It is late. The cicadas have given way to the crickets. The sound buffets in the flow of moonlight through the trees casting shadows on the grass. Between dinner and now there was a reading from the Dramatic Universe, a portion of the chapter entitled “Mind and Love” and then an hour of meditation.
Early in the seminar time slowed for Daria and for the others. Each day, a week of experience. At some point earlier today, time took on a new tempo, at least for Daria. We are all together here for a very short time. There is urgency, uncertainty.
The sounds of people readying for bed have slowly passed away from within the large house where they are staying. Old and creaking, the house has recovered something of its former rambling glory over many seminars with the work that has been done. It stands in the night like a large ship in dry dock.
Daria has been thinking about something from the reading. The shadow patterns accelerate into their stillness like black holes.
Hidden directorate. What a strange resonance this term has taken nowadays. Dan Brown, Harry Potter, The Matrix, the “men of renown”, global warming, the towers, 2012, the bankers, the royals, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Manchurian Candidate, the illuminati. Who’s running the show? Who are the hidden authors scripting the scenes? Who is scripting my scenes? What hidden machinery is running the show, my show?
Gurdjieff was clear. Consciousness, mechanicality. Conundrums, contradictions. Suggestibility. Sleep. Wrong work of centers. Misperception. No perception. Your level of being attracts your life. Understanding the depth of your own sleep is a preparation for conscious, creative work. Can I see any of this? … Some. Am I ready to see more? Am I ready to see how deep the rabbit hole goes?
Leaving behind the patterns of shadows, she turns and looks directly at the man sitting next to her. It’s the man from the movements hall. His name is Halim. She ate dinner with Halim, Alycia and Eben. It was clear that there is a long history between them. Halim said that he studied with Eben for a long turn when Eben was a somewhat younger man.
They have been talking for some time. Halim returns to an earlier thread, “Eben was inscrutable even as a younger man. Talking with him was like doing a crossword, playing a game of chess. He would say something quite out of the blue and immediately,” he says with a snap of his fingers, “it would connect with an incident, a dream, a recent conversation, a thought I had been thinking.” He pauses. “Most of the conversation was on the inside, and I had to work for that.”
“Do you think that’s what Bennett means when he speaks of a hidden directorate?” Daria asks.
There is a pause. Someone calls out in the distance. A dog barks.
Halim says, “I agree that it’s hard to see what he means. It’s hard to get a picture of it without getting dreamy … woolly, without getting fantastical. For example, have you tried to explain to someone who has never seen or experienced the movements the value that you see in the movements?”
“Yes, tried,” Daria replies.
“You and I understand in our own way. The movements brings thinking, feeling, moving into practical contact. Our understanding comes closer together. Perhaps for someone, a new understanding comes, some new jewel of perception hidden before. All of a sudden, you’re in the know, your present moment expands … either that or you’re insane.”
The dog barks again. The wind comes up from the south-east. Daria smells the ocean. It must be two hundred miles away.
Halim says, “My question along with yours is, What is being a creative agent in the cosmos?” He looks up suddenly as if to see a passing angel.
Daria laughs. He jokes just enough to give Daria the feeling that he means what he says. He speaks with an accent, very slight. Daria has not been able to place it.
“The reading brought you that,” she says with mock dubiousness.
Halim looks clearly at her and says, “The future is looking for you. The future is alive, intelligent, creative.” He pauses to see whether Daria has something to say.
“I see that our two questions are asking the same question,” Daria says.
Halim continues, “What would a person look like who understood the destiny of humanity? Understood the need. Could I recognize that? It may be that you are such a person. Could such another pass it on so I that understood it too? What if I ‘got it’, could I then give it on? What kind of coin is it?” He takes on a face of wide-eyed mania. “It wouldn’t be long before there was a cult perhaps, before someone took a part for the whole. Printing money out of nothing and charging interest.”
Daria could see what he was saying. Anything really valuable coming in can get caught on persona, can become a power play, can be weaponized. Stand back everybody, because we have the answer, and it’s better that you don’t know.
“The noble lie,” Daria says.
“Hmm, yes,” says Halim, “and creative work is a protection against it.”
Daria sits on this for a long while. Then she says, “When creativity and love lose touch, there is terror. It all turns mad. I mean in my own work, and what I see around me. Creating without love is Frankenstein.”
“It’s difficult to say, but sometimes this love is so beyond my limitations. I have to let go.” She pauses for a long while. “I see this troubles me.”
She feels coming another something to say. It has no weight. She lets it go. She really tries to feel what she has already said. The uncertainty. Her own incapacity. It came so suddenly. There is a ball of tears at the base of her throat pulsing deeply.
They sit together for some time listening. Quiet, allowing for the moment.
Halim takes Daria’s hand to hold it and says, “Thank-you so much for the beautiful sohbet.” He smiles. “Forgive me. It is time to roll my cart into its narrow chamber for the night. Up at 6.” He gets up.
“And I am more than a little drunk too,” he says. Daria raises her eyebrows. “Your trouble makes for very good wine. Alhumdulillah. The precious tears of a dervish.”
Daria laughs. The strange logic of it.