"You are looking for what is looking."
~ St. Francis of Assisi
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Wait 24 Hours.......
Before you gather with family and friends this holiday season, be aware that not every get-together is as joyful as we'd like it to be sometimes. A little preparation will help a lot:
“Whenever the mind begins to flow downward, become aware as early as possible — as early as possible!
“Someone has insulted you. For you to become angry, a little time is needed because it is a mechanism. You will get angry, but after a gap. Things will happen like a flash. First you will feel insulted. The moment you feel insulted, the second current will begin to flow: you will become angry. At first the anger will not be conscious; first it will be just like a fever. Then it will become conscious. Then you will begin to express or suppress it. So when I say ‘the earlier the better,’ I mean when someone insults you, become aware as soon as you begin to feel that you have been insulted. And whenever you become aware, just make an effort to stop. Don’t fall into the automatic track even for a single moment. Even a single moment’s stop will help much. Longer stops will help even more.
“When [the Russian mystic] Gurdjieff’s father was dying he called his boy. He was just nine, and Gurdjieff remembered the incident all his life. The father called him. He was the youngest child and the father said, ‘I am so poor, I cannot give you anything, my boy. But one thing which my father gave to me I can give you. You may not even be able to understand what it means now, because I myself was not able to understand what it meant when my father gave it to me. But it proved the most precious thing in my life, so I am just giving it to you. Preserve it! Sometime you may begin to understand it.’
“So Gurdjieff just listened. The father said, ‘Whenever you feel angry, never reply before twenty-four hours. Reply, but let there be a gap of twenty-four hours.’
“Gurdjieff followed his dying father’s advice. It became deeply impressed in his mind the very day his father died, and Gurdjieff said, ‘I have practised many, many, many spiritual exercises, but that was the best. I never could be angry in my life, and that changed the whole flow, the whole current, because I had to stick to the promise.
“‘Whenever someone would insult me, I would create something, some situation. I would just tell him that I would come back after twenty-four hours to reply, and I have never replied because it proved such nonsense to reply.’ Only a gap was needed. And the whole life of George Gurdjieff became something different.”