Gurdjieff’s “Human Factory” #1: The “Transformation” and the “Hydrogens”

The last post was a quick introduction to the topic on the increase of energy and its transmutation, as taught by Gurdjieff. However, before taking into consideration how to “increase the energy”, we should first study the whole system in terms of its useless expenditure of energy, since our psychophysical machine suffers several “declines” – namely, we waste energy.

If we don’t arrest such waste of energy in our system, most of the energy produced will feed only such “declines”.

Imagine a boat full of leaks – it would have difficulties to float; and, in order to make it float, instead of trying to empty it of water, it would be more efficient to repair the leaks. That’s an obvious thing.

In the human system, the “leaks” through which we lose our energy, are the negative emotions. We had already spoken about emotions and the dichotomy of the emotional center in previous posts. However, I would like to specify that we don’t speak here about “bad luck”, the objective event, but about the interpretation we give to the events and on the subjective interpretation we give to these occurrences.


As an example, we could imagine this situation:

A guy went to a bar, and the waitress serves him with a huge smile. Such a smile triggers a series of considerations which produces a sort of film about the event, an interpretation according to his subjective perception about what is happening. Perhaps he feels that he had an effect on the woman, that he was not half-bad and that probably tomorrow, he’ll make an attempt to approach this woman.

In reality, the waitress smiled only because she woke up with a positive mood, perhaps because her boyfriend surprised her with an engagement ring. She feels good and she doesn’t, in actuality, notice him.

However, he built an entire illusionary story about this event. The next day, he returns to the same bar with great expectations, but what he will find there, is the waitress with her boyfriend. His expectant hopes collapse.


This simple and ordinary event exposes the fact that an objective reality exists, but we aren’t able to perceive it. We live a subjective reality – an interpretation.

This interpretation is what makes us experience negative emotions such as self-pity, everyday fears, guilt, indecision, judgment, laziness, apathy, self-protection, greed, etc. regarding a situation and, of course, the subjective way with which we interpret the situation.

If we could be more sincere with ourselves, we would quietly admit that such mechanisms are the content of the great part of our day.

In order to perform a proficuous Work on ourselves, we must intervene on the negative emotions: first of all, we should learn to recognize them, then try to limit them and, finally, to transform them into positive emotions (and this will be a topic in further posts). What should not be done, is to repress such emotions because we cannot live without them.


After this necessary digression on the negative emotions, we can continue with learning how to increase the “nutritive value” of the foods, mainly, how to increase the quality of energy in our “human factory”.

It’s a complicated process in which intervenes, the kinds of food we mentioned in the previous post – food, air and impressions. In order to not transform this post into a biology treatise, we’ll say that every one of these three foods is elaborated by the body in a mechanical way to a certain degree. After this mechanical process, the intervention of a more “subtle” nourishment which could produce a shock, able to trigger the process of refining, is required to produce an eventual transmutation.

Once more, let’s clarify with an example:

Ordinarily, every process of refining needs a supply of energy. If the energy used for this process is produced from the material that has to be refined, it’s obvious that part of the energy gained will be spent as fuel in the process of elaboration. This is what occurs with the physical food where elaboration is self-nourished with the energy produced from the reaction itself.

So, when a piece of meat is transformed in the stomach, a good part of the energy produced is used in the process of digestion. This, of course, happens for all the physical foods, not only for meat. When the remaining substances (fat and proteins) reach the intestine, they can be transferred to the blood; however, they would be of little usefulness if they couldn’t be further transformed into a different form which could be used from the cells.

But now, the products which have been extracted from the piece of meat can’t use its own energy for this transformation: the residual energy isn’t sufficient to perform this.

So, the intervention of an external energy is required – a substance which could allow the cells to use the proteins of this food, instead of the proteins which are already in the organism.

At this point, the product of the second food, the oxygen, enters to take charge, producing a series of chemical reactions. Without the oxygen present in the blood, a further transformation of the proteins cannot occur, the cells would not accept the new proteins, and the whole process would end here.

So, at a certain point, the energy that comes from the physical food needs the energy that comes from the air to continue the process. Namely, in order to be used for further purposes, the first nourishment (the physical food) needs a sudden transformation – a shock produced from an external force, in this case, the products of the second food – the oxygen.

Such a process follows the exact outline of the musical scale explained in the previous post: during the digestive process, it passes from do to re and then to mi, and here it finds the impasse (that in the musical scale is represented by the missing middle tone between mi and fa), and from here, it cannot proceed without the intervention – a shock – of the air.


The Hydrogens

Now, before we continue, we need an interlude in order to introduce the concept of hydrogens. As you had probably noticed, this topic (the transmutation of energy) covers the whole teaching as presented by Gurdjieff. So, in order to make it as clear as possible, such interludes are more than necessary; what is required from the reader is a little patience and attention.

We’ll begin with the Ray of Creation. Such Ray comes from the Absolute. During its descent towards what Gurdjieff called lower worlds, this energy – the Ray, follows a descending octave. As it progressively descends, its vibration diminishes and its density of matter increases. All the elements we know and many of which we ignore its existence, depends on and originates from this process.

At every transition from one world to a lower one, the vibration and the density, which act in an inversely proportional way, are modified according to the Laws that influence them. In other words, as the Ray descends progressively into a lower world, the density of matter increases, and this increase corresponds to an increasing number of Laws that produces such density. This concerns not only every element that composes the world in which we live and can observe with our senses, but also to our inner and psychological world, namely, emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Indeed, they are also composed from matter, even if more subtle than what we can touch and see.

The different worlds influence each other according to the principles of the Law of Three: in this case, the active force is represented by the carbon, the conservative force by the nitrogen and the neutral or unifying force, by the oxygen. Such interaction of these different forces on matter which is present at a determined point in the universe, generates the raw matter of a determined world (or cosmos), and such matter is represented by the hydrogen.


What should be specified is, that in spite of the fact that many people who follow Gurdjieff’s system, consider these elements as the chemical elements ordinarily known under this name, that they are symbols such as the elements in the Alchemical Tradition. Indeed, agree or not with the following statement, most of the specific language used by Gurdjieff (and glorified by Ouspensky), is of an alchemical nature, and everyone who had studied Alchemy more in-depth, will surely agree with this statement.

So, simplifying the value of the energy as much as possible, depends on the interaction of the three forces in charge (the forces of the Law of Three). We give to this value the name of hydrogen. To summarize, the Absolute has the minimum density, namely, the value of hydrogen 1, while the maximum density corresponds to hydrogen 12.288. Just to make further examples, the food we eat is represented from the hydrogen 768; the hydrogen 384 is the water; the hydrogen 192 is the air we breathe; the hydrogen 96 is the value of fire and the rarefied gasses.

From the density of hydrogen 48, we begin to deal with matters that are not intended as in the ordinary usage by physics and chemistry, but we begin to speak about matters that have a subtle or psychological value, and it’s represented by different types of impressions.


Once more, this is an extreme simplification, but it is useful in giving a clear and consequential idea about the topic of these posts.


In the next post, we’ll see what happens in the human system.



About mr Sarmoung

Andrea Dandolo je pisac i istražitelj razvoja svijesti i duhovnosti uključen u razotkrivanje drevnih učenja s ciljem olakšavanja unutarnjeg razvoja ljudskih bića. Jedan od načina kojima se time bavi je i kroz blog koji je preveden na engleski, španjolski i od nedavno hrvatski. Od rane mladosti je u svijetu duhovnosti i rada na sebi sudjelujući u radu grupa koje potječu direktno od Gurdjieffa, tj koje su bile vođene od strane samog Gurdjieffa U skladu sa drevnim znanjima, naglašava razvoj svjesnosti kao primarno sredstvo za psihološku transformaciju i duhovnu osvještenost individualaca. Karakteristike sistema koji predlaže su jednostavan jezik i moderni prijevod drevnih učenja kao i njihove praktične primjene u svakodnevnome životu. Njegov blog čitaju ljudi iz svih krajeva svijeta. Samorazvoj je ne religiozni i ne dogmatski put; sastoji se primarno od naprednog dostizanja viših stanja svijesti, p prisustva i konačno od ostvarivanja svoje prave intimne prirode, koja je poznata u mnogim tradicijama pod imenima poput esencija, duša, biće. Kroz takav razvoj individualna osoba ulazi u nove dimenzije svijesti koje mu omogućuju da vidi stvarnost sakrivenu iza iluzija. To mu omogućuje kreiranje osobnosti neovisne i otporne na vanjske situacije i vanjska uvjetovanja. Posljedice takvog razvoja su oštra inteligencija, izvanredni kreativni kapaciteti, ravnoteža i smirenost u svakoj situaciji i stabilno stanje višeg stanja svijesti koje je poznato u drevnim tradicijama pod nazivom “buđenje”.
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