#05. The Psychology Of Sleep

Introductie in het gedachtegoed van 'De Vierde Weg'
op basis van fragmenten uit "Psychologie van Men's Mogelijke Evolutie"

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English

In this episode in our search for ‘the miraculous’ – the reality that lies behind the reality that we take for the whole and only reality – we first have to get a better view of what is hindering us from getting access to the ‘miraculous’. The system of ‘The fourth Way’, teaches us that man is asleep and not conscious of his thoughts, feelings and actions. It is useful to remember that this is exactly the inner meaning of many ancient doctrines, best known to us in Christianity and the Gospel teaching, in which, the idea that man lives in sleep and first of all must awake, is the basis of all the explanations of human life. The Gospel teaching also demands awakening, but it does not say how to awaken.

The main idea of the system on how to free yourself from sleep, is to become fully aware of your state of sleep. Therefore it is needed to have a better and more refined understanding of what sleep really means. Being asleep is far more than being asleep in the literally sense of the word. The system considers ordinary sleep – the state of consciousness that we are actually in bed sleeping – only the first state of consciousness. In contrary to more traditional psychological trains of thought originated by the likes of Freud and Jung, who ascribe great meaning to dreams and the ‘sub-consciousness’, the ‘The Fourth Way’ speaks about four different states of consciousness. Being asleep – the first state of consciousness – is considered to be a merely subjective and passive state where man is surrounded by dreams and all his psychic functions, thoughts and movements work without any attention.

The second state of consciousness doesn’t differ much from the first state sleep in the sense that sleep itself does not disappear when the second state arrives. When man awakes from sleeping, sleep remains with all its dreams and impressions, only a more critical attitude towards one’s own impressions, more connected thoughts and more disciplined actions become added to it, but the dreams still remain. This second state of conscious is called ‘waking sleep’ or ‘waking consciousness’.

The third state of consciousness is called ‘self-consciousness’ or ‘relative consciousness’ where man does realise he is asleep. It is the state of consciousness that is attainable for man but requires a sustained and conscious effort.

The fourth and last state of consciousness is called ‘objective consciousness’ which isn’t a real possibility for a normal mortal being. In the fourth state of consciousness you are able to see reality the way reality really is. There are no more contradictions, dreams and misunderstanding.

To make things even worse, a mechanical human being has only access to first two states of consciousness. It is as though he owns a beautiful four-storied house, but only lives in the two lower stories. These two states, sleep and waking sleep, are the only two states of consciousness in which man lives.


Ouspensky says

“ We generally think that we possess self-consciousness, that is, that we are conscious of ourselves, or in any case that we can be conscious of ourselves, at any moment we wish, but in truth ‘self- consciousness’ is a state which we ascribe to ourselves without any right. ‘Objective consciousness’ is a state about which we know nothing.”


Self consciousness is a state in which man becomes objective towards himself, and objective consciousness is a state in which he comes into contact with the real, or objective world from which he is now shut off by the senses, dreams and subjective states of consciousness. To awake from the ‘waking sleep’ it must be understood that the first obstacle is man’s conviction that he already possesses self-consciousness. If you ask a man if he is conscious or if you say to him that he is not conscious, he will answer that he is conscious and that it is absurd to say that he is not, because he hears and understands you. In reality, acquiring self-consciousness means long and hard work. So the fundamental question is: “How can a man agree to put effort in attaining consciousness if he thinks he already possesses the very thing which is promised him as the result of long and hard work?

 

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. It is important to know what is holding yourself back to the miraculus.
    The system of the fourth way teaches us that we are asleep and not aware of our thoughts feelings and actions. And first need to wake up. This is an explanation of multiple relegions.

    The fourth way teaches us to first become aware of your sleep.

    Four states of conciousness
    1. sleep: subjective and passive, dreams and psychic functions thoughts and movements
    2. waking sleep/conciousness: has the same dreams etc. but with a more critical view and disicpline
    3. self conciousness, relative conciousness: knowing you are asleep, attainable for men but requires an sustained effort
    4. objective conciousness en is not a real possibility. how it really is without contradictions, dreams and misunderstandings

    the mecanical human being as only acces to the first two states of conciousness

    gernerally we think we are self-concious at any moment of we wish. but we describe this without any right. we don’t know nothing about objective concious.

    The first obstacle is that we think we are objectively self concius while we are not.

    But this takes long and hard work.

  2. Een mens kan pas bewustzijn bereiken door zich te realiseren dat hij dat niet is. Pas dán kan hij zich enigszins zelfbewust worden. Dus men moet de illusie loslaten dat men reeds zelfbewust is en dan nog zal het pas na een langdurige en bewuste inspanning mogelijk zijn om de 3de staat te bereiken, die van relatief bewustzijn. De vierde staat van bewustzijn is onmogelijk te bereiken. Dan zou je de realiteit kunnen zien zoals zij is, zonder tegenstrijdigheden, dromen en misverstanden.

  3. Wakker worden! De meeste mensen zijn aan het slaapwandelen terwijl zij denken dat ze wakker zijn. Hiervan uitgaand, hoe weten we of het huis maar twee verdiepingen heeft als er geen toegang is tot de andere twee verdiepingen. Ik vraag me af of er niet meer verdiepingen zijn dan vier in het totaal. het lijkt mij waarschijnlijk dat er meer dan vier verdiepingen zijn. Hiervoor is objectief bewustzijn nodig en tegelijkertijd weet niemand hoe dat ervaren wordt

  4. De vraag is wat ons in de weg staat om de realiteit, die achter de realiteit verscholen gaat die wij voor waar houden, te kunnen gewaarworden. Dit onvermogen is volgens de lering van De Vierde Weg toe te schrijven aan de staat van wakende slaap waarin de mens verkeert, en het is in dit stadium cruciaal om te onderzoeken wat er daadwerkelijk met deze staat wordt bedoeld.
    De wakende staat waarin een mens verkeert, en waarin zijn aandacht hoofdzakelijk wordt gewijd aan het verwerken van dromen, herinneringen en indrukken van buitenaf, belemmert het present zijn. In deze staat van zijn verhindert de aanhoudende afleiding, waarin de mechanische mens niet meer doet dan aandacht schenken aan impulsen, enige vorm van zelfbewustzijn. Dit besef, dat diens vermeende zelfbewustzijn een illusie is, is een voorwaarde voor het bereiken van een staat van zelfbewustzijn. Want als de mens beweert al zelfbewust te zijn, zal hij geen intrinsieke motivatie hebben om dit te bereiken.
    De inzichten die De Vierde Weg zijn niet nieuw; ze wijken bepaald niet sterk af van de inzichten die voortkomen uit andere psychologische en filosofische theorieën. Het gaat om de manier waarop ze worden geïnterpreteerd, zo wordt in het boek gesteld. Wanneer deze inzichten op de conventionele manier worden geïnterpreteerd, dan worden ze niet opgemerkt, laat staan op waarde geschat. Mogelijk is de boodschap dat we, om een staat van werkelijk bewustzijn te bereiken, alles wat we tot nu toe menen te weten moeten loslaten -zelfs als uitgangspunt moeten hebben dat we onwetend zijn- om deze ontwikkeling vanaf de basis (het nulpunt) te kunnen aangaan. Dat we een presentie kunnen opbrengen die maakt dat we de inzichten die worden geboden gewaarworden, om zo niet alleen een solide fundament te kunnen leggen, maar deze ontwikkeling bovendien te kunnen internaliseren in ons systeem.

  5. “To make things even worse, a mechanical human being has only access to first two states of consciousness. It is as though he owns a beautiful four-storied house, but only lives in the two lower stories. These two states, sleep and waking sleep, are the only two states of consciousness in which man lives.”

    This is a very good metaphor. Those in the lower stories have little or no sense of the upper levels, or if they do are at a loss when it comes to finding their way upstairs. The work begins with the apprehension that there is a way out, but even so progress is not easy. Gurdjieff often spoke of the difficulty of Fourth Way work… “Good enough isn’t good enough.”

    Scriptural calls to “awaken” are frequently misconstrued as calls to wake up from ordinary sleep. Jesus’ injunction to “awaken!” was not a call – or not only a call – to his disciples to rouse themselves from slumber… but rather a call to awaken to a higher truth, a higher state of being. The former student of Gurdjieff, the psychiatrist Maurice Nicoll, has excellent insights on this and other NT passages in his Psychological Commentaries and his book The New Man.

  6. “To awake from the ‘waking sleep’ it must be understood that the first obstacle is man’s conviction that he already possesses self-consciousness.”

    This is an accurate observation. Most believe they are awake. Neither is it enough to have a theoretical understanding of “sleep.” You have to know it in your deepest core. People who are top heavy in the intellect department often view it as an idea or a theory – a concept that can be “understood” – while assuming of course that they are wide awake. When it is abstracted in that way, made into a talking point, the true apprehension of sleep remains at one remove, unrealized. Either you know it or you don’t. For whatever reason it is rare to come across those who truly grasp the essential truth of this condition.

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