. This sleeping serpent is called Kundalini, and to raise this Kundalini is the whole object of Raja-Yoga [Royal Science of Union].

The great sexual force, raised from animal action and sent upward to the great dynamo of the human system, the brain, and there stored up, becomes Ojas or spiritual force. All good thought, all prayer, resolves a part of that animal energy into Ojas and helps to give us spiritual power. This Ojas is the real man and in human beings alone is it possible for this storage of Ojas to be accomplished. One in whom the whole animal sex force has been transformed into Ojas is a god. He speaks with power, and his words regenerate the world.

The Yogi pictures this serpent as being slowly lifted from stage to stage until the highest, the pineal gland, is reached. No man or woman can be really spiritual until the sexual energy, the highest power possessed by man, has been converted into Ojas.

No force can be created; it can only be directed. Therefore we must learn to control the grand powers that are already in our hands and by will power make them spiritual instead of merely animal. Thus it is clearly seen that chastity is the corner-stone of all morality and of all religion. In Raja-Yoga especially, absolute chastity in thought, word, and deed is a sine qua non. The same laws apply to the married and the single. If one wastes the most potent forces of one's being, one cannot become spiritual.

Link: http://sacred-sex.org/hinduism/vivekananda-sexual-force

To me, the bolded text is where Vivekananda is making the point. He says everything there, yet, keeps it hidden at the same time.

Sexual union actives the sexual energy in the couple. This is how the Solar and Lunar currents are activated, and how, when the orgasm is refrained, the energy instead of going "down and out" can begin to go "upwards and in."

Weor writes in The Perfect Matrimony:

In India there are seven fundamental schools of Yoga and these all speak of the Kundalini. These schools of yoga are of no use if Tantra is not studied. Tantra is the best of the East. Maithuna (Sexual Magic) is practised in every authentic school of esoteric yoga. This is Tantra. The Tantras give fundamental value to yoga.

In the center of the lotus of the heart a marvelous triangle exists. This triangle also exists in the coccygeal chakra and in the chakra located between the eyebrows. In each of these chakras a mysterious knot exists. These are the three knots.

These knots enclose a profound meaning. Here we have the three fundamental changes in the work with the Serpent. In the first knot (Church of Ephesus), we abandon the system of spilling the semen. In the second knot (Church of Thyatira), we learn to truly love. In the third knot (Church of Philadelphia), we gain true Wisdom and we see clairvoyantly.

The Kundalini in its ascent must untie these three mysterious knots. The pseudo-esoterists marvel that the primeval Hindu Yogis hardly mention the ethereal chakras or plexuses, but instead concentrate all their attention on the chakras of the spine and the Kundalini. In fact, the primeval Hindu Yogis were Tantric, and practised Maithuna. They were true Initiates of the Wisdom of the Serpent. They knew very well that the key to our redemption is found in the spinal medulla and in the semen. They understood that the awakened Kundalini opens the spinal chakras, and that these in turn, activate the chakras of the plexuses. Therefore, the foremost are the spinal chakras and the Serpent. All the great Sages and Patriarchs of the ancient Serpentine civilizations knew this very well.

Another swami, Sivananda, is always talking about he importance of chastity too. Concerning tantrism and kunalini, he writes:

Tantra Yoga lays special emphasis on the development of the powers latent in the six Chakras, from Muladhara to Ajna. Kundalini Yoga actually belongs to Tantric Sadhana which gives a detailed description about this serpent-power and the Chakras (plexus). Entire Tantric Sadhana aims at awakening Kundalini, and making her to unite with Lord Sadasiva, in the Sahasrara Chakra. Methods adopted to achieve this end in Tantric Sadhana are Japa of the Name of the Mother, prayer, and various rituals.

A Tantric can have copulation with his wife. He calls his wife his Shakti. Wife is a house-goddess Griha-lakshmi or Griha-devata united to her husband by the sacramental Samskara of marriage. She should not be regarded as an object of enjoyment. She is his partner in life (Ardhangini). The union of a man and his wife is a veritable sacred scriptural rite.

Going back to your comment:

[quote=Marnia]I'm still not clear that the path of relationship via karezza-style lovemaking has anything to do with raising the kundalini directly. It would be nice to know more.[/quote]

I believe it depends on exactly what karezza-style lovemaking means. If the ultimate, final goal of karezza is to maintain a heathly, loving relationship with your spouse, then we have to say that the development of the kudalini is beyond this scope. In reference to the above teachers, the kundalini only begins to awaken after we have a completely healthy relationship to sex. They say kundalini requires more than a physical act, it also requires the "merits of the heart" (the removal of all forms of desire and craving, sexual or not). We can say that kundalini begins when the sexual union is completely chaste, and ends its development when union with god or universe is become complete "chaste." Because the same energy that creates the universe is the same sexual energy we have in our bodies, its just that the former was utilized by the Creator/Creators in such a pure way as to create an entire universe. The concept to understand is that our sexual energy also has that capacity, however we are unable to use it to that capacity. Knowing this, we can then relate the halo of saints to the same refined and purified creative energy (the kundalini end at the "crown chakra.") The halo iconography is found in religions around the world. :)

Thanks,

I'm actually familiar with a lot of these sources and concepts. I've just been discouraged from any tantra practices based on forcing the kundalini upward. Much tantra uses sex like a drug...for a short-term experience, as a way to get a taste of the ultimate goal: union with the Divine, beyond the body.

My thought is that karezza may also be a path to that ultimate goal, but gentler and based on using the relationship (deep merging with another ego, beyond ego, if you will), not the sex itself as the vehicle to a sense of wholeness and oneness. It may be that the selflessness of karezza is more like a devotional path than paths that rely on the "heat" of sex to force an altered state...with little attention to the underlying relationship.

I simply don't know. I'm not walking on water. Smile

What has been your first-hand experience?

Different Aims?

For whatever Weor does say about tenderness in sex, I can't help but feeling that his real interest is more in self-perfection/immortality on a cosmic scale (sort of like Gurdjieff). And while that is just fine for what it is, karezza seems a lot more like the dissolving and merging of two souls than the quest for self-perfection/immortality... although self-perfection/immortality may be the side-effects of such dissolving and merging.

I, for one, am without experience with respect to karezza.

My experience

I think I better understand what you mean. It is a good point to make that even with the refrainment of orgasm, sex can still be used like a drug. But from my personal experience this isn't what these authors are advocating. I guess, I just never got that out of the authors I quoted.

To me, there is nothing to force. If I were to attempt to force some state of mind, or somehow try to force the kundalini, that would be wrong. It wouldn't produce good results. On the other hand, sexual union will naturally induce certain things biologically, and we can say from there, psychologically. But who or what is the one doing that, what is providing that delightfulness of sexual union? To me, that is Eros, Cupid, the Holy Spirit, an exponent of God at that level. That is the one doing it. Myself, I don't have to do much of anything except to place myself in a sympathetic emotional and mental state."I," the ego, just has to get out of the way, because when it is in the way, it takes that energy and diverts it to selfishly. Of course, it is difficult, because the ego becomes more and more subtle in its attempts to express itself.

To me, only when the couple is really truly loving each other is anything positive going to occur, because there the ego of both partners is becoming passive, and the transcendental state of psychological unity is becoming real. Without that, or something approaching that, I don't think the awakening of the kundalini is possible.

So I have been practicing for a few years now and I have experienced some things. But, mostly importantly, I am generally happier as person than I ever was, and my relationship with my spouse is better than it ever was. There are still ups and downs, but the trend overall, throughout the years, has always gone in the direction of having a better relationship. But I also have a routine of meditation, which to me is the other half. Meditation is a transformative practice.

Thanks.

This makes perfect sense to me. There are no lasting shortcuts that replace integrity (generous mindset).

I'm glad your experience has also led to a more harmonious relationship.

I have meditated from time to time during the twenty years I've been experimenting with this concept. It's very pleasurable, although I sense my task is to share the sexual management piece with anyone who might be wondering how in the heck it could possibly lead to greater happiness. Wink

Thank you for speaking up. Are you active in a Weor group?

Well,

feel free to share whatever you like. I'd like to hear how you connected with his work and what inspired you, if you care to share.

That was really interesting

I understand your focus, but I appreciate your taking the time to share all this. It's interesting to consider some of the politics possibly at work between the different schools, too. I applaud your willingness to think deeply about the historical puzzle pieces...and yet stay carefully tuned to your own experience and intuition.

I was curious if you read that some scholars think that the substance of the Gospel of Thomas (discovered in the 1940s, on parchment approximately 1500 years old) may have predated the canonical gospels? It has even been proposed by scholars that the semi-mystical Gospel of John was invented to "compete" with the popular Gospel of Thomas. Thomas doesn't have anything about Jesus and Mary kissing, but it does talk about overcoming male and female to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/sources/gnostic#thomas

This makes me a bit more open to considering the legitimacy of the "Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber" in the Gospel of Philip. As does the very ancient agapetae tradition, which could be a version of the "Sister-Bride" that Mouravieff talks about. "Spiritual Brides of Early Christianity" http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/agapetae

It's very challenging to remove two-thousand years of blinders...assuming they're there. Ultimately, our own experience must show us the truth. Still, without the clues from the past, we might never look under such unfamiliar rocks. Personally, my journey began with the Daoist materials and my own experience. But it was amazing to discover evidence that such ideas may also have been present in early Christianity.

Anyone have a time travel machine? Wink

Thanks, Marnia

And thank you for those links. I do not recall having read about the "agapetae" before, though I thought I had read most of the articles on this site!

As for the Gospel of Thomas, I agree that there is strong internal evidence for its earliness. But even if Thomas is the oldest gospel, I still don't think we have a sexual sacrament unambiguously described until Phillip. (And even in Phillip, what persuades me more than anything is the kissing reference... maybe it helps me to remove my "canonical spectacles.")

[quote=Marnia] Still, without the clues from the past, we might never look under such unfamiliar rocks. [/quote]

You're right, of course. :)