fourth way® gurdjieff ouspensky school navigation arrow pointing rightPsychology navigation arrow pointing rightInner Considering

internal considering


What is internal considering?

When we begin this work we are told to observe certain things in ourselves which leak our energy and thus keep us asleep. One of these psychological manifestations is identification which causes us to lose a lot of energy and prevents us from remembering ourselves. One form of identification is called inner considering which is identification with oneself.

Inner considering can be divided into two aspects which are really two sides of the same thing.

Inner considering: What we believe others think of us

The first aspect is thinking what others think of us, feeling that one is not properly treated, that one does not receive proper recognition or is misunderstood. Or we feel insulted that we have not been estimated at our proper value and say, `Do you know who I am?', meaning that if the other person did know they would not behave as they do.

A person who has a picture of him/herself as being valuable easily feels others do not estimate him/her at the same value and will inner consider. A person may be so preoccupied with whether he is treated rightly he will suspect others, for example, of laughing at him. Conversely, a man who has a low opinion of himself can also suffer from inner considering, constantly worrying if others can see he is stupid, worthless etc. Other people consider themselves worthy of special valuation because they have had all kinds of hardships, miseries and sufferings. They are offended if another person talks about his hardships and think they are selfish.

Examples of this form of inner considering include:

Inner considering: Making inner accounts against other people

The other aspect is making inner accounts against other people which comes from feeling one has not got one's rights. The result of making accounts is feeling that other people owe us, that we deserve better treatment, more recogniton, more rewards, more praise. We then write it down in a psychological account book, which we are constantly reviewing in our minds.

Again this leads to self-pity which can spill out into a long list of all our sufferings. All accounts of this kind are based on feeling that we are owed by other people and that we owe nothing ourselves.

Examples of making accounts are:

When we are making accounts we start collecting materials and remembering unpleasant things about the person, to find words and phrases to use against him to make him realise he is just a piece of dirt.

We know we have been making accounts as it always leads to singing our song, psychologically speaking. We sing how badly we have been treated, how we have never had a real chance, about our past successes, about how we married wrongly, how our parents never understood us, how we have been misunderstood etc.

All this means how everyone is to blame except ourselves. Some people sing openly and almost as soon as conversation starts pour out their grievances against life. Others sing secretly or silently to themselves and they feel an inner sadness, a sense of monotony, a kind of inner tiredness or frustration.

Why do we internally consider?

It comes down to one's own valuation of oneself, where we identify with ourselves. The Work says that a man is only offended where he is identified with himself. First comes being identified with oneself, which is followed by being upset, hurt and offended, and thirdly comes making inner accounts.

What happens when we inner consider?

Feeling you are owed, feeling debts, wanting to get every pound of flesh from those people you think owe you, by making them apologise or make amends, puts you in prison, under greater number of unnecessary laws. As said in the Lord's Prayer: `Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors', a man can only grow through the forgiveness of others.

If we inner consider all day long, secretly or openly, and are full of inner accounts two things will happen: firstly, we will be cut off from higher centres i.e. `help' as we cannot hear them over the noise of inner considering. The second is that we will lose a great deal of energy because it leads to negative thoughts and feelings and we will keep on imagining that people are doing things intentionally to us when they are not. Consequently, there will be no inner strength and saved-up force through which we can grow.