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SEE: Glossary Gurdjieff

In one of the following conversations G. again returned to the subject of classification according to cosmic traits.

“There is still another system of classification,"‘ he said, “which you also ought to understand. This is a classification in an altogether different ratio of octaves. The first classification by ‘food,’ ‘air,’ and medium definitely refers to ‘living beings’ as we know them, including plants, that is to say, to individuals. The other classification of which I shall now speak leads us far beyond the limits of what we call ‘living beings’ both upwards, higher than living beings, as well as downwards, lower than living beings, and it deals not with individuals but with classes in a very wide sense. Above all this classification shows that there are no jumps whatever in nature. In nature everything is connected and everything is alive. The diagram of this classification is called the ‘Diagram of Everything Living.’

“According to this diagram every kind of creature, every degree of being, is defined by what serves as food for this kind of creature or being of a given level and for what they themselves serve as food, because in the cosmic order each class of creature feeds on a definite class of lower creature and is food for a definite class of higher creatures.”

G. drew a diagram in the form of a ladder with eleven squares. And in each square excepting the two higher he put three circles with numbers. (See Fig. 58.)

“Each square denotes a level of being,” he said. “The ‘hydrogen’ in the lower circle shows what the given class of creatures feeds on. The ‘hydrogen’ in the upper circle shows the class which feeds on these features. And the ‘hydrogen’ in the middle circle is the average ‘hydrogen’ of this class showing what these creatures are.

“The place of man is the seventh square from the bottom or the fifth square from the top. According to this diagram man is ‘hydrogen’ 24, he feeds on ‘hydrogen’ 96, and is himself food for ‘hydrogen’ 6. The square next below man will be ‘vertebrates’; the next ‘invertebrates.’ Invertebrates are ‘hydrogen’ 96. Consequently man feeds on ‘invertebrates.’

“Do not for the moment look for contradictions but try to understand what this may mean. And equally do not compare this diagram with others. According to the diagram of food man feeds on ‘hydrogen’ 768; according to this diagram on ‘hydrogen’ 96. Why? What does it mean? Both the one is right and the other is right. Later, when you grasp this you will piece everything together into one.

‘The square next below is — plants. The next — minerals, the next - metals, which constitute a separate cosmic group among minerals; and the following square has no name in our language because we never meet with matter in this state on the earth’s surface. This square comes into contact with the Absolute. You remember we spoke before about ‘Holy the Firm.’ This is ‘Holy the Firm.’”

At the bottom of the last square he placed a small triangle with its apex below.

“Now, on the other side of man is square 3, 12, 48. This is a class of creatures which we do not know. Let us call them ‘angels.’ The next square — 1, 6, 24; let us call these beings ‘archangels.’”

In the following square he put figures 3 and 12 and two circles, each with a point at their centers, and called it the “Eternal Unchanging,” and in the next square he put the figures 1 and 6; he put a circle in the middle and in this circle a triangle containing another circle with a point at its center and called it the “Absolute.”

“This diagram will not be very comprehensible to you at first,” he said. “But gradually you will learn to make it out. Only for a long time you will have to take it separately from all the rest.”

This was in fact all I heard from G. about this strange diagram which actually appeared to upset a great deal of what had been said before.

In our conversations about this diagram we very soon agreed to take “angels” as planets and “archangels” as suns. Many other things gradually became clear to us. But what used to confuse us a great deal was the appearance of “hydrogen” 6144 which was absent altogether in the previous scale of “hydrogens” in the third scale which ended with “hydrogen” 3072. At the same time, G. insisted that the enumeration of “hydrogens” had been taken according to the third scale. A long time afterwards I asked him what this meant.

“It is an incomplete ‘hydrogen,’” he said. “A ‘hydrogen’ without the Holy Ghost. It belongs to the same, that is to the third, scale, but it is unfinished.

“Each complete ‘hydrogen’ is composed of ‘carbon,’ ‘oxygen,’ and ‘nitrogen.’ Now take the last ‘hydrogen’ of the third scale, ‘hydrogen’ 3072. This ‘hydrogen’ is composed of ‘carbon’ 512, ‘oxygen’ 1536, and ‘nitrogen’ 1024.

“Now further: ‘Nitrogen’ becomes ‘carbon’ for the next triad, but there is no ‘oxygen’ for it and no ‘nitrogen.’ Therefore by condensation it becomes itself ‘hydrogen’ 6144, but it is a dead hydrogen without any possibility of passing into anything further, a ‘hydrogen’ without the Holy Ghost.”

This was G.’s last visit to Petersburg. I tried to speak to him about impending events. But he said nothing definite on which I could base my own actions.


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