Escaping magical circles!

Scene from Meetings with Remarkable Men

In his book Meetings with Remarkable Men, George Gurdjieff describes a strange event he witnessed as a young man. He recounts being deeply involved in his studies when he suddenly heard a boy’s scream. As he ran over to investigate, he saw a Yezidi boy trapped inside of a circle drawn on the ground by a group of mischievous youths.

Gurdjieff asked the boys who had drawn the circle what was going on. They told him that when you put a Yezidi inside of a circle, they cannot get out. Gurdjieff went over to the circle and rubbed out part of it with his foot. The Yezidi boy saw the opening through this “magic” circle and fled through it. This dumbfounded Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff learned that Yezidis are a sect living in Transcaucasia, mostly in the area around Mt. Ararat. Gurdjieff was so blown away by the incident he witnessed of the magic circle that several years later he conducted his own experiments. He had drawn a circle around a petite Yezidi woman and it took two strong men to pull her out of the circle. But taking her out of this circle by force caused her to go into an immediate swoon or state of catalepsy. Gurdjieff also learned that the women’s mental state returned to normal as soon as she was brought back into the circle! Otherwise, it took many hours outside the circle before she could return to normal.  Apparently there was a very strange force more powerful than one’s normal strength that kept such a person imprisoned in such a magic circle

Gurdjieff ultimately discovered the mechanism behind this strange phenomena of the human psyche and offers clues to its understanding in his various books. But one has to make real effort not only towards intellectually grasping the mechanism and power of a magic circle, but also to becoming personally alert to recognizing similar forms of its manifestation in daily life. (Otherwise there is no practical lesson to be learned.)

This happened to me while attending a church service one Sunday. Being bored with the ritual of worship I happened to look out a large window for some new experience and began to meditate on “deep” subjects. Suddenly, I felt an elbow jab me in the ribs.

I turned in the direction of the jab and saw that a fellow member of the church had noticed that I wasn’t singing along with everybody else and offered me a hymnal book, thinking that I was unable to find one on my own. The person in question was well meaning and full of good intention, but became a little uncomfortable when I waved off the book and continued to look out the window.

Later, after the church service, there was a “fellowship hour” where people could strengthen bonds while enjoying food brought in by all the members. Sometimes I would be so inspired to have conversations about important spiritual topics during this allotted time that I would completely lose my appetite for terrestrial food. I began to notice that both my persistence in having deep discussions and not choosing to eat the food, so artfully displayed on the table, made most of the congregational members uncomfortable with me. I was not conforming to their established customs and conventions—drilled into them over long periods of time.

(No church wants to make its members uncomfortable, because they see it as their duty to offer comfort.)

Finally, I realized that I was outside their “magical” circle of automatic behavior. It would be naïve of me to expect other members to escape this difficult situation since this weekly routine was “fixed” and “hard-wired” into their consciousness and there was no need to question it. Besides, a person would not be considered “normal” acting outside the accepted procedures of this circle. Thus “normalcy” is a powerful and strange force that keeps people within their magical circle.

In fact, it is a form of hypnosis!

Great psychic harm would come to a person if he or she was suddenly yanked out from one of these protective circles or forced to “snap out of it.” Certainly, the biblical warning to “sleep not” never seems to refer to those who have enclosed themselves in such protective circles.

In modern parlance this scenario is called “drinking the Kool-Aid.”

We all have to carefully examine the “magical” circles, which influence our very lives—otherwise there is no escape.

View the clip from the film here:

About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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2 Responses to Escaping magical circles!

  1. Interesting testimony about building walls around us.

    It is important for all to break out of the bonds and circumference of our literal thinking based upon old words. Some of us are even bound by the circumference of the one hundred old teaching’s of Swedenborg.

    When the lord comes, he will reveal new truth, and there will be a new heaven and earth. God does not stop teaching us new truth. through the prophets.

    Jesus could not reveal all truth because those cute little chicks would not be embraced by their true loving parental hen because they were still in the barnyard of the old testament, and still slaves to selfishness and the evil one.

    Certainly the Jewish people, who were prepared during the 4,000 year period from the Fall of our First Adam and Eve, should have reconsidered and examined the circle they created around themselves, tightly bound by the thick skinned of their outdated teachings.

    New wine was to be put into new wine skins, however there were few new wine skins to be found. As Jesus said, they were slaves to the teachings of the old testament and they did not recognize the One who was sent to them, in the fresh, by their very own God, their father in heaven. Jesus told then that the will of God was that they should believe in the one whom He hath sent.

    The ‘chosen’ people thought the Savior, who was to come, was to save them all from their enemy, yet, when he actually came he taught them to love the enemy. How often they stoned the prophets because the suit did not fit them.

    Like the Christians today, the Jews were waiting for the Lord to come, down from the sky, on a Fiery chariot, and on the clouds. But those teachings are symbolic and created for the last days. The clouds mentioned are the internet technology we have today, where all eyes can see him and his family, and see his followers who have cleansed their sins, and are in robes of white.

    On the internet cloud, the world can see the works he is doing on earth to unite all religions as a stronghold against Satan’s lies and deception, and to bring true unity and true peace on earth. Love is the very core of God, and God wants us to inherit His love, life and lineage.

    Today, during the time of the Second Coming (in the flesh,) the Christian community should re-examine their personal entrenchment in Christian made walls, created by their selfish jealously and egoism, and some of their leanings of letter of the Christian Bible. They only abide by the teaching that suits their life style, and selfish ways. When the Lord comes again, will he find faith on earth? Oh, ye of little faith.

    This Christian bible was prepared by God so that we may finally know the Second Coming of Christ who has come in the physical body, not only in the personal spirit, as some hope. Especially, it is Satan who hopes we will all believe that the Second coming is not coming in the flesh.

    For if the Second Coming were in the Flesh, this Savior could eventually rally the whole world with the new truth, and with the revelation of the Word of God, the original plan for the ideal of creation.

    Satan has his blueprint for his fallen world of his own self centered creation, and does not want God’s Word, God’s Original plan for the ideal of creation to be known.

    Satan was against Adam’s family to take over the creation, so he destroyed God’s plan in the garden of Eden. Satan was against the thought of Jesus starting his family on earth, so he spread roomers against the Lord, who was eventually crucified.

    Today, Satan being a wise being, is afraid, and is against the Second Coming of Jesus, the Third Adam, to begin God’s family on the earth. For Satan knows it would be the end of his evil family. The kingdom of heaven would come as a mustard seeds spreads its branches over the earth. Satan does not want people to pay attention to one who comes to unite all religions, or to bring all families under God.

    The physical body of creation needs redemption. Jesus redeemed the spirit upon his assent ion into Heaven. There was a partial victory for God and Jesus. Nature is still longing in travail for the redemption of the the physical body so that humankind can take up its God given position as loving rulers of the Cosmic realm.

    The second coming is here in the flesh, redeeming our physical bodies from being slaves to Satan, and is revealing the true process and motivation of the Fall of man. It was not a literal fruit, it was a sexual fall.

    God Bless us, God bless Swedenborg and God Bless TheGodMan.

    Jim Rigney,

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Jim,

    Thanks for sharing your theological views with my readers! Let me know when you have finished reading my new book “Proving God.” Until then, there is no point in me making any further comments.

    Spiritually yours,

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