For the Week of August 27 - September 2:
Christification: The Side Octave
William Blake, A Sunshine Holiday
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. The Word was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through the Word, and apart from the Word
not one thing came into being.
Through the Word was life, and this life was the light of humanity; the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. …
The true Light, who gives light to every person, was coming into the world. The Light was in the world, and the world came into being through the Light. …
And the Word became flesh and took up residence among us, and we saw the glory, glory as of the one and only from the Absolute,
full of grace and truth.
- John 1:1-4, 9, 14
The whole context for our exploration of the cosmos has been "as above, so below." This is a fractal universe, in which the patterns of the macrocosm are found in the microcosm, where divine DNA infuses every particle, and evolution is divine creation unfolding into fullness by means of the Law of Three and the Law of Seven.
We now turn to the hope, aim and possibility of humankind contained in the cosmology of the Work: the side octave of the sun. Also known as the side or lateral octave, Gurdjieff's profound conception reveals and evolves religious and esoteric teaching about the Christic nature of the universe and the Christic process – incarnation, passion, death and resurrection – a transformative process meant for all humanity.
In Gnosis I, Boris Mouravieff describes the great Ray of Creation as the plan of creation and the side or lateral octave as its application. Ilia Delio indicates one meaning of Christ (sometimes referred to in the Work as the Sun or the Absolute II) is "the power of God to act." (Christ in Evolution). The side octave is an octave within an octave, a description of how the will of the Absolute, which is the creative force of Love, can energetically be transmitted and received by life on earth and especially by humanity. Dr. David Hawkins quips in his lectures that a passing glance of an archangel would turn a person into a grease spot, so great is the sheer magnitude of their being-transmission. Analogous to the way in which our atmosphere makes the tremendous power of the sun available to us without annihilation, so the side octave allows higher influences and energies to transmit beyond the level of galaxies and planets to organic life on earth.
"The first interval [of the Ray of Creation] is filled by the will of the Absolute … by God's creative will, … giving the first impulse to a premeditated and predetermined creation. This creative force … is Love. As for the interval between fa and mi of the Great Octave, it is equally filled by the will of the Absolute, but no longer directly …. This will acts here in the second degree, but always as a creative force of Love. … This complementary outpouring of forces … allows that first creative action to continue its development without impediment. … [I]n the execution of the cosmic plan, the transmission of creative energy across the second interval is realized by the introduction of an auxiliary lateral octave, which starts from the Sun: the sol of the Great Octave. …"
- Boris Mouravieff, Gnosis I, p. 95
"Man does not appear in the Ray of Creation …. Only the earth appears. But in order to enable the forces coming down the Ray to pass easily to the earth and moon an apparatus must be created between the notes fa and mi – that is, between the planets taken as one whole, and the earth taken as a part. For this purpose, a small octave is created from that level of creation externally represented by the Sun … [which] sounds the note do. … The three notes la, sol, fa that are sounded between the planets and the earth form organic life. Organic life is a sensitive living film that lies over the surface of the earth and acts as a transmitter of the forces passing between the upper and lower parts of the Ray. Man is a part of organic life and it is in this specially created apparatus for transmission that he appears in the Ray itself. By organic life is meant every form of life on the earth … every form down to the most minute living cells. This sensitive film, which collects influences from the upper part of the Ray and transmits them to the earth and the moon, is created from the level of the Sun and its appearance in the great Ray of Creation is due to the point of check where a shock is needed between the notes fa and mi, arising from the nature of the Law of Seven."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "The Law of Seven," Vol. 1, pp 123-4
"[T]he Sun, in creating the small octave, has two objects which it is essential to grasp and distinguish between very clearly.
"One object is to create a sensitive transmitting machine between the great notes fa and mi in the Great Ray to enable the force to pass to the earth and moon at the termination of the Ray. From this point of view organic life, including Man, exists only for the purposes of the Ray [the evolution of the earth and the moon]. …
"In creating the small octave, the Sun is not merely creating on behalf of the Ray itself to fill a missing place but is also acting for itself. The Sun wants something apart from the needs of the Ray of Creation. It is here that the possibilities of Man are found. … The intelligence of the Sun wants something for itself in creating Man on earth, quite apart from the necessities of the Great Ray. What does it want? It wants Man to ascend from the level of the earth to the level of the Sun. For this reason it creates Man as something incomplete, as an unfinished being. In what sense incomplete?
"In regard to being a part of organic life, serving the purposes of the Ray of Creation he is complete and nothing more is required of him than the life he ordinarily leads. He is capable of living on earth as he is. He is then said (in the Work) to serve nature. But in regard to his real origin from the Octave from the Sun he has another destiny locked up in him. … Man has in him far more than is necessary for the purposes of serving nature. …
"In regard to the second object of the Sun, Man is created on the earth as incomplete in order that he may develop up to the level of being represented by the Sun. It is in this sense that Man is said in the Work to be a self-developing organism. Man is thus an experiment of the Sun, placed on the earth. If you will … really try to understand the meaning of the Ray of Creation and the Octave from the Sun, many inexplicable and apparently irreconcilable things will become clear to your mind. …[Y]ou will be able to begin to think rightly about life on earth and … your own situation."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "The Law of Seven: The Sun Octave," Vol. 1, pp. 126-128
How can the side-octave be applied to oneself?
The side octave can be accessed as a parable, where there are unfolding levels – literal, psychological, allegorical – that can yield great force and meaning. As a practice of Lectio Divina, we can ponder and listen for how the teachings and diagram come to meet us in our journey. We can ask: What message do you have for me? as a means of Self-remembering – of opening to and listening for the guidance of higher centers. From here may come deeper Wishand access to greater will.
We can observe what level of food of impressions we are exposed to and consuming and make more conscious choices: "If a man remembers himself, he begins to pass first under planetary influences and eventually under the influences of the Sun. But he must learn to make an inner choice and to do so he must know a great deal about himself and about different I's in him and about parts of centers. … All work on oneself consists in choosing the influence to which you want to subject yourself and actually falling under this influence. And here, by long observation, you must know what you want in this respect." - Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "The Law of Seven: The Sun Octave," Vol. 1, p. 128
Because the Sun/Son wants something for itself, we can understand that incarnation and creation is not a one-time, one-way event, but a relationship, a co-creative, evolving process. Practically then, we can see the importance of our efforts and practices as self-developing beings and especially our participation in all three lines of Work and all five obligolnian strivings.
"The universe is physically impregnated to the very core of its matter by the influence of divine nature. Everything is physically 'Christified,' gathered up by the incarnate Word as nourishment that assimilates, transforms, and divinizes. The world is like a crystal lamp illumined from within by the light of Christ. …
"Christ is more than Jesus. The term 'Christ' signifies divine love incarnate throughout the whole of creation. Everything is born out of the love of God, expresses God's love, and is oriented toward the fullness of divine love. Every aspect of created life, from energy particles, to stars, fish, bees, trees and human persons, expresses the love of God and is dynamically oriented toward God. Everything that exists has a divine dimension to it, a 'Christic' dimension, that is an ineffable quality to every person, star, plant, bird, every creaturely being, an ineffable poetic dimension of life written in the grammar of divine love. …
"The dynamic process of creation is God uniting to form one with something, to be immersed in it. Teilhard recognized that there is a unifying influence in the whole evolutionary process, a centrating factor that continues to hold the entire process together and move it forward toward greater complexity and unity. … Teilhard identified this immanent principle with God. He wrote, 'God is entirely self-sufficient (i.e, God does not need anything to be God); and yet the universe contributes something that is vitally necessary to God (i.e. God's 'Godness' comes to life in creation)."
- Ilia Delio, Omega Center newsletter, "Understanding the Christic in an Open Universe," August 15, 2020
- Read through this email a few times this week. Practice some of the suggestions for applying the side octave of the sun to yourself and your Work. What message does the side octave have for me?
Attend tonight's class: 7pm Central Time via Zoom only.