Zigzag Idiot

George Gurdjieff

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@Andrewww  Perhaps a different perspective might help. 

Stopping doing implies being.

Letting go of mind and thoughts and concepts.. Not being hooked by emotions or uncontrolled imagination is a long process.

This is just one path of many possible paths.


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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@Zigzag Idiot Doesn't being relate to enlightenment/zero thought basically? I was more curious about in his previous video what he talked about was the higher emotional and intellectual state.

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A case of less is more,,,

"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Ted Nottingham just released a good introduction/summary about Gurdjieff. 


Sex sells. It's so flagrantly used in mass advertising. Maurice Nicoll in the Psychological Commentaries states that not sex but negativity is what actually'makes the world go around' in cultural sleep. Both perspectives are articulated in Gurdjieffs writings. People draw energy from the negativity that's so easily found in news and politics. He also says we have a right not to be negative.

Excerpts from the Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky-


“Now the Work says you have a right not to be negative...To be able to feel this draws down force to help you. You stand upright, as it were, in yourself, among all the mess of your negativeness, and you feel and know that it is not necessary to lie down in that mess. To say this phrase in the right way to yourself, to feel the meaning of the words: ‘I have a right not to be negative,’ is actually a form of self- remembering, of feeling a trace of real ‘I,’ that lifts you up above the level of your negative ‘I’s which are all the time telling you without a pause that you have every right to be negative.” V. 1, p. 161


“A man, a woman, cannot awaken if they retain this dreadful weight, their mechanical suffering, and nourish it, by a continual process of justifying it.” V. 4, p. 1240


“A man, a woman, must give up their suffering and sacrifice that
first of all, because this can lead to a change of Being. For this to happen one must be able to see through self-observation what one suffers from...There is the suffering of man towards woman, of woman towards man...Then take all the mechanical forms of suffer- ing that arise from feeling that you have never been understood by your parents, your husband, your wife, or your children...It is exactly this suffering derived from life and all its awkwardness that has to be sacrificed.” V. 3, pp. 850, 852


“To serve the Work means to obey what it teaches you to practice on yourself. You want to be gloomy and moody, to object, and so on, and you observe your state and begin to separate from it—then you are serving the Work. And in so doing you are giving up some of your mechanical suffering.” V. 3, p. 855 

"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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G's voice 

if you go on youtube, you can read along in the video's description.

it's called 'Mr Gurdjieff recorded christmas 1948'.

I've seen that @Zigzag Idiot has already posted it. I'll just leave it here.

Edited by Petals

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@Petals Indeed! Seems a very intellectual blog. Given the multitude of Fourth Way and Gurdjieff websites, I'm going to add some more links to websites that have more of the basics of the Gurdjieff Work. For those who have the time and want to research, this will provide a more varied selection.




The three links above are to sites that are more foundational than the links below.




https://www.gurdjieff-bibliography.com/Current/17_moore_ revelation_28mar_2004-07-03.pdf



https://gurdjieff.org.gr/ae/index.htm Website dedicated to the study of "The Tales"

Edited by Zigzag Idiot

"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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look at that! (or better -  listen to that.) started 2 years ago and last update just yesterday. channel name 'invite the light'.

Nicoll's commentaries as audio.


Edited by Petals

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I've just read the last chapter (only that chapter) of 'Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson' called 'From the Author'. in it there is a lecture called 'Lecture Number One - The Variety, according to Law, of the Manifestations of Human Individuality' (last read in New York, January 1924). 

it was quite good, so I am wondering, are there more of these lectures?

it seems to be not an oral lecture by Gurdjieff but sth that was written by him and then read out loud to the students.

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50 minutes ago, Petals said:

it seems to be not an oral lecture by Gurdjieff but sth that was written by him and then read out loud to the students.

This is a fair description of the ending of his third book in the series - Life Is Real, Only Then, When I Am

It's an unfinished lecture at the end of this book called The Outer And Inner World Of Man. There's a fair amount of controversy around this book within the different lineages of Gurdjieff's Teaching. 

The lecture you read at the end of Beelzebub's Tales is pretty much given verbatim in the YouTubes of Gurdjieff's Allegory of the Horse, Carridge, and Driver that I posted on the first page of this Topic. Here's the first part again. For those who would just like to listen.


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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I've found something in Franklin Merrell-Wolff's 'Experience and Philosophy'. It is pretty much congruent with Gurdjieff and I find it very well written. But he also puts it into the context of Liberation. FMW is not connected with the 'Work' in any way. I recommend reading it. This is the first part:

Now, we come to a point of the highest practical importance. If a man, while embodied, has not learned to integrate consciously the embodied with the disembodied levels of percipience, then so far as the personal consciousness is concerned, death involves entering a state like dreamless sleep. In the higher sense, it is not an unconscious state, but it is unconscious for the personal man, except that he may experience a sort of dreaming consciousness apparently constructed along the formal lines of his embodied experience. Let the reader keep it well in mind that this is not a matter of an arbitrary or imaginative eschatology but, rather, of a necessity that must be clear from purely epistemological considerations. The point is simply this: If a conscious being has integrated self-consciousness in a given kind of complex mode, such as the 'five-sense' perceptive consciousness of man, and if it is familiar with no other mode of consciousness, then if it is suddenly severed from that mode and thrust into one utterly different, no matter how bright the Light of the latter may be, it will seem to this being as unconsciousness.  After a time self-consciousness may awaken to function in the new mode, but there will be no basis for recognizing the new entity as being the same individual who experienced in terms of the former mode. This is a radical interruption of the continuity of self-consciousness, and, while in the Higher or Spritual sense, Consciousness per se has not ceased, yet the individual, as individual, has proved to be no more than a mortal being. Actually, nature guarantees man no more than this. But he may by his own self-induced effort and by aid of Awakened Men achieve continuity of self-consious or individualized consciousness. This is acquired or conditional immortality and constitutes an important part of the significance of Cosmic Consciousness. 

The crux of the whole problem in achieving individualized immortality is the learning to integrate while still embodied the outer and inner levels of percipience. This is, in fact, the mystic process symbolized by the squaring of the circle. The relationship between the square and the circle is incommensurable, and this means that 'circular' relationships or values are not comprehensible in 'square' terms. Embodied man is a square while the Inner Man is a circle. The mass of human beings shift from level to level through unconsciousness, and thus in these cases the one level is to the other like dreamless sleep. The two states are discrete instead of continuous, and, therefore, we are faced with a condition where we have, as it were, two distinct men instead of one self-conscious Being. The circle is birthless and deathless and consequently immortal, but the square is generated in time and in the course of time subject to dissolution. But by 'squaring' the circle, or more correctly by 'circularizing' the square, the latter kind of consciousness is taken up and blended with the immortal Consciousness of the circle. This gives to the individual consciousness immortality. It should be clear that the cross-transference in sleep or during the trance state is not enough. Man must win the power to be awake here and There at the same time. Once he has done this, even though the cross-correlation were achieved for but one moment in a given lifetime, he has mastered death and is immortal in the acquired sense. Now, when a man has succeeded in 'circularizing' the square, he has shifted his center of self-identity to the circle and thus has really died while remaining in the physical body. Consequently, while moving in the world he has become One who is not of the world.


I will continue tomorrow.



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(...) Those men who have not mastered cross-correlation while still embodied go into a state of essential sleep after death. Sooner or later they have a kind of experience in a dream-like consciousness, and these states constitute the ordinary heaven worlds, when they are of the better sort. The dream is a continuation of consciousness in the subject-object sense, but in the heavenly worlds the quality is entirely blissful. There is practically no opportunity for the exercise of discrimination in such states. It is the contrast of pain and joy, united with their appropriate causes, that tends to shock the dreaming consciousness into wakefulness. This contrasting condition is found in ordinary earth-life, and thus constitutes an important part of the reason why the vital determinative steps can be taken only here. Dreaminess is the great barrier. But most of haman consciousness even in this world is in a sort of waking-dreaming or somnambulistic state. However, we have here the instruments that can shock to wakefulness, while such is not the case in the after-death states of the ordinary individual. Unquestionably, pain is one of the very greatest of these instruments, and thus is much less an evil than a beneficient agent. The more I have studied the problem, the more I have become convinced that it has been a great mistake to concentrate so much attention upon evil. The real difficulty is the almost universal somnamnulism in which men pass the bulk of their lives, some spending many lives without leaving that state at all. It is, in effect, an hypnotic sleep, and the real problem of religion is not the saving of human souls from evil but a dehypnotising of the mind.

FMW goes on to recommend the practice of lucid dreaming to achieve 'cross-correlation'.

(...) the dream-state casts a glamour, which may be painful or pleasant, but in any case tends to produce a drug-like effect both upon the will and the reason. In addition to drugs, the light of the moon often produces a somewhat similar effect. The hypnotic state is a dream-state par excellence. This consciousness has the property of possessing a man, instead of the individual possessing and commanding it. It tends to lead him away from the decisions made in the light of dear and discriminating judgement. It is very characteristic of the consciousness found in psychological crowds and affords the reason why the control of crowd-consciousness is effected most successfully by psychological devices rather than by appeal to rational judgement.


I will continue later. He makes some more interesting points.

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Dream-consciousness, characteristically, has a quality which may be called 'blurred' or 'smudged'. It is quite lacking in crystalline sharpness or the quality of precision. The logical capacity is weak in the dreaming states. There is also a lack of firmness of will. The dreamer floats along in his consciousness, instead of being an achiever in it. He may dream in terms of ideality and beauty and be highly freed from the gross and the sensual, but the dreamer, as such, lacks character and strength. On the whole, his equipment is peculiarly poor for breaking from bondage to subject-object consciousness. He may be a good man and earn long periods of dreamlike bliss, but all this is less than the Liberated State. So, all in all, it should be quite obvious that for him who would attain the Higher Consciousness, one of the first necessities is the mastering of dreaming tendencies. To effect this mastery, there are several useful disciplines that can be devised, all of which cultivate the qualities that are the opposite of the dream-like consciousness. Thus, all activities that require a strong, positive, and incisive use of the mind, and all will-directed efforts, particularly if in directions that are more or less distasteful, are highly helpful.

Strong intellectuality affords one of the best resistances to the dream-like state. Its danger is that it may develop egoism to such a degree that it becomes a serious barrier. But my judgement would be that it is easier to master an overly developed egoism - for here we have strength to work with - than it is to build the necessary strength in the too dreamy consciousness. So I should place somnambulism, rather than egoism and evil, as the first among the problems that must be mastered in this humanity if it is to progress toward Liberation.


I just thought all this fits so well with Gurdjieff's ideas that it is worth sharing here.

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@Petals Thank you for contributing!  ? Good Stuff,,, 


Gurdjieff International Review

Sayings of Gurdjieff

An excerpt from A Study of Gurdjieff’s Teaching

by Kenneth Walker

Gurdjieff had the capacity to convey so much in some forceful saying that his words echoed for a long time in the hearers’ minds. His maxims did not usually take the form of polished aphorisms for, although he was acquainted with many different tongues, he was a master of none of them, and was inclined to poke fun at what he called the ‘bon ton literary language.’ Indeed, some of his phrases were memorable chiefly because of their colloquial character, such as that saying of his which Ouspensky so often quoted: ‘To know everything it is necessary to know only a very little but to know that very little is to know pretty much.’ A great deal of the force in G’s maxims was imparted by the man who uttered them, and this force is absent from the written word. Yet despite the weakening which his sayings will undergo in print, I have felt it worth while recording some of them in this final chapter.

If it were possible for me to introduce them with a short and telling description of the man who uttered them and whose presence made such a strong impact—not necessarily favourable—on everybody who came into contact with him, I would do so, but I have never read any successful description of him. I shall not attempt, therefore, to make a thumbnail drawing of a man so difficult to portray as George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff. His maxims must stand by themselves.

It is better to be temporarily selfish than never to be just.
Only conscious suffering is of value.
Man is given a limited quantity of experiences; being economical with them lengthens his life.

Know that this house is of value only to those who have recognized their nothingness and believe it is possible to alter.
Here we can only direct and create conditions, but not help.
Remember that here work is not done for work’s sake, but as a means.
Like what it does not like.

Conscious love evokes the same in response.
Emotional love evokes the opposite.
Physical love depends on type and polarity.

Faith of consciousness is freedom.
Faith of feeling is slavery.
Faith of body is stupidity.

Hope of consciousness is strength.
Hope of feeling is cowardice.
Hope of body is disease.

Only he can be impartial who is able to put himself into the position of others.
We can only strive to be able to be Christians.
I love him who loves work.
Judge others according to yourself and you will seldom be mistaken.

Consider what others think of you, not what they say.
If you are not critical by nature, it is useless for you to remain here.
He who has got rid of the disease ‘Tomorrow’ has the possibility to attain what he is here for.

If you already know what is wrong and do it, you commit a sin that is difficult to redress.
The chief means of happiness in this life is the ability to consider outwardly always, inwardly never.

One of the strongest motives for the wish to work on yourself is the realization that you may die at any moment—only you must first realize this.
Man is refreshed not by the quantity but by the quality of sleep—sleep little without regret.

The highest that a man can attain is to be able to do.

Here there are neither English nor Russians, Jews nor Christians, but only those following one aim, to be able to be.

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West and then seek.
Only he who can take care of the property of others can have his own.

Remember yourself always and everywhere.

A good man loves his father and mother.
Help him only who strives not to be an idler.
Love not art with your feelings.
Respect all religions.
Judge no one according to the tales of others.

Blessed is he who hath a soul,
Blessed is he who hath none,
Woe and sorrow to him who hath it in conception.

The worse the conditions of life, the greater the possibility for productive work, provided you work consciously.
The energy expended in active inner work is immediately transformed into new energy; that expended in passive work is lost forever.
Practice love on animals first; they react better and more sensitively.

I add some additional sayings of Gurdjieff’s, most of which have been abstracted from accounts of meetings taken by him in London and America during the years 1921–24:

There is only one kind of magic and this is ‘doing.’

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment; that spent mechanically is lost forever.

We must destroy our buffers. Children have none; therefore we must become like little children.

We attract forces according to our being.

Humanity is the earth’s nerve-endings through which planetary vibrations are received for transmission.

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

No energy is ever lost in the cosmic scheme.

One twentieth of all our energy goes to emotional and instinctive centres. Self-remembering is a lamp which must be kept alight by energy from these two centres. Our thinking centre is not really a centre, but an apparatus for collecting impressions.

Formatory apparatus resembles a hired typist who works for a firm and has a large number of stereotyped replies for external impressions. She sends printed replies to other centres who are the ‘directors’ of the firm and who are strangers to each other. Wrong replies are often sent, as the typist is asleep or lazy.

In deep sleep all communication between centres is closed. Our sleep is bad because we do not cut off lines of communication.

We have good and bad angels. The good angels work by way of our voluntary, active nature and the bad through our passive nature.

Mr. Self-love and Madame Vanity are the two chief agents of the devil.

Do not be affected by externals. In themselves they are harmless; it is we who allow ourselves to be hurt by them.

We never reach the limits of our strength.

If we do what we like doing, we are immediately rewarded by the pleasure of doing it. If we do what we don’t like doing the reward must come later. It is a mathematical law and all life is mathematics.

Man is a symbol of the laws of creation; in him there is evolution, involution, struggle, progress and retrogression, struggle between positive and negative, active and passive, yes and no, good and evil.

Men have their minds and women their feelings more highly developed. Either alone can give nothing. Think what you feel and feel what you think. Fusion of the two produces another force.

For some people religion is useful but for others it is only a policeman.

We are sheep kept to provide wool for our masters who feed us and keep us as slaves of illusion. But we have a chance of escape and our masters are anxious to help us, but we like being sheep. It is comfortable.

He who can love can be; he who can be can do; he who can do is.

Sincerity is the key to self-knowledge and to be sincere with oneself brings great suffering.

Sleep is very comfortable, but waking is very bitter.

Free will is the function of the Master within us. Our ‘will’ is the supremacy of one desire over another.

Eastern art has a mathematical basis. It is a script with an inner and an outer content. In Persia there is a room in a monastery which makes one weep owing to mathematical combinations of different parts of its architecture. Real art is knowledge and not talent.

An ordinary man has no ‘Master.’ He is ruled now by the mind, now by the feelings and now by the body. Often the order comes from the automatic apparatus and still more often he is ordered about by the sex centre. Real will can only be when one ‘I’ rules, when there is a ‘master’ in the house.

Morality is a stick with two ends; it can be turned this way and that.

From the time when man began to live on the Earth, from the time of Adam onwards, there started to be formed within him, with the help of God, of Nature, and of all his surroundings, an organ whose function is conscience. Every man has this organ, and whoever is guided by it automatically lives according to God’s commandments. If our consciences were clear, and not buried, there would be no need to speak about morality, for consciously or unconsciously everyone would behave according to God’s commandments. Unfortunately conscience is covered up with a kind of crust which can be pierced only by intense suffering; then conscience speaks. But after a while a man calms down and once more the organ becomes covered over and buried.

You should forget about morality. Conversations about morality are simply empty talk. Your aim is inner morality.

External morality is different everywhere.

You should understand, and establish it as a firm rule, not to pay attention to other people’s opinions. You must be free of people surrounding you, and when you are free inside you will be free of them.

To be just at the moment of action is a hundred times more valuable than to be just afterwards.

To gain anything real, long practice is necessary. Try to accomplish very small things first.

There are two kinds of doing—automatic and doing what you ‘wish.’ Take a small thing which you ‘wish’ to do and cannot do and make this your God. Let nothing interfere. If you ‘wish,’ you can. Without wishing you never ‘can.’ ‘Wish’ is the most powerful thing in the world.

To bear the manifestation of others is a big thing. The last thing for a man.

In the river of life suffering is not intentional. In conscious life suffering is intentional and of great value.

To love one must first forget all about love. Make it your aim and look for direction. As we are we cannot possibly love.

Until a man uncovers himself he cannot see.

Aphorisms © 1924 G. I. Gurdjieff
A Study of Gurdjieff’s Teaching © 1957 Fletcher & Son Ltd.
This webpage © 1997 Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing
Featured: Fall 1997 Issue, Vol. I (1)
Revision: April 1, 2000

"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Essence can be distinguished from personality and false personality.

False personality is equivalent to ego,


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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This lower Video is posted further up the page. Thought it might be good to group these two together since both are primarily about identification.

"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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