Perfectionist. Needs to be right, avoids own anger. Impatient. Hyper clean. Grim-faced. Can’t relax. Mr. Helpful. Helps others, avoids own needs. Martyrs self. Needs to be thanked. Quid pro quo mindset. Winner. Needs to succeed, avoids failure. Dresses sharp. Works out. Deeper you go, shallower it gets. Purple prince. Needs to be special, avoids the ordinary. Sad eyes. Looks depressed. Artistic. Hates Walmart. Owl. Needs to take in, avoids giving out. Awkward. Incapable of small talk. Frozen-faced. Thinks he’s smart. Trooper. Needs to be clear. Avoids uncertainty. Yells at TV on game night. Conforms, obeys, pension-obsessed. Joker. Needs to laugh, avoids pain. Grins, jokes, chews gum. Lives in the future. Boss. Needs to fight, avoids own weakness. Good vs. evil, black and white, you’re in his frame or out of it. Big Easy. Needs to be comfortable. Avoids conflict. Jack of all trades. Buries his feelings. Not sure he exists.
There are habits of the head, the heart and the body. Of these three centres of intelligence, the body is the most difficult to de-condition. It’s where memories congeal. And where pain is.
Men who believe, as beggars do, that their good comes from outside themselves, devolve into obsequy and people pleasing. Speaking from somewhere north of pity, the magnum-souled Gurdjieff called these unfortunates “ass lickers.”
The habit of unnecessary speech reduces us, turns us trivial.
Keep your speech impeccable. That is the first of The Four Agreements. Im-pectatus is Latin for “without sin.”
What is sin? Sin is what is unnecessary. So says Gurdjieff, that coal-eyed Russian whom I love so much.
We are spittle factories. We talk too much. More words count less. We know that; we long for the gleaming economy of right speech. But first we must know that breaking Babel will be very difficult—harder than quitting cigarettes or weed, harder than losing weight, harder than anything we’ve ever done. We ought not to attempt it unless our goal is our God, before whom there are no other gods, the only and absolute focus of our deathless devotion.