The movements are placed within the context of a larger philosophical ideology …The Fourth Way… which is the way of the Sufi… Watch this short interview with Akash RIP , founder of Akhaldans as she explains about the approach and the retreat. This is harmonious development. Also, in contrast with the traditional ways, the fourth does not require separation from conditions of ordinary life. Waking up involves "remembering ourselves. At the same time, to escape from prison, work with others of like mind is essential…which is why we work together, in groups.
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Western society was in visible dissolution, every headline ominous. He himself seldom spoke of outer-world affairs. It is not relevant to this personal memoir nor would it be within my competence to describe the Gurdjieff exercises for beginners.
Not with the mind but with the feeling. Only faithful hard work on ourselves would get us where he wanted us to go, not our wishing. For a young person, Nature will help in the effort to do, so that person will not have to struggle as will a person of responsible age. We knew, I believe, even from the first day what that invisible bond portended. Or, it was a Rope from which, with sloth and lip service, we could very well hang ourselves. We always arrived punctually, dropped coats in the hallway, took our places in the small salon and read from his manuscript while he interviewed us singly, in a room apart, about progress with the exercises.
My reports often faltered under his comprehensive glance which read my state of self-disgust while I was still hunting words short, simple and rooted in truth to describe it. It was as if he had implied that he too was tied to our earthbound Rope, striving with us step by tottering step toward the higher consciousness he already possessed to a degree that even my eyes could perceive.
Another day he used the first person plural while telling about a worldly problem that confronted him. We were aware how often his seemingly jocose remarks lifted suddenly to another level of understanding and listened attentively to his tale of a brand new car he might be able to get with no down payment whatsoever—a deal so unique that he thought he should have some help to see it through.
He asked if any of us had a special saint to whom he might burn a candle, looking first to Miss Gordon, our senior, for a suggestion.
She named a saint noted for granting requests, but the master shook his head. He knew all about that one. But he is a very expensive saint. He is not interested in money, or in merchandise like candles. He wishes suffering for merchandise, an inner-world thing. He is interested only when I make something for my inner world; he always knows. We knew through dismaying experience. Flashes white-hot and blinding, like lightning, that left you shaking in the dark afterwards, glad they were over.
I believe that Gurdjieff, out of his own powerhouse of consciously accumulated force, must often have fed us some sort of strength that helped sustain us in our first attempts. One—the outer world, world of impressions, of everything that happens outside us; two—the inner world of the functioning of all our organs, the totality of organic functioning; and three—the Soul, that is the world of the Soul which was called by the ancients the World of Man.
He had driven to Rouen that day, making the one hundred sixty-eight-mile round trip in his customary record time.
He had consummated a successful business transaction which put off for one week a certain financial reckoning. Not even God gives this possibility for contact between inner- and outer-world struggles; not even your heredity.
Only one thing—you must make intentional contact between outer-world struggle and inner-world struggle; only then can you make data for the Third World of Man, sometimes called World of the Soul. The new work was complex and required a sustained inner attention beyond anything ever before attempted.
A work on the self that now went beyond the self. Gurdjieff had given us a pledge to say each time before beginning the new exercise—that we would not use this for the self, but for all humanity. For the first time in my life, I felt that I was truly doing something for humanity as I strove to make my own molecule of it more perfect.
The meaning of this Work, which at first had seemed quite egotistical and self-centered, suddenly blossomed out like a tree of life encompassing in its myriad branchings the entire human family. The implications of it were staggering. By my single efforts toward Being, I could help sleeping humanity one hairsbreadth nearer to God.
I believed this. The second edition with variant title, Undiscovered Country: The Search for Gurdjieff, Lexington, Kentucky: Natural Bridge Editions, , is still available and can be acquired directly from the publisher at , or email: peholbr yahoo.
An Inner-World Journey
Who inhabits this body of flesh and bones? Is there someone home? What immensity does exist within the limitations of the body? How to live more passionately the inner fire?
The Inner Journey: Views from the Gurdjieff Work (PARABOLA Anthology Series)