The ‘law of three’ and disciple brain damage
People in the Gurdjieff (I won’t call it a ) movement are pressured by the logic of the ideas into a typical confusion, in this case over the so-called ‘law of three’. The way this is presented shows a strong resemblance to typical ‘non-dual’ jargon confusions, rife in the New Age movement.
But in Gurdjieffianity we see this instant dogma of the ‘law of three’ as some kind of cosmic law. People who spend their lives puzzling over this should pause for a moment and withdraw the holy aura that surrounds it. It produces a confusion of thought that cripples most efforts in this so-called work.
Relax, take a deep breath, and consider that it is nonsense.
This is not an uncommon confusion. Hegelians suffer it also. Consider this post from Darwiniana:
Slavoj Zizek and Hegelian brain damage
At least we can consider it a small world and note the frequency of this type of confusion. As with everything in Gurdjieff’s affair, something is pointed to, never really explained, made a dogma so it can’t be questioned, and then the corruption of thought begins in those constrained by ‘cult enclosure’ to believe.
In all fairness, this kind of confusion goes back a long way. And Gurdjieff got what he was asking for (pun intended) when he pilfered the great Samkhya teaching.
One remedy, it might be noted in passing, is the philosophy of Schopenhauer who quarantined (in effect, he didn’t intend anything in doing so) the non-dual from the phenomenal, and simply pointed to the issue with respect to the noumenal.
Be that as it amy, I would say in my own thinking that the ‘non-dual’ (and its degenerate bastard progeny like the ‘law of three’) is not a philosophy, but an indication beyond thought of certain individuals who turned into jumping jelly beans of ‘higher consciousness’ and through a excess of mystic enthusiasm tried to explain it in words and concepts, with disastrous results that have become Traditions of muddle in their own right. So non-dual philosophies don’t make any sense, be forewarned. The issue was not intended to be philosophical.
Actually, if you care to attempt the Hegelian mountain climb, his approach is relatively interesting as an exercise in philosophy, but frankly the confusion generated seems to have outweighed the benefits.