Unicorn Ira Einhorn

This is a blog by and about the wrongfully convicted environmentalist and free energy activist, the Unicorn, Ira Einhorn. Here you'll find news and reviews concerning his case and views on how the world is working, or not. Articles from friends and supporters are posted here too. 'Tain't fittin, just 'tain't fittin...all those innocent folks in jail.'

Name:

I'm an old hippie from the 60's. Issues I'm working on include ebooks, hemp legalization, political activism , world trade center illness and bridging the digital divide.

Books Include:
Black People And Their Place in World History - Print Paperback
Black People And Their Place In World History - .PDF ebook edition
DePalma, Free Energy and the N-Machine
Print Hardcover
DePalma Free Energy and the N-Machine
.pdf ebook edition
Prelude To Intimacy
Hemp For Victory: A Global Warming Solution
Hemp For Victory: The Wonder Herb
Hemp For Victory: The Trillion Dollar Crop
Why I Survive Aids: Emergency On Line Edition
How To Compute: Computer Training Notes  On Line Edition.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In Search of P.D. Ouspensky - Ira Einhorn's Book Review


Review By: Ira Einhorn

IN SEARCH OF P.D. OUSPENSKY:
THE GENIUS IN THE SHADOW OF GURDJIEFF


Gary Lachman (Quest 2004)

The question of consciousness: What it actually is, how it functions, how we can modulate or raise it, is an enormous present concern that is occupying millions of people in one form or another.

During the 1970’s when I created an international information network out of whole cloth with the aid of one farsighted business executive and the resources of his massive company, the original focus was the ability of Uri Geller to produce effects upon the physical world that the science then accepted not only couldn’t explain, but also was forced to deny.

The core members of that network soon gravitated towards an attempt to explain how consciousness itself could effect the physical world. A discipline, let us call it the physics of consciousness, that one of my close associates, Andrija Puharich, had helped create when he originally published Beyond Telepathy.
The focus on consciousness, as a scientific object not as something to be raised, was rather unique then, and two decades away from the beginning of the present explosion and its focus in the massive Tucson conferences.

The 1960’s occupied itself with the question of how to raise one’s consciousness. It cared not a whit about consciousness as an object of scientific intention, but I cared, for I felt that consciousness must have some relation to the actual state of the body, and that we could learn many things by studying the relationship between specific bodily states and the kind of consciousness they produced. I was thrilled when I first encountered Beyond Telepathy in the mid 60’s, and then the author himself who became a close friend and associate in what we jokingly called the ‘psychic mafia.’ I took the trouble to have Doubleday republish both of his early books, doing an introduction to Beyond Telepathy.

Gurdjieff came to me during the 60’s via an apartment mate who loved Gurdjieff - though I kept reminding him Gurdjieff was dead - and his intense involvement with All and Everything that I am not alone in finding incomprehensible for the most part. With Gurdjieff came Ouspensky and a slew of others. There is nothing comparable in modern consciousness studies that approaches the quality of the literature that has gathered around the Ouspensky-Gurdjieff axis.

I also had a friend - a Leary LSD veteran - who ran the Boston Gurdjieff Group.

I am a reader, so I devoured all the extant literature and continued to do so until about the mid 80s.

Certain concepts developed in the work, as it is called by initiates are very powerful: self-remembering being primary, but the idea of higher centers, the fact of our mechanicalness, the concept of different levels of being coinciding with different types of people, the fact that we are not a unity, but a mixture of many ‘I’s who reign from time to time and quickly forget what they said or worse what they intended to do, and last but not least the idea of a magnetic center leading to real intention and the possibility of actually doing something.

Many of my ‘I’s developed a strong interest in knowing more about both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.

Gary Lachman’s book has helped to fulfill that desire.


In Search of P.D. Ouspensky: The Genius In The Shadow Of Gurdjieff is as objective and honest a presentation of the life of P.D. Ouspensky as we are apt to get, given the present state of available sources.


The tale is a sad one, both in the sense that Ouspensky got sidetracked by his hypnotic meeting with a powerful sly man: Gurdjieff, and never actually realized the brilliant promise of his early books. An observation strongly reinforced by Lachman’s description of Ouspensky’s sad alcoholic twilight years, and his own sense of Ouspensky having given up his own path for something ‘miraculous’ that was never achieved.

The life path is almost an archetype of the powerful intellectual - juiced by Nietzsche’s intoxicating words about the superman - who is able to formulate concepts that transcend present knowledge and point to a higher reality that is suddenly realized using a substance that immediately puts one face to face with the experienced fact that there are other realms, mainly unmapped though they may be.

But, one comes down as Dick Alpert, now Ram Dass, said to me a number of times during the 60s. Ah, there’s the rub.

That experience, which words do not even begin to convey to the uninitiated and certainly do not satisfy the experiencer (part of the reason why language held such a fascination for so many philosophers, artists and writers during the 20th Century), lead many on a quest to permanently achieve the state of consciousness that the use of a substance or technique has allowed them to glimpse.

William James pulled back from this not to be future and continued his work, producing in the process The Varieties Of Religious Experience which has few, if any equals for those interested in consciousness.

Ouspensky didn’t, meeting the sad end Lachman describes with such empathy.

The real question that the book raises is that of quality control. In the older traditions the relations between teacher and student are carefully governed. The students are certified by teachers who have been carefully prepared in a long tradition in which certain states of awareness are recognized by the teachers under whom they are studying. The work takes years and usually, certainly in the most successful traditions, the many forms of Buddhism for instance, involves years of patient mediation whose effect can be somewhat understood by reading the literature, but only can be fully judged by a teacher who has explored the full range of described states and has reached a permanent state of realization that is transmitted by their embodiment and the practice that produced that embodiment.

After 45 years of investigating these areas, both historically in the culture of the recent west and in the historical traditions of Buddhism and other master disciplines, I feel deeply that most talk about consciousness is sheer nonsense. Anyone who is serious must seek a situation described in the paragraph above.

To do otherwise is to risk the fate so aptly described in Gary Lachman’s book.

Ira Einhorn
Jan/Feb 2005