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From: poise - Wiktionary

  1. A state of balance, equilibrium or stability
  2. composure; freedom from embarrassment or affectation
  3. mien; bearing or deportment of the head or body
  4. A condition of hovering, or being suspended

Time and Initiative


 . . . a new basis of dynamics, exchange: the "principle of existence of everything existing in the Universe by means of reciprocal feeding and maintaining each other's existence." 14 Gurdjieff calls exchange "Iraniranumange."  As a first thrust toward an open universe, it ends the threat of an entropic decline by establishing "that equilibrium which at the present time no longer gives the merciless Heropass any possibility of bringing about anything unforseen whatsoever to our Most Great and Most Most Holy Sun Absolute." 15   Creation, the cosmic event of novelty, centers on need — a need for mutual support or reciprocal maintenance.  Gurdjieff's innovative idea of need creates a dynamic equilibrium proper to the organism.  The universe in newly opened by the invention of life, its needs and neediness. In an organism, descending (catabolic) and ascending (anabolic) processes exist side by side.  The product of one becomes raw material for another.   Substance is conserved and recylced. What regulates an infinite fine balance of processes is none other than time's new dimension, originary time, timing. Time (timing?) is the essence in any line of development.  If the fodder does not enter when the cow's stomach is prepared with proper enzymes, digestion will not ensue and the animal will starve.  Timing consists in the availability of one process to the needs of another process, conscous or mechanical.  Availability is guaranteed by a redesigned law of process.  Action of reciprocal maintenance works through timing of events.

The achievement of reciprocal maintenance is a great one: it is homeostasis.  Destructive, destabilizing effects of anarchical time — the other — are neutralized through good timing in mutually sustaining processes.  Timing is the great means for ensuring the life of the universe.  Its role is similar when it brings the dancer's performance to life.  Timing, the lawful interlocking of events, clearly belongs to ordinary time.  Man is no less subject to it than any other being.  Yet in timing lies a special opportunity for humanity, one in which humanity ceases to be subject to the laws but coauthor of them.

As an achievement, however, reciprocal maintenance is incomplete.  . . .

 . . .

Timing consists of making one process available to the needs of another process. Human self-perfecting lies in the opportunity to participate consciously in matters of timing. Participation is given by poise.  Poise is an attentive pause during which one's powers of action are gathered prior to entry into the fray.  The dancer acheves the moment of poise in order to override automatic movements of her body.  When poise is absent, mechanical and habitual patterns of locomotion determine what takes place.  The dancer's body, rather than her intentions, governs movement.  Habit accomplishes the limited aim of crossing from point A to point B.  But the possibility of serving a higher aim is a seed concealed in locomotion. Gurdjieff hints at the secret in Beelzebub, saying that when the Absolute "ascertained this automatic moving of theirs, there then arose for the first time in Him the Divine Idea of making use of it as a help for Himself in the administration of the enlarging World."16   Timing of bodily movement — coordination of perception and muscular exertion — can proceed on its own or by means of conscious management of human intelligence.  When one masters timing, a unique cosmic phenomenon takes place — the antientropic flow.  Antientropy contrasts with an entropic flow (the Heropass) that predates the created universe.  Ordinary time must be reactualized by efforts of intelligent beings.  Entropy is already actual regardless of the absence or presence of inner work.

The "reverse" flow produces energies of ever greater intensity, integrity, and centrality.  They are such energies, as Gurdjieff puts it, "as proceed from cosmic sources of a higher order, and consequently composed of what are called vibrations of 'greater vivifyingness.'" 17   The energies strengthen the center and counteract the dissapation of influence which is an inevitable result of unceasing expansion.   Cosmologically, they renew the resolve of the Absolute: to continue to perfect existence.  There can be no doubt as to the cosmic usefulness of conscious management of timing, or poise.  But for humanity itself?  It is precisely in this direction tha thumanity's hope for self-perfection lies.  Timing provides humanity with a rich field for initiative.  To exercise the attention in such a way that, like the dancer, one enters into action poised and collected is to acquire what Gurdjieff calls "individual Reason."  Consciousness is the way of recovering one's own center and its relation to the center of All.  Conscious participation in the timing of one's acts is related to what Gurdjieff calls "being-Partkdolg-duty."   By its undertaking, one assists in "the administration of the enlarging World," enriching an upward current of energy that stabilizes the hub of creation.  Without human assistance, the great chain of being is broken at the weal link where humanity exists.

Theories which lack an inner dimension of time are profoundly pessimistic.  Humanity is not more than another cog within the mechanism of cosmic equilibrium.  To truncate the time-possibilities is to neglect the "two-naturedness" of humanity.  Human beings can be more than unknowing subjects of universal law.  They can, on rare occasions, be angents of prime law itself.  The new station belongs to "relatively independent existences" and requires individual awareness in high degree.  By deep affirmation of one's place, one gains a measure of feeedom from inherited and acquired factors of limitations, refusal, and despair, factors that annul an effort of being and leave one subject to the woes of entropic time.  A wholehearted embrace of the struggle for poise is the recovery of a dimension of human initiative. It is the unveiling of what one really intends to do and to be — the discovery of which can take place only in and through creative time.  The lived understanding of timely action fulfills humanity's dual nature.   Timeliness uplifts humans from the gravity of earthly existence to the divine task of renewing the cosmos through renewal of self.

continued on page 112 at: Google Books

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From: poise - Wiktionary A state of balance, equilibrium or stability composure; freedom from embarrassment or affectation mien; bearing or deportment of the head or body A condition of hovering, or being suspended

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