This webpage is being put up due to the express wishes of those genuinely in THE WORK of the Fourth Way. It is the beginning
of an octave to help seekers of useful guidance. The date of this entry is January 1st 2008. There are a number of individuals
behind this octave. There is one individual doing the writing. This web location will have its content expanded gradually.
The main thing for now is that this page be online as a beacon, so people can discover it and tell others about it.
THE FOURTH WAY is a real path and the SYSTEM elucidated by eminent Teachers Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Collin...is a real
and coherent system. It is not an anachronism. People seeking Fourth Way School Work are correct in seeking it, and it can
be available for those sincere and ready for it. This webpage is the beacon of a new octave. But something does not come out
of nothing. One may wonder WHO is behind this octave? WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? It comes from a number of individuals but it
is most useful to say...for pragmatic purposes...is COMES FROM THE WORK OF MR. GURDJIEFF AND MR. OUSPENSKY and MR. COLLIN...it
is a legitmate legacy of their Work. If you have been seeking a legitimate and living connection to their work, this is a
place you may find it.
On the subject of The Fourth Way...Peter Ouspensky was asked "You said that one can learn how to escape only from
those who have escaped before?" He replied: Quite right — in the allegory of "prison". And this means a school can
only start from another school. This system can have value only if it comes from higher mind. If we have reason to believe
that it only comes from an ordinary mind, like ours, it can have no value and we cannot expect anything from it. Then better
sit down and write your own system.
The collection of energy and work behind THIS WEBPAGE is being called (for now) THE BEACON HILL LIVING ROOM....in honor
of Boston's historical Beacon Hill section. Perhaps some other name may come to supplant this, but that is the name for now.
Some who will discover this web address and read its content may be quite surprised. Initial "I"s may be....how did this
octave seem to come "out of the blue"?
It hardly came "out of the blue" at all. Or quickly. It is the result of a long stream of work, many people's work on
themselves, and a long stream of subscription to Higher Inspiration.
In the Fourth Way, octaves of work may be rather out of the public view for some phases, and come into the public
view at others. It is no accident that the Work behind this webpage has been brought into public view at this juncture. Such
has taken place for the good of The Work, and for the good of those who sincerely subscribe to The Fourth Way mode of
Historical material and angles of thought:
First, some notes on Peter Ouspensky and his work with George Gurdjieff:
Mr.Ouspensky's first published book, The Fourth Dimension, appeared in 1909; his second book, Tertium Organum, in 1912; and A New Model of the Universe in 1931. This last work introduced the idea of esotericism, a belief that there exist centers in the world where ancient esoteric knowledge and wisdom are not only preserved, but
taught to initiates. He also wrote the novel Strange life of Ivan Osokin, which explored the concept of eternal return. His travels throughout Europe and the East, looking for centers of esoteric knowledge, were unproductive. Upon his return
to Russia, however, he was introduced to Gurdjieff and spent the next few years studying with him.
After the Bolshevik revolution Ouspensky travelled to London by way of Istanbul. It was during this time, after Gurdjieff founded his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in France, that Ouspensky came to the conclusion that he was no longer able to understand his former teacher and made a decision to
discontinue association with him. Nevertheless, he wrote about Gurdjieff's teachings in a book originally entitled Fragments
of an Unknown Teaching, only published posthumously in 1947 under the title In Search of the Miraculous. While this volume has been criticized by some of those who have followed Gurdjieff's teachings as only a partial representation
of the totality of Gurdjieff's ideas, it nevertheless provides what is probably the most concise explanation of the material
that was included. This is in sharp contrast to the writings of Gurdjieff himself, such as Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson, where the ideas and precepts of Gurdjieff's teachings are found very deeply veiled in allegory. It's also important
to note that Ouspensky did receive permission from Gurdjieff for the publication of In Search of the Miraculous, something that was seemingly withheld from almost every other student of Gurdjieff, even in instances where the material
being written about was much less complete or clear.
"Speaking generally, you will never understand what I wish to convey if you merely listen."
G. I. Gurdjieff
Now...BELOW ARE EXCERPTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF * PD Ouspensky
|One of the American reviewers of the first edition of "New Model of the Universe" remarks that
two ideas in this book presented particular difficulties for him: the idea of esotericism and the idea of the psychological
In general, these ideas are very far from modern thought.
Both ideas need the recognition of the fact that human thought can work on very different levels.
The idea of esotericism is ...the idea of higher mind. We must ... our ordinary mind (including the mind of a genius)
is not the highest possible order of human mind. The human mind can rise to a level almost inconceivable for us, and we can
see the results of the work of higher mind, those most accessible to us in the Gospels, and then in Eastern Scriptures; in
the Upanishads,in the Mahabharata; in the works of art such as the Great Sphinx at Gizeh, and in other memorials though they
are few in literature and art. The true valuation of the meaning of these and similar memorials and the realisation of the
difference by a genius, needs experience, knowledge and a special training of the mind and perception and, perhaps, special
faculties not possessed by everyone. In any case nothing can be proven.
So that the first step towards understanding the idea of esotericism is the realisation of the existence of a higher mind,
that is, a human mind, but one which differs from the ordinary mind as much as, let us say, the mind of an intelligent
and educated grown up man differs from the mind of a child of six. A genius is only a "Wunderkind." A man of higher mind possesses
a new knowledge which ordinary man, however clever and intelligent, cannot possess. This is esoteric knowledge.
Whether people of higher mind exist now and have existed always, or whether they appear on earth only at long intervals,
is immaterial. The important point is that they exist and that we can come into contact with their ideas and, through these
ideas, with esoteric knowledge. This is the essence of the idea of esotericism.
In order to understand what I mean by the "psychological method" it is necessary to realise first that the ordinary human
mind, the one we know, can also work on very different levels and then to find the relation of the "psychological method"
to the "esoteric method."
|If a man of logical mind hears about esotericism he will at once want to know where the people
are who belong to the esoteric circle, who has seen them, and when and how he can see them himself. And if he hears that for
him this is not possible he will then say that it is all nonsense and that no esoteric circle exists at all.
Logically he will be quite right. But psychologically... it is clear that with such demands he will not go far in his acquaintance
with esotericism. A man has to be prepared, that is, he must realise the limitedness of his own mind and the possibility of
the existence of another, better mind.
Nor will esoteric ideas, that is, ideas coming from higher mind, say much to a logical man. He will ask, for instance:
where are the proofs that the Gospels were written by people of higher mind?
Where indeed are the proofs? They are there, everywhere, in every line and in every word, but only for those who have eyes
to see and ears to hear. But the logical mind can neither see nor hear beyond a very small radius or the most elementary things.
This limitedness of the logical mind renders it powerless even before quite simple problems of ordinary life once they
go beyond the limits of its accustomed scale.
But [so-called logical] "proofs" are by no means always necessary--- in order to accept or to deny a given proposition.
There are "psychological proofs" which mean much more than facts, because facts can "lie" and psychological proofs cannot
lie. But one must be able ...to feel> them.
The psychological mind can see the limitations of the "logical mind" and the absurdities of the "defective mind" -- it
can understand the reality of the existence of a higher mind and of esoteric knowledge, and see it in its manifestations.
This is impossible for a merely logical mind.
|The term "psychological method" ...[of development] comes from "psychological proofs." On the
basis of these proofs it is possible to see the defects of logical thinking in regions inaccessible to it or in questions
too big for it... Real solutions can come only from higher mind possessing higher knowledge, that is, from esotericism. This
is the difference between the psychological method and the esoteric method.
Let us try to imagine the four methods of observation and reasoning in relation to the room in which I am writing this.
The defective method is based upon glance at the room through the keyhole or through a narrow slit and its characteristic
feature is the certainty that what is seen through the keyhole or the slit represents all there is and that there is and can
be nothing else in it except what is visible in this way. Given a certain imagination and a tendency toward superstition the
defective method can make something very strange or monstrous out of an ordinary room.
The logical method is based upon glance at the room from one definite spot, at one definite angle, and usually without
enough light. Too big a confidence in it and the defence of this angle of vision makes the logical method defective.
The psychological method compared with the first two would be like a view of the room in daylight, moving about in it in
various directions, knowing the objects in it and so on. It is quite clear that it is possible to learn more about the room
in this way than by the logical method, and that it is possible to find many mistakes and wrong conclusions of the defective
The esoteric method of approach to the study of the room would include not only the the whole room with everything it contains
but the whole house, all the people in it with all their relationships and their occupations; and further, the position of
the house in the street, of the street in the town, of the town in the country, of the country on the earth, of the earth
in the solar system, and so on. The esoteric method is limited by nothing and always connects every given thing, however small
it may be, with the whole.
Examples of "psychological," "logical" and "defective" thinking abound around us. Occasionally we meet with the psychological
method in science. In psychology itself the "psychological method" leads inevitably to the recognition of the fact that human
consciousness is merely a particular instance of consciousness and that an intelligence exists which is many times superior
to the ordinary human intelligence. And only a psychology which starts from this proposition and has this proposition as its
foundation can be called [truly]... scientific.
In other spheres of knowledge psychological thinking lies at the root of all real discoveries, but it usually does not
keep long. I mean that as soon as ideas which have been found and established by the psychological method become everybody's
property and begin to be looked upon as permanent and accepted they become logical and, in their application to phenomena
of a greater size, ...defective.
The danger of the logical method in all possible spheres of life lies in the fact that at first glance it is the easiest
and the most effective way.
The psychological method is much more difficult and, in addition, it is often very disappointing because, by following
the psychological method a man often sees that he does not understand anything and does not know what to do. Whereas by following
the logical method he always understands everything and always knows what to do.
Regarding the teachings of MEHER BABA:
In a written chapter on Good and Evil, Meher Baba takes a unique position. What we call evil, according
to Meher Baba, is most often a misapplied relic of a past good. For instance, an act which was beneficial to a lower species
in evolution becomes detrimental to the individual and society in a human cultural context. Similarly, the ego, which plays
a vital role in the process of evolving self-awareness, becomes a spiritual hindrance once full awareness (in human form)
is achieved. Still, Baba asserts that good actions (judged as good in their context) are preferable to so-called bad actions,
in that they are far less binding to the soul. According to Baba, both good and bad actions are binding in the sense that
they leave impressions (sanskaras) that must be worked out or balanced by ongoing experience in reincarnation. But even in this context, good actions are
preferable and less binding. He gives the analogy that bad actions are like ropes which bind both feet and hands, but good
actions bind only the feet, and thus can more easily be disentangled.
In the Discourses, love is mentioned in many forms. Love pervades the universe. The first fundamental force known to have
split as an independent principle from the original primordial unity in recent Cosmology is gravity. Baba says that gravity
is the reflection of love. All the forces of attraction and of repulsion in every level (from small particles to material
objects to living organisms) are expressions of love. In the animal kingdom this love becomes explicit in conscious processes
through instinctive drives. The drive to look for nutrition is love. Sex-attraction is love. Actually anything that drives
an organism to fulfill a bodily impulse or desire is love.
In the human level, with the development of consciousness, love, although continuous with its lower forms, attains a higher
form because of its relation to reason. In the beginning these two factors are in a natural harmony, but the one doesn't have
conscious access to the other. Each one operates almost separately from the other. Then comes a stage where reason and love
come in rapport and conflict with each other, yet the important factor is that they start coming simultaneously in the conscious
sphere. Then comes a third stage where a synthesis of love and reason is achieved to bring an altogether new type of consciousness,
best described as superconsciousness.
Obviously the longest part of human development deals with the second phase. Yet from the effort to resolve the conflicts
brought about between love and reason there arises spiritual progress. As lower forms of love come in conflict with higher
ones, human love is limited by many factors. Lust, greed and anger are limiting factors mentioned in many philosophies. The
only hope of breaking these limits is the appearance of a pure form of love, called Divine love. This love can only
arise through the grace of spiritual Masters. This is not a momentary event. The Avatar comes to awaken humanity to this higher
love. An individual has to develop a conscious longing for this love and has to give up all forms of desires except for the
desire to attain it. In human love the duality of the lover and the Beloved persist. In Divine love, lover and Beloved are
Here is part of what the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1987 Edition, had to say:
Meher Baba, also called The Awakener, original name Merwan Sheriar Irani. (born Feb. 25, 1894,
Poona, India—died Jan. 31, 1969, Ahmednagar, India), spiritual master in western India with a sizable following both
in that country and abroad. Beginning July 10, 1925, he observed silence for the last 44 years of his life, communicating
with his disciples at first through an alphabet board but increasingly with gestures. He observed that he had come "Not to
teach but to awaken."
He was born into a Zoroastrian family of Persian descent. He was educated in Poona and attended
Deccan College there, where at the age of 19 he met an aged Muslim woman, Hazrat Babjan, the first of five "perfect masters"
(spiritually enlightened or "God-realized" persons) who over the next seven years helped him find his own spiritual identity.
That identity, Meher Baba said: " I am the same Ancient One come again into your midst," he told his disciples, declaring
that all major religions are revelations of "that One Reality which is God."
Meher Baba saw his work as awakening the world through love to a new consciousness of oneness
of all life. To that end he lived a life of love and service.
Meher Baba never sought to form a sect or proclaim a dogma.
His books include Discourses (1938-1943; the earliest
dictated on an alphabet board, the other by gesture), God Speaks: The Theme of Creation and Its Purpose
(1955), and The Everything and the Nothing (1963).
"It is interesting to note PRAYER is rarely spoken about in the writings of Ouspensky and Gurdjiff. Pehaps that is because
"life" has so much indentification mixed with ideas of prayer. Prayer above the level of A Influence (utilizing
prayer verses created by Real Schools from earlier eras)... is an attempt to have the machine attract and subscribe to
Conscious Influence. In such a state, one may notice the moving centre emits at times... impulses to assist this state
with certain movements which SEEM innate. This is quite mysterious and miraculous. It may explain the "why" ---of certain
dance movements and yoga movements in Real Schools of the past."
(Author of his site)
"The (elucidated knowledge called THE SYSTEM is) a summons, a summons toward another (perceptual) world, a call from (those)
who know and (are) able to show us the way... But 'transformation of being' requires more (than hearing knowledge). It can
only be achieved if there is a (synthesis) between actual conscious influence and (the responding medium of
a human who ardently seeks and desires) it. This brings about a fusion."
(edited - from the JDS forward to 'Views from the real World')
from "Song of Myself"
(written - 1855)
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.
and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or
bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.
Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know
it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.
The atmosphere is not a perfume,
it has no taste of the distillation, it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to
the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, :
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.
The smoke of
my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz'd whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine
My respiration and inspiration,
the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of
the shore and dark color'd sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belch'd words of my voice loos'd to the
eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the
trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides.
feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.
Have you reckon'd a thousand
acres much? have you reckon'd the earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to
get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or
third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes
either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end
But I do not talk of the beginning
or the end.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
Urge and urge
Always the procreant urge of the world.
Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and increase,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of life.
To elaborate is no avail, learn'd
and unlearn'd feel that it is so.
Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well entretied, braced in the
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.
Clear and sweet
is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.
Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,
that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.
Showing the best and dividing it from the worst age vexes age,
the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.
is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and
none shall be less familiar than the rest.
I am satisfied--I see, dance, laugh, sing;
As the hugging and loving
bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the night, and withdraws at the peep of the day with stealthy tread.
Leaving me baskets
cover'd with white towels swelling the house with their plenty,
Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream
at my eyes,
That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent,
the value of one and exactly the value of two, and which is ahead?
Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live
in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates,
looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks
or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal
war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
are not the Me myself.
Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious
what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.
Backward I see in my own days
where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.
"After some time one comes to a position where nothing is independent of the work, where there are very few actions that
are not connected with the work."
P. D. Ouspensky
excerpt from the writings of RANIER RILKE
“A billion stars go spinning through the night, blazing high above your head. But in you is the presence that will
be, when all the stars are dead.” … Rilke
COMMENTS * From the AUTHOR OF THIS SITE:
"Plan as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
"Imagination emanates from the feeling of, the buffered illusion of... 'I'...The more you can weaken the illusory sense
of ONENESS, of 'I' being 'real' (in a measured not histrionic way...) the more you weaken the power of imagination. Likewise,
as you weaken imagination, you see thru the illusion of 'I'..and see factually the existence of (the) MANY I's from
the centres of the machine"
"The instincitve center has many I's within it that will provide formidable denying force for your Work I's. Yet one has
to live with it. And treat it with respect. It has a lot of work to do every day and you'd be in quite a pickle
without it doing what it does. What you want to do is curb wrong work. False personality does have residence in the instinctive
centre too. Plus, the lower story brain feels threatened by the work I's to some considerable extent, because the instincitve
centre is used to running the machine (pretty much). The main thing, the principal thing is YOU HAVE TO WANT TO
WAKE UP. Grammar, the work language, is a roadmap for the intellectual centre...but do not lose clear understanding to labels
and phrases. Your magnetic center matures and gains mass, and hopefully becomes higher incarnations of the Work.
But for practical purposes of giving this commentary...your magnetic centre is the beginning of YOU. And as it grows in mass...so
do your future possibilities."
(Author of this site) --- January 2008
Additional subject matter:
Rodney Collin (aka Rodney Collin-Smith) (born April 26, 1909; died May 3, 1956) was a British writer in the area
of spiritual development. His work was heavily influenced by his teacher, P. D. Ouspensky, and through him, G. I. Gurdjieff,
and their system of spiritual development. Rodney Collin is one of the most well known of Ouspenky's students, and a prolific
writer. He met Ouspensky in the autumn of 1946. "Rodney Collin immediately recognised that he had found what he had been searching
for in his reading and travels. From then on he dedicated all his time to the study of Mr Ouspensky's teaching."  Collin's best known work, The Theory of Celestial Influence, is an ambitious attempt to unite astronomy, physics, chemistry,
human physiology, and world history with Collin's version of planetary influences.
Within his most relevant contributions, it is the emphasis in the idea of Fourth Way school existing in different times.
He says: "Schools of the fourth way have existed and exist, just as schools of the three traditional ways existed and exist.
But they are much more difficult to detect, because - unlike the others - they cannot be recognized by any one practice, one
method, one task, or one name. They are always inventing new methods, new practices, suitable to the time and conditions in
which they exist, and when they have achieved one task which was set them they pass on to another, often changing their name
and whole appearance in the process."
Rodney Collin studied the sequence of European Civilizations, finding a pattern which would follow a planetary scale where
the times are 10 times longer than in the case of human life. His sequence starts following Toynbee's but soon he changes
some aspects, trying to follow his said pattern. Thus, his list begins with the Greeks (with roots on the Egyptian, which
he considers the last one in the previous sequence), then the Romans, the Primitive Christians, the Monastic Christians, the
Medieval Christians, the Renaissance, and the Synthetic. He also quotes the influence of an extra-European civilization, the
Arabic one, upon the Medieval Christian Civilization.
He establishes a relation between fourth way schools and the origin and development of these civilizations. He says:
"Thus schools of the fourth way were undoubtedly behind the designing and construction of the great Gothic cathedrals,
though they had no special name and adapted themselves to the religious organization of the time. For a time the Cluniacs
sheltered them, for a time the Freemasons. In the seventeenth century, similar schools were responsible for much of the new
scientific and medical research, sometimes under one name and sometimes under another. In the eighteenth century again, fourth
way schools borrowed many of the discoveries of Greek and Egyptian archeology to clothe their ideas and their organization,
while some of their leaders - in order to penetrate the luxury-loving and sophisticated circles where they had work to do
- might even appear in the guise of fashionable magicians or mesmerists."
The conceptual foundations for this project are the Law of Three, arguably similar to the triad of thesis/antithesis/synthesis
of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and the Law of Seven, the idea that the notes of the Western musical scale encode universal stages in essentially all developmental
processes. Collin unites both of these schemata geometrically using the enneagram.
Collin's other work includes The Theory of Eternal Life, which uses some of the ideas of The Theory of Celestial
Influence as a point of departure to formulate a theory of the cycles and potentials of souls, e.g. reincarnation. His works The Theory of Conscious Harmony and The Mirror of Light are more emotional explorations of humanity:
faith, acceptance and forgiveness in contrast to the philosophical scope of his earlier works.
- Palms and Patios
- The Theory of Eternal Life
- The Theory of Celestial Influence
- The Christian Mystery
- The Herald of Harmony
- The Pyramid of Fire
- The Whirling Ecstacy
- A Programme of Study
- The Theory of Conscious Harmony (published posthumously)
- Mirror of Light (published posthumously)
- ^ The Theory of Conscious Harmony" by Rodney Collin, Introduction.
- ^ The Theory of CelestialInfluence - Penguin Books, 1997 - Chapter 15 "The Shape of Civilization"
- ^ The Theory of Celestial Influence - Penguin Books, 1997 - Chapter 16 "The Sequence of Civilizations"
- ^ The Theory of Celestial Influence - Penguin Books, 1997 - Chapter 15 "The Shape of Civilization"
FOR ADDITIONAL READING OF INTEREST..go to our myspace pages at:
SOME PRINTED MATERIALS OF NOTE
Gurdjieff, G. I. Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson: An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of
Man. New York: Dutton, 1978.
—————-. Views from the Real World: Early Talks in Moscow, Essentuki, Tiflis, Berlin,
London, Paris, New York and Chicago. As recollected by his pupils. New York: Dutton, 1975.
—————-. Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am.” New York: Dutton, 1982.
—————-. Meetings with Remarkable Men. New York: Dutton, 1969.
Ouspensky, P. D. In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949.
—————-. The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution. New York: Random House,
—————-. A New Model of the Universe. New York: Random House, 1971.
—————-. Tertium Organum. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981.
Nicoll, Maurice. Living Time. Boulder and London: Shambhala, 1984.
—————-. The New Man. Boston and London: Shambhala, 1986. Gurdjieff
is sometimes aslo spelled:
Gurdief, gurdjiev, gurdjef, gurdjev, gurdieff, gurdief, gurdiev, dorjieff, georgiades.
gurdjief, grudjief, grudief, gurdjew,gurdijef, grudjiev, gurdjiefff, gurdijef, grudiev, gurdev, dorjief, .
A FEW -- MAGNETIC CENTRE PRIMERS:
The Only Dance There Is -- by Ram Das
The Crack in the Cosmic Egg - by Joseph Chilton Pearce
On Having No Head - by DE Harding
The Outsider - by Colin Wilson
Gurdjieff said that the Fourth Way is a quicker means than the first three ways
because it simultaneously combines work on all three centers rather than focusing on one as is done in the first three ways, and that it can be followed by in everyday life, requiring
no retirement into the desert.
The Fourth Way
does involve whole-hearted acceptance of certain conditions imposed by a teacher. The Way requires supreme effort to devote oneself continuously to inner work, even though one's outward worldly roles
may not change much. In spite of his insistence that work without a teacher is next to impossible, Gurdjieff stressed each individual's responsibility:
- "The fourth way
differs from the other ways in that the principal demand made upon a man is the demand for understanding. A man must do nothing
that he does not understand, except as an experiment under the supervision and direction of his teacher. The more a man understands
what he is doing, the greater will be the results of his efforts. This is a fundamental principle of the fourth way. The results of work are
in proportion to the consciousness of the work. No "faith" is required on the fourth
way; on the contrary, faith of any kind is opposed to the fourth way. On the fourth way a man must satisfy himself
of the truth of what he is told."
Below are comments written by "H" ...who had been (directly) a student of both Mr. Gurdjieff and Mr. Ouspensky. He wrote
about the difficulty of acquainting people with THE TEACHING:
"The difficulty of passing on understanding appalled me. The dangerous results of the mistakes I seemed likely to make
discouraged me. During the past years I had brought many people into contact with the teaching. Since I felt myself to be
getting so much profit from it, I persuaded other people to try it. In this early enthusiasm I had made many mistakes.
Experience had shown me how difficult it was to find people who could benefit. Some people came only seeking confirmation
for what they already believed, and so could not hear anything new. Some people were repelled by the strangeness of the ideas
and rejected them without testing their truth. Some people were filled with an initial enthusiasm, but as soon as it came
to the point of making any effort for themselves, gave up at once. Some people demanded quick results. I came to recognise
all the types symbolised by the seeds that fell upon different kinds of ground.
It was useless to argue with people, to try to persuade them. One had to discover people who had a need and were aware
of that need, however inarticulately: people who were dissatisfied in a right way—primarily with themselves, but also
with the usual aims of life. Some people were made restless by a feeling that some unknown element was missing from their
life, without which life made no sense. Some people had succeeded in their ambitions, only to find that success did not bring
either peace or happiness. Some felt themselves to be caught in a vicious circle, and realised how they repeated the same
mistakes again and again in spite of all regrets and resolutions. Others were seeking something to satisfy their inherent
need for faith, but had found nothing but disappointment and disillusionment.
By experience, by making many mistakes, I gradually learned what kinds of people to look for. It was not enough that people
needed the healing and liberating power of the truth; they had themselves to feel this need, and had to be prepared themselves
to sacrifice their well-loved illusions."
"This system is not 'popular' , is very difficult to understand, and even more difficult to work with, because of its negative truths
told. It tells you that what you have tended to think is your LIFE, is illusion, and the truth of your life is unpleasant....AS
IT IS. You have great possibilies IF YOU USE THE KNOWLEDGE rightly, but AS YOU ARE NOW your life is a mess, EVEN IF you seem
'successful' in 'life'. Should your inner psychology be fully bared to you it is more than a little shocking. AND..if one
truly, sincerely, works with the system for many years, there will come a point in your work where there are (essentially)
TWO PEOPLE in the same space in you. The WORK trying to progress, and all your lower I's trying to resist loss of space and
mechanical control. This is a very delicate and dangerous place. ONE MUST NOT IDENTIFY with ANY of the I's observed, all are
just I's, and one must not identify with emotions of fear which do arise. IT IS A DEFINITE STEP OF PROGRESS to observe CLEARY
the pervasiveness of the mechanicaly of one's daily 'life'. And the random order of I's arising from the machine.
It is grossly unpleasant, but it is a necessary stage. Even after a lot of Work, YOUR LIFE is almost entirely mechanics,
and MOST OF THE TIME randomly unfolding mechanics at that. BUT AWARENSS, CONSCIOUSNES, OBSERVATION does change the character
of what's happening inside. WHEN YOU SEE HOW BAD THINGS ARE, curiously, you are on the way to being better off. KEEP OBSERVING
and do NOT identify with I's or emotions that come alongside them. BE HERE NOW..and do NOT identify with anything you
see. Try to note WHAT you are observing ACCORDING to the knowledge of the system. REGISTER observations inside and STAY AWAKE.
In sleep, the instinctive centre is the machine's boss. AWAKE, things are changing"
(Author of this site)
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
"Your life is a mirror image of what you are"
Feeding the Moon
(edited essay ...by general-life writer, Jason Keehn) :
Gurdjieff's quest was guided by the basic question, "what is the sense and significance of human life on earth?"
His conclusion, expressed in writing toward the end of his life, was that humanity does not exist for itself, but to supply
the planet, the moon, and the solar system with a particular gradation of energy which they need to thrive and grow. At times
he called this principle, "feeding the Moon," though it is not clear whether he meant this literally or merely as a handy
He believed that the entire universe is in some sense alive and in a process of continuously evolving (and if not evolving,
actively devolving). In what could be compared to a cosmic fractal, the universe is in a process of unfolding and giving birth
to itself, each birth at a new level mirroring in its unique way that of other levels (known nowadays as the principle of
self-similarity). In what Gurdjieff called "the ray of creation," "God" or the Absolute gives birth to universes; universes
give birth to stars, which give birth to planets, which give birth to organic life (viruses, bacteria, plants and animals)
and to moons. Eventually a planet may become a star, its moon may become a planet in its turn, and "give birth" to its own
moon, and so on, ad infinitum.
Just as all plants and animals need a variety of nutrients to exist, grow and reproduce, so our world and its siblings
need a very specialised type of substance to fuel their processes--their planetary metabolisms, if you will. Supposedly, this
special energetic substance can be produced only by human beings.
Gurdjieff's answer fits into what he called "the doctrine of reciprocal maintenance", the idea that every thing exists
only insofar as it supports or "feeds" something else. Everything is part of a vast, interconnected and mutually reinforcing
web of life. Or, "everything is something else's lunch," as ecologists like to say. This idea anticipated the science of ecology
by at least half a century.
Examples: Bees don't just exist for themselves, they live to pollinate flowers. Algae exists to turn sunlight into more
complex molecules, and feed other small creatures, such as plankton and krill. Krill feeds other slightly larger creatures,
and even whales. Plants exist to turn sunlight and raw matter into organic compounds, and to feed animals. Worms exist to
loosen soil for plants. Bacteria recycle waste into useable raw matter. Predators help to increase the strength and fitness
of the herds they prey on by eliminating the weak and sick. Etc. etc.
In the scheme of things, humanity's essential role is that of a transformer of energy.
Human beings, according to this view, exist to serve the cosmic evolutionary process--and not the opposite, as the Bible
would have it: that all of creation is merely a resource for us to use and abuse as we see fit.
Our possibilities as human beings are dependent on the degree to which we fulfil this function, a kind of "obligation"
which nature imposes on us.
* * *By Gurdjieff's view, this special energy could be produced two different ways: either involuntarily, at the moment
of death, when a small "packet" is released into the atmosphere, or voluntarily, in greater or lesser amounts, through spiritual
work.* * *
Since Mother Nature, or Gaia, needs a definite quota of this energy from us, she will do whatever is necessary to make
sure she gets it. If we don't provide the required intensities while alive, the total number of deaths will have to be increased
in such a proportion as to yield the needed amount.
Gurdjieff further believed that rather than progressing, the overall quality of human being (as opposed to externalizations
like technology, culture, institutions, etc.) has actually been deteriorating over the last umpteen thousands of years, especially
in "civilised" societies such as our own. He believed that in the very distant past, before the earliest recorded history,
human beings had a much greater presence and power; in a sense, they were bigger, spiritually and existentially, than the
vast majority of us today. He also believed that people once had a much greater life-span.
They were energy-pumps.
Gurdjieff had his speculations about what caused this decline in the quality of human being in the very remote past, perhaps
even before the destruction of Atlantis (his theory of the "kundabuffer," explored at length in All and Everything). The upshot,
though, is that humanity as a whole has "forgotten" how to perform its ecological function in the world--or simply no longer
has the necessary juice to do it, which pretty much amounts to the same thing.
So if this is in fact the case--that we human beings generally no longer have the knowledge or ability to "pump" this energy
intentionally--Gaia will be forced to increase the total quantity of human death to meet her needs.
This can be accomplished, of course, by 1) increasing the number of human births, and eventually deaths, and 2) by shortening
the life-span of existing individuals, or 3) a combination of the two. The net results: Population increase. . . disease,
Following this line of thinking, our increasing inability to properly transform and pump energy means that we have to be
treated... the same way we treat plants and animals, as something to be farmed, bred and harvested. Not a very dignified state
So as the qualitative level of human being goes down, the number of human beings, and thereby of human deaths, goes up
to account for the difference in energy. And of course, since organisms grow at different rates, with different energy requirements
depending on their activities, we can imagine that there might be major fluctuations in the needs for our energies.
The Terror of the Situation
This suggests a radical, and terrifying, view of contemporary history: that the population explosion, famines, plagues,
wars and massacres might not be due just to accidental or sociological and political causes but may be induced by the needs
of the solar "eco-system" as a whole, with human beings acting for the most part unwittingly to effectuate these needs.
Think about all the horror and insanity that has gone done in the twentieth century, even just in terms of cold numbers:
millions killed in World War One, hundreds of thousands wiped out in seconds at Hiroshima and Nagasake alone, millions massacred
one way or another in the Nazi concentration camps; supposedly as many as twenty million Russians dying in combat in World
War Two, not to mention another twenty million who died in the same period as a result of Stalinist persecution and forced
famine. Millions died in the Chinese civil war, six or seven million in Cambodia under Pol Pot. Don't even bother counting
all the famines in Africa and South East Asia over the last few decades.
Why the incredible surge of violent death all over the world, paralleled by an equally incredible population explosion?
What is up with those peculiar humanoid beings living on the surface of Sol-III?
I'm not going to try to argue the merits of this scheme against other theories. Just chew on it for a while and see how
And so the picture painted is one of a race of hapless, deluded slaves to some kind of a cosmic food-chain the existence
of which we don't even recognise. This is definitely insulting to all our best images of ourselves. But then how do we reconcile
all our great assets, our supposed free will, intelligence, and creativity with the dismal facts of what we've done to each
other for all of recorded history?
Are we really anything more than automatons most of the time?
Gurdjieff had what might seem to many a horribly bleak, cynical view:
that our ideas of free-will and individuality are a delusion, an image of our potential mistaken for a general fact of
our existence. Bluntly put, we are blind products of genetics, conditioning and external influence; on an energetic level,
we are next to nothing. We are less, in that sense, than most mammals even.
We have become experts at consuming energy and resources, parasites.
As a civilisation, we no longer transform energy into higher gradients and radiate it back out to the world, we just circulate
like little ants in our vast urban hives and manufacture stuff, endless quantities of stuff. We know how to suck energy, make
objects, and how to kill. Even if we're not killing each other off at a given moment, we're decimating untold numbers of living
beings without even being grateful for their existence.
Sure, for the most part we don't feel ourselves that way, but anybody who's tripped a few times in public places probably
had disturbing glimpses--at least--along these lines. We don't see other people--or ourselves--that way, because it's just
too hard a vision to live with.
The path of return
This perspective provides a definite way of understanding the connection between our amazingly (messed) up global situation
and "spirituality"--or the lack thereof. .
If it is true that we have been suffering a generalised decline over millennia, all our human institutions must participate
in and reflect that decline. So everything we associate with religion, in all its multifarious forms, would generally be a
product and mirror of a messed up situation; in other words, just another part of the (self deluding malaise).
At its best, the spiritual component of religious traditions points to a return to what should be our natural base-line
of being, something so distant we can barely remember or taste it except at moments of "peak experience," or with the help
of psychedelic drugs, or as a result of long, intensive discipline.
Our so-called "salvation" is really more a matter of somehow pulling ourselves back up out of a dysfunctional, disenabled,
alienated state to something like a natural way of being--not transcendence or cosmic consciousness or union with God.
We need to re-learn "how to be and to do."
According to Gurdjieff, the two key principles to following this "path of return," were intentional suffering and conscious
labour. Through engaging in intentional sufferings and conscious labours we begin again to release the kinds of energies we
were intended to give off.
Intentional suffering. Again, if it's true that we exist in a chronic low-energy state, one of inertia and stasis, it makes
sense that in order to get back to a point of being able to consciously transform energy we would need to somehow exercise
an enormous effort just to break out of our passivity. "Only super-efforts count." If you're physically weak from illness,
it usually takes an extra effort to get to the point of being able to exercise on a regular basis, to return to your previous
level of strength. Or as they say, no pain no gain.
This can apply on a lot of levels other than just the physical. Pain can take the form of a kind of moral or spiritual
suffering deriving from, say, breaking habits, or confronting bad traits in one's character, or doing exactly that which you
least like to do. Suffering in the form of sacrifice is necessary to be there for others, to truly love.
Conscious labour assumes that most of the "work" we do, of whatever nature, is not really conscious to begin with. We are
driven by culturally programmed priorities, survival, automatic emotional needs, obsession, neurosis, ego, (and genetics).
To work consciously assumes that one must first have become aware of how unconscious one is most of the time, of how automatic
most of how our thoughts, feelings, perceptions and actions really are.
To even get to this point itself requires a lot of intentional suffering, because what could make us suffer more than waking
up to how we really don't "own" ourselves?
(from essay writer - Jason Keehn)
(The following are excerpts from writings by Carlos Castaneda.
Mr. Castaneda is not a student in a Fourth Way School... His "teacher" may possibly be attempting to lead him to higher states
via a form of the third way... but neither the level nor the degree of correctness of his teacher is readily discernable.):
"The sorcerers of ancient Mexico ... did discover something transcendental. They discovered that we have
a companion for life," don Juan said. "We have an (invisible) predator that rules our lives. Human beings are its prisoners.
It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it
demands that we don't do so."
"Why has this predator taken over in this fashion, don Juan?" I asked. "There
must be a logical explanation."
"There is an explanation," don Juan replied, "which is the simplest explanation in
the world. They took over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. Just
as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops. Therefore, their food is always available to them."
"No, no, no, no," I heard myself saying. "This is absurd, don Juan. What you're saying is something monstrous. It
simply can't be true, for sorcerers or for average men, or for anyone."
"Why not?" don Juan asked calmly. "Why not?
Because it infuriates you."
"The only alternative left for mankind, " he continued, "is discipline.
Discipline is the only deterrent. But by discipline I don't mean harsh routines. I don't mean waking up every morning at five-thirty
and throwing cold water on yourself until you're blue. Sorcerers understand discipline as the capacity to face with serenity
odds that are not included in our expectations. For them, discipline is an art: the art of facing infinity without
flinching ... (and doing so) because they are filled with awe."
Morpheus: The Matrix
is everywhere. It's all around us; even in this very room . . . It's the world pulled over your eyes to blind you from truth.
Morpheus: Of that you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you are born into bondage; into a prison
which you cannot smell, taste, or touch: a prison for your mind.
(dialogue from film - The Matrix)
Edited Precis of KUNDABUFFER comments:
|In the Tales, Beelzebub explains the unfortunate events which happened on planet Earth–the
cosmic disruptions that led to the implanting and removal of the organ Kundabuffer–and how these events brought about
the degeneration of the human psyche:
“... when various consequences of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer had already begun to be crystallized
in their presences, a being impulse began to be formed in them which later became predominant.
impulse is now called ‘pleasure’; and in order to satisfy it they had already begun to exist in a way unbecoming
to three-centered beings, namely, most of them gradually began to remove this same sacred being-substance from themselves
only for the satisfaction of the said impulse. ... most of them ceased to utilize this sacred substance consciously for coating
their higher being-bodies ... .” (p. 276)