Related to the Law of Three, already discussed in one previous topic on this Blog, there’s another fundamental Law who let’s us achieve the power of acting: the Law Of Seven or Law of the Octaves.
Many essays and books has been written top explain this topic; this Law is so universal that can be used to explains the principle governing the Universe, such as the functions who determs the success or failure of every action we can perform. But, less essays has been written to explain in simple words how to use the knowing that we can achieve from the understanding of that Law. This Law can be explained figuratively through the Musical Octave, so, for those who aren’t informed about this topic, just click here.
At first, the Law of Seven, explains a natural principle of cyclicity: everything is cyclic, impermanent…. without an cyclic course, life on earth would be impossible. If we throw an object, for example a stone, a a certain point, exhausted the inertial thurst, it falls- otherwise, his path would never end. Without such Law, every natural event wouldn’t have his end. We would start to slaugh or crying till we explode, or it would start to rain and never stop; in brief, non action or process would never end.
So, to use trivial words, this is an useful Law while related to the natural world, but is painful when related to our ability to act: she expresses why we can’t do. How many times we experience something as beginning an purpose or a task, noticing that after some time we have loose the way, the course of our actions has changed when we were still at the beginning, far from the arival, our aim? I consider that is not an exaggeration if I say… always! It’s a fact that happens everyday… Ok, something, casually we succeed. But, if we want to be sincere, these cases are really exceptions when related to the number of failures. The most comic and also tragical fact is that, when experiencing a failure, we have the tendency to convince ourselves that we have decided this change of planes. This is a normal tendency, a defense mechanism who doesn’t permit to see ourselves as unsuccessful. This common social attitude is harmful for those who have the purpose to develop themselves and achieve the possibility to act and not react: we must recognize the fact that we are unable to act as and when we decide!
Speaking about the Law of Three, it’s said that to resolve a conflict between the Positive and Negative Force, we need a third, neutral force… an additional emotional energy to overcome the conservative force and permit the actualization of the positive one. So, we decide to change a determined behaviour with another helthy, and we remain focused to this purpose for some days, we feel that we really want to change. But, after some time, this energy begin to vanishes, and we return to our old behaviour. We understand that in a determinate moment we had decided to perform this change, but what remains of it is only an empty idea, emptied from all the emotional energy we had at the beginning.
The first thing we have to understand is that life has his cycles: there exist an increasing and decreasing wave. If we want, we could immagine the world we live in as a great sea of energy with waves who “rise and fall”: we swim in this wave. Also, there exist increasing and decreasing waves in all of us. When speaking about the Law of Seven, these waves are called Octaves.
Such as in musical notes, our life is made by scales. We have the possibility to sing these notes. We can sing them from do to si or from si to do: in the first case, we speak of ascending and in the second of descending scales. But, before speakning of ascending and descending scales, let’s see how translate these musical scales in the steps we perform in our daily lfe.
Every human being has man possibilities that ordinary remain unexpressed, undeveloped; this atrophy of the possibilities we can express, makes our lives boring and sad. Every musical note is a group of possibilities. So, we canm say that every human being is as some level of the musical Octave: a person who represents the possibilities of Do or Re are less efficacious than a person who expresses the possibilities of La or Sol.
These seven steps musically expressed by the notes, represent a possibility of individual evolution that, ordinary is impossible to achieve. And, knowing the correct system (or method, as you wish), once completed one Octave, or a series of these steps, one can rise and begin his evolution in a higher Octave. Achieving such aim means using mental, emotional and physical potential unknown to the ordinary man.
These steps or notes desn’t represent only our possibilities, our level of consciousness, but also the internal and external acting: these two aspects are related with the ascending and the descending Octaves, but we’ll speak later about this.
Let’s exlain this better: when we decide to act in some way, for example, we decide to change an behaviour we consider harmful for our health with another more healthy, our emotional and mental focus- enery follows a determined path, such as the above mentioned stone thrown: often that stone doesn’t achieve the goal. In a similar way, an intention tends to loose her energy during his path and vanishes.
Let’s immagine that our intention begins at the note Do, and that to achieve her goal, she has to move upward on the Octave till the Do of the higher Octave. If this doesn’t happen, we fail the target and our intention vanishes. Those who are familiar with musical solfeggio, know that on the musical scales, between the Si and the following Do and between the Mi and Fa, there are some empty spaces who are named as intervals.
When in music these intervals are in some way natural, related to our life they are the main problem: they represent those empty spaces where all our eergies of acting are absorbed and vanish. Once we loose that energy, we don’t have enought strenght to achieve the aim we want.
For example: today I decide to stop drinking as an ontwatered olifant. I begin my intention with all the necessary determination and energy I need. I begin to rise from Do to Re, and that’s all ok, there are no problems. Then I move from Re to Mi, and if my intention is still strong ( if it’s still present the Unifying Force of the Law of Three) I success. But… between Mi and Fa ther is an interval. He express the black hole, the empty space where we loose almost all the energies and motivations of our intent. What remain is not enough to continue with our intention, so all vanishes, and we stop with our aim.
That’s the reason why the persons hasn’t a really, authentic capacity of acting. We move constantly from Do to Mi and backwards. We say “Yes, from today I’ll be conscious of myself”, but this results impossible, because we loose the necessary energy and/or forget our aim. Somethimes, we can accidentaly overcome the interval, and almost never we can pass the second interval, but this can’t be described as conscious acting.
All what we do, both internal and external life is determined by the Law of Seven. But, before explaining how to overcome these drawbacks, let’s explain what are the Ascending and Descending Octaves.
These two Octaves aternate. We spoke above of our life as a great sea of energy…. the Octaves are the great wave of this sea: we can’t change his flow, because it is determined by concrete and immutable Universal Laws. We can suffer his stream as usually happens, or aquiring the necessary knowing to learn how to “surf” on these waves.
The Ascendent Octaves are those who indice us to an internal action, an inner development. During these Octaves, we are pushed to the inner listening, sensing, feeling, towards the understanding of some concepts or the planning of some changes. At this stage, it’s more simple to perceive our limits and to understand what we have to do to improve our life. This is what ordinary we call “intuition”, because on this stage we are more sensible and receptive: we accumulate Knowing.
The Descendent Octaves are the periods we are ready to concretize something, when we feel the impulse for experiencing the life: the external action.
An artist feels the arising of an idea during the Ascendent Octave, and during the Descendent octave, he acts and realize that idea translating her in practice: he creates a paint, a sculpture, a novel, a musical composition. The same thing happens in the field of buisness: during the Ascendent Octave a manager can develop his better ideas that he’ll translate in practice during the Descendent Octave. If we want to develop ourselves, we need to understand and use these periods: during the ascendent period we have to put all our attention on the inner listening, and during the Descendent period we’ll experience in life all the informations we have achieved during the Ascendent period.
So, we have to understand if we are in a period of Ascension or Descent (introspection or extroversion). It’s not simple, but it’s possible.
How to Overcome The Intervals
When speaking of the Asendent and Descendent octaves, we can notice that in the first the first interval is placed between Mi and Fa; during the second the first interval is between Do and Si. So, we can conclude that the major difficulties during the Ascendent period will rise after a determined period, while during the Descendent period the problems will rise immediately. In the first Ascendent phase It’s simple to find an idea or a solution of a problem, but it’s more difficult to make them coherent and translate them in practice. Also, during the self observation, we can percieve easily our mechanicity and conditioning, but it’s difficult to continue and deeper the research trying to find the reasons who drive and mantain us in that state. During the second, Descendent phase we’ll find the opposite situation: if we decide to observe ourselves, it will be dificult from the beginning, but after some time, it will be simplier (we’ll Remember ourselves more often). The same thing happens when we start a new job… at the beginning all seems complicated, but after some time all becomes a routine.
So, during the Ascendent Octaves we need more energy at the end, when during the Descendent Octaves we need more energy at the beginning.
How to overcome the intervals? When we start with an action, both internal or external, we need energy- to overcome the intervals we need even more energy. So, we have to aquire the habit and sensibility to recognize these intervals and the way to aquire more energy instead of loosing her.
There is a concrete way to recognize when these intervals happens: first, we have to aquire a degree of awareness; second, when these intervals begin, something physical or emotional happens (Gurdjieff called this friction), something who distracts us from our intent: a pain, an itch, a tic, an emotional disease or something happy… something so intense that diverts our attention from the intent. It may be even an irresistible emotional need: it can be a wish to eat something or drink a beer such as an action who results emotionally rewarding- in all the cases, the impulse is irrepressible. These particular needs are different from the other needs because they have no logic, are unexpected and peremptory. So, first we have to recognize the manifestation of these intervals, and if we success in noticing them, we have to understand that all our energy will be absorbed by them. Second, we need a “tool”, a “method” to overcome this energy dispersion. That “tool” is a Shock! Again… what it means? How to apply that Shock?
Our body and our personality have some habits, they function trought these habits… don’t forget, we are mechanical. To impose a radical change of our habits results a real psychophysical Schock! So, this is apositive trauma who diverts the energy from the interval, focusing her toward the Schock itself. In such way, we don’t loose energy, and ur organism is irradiated and filled by a supplementary and more intense energy that pemit us to overcome the interval and continue with our aim. So, figuratively, we’ll represent this procss in the following way:
Do Re Mi (Shock) Fa Sol LaSi (Shock) Do…. etc
A Conscious Scock is a radical variation of our habits for the period of an interval (Stop smoking, drinking, changing alimentary habits, pick our nose….), and it is deeply related with the concept of effort, but I’ll spend another post to this very interesting and fundametal topic.