georges ivanovich gurdjieff was a greek-armenian enlightened mystic. gurdjieff is known for his strange, at times weird and revolutionary methods of teachings. he popularized the concept of “the fourth way”.
according to him, men is more like a robot. everyone is sleeping and working unconsciously. to wake up from this deep sleep, a conscious effort is needed. someone who is already awake can accelerate this waking process.
gurdjieff often used practices which used to give shock to body-mind system and give you a glimpse of reality. he was not an conventional teacher. he would go to any extent to bring inner centering in his disciple. gurdjieff sacred dances became very famous in west. he also taught self-remembrance. one of his key disciple was ouspensky who shared his time with gurdjieff in the book “in search of miraculous”.
1. i ask you to believe nothing that you cannot verify for yourself.
2. man such as we know him, is a machine.
3. if you want to lose your faith, make friends with a priest.
4. you must understand that ordinary efforts do not count; only super efforts count.
5. man has the possibility of existence after death. but possibility is one thing and the realization of the possibility is quite a different thing.
6. sincerity is the key which will open the door through which you will see your separate parts, and you will see something quite new. you must go on trying to be sincere. each day you put on a mask, and you must take it off little by little.
7. without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
8. there is a cosmic law which says that every satisfaction must be paid for with a dissatisfaction.
9. a man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.
10. man has no permanent and unchangeable i. every thought, every mood, every desire, every sensation, says “i”.
11. it is very difficult also to sacrifice one’s suffering. a man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.
12. in speaking of evolution it is necessary to understand from the outset that no mechanical evolution is possible. the evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness.
13. faith of consciousness is freedom. faith of feeling is weakness. faith of body is stupidity.
14. two things in life are infinite; the stupidity of man and the mercy of god.
15. it is the greatest mistake to think that man is always one and the same. a man is never the same for long. he is continually changing. he seldom remains the same even for half an hour.
16. every one of those unfortunates during the process of existence should constantly sense and be cognizant of the inevitability of his own death as well as of the death of everyone upon whom his eyes or attention rests. only such a sensation and such a cognizance can now destroy the egoism completely crystallized in them that has swallowed up the whole of their essence, and also that tendency to hate others which flows from it.
17. knowledge can be acquired by a suitable and complete study, no matter what the starting point is. only one must know how to ‘learn.’ what is nearest to us is man; and you are the nearest of all men to yourself. begin with the study of yourself; remember the saying ‘know thyself.
18. it is impossible to recognize a wrong way without knowing the right way. this means that it is no use troubling oneself how to recognize a wrong way. one must think of how to find the right way.
19. hope of consciousness is strength
hope of feelings is slavery
hope of body is disease.
20. the sole means now for the saving of the beings of the planet earth would be to implant again into their presences a new organ … of such properties that every one of these unfortunates during the process of existence should constantly sense and be cognizant of the inevitability of his own death as well as the death of everyone upon whom his eyes or attention rests. only such a sensation and such a cognizance can now destroy the egoism completely crystallized in them.
21. man has no individual i. but there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small “i”s, very often entirely unknown to one another, never coming into contact, or, on the contrary, hostile to each other, mutually exclusive and incompatible. each minute, each moment, man is saying or thinking, “i”. and each time his i is different. just now it was a thought, now it is a desire, now a sensation, now another thought, and so on, endlessly. man is a plurality. man’s name is legion.