New to this Work? Start Here – George Gurdjieff | Be Community

Posted: July 31, 2019 at 4:43 am


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Degrees of Attention

We go through our day in varying degrees of attention. Most of our daily tasks call for minimal attention, such as dressing ourselves, eating or interacting with friends and family. Some tasks require more attention; such as reading a book, drafting an email or attending a job interview.

We can perform the first group of actions while simultaneously performing others: dress ourselves while speaking on the phone, eat while chatting with our friends or interact socially while sending and receiving text messages. However, we cannot perform tasks that require attention alongside other tasks without harming our performance. We cannot read a book while speaking on the phone, draft an email while chatting with our friends, or attend a job interview while texting. We function in varying degrees of attention.

Our attention is subject to our will. If we desire, we can perform any task more attentively.We can bring attention to dressing, sensing the fabric of our clothes,matching the colors of our shirt to our slacks and shoes,etc. We can dine intentionally, tasting each bite, each sip, etc. But we neednt be professionals in any field to verify that we can bring more or less attention to the simplest actions, and this demonstrates that: Our attention is subject to our will.

Dressing inattentively is effortless; dressing intentionally requires effort. Eating inattentively is effortless; tasting the food requires effort. Directing attention through will requires effort.This explains whyGurdjieff called his methods of self-development The Work.

Directing attention is not the end of the Work; it is a means by which, we become conscious. Few teachings make the distinction between consciousness and attention, and this is where the Fourth Way differs from most other systems. The Workis not only about being attentive; it is about being conscious, and consciousness is self-awareness. George Gurdjieff called this self-remembering. Peter Ouspensky called it divided attention. More recently, it has become popularly known as being present.

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New to this Work? Start Here - George Gurdjieff | Be Community

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July 31st, 2019 at 4:43 am

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