“In the history of mankind we see two parallel and independent lines of civilization: the esoteric and the exoteric. Invariably one of them overpowers the other and develops while the
other fades. A period of esoteric civilization comes when there
are favorable external conditions, political and otherwise.
Then Knowledge, clothed in the form of a Teaching corresponding to the conditions of time and place, becomes widely spread. Thus it was with Christianity.
But while for some people religion serves as guidance, for others it is only a policeman.
Christ, too, was a magician, a man of Knowledge. He was not God, or rather Me was God, but on a certain level.
The true meaning and significance of many events in the Gospels are almost forgotten now.
For instance, the Last Supper was something quite different from what people usually
think. What Christ mixed with bread and wine and gave to
the disciples was really his blood.
To explain this I must say something else.
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 compared 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 sub-stances. 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.” VRW G.I.Gurdjieff
“…..In all the denominations of Christianity a great part is played by the
tradition of the Last Supper of Christ and his disciples. Liturgies and a whole series of
dogmas, rites, and sacraments are based upon it. This has been a ground for schism,
for the separation of churches, for the formation of sects; how many people have
perished because they
would not accept this or that interpretation of it. But, as a matter of fact, nobody
understands what this was precisely, or what was done by Christ and his disciples that
evening. There exists no explanation that even approximately resembles the truth,
because what is written in the Gospels has been, in the first place, much distorted in
being copied and translated; and secondly, it was written for those who know. To
those who do not know it can explain nothing, but the more they try to understand it,
the deeper they are led into error.
“To understand what took place at the Last Supper it is first of all necessary to
know certain laws.
“You remember what I said about the ‘astral body’? Let us go over it briefly. People
who have an ‘astral body’ can communicate with one another at a distance without
having recourse to ordinary physical means. But for such communication to be
possible they must establish some ‘connection’ between them. For this purpose when
going to different places or different countries people sometimes take with them
something belonging to another, especially things that have been in contact with his
body and are permeated with his emanations, and so on. In the same way, in order to
maintain a connection with a dead person, his friends used to keep objects which had
belonged to him. These things leave, as it were, a trace behind them, something like
invisible wires or threads which remain stretched out through space. These threads
connect a given object with the person, living or in certain cases dead, to whom the
object belonged. Men have known this from the remotest antiquity and have made
various uses of this knowledge.
“Traces of it may be found among the customs of many peoples. You know, for
instance, that several nations have the custom of blood-brotherhood. Two men, or
several men, mix their blood together in the same cup and then drink from this cup.
After that they are regarded as brothers by blood. But the origin of this custom lies
deeper. In its origin it was a magical ceremony for establishing a connection between
‘astral bodies.’ Blood has special qualities. And certain peoples, for instance the Jews,
ascribed a special significance of magical properties to blood. Now, you see, if a
connection between ‘astral bodies’ had been established, then again according to the
beliefs of certain nations it is not broken by death.
“Christ knew that he must die. It had been decided thus beforehand. He knew it and
his disciples knew it. And each one knew what part he had to play. But at the same
time they wanted to establish a permanent link with Christ. And for this purpose he
gave them his blood to drink and his flesh to eat. It was not bread and wine at all, but
real flesh and real blood.
“The Last Supper was a magical ceremony similar to ‘blood-brotherhood’ for
establishing a connection between ‘astral bodies.’ But who is there who knows about
this in existing religions and who understands
what it means? All this has been long forgotten and everything has been given quite a
different meaning. The words have remained but their meaning has long been lost.”
G.I. Gurdjieff from P.D.Ouspensky’s ISOM p. 103-4
For re-emphasizing the multiple purposes of the planetary atmosphere regarding this subject:
“It must be said that—like everything living—the earth, the planetary world and the sun give out emanations. Out in space
between the sun and the earth there are, as it were, three mixtures of emanations. The emanations of the sun, which are
longer in proportion to its larger size, reach the earth and even
go through it unchecked, since they are the finest. The emanations of the planets reach the earth but do not reach the sun.
The emanations of the earth are still shorter. In this way,
within the confines of the earth’s atmosphere there are three
kinds of emanations—those of the sun, of the earth and of the
planets. Beyond it there are no emanations of the earth, there
are only the emanations of the sun and planets; and higher
still there are only the emanations of the sun.
A man is the result of the interaction of planetary emanations and the earth’s atmosphere, with matters of the earth. At the death of an ordinary man, his physical body disintegrates
into its component parts; the parts from the earth go to the
earth. “Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.” Parts
which came with planetary emanations return to the planetary
world; parts from the earth’s atmosphere return there. In this way nothing remains as a whole.
If the second body succeeds in becoming crystallized in a
man before his death, it can continue to live after the death of
the physical body. The matter of this astral body, in its vibrations, corresponds to matter of the sun’s emanations and is, theoretically, indestructible within the confines of the earth
and its atmosphere……………”
“………As I have said, the second body of man is the soul in relation to the physical body. Although in itself it is also divided into three principles, taken as a whole it represents the active
force, the positive principle in relation to the passive, negative
principle which is the physical body. The neutralizing principle between them is a special magnetism, which is not possessed by everyone but without which it is impossible for the second body to be master of the first.” VRW G.I.Gurdjieff p 164-5 pdf