Development of Power in Subtlety
(Correct Crystallization of Consciousness)
After completion of the courses that we have just described, only a few of the total number of students are able to move immediately to the next — the higher — stage of spiritual ascent. The only ones that can go that fast are the ones who were mastering these stages in their previous incarnations and now are only reviewing what they studied before. Other people have to stop for a while in order to establish themselves in the states they have learned to attain.
But this does not mean the latter have nothing to do. There must be a lot of reading, thinking, discussing, helping others, and listening to how God assesses one’s actions… It is necessary to seek harmony with nature, especially in the early morning. It would also be good to learn to identify the voices of best singers among birds, to know them by names and how to attune to their subtlety. Among them are song thrushes, blackbirds, starlings, blackcaps, whitethroats, robins, skylarks, large curlews, woodcocks, black grouses, and snipes…
One can use also special esthetical classes that include analysis of works of various kinds of art and creative activity of the participants.
And development of the power in subtlety (or crystallization of the consciousness in G.Gurdjieff’s terms  — by analogy with the growth of a crystal) can be best attained at this stage through meditations at special places of power, winter swimming, and meditative running. Other methods of crystallization include special exercises of athletic gymnastics and Sufi whirling: both should be performed while being in special meditations, but it does not make sense to write about this in this book.
It is important to emphasize that crystallization can be correct only if performed by consciousness concentrated in the spiritual heart. At the same time, it can be successful only when the structures of all dantians, including the lower one, are developed and working properly.
Correct crystallization is performed by a consciousness that grows in the subtlest eons: in this way we can cultivate Divinity in ourselves. But coarse crystallization, i.e. performed by people who eat bodies of killed animals, live in coarse emotions, and are devoid of correct spiritual aspiration, can form devils out of them. The same psychic techniques will produce either the former or the latter effect, depending on the inner state of the one who practices them.
This is one of the reasons why it is so dangerous to reveal secret esoteric knowledge to those who are not ready to apply it correctly.