The 2016 Proceedings are complete and you can order here:
They are very worthwhile to read and review.
Shared comments about the ALL and Everything Humanities Conference
… with the struggle and striving towards Kesdjan, toward Higher Being-bodies, we must come to a simultaneity of observation and remembering, to coalesce a presence in the world that is both oneself and other…
I am not just me – I am simultaneously and always, in every moment of the day, I am other – as we move back into our daily lives how can we continue to take responsibility for our neighbor, our planet.
Gurdjieff's Law of Three and Law of Seven
by John Dale
Posted on April 13, 2016 by Amy
Dr. Buzzell's works center, in a very focused way, on Gurdjieff's Law of Three and Law of Seven. Using the enneagram and his own Cosmic Unfolding symbol as models of these laws, he produces really remarkable, detailed elucidations of the concepts and deeply buried "dogs" in Beelzebub's Tales.
Also very much on the right track is his incorporation of relevant scientific discoveries into Gurdjieffian discourse. His analysis of the "higher hydrogens," to mention one thing among many, begins to take that concept out of the fog of mystery and to give it a concrete, rational basis and meaning.
Dr. Buzzell's books contain insights that I have found nowhere else – real steps forward that excite and encourage me. I feel myself in front of Great Knowledge and also, because of the rational and systematic basis of this knowledge, a great opportunity possibly eventually someday to be able to share it with others.
Let me also say that, in general, I think the kind of inner intellectual excitement to be found in these works is very important for people in our movement to feel.
Sure, we all want to “remember ourselves” and work on becoming deeper, freer individuals, but we also sometimes need to become deeper, freer individuals by "forgetting ourselves" and by engaging ourselves wholeheartedly in the needs of the collectivity (the cosmos or living system above us). We sometimes need to put our own lives and being consciously and squarely in front the larger, collective intellectual and spiritual challenges of the era in which we live.
This, in my opinion, is what Gurdjieff did. He put himself squarely in front of a very great challenge indeed: the future of Earth and the human race. Unless we do the same, we lose our way.
In these years that we are now living through, the fate of humanity and of the Earth is being determined for a long, long time to come. If, as in Beelzebub’s Tales, God were to ask each of us right now, directly, "What would you recommend for this situation?", what in detail would each of us be able to say?
To be able to say something in answer to that question is my own personal aim, and it has driven me to ponder and look for those types of answers in a rather broad set of interconnected fields.
On a certain scale, at this time in history, humanity and its unity and sustainability is our God, and we need to devote ourselves body and soul to that God and to give back to it something equal to the value and life we have received from it. A Gurdjieff movement that fails to do this, that fails to augment a sense of social conscience and ecological responsibility within us will obviously eventually become a failed movement of interest only to academic historians.
We in the “Gurdjieff movement” have a very delicate balance to maintain between preserving a past containing very great insights and looking at those insights critically and putting them in front of and in the light of the best current thinking. I can't speak for all the members of our Portland group, but keeping this balance alive is important to me personally as a motivating factor.
In addition, I feel that we in our Portland Gurdjieff group could use more of a sense of being on an intellectual "cutting edge" of a really remarkable system of thought with very deep insights and very great implications. Speaking of "the mind" in our group in a way that ignores its deeper and truly philosophical (wisdom-loving) levels does a disservice to Gurdjieff’s psychology and mission. Instead, we could start to understand and differentiate the various “centers” and their overlaps more precisely, as Gurdjieff did, and to stimulate and harness our mental enthusiasm in line with the striving to understand ever more about the laws of world creation and world maintenance -- and, in particular, our own fragile world right now.
Our lives are short, our ignorance deep, and our learning needs to accelerate. We need systematic teamwork to do so. The challenge should be in a Gurdjieff group to see what topics we can each individually begin to research and then pool together and present to one another. Nothing hastens learning a topic better than having to explain it to others.
Lastly, let me suggest Dr. Buzzell's Man: A Three-Brained Being as a follow-up to Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous. This book focuses on and explicates a basic Gurdjieffian concept and affirms its validity and implications in the light of current research. Dr. Buzzell also explains, using Gurdjieffian and systematic concepts, Gurdjieff’s notion of the "organ Kundabuffer" and how its effects operate within us. He quotes extensively directly from Beelzebub and Ouspensky. Man a Three-Brained Being could give us greater effective insight into our psychological predicament. We would begin to make greater sense of what we have already read in ISM and also begin to experience the ideas and style of Beelzebub's Tales without needing to read the whole of Beelzebub from beginning to end.
COMMENTS ON THE BOOKS OF KEITH BUZZELL
by David Whitfield
Posted on October 4, 2013 by Amy
Rather than waiting until I can write a more complete opinion re: the five Keith Buzzell books — I’ve decided to just write a note for now—and the send you a more complete commentary later when I’m better prepared to do so.
Just let me say—a mere peek into the books—with those beautiful diagrams based on the Law of Three and the Law of Seven (the enneagram) was enough to get me hooked.
…I’ve started with this book mostly—not “easy” to read intellectually even though the explanations are complete and thorough—you have to really stretch your brain to grasp these concepts, frequently illuminating though they often are! What Keith says about the Solar System from Gurdjieff’s perspective, and the parts about the Heropass and the conception of time as an aspect of the Divine, and connecting time with the third, reconciling force opened up for me new realizations. Also, I became newly and more intensely aware of what we think of as “evil”, as a holy necessity—a blessing which to our common personalities, seems to be well disguised.
So many new panoramas are opening I will have to live for decades to absorb them—probably a further lifetime—would be enough.
So—to say “thank you” for sending the books—and to Keith for writing them—is simply inadequate! But thank you anyhow!
IMPRESSIONS OF THE OCTOBER GATHERING, 2012
Posted on November 6, 2012 by Amy
Thank you very much for an excellent weekend!
Keith, I appreciate all your effort to communicate your understanding of The Tales and your insights. Throughout the weekend, your interpretations of metaphor in The Tales helped me to catch a glimpse of how various degrees of reason operate. There were a few moments when I felt myself change due to something you said. A feeling of being struck
by lightning, although I never have been struck by lightning, or a spark- something electrical. I looked into my past and suddenly some things made more sense, a sort of lining up in terms of my relationships with others, feelings, decisions, and opinions.
I felt that much was learned from our discussion of the apes, not from the content of
the apes, but from us moving toward real understanding and distinguishing between
real metaphor and metaphor gone wild (this is something I personally struggle with
when reading The Tales, and in general, partially due to my experiences with human-
ities/philosophy professors who encouraged symbolism and meaning to be imagined endlessly to the point of hysteria). I found your judgment to be very useful in developing an instinct for real metaphor and this will help me be more reasonable and logical in my readings of The Tales and in life.
Thank you both for the work, patience, and understanding that you have given.
For me, that visit has already begun each time Keith's book Perspectives is opened. It beckons me to a world of rich study. I had been looking forward to beginning it once we returned from Harrison.
With great gratitude,
Thanks again for your inspirational work!
I want you to know that I really appreciate you giving me another copy of Gurdjieff's Whim. It is really one of the very best books I have read about Beelzebub, and even about the Work: it just opens up my eyes to a way of looking at G's work.
I had no idea he was Such a Scientist!
All & Everything Conference 2012
Posted on May 24, 2012 by Tay
Keith Buzzell and the Fifth Press staff were present at the All and Everything Humanities Conference 2012, in Salt Lake City. Keith presented a paper from Reflections on Gurdjieff’s Whim, The Dilemma of the Toof-Nef-Tef. Below is a report from Debbie Elliott.
My first A & E conference & the 17th to be held, this year was in Salt Lake City, Utah. Coming from London meant a long flight so I came a couple of weeks earlier to get over the jet lag and see the surrounding area.
The conference was held at the grand old Peery Hotel, proper cowboy style decor. The A & E planning committee were very welcoming & started the proceedings with a getting to know you session. Since this was my first time I was a little shy & then dismayed to see I was 4th in line to speak! I tried not to rush through my intro & to pay attention to all the names & info each individual gave, there were just under 60 of us. Attention was needed from the start & as a subject attention was brought up in many of the talks.
The first talk was from Will Mesa who was very knowledgeable about, or the living teaching as he remarked. I was surprised to learn that Ouspensky never read , apparently it got stuck in his throat.
In the evening there was a reading from, I think we started on chap 9 & those who wished to read aloud were directed to stick to a page each. People were allowed to make a comment on anything that the page just read meant to them. Again the cat got my tongue but there were many others with observations. All remarks were treated as important & all opinions valid.
A room was set aside each morning from 7-8 am for sitting, unguided. The day before Will Mesa told everybody how Dushka had told him that meditations should be unguided & so this became a bit of a running joke anytime a sitting or meditation was mentioned . . . guided or unguided?
Derek Sinko was the first speaker of the day with a colourful talk on visualising& the colours that Gurdjieff uses in the book. A great discussion came out of this about how humans used to see more colours than they do now (i.e. octarine for Pratchett fans!); being sight-being-able to see more than ordinary sight, & to recognise other colours.
Keith Buzzell was next to talk about Toof-Nef-Tef, the king of Mars. Keith has been writing some excellent works on& this was a pleasing talk on chapter 45 which I am glad to say I had read again in the break. Toof-Nef-Tef is concerned with why the Martians were having difficulty in perfecting themselves, something we are all having difficulty doing today here on planet Earth.
The afternoon was a seminar on chapter 34 “Russia,” some short extracts were read inbetween a good debate on the meanings within this chapter.
The evening was a magical night as Steffan Soule put on a fabulous show of card tricks & illusions with crowd participation which brought humour & fun hopefully for one & all. I am a big fan of Derren Brown so I loved this. Steffan also incorporated the enneagram into his show with an explanation as to how this symbol works in our everyday life.
Began with a movie by John Amaral on Gurdjieff & Steve Jobs which created quite a stir, for & against the points made within it. What I got out of the movie was the intriguing fact that Jobs had read& seen the movie version of ‘Meetings with Remarkable Men’. I admire Jobs for what he has done with Apple & have often quoted him or passed on his speeches to others but I am also very concerned about technology & what its impact is on our natural environment (just what are all those wireless energy waves doing to mother nature?).
The next talk by George Beke was to do with Pythagoras, Plato & the stars. It also included a tape recording of Gurdjieff speaking, which was a delight, I had never heard his voice before. I was reminded he was quite old at the time of the recording because his voice had not been what I had anticipated. This was a thrilling talk for me as I am an amateur astronomer & to discuss the stars & Gurdjieff’s advice that one should find that special point in the heavens to connect with . . . celestial connections were helping with the cerebral connections.
The next talk was from Irv Givot who introduced us to the first page of BTTHG. Another great talk & so much to say on just that first page. If we discuss page 2 next year, then page 3 the year after we should get to the end of the book within a couple of thousand years. Here’s hoping the conference goes on that long, but what was important from that talk was the invocation Gurdjieff makes on that first page, something we should be applying to everything we do.
Friday night was a delightful evening of Gurdjieff & De Hartmann music played for us by Linda Kangas & Christopher Barlow. I have heard such music on CD but to hear it performed live on the piano was a totally different experience & I could feel the music playing into my body. Go listen to it live for a true experience.
A couple of good talks in the morning, the first by David Brahinsky on Gurdjieff’s concept on sexuality in the evolution of consciousness (or sex energy). An interesting talk on how we misuse it along with a discussion on Reich & his views on orgiastic potency. Buffers cannot destroy sexual energy & misuse of it leads to sexual titillation. If we can use this energy productively it should help us in developing our being.
The next talk was by Russell Schrieber, another interesting talk this time on the explanations for negative energy & trauma. Sadly Russell ran out of time to give us the full speech so one feels a lot was missed.
The afternoon was two seminars, one on the Ekim Bey chapter in ‘Meetings with Remarkable Men’. I did not have the book with me nor had I read it in a long time so I was all ears on people’s interpretations of this chapter.
The second seminar was chapter 35. I thought I would use my kindle for this reading & was rather dismayed to see I had a different version to the paper book. Then a coincidence or synchronicity: at the reception I found a copy of one of Paul Beekman Taylor’s talks on the many versions of & the many translations that were made under Gurdjieff’s watchful eye. They all still have the same meaning, just that some of the sentences are constructed just slightly differently.
Saturday evening was the banquet which was full of toasts, good humour, some bad jokes, good food & magic provided by Mr. Soule, of which I was lucky enough to participate in the grand finale.
Sunday was the last day & a final seminar entitled "Where do we go from here?" Well where do we go? With open minds & hearts we all look forward to next year, where the conference shall be held in the lovely site of Canterbury! Hope to see you there.