START CHANGE STOP: ADDITIONAL BACKROUND DATA
Unfortunately many of us run this process
without a full understanding of his purpose
and without any sufficient knowledge regarding the
full benefits to be gains.
To a spiritual, in some way or degree, awaken-being,
it is fundamental to have this deep knowledge of the works.
I wish to share this for both the students and the auditors.
There is much more in this technology that we ever knew.
“In search of the Miraculous by P. D. OUSPENSKY
“The idea of this exercise and its results differ very much.
Let us take it first of all from the point of view
of the study of movements and postures.
This exercise affords a man the possibility of getting out
of the circle of automatism and it cannot be dispensed with,
especially at the beginning of work on oneself.
“A non-mechanical study of oneself
is only possible with the help of the ‘stop’
exercise under the direction of a man who understands it.
“Let us try to follow what occurs.
A man is walking, or sitting, or working.
At that moment he hears a signal.
A movement that has begun is interrupted by this sudden
signal or command to stop.
His body becomes immovable and arrested
in the midst of a transition from one posture to another,
in a position in which he never stays in ordinary life.
Feeling himself in this state, that is, in an unaccustomed posture,
a man involuntarily looks at himself from new points of view,
sees and observes himself in a new way.
In this unaccustomed posture he is able to think in a new way,
feel in a new way, know himself in a new way.
In this way the circle of old automatism is broken.
The body tries in vain to adopt an ordinary comfortable posture.
But the man’s will, brought into action (page 361)
by the will of the teacher, prevents it.
The struggle goes on not for life but till the death.
But in this case will can conquer.
This exercise taken together with all that has been said
is an exercise for self-remembering.
A man must remember himself so as not to miss the signal;
he must remember himself so as not to take
the most comfortable posture at the first moment;
he must remember himself in order to watch
the tension of the muscles in different parts of the body,
the direction in which he is looking, the facial expression, and so on;
he must remember himself in order to
overcome very considerable pain sometimes
from unaccustomed positions of the legs, arms, and back,
so as not to be afraid of falling or dropping something heavy
on his foot.
It is enough to forget oneself for a single moment
and the body will adopt, by itself and almost un-noticeably,
a more comfortable position,
it will transfer the weight from one foot to another,
will slacken certain muscles,and so on.
This exercise is a simultaneous exercise for the will,
the attention, the thoughts, the feelings, and for moving center.
“But it must be understood that in order to bring into action a sufficient strength of
will to keep a man in an unaccustomed position an order or command from the
outside: ‘stop,’ is indispensable.
A man cannot give himself the command stop.
His will will not obey this command.
The reason for this, as I have said before, is that the
combination of habitual thinking, feeling, and moving postures is stronger than a
The command stop which, in relation to moving postures, comes from out
side, takes the place of thinking and feeling postures.
These postures and their
influence are so to speak removed by the command stop—and in this case moving
postures obey the will.”
G. first of all showed us how to “stand stock-still” immediately at the command
“stop,” and to try not to move, not to look aside no matter what was happening, not to
reply if anyone spoke, for instance if one were asked something or even unjustly
accused of something.
“The ‘stop’ exercise is considered sacred in schools,” he said.
“Nobody except the principal teacher or the person he commissions has the right to command a ‘stop.’
‘Stop’ cannot be the subject of play or exercise among the pupils.
You never know the position a man can find himself in.
If you cannot feel for him, you do not know what
muscles are tensed or how much.
Meanwhile if a difficult tension is continued it can
cause the rupture of some important vessel and in some cases it can even cause him
Therefore only he who is quite certain in himself that he knows what
he is doing can allow himself to command a ‘stop.’
School discipline is something quite different from military
discipline, for instance.
In that discipline everything is mechanical and the more mechanical it is the better.
In this everything should be conscious because the aim consists in awakening consciousness.
And for many people school discipline is much
more difficult than military discipline.
There it is always one and the same, here it is always different.
page 363) “Stop” had an immense, influence on the whole of our life, on the understanding of
our work and our attitude towards it.
First of all, attitude towards “stop” showed with undoubted accuracy what anyone’s attitude was to the work.
People who had tried to evade work evaded “stop.”
That is, either they did not hear the command to “stop” or
they said that it did not directly refer to them.
Or, on the other hand, they were always
prepared for a “stop,” they made no careless movements, they took no glasses of hot
tea in their hands, they sat down and got up very quickly and so on.
To a certain extent it was even possible to cheat with the “stop.”
But of course this would be seen and
would at once show who was sparing himself and who was able not to spare himself,
able to take the work seriously, and who was trying to apply ordinary methods to it, to
avoid difficulties, “to adapt themselves.”
In exactly the same way “stop” showed the people who were incapable and undesirous of submitting to school discipline and the
people who were not taking it seriously.
We saw quite clearly that without “stop” and other exercises which accompanied it, nothing whatever could be attained in a purely
In search of the miraculous by P. D. OUSPENSKY
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