He's just this guy...
And you won't be able to put him into a box...not any that I know of.
Here is a quote from a Sunday morning workshop in 2008:
"Enlightenment is just the beginning, later on come other skills, ...patience, a forgiving nature, extreme attention...."
Yes, in this lifetime and on the apparent human level he's looked like a writer (spiritual, art, science fiction), gamer, game developer, tantric teacher, lover of old books and prints and the ancient civilizations, art- teacher, art dealer, inventor, chocolatier, artist, collector, meteorite lover, jeweler, silversmith, printmaker, sculptor, shopkeeper, cook, perfumer, magician, ventriloquist, dancer, musician, impersonator, producer, and has worked in film, on wall street and as an undercover agent for the NSA during the Vietnam war. He's a shapeshifter, a comedian, humorist all of his life and as a way of being...and - he is foremost an employer, an employer in the work. If you need a job, you can apply.
What are your skills, what are you willing to do? Are you ready to serve, are you ready to grow up and start working...or are are you the perpetual student, or one who will show his diplomas but not actually look for a job? If you want a job, apply... If accepted, it could well feel like sink or swim a lot of the time. Pay: unknown
And this is where this “school” seems most clearly different from most other “schools”. Not much prep work, but work. No therapy, but work...a certain type of work. Sure, stuff comes up, and you are expected to handle it. It is your necessity in the work that will produce your transformation, if any. And this is not a secret, folks, it's out there. And here's another one: "Transformation is 100% attitudinal."
There are books, practices and courses...which, if you are truly new to this type of work, you simply must read and attend and be part of. None of it is expensive...and, all of it does require your self responsibility, your self-motivation, from the get-go.
You recognize the deepest truths in the jokes and everyday remarks E.J. Gold makes, the side comments, little things here and there, if you pay attention. Unless you have actually realized those things in yourself, they might escape you and you won't see them as anything out of the ordinary. It'll just be funny stuff, or simply totally ordinary...all day long. The energy of it you will not be able to escape if you're at all receptive to it. You might find yourself deeply affected.
He works only with groups...well, almost. And there are good reasons for that, one being to expose you to as many types as possible, especially those you don't like or that trigger your reactions. Another is: certain work can only be accomplished in groups. Yes, you can do a lot on your own, ultimately, it is with others that the work gets done.
IDHHB stands for: Institute for the Development of the Harmonious Human Being: E.J. once said: you already are harmonious - and from there you develop.
A lot is about transcending the human primate ego (and I do not mean the healthy well functioning ego we need for every day life) - and living the live of a higher evolved human...tried that? The secret here is to borrow necessity - and hook yourself up to a higher goal way beyond yourself.
It's an esoteric school. It's a multidimensional school. It's a school with various manifestations and places.
Coming to IDHHB, one current outer form of the school, for a workshop: it's fun, chaotic, energizing, life changing, amazing and the one thing folks say most is: they got filled, feel full, they got so much, are so grateful...even though it never is as they expected... Just to be clear, this is not a hand holding type of retreat, a spa. Hospitality is amazing and you almost always do get put to practical work in some way or another. If you play an instrument, make sure to bring it along.
Coming to the school to work: again, definitely not a hand holding type of retreat, or a spa. After you signed up, once the guest phase is over, which could last for as little as 3 days, it's more like boot camp for the next bardo. And if you're not ready or willing, you won't last very long. This school could well be too harsh for some. If you need to do more healing and personal growth work first, sure, so be it.
And guess what...that is totally ok. There is nothing wrong with wherever you are on this path. You need to be where you need to be for your level and type and work and life and purpose. And, if you're part of the school, you're part of it wherever you are.
Being a student, here or “there”, does require a high level of self initiation, a high level of self investigation and willingness to work with what you discover there (inside), and that will eventually be raw, bare, without frills and fluff, and inescapable...and in the midst of all this, it calls for your ability to continue to do your work rather than fall apart.
Unless you deeply feel a higher obligation and sense of responsibility way beyond yourself, you may not be able actually to do this. Is there help: yes. And here's the deal: you have to ask for help, and: you only ask for help when you really need it. The other day I saw something that Ken Wilber said, and I don't recall it verbatim...it was something like:..."... just being here as a feeling being, just feeling..it's gonna hurt." It just hurts. And it does not get better...
And here's what EJ Gold has to say about pain: “The secret is, you don't mind that it hurts.”
You still feel, you still care, ...but you don't run anymore, you accept that that is how it is. You are present.
How you “get” there...that's a whole other story, that is your process, your journey. Your fake dreams will crumble...
The process in this process, once you start it, is lifelong...and requires all you've got. You've got to go through the stages (there are actually phases of the process) to reach a certain place, no matter how....you can't skip things, escape it, you've got to go through the stages and realizations and growth if you want to live there...from a certain place...and do a certain level of work or service.
Why would anyone (want to go through the process?) ....now that is a whole other question. I guess certain of us just felt like there was no real choice about being on this path....this not meaning in this school, but the path of awakening and living as somewhat realized beings embodied in and as these human entities, and in fact, being strangely one with them.
You want to change your deepest habits? You want to maintain a conscious thread from one lifetime to another? Then you have to become aware of the deepest in you...that which hidden from sight. To change a deep habit to have to know what it is and then replace it with another one.
Do you really want to wake up, be “enlightened” and then descend into the hell realms to do the work? Are you prepared to live the total ordinariness of it?
If you are engaging in this process fully, you will not be able to avoid confronting and acknowledging the dark side.
Presence and attention will become increasingly necessary moment to moment, as will be higher will and intention.
Understanding of self and others in their totalness...which includes not only their beauty and amazingness but also the total "fucked-upness" and assholeness of that same individual in a gazillion irritating ways...and if you are willing to, you may learn to love in a way that has nothing to do with what you used to call it. Compassion creeps up on you first...the love part is more encompassing still, and much more fleeting when it first shows up. Trust is almost impossible and starts with trust in yourself and presence-beingness. By sheer necessity you will need to stand on your own 2 feet grounded in a ground to stand on that you did not know before, which is not visible or describable. Call it the ground of Being if you wish.
If your deepest calling is for service, you can be of use even if you feel messed up and not one of those successful people in 2nd tier stages in almost all lines of development. If there are any such folks, they needed to be that way for the work they need to do. You might be dealing with a deck of cards that was a bit more challenging to make a good game with. Some folks would put it differently: you took on a particular thing for transformation, and your wounding is how you get there.
And all this not in the abstractness of your own little self, but in the midst of life with others whom you did not necessarily pick to be with...you just happen to work with them, they happen to have shown up at the same work project as you and were also accepted. There will be understanding of human nature in ways you did not want to see before and which may plunge you into despair. If you hold a different image, - good, it'll help for a while and may help you actually to change...because in the end, you may be the only one who will live accordingly. What I mean is: you are totally responsible for living and fulfilling that vision or knowing, in the way you are being, regardless of what anyone else says or does.
Yet, no matter what, if there is a sincere applicant...one cannot refuse to give him or her a chance...cannot refuse sincere applicants for work...as long as they are able to do a job...and, as long as there is a vacancy for that job...and sometimes, a job will have to be created.
How does E.J. work: for one, by Being...which includes an openness and receptiveness to the moment, a deep understanding of human nature and type, living in different realities, shape shifting, acute awareness, high sense perception and creativity. He works shamanically. He will respect your limits and your “no” at any time, so much so that you may wish to be careful with it as he'll simply leave you alone. However, you will feel pushed to the edge of what you can handle just about all the time otherwise. He takes and gives subtle clues, and, while the truth hurts, he never ever has done or shown anything that registered in me as mean, vicious, or cruel, not even a little bit. I have come to the conclusion that he is benign...totally benign. Just don't confuse benign with weak.
His understanding of human nature is profound. He admits he does not know everything, can make mistakes, yet , in my experience, his instincts, without knowing why, tend to be right over and over. Intuition highly evolved, knowing without knowing how, knowing coming through in moment to moment being. His humor can be challenging, yet there's profound compassion, untold endurance of suffering and what seems to be endless patience. His pointing out painful truth never has the mean sting that you might have felt from others...he's not reactive that way. It seems he delivers without his stuff coloring it energetically. He is alive today.
Could all this work for you?
Hm, you could start by reading any or all of these:
the ABD, Human Biological Machine, Joy of Sacrifice, Life in the Labyrinth and Practical Work on Self.
If you're turned on, do any or all of the steps or choices below, not necessarily in the order described. In fact, you may never do them all. Some of them are methods you do alone, some involve others. Pick the one which suits you or you feel most called to. Pick one of these suitable for daily practice and do it daily for at least 1 year, preferably the same time of day, even it it is only for 5 minutes:
Come to a workshop at IDHHB
Start doing the Movements or ESD
Practice Zen Basics
Practice “The Popcorn Exercise”
Form a group and use either: “The Any Game Cookbook” or “Just Because Club” books.
Attend the online course: PWOS
Start doing online Bardo Safaris
Work with the Zone Box
Work with the Beacon
Start doing Art using the “Draw Good Now: DVD's
Start doing Art using the “You Can Paint” series
Sign up for Bluelining
Do the online Labyrinth Reader's course and make reading your practice
Watch the recommended movies
Listen to the top 10 talks
Listen to some of the music
Exercise due diligence in the process of investigation.
No matter what, I recommend you keep a journal through this process, it can be your best friend and record.
So here I am...talking to you about this path with no name, no tradition.
Sure, some say Mr. Gold is the successor of Gurdijeff. Who knows? I have been told the G. groups are very different, so I do not know and, though I probably should, I do not care. There just so much 3 d time to go around to investigate. There seems to be a resonance with what is called the 4th way, however.
Students at IDHHB are in Bardo Training. Training to travel in the labyrinth, this mysterious creature, training for the interdimensional voyage though the life cycles...birth, life, death, between lives state, birth - life, death - through consciousness and form, consciousness as form, the Absolute and the world. You are the original star barf and everything since.
The essential self, your bundle of habits, is what remains and moves through all of this. What exactly are the effects of having a physical body? Sucking in the condition of your body and environmental molds, how do your essential habits show?
Not everyone will be able to handle this without a certain professional or at least dedicated and sustained support.
Embodiment, stages and states of development have been described elsewhere better than I ever could. Healing modalities and energies and way to perceive and work with them have been described elsewhere. Those you will need to investigate yourself. If you have a scientifically trained mind, how will you convince it that other realities do indeed exist and are real? This you must do, because in the long run, blind faith will not do when dealing with these things. How will you be able to accept macro-dimensional perceptions? There is no substitute for personal experience personally experienced.
And to what end or purpose? This too you will need to decide for yourself. Unless of course you have realized: "Tye will be done" and you find yourself not having a choice about acting within the law, unless your conscience has awakened, unless selfless service is your only option - unless the good of the whole comes before what you want for yourself personally and individually.
E.J. Gold...you just can't put him in a box and categorize him at all.
He's a life teacher, master, tantric..and, just this guy. gg's all, see you ng