Sunday, May 06, 2018

The Carriage, the Horse, and the Coachman (Part 3.)

More self-observation and study of the analogy of the carriage, the horse, and the coachman has led me to these thoughts:

The carriage is attached to the horse, but the coachman and passengers are free to move off and on and in and out of the carriage respectively.

The coachman communicates with the horse by using reins.

The coachman senses through his body the sensations emanating from the coach.

The carriage is the only component of this analogy that is not portrayed as a living being.

These thoughts raise questions to be explored through more self-observation:

Though the carriage is portrayed as a mechanical device rather than a living being, my own experience sees my carriage as a living thing—a living body—that seems to have an intelligence of its own which attends to many important functions like breathing, heart function, digestion, instinctive actions, etc., without any apparent help from the coachman or the passenger.

I remember that Gurdjieff called human beings three-brained beings. The three brains corresponded to centers that he named the moving center, the thinking center, and the feeling center. No doubt, these centers correspond respectively to the carriage, the coachman, and the horse. He also said that each of the centers had its own moving, thinking, and feeling sub-centers or parts. I assume that, for example, that the instinctive and learned-instinctive actions of the coach—the human body—are controlled by the moving sub-center of the moving center.

Another question is about the relationship between the coachman and the passenger. Both are portrayed as human beings and I assume that they communicate by talking to each other, but how, since one is sitting in the carriage and the other is sitting on top of it?

And finally, and perhaps most importantly for me, is the whole question surrounding the Self—the real owner and master of the carriage, the horse, and the coachman.

You and I are not we, but one!” – Meher Baba

Gurdjieff never claimed to be a Perfect Master—a God-realized soul. He never said, “See me as the real owner of the rig.” To the contrary, he said that his students should not accept anything without first experiencing it for themselves.

Until you experience it, it is not true.” – Kabir

Gurdjieff suggested that the seeker find within himself a collection of I’s that share a common and consistent aim with regard to realizing TruthSelf—, and to delegate to these I’s the authority to consistently maintain the carriage, the horse, and the coachman in pursuit of their common aim. He called this collection of I’s the temporary steward.

Meher Baba never used the analogy of the carriage, the horse, and the coachman, nor did He ever use the term temporary steward. The Avatar and Perfect Masters appear to work in a different way than advanced, but still un-realized, individuals. For the Avatar and the Perfect Masters, the personal relationship between them and their followers is the singularly most important thing. The Avatar and Perfect Masters are the manifestation of God—Self—Truth—in human form. They play the role of personal God, as opposed to impersonal God. In other words, they are the manifestation of the very Goal itself that the seeker is seeking.

To know God, you must become God.”

Therefore, until you become God, you do not experience God, you do not know God, nor do you know or experience the Self.

I have noticed the difference between yoga ashrams and esoteric or spiritual, or religious schools and the places of pilgrimage connected to the Avatar and the Perfect Masters. With regard to the former, the emphasis in on the efforts of the individual—what is called working on oneself. The ashram or school and the teacher create an opportunity to work on oneself.  But with regard to their places of pilgrimage and the presence of the Avatar and the Perfect Masters, it is the work of the Master on the follower that is of real importance. The follower merely needs to be there, in that place, and the presence of the Master. When I am at places like the Meher Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, or His pilgrimage center in India, I try to keep myself entertained, open to what come to me from Meher Baba, and basically stay out of the way of His work.

“A moment in the presence of a real Master is worth hundreds of lifetimes of penance, meditation, and yoga or spiritual practice.” – a paraphrase of comments by Meher Baba

Meher Baba was once asked about his yoga. His reply was, “My yoga is you go!
(To be continued.)

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