William James wrote “The rest of us can… imagine this by recalling our state of feeling in those temporary ‘melting moods’, into which the trials of real life, or the theatre, or a novel, sometimes throws us. Especially if we weep! For it is then as if our tears broke through an inveterate inner dam and let all sorts of ancient peccancies and moral stagnancies drainway, leaving us now washed and soft of heart, and open to every nobler leaning. With most of us, the customary hardness quickly returns, but not so with saintly persons…”
Maybe during his time this was an experience of a more saintly person but what I have discovered is that this is a potential quality of experience that is realizable, to as William James indicates, “the rest of us. It may be a religious man, or imaginative man, the state being realized through a refusal to develop those qualities of practical-mindedness and eye-to-business that seem to be the requisites for survival in our complex civilization.
Gurdjieff suggests, through Ouspensky’s writing that the main difficulty which the system must combat is man’s tendency to sleep, to do things mechanically. The world has no meaning for us because we do all things mechanically.