~ Olga de Hartmann “Our Life With Mr. Gurdjieff”
NATURE IN HER FORESIGHT HAS GIVEN TO MAN'S MACHINE A CERTAIN PROPERTY, WHICH PROTECTS THE MAN FROM FEELING AND SENSING REALITY
“[O]rdinary man... can live all his life as he is.
“At the same time Nature has given him the possibility of changing, but this does not mean that any change will necessarily take place.
“This change you speak of is possible, but it is difficult to say if anyone has the chance of reaching it. There are many reasons not dependant on us, which may prevent this.
“The chief reason is... Nature in her foresight has given to man's machine a certain property, which protects the man from feeling and sensing reality.”
~ George Gurdjieff “Gurdjieff's Early Talks 1914-1931”
MEN OF KNOWLEDGE KNOW HOW TO RETAIN THE FINE MATTERS IN THEMSELVES AND ACCUMULATE THEM
Everything living has an atmosphere around itself. The difference lies only in its size. The larger the organism, the larger its atmosphere. In this respect every organism can be com- pared to a factory. A factory has an atmosphere around it composed of smoke, steam, waste materials and certain admixtures which evaporate in the process of production. The value of these component parts varies. In exactly the same way, human atmosphere is composed of different elements. And as the atmosphere of different factories has a different smell, so has the atmosphere of different people. For a more sensitive nose, for instance for a dog, it is impossible to confuse the atmosphere of one man with the atmosphere of another.
I have said that man is also a station for transforming substances. Parts of the substances produced in the organism are used for the transformation of other matters, while other parts go into his atmosphere, that is, are lost.
So here, too, the same thing happens as in a factory.
Thus the organism works not only for itself, but also for something else. Men of Knowledge know how to retain the fine matters in themselves and accumulate them. Only a large accumulation of these fine matters enables a second and lighter body to be formed within man.
Ordinarily, however, the matters composing man's atmosphere are constantly used up and replaced by man's inner work.
Man's atmosphere does not necessarily have the shape of a sphere. It constantly changes its form. In times of strain, of threat or of danger, it becomes stretched out in the direction of the strain. Then the opposite side becomes thinner.
Man's atmosphere takes up a certain space. Within the limits of this space it is attracted by the organism, but beyond a certain limit particles of the atmosphere become torn off and return no more. This can happen if the atmosphere is greatly stretched out in one direction.
The same happens when a man moves. Particles of his atmosphere become torn off, are left behind and produce a "trail" by which a man can be traced. These particles may quickly mix with the air and dissolve, but they may also stay in place for a fairly long time. Particles of atmosphere also settle on a man's clothes, underclothes and other things belonging to him, so that a kind of track remains between them and the man.
Magnetism, hypnotism and telepathy are phenomena of the same order. The action of magnetism is direct; the action of hypnotism is at a short distance through the atmosphere; telepathy is action at a greater distance. Telepathy is analogous to the telephone or telegraph. In these, the connections are metal wires, but in telepathy they are the trail of particles left by man. A man who has the gift of telepathy can fill this trail with his own matter and thus establish a connection, forming as it were a cable through which he can act on a man's mind. If he possesses some object belonging to a man, then, having thus established a connection, he fashions round this object an image out of wax or clay and, acting upon it, thus acts on the man himself.
~ George Gurdjieff "Views From the Real World"