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Chapter 17: Several Stop Techniques

Miracles happened because in activity, in dance, in movement, when suddenly you stop, a gap happens. This sudden stoppage of all activity divides you into two: your body and you. Your body and you were in movement. Suddenly you stop. The body has the tendency to move. It was in movement, so there is momentum; you were dancing, and there is momentum. The body is not ready for this sudden stop. Suddenly you feel that the body has the impulse to do something, but you have stopped. A gap comes into existence. You feel your body as something distant, far away, with the impulse to move, with momentum for activity. And because you have stopped and you are not cooperating with the body and its activity and its impulse, its momentum, you become separate from it.

But you can deceive yourself. A slight cooperation and the gap will not happen. For example, you feel uncomfortable, but the teacher has said, “Stop!” You have heard the word, but still you make yourself comfortable and then you stop. Then nothing will happen. Then you have deceived yourself, not the teacher, because you missed the point. The whole point of the technique is missed. Suddenly, when you hear the word “Stop!” instantly you have to stop, not doing anything.

Perhaps the posture was inconvenient, you were afraid you might fall down, you might break a bone. But whatsoever happens, now it is not your concern. If you have any concern, you will deceive yourself. This suddenly becoming dead creates a gap. The stopping is at the body and the stopper is the center; the circumference and the center are separate. In that sudden stopping you can feel yourself for the first time; you can feel the center. Gurdjieff used this technique to help many.

This technique has many dimensions; it can be used in many ways. But first try to understand the mechanism. The mechanism is simple. You are in activity, and when you are in activity you forget yourself completely; the activity becomes the center of your attention.

Someone has died, and you are weeping and crying, and tears are falling down. You have forgotten yourself completely. The one who has died has become the center, and around that center this activity is happening - your weeping, your crying, your sadness, your tears. If I suddenly say to you, “Stop!” and you stop yourself completely, you will be totally taken away from your body and the realm of activity. Whenever you are in activity, you are in it, deeply absorbed in it. Sudden stoppage throws you off balance; it throws you out of activity. This being thrown leads you to the center.

Ordinarily, what are we doing? From one activity we move to another. We go on from one activity to another, from A to B and from B to C. In the morning, the moment you are awake activity has started. Now you will be active the whole day. You will change to many activities, but you will not be inactive for a single moment. How to be inactive? It is difficult. And if you try to be inactive, your effort to be inactive will become an activity.

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