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The body as the lens of consciousness

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

If my consciousness is not firmly rooted in the body - that is, deeply connected to what is called the organic sensations of the body - then I am no more than a Ghost.

It is often asked why the Gurdjieff work focusses so much on 'sensing the body' (bringing a contact with an active 'attention' to the bodily sensations) rather than developing the mind or the emotions. The answer is simple, it doesn't.


Unfortunately, the 'inner sensations' - the consciousness infrastructure of the body - of modern people is so neglected, indeed, so atrophied, that people live in a literal state of disembodiment. It takes the shock of an injury or illness or trauma for the majority of people to even become aware, directly, that they have a body. And we wonder why there is so much psychosomatic illness?

The mind needs the body like the body needs air.

For modern people, to re-balance this abnormal State of Being requires an initial, intense development of coming into contact with the sensations of the body. Once established, and sustained 'at will', work on feelings and the intellect can be far more effective because the body (or more importantly, what we sense as the body) is the field of action, the ground, the container, the 'lens' for the direction of the inflow and outflow of thoughts and feelings.


More importantly, the connections between the body, feelings and mind, facilitated by the 'sensations' of all three, can become potent, enabling an effectual transformation of Being. And the development of 'Being', understood very poorly in the West, is the precursor to the growth of the Soul.

If I cannot consciously connect and sustain a relationship with the sensations of my body - the most intimate and tangible thing I can possibly know - what chance do I have to connect and sustain a relationship with anything else?

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