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Bleat and Howl

Jun 02, 1996 04:44 PM
by RIhle

[One should] "bleat with the sheep and howl with the wolves."  --Gurdjieff, I
think, but perhaps someone else.

Well, I don't know about this "sheep and wolves thing."  If it were anyone
other than Jerry S. touting the wolves, I would probably animadvert in more
strenuous fashion; however, in Jerry's case I have learned that waiting with
my objections often turns out to be the best policy--since my gainsayings
usually disappear on their own.

Still . . . for the time being, number me with the sheep, or better yet the
lambs (or better yet, a semi-shepard of myself, at least). . . .

I don't know . . . all a person has to rely on in the end is or her own line
of development, isn't it?  Certainly, the result of my own is the reverse of
what has been suggested:  It seems like much more the case that I started out
as a wolf and turned into a--

Well, who knows?  All I can say is that I have now become far too gentle to
be a proper wolf any more.  If I do inflict pain, the awareness of the fact
that I have done so usually makes me suffer more than my victim.  Indeed, in
the case of those closest to me, there is no question that I would rather
have the particular pain they are subjected to myself rather than to watch
them in pain.

Am I completely off-track?  Were Gautama, Ramakrishna, Saint Francis, etc.
secretly living according to some "wolf-ideal" that they never mentioned?
 No, by my lights, a person who hurts others mindlessly--or worse, just for
the "fun" of it--may be highly valuable as a "unpleasant life-lesson" for
someone else's spiritual evolution; however, the hurtful person himself or or
herself may still be at the starter's blocks in regard to his or her own

--Unless he or she is doing it mindfully and with concern for another
person's psychogenetic development, of course. . . .

Even here, however, there seems to be a certain presumptuousness, the
ins-and-outs of which I have not yet resolved for myself.  I have
experimented with this many times on this list, and I suppose I will continue
to do so, but at this point I can say neither that it is proper, nor that it
yields good results.  These experiments are innocuous enough, I suppose:
 usually they are just the result of my perception (right or wrong) that
someone may be using certain ideas or knowledge merely as the "raw material"
for a desire-mental or mental "ego-formation" ("I REALLY AM the mental-stuff
I am drawn to" / I REALLY AM my dispassionate mentation").  My methodology is
just to nit-pick point-by-point so that they no longer get so much egoic
pleasure or unbridled superordination from their chosen delusion.  My hope is
that they will sooner or later "up-level" to the next strata of egoic

This might turn out to be a bad thing to do, and naturally it is predicated
on the completely unsupported assumption that for some reason I think I have
the "Vantage of Perspective" on the other person's psychogenetic condition.

Well, bad or good, I cannot help noticing that this type of "presumptuous
helping" seems to have little in common with other potentially "helping
methodologies" which might possibly be in use on this list.  For one thing,
if I lose point after point with Eldon, it does not cross my mind to set
matters right by telling him that he is the ugliest theosophist in history.
 By the standard of ~ventrum omnipotentum~, the "all-powerful vocal chord," I
suppose I could claim some sort of "victory" in this way; however, would the
name-calling really make Eldon more likely to keep the Once-Removed-Vantage
on his future mental egoic-constructs of the same nature, or would he merely
be all the more resolute in his ego-tainted ideas because an obvious ***hole
espouses the opposing view?

Nevertheless, my continuing hope, naturally, is that we have no ***holes on
this list and that everyone, no matter how wolfishly abrasive, does what he
or she does with high purpose and helpful intent.  I am aware that I could be
wrong in this as well, though:  it might just be a foolish sheep-prayer from
someone who can still bleat but who has lost the knack for howling. . . .


Richard Ihle

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