In volume II of the Psychological Commentaries of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, Dr. Maurice Nicoll says: "Supposing that through self-observation, you begin to notice that you have I's in you whose ambitions and motives you begin to dislike. Supposing that you go with I's in your False Personality and all the hopeless tangle of inner accounts that they make. In a moment, all is in an uproar inside you. Become conscious of your I's, especially your negative I's. If you can separate from these I's as they are discharging, you'll have a sense of dislike of them, a consciousness of them, even when you cannot control them. I advise you to be rather amused by them because you will never overcome them. There is a certain inner laughter about oneself that is extremely useful in this Work. You then become more careful, not only towards life but towards yourself."
In my efforts to duel with the more negative scoundrels-of-suggestion, I decided to utilize the Work aim of "inner stop." This method is genius for chopping up debilitating thoughts with staccato interruptions before these notions become a forest fire of raging emotions, leading to anarchy. (Never a good thing) For many years until two months ago, I've awakened from a night's sleep with a wet blanket sense of, "Ugh, not another day". This impression of death-warmed-over could be ameliorated, upon arising, by reading Fourth Way knowledge, combined with meditation, but it was a grisly way to greet my day.
While practicing "inner stop", I discovered that there was a voice, which seemed to overshadow my psychology several hours after I'd gone to bed. I practiced "inner stop" throughout the night, until this voice finally retreated. The light which inner stop produced, revealed all sorts of troublesome characters, which I decided to identify with comedic names, lessening their influence upon my psychology. Once snared, these characters began to lose their impact as I detected their negative intentions. There are far too many to list in this paper, but I will introduce you to some of those whose daily quest was attempting to poison my life throughout eternity:
Outwardly accommodating, ingratiating, flattering, hypocritical.
Inwardly resentful, hostile, critical, infused with ill will.
"Lovvve your outfit."
"That'll teach ya."
"Gotta do, gotta do, gotta do."
"What if, what if, what if?"
"Hurry, hurry, hurry…"
the inner haranguer
"You should/should not have done that, said that, felt that…"
"There's a speck on the floor."
"Outta my way, you peons."
Matilda The Hun:
"Kill. Take no prisoners."
In perpetual, revolving rehearsals for things to be addressed, things that should have been said, things that might be said, should the occasion arise; Miss soliloquy. "To beee or not to beee…."
"Hard times are a' comin', y'all.
Commence to stockpiling and bar the doors."
T' Helen Back:
"Nobody knows the trouble I seen."
"There's too much to do. I'm overwhelmed. Why me? What's next? Wouldn't you know.
Well of course, this always happens to me."
Queen of the slow burn, rolled eyes, long-suffering sighhh…"Tsk, tsk."
Mythological Greek goddess who speaks many chattering voices all at once.
She is: Jewish Mother, Henny Penny, Scorn On The Cob.
I continue to practice "inner stop" with this population of tricksters, but recently, I've observed their tirades from a psychological distance, watching their antics as if I were seeing a cartoon. Rather than stopping the action, I'm now able to separate to a degree; "Well, aren't we huffy today.", without being lured into the fray. My life is taking on a sheen, contented in spite of the daily circus, more serene than I've ever experienced as an adult. I feel as though I'm protected inside an impenetrable fortress while an ugly mob is kept at bay outside. This is true liberation from the prison of mechanical I's, intent on undermining the "peace that passeth all understanding". The quality of my life has elevated, almost overnight, through the grace of the Work's loving kindness; a journey that I'm determined will eventually lead me back to my Essential nature.
Student - April, 2004