Sonntag, 28. April 2013

egg and chicken

Gabo, an old Russian pupil, one day told him that he was eating too much fat, it was not good for him. With a quizzical look Gurdjieff asked, "Since when has egg told something to chicken?"

C.S. Nott - Further Teachings of Gurdjieff p.80

how close people live to the truth

Crumbs of truth are scattered everywhere; and those who know and understand can see and marvel how close people live to the truth, yet how blind they are and powerless to penetrate it.
Views from the Real World p.55

Freitag, 26. April 2013

dances are a kind of language

Observe how people dance. Each nationality has its own way of dancing. You can always tell the nationality by the way a man dances. In the East, where traditions are much stronger, you can even tell which tribe or village people come from by the way they dance. In this way dances become like a kind of language by which people - unconsciously, of course - tell us about themselves. It is the same with everything. Each nation has a limited repertoire of movements which come from the impressions of childhood.

from a Gurdjieff Talk in London 1922 
(The Study of Psychology)

I worked harder than any man on earth

I hate you because all my life - that is half a century - I have labored and suffered for you, day and night, to discover why you are unhappy, and whether it was possible to make a man, who was quite indifferent to me, happy. I have worked so hard that I can freely say harder than any man on earth. The result of it all is that all who have ever known me will either hate me or call me a speculator or an enthusiastic psychopathic visionary or what-not.
Gurdjieff - Ecstacy of Revelation

Donnerstag, 25. April 2013

finding a teacher

To a man who is searching with all his being, with all his inner self, comes the unfailing conviction that to find out how to know in order to do is possible only by finding a guide with experience and knowledge, who will take on his spiritual guidance and become his teacher. And it is here that a man's flair is more important than anywhere else. He chooses a guide for himself. It is of course an indispensable condition that he choose as a guide a man who knows, or else all meaning of choice is lost. Who can tell where a guide who does not know may lead a man? Every seeker dreams of a guide who knows, dreams about him but seldom asks himself objectively and sincerely—is he worthy of being guided? Is he ready to follow the way?
Views from the Real World p.57

a genuine representative of science

Look out, you scum, or I'll crush you like cockroaches. Don't you see who's coming? Not just anybody, but a genuine representative of science who has assimilated all the knowledge offered today by the highest seats of learning!

Beelzebubs Tales to his Grandson
The sixth and last sojourn of Beelzebub on the planet Earth (Chapter 31)

Dienstag, 23. April 2013

the Real never ceases to be

Orage´s gravestone
You grieve for those who should not be grieved for.
The wise grieve neither for the living nor the dead.
Never at any time was I not, nor thou,
nor these princes of men.
Nor shall we cease to be hereafter.
The unreal has no being.
The real never ceases to be.

Old Hampstead Churchyard. On the stone is the enneagram carved by his friend Eric Gill, with Krishna's words to Arjuna.

Montag, 22. April 2013

X - the unknown quantity

Small parties of three, four and sometimes even a dozen, would go to a nearby cafe and sit for an hour or more, reconstructing what Gurdjieff had been saying. This led to a strange observation that was verified many times by all of us. One person would have a clear and exact recollection of what Gurdjieff had said on some topic. Another would flatly contradict the account, saying that something quite different had been said. Sometimes several people would insist that Gurdjieff had spoken exclusively and privately to them, giving them a deeply important message. Other people who had been sitting a yard away would not have heard a word.

After some time we concluded that Gurdjieff had a peculiar kind of Maya that enabled him to appear differently to different people at the same time. He was, indeed, as Madame Ouspensky had put it, X—the unknown quantity. To convey some impression of his infinite variety forty people, men and women, who saw most of him at the various periods of his life would have to write forty different books. Unfortunately most of those who could have written of him have died, leaving little or no record of their experience.
J.G. Bennett - Witness p.246

chief obstacle to the spread of G's method

I am reluctant to describe any of Gurdjieff 's spiritual exercises, as I am sure that they should never be undertaken without supervision by some experienced guide. Herein indeed lies the chief obstacle to the spread of Gurdjieff 's method. His pupils are generally agreed that at least seven years of intensive training are needed to form a group leader. The majority of those who attempt this training fall by the way or become so acutely aware of their own defects that they refuse to take responsibility for others. In consequence, those who have at different times accepted the task of guiding others have been overworked and overstrained. Dependence upon highly trained and rarely equipped teachers is a serious defect for which it is difficult to see a remedy.
J.G. Bennett - Witness p.246

Freitag, 19. April 2013

What are you trying to do?

At one meeting a man who had just started coming to meetings said,  “Mr. Gurdjieff, what are you trying to do?”

What I try do?” Mr. Gurdjieff replied, “I try show people when it rains the streets are wet.”

That struck me so strongly that I have never forgotten it.
Edwin Wolfe - Episodes with Gurdjieff p.12

the worst collection of paintings in the World

"You know, Miss Keep not have any sympathy for my paintings. Last time she come here, I ask her what she think of my paintings, and she tell me: 'Mr. Gurdjieff, you have everything here, except art'. Miss Keep not appreciate what I do."

"...they tell I have worst collection of paintings in Paris—perhaps in all world. I already unique to most people who know me, but in my collection of bad art people see that I am still more unique ... in another way, unique."
Fritz Peters - Gurdjieff Remembered (Chapter 18)

Mittwoch, 17. April 2013

even God made a mistake

Elizabeth Constant Gordon
Gurdjieff once was telling Elizabeth Gordon, that he had made a mistake. He went on to say that even God made a mistake, one big mistake. Miss Gordon replied that she thought God had done everything necessary to forestall the effect of the Merciless Heropass - "Time, that wears away every living thing". Gurdjieff said, "Yes, everything but one thing; he made an umbrella when he should have made an enema, and now he is idiot and like everyone else sits in galoshes." This seemingly senseless expression puzzled me; only after a long time did I begin to perceive a great truth in the parable.
C.S. Nott - Further Teachings of Gurdjieff p.229
 (Miss Gordon was a close Gurdjieff pupil from 1922 until her death in Paris 1945)

above the World

Alexander de Salzmann
One day he told me why he never smiled. He said that once Mr. Gurdjieff had picked him up and put him above the world where he could see everything as it really is. Then he fell back down to crawl in the earth's dust again. From then on, he was unable to laugh. He yearned for that larger view until the end of his days.

Louise March - The Gurdjieff Years p.33

Dienstag, 16. April 2013

the Highlands of Pamir

Alfons Paquet met Alexander de Salzmann in Istanbul 1921, Salzmann invited him to the Institute:

We met in the late evening and visited the Institute. It was named the Institute for the Harmonic Development of Man. Nothing less!...
I was introduced to the head of the school, a Caucasian, who had traveled for years to the mountain regions of Inner Asia, where he visited monasteries and studied the cults, dances and sciences of the monks. This man claimed that India wasn´t the "home of wonders", but instead he talked of the highlands of Pamir...
The fields of study of this Institute include lectures on asian religious myth, on rythym, on the law of octaves, on the science of numbers and what else is related to the Kabbalah and the magical crafts. They teach here a interpretation of the strange stone monuments, the dolmen...
Enthusiasm and boast, which accompany certain esoteric schools in the countries of the West, are far from them...

Alfons Paquet´s "Delphische Wanderung" was published in 1922.  Five pages of this book are dedicated to the visit of Gurdjieffs Institute in Istanbul, which Paquet visited only on one night in 1921.

Montag, 15. April 2013

the Enneagram is a Universal Symbol

"Speaking in general it must be understood that the enneagram is a universal symbol. All knowledge can be included in the enneagram and with the help of the enneagram it can be interpreted."

"The knowledge of the enneagram has for a very long time been preserved in secret and if it now is, so to speak, made available to all, it is only in an incomplete and theoretical form of which nobody could make any practical use without instruction from a man who knows."

G.I. Gurdjieff

Fourth Way Enneagram Literature:
P.D. Ouspensky - In Search of the Miraculous
J.G. Bennett - Enneagram Studies
Anthony Blake - The Intelligent Enneagram
Steffan Soule - Accomplish the Impossible
Russell A. Smith - Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets
Sophia Wellbeloved - Gurdjieff: The Key Concepts
Dr. H.J. Sharp - Sacred Geometry and the Enneagram
Richard J. Defouw - The Enneagram in the Writings of Gurdjieff
William Patrick Patterson - Taking With the Left Hand: Enneagram Craze

Sonntag, 14. April 2013

how to educate our children

Would you be kind enough to give me some advice how to give a good education to the children who are entrusted to us, such as we are? 

Gurdjieff: You ask Mme de Salzmann to give you two chapters of a book I have written (Meetings with Remarkable Men), "My Father" and "My First Tutor." I have explained there briefly what you ask me. These two chapters will give you some good instruction.
Paris Meeting, 28 October 1943

why Gurdjieff became a writer in 1924

Since I had not, when in full strength and health, succeeded in introducing in practice into the life of people the beneficial truths elucidated for them by me, then I must at least, at any cost, succeed in doing this in theory, before my death.
Life is real only then, when "I AM"(Prologue)

Samstag, 13. April 2013

you cannot imagine how extraordinary he was

Suddenly he began to talk about what he called the "week of miracles." It was a week that he and other members of the Russian group had spent with Gurdjieff in Finland. "I was in another room," said Ouspensky. "I heard Gurdjieff's voice speaking inside me. He told me something, something very important." Ouspensky's eyes became glazed. He seemed to go into a trance. The zoubrovka perhaps—or the memory of Gurdjieff. Hoping to restart this intriguing conversation I piped up in my prissy English voice, "He must have been a very strange man, that Mr. Gurdjieff." Ouspensky gazed at me as if I had said something ridiculous. "Strange! He was extraordinary! You cannot possibly imagine how extraordinary Gurdjieff was." His eyes glazed again...
Robert de Ropp - Warrior´s Way p.102

your life is finished

May 30th 1937, Paris. Wright: "Damn, I'm sleepy. I can't take it. Still, I don't want to hurt the old man's feelings." (Began to read and G. returned and sat down. Wright stopped reading.) "You know, Mr. G., this is interesting and it's a pity it's not well written. You know you talk English very well, too bad you can't dictate. Now if I had time you could dictate to me and I could write this for you in good English." (Read a few pages, stopped again.) "Now I must go and take my little daughter home. She's sleepy and so is her father." G: "Yes, for her sake, stop. She is young. You, of course, are old man now and life finish. But she only begin." Wright (turning red): "My life is NOT finished. I could right now make six more like her...." (Olgivanna with tears in her eyes led the child to the door.)
Another account of this meeting can be found in C.S. Notts "Further Teachings of Gurdjieff". Lloyd Wright referring to Gurdjieff as "the old man", was born in 1867, Gurdjieff was born 1866. This was the first time Gurdjieff und Lloyd Wright met.

Freitag, 12. April 2013

Fourth Way Literature 2012

english Fourth Way related books, published in 2012:

Solita Solano/ Kathryn Hulme - Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope
Kathryn C. Hulme - Undiscovered Country: A Spiritual Adventure
Louise March Göpfert - The Gurdieff Years: 1929-1949
Keith A. Buzzell - Reflections on Gurdjieff's Whim
Georgette Leblanc - The Courage Machine: A New Life in a New World
Christian Wertenbaker - Man in the Cosmos: G. I. Gurdjieff and Modern Science 
Jacob Needleman - An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth
Paul B. Taylor - Real Worlds of G.I.Gurdjieff. Chapters in the Life of a Master
Bob Hunter - Meetings with Beryl Pogson - A Guide to the Fourth Way
Michael S. Pittman - Classical Spirituality in Contemporary America: The Confluence and Contribution of G.I. Gurdjieff and Sufism
Ashala Gabriel - Remembering: Being with my Teacher
David Hall - Beelzebub And The Beast - Comparative Study of G.I. Gurdjieff & Aleister Crowley
Mohammad Tamdgidi - Gurdjieff and Hypnosis: A Hermeneutic Study
Theodore J. Nottingham - Written In Our Hearts: The Practice of Spiritual Transformation
Patty de Llosa - Taming your inner tyrant
Herb Cohen - Journey to Feel like a Man: Olympic Fencer, Gurdjieff Work, Tai Chi Teacher
Edward F. Sylvia - Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links
Philip Riley - God Was All Dry: Alienation, Violence, and an Experience in The Fourth Way

Donnerstag, 11. April 2013

Prince Oldenburgsky and Beelzebub

If this episode has a base in historicel fact, the person Beelzebub/Gurdjieff met in Egypt would have been Prince Alexander Petrovich Oldenburgsky (1844-1932).

In Tales, Beelzebubs function in relation to the Temperance committee is the curing of alcoholics, something for which Gurdjieff had proved adept.
Paul B. Taylor - G.I.Gurdjieff. A New Life p. 35
 (Beelzebubs Tales to his Grandson - Beelzebub in Russia,Chapter 34)

Mittwoch, 10. April 2013

studying ancient magic in Baku

I often went to Baku because there was a society there, composed mostly of Persians who were studying ancient magic, of which I had been an associate member for a long time.

Meetings with Remarkable Men p.255 (dated around 1900)

Sonntag, 7. April 2013

all life is hidden in design

Whenever somenone questioned why Gurdjieff described himself to visitors as a rug merchant, he replied: "Why dealer in rugs? Answer simple. I sell knowledge. All is in rugs around you, all. Read! All life is hidden in design."

The rugs on his floors and walls were texts, stories to be read. Rug or carpet designs, like folk stories, transmit traditional cultural lore from one generation to another. Gurdjieff had always insisted that story, myth, art and dance reduplicate objective language, and that symbols veil truths.
Paul B. Taylor - Gurdjieff. A New Life p.218

Samstag, 6. April 2013

Prince Bebutov and the Seekers of Truth

D.I. Bebutov
Prince Bebutov, born 1859 of Armenian descent, was a politician and a leading member of the russian Kadet Party.

He was the founder of the Astreya Lodge, whose house on Rozhdestvensky Boulevard in Moscow, replete with symbols hidden in its ornamented fasade, was familiar to Gurdjieff. Gurdjieffs cousin Merkurov equated members of Bebutovs circle with the "Seekers of Truth". Bebutov practised magic and spiritualistic seances.

Gurdjieff travelled to Istanbul with Bebutov in 1908. There he apparently met with Turkish Masons who had overthrown the Turkish Sultan. Among the European guests of the Turkish revolutionaries was a German, Rudolf von Sebottendorf.

Bebutov was a high ranked mason.("Great East of Russia", "Order of free masons", "Polar Star") He was also one of three founders of a lodge called "The Truth" in Odessa.  Bebutov wrote a book titled "The Russian Masonry of the 20th Century".

Bebutov´s House in Moscow, where the Seekers of Truth were meeting

Masonic Symbols on Bebutov´s house

Freitag, 5. April 2013

my teaching is my own

Tibet is an example where, ten years ago, all government was in the hands of the monks. But they couldn’t put my ideas into practice, because my teaching was not known to them. My teaching is my own. It combines all the evidence of ancient truth that I collected in my travels with all the knowledge that I have acquired through my own personal work.
Our Life with Mr.Gurdjieff p.182

desires and nondesires

And so, only he who consciously assists the process of this inner struggle, and consciously assists the "nondesires" to prevail over the "desires," behaves in accordance with the Being of our Common Father Creator Himself, whereas he who consciously assists the contrary only increases His sorrow.

Beelzebubs Tales to his Grandson(Chapter 27)

Dienstag, 2. April 2013

a King in exile

Gurdjieff...even now, nearly thirty years after his death, the name has for me a certain magic. He was, without doubt, the most extraordinary human being I have ever met.
The life of Gurdjieff represented a special aspect of the Warrior's Way. More than any other man I have met, he lived by self-imposed rules and pursued intentional aims. In the fullest sense of the word he was inner-directed and lived strategically, knowing what he was doing and why he was doing it. He cared nothing for the artificial laws that confine weaker people to narrow patterns of behavior. He made his own laws and played the game by his own rules. Because these laws and rules were very different from those that ordinarily govern human behavior he seemed like an enigma to some and like a madman to others. My impression that Gurdjieff was a king in exile, that he had been displaced not only in space but also in time...
Jesus evidently had plenty of Hvareno. Gurdjieff had it too. It gave him the quality of a king in exile. His kingdom was neither in our time or our place, but he could, had he wished to, have used his Hvareno to draw great numbers of people to him. He could have had a following of thousands.
Robert de Ropp - Warrior´s Way