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All history is made by people who are asleep

February 20
22:08 2013
P D Ouspensky

P D Ouspensky

The first step in acquiring consciousness is the realization that we are not conscious.

When you become identified you cannot observe.

Another illusion is that we are awake. When we realize that we are asleep we will see that all history is made by people who are asleep. Sleeping people fight, make laws; sleeping people obey or disobey them. The worst of our illusions are the wrong ideas among which we live and which govern our lives. If we could change our attitude towards these wrong ideas and understand what they are, this in itself would be a great change and would immediately change other things.

We speak only about consciousness and mechanicalness. If a role is mechanical, we must observe it and not identify with it. The most difficult thing is to act yourself consciously.

The aim is to reach higher states of consciousness and to be able to work with higher centers.

These small things happen according to certain definite circumstances which control them. You think you control them, but in reality they happen. We cannot ‘do’ because we are asleep. How can sleeping people ‘do’? It is necessary to be awake; when one is awake, one can ‘do’.

Discipline is good if it is discipline. But if it is just an arbitrary invention, then it can give no result. The most important aspect of discipline is not expressing negative emotions and not indulging in negative emotions. Mechanical tasks cannot give any result, but if you catch yourself at a moment of negative emotion and stop it-this is discipline.

We begin with our plurality. When I first spoke of the many ‘I’s in us, I said that new ‘I’s jump up every moment, control things for a brief time and disappear, and many of them never meet. When you realize that you are not one, that you are many, that you may know something for certain in the morning and know nothing about it in the afternoon, then this realization is the beginning. I do not mean that if we realize this plurality we can change it and become different; but this realization is the first step.

Study of false personality is one of the quickest methods for self-remembering. The more you understand your false personality, the more you will remember yourself. What prevents self-remembering is, first of all, false personality. It cannot and does not wish to remember itself, and it does not wish to let any other personality remember. It tries in every possible way to stop self-remembering, takes some form of sleep and calls it self-remembering. Then it is quite happy. You must not trust your false personality-its ideas, its words, its actions. You cannot destroy it, but you can make it passive for some time and then, little by little, you can make it weaker.

If you want to remember yourself, the best thing is not to think about yourself. As long as you think about yourself, you will not remember yourself.
Catch a moment when you are particularly far from remembering yourself-at this moment you will remember yourself.

P D Ouspensky
The 135th birth anniversary of P.D. Ouspensky will be observed on March 5

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