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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Gurdjieff is the most original teacher

Andy Smith Says: December 29th, 2006 at 5:04 pm Tusar, Ken Wilber was never my hero, I am not now and never have experienced grief because of his recent rants. I am not “willing and eager” to believe that others have not lived through what I consider universal experiences, I came to this belief only after many, many years of great resistance. Eventually, one has to believe what one sees, not what others claim.
I have read some Aurobindo, perhaps I will read more, but what I have seen so far I just don’t find that compelling. To me, these are the words more of a thinker, a philosopher, a systematizer, rather than a mystic. As I said before, I respect him as a great man, probably one of India’s greatest, and I particularly think his time in jail greatly enriched his spiritual drive. I have no problem if others find he speaks best to them, different teachers for different people. But when you and Alan claim that he was the greatest realizer of all time, that he solved philosophical questions that had eluded others, I think you are going overboard, and need to be called on it. And when you cite poetic descriptions of the kind that others have expressed from time immemorial as evidence of realizing higher states, then many people not even considered mystics would also have to be recognized as great realizers.
Personally, I feel Gurdjieff is the most original teacher I have encountered, but I don’t feel the need to start a thread on him, or to convince others that he was the most realized man of all time. I would point out that he was teaching his students in Moscow about holarchy years before the term was even coined, about different brains half a century before Paul MacLean developed the idea of the triune brain, that his system specifically addresses questions of physiological events that occur during meditation, that he was virtually alone in suggesting that there is a limit to how many people on earth can realize higher consciousness, and so on and so on. I know he didn’t invent these and other ideas out of whole cloth, that he had his sources, but nevertheless I have never found ideas like these in the writings of others. I have personally confirmed some of his most important ideas, but like all great teachers, he encouraged his followers to be critical of him, and I am. I think this is a healthier attitude than what seems like total belief on your part that Aurobindo was infallible. [Andrew P. Smith, who has a background in molecular biology, neuroscience and pharmacology, is author of e-books Worlds within Worlds and the novel Noosphere II, which are both available online. His website SCIENCE VS. SPIRIT is devoted to the question: "how to integrate experiences of higher states of consciousness with the established body of scientific knowledge."]
Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 29th, 2006 at 9:02 pm I am glad that Andy Smith has come out in the open about his love for Gurdjieff and a separate thread on him would be quite in order. But I am more happy for he says of Sri Aurobindo as “more of a thinker, a philosopher, a systematizer, rather than a mystic.”
In fact, we are all ill equipped to measure mysticism but can compare philosophies as to their superiority. “One of the Greatest” is a very vague phrase, so we should attempt to mention the three top persons in the three categories of thinker, philosopher, and systematizer. If Sri Aurobindo commands the top position in at least one category, that is enough.

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