Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous Index

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Chapter 1

Page 21
Man is a machine. All his deeds are the results of external influences, external impressions. What is being done, and particularly what has already been done in one way, cannot be, and could not have been, done in another way.

Page 22
Everything is dependent on everything else, everything is connected, nothing is separate.

Page 24
What is war? It is the results of planetary influences. Somewhere up there two or three planets have approached too near to each other; tension results. Everything that happens on a big scale is governed from the outside, and governed either by accidental combinations of influences or by general cosmic laws.

Page 24
Organic life on earth is acted upon simultaneously by influences proceeding from various sources and different worlds; influences from the planets, influences from the moon, influences from the sun, influences from the stars. All these influences act simultaneously; one influence predominates at one moment and another influence at another moment.

Page 26
In real art there is nothing accidental. It is mathematics. Everything in it can be calculated, everything can be known beforehand. The great Sphinx in Egypt is such a work of art.


Chapter 2

Page 31

And G.'s chief motive became clearer to me. He by no means wanted to make it easy for people to become acquainted with his ideas. On the contrary he considered that only by overcoming difficulties, however irrelevant and accidental, could people value his ideas.

Page 37
Knowledge is material. There is a definite quantity of it in a given place at a given time. Taken in a large quantity by one man, it produces very good results; taken in a small quantity by a large number of people, it gives no results at all.

Page 39
Knowledge cannot come to people without effort on their own part.

Page 40
A man who has attained the full development possible for man consists of four bodies:

  • Physical body -- a carriage

  • Astral body (the emotions) -- a horse

  • Mental body (the mind) -- a driver

  • Causal body -- the master


Chapter 3

Page 53
A man is never the same for very long. He is continually changing.

Page 57
There exist special forces (of a planetary character) which oppose the evolution of large masses of humanity, and keep it at the level it ought to be.

Page 59
Man has no permanent and unchangeable I. Man is a plurality. Man's name is legion.


Chapter 4

Page 67
Knowledge by itself does not give understanding. Understanding depends upon the relation of knowledge to being.

Page 71
Seven types of man:

  • Man #1 is the man of the physical body.

  • Man #2 is the emotional man.

  • Man #3 is the man of reason whose knowledge is based on scholastics.

  • Man #4 is a man who has ideals.

  • Man #5 is a man who has reached unity and has already been crystallized.

  • Man #6 is very close to the ideal man, but some of his properties have not yet become permanent.

  • Man #7 is the man who had reached the full development possible to man.

Page 72
Every man is born number one, number two, or number three. Man number four is always the product of school work.

Page 73
The same order of division into seven categories must be applied to everything relating to man -- art, religion, science, philosophy, etc.

Page 75
It is impossible to study a system of the universe without studying man. At the same time it is impossible to study man without studying the universe. Man is an image of the world.

Page 77
Every phenomenon is the result of the combination of three forces -- positive (active, "1"), negative (passive, "2"), and neutral (neutralizing, "3").

Page 79
The Absolute is designated by the number "1" because the three forces are united. Let us image the Absolute as a circle and in it a number of other circles, worlds of the second order. The small circles will be designated by the number "3", because in a world of the second order the three forces are already divided. The three divided forces in the worlds of the second order create new worlds of the third order. Six different forces will be acting upon the worlds of the third order.

Page 80
Orders of the "world"

  • 1st order world is affected by 1 force -- the single, independent will of the Absolute

  • 2nd order world is affected by 3 forces (all the galaxies)

  • 3rd order world is affected by 6 forces (Milky Way) - (3 [from 2nd] + 3 new forces)

  • 4th order world is affected by 12 forces (our Sun) - (3 [from 2nd] + 6 [from 3rd] + 3 new forces)

  • 5th order world is affected by 24 forces (planets in our solar system) - (3 [from 2nd] + 6 [from 3rd] + 12 [from 4th] + 3 new forces)

  • 6th order world is affected by 48 forces (Earth) - (3 [from 2nd] + 6 [from 3rd] + 12 [from 4th] + 24 [from 5th] + 3 new forces)

  • 7th order world is affect by 96 forces (Moon) - (3 [2nd] + 6 [3rd] + 12 [4th] + 24 [from 5th] + 48 [from 6th] + 3 new forces)

Page 80
The chain of worlds which links the Absolute to the Moon forms the "ray of creation" in which we find ourselves.

Page 81
The number of forces in each world indicates the number of laws to which the given world is subject. We live in a world subject to 48 orders of laws.


Chapter 5

Page 83
According to the "ray of creation", the Moon is still an unborn planet.

Page 84
A miracle is the manifestation in this world of the laws of another world.

Page 85
The influence of the Moon upon everything living manifests itself in all that happens on Earth. Man can not tear himself free from the Moon. All his movements and consequently all his actions are controlled by the Moon. The mechanical part of our life is subject to the Moon.

Page 87
The world consists of matter in a state of vibration. The rate of vibration is in inverse ratio to the density of matter.

Page 87
An "atom" of the Absolute is smaller than an "atom" of a 1st-order world. An "atom" of a 1st-order world is smaller than an "atom" of the 2nd-order world, etc.

Page 90
Every substance has four aspects or states which correspond to fire, air, water, and earth

  • Substance which conducts the active force is called 'carbon' -- "1"

  • Substance which conducts the passive force is called 'oxygen' -- "2"

  • Substance which conducts the neutralizing force is called 'nitrogen' -- "3"

  • Substance without force is called 'hydrogen' -- "6"

Page 90
Force is divided into "three" types, and matter is divided into "four" types.

Page 95
The laws of a game make the essence of the game. A violation of these laws would destroy the entire game. The Absolute can not interfere in our life and substitute other results in the place of the natural results of causes created by us, or created accidentally.

Page 95
The Moon is the weight on a clock. Organic life is the mechanism of the clock brought into motion by the weight. If the weight is removed, all movements in the mechanism of the clock will at once stop.


Chapter 6

Page 99
Until a man has defined his own aim for himself, he will not be able to begin 'to do' anything. There are many aims of existence.

Page 100
What happens to us may depend upon three causes:

(1) upon accident

(2) upon fate

(3) upon our own will

Such as we are, we are almost wholly dependent upon accident.

Page 103
Wars cannot be stopped. War is due to cosmic forces, to planetary influences.

Page 104
Without self-knowledge, man cannot be free. Self-observation is the work or the way which leads to self-knowledge.

Page 111
Daydreaming is absolutely the opposite of 'useful' mental activity. Observation of the activity of imagination and daydreaming forms a very important part of self-study. The next object of self-observation must be habits in general.

Page 112
Man is a machine controlled by accidental shocks from outside.

Chapter 7

Page 116
You can only know consciousness in yourself.

Page 117
In order to really observe oneself, one must first of all remember oneself. In self-remembering, one's attention is directed toward the object observed and toward oneself.

Page 122
The first fundamental law of the universe is the "Law of Three". Every phenomenon is the result of simultaneous action of the three forces -- the positive, the negative, and the neutralizing.

Page 122
The next fundamental law of the universe is the "Law of Seven" or the "Law of Octaves". In order to understand the meaning of this law it is necessary to regard the universe as consisting of vibrations.

Page 123
In ancient knowledge, the understanding of vibrations is based on the idea of the discontinuity of vibrations. All vibrations in nature do not develop uniformly, but instead develop with periodic accelerations and retardations. The force of the original impulse in vibrations does not act uniformly, but becomes alternately stronger and weaker. The periods of uniform action of the momentum are not equal, and the moments of retardation of the vibrations are not symmetrical. One period is shorter; the other is longer.

Page 124
In order to determine these moments of retardation, the lines of development of vibrations are divided into periods corresponding to the doubling or the halving of the number of vibrations in a given space of time. It has been found that in this interval of vibrations, between a given number of vibrations and a number twice as large, there are two places where a retardation in the increase of vibrations takes place. One is near the beginning, and the other occurs almost at the end.

Page 124
These laws were incorporated into a formula. In this formula, the period in which vibrations are doubled was divided into eight unequal steps corresponding to the rate of increase in the vibrations. The eighth step repeats the first step with double the number of vibrations. This period of doubling the vibrations is called an octave, i.e., composed of eight. The separate "steps" of an octave show acceleration and retardation at different moments of the development of the period.

Page 125
The seven-tone scale is the formula of a cosmic law which was applied to music. In the ascending octave, we will designate the low end "do" and the point at which the vibrations have doubled also as "do". The period between one "do" and the next is divided into seven unequal parts because the frequency of vibrations does not increase uniformly.

Page 125
The ratio of the pitch of the notes is as follows:

  • do: 1

  • re: 9/8

  • mi: 10/8, or 5/4

  • fa: 4/3

  • sol: 12/8, or 3/2

  • la: 5/3

  • si: 15/8

  • do: 16/8, or 2

Page 125
The difference in acceleration is as follows:

  • do -> re: (9/8 : 1) = 9/8

  • re -> mi: (10/8 : 9/8) = 10/9

  • mi -> fa: (4/3 : 10/8) = 16/15 [increase retarded]

  • fa -> so: (3/2 : 4/3) = 9/8

  • so -> la: (5/3 : 3/2) = 10/9

  • la -> si: (15/8 : 5/3) = 9/8

  • si -> do: (16/8 : 15/8) = 16/15 [increase again retarded]

Page 126
The differences in the pitch of the notes are called intervals. There are three kinds of intervals in an octave: 9/8, 10/9, and 16/15. The smallest interval 16/15 occurs in the places of retardation in the octave. In music, one semitone is found between the following pairs: do-re, re-mi, fa-sol, sol-la, and la-si. A semitone does not exist in the mi-fa and si-do intervals.

Page 127
The law of octaves explains why there are no straight lines in nature. At the moment of the retardation of vibration a deviation from the original direction takes place. Let us assume that a movement begins at "do". It will continue in a straight line through "mi". But a deviation occurs between "mi" and "fa" which causes a change from the original direction. From "fa" through "si", the movement continues in the new direction. Between "si" and "do" the second interval occurs which causes a new change in direction. The next octave gives an even more marked deviation so that the line of octaves may eventually complete a circle.

Page 129
The "intervals" cause the line of the development of force to constantly change. Think how many turns the line of development of forces must have taken to come from the Gospel preaching of love to the Inquisition.

Page 129
The law of octaves explains many phenomena in our lives:

  • The principle of the deviation of forces

  • The fact that everything in the world is moving and changing

  • In development rises and falls are constantly taking place

Page 130
Nothing can develop by staying on one level. Ascent or descent is the inevitable cosmic condition of any action.

Page 131
The consistent development of an octave is based on what looks like an accident. If octaves are going parallel to a given octave and intersect its "interval", they can "fill up" the "interval". This "additional shock" must correspond in force and character to the interval it is filling. In the ascending octave, the second interval si-do is much larger than the first interval mi-fa. In the descending octave, the greatest "interval" occurs at the very beginning of the octave. A descending octave develops much more easily than an ascending octave.

Page 132
The lines of development of forces which are straightened out by accident give man the illusion of straight lines. If by accident man's activity gives a result, he assumes that he can attain his aim.

Page 134
Man can learn to recognize the moments of the "intervals" in all lines of his activity and can learn to create the necessary "additional shocks". Descending cosmic octaves are creative, and ascending cosmic octaves are evolutionary.

Page 134
Octaves are divided into fundamental and subordinate. The fundamental octave is like the trunk of a tree. The seven fundamental notes and the two "intervals", the bearers of new directions, give altogether nine links in a chain, three groups of three links each. The human body has nine basic measurements expressed by the numbers of a definite measure.

Page 135
Within vibrations, other vibrations proceed. Each note of any octave can be regarded as an octave on another plane.

Page 138
Organic life takes in those influences coming from the planetary sphere which otherwise would not be able to reach the earth. All great events in the life of the human masses are caused by planetary influences.


Chapter 8

Page 141
There are four states of consciousness possible for man:

(1) sleep

(2) clear consciousness

(3) self-remembering

(4) objective state of consciousness (enlightenment)

Page 145
Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity for self-change.

Page 150
A man identifies with a small problem which confronts him, and he completely forgets the great aims with which he began his work. He fails to see the forest for the trees.

Page 151
Identifying is the chief obstacle to self-remembering. On the most prevalent occasions a man is identified with what others think about him, how they treat him, what attitude they show towards him.

Page 153
By considering externally a man does that which makes life easy for other people and for himself. Right external considering is very important in the work.

Page 155
Buffers are created slowly and gradually so that man will not feel the "shocks". They are created artificially through "education" and through the influence of the surrounding life. "Buffers" make a man's life easier and help him not to feel his conscience. Consciousness is a state in which a man knows all at once. Conscience is a state in which a man feels all at once.

Page 156
Conscience is a general and a permanent phenomenon. It is possible only in the absence of "buffers". Morality consists of buffers. There is no general morality. Morality is merely self-suggestion.

Page 160
The consciousness of one's nothingness alone can conquer the fear of subordination to the will of another.

Page 161
Fate is the result of planetary influences which correspond to a man's type. Fate only relates to a man's essence. A man consists of two parts: essence and personality. Essence in a man is what is his own. Personality in man is what has come from the outside, what he has learned or reflects. Essence is the truth in man.

Page 164
It happens fairly often that essence dies in a man while his personality and his body are still alive.

Page 165
Collective accident and collective fate are governed by general laws. General laws are by no means all obligatory for man.

Page 165
Nothing shows up people so much as their attitude towards money. They are ready to waste as much as you like on their own personal fantasies but they have no valuation whatever of another person's labor.


Chapter 9

Page 167
All suns of the Milky Way influence our sun. The sun influences the planets. All planets influence our earth, and the earth influences the moon. These influences are transmitted by means of radiations passing through starry and interplanetary space. Let us study these radiations in an abridged form of the "ray of creation" -- Absolute --> Sun --> Earth --> Moon. This forms three octaves of radiation.

Page 169
The "shock" in the octave Sun --> Earth is organic life on Earth.

Page 178
Man never on any account wants to pay for anything; and above all he does not want to pay for what is most important to him. Everything must be paid for, and it must be paid for in proportion to what is received.

Page 179
It is necessary to learn how to save the greater part of the energy we possess for useful work instead of wasting to unproductively. Energy is spent chiefly on unnecessary and unpleasant emotions, on the expectation of unpleasant things, on bad moods, on unnecessary haste, and so on.

Page 180
"Learn to separate the fine from the course" -- this principle from the "Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismegistus " refers to the work of the human factory.

Page 181
The human organism receives three kinds of food:

(1) ordinary food we eat

(2) the air we breathe

(3) our impressions

Page 182
The process of transforming the substances which enter the organism into finer ones is governed by the law of octaves.

Page 189
An old alchemical law states that "in order to make gold, it is first of all necessary to have a certain quantity of real gold".


Chapter 10

Page 199
Man lives in life under the law of accident and under two kinds of influences again governed by accident. The first kind are influences created in life itself -- race, nation, climate, family, and so on. The second kind are influences created outside this life -- religious systems, philosophical doctrines, works of art, and so on.

Page 201
The moment when the man who is looking for the way meets a man who knows the way is called the first threshold or the first step. From this first threshold the stairway begins. The way begins when the stairway ends.

Page 203
The pupil cannot go on without the teacher, and the teacher cannot go on without the pupil or pupils. No one can ascend onto a higher step until he places another man in his own place. What a man has received he must immediately give back; only then can he receive more. Otherwise from him will be taken even what he has already been given.

Page 205
Knowledge begins with the teaching of the cosmoses -- "as above, so below". There are actually seven cosmoses:

  • Protocosmos -- the first cosmos (the Absolute, "1")

  • Ayocosmos or Megalocosmos -- the holy cosmos (all worlds, "3")

  • Macrocosmos -- the large cosmos (Milky Way, "6")

  • Deuterocosmos -- the second cosmos (the Sun, the solar system, "12")

  • Mesocosmos -- the middle cosmos (all planets, "24")

  • Tritocosmos -- the third cosmos (man, "48")

  • Microcosmos -- the small cosmos (atom)

Page 206
Each cosmos is a living being which lives, breathes, thinks, feels, is born, and dies. All cosmoses results from the action of the same forces and the same laws. Laws are the same everywhere. The interrelation of the cosmoses is permanent and always the same. One cosmos is related to another as zero is to infinity.

Page 207
The manifestation of the laws of one cosmos in another cosmos constitutes what we call a miracle. There can be no other kind of miracle. A miracle is not a breaking of laws, nor is it a phenomenon outside laws.

Page 209
We have a perfectly clear example of the relation of zero to infinity. In geometry this is the relationship between a body of dimension "n" to a body of dimension "n+1" -- a point to a line, a line to a plane, a plane to a solid, and so on.

Page 210
The plane is only a projection of a body, the line is a projection of a plane, and the point is a projection of a line. When we say a thing "exists", we mean by this existence in time. Time, as we feel it, is the fourth dimension. Eternity is the fifth dimension. The sixth dimension is the line of the actualization of all possibilities. As every cosmos has a real physical existence, every cosmos therefore is three-dimensional for itself or in itself.

Page 213
Time is different in different cosmoses. Time is breath. Twenty-four hours constitute the "breath of organic life".

Page 214
It was later decided to take man as the Microcosmos, and to take Tritocosmos as organic life on earth.


Chapter 11

Page 217
"To awake", "to die", and "to be born". These are three successive stages. If a man dies without have awakened he cannot be born. Being "born" relates to the beginning of a new growth of essence. In order to do this, man must "die" -- he must free himself from the attachments to everything in his life. Then one must "die" all at once and forever.

Page 220
Kundalini is not anything desirable or useful for man's development. It is the power of imagination, the power of fantasy, which takes the place of a real function. Kundalini is a force put into men in order to keep them in their present state.

Page 222
Therefore a man who wants to awake must look for other people who also want to awake and work together with them. The work must be organized and it must have a leader. All the members of a group must keep secret everything they hear or learn in the group. The next demand which is made of the members of the group is that they must tell the teacher of the group the whole truth. Then they must remember why they came into the group. Finally, the members in the group must actually work.

Page 226
"Doing" is magic and "doing" can be only of one kind. There cannot be two kinds of "doing". Therefore in true work, the producing of infatuation in people is not allowed. "Black" magic is based on infatuation and on playing upon human weaknesses.

Page 228
In properly organized groups no faith is required; what is required is simply a little trust. In the beginning, only very simple tasks are given. More difficult tasks, called "barriers", can cause a man to stop between two barriers and be unable to move forward or backward. This is the worst thing that can happen to a man. Having stopped before some barrier, people turn against the work, against the teacher, and against other members in the group.

Page 229
Every effort a man makes increases the demands made upon him. Nothing a man did yesterday excuses him today.

Page 230
Lack of considering in relation to the teacher and the other in the group is the first barrier. The second barrier is very often the conquest of fear. Positive efforts and even sacrifices in the work do not justify or excuse mistakes which may follow. Things that could be forgiven in a man who has made no effort will not be forgiven in another who has already made great sacrifices. A man's efforts and sacrifices are written down on one side of a book, and his mistakes and misdeeds on the other side. What is written down on the positive side can never atone for what is written down on the negative side. What is recorded on the negative side can only be wiped out by the truth.

Page 231
A group is a big thing. In a group all are responsible for one another. A mistake on the part of one is considered as a mistake on the part of all. Members of a group are responsible not only for the mistakes of others, but also for their failures. A group must work as one machine.

Page 233
In the human machine there are two small accumulators near each center filled with the particular substance necessary for the work of the given center. In addition, a large accumulator feeds the small ones. The large accumulator contains an enormous amount of energy. Connected with the large accumulator a man is literally able to perform miracles. Small accumulators suffice for the ordinary everyday work of life. But for the inner growth, we must learn how to draw energy straight form the large accumulator. This is possible only with the help of the emotional center.

Page 236
Yawning is the pumping of energy into the small accumulators. Laughter is the pumping out and the discarding of superfluous energy collected in the accumulators. Laughter is an antidote for energy which we are unable to use and which might become a poison.


Chapter 12

Page 239
A man has a role for every kind of circumstance in which he ordinarily finds himself in life -- one or two for his family, one or two for the office, and yet another one for friends in a restaurant. Outside his repertoire, a man feels very uncomfortable. To begin to work and to continue to work is very difficult because life runs too smoothly.

Page 243
There is only one thing incompatible with work and that is "professional occultism", in other words, professional charlatanism. A man must be disappointed in ordinary ways and he must be able to accept the idea that there may be something -- somewhere. These ideas could either unite people or separate them.

Page 246
There are twelve fundamental types of people. According to legend, the twelve apostles represented the twelve types.

Page 250
Ouspensky says to Gurdjieff "what does it matter how we shall call things. You never answers the questions I ask".

Page 251
Planetary influences can change. They are not permanent. There is a definite time, a definite term, for everything. Possibilities for everything exist only for a definite time.

Page 255
Everything people do is connected with sex. Cosmic forces have created this state of affairs and cosmic forces control this state of affairs. "New birth" depends as much upon sex energy as do physical birth and the propagation of species.

Chapter 13

Page 266
It is a complete absurdity to think that it is possible to study phenomena of a higher order like "telepathy", foreseeing the future, and so on, in the same way as electrical, chemical, or meteorological phenomena are studied. Phenomena of a higher order require a particular emotional state for their observation and study. This excludes any possibility of "properly conducted" laboratory experiments and observations. The impossibility of violence to produce anything positive is an esoteric principle.

Page 272
People fear silence more than any other thing.

Page 274
In order to do the work, people must sacrifice only what they imagine they have and which in reality they do not have. They must sacrifice their fantasies. People must also sacrifice their suffering. A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.

Page 277
You must learn to get information from jokes, from stories. You must know how to take when knowledge is not given, to steal if necessary, but not to wait for somebody to come and give it to you.


Chapter 14

Page 278
All our ordinary knowledge which is based on ordinary observation he called subjective. Knowledge based upon ancient methods -- knowledge of the All, he called objective knowledge. One of the most central ideas of objective knowledge is the idea of the unity of everything, of unity in diversity. With objective consciousness it is possible to see and feel the unity of everything.

Page 279
"Myths" were designed to transmit ideas to the higher emotional center; "symbols" were designed for the higher thinking center.

Page 280
Symbols were divided into the fundamental and the subordinate; the first included the principles of separate domains of knowledge; the second expressed the essential nature of phenomena in their relation to unity. One formula which had particular significance, "As above, so below", can from the Emerald Tables of Hermes Trimegistus. This formula stated that all the laws of the cosmos could be found in the atom or in any other phenomenon which exists as something completed according to certain laws.

Page 281
Man must first see the manifestation of two principles, one opposed to the other, which, in conjunction or in opposition, give one result or another. He will introduce the "line of will" into the circle of time and afterwards into the cycle of eternity. When this is accomplished, it will create in him the great symbol known as the "Seal of Solomon". A symbol becomes a synthesis of a man's knowledge.

Page 281
The more simple symbols are as follows:

  • Number 2 -- two parallel lines

  • Number 3 -- equilateral triangle

  • Number 4 -- square

  • Number 5 -- 5-pointed star which points upward, the pentagram

  • Number 6 -- 6-pointed star, the Star of David, Seal of Solomon

Page 281
Man, in the normal state natural to him, is taken as a duality. He consists entirely of "pairs of opposites" -- positive and negative, useful and harmful, good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant. Thoughts oppose feelings. Moving impulses oppose instinctive craving for quiet.

Page 282
The creation of a permanent third principle is for man the transformation of the duality into the trinity.

Page 282
A man has five centers:

(1) thinking

(2) emotional

(3) moving

(4) instinctive

(5) sex

If a man brings the work of these five centers into harmonious accord, he "locks the pentagram within him" and becomes a finished type of the physically perfect man. When man becomes directly and permanently connected with objective consciousness and objective knowledge, the man becomes the six-point star -- the Seal of Solomon. A symbol can never be fully interpreted, it can only be experienced.

Page 283
The law of octaves gives another system of symbols. Every completed process is a transition of the note "do" through a series of successive tones to the "do" of the next octave. The seven fundamental tones of the octave express the law of seven. The seven fundamental tones, the two "intervals" or "shocks", and the "do" of the next octave, generate ten steps -- the decimal system of numbers.

Page 283
The symbology of number is based on this idea. In "theosophical addition", the definition of a number consisting of more than one digit is the sum of those digits -- "casting out nines". Numbers are connected with definite geometrical figures. In the Cabala, a symbology of letters and a symbology of words are used. There also exists a symbology of magic, a symbology of alchemy, and a symbology of astrology. A symbol can never be taken in a final and definite meaning.

Page 284
Exact knowledge concerning details, communicated to a man before he has acquired an understanding of the essential nature of a thing, makes it difficult for him to understand this essential nature. A man will attain knowledge only by his own efforts. No one can ever give him what he did not possess before; no one can do for him the work he should do for himself.

Page 285
The law of octaves connects all processes of the universe, and it presents the possibility of an exact cognition of every phenomenon in its essential nature. The symbol which unites the idea of the octave is a circle divided into nine equal parts with lines connecting the nine points on the circumference in a certain order. The symbol takes the following form:

Page 287
This symbol expresses the law of seven in its union with the law of three. The octave possesses seven tones, and the eighth is a repetition of the first. Two additional "shocks" fill the "intervals" mi-fa and si-do so that there are nine elements.

Page 288
The circle symbolizes a uninterruptedly flowing process. The separate points in the division of the circumference symbolize the steps of the process. The symbol as a whole is "do". It is a circle -- a completed cycle, the zero of our decimal system. The stages in the process are connected with the remaining numbers 1 through 9. Every beginning and ending of the cycle is situated in the apex of the triangle. Since it is the ninth step which closes and begins a cycle, the upper point of the triangle corresponds to the number 9.

Page 289
We must take a unit and divide it into seven equal parts. These decimal divisions generate a series of fractions which consist of exactly the same six digits in a definite sequence. If you know the first digit of the period, it is possible to reconstruct the whole period in full. The fractions are as follows:

  • 1/7 = 0.142857 . . .

  • 2/7 = 0.285714 . . .

  • 3/7 = 0.428571 . . .

  • 4/7 = 0.571428 . . .

  • 5/7 = 0.714285 . . .

  • 6/7 = 0.857142 . . .

  • 7/7 = 0.999999 . . .

Page 289
If we start with the first number in a fraction and connect in sequence to the remaining numbers in the fraction, we shall obtain the figure found inside the circle. For example, we will follow the digits in "1/7th". We start at "1" on the circle, and connect it to "4", then to "2", then to "8", then to "5", and finally to "7". The final step would be to connect the "7" back to the "1". The numbers "3", "6", and "9" are not included in the period. They form a separate triangle -- the free trinity of the symbol.

Page 289
The divisions of the circle are also related to the notes and "intervals" in an octave.

Page 294
Each completed whole, each cosmos, each organism, each plant, is an enneagram. The inner triangle stands for the presence of higher elements. The enneagram is a universal symbol. All knowledge can be included in the enneagram. The enneagram is perpetual motion, and it is also the philosopher's stone of the alchemists.

Page 296
There are two kinds of art -- objective art and subjective art. In subjective art everything is accidental. I measure the merit of art by its consciousness.

Page 297
Objective music is all based on "inner octaves". It can obtain definite psychological and physical results. Such music can freeze water and can kill a man. The music used to destroy the walls of Jericho was objective music.


Chapter 15

Page 299
Religion is a relative concept; it corresponds to the level of a man's being. Religion is "doing"; a man should "live" his religion. Man should think about what God is and what he is. These thoughts do for him what he asks God to do. The Christian church is a school. Prehistoric Egypt was Christian many thousands of years before the birth of Christ. Schools of repetition were taken as a model for Christian churches.

Page 304
Every real religion consists of two parts. One part teaches what is to be done. The other part teaches how to do what the first part teaches. This part is preserved in secret in special schools. This secret part exists in Christianity.

Page 305
Organic life transmits planetary influences of various kinds to the earth, and it serves to feed the Moon and to enable it to grow and strengthen. But the Earth is also growing in the sense of greater consciousness, greater receptivity.

Page 306
The cessation of evolution may mean the destruction of humanity. Humanity is moving in a circle. In one century it destroys everything it created in another. The growth of knowledge in one domain evokes the growth of ignorance in another.

Page 307
A balanced process cannot be changed at any moment it is desired. It can be changed and set on a new path only at certain "crossroads". In the law of octaves, these "crossroads" are called the "intervals" mi-fa and si-do.

Page 309
Life is governed by those who are the least conscious, by those who are most asleep. In life we see a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity of all kinds. Contemporary culture requires automatons. Man is becoming a willing slave.

Page 310
The whole of humanity is composed of several concentric circles. The inner circle, the "esoteric", consists of people who have attained the highest development possible for man. The next outer circle, the "mesoteric", is the middle circle. The third circle is called the "exoteric". There also exists an outermost circle.

Page 312
There are four ways to enter the innermost circle:

  • Way of the fakir -- the physical body

  • Way of the monk -- the religious way

  • Way of the yogi -- the way of the mind

  • Fourth way -- the way of the work

Page 314
Transitions from one level of being to another were marked by ceremonies of presentation of a special kind, that is, initiation. But a change of being cannot be brought about by any rites.

Page 315
Systems and schools can indicate methods and ways, but no system or school whatever can do for a man the work that he must do himself. Inner growth, a change of being, depends entirely upon the work which a man must do on himself.


Chapter 16

Page 316
Everything happens; no one does anything. The human mind is incapable of even realizing its own helplessness.

Page 317
The density of vibrations and the density of matter express many other properties of matter. The speed of vibrations shows the intelligence or the consciousness of matter. There is nothing dead or inanimate in nature.

Page 320
In ordinary science, classification is made according to external traits -- bones, teeth, and so on. In exact knowledge, classification is made according to cosmic traits. The cosmic level of being is determined by

(1) what the creature eats

(2) what he breathes

(3) the medium in which he lives

A man can not improve on his food or air, but he can improve on his impressions.

Page 329
A breath is 3 seconds. In a normal state, a man takes about twenty full breaths in a minute. The "breath of organic life" is twenty-four hours.

  • Breath Day and Night Life

  • Small Cells - - 3 seconds

  • Large Cells - 3 seconds 24 hours

  • Man 3 seconds 24 hours 79 years

  • Organic Life 24 hours 79 years 2,500,000 years

  • Earth 79 years 2,500,000 years 75,000,000,000 years

Page 336
Time goes beyond four dimensions. The Minkovski formula, [sqrt(-1) * ct], denotes time as the fourth "world" coordinate.

Page 343
Why didn't these ideas come earlier when Russia was at peace? Probably precisely because these ideas could come only in such a time when the attention of the majority is distracted in some other direction and when these ideas can reach only those who look for them.


Chapter 17

Page 347
Schools are imperative because of the complexity of man's organization. A man is unable to keep watch on the whole of himself. A man is much too lazy. He will never attain the necessary intensity by himself. In work, only super-efforts are counted. A super-effort is an effort beyond the effort that is necessary to achieve a given purpose. Another form of super-effort is carrying out any kind of work at a faster rate than is called for by the nature of the work.

Page 348
The three principal centers -- the thinking, the emotional, and the moving -- are connected together, and in a normal man, they are always working in unison. This unison is what present the chief difficulty in work on oneself. Everything is connected, and one thing cannot exist without another thing. In life everything is always arranged far too comfortably for man to work.

Page 350
Man must learn to relax the unnecessary tension of his muscles. He gave us many exercises for gradually relaxing the muscles always beginning with the muscles of the face.

Page 352
A man is unable to change the form of his thinking or his feeling until he has changed his repertory of postures and movements. All our movements are automatic. Our thoughts and feelings are just as automatic. The "stop" exercise was used to "freeze" the student in whatever position he was caught. He had to hold that position exactly until "enough" was called.

Page 356
The chief difficulty for most people was the habit of talking. Voluntary silence can be the most severe discipline to which a man can subject himself. With everything there is a limit to what is necessary. After this, "sin" begins. "Sin" is something which is not necessary. People are afraid of suffering. They want pleasure not, at once and forever. They do not want to understand that pleasure is an attribute of paradise and that it must be earned.

Page 358
When one fasts, he must expend as much energy as possible so that the strong solutions normally used to digest food will not poison his system. A man begins any exercise with his mind; only when the last stage of fatigue is reached can the control pass to the moving center.

Page 362
People of the objective way simply life in life. They are those whom we call good people. They do not of necessity do much good, but they do no evil.

Page 364
There is only one thing which should be serious to a man -- escaping from the general law, to be free. People who are not serious live by fantasies, chiefly by the fantasy that they are able to do something.

Page 366
A man always wishes to begin with something big. We must begin with the things of today.

Page 366
Astrology deals with only one part of man, with his type, his essence -- it does not deal with personality, with acquired qualities. In the same situation, one man sees and does one thing, another -- another thing, a third -- a third thing, and so on. Each one acted according to his type.


Chapter 18

Page 372
We began rhythmic exercises to music, mental exercises, the study of different ways of breathing, and so on. We also studied psychic phenomena.

Page 376 He began to separate G. and his ideas. Ouspensky had to go. It was very difficult for him to reject the idea of working with G.

Page 377
Ouspensky began studying the enneagram. He inserted the "do" of the three octaves at the location of the "shocks". He found that there was no wrong place for a "shock" at all.

Page 378
He also found that the seven points could represent the seven planets of the ancient world. The enneagram could be an astrological symbol. He took the order of the planets in the order of the days of the week.

Page 379
Ouspensky published his ideas in a book called "A New Model of the Universec".

Page 380
Ouspensky had acquired a strange confidence in the unimportance and the insignificance of self, that self which we usually know.

Page 387
Without mastering breathing nothing can be mastered. There are three kinds of breathing:

(1) normal breathing

(2) inflation

(3) breathing assisted by movements

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