Page 3«..2345..»

Archive for the ‘Gurdjieff’ Category

Pythagoras, Gurdjieff and the Enneagram – Enneagram Monthly

Posted: November 21, 2018 at 5:43 pm

without comments

Evagrius give us 3 trinitarian interpretations:

a) practice of the virtues, contemplation of the divine in nature, and spiritual knowledge of God

b) faith, hope and love

c) gold, silver, and precious stones

II. Is the Enneagram ancient wisdom?Evagrius expresses the purpose of his spiritual practice in Verse 51 of Chapters on Prayer:

We seek after virtues for the sake of attaining to the inner meaning of created things. We pursue these latter, that is to say the inner meanings of what is created, for the sake of attaining to the Lord who has created them. It is in the state of prayer that he is accustomed to manifest himself.

This verse on the purpose of prayer expresses a spiritual method and goal unfamiliar to most modern Western notions of religion, which, as Alfred North Whitehead states, is tending to degenerate into a decent formula wherewith to embellish a comfortable life. (Science in the Modern World, Lowell Lectures, 1925, p. 223).

Why do phrases such as seek after virtue and attain to the inner meaning of created things seem strange to us? To partially answer this question, a look at the history of Evagrius teachings is helpful.

Evagrius wrote these texts in the fourth century, a critical period in the development of the Christian Church. In 324 AD, Constantine declared Christianity the Roman state religion and as Rome was Christianized, Christianity was Romanized. In a twist of history, as the Pagans had persecuted the Christians, now the Roman Christians were persecuting the Pagans and many heretical Christians as well. To Christians motivated to solidify the temporal power of the early church, the danger of contamination of the faith by Pagan ideas was of paramount concern (for a historical account of the political forces that shaped Christianity see Elaine Pagels The Gnostic Gospels).

Evagrius was considered by his disciples to have attained a rare degree of harmony in his personality through his ascetic practice and through his pure prayer. (Bamberger, J.E., The Praktikos, p. XXV) Yet in 399 AD, the same year as his death, his followers were persecuted as heretics and forced into exile. Evagrius was condemned at the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553 and also by the following 3 Councils. Fortunately, Evagrius followers managed to take some of his works with them into exile, into areas outside the Roman Empire including the Arabic world where he influenced the Persian Sufis and Armenia where his works exerted a great influence on Byzantine theologians.

However great the efforts of the early Christian church were to cleanse itself of Hellenistic influence, a residue remained. As George Sarton states, (the Greeks) created theological instruments that were needed for the development of the three dogmatic religions of the WestJudaism, Christianity, and Islam. In each of these religions there is a woof of scripture and tradition, but the warp in Greek (Ancient Science Through the Golden Age of Greece, p. 198). The symbolic use and interpretation of number was a prevalent element in the fabric of Hellenistic philosophy and is evident in the theology of the early Christian theologians. Two of Evagrius contemporaries, St. Jerome (died 420) and St. Augustine (354-430), have also interpreted the number of fishes in Simon Peters net.

Perhaps it was St. Jerome who provided the right solution to the meaning of the 153 fish of great size when he observed that, according to the opinion of Oppianus of Cilicia, there are 153 species of fishthus the passage refers symbolically to the universality of the Church. (Bamberger, Chapters on Prayer, footnote 11, page 54). Here the symbolism is concrete, single, correct, and is quantity rather than quality.

St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, interprets the meaning of the 153 fishes in Simon Peters net in his Letters (Letter LV to Januarius, Chap. XVII 31):

Hence also, in the number of the large fishes which our Lord after His resurrection, showing this new life, commanded to be taken on the right side of the ship, there is found the number 50 three times multiplied, with the addition of three more [the symbol of the Trinity] to make the holy mystery more apparent; Then [in this new life] man, made perfect and at rest, purified in body and soul by the pure words of God, which are like silver purged from its dross, seven times refined, shall receive his reward, the denarius; so that with that reward the numbers 10 and 7 meet in him. For in this number [17] there is found, as in other numbers representing a combination of symbols, a wonderful mystery. Nor is it without good reason that the seventeenth Psalm is the only one which is given complete in the book of Kings, because it signifies that kingdom in which we shall have no enemy. .... And when shall this His body be finally delivered from enemies? Is it not when the last enemy, Death, shall be destroyed? It is to that time that the number of the 153 fishes pertains. For if the number 17 itself be the side of an arithmetical trianglethe whole sum of these units is 153.

St. Augustine gives us 2 interpretations of 153. One is Trinitarian and is similar to that of Evagrius.

Like St. Jerome and St. Augustine, there were most likely many early theologians who found symbolic significance in the numbers of the Scriptures. This interest in symbolic number was pervasive at the time of the early Christian Church and was rooted in pre-Christian thought at least since the time of Pythagoras and probably even earlier.

Today, of course, we tend to look upon number symbolism as a confused, pre-scientific form of thought. Numbers in the Bible may mean nothing, just selected at random to indicate quantity or comparison; or they may have had some superstitious or self-referent meaning for the authors of the Scriptures. Another possibility, however, is that some Biblical numbers and possibly the structure of some of the Scriptures encoded information or indicated other sources of knowledge (c.f. legomonism, Anthony Blake, The Intelligent Enneagram of Gurdjieff, Shambhala 1996, in press).

That symbolic number and sacred geometry were indicative of the divine structure of the universe was self-evident to many early philosophers and theologians. Although this qualitative understanding of number which had its roots in Hellenistic philosophy was almost entirely purged from Christianity during its early development, it appears to have left its trace in the Scriptures whose authors, as educated people of their day, were probably versed in the sacred science of number and proportion. Most of the symbolic meaning of this sacred canon of number is lost to us but this may not be irrevocably so as interest in ancient more holistic forms of thought is growing as the limitations of our fragmented, technological rationality become ever more apparent. There is reason to believe that the enneagram may be a fragment of an early sacred cosmology.

3. Did Evagrius Ponticus combine the evil thoughts with the enneagram?In John Bambergers double text (The Praktikos, Chapters on Prayer, Cistercian Publications, 1970) we see that Evagrius knew both a psychology based on 8 evil thoughts and a cosmology symbolized by a hexagon plus triad. Can we therefore conclude that the Enneagram of Fixations originated in the Egyptian desert in the 4th century AD?

For several reasons, I think the answer to this question is No. One reason lies in the structure of the text. Although we find both systems in a single text in Bambergers translation, this text is comprised of two books which were written at different times for different purposes. The first book, Praktikos, describes the evil thoughts. The enneagram-like symbol is described in an introductory letter to the the second book, Chapters on Prayer. As the purification and codification of Christian thought was in progress during Evagrius entire lifetime, he was no doubt aware of the heretical nature of Pythagorean philosophy and was, therefore, prudent to restrict his number symbolism to an introductory dedication. The proto-enneagram and the evil thoughts are not combined in his work.

A second reason to conclude Evagrius considered his psychology separate from the symbolic cosmology is that in his 3 interpretations of the number 153, none include the number 8, his number of evil thoughts. In other words, the two systems dont coincide numerically. His hexagon plus triad would be a 3, 6 or 9-term system and he does not adjust the number of his evil thoughts to fit.

A third reason to believe that to Evagrius these 2 systems were disparate is that as a contemplative, Evagrius would understand the passions to be obstacles to gnosis of the divine. That is, the passions would not participate in or in any sense determine the logos or sacred order of the cosmos but would be obstacles to its perception. The purpose of the contemplative life is to purify or eliminate obscurations to gnosis.

4. Was Gurdjieff influenced by Evagrius Ponticus?Gurdjieff, a Greek Armenian, was raised in the border area between Armenia and Georgia where, to this day, Evagrius, a Greek native of Georgia, is accorded great honor. The teachings of Evagrius and the Desert Fathers were an intrinsic part of the Eastern Orthodox culture and would have certainly influenced Gurdjieff during his childhood and early intellectual development.

Gurdjieff, who described himself as a Pythagorean Greek and Gnostic Christian, is infamous for having gone to great lengths not to divulge the sources of his teachings to even his closest pupils. This has given rise to much speculation about the sources of Gurdjieffs teachings. J.G. Bennett recounts Gurdjieffs ongoing rewriting of his magnum opus, All and Everything, each time with increasing obscurity. Gurdjieff explained this as burying the dog deeper. Bennett recounts, When people corrected him and said that he surely meant bury the bone deeper, he would turn on them and say it is not bones but the dog that you have to find. (J.G. Bennett, Making a New World, p. 274)

Yet, in the teaching of the Desert Fathers of the 4th century students of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky will recognize a root source for many of the inner exercises of the Fourth Way. Mt. Athos, a Russian Orthodox monastery in Greece where the esoteric Christian tradition of the Desert Fathers was practiced in the early twentieth century is cited by Ouspensky in In Search of the Miraculous. Gerald Palmer who translated The Philokalia was a student of Ouspensky. E. Kadloubovsky, who also translated writings of the Desert Fathers, was Ouspenskys secretary from the mid-1930s until Ouspenskys death in 1947. Both J.G. Bennett and P.D. Ouspensky used The Philokalia as a primary spiritual text in their work with students. The teaching of Evagrius Ponticus and the Desert Fathers must be considered as a major source of the Gurdjieff Work, which Gurdjieff himself called esoteric Christianity.

ConclusionIn the 4th century writing of Evagrius Ponticus we find a highly developed contemplative psychology which has become all but extinct in the West. We also find a Pythagorean interpretation of an important Biblical symbolic number. Fragments of both the psychology and symbolism are found in the teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. As these ideas were part of the Hellenistic warp of the fabric of Christian and Islamic religions, we find striking similarities between early Christian thought and the later Sufi spirituality and cosmology.

In our search for ancient wisdom it is important to keep in mind our natural tendency to reinterpret what we find through our own preconceptions, according to our own cultural and historic context. In this way, symbols of other cultures and contexts become invested with our own meaning and in the process become a mirror which reflects our own contemporary interests. The writings of Evagrius and the Desert Fathers, now 1600 years old, are an inspiration to seekers in a technologically bright but spiritually dark age, to open our hearts and minds to the greater possibilities that lie in each of us. __________Lynn Quirolo is a 1972 graduate of J.G. Bennetts International Academy for Continuous Education at Sherborne, England. Since 1976 she has occasionally taught the Enneagram. __________ Enneagram Monthly, Issue 14 & 15, April & May 1996

Go here to read the rest:
Pythagoras, Gurdjieff and the Enneagram - Enneagram Monthly

Written by admin

November 21st, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff – The Rochester Folk Art Guild

Posted: at 5:43 pm

without comments

GurdjieffFolk Art Guild

The work of Gurdjieff has many aspects. But through whatever form he expresses himself, his voice is heard as a call. He calls because he suffers from the inner chaos in which we live. He calls us to open our eyes. He asks us why we are here, what we wish for, what forces we obey. He asks us, above all, if we understand what we are. He wants us to bring everything back into question. And because he insists and his insistence compels us to answer, a relationship is created between him and ourselves which is an integral part of his work. (- Jeanne de Salzmann)

Near the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, G.I.Gurdjieff, sensing the ongoing disintegration of world culture, went in search of a powerful ancient stream of true knowledge of being at the root of the worlds great traditions. (-Views From the Real World)

Gurdjieffs rich legacy of writings, movements or sacred dances, and music can be studied at the Rochester Folk Art Guild.

His teaching engages the intelligence of body and heart as well as mind. As one Guild potter said, To make a beautiful pot, one needs to participate in a universal process of awakening the intelligence of the body and the hands. The forces that shape a pot are the same forces that shape a persons life. With the effort to attend to what one is doing in every moment,simple acts come to have inner meaning. At the Guild, all share in community tasks such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, taking care of animals, building maintenance and general upkeep. These daily chores, the discipline of the crafts, and practice of the music and movements not only provide a field for the study of attention, but also offer a model for transformation of materials, inner and outer.

The message Gurdjieff brings is one of hope, that there is the real possibility of evolution and discovering what it means to truly be a human being.

Read the original:
Gurdjieff - The Rochester Folk Art Guild

Written by admin

November 21st, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff Research Papers –

Posted: October 8, 2018 at 6:44 am

without comments

FROM DEATH PSYCHOLOGY TO DEEP ECOLOGY AND EASE: KATHERINE MANSFIELDS FINAL DAYS IN FRANCE In 1922, at a time when death was closing on her, Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) could forget the solemnity of her state by adopting a holistic... moreFROM DEATH PSYCHOLOGY TODEEP ECOLOGY AND EASE:KATHERINE MANSFIELDS FINAL DAYS IN FRANCE

In 1922, at a time when death was closing on her, Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) could forget the solemnity of her state by adopting a holistic approach to the world, which, in 1973, Norwegian philosopher Arne Nss (1912-2009) would theorise about and term deep ecology. At the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at Fontainebleau-Avon, on the threshold of her permanent end, deep in her psyche Mansfield found happiness in the feeling of kinship with and compassion for life forms other than her own. There she also saw the physical representation of the philosophy of deep ecology in Russian mystic George Ivanovich Gurdjieffs (1866?-1949) Movements, a symbolic dance deemed sacred and traceable to Sufism which, with its stress on the unity within the universe, had centuries ago foreshadowed deep ecology. Furthermore, at Fontainebleau, where the paths of people of different nationalities and creeds intersected, Mansfield felt affiliated with humans, thereby calling Gurdjieffs disciples my people, and contemplated in unison with them mans symbiotic relation to the universe. This paper, focused on the last stage of Mansfields life which she spent in France with references to her letters and other relevant writings, proposes to discuss that in the said period and setting, the writer acquired a sense of oneness with both human and nonhuman nature, or nature in its totality, which ultimately, like alchemy, transformed the painful period she had to endure into a rewarding one.

Read the original:
Gurdjieff Research Papers -

Written by admin

October 8th, 2018 at 6:44 am

Posted in Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: July 22, 2018 at 7:43 pm

without comments

GurdjieffBorn(1866-01-13)January 13, 1866Alexandropol, Russian EmpireDiedOctober 29, 1949(1949-10-29) (aged83)Neuilly-sur-Seine, FranceEra20th-centurySchool"Fourth Way"

Main interests

George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (13 January 1866 29 October 1949), usually known as Gurdjieff, was an Armenian guru and writer. He was an influential spiritual teacher of the first half of the 20th century. He himself was influenced by Sufi, Zen and Yoga mystics he met on his early travels.[1][2]

Gurdjieff taught that most people live their entire lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep":

Gurdjieff developed a method for working towards a higher state of consciousness and achieving full human potential. He called this "The Work" or "The Method".[2][4]

Gurdjieff's method for awakening one's consciousness is different from that of the fakir, monk or yogi, so his discipline was called originally the "Fourth Way".[5]

At different times in his life, Gurdjieff formed and closed various schools around the world to teach the work. He claimed that the teachings he brought to the West came from his own experiences and early travels. The teachings expressed the truth found in ancient religions. They were wisdom teachings relating to self-awareness in people's daily lives, and humanity's place in the universe.[2]

There is a 1979 British film, Meetings with Remarkable Men, directed by Peter Brook. It is based on the book of the same name by Gurdjieff. It was shot on location in Afghanistan (except for dance sequences, which were filmed in England). It starred Terence Stamp as Prince Lubovedsky, and Dragan Maksimovic as the adult Gurdjieff. The film was entered into the 29th Berlin International Film Festival and nominated for the Golden Bear prize.

Read this article:
Gurdjieff - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written by simmons

July 22nd, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff: Life is real only then, when ‘I am’ – Being …

Posted: July 2, 2018 at 2:45 am

without comments

October 2008

Remember yourself always and everywhere.


Gurdjieff taught self-remembering as a fierce warrior fights in battle. He warred against sleep, and the system that he taught presented human beings as sleeping machines and the radical approach that was needed to awaken. He was a pioneer of self-remembering in the West, while he kept the origin of his teaching mysterious. Yet although his system included a cosmology of universal laws, he rated them below the practical effort of self-remembering. Even during his fascinating, idiosyncratic discussions with his students on man the machine and the earth as a pain factory, Gurdjieff would always remind his students that the Work was for awakening. In one meeting with his students, he pointed out that they had all missed something in their efforts at self-observation. When they could not discover what he meant, he told them, You did not remember yourselves.

Self-remembering is the central idea of the Fourth Way. In Gurdjieffs cosmology, the birthright of a human being is to be awake but the psychological condition of sleep prevents it. Because of this condition, humanity is uninterested in awakening, and if a human-being discovers they are asleep, they will find an excuse to forget or deny it. So Gurdjieff taught self-remembering as an experiment to demonstrate its value and as a way of life. He taught his students the difference between being asleep and being awake. He taught self-remembering as a continual, practical effort, bringing ones attention to ones Self at the same time as the activity that one is engaged in.

See the rest here:
Gurdjieff: Life is real only then, when 'I am' - Being ...

Written by simmons

July 2nd, 2018 at 2:45 am

Posted in Gurdjieff

Zen, Yoga, Gurdjieff- perspectives on inner work

Posted: June 26, 2018 at 3:44 pm

without comments

The Christian masters of the Middle Ages understood this matter better, perhaps, than anyone since in the western world. Speaking in a language we no longer fully (or in many cases even partially) understand, they described the necessary state as an awareness of sin.

This word used to mean something quite different than it does today and, once again, one could write an entire book about it. (The word is not derived from action or attachment in the outer world but applies in its esoteric sense exclusively to inner contradictions.) Gurdjieff, through his understanding of remorse of conscience and intentional suffering, more properly represents the question in front of us than any philosophy, whether theoretical or practical, of obliteration. Viewed from this perspective, liberation philosophies and doctrines of obliteration of Self are a cop-out.

A decent analogy of mankinds position in regard to the question of bliss is one of a parent owning a candy store. With the trusting parent in absentia, the child is left in charge of the sweets; but instead of respectfully guarding the wares, he or she begins to eat the sweets, not realizing that as tantalizing as they are, they are not meant for them.

There are fairy tales about such things, such as Hansel and Gretel and the gingerbread house. In that case we see that Hansel and Gretel very nearly become food for the house of bliss, rather than the other way around. It is their very unawareness, their naivet itself (the obliteration), that presents the danger. Lost and unconscious, they stumble across inner treasures; not knowing their right place or value, they enter the house (fully identify with its nature.) Tellingly, in this case, the ginger in the house is a spice from the east. The fairy tale may thusat its root, pun intended represent an esoteric warning against various naive forms of eastern liberation philosophy.

We can see the inherent danger in adopting philosophies or practices of oblivion; the annihilation (the making-into-nothingness) of the ego is not an answer. The ego exists to offer the opportunity to suffer it; extinguishment removes the source of conflict from which true suffering arises. Again, the metaphysical laws and reasonings behind this are complex; but the fact itself is rather simple. One doesnt need to know how all the gears work to know that the hands of the clock show us the time.

This leads me to the second question on the table in my discourse, which is the value of wordlessness. It follows on the philosophy of obliteration, since obliteration dovetails quite neatly into the evaporation of awareness, rationality, and everything they representincluding the words to describe them.

Its quite true that there is a place beyond words available to consciousness. As I have pointed out many times before, however, it is not just the metaphysically endowed (higher) states of awareness without words which we seek to encounter. There are awarenesses without words right next to us, so proximate in consciousness that we routinely take them for granted and ignore them; and these are the places (minds) without words that actually matter in the cultivation of our inner metaphysics, in the balancing of the centers Gurdjieff described as necessary in order to usefully receive higher states.

These two wordless minds are the intelligence of the body (sensation) and the intelligence of emotion (feeling.) Both are fully functioning fractions of our summary intelligence, ignored and suborned by the intellect in its prosecution of our rational (i.e., calculated) agendas. Yet these two wordless intelligences lie within our purview, not in some imaginary realm of better purity.

I would like you, for a moment, to imagine an idealized world without words in which all of the denizens never speak a single word to one another. I think we can agree that this world describes the world not of mankind, but of animals; and even they have languages, so perhaps we do not reach low enough down the scale when we say that. The point, i think, is that everything that human beings are, enlightened or otherwise, depends on the language we so eagerly banish when we try to speak about higher states of Being.

Without languagewithout words there is no art, no culture, no architecture, tradition, science, or society. Humanity as we know it ceases to exista welcome development, perhaps, for the proponents of oblivion, but clearly insufficient as either a condition, cause or objective of human existence. So these philosophies of oblivion, experiential or otherwise, are essentially inhuman.

They contradict the tradition of God as a person, of mankind as a microcosmic expression of God, and the entire nature of existence itself as it manifests in the juxtaposition of God and man. They are, in other words, so apophatic that they do away not only with the signs of man and God, but with man and God itself. The idea, once examined with intensity, is so profoundly and essentially stupid it would not be worth examining, but for the blithely unexamined Very Important Sounding things said in its name.

We are thinking creatures; it is part of our nature, and we deny it at our peril. God is, as well, a thinking nature-above-creation, a pre-existing thought before thinking. Our spiritual development does not, in other words, excuse us from thinking in an invitation to infinite realms of divine and nihilistic thoughtlessness; it requires an intensification of attention and thought, which is precisely what Gurdjieff brought, over and over again, to his pupilsand in his metaphysics and mythology. There are no realms of inattentive bliss mapped out in Beelzebubs cosmos; even purgatory (which would seem to be the most likely candidate) is a place of contemplation intensified to the level of the intolerable. Gurdjieffs famous aphorism, If you have not by nature a critical mind your staying here is useless, sums it all up; but all his aphorisms are directed at an intensification of intelligence that requires words.

Pretending that we can do without them is a form of rank sophistry; and yet one hears such talk quite often.

Yes; there are wordless places; yes, perhaps from time to time we touch them (or, more properly, they touch us.) Yet this is of no use in the enterprise of relationship, which demands that we do much more than just senseor just feelor just think. There is thought without thought; there is thought within thought; and there are parts that think without words, yet express in their own language nonetheless.

We should stop acting surprised about this. It is not the territory we stake out; it is the life we inhabit.

Let us stop speaking about the silence. Let us speak as we speak; and be silent as we may be silent; but in either case, let us be as we be, not as declarative shades of oblivion or wordlessness would have us be.Hosanna.

See the original post here:
Zen, Yoga, Gurdjieff- perspectives on inner work

Written by simmons

June 26th, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Gurdjieff

Ancient Wisdom | Gurdjieff Becoming Conscious

Posted: May 25, 2018 at 12:43 am

without comments

In each new age, the previous age persists, and within the previous age impulses from the ages preceding it. The series may reach back a very long way, but at a certain point continuity with the past is lost. Our memory as a species, our sense of vision and of guiding purpose, is weak, and indeed, grows weaker with each decade. In the nineteenth century, the memory of the medieval world was present in a way that it is not today. In the twentieth century the memory of the Renaissance still persists in our habits and our way of life, but the memory of the classical world and ofclassicism has nearly faded.

In the mid nineteenth century there were, in Asia Minor, strands of memory running back deep into the history of our family of civilisations, to Babylon and Chaldea. They were preserved over such vast spans of time because they were of value, and they were preserved by the work of school. George Gurdjieff connected with this thread, and with the knowledge he found, he opened up the fourth way. Not the centripetal force of ever increasing knowledge and ever more sophisticated technique, but a knowledge of basic things. The knowledge of the conditions of mans connection to a higher level of creation. What could be of greater significance for us, and what has been more clearly disregarded in the politics and polity of our age? Out of this knowledge, out of this connection to historical memory came the vision of The Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man.

Man, as he is, does not have the wherewithal to bridge this interval; his collective memory is little more than the prime years of his life. The politics, policies, and programmes of the various national governments are reactive, in the sense that they represent responses to short-term issues. Ideologies, such as Liberalism, Socialism, Fascism, and Communism, have a longer life because they develop out of the fundamental social issues of a period, and are driven by those issues until the opposition or polarity is exhausted. They are not an expression of mans cumulative best understanding of what is possible for him, individually or collectively. Religion is not innocent of this charge. The meaning of direction of a religion changes from one generation to the next. Christianity today would be almost unrecognisable to a Christian in the first century AD. What continuity there is, is given by problems and issues that are continuous. The organisations which serve as the carriers of religious beliefs are driven by rivalry, by the struggle for power and position, by material interests of one kind or another.

No one would have seen this more clearly than Gurdjieff. The Caucasus was a collection of populations displaced and relocated by war. It was a place of hardship, emotional and instinctive. It was also a place that offered a view of some of the greatest traditions in human civilisation and culture (beginning with the very bardic songs of Gurdjieffs father). The contrast was extreme.

Gurdjieffs epic literary workBeelzebubs Talesgives the background, the atmosphere, the fundamental orientation and the picture of the universe that informs the Fourth Way in our time. It is the world view which supports the efforts required to awaken.The implications of Beelzebubs Tales is that humanity needs individuals to awaken, and, as a medium of life, it needs to be maintained at a level that can generate such individuals. Civilisation can do this. Society cannot. This outlines the relation between schools and civilisations in the course of history. Higher influences are responsible for civilisation. Without civilisationwith society onlythey cannot replicate themselves, and since they have an interest in replicating themselves, they sustain civilization.

Homo Sapiens is unaware of this process. It was Mr. Gurdjieffs teaching that homo sapiens itself is a part of organic life. This relationship to organic life involves contradiction, the contradiction of higher and lower levels coexisting. For the higher level can only exist through sustained effort and in an atmosphere of tension, while the lower level exists naturally and of itself.

Mankind, in this respect, has two histories: the evolution of its body and the evolution of its soul. The former is recorded and imparted in great detail: the development of religions, the lineages of rulers and monarchs, the successions and revolutions of governments and so forth. But the history of mankinds soul, the long body of its wisdom, never goes into the books. And yet, that history has existed just like the other, side by side with the other, and at critical moments, has overlapped with the other.

Those overlapping moments are times of exceptional opportunity. They represent an interval in the sequence of civilization. They call for a return to the original spark, a connection to the level from which the greater project was initiateda dialogue with the cosmos above the cosmos of man. Those individuals who find themselves caught in such big events are given to experience glimpses beyond the normal spectrum of human experience. They are invited to dedicate their lifes labors to a cause much larger than themselves; they are invited to board and support the Great Ark ofAncient Wisdom.

There are periods in the life of humanity, which generally coincide with the beginning of the fall of cultures and civilizations, when the masses irretrievably lose their reason and begin to destroy everything that has been created by centuries and millenniums of culture. Such periods of mass madness, often coinciding with geological cataclysms, climatic changes, and similar phenomena of a planetary character, release a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge. This, in its turn, necessitates the work of collecting this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be lost. Thus the work of collecting scattered matter of knowledge frequently coincides with the beginning of the destruction and fall of cultures and civilizations. From In Search of the Miraculous (p.45)

Continue reading here:
Ancient Wisdom | Gurdjieff Becoming Conscious

Written by simmons

May 25th, 2018 at 12:43 am

Posted in Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff Teaching | Gurdjieff Becoming Conscious

Posted: March 30, 2018 at 11:44 am

without comments

Gurdjieffs Institute

Gurdjieff transitions from searching to teaching just after the time spent with the Sarmoung Brotherhood in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Northern Afghanistan. In 1912, Gurdjieff leaves Tashkent for Moscow where he begins to recruit candidates for the Institute.He experiments with different forms and emphases, to find the necessary cell of people and theappropriateform of expression. Much of this period is recorded in In Search of the Miraculousby Peter Ouspensky.

Gurdjieff establishes groups in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. As the Russian Revolution breaks out, he is forced back down into the Caucasuswith an inner circle of students.During this period, he forms the core of his Russian disciples: Sophia Gregiorovitch, the De Hartmans, Dr. Stjernval and the De Salzmanns.In Moscow, Gurdjieff meets Peter Ouspensky, a scholar, traveller and journalist with an established reputation in the field of esotericism. Gurdjieff naturally hopes to use Ouspenskys influence in order to expand his own, and Ouspensky, in turn, realizes that Gurdjieff is in possession of the very esoteric knowledge that he himself had been long searching for.

Social order begins to collapse in Russia. In 1917, Gurdjieff works intensively with a small group of people, in Essentuki, Tuapse, Sochi, Alexandropol, Rostov-on-the-Don, Ekterinodar, and Tiflis. Gurdjieffs experimental spirit causes difficulties for Ouspensky, who feels that, while he had formerly been able to gain much from Gurdjieff, he is now losing his grip on his teaching. The character of the future Institute is probably coming into being, as well as Ouspenskys refusal to be part of it.

In the meantime, the white armies of Denikin are beaten back. The unsympathetic Bolsheviks and the Anarchists of Stenko take possession of most of Russia. Mr. Gurdjieff decides to relocate in Constantinople. Ouspensky goes north to reconnect with the members in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Gurdjieff takes the others on an incredible journey across the CaucasusMountains to Constantinople. And then in Constantinople, he finally opens The Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man.

Nevertheless, after a determined attempt, the decision is made to relocate in Europe. Peter Ouspensky moves to London, where he has journalistic connections. George Gurdjieff travels first to Berlin, then London, then Paris, and finally settles in Fontainbleau just south of Paris.

It is here that the western disciples of Gurdjieff come from 1921 to 1923.Gurdjieff, a native of south central Asia, is amongst people of a totally different tradition and world view, people whose culture bore the imprint of the Italian Renaissance.The Europeans respond enthusiasticallyfar more actively than the Asiansbut without the sense of the starting point in the work and lacking a firm foundation. It proves a dangerous combination. Gurdjieff continues to rapidly experiment and a passionate, unforgettable drama develops, but the cracks begin to emerge.

Aware of this, Ouspensky dissociates himself from Gurdjieffs work and continues independently in London.Gurdjieff is involved in a severe car accident that forces him to close the Institute. His physical health will never fully recover. What he cannot achieve in practice he now vows to achieve in theory: to leave mankind with a written legacy of what he has understood, and with enough of a circle of students to carry that legacy forward into the future. In Beelzebubs Tales he encodes the material of the early stages of creation and of the true role and place of humanity in the project of the Absolute.

Beelzebubs Tales, Gurdjieffs magnum opus, speaks of time and the struggle against entropy and dispersion. The Absolute created a macrocosm to neutralise entropy by generating consciousness out of worlds created in time. He accepted the limitation of the Sacred Heropass. The book speaks of transformation and the function of the Holy Planet Purgatory. It places the micro-cosmos man in the context of the macro-cosmos by painting a large scale picture of the Work: Self remembering is sacred not only for man, but for a whole ascending ray of creation dependent on generating new life.

The book itself is written in a style deliberately difficult to follow. Gurdjieff admittedly buries the bones of his message deep, far from the reach of most readers.In retrospect, the value ofBeelzebubs Talesis arguable. Gurdjieffs close disciples naturally deem it as their Bible, but seventy-five years after its publication, the book falls short of leaving the imprint its author had predicted.

In 1935, Gurdjieff moves to an apartment in Paris on Rue des Colonels Reynard, where the last stage of his teaching is to follow. He comes to realize that he is not the vehicle for the new order as he originally anticipated. He focuses on his followers, that they might carry his message on to the next generation. He carefully sees the completion of his literary works, and warns his students that, despite his intentions, he will be forced to leave them in a fine mess.

Afterdisassociatingwith Gurdjieff, Ouspensky establishes a small group of students in London. He keeps an eye on his Teacher in Fontainbleau, receiving occasional news by students who maintain contact with both parties. Ouspensky has given up trying to work directly with Gurdjieff, but he does not want to compete with any further effort that Mr. Gurdjieff might make to continue or develop the Institute.

Ouspensky knows thatGurdjieffhas the essential knowledge, and that what he needs is a connection with the ultimate source of that knowledge. He does not take this ultimate source to be human beings, but a higher influence (or human beings only inasmuch as they represent this higher influence). He tries to achieve this re-connection to the source, not by seeking out the Sarmoung, but by bringing the work of his group to the highest level possible, hoping that would attract the source.

Ouspensky transforms the aim for realising the specific project of the Institute possibly given from the Sarmoung Brotherhood to the aim of connecting mankind to the purposes of higher influences through the creation of a conscious school. It may be that higher influences were alligned with the Sarmoung and that they worked through the Sarmoung and Mr.Gurdjiefftogether, but Ouspensky states his aim in a very pure way and connects it very directly to his commitment to his own group.

Gurdjieffs Institute does not regenerate, but the shoot put out to America lives at least partly because of the efforts and ability of Orage. A group develops in New York, which, after the War and the death of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, will join with the Gurdjieff Foundation. Orage serves as an important agent for this shoot, but is openly confounded by Gurdjieff, perhaps due to a failure on both sides. As Ouspensky later says, Orage forgot (left out) a lot. At the same time, Gurdjieff, who still had hopes for him, made it impossible for him to understand.

Ouspensky meanwhile, sees Europe crumbling into another period of chaos. He witnesses the rise of Fascism and Communism. He sees the loss of the western order of civilisations in the last generation and predicts the inevitable war. He has known the golden moment of Gurdjieffs vision, the presentation of the whole plan of the work.After seven years of watching and of working in London with 40 or 50 chosen people, Ouspensky choses to expand his work.

His student John Bennett asks him What about your relation to Mr. Gurdjieff as your teacher?

I waited for all these years (before expanding the work in London) because I wanted to see what Mr.Gurdjieffwould do. His work has not given the results he hoped for. I am still as certain as ever that there is a Great Source from which our System has come. Mr. Gurdjieff must have had a contact with that Source, but I do not believe that it was a complete contact. Something is missing, and he has not been able to find it. If we cannot find it through him, then our only hope is to have a direct contact with the Source Our only hope is that the Source will seek us out. That is why I am giving these lectures in London.

Ouspensky saw that what was missing was not more hidden wisdom, not further journeys to the east, not new techniques but commitment, compassion, and direct assistance from the Source from the unified understanding that exists in the cosmos above the cosmos of man.Ouspensky now seeks to re-establish the link to higher school. He visits New York, and returns to London a changed man, according to his student Rodney Collin. Collin later narrates the last chapter of Ouspenskys life as miraculous; that he had become what he had taught for so long. Furthermore, the student senses a hint of that higher school his teacher was seeking out: a presence as much greater than Ouspensky as Ouspensky was greater than us.

Yet the flame goes out in London. There is no successor in London or in Paris only sincere retainers of the tradition.Both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky lived through the first world war and the Bolshevik Revolution. They saw the onset of the depression and the rise of Fascism in Europe. The had both considered that higher influences might be launching an ark for the preservation of the seed elements of civilisation. Bothrealized, by the time they died that their role was not this. And yet their roles do feed into something else.

Early one morning, shortly before his death, Ouspensky suddenly said: One must do everything one can and then just cry to He did not finish, just made one big gesture upwards. Rodney Collin, Theory of Conscious Harmony p.53.

Rodney Collin picks up Ouspenskys aim and refines it by adding the dimension of school. He connects this to the idea of a civilisation. On March 27, 1950 Rodney Collin writes to one of his students:

In light of a certain big achievement, big plan, one has to disappear. Ones personal self, with which one lives nearly the whole time, is too small to have any relation to that. So it has to disappear, if one is to understand. The more it disappears, the more can be understood. This may be very painful for a time. Later, it is quite the reverse; and it is the return, the interference of the personal self which becomes painful, and its absence happiness.

Peter Ouspensky has been, for Rodney Collin, the living example of this particularly in the last months of his life.Ouspenskys teaching, therefore, remains alive in Rodney Collin, who migrates to Mexico to begin again, and once again attempts the experiment in which his two great predecessors failed. Collin hopes that Mexico would be the beginning of the new civilisational order. Like his teacher, he strives to connect with the Hidden Hierarchy, the inner circle of mankind. Like Ouspensky, he sees them as outside of time and space.

But in the end, Rodney Collin reverts to embrace an existing form, joining the Catholic Church. He dies shortly thereafter, falling off the bell tower of a church in Cuzco, Peru. He leaves a rich legacy of teaching experience and understanding in his books; The Theory of Eternal Life, the Theory of Celestial Influence, and (posthumously) The Theory of Conscious Harmony.

There are certainly more shoots that spring from the Gurdjieff trunk, but these exceed the scope of this site. Suffice it to say that the above brief historical overview outlines the progression of the Greater Ark of Ancient Wisdom. This Ark is twofold: a physical form of a vessel and metaphysical contents. Gurdjieff and his successors seemingly failed in creating the former, yet they were successful in conveying the contents to a new age.

These contents inevitably live on, for they originate from beyond time and space. That source, to which Gurdjieff tapped in the end of the 19th century and which he brought westwards, was never subject to time. It hasnt aged since, nor is it any older that its manifestation in any previous age. That spark is the true legacy of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff.

See the article here:
Gurdjieff Teaching | Gurdjieff Becoming Conscious

Written by simmons

March 30th, 2018 at 11:44 am

Posted in Gurdjieff

When Crowley Met Gurdjieff | Martin Aurelio

Posted: March 16, 2018 at 2:44 pm

without comments

I find it disheartening that, in certain circles, Aleister Crowley is considered a man of the Right. While he is undoubtedly an interesting character, and was not without some intelligence, he strikes me as an immoral degenerate who was committed to the total destruction of the Western tradition. The most generous interpretation would be a Nietzschean one, in which he was perhaps attempting to push what was already falling. But the fact is, his influence has been almost wholly negative. By their fruits ye shall know them is still the best way to judge a spiritual teacher, and one neednt be a Christian to recognize the utility and practicality of that formula. The fruits of a spiritual teacher are, among other things, his disciples, and I am not aware of any Crowleyites that give their master a good name.

The best story about Aleister Crowley, in my opinion, comes to us from the disciples of G.I. Gurdjieff. No stranger to controversy himself (see Whitall Perrys Gurdjieff in the Light of Tradition for a critical appraisal) Gurdjieff nonetheless seems to have fared better than Crowley in terms of the legacy he has left behind.

The story of when Crowley met Gurdjieff can be found in James Webbs comprehensive book, The Harmonious Circle:

Crowley knew the town of Fontainebleau well in 1924 he had spent a tormented period there in an attempt to cure himself of heroin addiction. The Great Beast was a familiar figure in Paris expatriate circles, and [C.S.] Nott met him in the capital while himself staying at the Prieure. Crowleys interest was aroused either by a general occult curiosity or by Gurdjieffs reputation as a specialist in curing drug addiction; and he soon afterward turned up at Fontainebleau, where was the object of some amazement. To one of the inmates, the Wickedest Man in the World seemed overfed and inoffensive with the exception of his almost colorless eyes, the antipodes to Gurdjieffs heavy gaze. The published accounts of Crowley at the Prieure speak only of a brief visit and a vaguely sinister impression. Nott records that Crowley spoke to one of the children present about his son whom he was teaching to be a devil. Gurdjieff got and spoke to the boy, who thereupon took no further notice of Crowley. But the magicians visit was extensive, and his confrontation with Gurdjieff of a more epic nature.

Crowley arrived for a whole weekend and spent the time like any other visitor to the Prieure; being shown the grounds and the activities in progress, listening to Gurdjieffs music and his oracular conversation. Apart from some circumspection, Gurdjieff treated him like any other guest until the evening of his departure. After dinner on Sunday night, Gurdjieff led the way out of the dining room with Crowley, followed by the body of pupils who had also been at the meal. Crowley made his way toward the door and turned to take his leave of Gurdjieff, who by this time was some way up the stairs to the second floor. Mister, you go? Gurdjieff inquired. Crowley assented. You have been guest? a fact which the visitor could hardly deny. Now you go, you are no longer guest? Crowley no doubt wondering whether his host had lost his grip on reality and was wandering in a semantic wilderness humored his mood by indicating that he was on his way back to Paris. But Gurdjieff, having made the point that he was not violating the canons of hospitality, changed on the instant into the embodiment of righteous anger. You filthy, he stormed, you dirty inside! Never again you set foot in my house! From his vantage point on the stairs, he worked himself up into a rage which quite transfixed his watching pupils. Crowley was stigmatized as the sewer of creation was taken apart and trodden into the mire. Finally, he was banished in the style of East Lynne by a Gurdjieff in fine histrionic form. Whitefaced and shaking, the Great Beast crept back to Paris with his tail between his legs.

Like Loading...

Go here to read the rest:
When Crowley Met Gurdjieff | Martin Aurelio

Written by admin

March 16th, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff & Fritz Peters, Part I The Gurdjieff Journal

Posted: March 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm

without comments

Much has been written of Gurdjieffs relationship with his chief pupils, but his relationship with Fritz Peters is rarely, if ever, mentioned. And yet, it is unique. Only 11 years old when he first met Gurdjieff in 1924, just a month before Gurdjieffs car crash, Fritz Peters was quickly drawn into the life of the Prieur. In the months following the accident, the young boy acted as Gurdjieffs chair-carrier, following him everywhere, watching out for his safety. Later, Freets, as Gurdjieff called him, was enlisted as Gurdjieffs personal servant, delivering messages, doing errands, cleaning his room. And soon, every Tuesday morning the young Fritzwho, when Gurdjieff first asked what he wanted most to know, had answered: I want to know everythingwas receiving private lessons from Gurdjieff.

At such a young and impressionable age to be taken under the wing of a master like Gurdjieff is a blessing as great as it is unique. But it can be a kind of curse, as well, if not taken rightly. One learns only by consciously living ones errors and Peters later life shows how harrowing a journey that can be. Leaving the Prieur in October 1929, Fritz Peters, then 15 years old, was immediately thrown into a turbulent adult world where he found himself totally alone, blamed and victimized, fighting for his very survival. Developed and shaped by his Prieur training, Fritz Peters walked his lifes path, always the outsider, the rebel, the malcontent. He would become a member of the Chicago and New York groups, but, though the teaching and Gurdjieff were in his blood, he never found his place in the Work. His days with Gurdjieff at the Prieur were over. Neither the Chicago nor New York groups were serious enough for him. Too much reverence for Gurdjieff. Too many members he saw as phony. His experience at the Prieur was undeniably special, but as Gurdjieff warnedEvery stick has two ends. But Peters never saw the other end of the Prieur stick. Though keenly observant and detesting any sign of falseness, he didnt see that he had allowed his early experience to make him too special, too separate. He became, as it was expressed one day in 1945 at 6 rue des Colonels Renarda colossal egotist.

Gurdjieffs Successor That 32-year-old Fritz Peters, standing amidst a group of wartime French pupils in Gurdjieffs apartment that autumn day, could for even a moment have believed it when 73-year-old Gurdjieff pointed to him as his successor.Well, to the assembled pupils, who regularly had to pass Nazi checkpoints to get to meetings at Gurdjieffs apartment, it was yet another vivid proof of Peters overweening self-love.

That Gurdjieffs act had evoked, as well, a trace of will-to-power and envy in those who had not grown up at the Prieur, or enjoyed as intimate a relationship with Gurdjieff, was perhaps neither recognized nor appreciated. And certainly the later life of Fritz Peters, filled as it was with seizures of anger, jealousy, rejection, vengeance, nervous breakdowns1 and alcoholism, would do nothing to mitigate the sweeping indictment of him on that day in postwar Paris. It would forever brand Peters as a nullity, a fool, no one to take seriously. The one group of people, then, that might have understood Fritz Peters all but disowned him. Though he was to later write Boyhood with Gurdjieff and Gurdjieff Remembered, two books that are without rival in portraying the heart and soul of Gurdjieff in the last period of his life, Fritz Peters remains maligned and marginalized, his relationship with Gurdjieff never seriously considered.

Meeting such a monumental father-figure so early in life took nearly a lifetime for Peters to digest. For years Peters struggled with Gurdjieffs identity and his own relationship to Gurdjieff and to the teaching. In his last book, Balanced Man, Peters recounts how as late as 1960, 46 years after he first met Gurdjieff, I was still laboring under the impression that I was specialthe real son of a Messiah. In an emotional sense, I was Gurdjieffs son. I loved him more than anyone I had ever known. But times changeI no longer feel like anyones son. As Gurdjieff foresaw, Peters would not lead a happy life. He had a broken marriage, alcoholism, homosexuality, and relationships that inevitably turned contentious.

Troublemaker. Thats how Fritz Peters was commonly seen. And not simply a troublemaker but a born troublemaker, according to Gurdjieff. Like Rachmilevitch, a lawyer and member of the St. Petersburg group and later a Prieur resident, Peters had the inborn knack of setting peoples teeth on edge, bringing up the animal in them. Although Gurdjieff said that we should thank anyone who gives us the opportunity to see ourselvesto see a little I or two in us, yesbut to see the animal-I? Who wants that? Ouspensky didnt want it. Nor Orage. Certainly not Bennett.

The similarity between the young boy and Rachmilevitch was seen at once by Gurdjieff. You remember, how I tell you that you make trouble? Gurdjieff said. This true, but you only child. Rachmilevitch grown man and not mischievous, like you, but have such personality that he constantly cause friction whatever he do, wherever he live. He not make serious trouble, but he make friction on surface of life, all the time. He cannot help thishe too old to change now. I know no one person like him, no person who just by existence, without conscious effort, produce friction in all people around him. Like the caring father that Peters never hadhis father having deserted the family when he was only 18 months of ageGurdjieff was using the figure of Rachmilevitch to show Peters what he would become if he continued to act as he did. All children are naturally mischievous at times, but if Fritz allowed this characteristic, this I, to grow and become fixed in personality, if he did not work to control it, in adulthood it would control him.

Conscious Troublemaking To be a troublemaker is, in itself, nothing bad, Gurdjieff told him. Troublemakers, in fact, play an important role in life. What you not understand, Gurdjieff said, is that not everyone can be troublemaker, like you. This important in lifeis ingredient, like yeast for making bread. Without trouble, conflict, life become dead. People live in status quo, live only by habit, automatically, and without conscience.

Gurdjieff confided that he, too, was a troublemaker. The difference between them was that he played the role consciously, molding it to circumstances; creating conditions and friction in the service of awakening people to what keeps them asleep. This stepping on toes is a Divine principle2 when consciously directed, when not born of the mechanical reaction to make others suffer; make them pay for trespasses, injustices, psychic wounds. To be able to call up a role in oneself and play it, that is one thing; to be controlled by it, quite another.

Of trespasses, injustices and psychic wounds, Fritz Peters life would be filled to the brim. After his father divorced his mother, Lois, she married an Englishman, a Chicago lawyer, who was far from fatherly. His early life was marred by physical calamitiesdisasters he called them and rightly so. His older brother Tom, for example, stuck a crochet hook in his right eye, which permanently blinded Fritz in that eye. His grandmother put him in the bathtub and then went to answer the telephone. He turned on the hot water and could not turn it off. As his grandmother was deaf,3 it wasnt until his screams were heard by a neighbor that he, now partly parboiled, was rescued.

When he was nine years old, Fritzs mother was hospitalized with a nervous breakdown that lasted about a year. It was then that his mothers sister Margaret Anderson and her companion Jane Heap took on the responsibility of caring for Fritz4 and his older brother, Tom. That was in 1923. In June 1924 Fritz and his brother were brought by Anderson and Heap to the Prieur. Upon meeting Gurdjieff the 11-year-old was asked, among other things, what he wanted to know.

I want to know everything, Fritz replied.

You cannot know everything, Gurdjieff told him. Everything about what?

Everything about man. In English I think it is called psychology or maybe philosophy.

Gurdjieff sighed and after a short silence answered: You can stay. But your answer makes life difficult for me. I am the only one who teaches what you ask. You make more work for me.

This exchange, like so many others, gives an indication of Peters quality of mind and mental maturity.

A Piece of Unwanted Luggage

In October of that year Fritz and his brother left the Prieur to return to New York. There, the boys mother, their real father and Jane Heap became involved in an emotional struggle for their allegiance. Fritz and his brother were shunted back and forth so much that Fritz began to feel even more alone than I had beforelike a piece of unwanted luggage for which storage space was needed.

It seems Jane won and, as Margaret had stayed on in Europe with her new friend, the actress and singer Georgette Leblanc, the primary care for the boys devolved to her. Of his relationship with Jane, Fritz said that it was highly volatile and explosive. There was, at times, a great deal of emotion, of love, between us, but the very emotionality of the relationship frightened me. More and more I tended to shut out everything that was outside of myself. People, for me, were something I had to exist with, had to bear. As much as possible, I lived alone, day-dreaming in my own world, longing for a time when I could escape from the complex, and often totally incomprehensible, world around me. I wanted to grow up and be aloneaway from all of them. With characteristic insight and frankness, he says of these early years: Obstinate and independent because of my feeling of aloneness, I was usually in trouble, frequently punished. He said that Jane once went so far as to hit him with a board with nails in it because he refused to do as he was told. Even so, Jane eventually came to the idea that she and Margaret5 should adopt the boys. And so they did. I am not at all sure that I understand why Margaret and Jane took on this responsibility. It was a strange form of planned parenthood for two women neither of whom, it seemed to me, would have wished for children of their own, and a mixed blessing from any point of view.6

Fritz and his brother returned to the Prieur in the spring of 1925. When Gurdjieff saw him he put his hand on the boys head, and Fritz looked up at his fierce mustaches, the broad, open smile underneath the shining, bald head. Like some large, warm animal, he pulled me to his side, squeezing me affectionately with his arm and hand, and saying Soyou come back? In the middle of that summer, reminding Fritz of his desire to know everything, Gurdjieff began giving him private lessons. Every Tuesday morning at 10 oclock sharp Peters was to go the second floor of the chteau, the Ritz, as it was called, and report to Gurdjieffs room.

The lessons and all of his ensuing experiences at the Prieur with its adult population are well-documented in Peters book Boyhood With Gurdjieff. The unusual maturity, clarity, and will of Peters is demonstrated many times in the book, but one incident in particular is striking. Gurdjieff was having the lawns of the Prieur resown and had all the pupils out on the lawns. But Gurdjieff had them working so close together that planting new seed was a useless activity since it was immediately trampled underfoot. Days passed. No one said a thing. Finally Rachmilevitch, thick with rage, confronted Gurdjieff. He told him the work was insane and stalked off. It was the first time Gurdjieff had ever been publicly defied.

Rachmilevitch & the Apple Tree An hour passed and Rachmilevitch did not return. Peters was sent to find him and bring him back. Peters protested, saying he didnt know where he had gone. Trust your instincts, Gurdjieff told him. It was then that Peters demonstrated, though he didnt know it, a lesson Gurdjieff had been teaching him. Not knowing where Rachmilevitch had gone, he put himself in the Russians place, experiencing empathy with him. A hunch came as to where he might be and Peters set off towards the woods beyond the main, formal gardens. He said, It seemed to me that he could only have gone to one of the distant vegetable gardensa walk of at least a mile, and I headed for the furthest one, at the very end of the property. There, he found the 60-year-old sitting up in an apple tree.

He wouldnt go back to the chteau, Rachmilevitch insisted. What to do? How could Fritz Peters argue with a man who was not only five times his age, but a lawyer7 as well? So he did the only thing possible and he did it with all his will. Said Peters: I did not know of any argumentsI could not think of any good reasonswith which to persuade him to come back, so I said that I would wait there as long as he did; that I could not return without him. Finally, after a long silence, Rachmilevitch dropped out of the apple tree and returned to the chteau with him. (To be continued)


First printed in The Gurdjieff Journal.

William Patrick Patterson is the author of seven books on The Fourth Way, the latest of which is Spiritual Survival in a Radically Changing World-Time.

See original here:
Gurdjieff & Fritz Peters, Part I The Gurdjieff Journal

Written by admin

March 2nd, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Posted in Gurdjieff

Page 3«..2345..»