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Rodney Collin
Rodney Collin
© Being Present 2008
December 2008

The Herald of Harmony

Higher influences are much nearer than we thought; with their help, our ordinary self, the machine, can actually be transcended.
Rodney Collin
While Gurdjieff and Ouspensky were pioneers of the Fourth Way in the west, a system of awakening for the modern world, Rodney Collin made it a way of life. A student of Ouspensky for many years, Rodney Collin mastered self-remembering as a personal effort, and after witnessing Ouspensky use his own death as a spur for greater efforts, his inner life took fire. Traveling worldwide to connect with those in the work, Rodney Collin promoted literature and the dramatic arts as a vehicle for the esoteric message, and embarked on an odyssey to discover ‘traces of school’, the marks and remains of previous conscious civilisations. His books cultivated the seeds that Gurdjieff and Ouspensky planted, and his description of the process of awakening in The Theory of Celestial Influence will inspire any serious student of the Fourth Way. A compassionate advocate for awakening, his inspiring letters to friends and colleagues in the work were published in The Theory of Conscious Harmony. If Gurdjieff and Ouspensky are the brawn and the brains of the fourth way, then Rodney Collin is its heart.  

And it is from the heart that the desire to awaken springs. Few things are done well when there is no appreciation in doing them. It is the role of the emotions to support and sustain, and the human functions of intellect, movement and instinct are enhanced by emotional apprehension. The intellect can think logically, progressively, deductively, after the inclination to do so, an emotional quality. The body is perfunctory in movement, until an emotive reason arises, and then it becomes graceful in the dance of delight, the dance of life, the dance of lovers. The instinctive function subsists until the magic of pleasure reveals the depth of the senses. And the human heart itself beats in sleep, until it rises in appreciation to beat for a higher purpose.

Rodney Collin realised the value of the heart in his efforts to be present. He realised that his frail humanity could be the agent for change, if he accepted it, a decision and a process that only the heart can do. In this way, he moved everything aside in himself to let self-remembering take its place. As Meister Eckhart writes, ‘God is a God of the present. He takes and receives you as He finds you.’ The eternal moment is where one self-remembers, breaking through sleep, second by second. In his Herald of Harmony, Rodney Collin quotes the New Testament, ‘I come not to bring peace, but a sword’ and defines the sword as one that severs the ‘past from the living present’. One can learn this discipline, severing the past for the sake of the present. In one moment, everything can be renewed. Although one may be clouded by real or imaginary fears, in a moment of self-remembering, fear fades and the higher Self emerges, pure and clear.
God helps me.
“One must do everything one can—and then just cry to . . .” He [Ouspensky] did not finish, just made one big gesture upwards.
Collin’s anecdote of Ouspensky, Theory of Conscious Harmony
If we appeal to that place beyond time, we feel it, we receive it.
Rodney Collin