Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the weeks of July 15 & 22, 2019

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Presence Body Walking

(Spiritual Walking: 6)

Just as our physical body comprises many elements that create a unified whole, so does our developing presence body. The fundamental substance of presence, in terms of energies, includes the sensitive and conscious energies, each of which operates through body, heart, and mind.

At the level closest to ordinary materiality, we have the sensitive energy, accumulated and arrayed throughout our physical body to effectively be a sensation body. Toward that, we practice sensing our whole body robustly, repeatedly, and persistently. The sensitive energy mediates our contact with our kinesthetic, proprioceptive, and interoceptive body senses. Similarly, the sensitive energy puts us in contact with the contents of heart and mind, with our emotions and thoughts. The more sensitive energy present in us, the stronger our contact with these interior senses. However, while necessary, sensation alone proves insufficient to create an experience we would call our inner body or our presence body.

The conscious energy also operates in the body, heart, and mind. But rather than putting us in contact with the contents of our body, heart, and mind perceptions, the conscious energy puts us in contact with the awareness behind those perceptions. It opens us to the wider context of all our sensory perceptions, like a wide-angle lens zooming out. Here we see behind our thoughts, emotions, and sensations, and into the cognizant stillness at our base. We enter that cognizant space and find peace there. The combination of the sensitive and conscious energies bring a perceptual completeness to our inner experience. Nevertheless, while the elements of our inner body are the sensitive and conscious energies, these are not enough to create our presence body.

Our I is the presence in the presence body. With no one home, there is no presence, regardless of the state of our energies. When we are here, when our I inhabits its place as our center, our inner body transforms into presence. To be your I, try being your attention. Our I directs our attention and is of the same nature as attention: both are manifestations of our will. We can be ourselves, be our I, and inhabit our center as our I.

When we combine this with the sensitive and conscious energies, we can start to perceive our presence as a body: the presence body. This is the vehicle of presence, a place for our will, our I, to stand. Only then is presence complete.

Note that inner body in this context does not refer to the inside our physical body. The inner in inner body refers to our inner experience. In fact, experiencing our presence as a body may not be confined to our physical body; it may encompass our physical body, so that our physical body is within what we experience as our presence body. This holds especially true with the conscious energy, which transcends boundaries.

To develop our presence body we practice being in it as if it were already complete. The elements are all here: the sensitive and conscious energies, and our I. Being ourselves, being centered in our I, as ourselves, binds all this together into a unified presence, into a presence body.

When we are here, as ourselves, in consciousness and sensation, while we walk, we can see presence as a body in action. We walk in presence.

For this week, please walk in your presence body.

See Also: The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff, by Jeanne de Salzmann, Sections 110 and 111.


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