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printer friendly "They call it love but I don't know"
- by Ray Charles
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Many of the first generation Fourth Way Teachers who began under Gurdjieff taught the profound difference between mechanical love and conscious love. A.R. Orage’s pamphlet on Love remains a surpurb example of the basics. It has been my observation that much of what passes as Love is nothing more than a biological imperative and, therefore, under the laws of our instinctual center which corresponds to the Laws of Great Nature.

While sleeping humanity imagines themselves as Sons of God, an awaken individual begins to see just how much of an animal a human being remains. For example, when a mother bear risks her life to protect her young, we do not call that Love. Or, when a baby seal seeks out its mother while rejecting the rest, we do not call that Love. If a baby animal learns all the lessons from its parent/teacher, we do not call that Love or Respect. Somehow when it comes to animals, we can see the laws of imprinting, pair bonding as well as protection of the young; but when these self-same laws relate to ourselves, we add the sentiment of Love.

It is pleasing to our vanity to assign choice to events and situations which are under the Laws of Great Nature. For instance, when a male and female meet and find themselves attracted to each other, we do define that attraction as falling in love. Yet, we can see that, within the animal kingdom, opportunity, coupled with the instinct to reproduce, engenders the ensuing behavior. The Real Objective Truth of the matter is that sleeping humanity credits lofty intentions towards itself while completely ignoring the fact that their psychology is under, nearly, as many laws as their bodies.

There is a story about a large game preserve in Africa that found itself dealing with quite a problem. Because of a faulty game preserve’s policy, a large group of orphaned elephants reached adolescence all at the same time.

As every parent of an adolescent knows, all too well, adolescents, no matter what their form are handfuls. The game preserve decided to release the adolescent elephants to form their own herd. Soon the game preserve began to find dead white rhinos. After careful observation, the rangers noticed that these adolescent male elephants were acting just like human males- they had formed gangs. The rangers watched in total disbelief as these adolescent elephants bullied and tormented innocent rhinos. At first the elephants would blow water into a rhino’s face, then the adolescent elephants threw sticks. After the stick throwing, the elephants began charging the rhinos. In no time, the newly formed gangs began to break fences, tear down buildings and destroy, for the shear fun of it, anything that stood in their way.

Fortunately the park rangers soon found a solution. The game wardens brought big bull elephants from other game preserves. As soon as the massive bulls arrived on the scene, all former adolescent destruction ceased. If an adolescent male elephant stops acting out because a dominant bull is present, we do not ascribe an emotional element towards the apparent transformation of the adolescent animal behavior. We realize that the adolescent male is merely displaying some aspect of enlightened self-interest.

When animals meet, reproduce and rear their young, no one uses the sentiment of Love merely to describe the sequence. We are able to realize that the sequence of behavior is not Love; we realize that the behavior is based upon a biological imperative; Yet, we, as Homo sapiens, are forever deceiving ourselves by assigning motives and meanings to our behavior that may not apply.

When a male, in the animal Kingdom, attempts to spread his (genetic code) seed, we realize that the diversity within the gene pool creates a healthier breed. We do not call these mating animals promiscuous or that these animals suffer from sexual addictions. But when we apply these same biological imperatives towards humans, we inevitably create a sea of moral deviants. While I agree that human beings have the innate capacity to act beyond biological imperatives, that fact does not mean that to act from a biological imperative is sick, bad or wrong.

The Fourth Way students who can discern for themselves what it is not become able to proceed along the long arduous road from imagination into consciousness. Biological imperatives are not emotional love much less conscious love. One of the reasons conscious love is a decision is because emotional love is an automatic reaction to a biological imperative. All of us react automatically; few of us act from our Real Self. Conscious love is universal. Conscious Love contains everything but prefers nothing.

Before anyone can know what it is they will have to have sacrificed what it is not. Biological imperatives give rise to emotional love. Before you can come out from under a law, you must first observe the effects of the law upon oneself. As long as we confuse biological imperatives with consciousness, we will remain in imagination. Once we can see beyond our mechanical emotion into the realm of conscious choice, we become teachable in regard to conscious love itself.