The Organ Kundabuffer

through Tenabah, copyright 2009

In his most important book, BEELZEBUB'S TALE TO HIS GRANDSON, Gurdjieff talks about an organ that was implanted into humanity called the "organ kundabuffer".  It was planted by  two archangels in response to galactic catastrophe which affected the solar system which includes the planet Earth.  The organ was temporarily implanted into humankind in order to minimize the sorrow of adapting to the stabilization period where the two moons, Luna and Anulios, would return to a balanced orbit around the Earth.  Gurdjieff did believe that the Earth did have and still has two moons.  Contrary to some esoteric views which assert that modern science has not verified the truth of two moons or assert that Gurdjieff was wrong about their being two moons, modern science has verified the truth what Gurdjieff taught.  It is merely that Anulios, which Gurdjieff said was very small, is classified as a very large asteroid instead of a moon.  It may be that this asteroid/moon could be, in the future, a place where a space colony may be able to use.

According to the story, the two archangels later removed the organ after the cosmic catastrophe was neutralized.  However, the organ, having been implanted and removed, had side effects.  One was that humans would periodically war against each other, exploit each other, and kill each other.  Two was that they tended to see everything upside down, mistaking transitory events for eternal conditions, and tended to be addicted to and conditioned by things that gave them sensory pleasure.  Three was that humans attached too much weight to verbal communicated thoughts and not enough weight to what could be and needs to be verified in human experience.  It seems that this organ remained in the human body as a kind of virtual vestigial organ.  It seems related to a series of habits that prevent human beings from correctly seeing their life condition and doing something about it.  What is interesting is that there is a mention of a decrease in life span associated with the progressive degeneration of the human species as a result of this organ, that ordinary human beings were meant to live for at least centuries rather than their very short present lifespans.  What is interesting in this regard is that John Bennett took the time to find some of the teachers of Gurdjieff and found them to be about 500 years old.  This particular point fits Amritayana Buddhism concerning how aging and death are not necessary.  At the same time, it explains many factors which have arisen which explains why humans do age and die.

When certain advanced beings ask Beelzebub what could be done about the residual remains of the organ and how these remains are still infecting human consciousness, he shares that he felt that another organ should be implanted into humanity that would make humans aware of their own impending death and the death of everyone around them.  This is something that Buddha taught people to do as well as other esoteric traditions.  The Cisternian Christian monks would take a spoonful of dirt from their own grave site every morning to remind them of transitoriness.

There are some interpretations of the organ kundabuffer that take this organ as a metaphor the personal ego.  There is much that lends itself to this interpretation.  The explanation, then, of the archangels implanting the organ then merely points to an ancient cosmic anomaly that we have inherited.  The Buddha, when asked about the origins of ego consciousness, talked about those causes "lost in the night of time".  In other words, the causes of causes of causes is such a long chain that it goes back into a time period that we have no memory.

But I have come to the understanding that the personal egoism and the organ kundabuffer are different.  Perhaps they are related, but I think that Gurdjieff used the term "organ" to point to biological root, rather than a psychological construct.  This means that the organ implanted that causes humans to be aware of their own impending death and the death of all those around themselves is not merely making people aware of the processes of death and destruction, but a kind of organic shock to our system that changes our biochemistry and induces a change that lifts us beyond the effects of the organ kundabuffer.  I found, for instance, that my schizophrenic mother became spontaneous very healthy and balanced in about three days when I was able to provoke her into being angry and to have her stay with her anger.  It happened rather well for a long period of time.  I was not sure why, but it worked well enough so that I would do it often during a period of time.  The result could have been explained psychologically, because she did have a lot of repressed anger that when given a chance to be consciously embraced would help her feel better.  But I was never quite satisfied that this was the whole explanation.  It seemed that a strong emotion like anger produces a kind of chemical shock in the system and may have neutralized another pre-existing chemical condition.  I have a feeling that LSD and other hallucinogens did something similar.  They produced a chemical shock which neutralized the residual chemical substrate of the organ kundabuffer.  Krishnamurti, when his brother Nitya died, went into deep grief and emerged enlightened.  Grief, too, is a chemical shock to the body and can wipe out the same chemical substrate.  Jesus dying on the cross is also a vast chemical shock to the body.  Near death experiences also are a chemical shock.  These shifts can have more permanant or less permanant effects in terms of moving beyond the ego consciousness.  This is why Beelzebub talks about having this second organ be constant enough to break down the previous chemical substrate to the point where it cannot reform itself.  Paradoxically, watching the daily news could almost fulfill the kind of organic shock that Gurdjieff is hinting at, since it reports almost daily on the processes of recipocal destruction of humans by humans and thus makes people aware of transitoriness and death.  It does not work perfectly, though, and it seems that a person would need to "self remember" or do mindfulness of breathing at the same time as watching the news to have the stimulus be effective.

One of the keys to understanding what Gurdjieff is teaching is the root word, "buffer."  This is a word Gurdjieff apparently got from a railroad train engine that was designed to absorb shocks.  It is similar to the Buddhist idea of "obscuration" where something is not able to be felt as long as the obscuration is in place.  Some people, like Ouspensky, associated "kundabuffer" with "kundalini," but they are two different things.  In a sense, kundabuffer is a block to the natural evolutionary movement of kundalini energy.  Beezebub mentions that the organ was implanted at the base of the spine.  I have gathered that the exact location is near L4-L5 and blocks the kundalini from rising from the sacrum beyond this point.  One way of generating a certain energy to move us beyond our personal egoic state is to create a positive shock to this location so that the energy completes its circuit and flows up the spine.  This, however, could induce a healing crisis that could take much time to process.  A person might seem to go insane or bipolar if this is activated too continually.  It seems that in the beginning we need to take the shocks in small doses and first have some temporary relief from the ego state.

What is interesting is how certain biochemical shocks seem to result in people having "out of the body experiences" (OOBEs).  It seems that one new way of shifting people beyond the residual biochemical substrate of the organ kundabuffer is the use of "brainwave synchronizers".  This approach uses what is called the "frequency following effect" (FFE) to shift our brainwaves to specific frequencies and to more coherent signal patterns.  When a person is hooked up to a brainwave monitor and the EEG (a reading of the brain's electrical activity) is read, our brainwaves are normally fairly chaotic but tend to cluster around a certain dominant frequency range.  When certain Zen Masters were studied, they were seen, after ten years of meditation, to have formed a rhythmic theta pattern.  This pattern could be induced by a synchronizer in about five minutes.  Although there is more to meditation that forming a rhythmic theta pattern, the acceleration of ten years to five minutes is still impressive.  It does seem that brainwave synchronizers help people to learn to meditate more rapidly.  It helps clear a kind of background static more rapidly by far than if we tried to do this without its assistance.  Part of our attraction to music has to do with the embedded FFE, especially in the formation of chords and harmonic fifths.  My belief is that they help to dissolve the biochemical substrate of the organ kundabuffer through reinforcing a coherent electromagnetic field within the brain that is used as a template to rebuild our biochemical level.  The result is that some part of our being is able to leave the restriction of the physical body and roam the cosmos.  There is an FFE pattern called "mind awake, body asleep" that seems especially useful to attain this inner degree of freedom.  It seems to be very helpful for doing Tibetan bardo work and to enhance the power of the archetypal visualizations.  Unlike the use of hallucinogens, there are no negative biochemical side effects.  It works by going one level below biochemistry entirely to the organizing electromagnetic frequencies that shape our biochemical pathways and puts them into "coherence", a more organized and natural state, so that they can reshape the biochemical patterns of our body.  This requires that we have a good diet to support this process and that we move through the "kriyas" (cleansing effects) as our bodies purge the kundabuffer toxins.

It seems in our natural physically immortal state that we have the ability to leave our usual physical bodies.  This has created a curious thing in my own life process, because I feel that I have two "physical" bodies.  One seems to be growing out of the other one.  The more that I care for my usual outer physical body, the more an etheric analogue physical body is formed inside.  It seems that this happened to both Aurobindo and to Guatama Buddha.  Aurobindo called this second body a "supermental body" and Buddha called it the "mind made body".  This body seems free of the usual karma patterns that form our first physical body.  Our regular physical body is formed by a conjunction between our personal karma, our mother's karma, and our father's karma, and through this triadic union we join the collective karma of humankind.  This passing on process is how we inherit the residual organ kundabuffer.  This is a subtle point.  Some of our karma comes from the outside or from what Buddha called "the interdependence of the inside and outside".  This explains why our past lifetimes are similar to our present lifetime and also how they can also be very different.  The mixture gives us certain new advantages and disadvantages.  There is a quantum level "like attracts like" that makes the new karmaic patterns fit a larger sense of what karma is about.  Because the second physical body is "created from meditation" it is like the pure lands of the Buddhas.  It is free from the karmas of sorrow.  It grows within us and begins to take on a life of its own.  It seems that this second body eventually overshadows and absorbs the old physical body into itself or that we shed our present physical body and add what Gurdjieff called a "planetary coating" upon it.  In any case, this second physical body eventually is able to function as a coherent body completely independently of the first one.  Both Guatama and Aurobindo eventually released their first physical body and formed a new physical body.  But both of them did talk about physical immortality, about ending aging and death in their first physical body.  Guatama Buddha did not do so very much, because part of his mission was to teach "noble death", but he did indirectly teach about these things in some passages in the sutras.  Babaji seems to have absorbed his first physical body into his second one so that the first physical body is "taken up".  This seems to be the more natural of the two possible processes, but given that the conditions of this planet are not always fully supportive of this process, the second one is a failsafe.

Because of the "buffer" effect, we are usually unconscious of our emotional patterns.  In this disassociated state, some external shock, some event, is needed to trigger or activate our experience of sorrow.  When this happens, we usually want to sedate our pain and stimulate our pleasure with some chemical addiction, overeating food, or some sensory overwhelm in the form of movies with intense experiences being represented.  In short, we want to rebuild this buffer.  The formation of our usual subconscious mind is therefore part of the Organ Kundabuffer effect.  It is perhaps the one most clearly connected with the experience, since it explains how we may have survived the early planetary catastrophe that necessitated its formation.  But like the story of Noah in the Old Testament, which seems to represent this event, there were side effects.  Noah gets drunk on something and then makes one of his sons and his progeny into a slave.  Racial prejudice, slavery, addictions, and projection of repressed issues on to others all flow from this formation.  We actually try to maintain this disassociated state as "sanity", rather than learn to integrate our emotional patterns.  We need to learn how to stay "emotionally connected" instead.  One problem is that a lot of prescription medicine is about maintaining this disassociation and also why a mass consciousness of a culture will try to impose itself on others and even outlaw other states of consciousness.

The result of the organ kundabuffer is that we need to learn to "stay with our pain" and work through what is there, rather than take some addictive substance to neutralize our pain.  A certain amount of pain relief is acceptable if we are so locked into the pain that it feels unbearable and we are not making progress through it.  But when it is used to block the pain and let us ignore it, then the whole psychopathology of the residual organ kundabuffer (ROK) continues to play out.

I feel that the residual organ kundabuffer is not identical with the personal ego that we are meant to the transcend, though the two are somewhat fused together at this point in time.  Before Gurdjieff taught what he did, every religion had some version of ego reduction work.  He wanted to add, not merely a different perspective, but to point out something that has infected our ego state and made new challenges to ego transcendance.  The older methods may not be enough anymore because of this.  They can work up to a point, but the ROK makes the process more complex.