Monday, May 23, 2022
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.

The Sly Man and the Devil

The Sly Man and the Devil — Something Different?



Previous Introduction   

Limited Hangout



Is it possible the Fourth Way is but another limited hangout?

It undoubtedly was a release of previously hidden information, but was it done in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details? If so, what are the missing details?

Could there possibly be missing information that is even more important for a seeker to understand than the fundamental concepts of self-remembering, identification, unnecessary talk and negative emotions?

Here we examine the story The Sly Man and the Devil. —  Gurdjieff's reply to questions about the origins of the Fourth Way. The story can be found under the "Excerpt" tab below.

Apparently, due to the wealth of information contained and the verifiable results produced, its origins are of little consequence to those who study and practice "the work".

At the risk of removing all doubt, I'll use this topic to express some wide-ranging thoughts on what is commonly referred to as the "Fourth Way", which expands upon previous work.

Fourth Way

Man Is in a Prison

  Man Is in a Prison     From: fourth way® gurdjieff ouspensky school When I was younger, for my sins, I spent time locked up in several of Her Majesty's prisons. In this Work Mr. Gurdjieff and others have often made use of the analogy that Man is in a Prison, of the need...

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Food for the Moon

Food for the Moon     [Source] “For instance, the evolution of humanity beyond a certain point, or, to speak more correctly, above a certain percentage, would be fatal FOR THE MOON. The moon at present FEEDS on organic life, on humanity. “Humanity is a part of organic life; this means that humanity is FOOD for the...

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Gurdjieff, Beelzebub, and Zecharia Sitch…

Gurdjieff, Beelzebub, and Zecharia Sitchin     [Source] By P.T. Mistlberger | An Abridged Essay from Appendix III of The Three Dangerous Magi For a couple of years between 1999 and 2001 I was part of a private and informal online group of researchers from around the world engaged in study of the so-called...

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Who was Gurdjieff?

Introduction Contents   Who was Gurdjieff?   Introduction Below are (12) reports on and about G.I. Gurdjieff, ranging from 'hero worship' by various indoctrinated students of the Fourth Way to 'myth-busting' accounts by people not within the Gurdjieff-followers community. Gurdjieff's personal story about his father (chapter 2 of Meetings with Remarkable Men) is also reprinted here. Contents Introduction Gurdjieff's Biography | From: Gurdjieff Club Who...

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Lying: Detailed Definition

  Lying: Detailed Definition   If a man could be described as a zoological type, he would be described as a lying animal. People pretend that they know all sorts of things: about God, about the future life, about the universe, about the origin of man, about evolution, about everything; but in reality they...

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Entropy and the Laws of World-creation a…

  Entropy and the Laws of World-creation and World-maintenance    Source “In the beginning, when nothing yet existed and when the whole of our Universe was empty endless space ... our Most Great and Most Most Holy Sun Absolute existed alone in all this empty space. . . It was just during this period...

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4th Way ♦ Soul References

  4th Way ♦ "Soul" References   Below aer excerpts from: The Fourth Way  —  (9) instances of the word soul. In Search of the Miraculous  —  (1) instance of the word soul Beelzebub's Tales  —  (85) instances of the word soul. in which "soul" is found in context.

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Structure and Function of the Human Mach…

  Structure and Function of the Human Machine   The human machine has seven different functions.Five ordinarily and two potential. Four lower functions• Instinctive  • Moving  • Emotional  • Intellectual (also known as: centers = brains = minds) Sex centre Potential connection with two higher centers (soul & spirit)

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Confluence and waking sleep

  Confluence and waking sleep     From:  Cassiopaea Glossary Moravieff uses the term confluence to designate a peculiar hypnotic state in man where he is identified with the mental currents that flow through him and mistaking the thoughts that are engendered from this current as his own thoughts. Man's submersion into this mental current is what...

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4th Way ♦ Sex Center References

  4th Way ♦ "Sex Center" References   Below are excerpts from: In Search of the Miraculous Sexuality and the Evolution of Consciousness in which "Sex Center" is found in context.

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4th Way ♦ Organic Life on Earth Referenc…

  4th Way ♦ "Organic Life on Earth" References   Below are excerpts from: The Fourth Way and In Search of the Miraculous in which "Organic Life on Earth" is found in context.

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The Five Strivings

  The Five Strivings   All the beings of this planet then began to work in order to have in their consciousness this Divine function of genuine conscience, and for this purpose, as everywhere in the Universe, they transubstantiated in themselves what are called the ‘being-obligolnian-strivings’ which consist of the following five… - Beelzebub's...

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Seven primary obstacles to self-awarenes…

  Seven primary obstacles to self-awareness   Identification – One of the characteristics of our psychology is that we lose ourselves by becoming absorbed into events, thoughts, and emotions. Negative Emotions – One of the chief obstacles to awakening is losing energy through the expression of negative and unpleasant emotions. Imagination – Our imagining that we already...

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Remember Yourself

  Remember Yourself     From: gapingvoid “Remember yourself always and everywhere.” These words were inscribed on the walls of the study house of the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at the Château Le Prieuré, Fontainebleau-Avon, the home of the esoteric teacher George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff. They summarised the essence of his teaching and were...

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Implications for counseling

  The psychology of George Gurdjieff: Implications for counseling   Abstract  From: Counselling, Psychotherapy and Health This paper examines aspects of the teaching of G. I. Gurdjieff in the light of the current knowledge base of contemporary applied psychology, and in particular, that of current counselling theory and practice. It focusses on enunciating relevant aspects...

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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

The Sly Man and the Devil

The Sly Man and the Devil The Sly Man and the Devil — Something Different? Previous Introduction    Limited Hangout Is it possible the Fourth Way is but another limited hangout? It undoubtedly was a release of previously hidden information, but was it done in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details? If so, what are the missing details? Could there...

Read more

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography A rich and multifaceted literature has been created over the years from the pens of Gurdjieff, his direct students (first generation), pupils of his students (second generation), scholars and researchers, journalists and critics, and biographers. At best these writings (Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, In Search of the Miraculous)...

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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

The Sly Man and the Devil

The Sly Man and the Devil The Sly Man and the Devil — Something Different? Previous Introduction    Limited Hangout Is it possible the Fourth Way is but another limited hangout? It undoubtedly was a release of previously hidden information, but was it done in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details? If so, what are the missing details? Could there...

Read more