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  • What is mindfulness?

    What is mindfulness?


    For a dream to be significant and meaningful to you, you need to be awake. Russian philosopher and mystic George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1877-1949) taught that Mankind does not share a unifying state of consciousness, for only some people are awake, while many others are asleep, and thus live their lives in a state of hypnotic waking sleep.

    "A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror."

    G. I. Gurdjieff

    Mindfulness is mental and emotional equilibrium. This is something which is innate in all of us and was once our natural mindset, but we were all taken out of our natural state of mindfulness through the process of socialization and the development of Ego through external authority. This was so we could learn to use our minds, think and this is a process which made us easier to deal with in society.

    Just like physical exercise is necessary for physical fitness and health, mindfulness is essential for mental and emotional fitness and health. But you're taken out of your natural state of mindfulness through the socialization process and being required to develop and maintain an Ego a persona, a personality and a sense of self. Your Ego is only your identity, it's not who you really are, and who you really are is something of a social taboo and also something for most people which is aso something of a mystery.

    Qultura is being developed specifically as a system and environment where you 'wake up'. Qultura is being developed as a mystical community resource alternative to other systems such as yoga. We're not interested in playing the Real Life version of the board game monopoly, otherwise known as The Social Game, and your social status and position (or lack of it, your role attachments, your personal beliefs, and your identity is of little or no relevance in the Qultura community. What matters is your humanity, your individual conscious perspective and experience of life. What matters is the connections you make to community and your environment and your ability to perceive consciousness.

    Qultura is designed to be somewhere where you develop a deeper, existential, spiritual dimension to your life. We're not here to 'teach' you how to do this. This is not religion. We offer you the mystical resources, environment, community structure and opportunity for you to be able to figure it out for yourself.

    afterlife image

    What keeps you from mindfulness

    Fundamentally what keeps us from being able to return to our natural state of mindfulness is the necessity of developing and maintaining an Ego through the various role attachments and belief systems we are committed to in life. It's important to understand that none of us developed an Ego out of choice, but it's something that's been expected of us by external authority figures - parents, teachers, governments, and so on. We live our lives being surrounded by people telling us who and what we are, telling us what to think, what to believe and they do this in so many different ways.

    Primarily this is done through role attachments which explains why work is so important in society. Think about how what work you do defines you and the common question people ask you "What do you do in life?" But there are many other roles we fall into, and allow ourselves to be defined by, e.g. customer in a shop, parent, child, school student, boyfriend, girlfriend, and so on and so forth.

    Ego is that superficial concept or image we put out about ourselves for other people, and having an Ego is a requirement by those we hold in authority, be it a parent, a teacher, the Government, religious authority figures and so on. Therefore our Ego is the compromise between our innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions, and the 'external' wider societal forces we are subjected to. It's not who we really are, it's just who we think we are, and also who other people think we are and believe us to be. Being a compromise between the two, our Ego is always in a position of conflict, which in some ways gives us a sense of isolation, alienation and loneliness, but it also creates various fears, anxieties and insecurities, because the way you perceive yourself is not the same as the way other people perceive you. You need to be accepted and respected by other people, but you also need to accept yourself and feel good about yourself, don't you?

    It's this constant struggle for acceptance, self-esteem, respect and acknowledgement which prevents you from returning to your natural state of mindfulness. Also, in order for you to believe that your Ego is real, you are taught that certain things are real when they're not, or you make various assumptions that certain things are true or real when they're not, and this is why most of us confuse what is really real and what is only conceptually or culturally real, i.e. real only as a concept but not based on actual reality. As Gurdjieff pointed out, if you believe that your Ego is really you and all there is about you, you are in that state of hypnotic waking sleep.

    Qultura makes it possible for you to return to your natural state of mindfulness by giving you a set of mystical principles through Qultura methodology and a community structure through which you can develop a 'meta-physic' and a deeper, more existential, spiritual dimension to your life and existence.


    What you need for any mindfulness journey

    Understand that you have been born into a life with a certain set of factors to work out and a certain karma to resolve. While having an Ego, a sense of selfhood and an identity is all well and good for living in society, it does nothing to prepare you for death (the one future event which is certain in your life) nor does it do much for your self-awareness or self-realization. Furthermore while your Ego is prominent in your life, mindfulness is not possible, and unless you are prepared to dig deeper and get beyond your Ego and belief systems, and connect to your environment and others in terms of actual reality, any attempt at mindfulness is likely to end up being development of a 'higher' Ego and a glorified Ego trip.

    Therefore what you really need to focus on, in terms of Qultura, is the relationship and the connections between memory and mind. So let's make sure we first understand the difference between memory and mind.


    Memory is the basis for all physical existence, and it is also therefore the basis for karma. Time is a social construct because in the meta-physical there is no time - there is only rhythm, pattern, and cycles of energy. Karma is Sanskrit for 'action', or physical activity, as in action, reaction and interaction. This explains why karma is also associated with choice, because choice is either action or inaction. Action here means thinking, communication and doing. All the choices you make in life are consequences of your previous choices, and the choices you make now, and the actions (or inaction) become the consequences which determine the choices you will have in the future. The basis of all physical existence is energy, and all energy arises out of consciousness.

    The mind

    The mind is the space which surrounds you. One of the most widespread and misconceptions many people have about the mind is that they confuse it with Ego and believe it to be something which exists inside their head, as in 'a mind of my own' or your mind, his mind, her mind. This is not true. When you walk down the street do you see things or people that other people cannot see? Do you hear things other people cannot hear? Do you use a language that nobody else understands or uses? Mind is the basis for conscious perception and the reality is we all share the same mind. Understand that space and consciousness are one and the same, and in terms of Qultura consciousness is existence and space is reality which defines existence.

    Hopefully now you can see that you have a natural basis for dream weaving. Now the key to mindfulness is to seek connection and equilibrium in the relationship between you and your environment. Environment here also means other people, because other people make up your social environment. This is why you cannot get back your natural state of mindfulness through Ego because Ego is based on identity and individual differences - identity is difference, difference is identity. Mindfulness is based entirely on equilibrium, and you can only have equilibrium if there is a connection and unity between you and your environment, and also between you and other people.

    Furthermore it's not possible to completely know either yourself or everything about your environment. You cannot ever become the object of your own knowledge. Fire cannot burn fire, light does not illuminate light, water does not make water wet. To understand who you are and what you're about, you need to understand your environment and know what your environment or community is all about. Another common illusion many people have is separateness between self and environment and also self and other. There is no separateness. It's an illusion. You can only be you if other people are who they are. The key to understanding connection and unity is something known as dependent arising or mutual arising. You are always relative to other people and your environment. Dependent arising is a key concept in yoga, in Buddhism, in Taoism, and is also a key concept in Qultura.

    It's also important to understand that the universe is coming at you constantly in a vast multi-dimensional continuum of sensation and experience. In other words everything is happening everywhere all the time. By contrast the focus of your conscious attention, the basis of your conscious perception, is extremely narrow and limited. You can only focus on one, two maybe three things at most in any given moment. This is why the basic premise of Qultura is 'All existence is change, all existence is relationship'. Much of what life is, what reality is, and who you are is a mystery, and you are encouraged to explore, experiment, discover and learn - about yourself, about life, and about other people.

    This is why Qultura is never presented to you as a method you should follow. Permanence is another commonly held illusion. There is no permanence. We encourage you to question authority, question beliefs, reject ideology, and seek the truth because mindfulness is based on knowing and understanding truth. Truth is relative to individual perception and individual conscious perspective. Self-realization can only come from you becoming real, and talking your talk, walking your walk and living your individual truth. This is what ultimately Qultura is all about.

    About Qultura

    Qultura is a developing mystical community resource which is both an alternative dream weaving community and a Human Library project. Centred in Nine Elms, London we offer free access to Qultura methodology, the Qultura community and regularly scheduled Human Library events. Through what we do we offer opportunities to develop consciousness, mindfulness and community to anyone interested in exploring and developing ways of living alternative to modern mainstream social and cultural values.