Wednesday, July 18, 2018
What is the Work?

Gurdjieff strongly condemned masturbation, contraception and homosexuality as affronts to the proper order of nature. (LINK)

Perhaps that helps to explain why he was such a prolific procreater. According to Mark Pilkington, "He was highly charismatic and a notorious womaniser, said to have fathered over 100 children."

Much has been written about what "the Work" is (see here, here, and here). My intention is not to restate that which has been well defined.

I've been trying to come up with a suitable allegory for the Work, and what first came to mind is an automobile factory in which new cars are manufactured (new-born human beings), but soon after being driven off the assembly line the air filter is removed, the tires are slashed, it's then run on the rims, later crashed into a concrete wall, and finally gasoline is poured inside and ignited. The car is somehow driven for 20 or 30 years, and only then taken to a repair shop (the Work).

A reoccurring question for me is why has most of this secret information (the Fourth Way, for example) been out of the public domain for thousands of years and why is it now becoming more freely available (albeit some of which is being sold and not strictly free). The advent of the Internet has greatly increased the dissemination of knowledge, but Gurdjieff's information was first disseminated 70 years or more prior to the Internet – why?

Unusual Assemblage of Syllables
all and everything 224

quote small leftA deliberate and rigorous obscurity …
   of confusing terms and tangential
   associations in interminable sentencesquote small right

quote small leftJargon-ridden and intentionally obtusequote small right

For several reasons, including the unique difficulties presented by Gurdjieff’s writing style, little commentary has been written on Beelzebub’s Tales.

Without a determined decision on the part of the reader to make great efforts to understand these writings, without the reader’s constant and conscious participation in the act of reading, little if any sense can be gotten from the Tales.

  Gurdjieff at Lascaux August 1949  

Soon after posting How I began "the Work", I began thinking about that title, and the fact that few people would have any idea as to what "the Work" is and means. So, I set about looking for a web page that I could copy which provided a brief and easy to understand definition of what exactly the Work is.

I browsed at least 20 web pages, but did not find what I was looking for. What I see is a repeat of the basic definition as quoted below from The Gurdjieff Foundation:

quote small leftThe Gurdjieff work remains above all essentially an oral tradition, transmitted under specially created conditions from person to person, continually unfolding, without fixed doctrinal beliefs or external rites, as a way toward freeing humanity from the waking sleep that holds us in a kind of hypnotic illusion.quote small right – The Gurdjieff Work Today

To me, that is "The Gurdjieff Work from 1930" and has little relevance to my personal involvement in what I call "the Work." It's probably for the best that I've been unable to find an updated version. Although I'm not keen on writing (I much prefer copying!) – I have written a few words that better expresses my views about this topic, which can be found in the blog entry mentioned above.

However, in the course of my searching and browsing, I came upon an article that I'd never seen before: Gurdjieff at Lascaux August 1949. The first thing that hit me was the timing of Gurdjieff's visit, and his interest in the artifacts found there.

Something Different?

Unusual Assemblage of Syllables

Unusual Assemblage of Syllables A deliberate and rigorous obscurity …   of confusing terms and tangential    associations in interminable sentences Jargon-ridden and intentionally obtuse For several reasons, including the unique difficulties presented by Gurdjieff’s writing style, little commentary has been written on Beelzebub’s Tales. Without a determined decision on the part of the reader to...

Read more

Gurdjieff at Lascaux August 1949

  Gurdjieff at Lascaux August 1949   Soon after posting How I began "the Work", I began thinking about that title, and the fact that few people would have any idea as to what "the Work" is and means. So, I set about looking for a web page that I could copy which provided a brief and easy...

Read more

What is "the Work"?

What is the Work? Gurdjieff strongly condemned masturbation, contraception and homosexuality as affronts to the proper order of nature. (LINK) Perhaps that helps to explain why he was such a prolific procreater. According to Mark Pilkington, "He was highly charismatic and a notorious womaniser, said to have fathered over 100 children." Much has been written about what...

Read more