Prayer and worship has been much on my mind and in my heart lately. This is the first in what is likely to be a series of posts on the question, which is not touched on that often in the Gurdjieff work.
In the church, it's said that the Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world. This material energy- a freely given gift, sacrificed (sent downward, or given up) by the Lord in order to provide a path to salvation, is the higher energy that can free man from the devices of the mind and ego. The Lamb of God brings what the apostle Paul called "the Peace of God that passeth all understanding," exactly because this material force is higher than our mind.
The prayer to the Lamb of God in the Episcopal and Catholic churches runs something along these lines:
"Lord God, Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. (x2) Lord God, Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, receive our prayers."
This powerful esoteric prayer is a call to the forces that can, as Gurdjieff would have put it, "do;" active forces that can purify and cleanse us, rising above the confusion and dissolution of the ego, and leading us directly on a path towards absolution through remorse of conscience. Readers would do well to take note of this, since we're at a moment on the planet when such prayer is both extraordinarily necessary, and carries much more than the usual degree of force.
Remorse of conscience, like the Lamb of God, is only experienced upon the receipt of a certain kind of higher energy- it, too, is not a concept but a material substance- mediated by the presence of what Gurdjieff would have called higher hydrogens. It is not an experience we can "make happen." True remorse of conscience is a gift from above, and is not a single experience but consists of a series of levels, which are consequent upon the successive opening of a sequence of centers, or chakras, including the so-called "secret" chakras, which are rarely referred to even in schools, and cannot be worked on directly. Most particularly, in the Gurdjieff system, this level of work belongs to the second concious shock of intentional suffering, and is entirely contingent upon the opening of the heart, which (at position 5 on the bottom of the enneagram, like the abdominal chakra at 4) serves as the center of gravity for the second triad of centers or chakras on the left side of the diagram.
Astute and experienced Gurdjieffians who give this a bit of thought may finally understand precisely why the second conscious shock is placed in the wrong position on the diagram. It does indeed indicate what kind of work is necessary for the second conscious shock.
In conjunction with the action of remorse, the opening of the heart chakra occurs in stages and levels as well.
Mankind has been told since ancient (pre-Christian) times that the Lord maketh the Lamb to lie down with the lion. This, too, is not an abstraction, allegory, or a mythical proposition; nor is it to be taken literally in any outward sense. This ancient teaching (hearkening back to the tale of Daniel in the lion's den, and of course long before) describes an inner action which we seek. With enough inner work and prayer, eventually the meaning can become clear through an active experience.
In pondering this question, and examining our inner state in order to understand just what lions and Lambs are, it's worh noting the fact that our lion is forever asking the Lamb to lie down with it.
Unfortunately, the lion has a quite different intention than the Lord's, when it comes to Lambs.
May our prayers be heard.