For my consciousness the whole life upon earth, including the human life and all its mentality, is a mass of vibrations, mostly vibrations of falsehood, ignorance and disorder, in which are more and more at work vibrations of Truth and Harmony coming from the higher regions and pushing their way through the resistance.
Sleep is very comfortable, but waking is very bitter.
It is a natural, yet incorrect, assumption to accept physical events at face value. Influences come to us upon many varied levels, and the visible, physical carrier or medium is the most superficial form. All of life is a play of forces; we may call these ‘universal forces’ for they act both within and beyond the physical. We have become accustomed to giving personal forms to many of these forces, and we believe that we are independent and free from their influence. The Greek-Armenian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff used to say that humankind lives under 48 laws, of which they are mostly unaware or ignorant of. This is a very precise number, and it is not the numbers – the quantity – or the specifics that I wish to focus on here, but the quality. It may be necessary to have a ‘feeling’ for the forces of influence that populate our lives in the physical domain.
Most people, most of the time, are not aware of the forces acting upon them; and this is a natural condition. We all live our lives within a sea of vibrations – thoughts, suggestions, influences, etc – and we are barely aware of which ones belong to us and which we take to be our own. Let us take a common example as an illustration: information. When a person receives information, the general response is to consider the likelihood of that information in relation to their belief sets and range of accumulated opinions. The person then makes a response regarding whether the information is ‘true’ or ‘false.’ Yet this is a limited two-dimensional way to regard the relationship of the communication. We have to also consider the background to the source of the information: what is the source; do they have an agenda; are they relaying the information from another source; what is the motivation; what are the expected outcomes? And more. We may also need to ask ourselves whether the medium of transmission is reliable or corrupted. If a technological medium is used, are there subtle subliminal messages and signalling within the transmission? Are certain frequencies being used to manipulate the hearer? Is the receiver being discreetly nudged into making desired outcomes? If this is a face-to-face communication, we may also ask whether the speaker is using specific techniques of language coercion, such as neuro-linguistic programming? These are just a very few of the potential influences that could be used in the physical communication of information. And yet, these are still those forces of influence that are limited to the physical range. It is good to be mindful that non-physical forces compete for power the same as familiar physical forces do. What is hidden to us in everyday life are the motivations behind the impulses that surface within the physical.
The human life experience conditions us to view and respond to outward aspects whilst remaining unaware of those things acting behind the veil – or behind the scenes. This disjuncture between origin and target is more than a gap; it is a gulf. As the Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo remarked in relation to the hidden forces of life, ‘the only way out is through the descent of a consciousness which is not the puppet of these forces but is greater than they are and can compel them either to change or disappear.’ Aurobindo is saying here that the ‘way out’ is not to attempt to fight or meet these forces head on but to align with a degree of consciousness that is greater, or vibrationally beyond, the level of those forces. Rather than struggle with them, we are to resonate to a different vibrational alignment that takes us out of their spectrum of influence. Within the general scheme of things, most people are treated as ignorant instruments; they are moved around like puppets, suspecting nothing. They live predictable lives; that is, lives that can be predicted as they move within known patterns. Often, these patterns are what have been programmed into the collective mass society. As soon as a person shifts to an inner-directed life, they begin to move away from predictability. That is, they move ‘off-pattern,’ and this is not well-liked by those of the governing forces. The spirit-consciousness can override the lower forces, which is why the earthly life is being increasingly pulled into a physical-material direction – a pathway to both outer as well as inner automation. Stability is based on a repetition of vibrations and frequencies that our being becomes accustomed to. A person gets entrained through vibrational alignment into a mode of stability. The question we should be asking ourselves is: what type of frequencies are we aligning with? A great deal of stability within the physical realm is of a ‘lower order’ type, based on more limited patterns. Some may wonder, what is all this talk about vibrations – isn’t that new age nonsense? It all depends on how such information is presented and conveyed. A truth can easily be made into a mockery if handled incorrectly. The Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla famously said: ‘If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.’ Again, going back to G.I. Gurdjieff, who stated:
It is necessary to regard the universe as consisting of vibrations. These vibrations proceed in all kinds, aspects, and densities of the matter which constitutes the universe, from the finest to the coarsest…In this instance the view of ancient knowledge is opposed to that of contemporary science, because at the base of the understanding of vibrations ancient knowledge places the principle of the discontinuity of vibrations. The principle of the discontinuity of vibrations means the definite and necessary characteristic of all vibrations in nature, whether ascending or descending, to develop not uniformly but with periodical accelerations and retardations.
It is interesting here that Gurdjieff speaks about the ‘discontinuity of vibrations’ that develop through periodical accelerations (increases) and retardations (delays). There is not a uniformity in the influence of vibrations. The ‘energetic background’ of life, so to speak, moves through these periodic shifts. This can be seen as a macro influence upon human life. In such times, we may feel irritable, restless, frustrated, or more. Philosopher J.G. Bennett referred to this when he wrote:
In a more subtle and pervasive manner, great regions of the earth’s surface, and sometimes even the whole of the earth, become subject to a state of tension that produces in people a strong sense of dissatisfaction with their conditions of life. They become irritable or aggressive, apprehensive, nervous and highly suggestible.
These impersonal forces that influence the world, and our states of being, we know only by the results they cause. We perceive only a small degree through the lens of visible events and consequences. There are forces unknown to us that are responsible for shaping our physical, psychic, and emotional environment. The human being lives ‘constantly in the midst of a whirl of unseen mind-forces and life-forces of which we know nothing, we are not even aware of their existence.’
There are currently forces acting upon human consciousness and producing a great deal of pressure. We are in need of an outlet for this pressure, before it implodes/explodes through our societies in uncomfortable and disagreeable ways. There is now a contestation of forces that are so visible that they can no longer be denied by the aware (or awake) individual. At the same time, a great evolutionary (developmental) force is pushing into the earthly domain, and there is immense resistance to this. This makes the struggle – the contestation of forces – more acute, more violent, and more definitive. Yet this very visibility of the counterforces upon the physical world stage is an important sign for us – it displays their state of desperation to come out of the shadows in this way. This opens up an important path of realization for the rest of us – and possibilities too. Even if individual transformation is upon a small scale, there is the opportunity now for a general uplifting within collective humanity. And it is this general uplifting that will usher in the potentials and conditions for a new world to emerge. Again, as Bennett says,
If a new world is to come, we must first create it in ourselves. You may ask how the work of a few people can change the world. It has always been so. Ideas are powerful, not organizations. Nothing can be done by outward force; everything can be done by inner strength.
We have arrived at an exceptional hour, a privileged time for the expansion of human awareness and perception, if only we can bypass those forces of hindrance. What we need now is inner certitude and to exercise discernment – especially when open to the forces of mass vibration.
The Forces of Mass Vibration
The mass exhibits a different resonance than the individual. When in a group, or crowd, an individual invariably takes on the features, thoughts, and moods of others. In this way, the individual can be inwardly polluted and corrupted by forces they are not aware of. It is important to be conscious of who we choose to be with, mix with, for each person is a point of reception/transmission, and we vibrationally align (resonate) with those we are physically close to. That is why the mob can be psychologically, and behaviourally, dangerous. And this is also why we are advised to choose our friends carefully; a lot can be said about a person according to their friends and associates. It would do us well to remember that ‘one catches the constant contagion of all desires, all the lower movements, all the small obscure reactions, all the unwanted vibrations which come to us from those around us.’ Life is a continual interplay of forces, a continuous alchemy in which a person is constantly absorbing various kinds of vibration that may contain all types of possible dissonance. In this, the task of the conscious and aware person is to transmute these dissonant forces so that their action and influence is disabled. We can do this by grounding the vibration. Let us say that something, an event, a person, or a comment, has caused us frustration. We refrain from responding to it by taking an inner pause, an internal step back, and we observe the discomfort. This ‘item’ is treated as an observable object with a life of its own – it is an energy form. And it needs to be allowed to dissipate rather than find an energy source to latch onto (i.e., oneself). In this, the energy form (the ‘item’) needs to be grounded within neutral physicality – just as electricity or lightening needs to be grounded or ‘earthed.’ Similarly, we earth the dissonant energy by visualizing its transference into the ground beneath us (it doesn’t matter if you are sitting or standing). In this way, the dissonant energy vibration is transmuted. This action is the work of perceptive consciousness and does not have to be regarded as something ‘spiritual.’ On the contrary, it is part of the task of the human being during its sojourn through physical life to transmute energies. It is through the presence of conscious individuals that, according to the Mother (Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual co-worker), a ‘minimum of general harmony’ can be accomplished:
That presence, that spiritual light – which could almost be called a spiritual consciousness – is within each being and all things, and because of it, in spite of all discordance, all passion, all violence, there is a minimum of general harmony which allows Nature’s work to be accomplished.
It is through such Work as this that we become aware of the intervention of forces, impulses, and influences, which are non-visible to our ordinary states of consciousness, and which seek to affect physical life circumstances.
The forces of mass vibrational dissonance are exceptionally intense in these current times. It can be said that humanity has reached a particular state of general tension. Such ‘forces of hindrance’ would delight in creating divisions by dividing friendships and social alliances. Some divisions, however, are set to occur, for these are the breakdowns in the dysfunctional external systems that perpetuate the fractures in our societies. These are such systems as politics, economy, and social trust. We can expect some cracks to appear in these systems for ‘Nature’s Work’ to operate. Yet we cannot allow these fractures to disable the human spirit – or to numb the forces of spirit-consciousness that act through us. As stated by the Mother in the opening citation to this essay, life is mostly awash with vibrations of disorder and falsehood, in which ‘vibrations of Truth and Harmony are coming from the higher regions and pushing their way through the resistance.’ We are tasked, in these times, to assist these ‘vibrations of Truth and Harmony’ and to help them to push their way through the resistance. And in this, we are aligning with the continuation of the alchemical work by assisting in the transmutation of the dissonance (the lead) into constructive forces (the gold). And by doing this we shall also be assisting in the alchemical transmutation of the great treasure of the philosopher’s stone – ourselves.
 Hidden Forces of Life: Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (Lotus Press, 1999), p6
 P. D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching (New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1949), 122-23
 Bennett, J.G. 1989. Is There “Life” on Earth? – An Introduction to Gurdjieff. Santa Fe, NM: Bennett Books, p31
 Hidden Forces of Life: Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (Lotus Press, 1999), p81
 Bennett, J.G. 1989. Is There “Life” on Earth? – An Introduction to Gurdjieff. Santa Fe, NM: Bennett Books, p32
 Hidden Forces of Life: Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (Lotus Press, 1999), p185
 Hidden Forces of Life: Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (Lotus Press, 1999), p167