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Aug 20, 1996 04:11 AM
by Sy Ginsburg

Paul K. comments  and asks (referring to my posting that the only tool we have
to enter into a higher state of consciousness is our ATTENTION as explained by

"I find this significant - This "Attention" - has the character of
"intentionality" - in the sense that "Attention" is impossible without an
act of intention...Would you say that "intentionality" is a pre-requisite to
consciousness? Or does consciousness exist independently of "intention" ?"

Yes, I agree Paul. ATTENTION requires INTENTIONALITY, in the same sense that
Gurdjieff's "3rd state of consciousness" just does not happen unconsciously
(except for brief moments accidentally).  Effort is required.  That is my

In the earlier example given by Richard I., of how we lose the awareness of Self
when sitting in a movie theater for 2 hours, I can see quite clearly, that an
effort on my part is required to be aware that I am witnessing the movie.
Otherwise I just  'disappear' into it.

Alan B. writes, "when my attention is "captured"  - say by the movie in your
example, I cannot avoid *knowing* that my attention is captured, though I
recognize that this may not be the case for everyone."

I agree with Alan in the sense that at some time, during the movie, in fact at
many times, I discover that my attention has been captured.  In those moments of
discovery, it is true that I come back to the awareness of myself witnessing
myself observing the movie. In fact, I can extend those moments with intention.
But inevitably I disappear again, being recaptured by the movie.  So, constant
effort of intention is required to include myself in my ATTENTION.

Good movies, good novels, etc. are examples of how our life on this planet is
designed to keep us "asleep,"  by keeping us always identified.

Richard also made the important and frightening observation, "if modern life
becomes primarily like sitting in one highly entertaining, attention-grabbing,
but -Self-erasing- movie after another, who is to say that every human soul will
leave this world."

Gurdjieff agrees with this, saying that modern man can get along very nicely
without a soul.  And that sooner or later, if we do not work on ourselves in the
sense of intentionally using our ATTENTION to be aware of ourselves, we are
destroyed forever.

This seems true to me also.  Many of us intuit a kind of chain of lives, but
really cannot recall them.  In that sense each life, like this new life we
experience in this incarnation, is another opportunity to enter into a higher
state of human consciousness, than is true for most of humanity.  This posits
that through the effort of being in this higher state of human consciousness
more or less consistently,  there is some sort of continuity  of consciousness
(but not of personality) beyond the doorway of physical death.

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