EnneagramFourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School Education Concerning the Work Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and their students.
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Ray of Creation: The Structure of the Universe

The Ray of Creation is a representation of the Universe which takes account of scale. It provides a framework for the study of esoteric cosmology and psychology.

It has the form of an octave, each note of which signifies a particular level of World:

SiAll Galaxies
LaMilky Way

The names refer to our own ray, the ray which passes through our planet. Visualising the whole of Creation as a tree, this will be one branch, with the Moon as its growing tip.

We can discern two kinds of relation between each world and the world above it in the Ray of Creation: one is a satellite relation (as the Moon is a satellite of the Earth, and the Planets of the Sun); the other is an inclusion relation (as the Earth is included in the Planetary world, the Sun is included in the Milky Way, the Milky Way is included in All Galaxies).

Ray of Creation

The relation of All Galaxies to the Absolute is less clear, because we cannot really visualise the Absolute. Indeed, we must remember that our visualisations of all these Worlds are only very partial projections. We do not even see the Earth as it sees itself. We usually visualise the Planetary world as a small collection of spherical bodies in orbit around the Sun, but we have very little conception of its objective cosmic nature. (For instance, in a higher dimension of time, the orbits themselves would become solid bodies, spiraling around a moving Sun. And it is difficult to imagine the nature of the electromagnetic interactions on this level.) Perhaps the distinction between satellite and inclusion relationships is merely an artefact of our limited intelligence, and would dissolve with the application of correct scale.

As in any octave, two intervals need to be filled. That between Do and Si is filled by the Will of the Absolute. For the interval between Fa and Mi, a special mechanism exists, which encompasses all that we know as Organic Life on Earth. This is the Lateral Octave. It begins at the level of the Sun, Sol in the Great Octave, which sounds as Do in the Lateral Octave:

Great OctaveLateral Octave

Thus Organic Life begins in the Sun; after passing through Si (on the level of the Planets and the Earth's atmosphere), it reaches the Earth in the notes La-Sol-Fa, which represent the thin film of organic life on the Earth's surface (mankind, fauna and flora). Passing into the Earth at Mi, it finally goes to the Moon at Re: some elementary life-substance travels to and nourishes the Moon. Thus Organic Life as a whole acts as a transmitter station for cosmic influences.

The fundamental property of the new language is that all ideas in it are concentrated round one idea, that is, they are taken in their mutual relationship from the point of view of one idea. This idea is the idea of evolution. Of course, not evolution in the sense of mechanical evolution, because such an evolution does not exist, but in the sense of a conscious and volitional evolution, which alone is possible.

The Ray of Creation is in us as well as outside us, and as well as a cosmological significance it has a psychological significance. We have in us levels of being ranging from False Personality to the potential Real I. Consciousness itself can be on very different levels, and can encompass different dimensions of time, corresponding to the levels of Worlds in the Ray of Creation.

It is impossible to study a system of the universe without studying man. At the same time it is impossible to study man without studying the universe. Man is an image of the world. He was created by the same laws which created the whole of the world. By knowing and understanding himself he will know and understand the whole world, all the laws that create and govern the world. And at the same time by studying the world and the laws that govern the world he will learn and understand the laws that govern him. In this connection some laws are understood and assimilated more easily by studying the objective world, while man can only understand other laws by studying himself. The study of the world and the study of man must therefore run parallel, one helping the other.

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