Chapter 35: Turning Inward toward the Real
We are living, but we are not aware that we are or that we are living. There is no self-remembering. You are eating or you are taking a bath or you are taking a walk: you are not aware that you are while walking. Everything is, only you are not. The trees, the houses, the traffic, everything is. You are aware of everything around you, but you are not aware of your own being - that you are. You may be aware of the whole world, but if you are not aware of yourself that awareness is false. Why? Because your mind can reflect everything, but your mind cannot reflect you. If you are aware of yourself, then you have transcended the mind.
Your self-remembering cannot be reflected in your mind because you are behind the mind. It can reflect only things which are in front of it. You can just see others, but you cannot see yourself. Your eyes can see everyone, but your eyes cannot see themselves. If you want to see yourself you will need a mirror. Only in the mirror can you see yourself, but then you will have to stand in front of the mirror. If your mind is a mirror, it can reflect the whole world. It cannot reflect you because you cannot stand before it. You are always behind, hidden behind the mirror.
This technique says while doing anything - singing, seeing, tasting - be aware that you are and discover the ever-living, and discover within yourself the current, the energy, the life, the ever-living. But we are not aware of ourselves.
Gurdjieff used self-remembering as a basic technique in the West. The self-remembering is derived from this sutra. The whole Gurdjieffian system is based on this one sutra. Remember yourself, whatsoever you are doing. It is very difficult. It looks very easy, but you will go on forgetting. Even for three or four seconds you cannot remember yourself. You will have a feeling that you are remembering, and suddenly you will have moved to some other thought. Even with this thought that “Okay, I am remembering myself,” you will have missed, because this thought is not self-remembering. In self-remembering there will be no thought; you will be completely empty. And self-remembering is not a mental process. It is not that you say, “Yes, I am.” Saying “Yes, I am,” you have missed. This is a mind thing, this is a mental process: “I am.”
Feel “I am,” not the words “I am.” Don’t verbalize, just feel that you are. Don’t think, feel! Try it. It is difficult, but if you go on insisting it happens. While walking, remember you are, and have the feeling of your being, not of any thought, not of any idea. Just feel. I touch your hand or I put my hand on your head: don’t verbalize. Just feel the touch, and in that feeling feel not only the touch, but feel also the touched one. Then your consciousness becomes double-arrowed.