Dienstag, 29. Januar 2013

the Transfiguration of G.

A very interesting event took place in connection with his departure. This happened at the railway station. We were all seeing him off at the Nikolaevsky Station. G. was standing talking to us on the platform by the carriage. He was the usual G. we had always known. After the second bell he went into the carriage - his compartment was next to the door and came to the window. He was different! In the window we saw another man, not the one who had gone into the train. He had changed during those few seconds. It is very difficult to describe what the difference was, but on the platform he had been an ordinary man like anyone else, and from the carriage a man of quite a different order was looking at us, with a quite exceptional importance and dignity in every look and movement, as though he had suddenly become a ruling prince or a statesman of some unknown kingdom to which he was traveling and to which we were seeing him off.

Some of our party could not at the time clearly realize what was happening but they felt and experienced in an emotional way something that was outside the ordinary run of phenomena. All this lasted only a few seconds. The third bell followed the second bell almost immediately, and the train moved out. I do not remember who was the first to speak of this "transfiguration" of G. when we were left alone, and then it appeared that we had all seen it, though we had not all equally realized what it was while it was taking place. But all, without exception, had felt something out of the ordinary.
In Search Of The Miraculous Chapter Sixteen

among the most interesting things of our times

Alfons Paquet
Paquet knew Gurdjieff primarily as a world traveler full of stories of his adventures and almost nothing about his writing. Even so it was astonishing how much he had gathered about the universality and significance of Gurdjieff s teaching.

Paquet's positive regard for Gurdjieff came with a warning:

Gurdjieff and what he teaches are among the most interesting things of our times. My personal experiences with him have been only good ones. But he is a man with a very strong will, maybe dangerous for (some) people. It’s all about taking a risk.
Louise March - The Gurdjieff Years p.30

Mittwoch, 23. Januar 2013

overcoming obstacles

Teachers usually surround themselves with an atmosphere of great seriousness and importance to give newcomers a good impression. With Mr Gurdjieff it was just the opposite: everything that could repel, even frighten, a new man was always produced. A newcomer had the opportunity to meet Mr Gurdjieff and to talk with him, but at once there was put before him some obstacle to be surmounted. On the other hand, Mr Gurdjieff never let a newcomer go away empty-handed if he came with real questions and spoke about something that was of genuine importance to him.
Our Life with Mr. Gurdjieff p.74

Montag, 21. Januar 2013

Helping the Poor during WW2

I noticed almost immediately that there were a number of daily visits at his apartment by older people, most of whom did not appear to have much, if anything, to do with his "work". Not only were they old, but they all appeared to be poor. Gurdjieff's attitude towards these people bore little resemblance to his treatment of those persons who were, quite obviously, his students. He treated them with courtesy, kindness and, I gathered, generosity.
"Not only you not understand this about my work," he said, " you also not understand about what kind of person I am." After more coffee had been poured, and he had looked at me reflectively, he said: "I play many roles in life . . . this part of my destiny. You think of me as teacher, but in reality, I also your father . . . father in many ways you not understand. I also 'teacher of dancing", and have many businesses: you not know that I own company which make false eyelashes and also have very good business selling rugs. This way I make money for self and for family. Money I 'shear' from disciples is for work. But other money I make for my family. My family very big, as you see—because this kind old people who come every day to my house, are, also, family. They my family because have no other family.
You notice all such people who come here are already old. Without me not have possibility die properly. Except me, such people not have family, and for future can only look towards death. If I help such people die in right way, this can be very important and very good thing.

Remembering Gurdjieff, Chapter 14 (Paris 1945)

Samstag, 19. Januar 2013

Judas was a great Initiate

I have tried to feel remorse of conscience, but the remorse overwhelms me. I cannot forget that it was from remorse that Judas hanged himself.

Why do you speak of Judas in this case? What do you know of Judas? He was a great initiate. He was the second disciple after St. John the Baptist. All that is told about him is false. If you wish to know, he was even the master of Christ.
Meeting in Paris 20. April 1944

But in fact, not only was this Judas the most faithful and devoted of all the close followers of Jesus Christ, but it was solely thanks to his Reason and presence of mind that all the acts of this Sacred Individual could produce that result which, if it did not lead to the total destruction of the consequences of the properties of the organ kundabuffer in these unfortunate three-brained beings, was nevertheless, during twenty centuries, the source of nourishment and inspiration for the majority of them, and made their desolate existence at least a little endurable.
Beelzebub Chapter "Religion"

Mittwoch, 16. Januar 2013

Gurdjieff on reincarnation

Question: Does reincarnation of souls exist?
Gurdjieff: A soul is a luxury. No one has yet been born with a fully developed soul. Before we can speak of reincarnation, we must know what kind of man we are speaking about, what kind of soul and what kind of reincarnation. A soul may disintegrate immediately after death, or it may do so after a certain time. For example, a soul may be crystallized within the limits of the earth and may remain there, yet not be crystallized
for the sun.
Views from the Real World p.87

Reincarnation is a very rare phenomenon. It is possible either over a very long period of time, or in the event of there being a man whose physical body is identical with that of the man who possessed these higher bodies. Moreover, the astral body can reincarnate only if it accidentally meets with such a physical body, but this can happen only unconsciously. But the mental body is able to choose.
Views from the Real World p.217

But the systems with which you are acquainted and which use this expression state that all men have an 'astral body.' This is quite wrong. What may be called the 'astral body' is obtained by means of fusion, that is, by means of terribly hard inner work and struggle. Man is not born with it. And only very few men acquire an 'astral body.' If it is formed it may continue to live after the death of the physical body, and it may be born again in another physical body. This is 'reincarnation.' If it is not re-born, then, in the course of time, it also dies; it is not immortal but it can live long after the death of the physical body.
In Search of the Miraculous p.32

What is the use of a man knowing about recurrence if he is not conscious of it and if he himself does not change?
Why should he make any efforts today when there is so much time and so many possibilities ahead-the whole of eternity? Why should he bother today? This is exactly why the system does not say anything about repetition and takes only this one life which we know. The system has neither meaning nor sense without striving for self-change. And work on self-change must begin today, immmediately. All laws can be seen in one life.
In Search of the Miraculous p.250

the effect of Gurdjieffs method

A writer, well known in London, a follower of Adler, once said to me:
"One of the striking things about the effect of Gurdjieff´s teaching on his pupils is that the men - at least those I have known - become more masculine and the women more feminine."
C.S. Nott - Teachings of Gurdjieff p.98

Montag, 14. Januar 2013

Objective Architecture

The keys to all the ancient arts are lost, were lost many centuries ago. And therefore there is no longer a sacred art embodying laws of the Great Knowledge, and so serving to influence the instincts of the multitude.
Views from the Real World p.35

For instance, take architecture. I saw some examples of architecture in Persia and Turkey - for instance, one building of two rooms. Everyone who entered these rooms, whether old or young, whether English or Persian, wept. This happened with people of different backgrounds and education. We continued this experiment for two or three weeks and observed everyone's reactions. The result was always the same. We specially chose cheerful people. With these architectural combinations, the mathematically calculated vibrations contained in the building could not produce any other effect. We are under certain laws and cannot withstand external influences. Because the architect of this building had a different understanding and built mathematically, the result was always the same.

You come to a monastery. You are not a religious man, but what is played and sung there evokes in you a desire to pray. Later you will be surprised by this. And so it is with everyone. This objective art is based on laws, whereas modern music is entirely subjective. It is possible to prove where everything in this subjective art comes from. 
Views from the Real World p.184

Sonntag, 13. Januar 2013

Man, a different order of Nature

Someone asked if it was true that man evolved from animals.

Gurdjieff said no, man was from a different order of Nature, a different formula.

C.S. Nott - Further Teachings of Gurdjieff p.81

how to influence the future of Mankind

Among the purposes of all leaders, messiahs, messengers from the gods, and so forth, there was one fundamental and very important purpose: to find some means by which the two sides of man, and, therefore, the two sides of the earth, could live together in peace and harmony. He said that time was very short - it was necessary to achieve this harmony as soon as possible to avoid complete disaster. Philosophies, religions and other such movements had all failed to accomplish this aim, and the only possible way to accomplish it was through the individual development of man. As an individual developed his own, unknown potentialities, he would become strong and would, in turn, influence many more people. If enough individuals could develop themselves - even partially - into genuine, natural men, able to use the real potentialities that were proper to mankind, each such individual would then be able to convince and win over as many as a hundred other men, who would, each in his turn, upon achieving development, be able to influence another hundred, and so on. 
He added, grimly, that he was in no sense joking when he had said that time was short. Further, he said that history had already proven to us that such tools as politics, religion, and any other organized movements which treated man "in the mass" and not as individual beings, were failures. That they would always be failures and that the separate, distinct growth of each individual in the world was the only possible solution. 
Whether one believed him whole-heartedly or not, he made a convincing and passionate case for the importance of individual development and growth.
Fritz Peters - Remembering Gurdjieff p.159

(on this topic read also Beelzebub Chapter 27 - The order of existence created for men by the Very Saintly Ashiata Shiemash)

Montag, 7. Januar 2013

an ordinary Man cannot be a Genius

Talent can be made in twenty-four hours. Genius exists, but an ordinary man cannot be a genius. It is only a word. It is the same in all the arts. Real art cannot be the work of an ordinary man. He cannot act, he cannot be "I." An actor cannot have what another man has—he cannot feel as another man feels. If he plays the part of a priest, he ought to have the understanding and feelings of a priest. But he can have these only if he has all the priest's material, all that a priest knows and understands. And it is so with every profession; special knowledge is required. The artist without knowledge only imagines.
Views from the Real World p.177

meat is necessary

“Gyorgi Ivanovitch,” she said, “it really isn’t necessary to kill animals to feed ourselves, is it? Can’t we live perfectly well on grains, milk, fruit, and vegetables?” “Yes,” Mr. Gurdjieff replied, “it is quite possible, because everything required for the physical and spiritual life of man can be found in the vegetable kingdom.” Mme N. was radiant. “You see,” she said to the others, “I was right!” “Yes,” Mr. Gurdjieff added. “You would be right if our human existence was limited only to the spiritual, but it isn’t. Meat is necessary when there is hard physical work to be done, or in a very cold climate, or when edible plants cannot be found. Besides, our canine teeth as well as other biological characteristics show that our digestive system has been adapted by nature to assimilate meat. Animal flesh provides all the substances we need, both for the intensive working of our organism and for maintaining a normal temperature in cold climates. So, you are right, and at the same time, you are not right.”
Gurdjieff a Master in Life p.36

Freitag, 4. Januar 2013

transformation into a carpet seller

When Mr Gurdjieff came into the dining-room, I was still so shocked that I couldn’t face him directly.

‘What’s the matter with you?’ he asked.
I cannot even look at you,’ I said.
‘Why not?’
I didn’t recognize you when I looked through the door.’
 ‘What do you wish?’ he asked. ‘That I speak philosophy with him as I do with the doctor? Would he then buy a carpet? And if I would speak with Dr Stjernvall as I spoke with this man, he would never follow me. So you must understand that I am with each one such as they need from me. Right now I wish to sell carpets, so I have to be a carpet seller and not a philosopher.’

Our life with Mr.Gurdjieff p.145 (reported by Olga de Hartmann)

3 meanings and 7 aspects

We must always keep in mind what Gurdjieff says about Beelzebub’s Tales: there are three “versions” of the book—an outer, an inner, and an inmost: also, every complete statement in the book has seven aspects.
A.R. Orage´s Commentaries on "Beelzebubs Tales to His Grandson"

Donnerstag, 3. Januar 2013

one thing is incompatible with WORK

There is only one thing incompatible with work and that is "professional occultism": in other words, professional charlatanism. All these spiritualists, healers, clairvoyants, and so on, or even people closely connected with them, are none of them any good to us. And you must always remember this and take care not to tell them much because everything they learn from you they might use for their own purposes, that is, to make fools of other people.
In Search of the Miraculous p.243

Mittwoch, 2. Januar 2013

something powerful and uncanny

I was surprised at the number of people there who had attended his classes or seen his dances. Often when I mentioned his name, someone would come forward and give me some dramatic account, illustrated by a personal experience. Though these accounts varied, though some of the speakers swore by Gurdjieff and others almost cursed him, though some considered that he possessed greater and deeper knowledge than anybody alive and others called him a charlatan and a madman, they all agreed that there was something powerful and uncanny about him. Stories were reported to me of people who had given Gurdjieff their whole fortunes in order to help him with his work, and of pupils who were unable to tear themselves away from him, and felt happy in his presence even if they had to suffer from his abuse. I have never heard the word ‘possessed’ used so often in connection with any other teacher.

Rom Landau - God is my Adventure p.198