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LOOK for the 1950 edition of the book!! It is available here on http://www.scribd.com. Just search for "Beelzebub Tales 1950" FOR Further reading why the NEW edition is NOT recommended: Review from Amazon: ---------------------------------------------------------Be very careful! If you are looking for the original book created by G. I. Gurdi eff, this is not the "version" you want. This "revised edition" is the first, mo st likely of a series, sadly, of "interpretations" which will over time complete ly lose the meaning of the original. It is obvious to anyone who has seriously a ttempted to read the original 1950 English version that this "revised edition" i s filled with misinterpretations and unnecessary changes. (It seems to me that G urdjieff probably had a specific purpose in working toward an English publicatio n from the very beginning.) These changes range from a 'watering-down' to an out right alteration of the original meaning to something that ends up being contrar y to the intended purpose of the book, which no one, regardless of his or her 'c redentials' or nominal association with today's 'Gurdjieff groups,' fully unders tands except for Gurdjieff himself, and therefore no one has the authority to me ddle with or "revise" the book. For examples of just what kinds of changes have been made, as well as some other information and perspectives very relevant to this topic, search in google for "protest made in sorrow on the revision of beelzebub's tales." This is the most widely available version of the original text: Beelzebub's Tale s to His Grandson: All and Everything: 1st Series [BEELZEBUBS TALES TO HIS GRAND S] [Paperback] ----------------------------------------------------------
A Protest Made In Sorrow on the Revision of Beelzebub s Tales to His Grandson Subject: A Protest Part 1 Two Rivers Farm , Aurora, Oregon, February 1993 A Protest Made In Sorrow on the Revision of Beelzebub s Tales to His Grandson The following is a response to the recent publication of a revised version of Al l and Everything, First Series, or Beelzebub s Tales to His Grandson, by G.I.Gurdj ieff. This is made by a number of students of Gurdjieff s teaching, and is address ed to those believed to be responsible for the revised publication, but who rema in unidentified. While this response presents many questions about the revision that arise in the minds of serious students of Gurdjieff s teaching, it is in actu ality a protest, reflecting the dissent and dismay of those presented in the aut hentic text of his remarkable book. As such, this is written more in sorrow than in anger. Appended hereto are the signatures of a few of the students who suppo
rt this response, and join in expressing their objection to the adulteration of Gurdjieff s work. For more than 20 years now, we have applied a considerable amount of time, atten tion, and energy to the reading and study of Beelzebub s Tales To His Grandson (Bee lzebub s Tales) and listening to it being read aloud. Time and time again, we have drawn on Gurdjieff s writings for answers to questions regarding the Work, our ow n Work, and how to live a life in the Work. This Book, Beelzebub s Tales, especial ly has becomes for us a hearth of understanding and inspiration, and no matter h ow many times we have read it, always presents us with new insights. I hope very much that you will be kind enough to answer this letter or cause it to be answered. A.L.Staveley cc: Mr. William Caryl Dr. Bernard Courtenay-Mayers Mr. Thomas C. Daly Mrs.Margaret Flinsch Mrs. Norma Flynn Dr. Jacob Needleman Lady Pentland Mr. Paul Reynard Mrs. H.B.Ripman Mr. William Siegel Dr. William J. Welch Sincerely, 7 February 1999. Please take the time to read this.-justin Some corrections are made in blue Subject: A Protest Part 1 Two Rivers Farm , Aurora, Oregon, February 1993 A Protest Made In Sorrow on the Revision of Beelzebub s Tales to His Grandson The following is a response to the recent publication of a revised version of Al l and Everything, First Series, or Beelzebub s Tales to His Grandson, by G.I.Gurdj ieff. This is made by a number of students of Gurdjieff s teaching, and is address ed to those believed to be responsible for the revised publication, but who rema in unidentified. While this response presents many questions about the revision that arise in the minds of serious students of Gurdjieff s teaching, it is in actu ality a protest, reflecting the dissent and dismay of those presented in the aut hentic text of his remarkable book. As such, this is written more in sorrow than in anger. Appended hereto are the signatures of a few of the students who suppo rt this response, and join in expressing their objection to the adulteration of Gurdjieff s work. For more than 20 years now, we have applied a considerable amount of time, atten tion, and energy to the reading and study of Beelzebub s Tales To His Grandson (Bee lzebub s Tales) and listening to it being read aloud. Time and time again, we have drawn on Gurdjieff s writings for answers to questions regarding the Work, our ow n Work, and how to live a life in the Work. This Book, Beelzebub s Tales, especial ly has becomes for us a hearth of understanding and inspiration, and no matter h ow many times we have read it, always presents us with new insights. I hope very much that you will be kind enough to answer this letter or cause it to be answered.
A.L.Staveley cc: Mr. William Caryl Dr. Bernard Courtenay-Mayers Mr. Thomas C. Daly Mrs.Margaret Flinsch Mrs. Norma Flynn Dr. Jacob Needleman Lady Pentland Mr. Paul Reynard Mrs. H.B.Ripman Mr. William Siegel Dr. William J. Welch
Subject: A Protest Part II Two Rivers Farm 28066 S. Meridian Road, Aurora, Oregon 97002 February 5, 1993 Dr. Michel de Salzmann S.E.A.R.C.H. 5 rue de Commandant Mar Paris 75016 France Dear Dr. de Salzmann: I am sending this letter to you as I understand you are the titular head of the teachings of Gurdjieff in Europe and America possibly for the whole planet. If t his is a misunderstanding on my part, please forgive me. Copies of this letter w ill be sent to senior persons I know by name in various centers such as London, New York and San Francisco. This letter is a question and conveys a protest about the appearance in bookstor es of a revised version of Gurdjieff s Book, the legacy of his teaching, All and E verything, or, Beelzebub s Tales to His Grandson. I am led to believe that this re vision has been prepared and published as it were, officially, and under the auspices of responsible representatives of the way Gurdjieff s teaching goes into the world. However, there is no name, or names of such responsible ones on the p ublished edition, with the exception of Madame de Salzmann who, being deceased, cannot, therefore, have initiated the actual publication of this revision. Enclosed with this letter is a protest compiled by some of the students of Gurdj ieff s teaching in Oregon who have been working with the authentic original, appro ved by Gurdjieff himself. They have found it a scripture specially prepared for this time, containing as claimed All and Everything . It is exact and precise. Noth ing should be changed, nothing omitted. I am quite certain that there are many o thers who are shocked and outraged at the appearance of this book. In many place s alterations are made which even change the meaning of Gurdjieff s own writing. If the faceless, nameless ones who published the revision really wish to give th ose new to Gurdjieff s teaching a fair opportunity of comparing the revised with t he authentic edition, they should immediately authorize a reprint of the origina l authentic one perhaps reducing the price somewhat to make up for the new stude nts having to buy two books. Naturally, many concerns and questions come to mind when we now see in the book stores, for the first time since its original publication in 1950, a revised ver sion of Gurdjieff s written legacy of Work. We have read the dust jacket and enoug
h of the text to realize that changes have been made to virtually every sentence in the Book, and the text has been shortened by more than a hundred pages. Fran kly, this publication has left us baffled and confused and even a bit floundering , as Mullah Nassr Eddin says, like-a-puppy-who-has-fallen-into-a-deep-pond (pg. 165 ), as we try to fathom its purpose. For these reasons, we wish to share our ques tions and thoughts regarding this with you. We invite your response. Subject: A Protest Part III
To begin with the comment on the dust jacket that the authentic edition was appro ached with apprehension by readers, you should know that our experience in approac hing Beelzebub s Tales has not at all been one of apprehension or anxiety. It has been more like awe , or perhaps a feeling akin to fear as in the fear of God , but certa inly not apprehension, in its meaning of suspicion, or fear of future evil. On t he contrary, our experience is a feeling of joy in knowing that Gurdjieff s teachi ng is alive in that Book. It is really accurate to state that apprehension is what beginning readers have felt? Ofcourse, they may well feel a reluctance to ventu re into new territory on their own, without a competent guide who has the faith needed for the journey . We (and there are a large number of us) have pondered the aim of this revision, w hich you have formulated as: to clarify the verbal surface while respecting the a uthor s thought and style. What is meant by verbal surface ? What could the verbal surf ace be but words chosen by the author and arranged in the manner he selected, i.e . in his style ? Is not Gurdjieff s style inseparable from what you call the verbal su rface ? You refer to a new experience of Gurdjieff s masterpiece for a generation of readers . While we who have immersed ourselves in Gurdjieff s Beelzebub s Tales may now have the option of choosing whether or not to invest in this new experience, people fro m now on who are new to the Gurdjieff Work will not have this choice. The authen tic edition has not been published in hard bound copy for several years and even the paperback editions have become increasingly difficult to obtain. Your revis ed publication will in time become the only version of Beelzebub s Tales available and the new experience will become the only experience (until such time as it may a gain be revised to conform to the assumed inadequacies of future readers). What do you imagine this new experience could be? The promise of a new experience implies that the old experience is somehow lacking. In what way can you possibly see it a s deficient? Your jacket text refers to the Russian original of Beelzebub s Tales, and states that readers have recognized the need for a revised translation. Isn t it true, however, that the Russian original could only be the handwritten notes of Gurdjieff and of those who took down his original dictation, which have never been published and made available to readers? So, how is it that readers could question the transl ation without access to an original Russian text ? The original authentic text of B eelzebub s Tales, the one Gurdjieff labored so long to create, is the English text first published in 1950. The publisher of the revised version has informed us t hat the revised edition was prepared from a revision of the original English tex t only. If this is true, then why does the copyright page state that the revisio n was made by a group of translators ? What was being translated? Subject: A Protest IV The revised edition states that the translators were under the direction of Jeanne de Salzmann. Although Madame de Salzmann was a truly remarkable person, French w as her mother tongue, and she was not as expert as Orage in the use of the Engli sh language. It is difficult for us to understand how one could expect the new t
eam of revisers to be an improvement over the team of Gurdjieff, Orage, and the others chosen by Gurdjieff for this task. As stated in the Book itself, the auth entic original text was prepared under the personal direction of the author, by a group of translators chosen by (Gurdjieff) and specially trained according to t heir defined individualities, in conformity with the text to be translated and i n relation to the philological particularities of each language. (copyright page ) Orage, of course, had the primary responsibility for putting Beelzebub s Tales int o the English prose that corresponded to Gurdjieff s design. Orage held a special, if not uniquely high position in Gurdjieff s regard, and is the only person known to be referred to as his close friend . (Life Is Real Only Then, When I Am, pg. 15 4) As Orage labored to put Gurdjieff s manuscript into English, he was asked why h e did not do something about its grammar and punctuation (perhaps clarify the ver bal surface ?). Orage s answer has always been helpful and illuminating to us as we struggle with our own understanding of parts of the Book. He says: Some of you still criticize the faulty grammar and punctuation and ask why I do not do something about it .Gurdjieff is constantly re-writing and revising. (pg. 1 ) His (Gurdjieff s) task is to write the book, ours to make the effort to understand . The style and sense are Gurdjieff s. The surprising thing is that, in spite of t he difficulties of translation the sense and style come through so well. It can be said that in English, this being a more flexible language than French, it is possible to play with words, so that the English translation will have a quality of its own. (pg. 2) Gurdjieff will not use the language of the intelligentsia ide as in the book will not be presented in our habitual thought patterns. Our intel lectual life is based on chance associations which have become more or less fixe d. Only when these are broken up can we begin to think freely. Our associations are mechanical; a whole mood can be destroyed by the use of one word which has a different group of associations. (pg. 3) (A.R.Orage s Commentaries on All and Eve rything, Edited by C.S.Nott, pp. 1-3). It seems to us that many of the revisions do change the reader s mood, and in many cases the understanding as well. Even when we turn to Gurdjieff s first words in the Book, in Friendly Advice , we find that his experimental elucidations concerning the productivity of the perception by contemporary people of new impressions, ha ve become in the revised version, his research concerning the profit contemporary people can obtain from new impressions . Perhaps the reader does struggle, a litt le, with the authentic text, but as he is struggling, the reader might also be a sking himself what is an experimental elucidation ? or wondering at the thought of pe rceptions being productive . The new renderings of research and profit already have ver y well established groups of associations and are easily passed along by the rea der s habitual thought process, not requiring any questioning whatsoever. And so i t seems to go throughout the text, from the chapter titles to the last sentence of the book, substituting the familiar for the challenging.
Subject: A Protest
While we may not be certain just what the language of the intelligentsia actually i s, is it not likely to be found in the nature of the revisions you have made? Is n t Orage saying that the use of such language supports habitual thought patterns and gets in the way of the reader s ability to take in new ideas? Of course, Gurdj ieff says this in Chapter I, in explaining his refusal to employ the bon ton lite rary language used by patentedwriters . (Pg. 6) Here are just a very few examples of the alterations we have noticed in our enco unter with the new text, which we believe change the reader s mood or alter the aut hor s thought and style , instead of clarifying the verbal surface :
Authentic Version (A.V): any prayer may be heard by the Higher Powers and a corresponding answered obtaine d (Friendly Advice) Revised Version (R.V.): any prayer may be heard and granted by the Higher Powers A.V.: the trouble with you is (pg.6) R.V.: what will be troublesome for you (pg. 6) (pg. 78) (Friendly Advice)
A.V.: indispensably necessary that every day, at sunrise R.V.: indispensable when the sun rises (pg. 74) A.V.: my dear Captain R.V.: dear grandfather grandfather (pg. 72)
is wrong here (pg. 75) pg. 78)
A.V.: convince (with regard to unconscious parts R.V.: think and convince (pg. 74) A.V.: fulfill the good (pg. 78) R.V.: enjoy the good (pg. 74) A.V.: sympathetic (pg. 594) R.V.: amiable (pg. 545) A.V.: constated (pg. 596) R.V.: noticed (pg. 546) A.V.: human mentation (pg. 1193) R.V.: human thought (pg. 1093)
Throughout the text, nuances of meaning that have given Gurdjieff s writing a magi cal quality have been spoiled by the revisions. We have come to understand for ourselves that a very real aspect of Beelzebub s Ta les is not readily accessible to the formatory apparatus of the head-brain. Agai n and again, this can be seen whenever people obstinately go on trying to figure it out upon encountering the unfamiliar word or locution. On the other hand, when we simply listen to it being read relaxed, attentive, and open like a child some thing real is definitely received. We have experienced a broadening of our unders tanding, little by little, to encompass a knowing that is found in feeling as we ll as in thought. This experience is reflected by Louise Welch in Orage With Gurd jieff In America : Beelzebub s Tales produced a powerful effect, but that is not to say it was readily grasped. There were layers of meaning that people were touched by, but could not in any way formulat e Could one listen, as Orage advised, without giving way to constant verbal associations and unrelated imagery? Much of the narrative was addressed to different levels of perception in people (Gurdjieff h ad said seven). The task was to respond with the whole of one s mind, and not just with what Gurdjieff call ed the formatory apparatus , that part of the brain which was busy classifying ideas and objects, p utting them into pigeon holes, and thereafter returning mechanically to them as statements of truth. Thi s was all before the days of the computer, but his description of the conclusions of the formatory apparatus bears a close resemblance
to computerized thought. (pg. 47) "
Subject: A Protest VI Isn t it probable that Gurdjieff worked so diligently on the text, rewriting time a nd time again, trying it out on all kinds of people, so as to find the exact wor ds and mode of expression that would direct his message to the deepest, most ess ential part of his readers, rather than just to the head brain? Consider what Gu rdjieff himself tells the reader in Chapter I: I wish to bring to the knowledge of what is called your pure waking consciousness th e fact that in the writing following this chapter of warning I shall expound my thoughts intent ionally in such sequence and with such logical confrontation , that the essence of certain real notions may of t hemselves automatically, so to say, go from this waking consciousness which most people in their ignorance mistake for real consciousness, but which I affirm and experimentally prove is the fictitious one into what you call the subconscious, which ought to be in my opinion the real human consciousness, and thereby themselves mechanically bring about that transformation which should in general proceed in the entirety of a man and give him, from his own conscious mentation, the results he ought to have, which are proper to man and not merely to single- or double-brained animals. I decided to do this without fail so that this initial chapter of mine, predeterm ined as I have already said to awaken your consciousness, should fully justify i ts purpose, and reaching not only your, in my opinion, as yet only fictitious con sciousness , but also your real consciousness, that is to say, what you call your subconscious, might, for the first time, compel you to reflect actively. (Pages 2 4-25) Now, if one really wished to understand what is being said here, and allowed Gur djieff s words to penetrate to a deeper part of oneself, then perhaps one would se e there is no need to change a single word and ANY change could prevent the very result Gurdjieff intended. This is especially so in light of Gurdjieff s statemen t that our fictitious consciousness is formed from mechanical impressions, includi ng the consonances of various words which are indeed empty (pg. 25). Certainly Gurdjieff and Orage and the others who stewarded the Book to publicati on could have prepared a text much in the manner of this revision, had Gurdjieff so wished. How can anyone not agree with J.G.Bennett in his Talks on Beelzebub s T ales that This is not the work of an amateur first trying his hand at literary com position It is written as, after long deliberation, he wished it to be written. ? (p g. 10) Don t you think Gurdjieff had good reason to present his ideas in just the manner of expression he chose? The revisions appear to have been made for the purpose of creating a text that i s more grammatical, up to date, and presumably easier and more comfortable to read . Was it your intention to facilitate the reader s understanding of Gurdjieff s teac hing? However, isn t this contrary to Gurdjieff s way as expressed by Bennett, who s ays: GURDJIEFF S METHODS ARE DIRECTLY OPPOSED to all our comfortable habits he never made anything easy On the contrary, he made the approach to his ideas difficult, both
intellectually and emotionally . (Talks on Beelzebub s Tales, pg. 9) Or as Louise Welch states: Gurdjieff made a vital distinction between knowledge and information . For knowledge to be rightly transmitted, and properly received, a sp ecial effort was required to read and inwardly digest. Gurdjieff held that knowl edge, like all else on this planet, was material, was food and had to be properl y ingested and absorbed. And, since the way in which knowledge entered the psych e was of primary importance, it was necessary for him to write so that the very structure of the material would refuse to allow the reader easy possession of it s substance The digging that the reader must undertake to reach any understanding wa s essential. In fact, as Orage discovered, when an idea appeared to be too easil y grasped, Gurdjieff s instructions to him were to bury the bone deeper. (Orage wit h Gurdjieff in America, Pages 44-45) In Chapter I, Gurdjieff tells the reader that he chose not to write as others do because (for one reason) the reader is not accustomed to making any individual e ffort whatsoever . (pages 6-7)
Subject: A Protest VII Consider also the observations of Bennett regarding changes Gurdjieff made in the manuscript edition of Beelzebub s Tales. He says: Why should Gurdjieff have made a chapter that was already difficult even harder, if indeed the intention was that Beelzebub s Tales should be a means of bringing t he ideas to the notice of the general public? Only someone familiar with his ide as, and prepared to devote a lot of time and hard study to the chapter could mak e anything of it. Gurdjieff has shown in his Meetings with Remarkable Men that h e could tell stories in simple language, without confronting the reader with any linguistic problems. We also know that he spent no fewer than seven years in th e writing of Beelzebub as he himself says, sparing himself neither day nor night , constantly writing and rewriting. Therefore, we must assume that the writing o f Beelzebub was in the form which he intended, and that the alterations were del iberate, in spite of making the ideas less accessible to the unprepared reader. ( Gurdjieff: Making a New World, pages 176-177) The Christian ideal , it is said, has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried. (G.K.Chesterton) Is it to be the same with Gurd jieff s teaching in Beelzebub s Tales? Gurdjieff has been quoted as saying that after he dies, people who follow his id eas will tend to become organized in a kind of orthodox establishment, become co nservative, publish authorized editions of his words, and try to forget or at leas t ignore his outrageous side. One of our favorite bits of Gurdjieff s masterful and unforgettable use of the une xpected is his youthful dancing around his grandmother s grave and singing: Let her with the saints repose, Now that s she s turned up her toes, Oi! Oi! Oi! Let her with the saints repose, Now that she s turned up her toes. (pg. 29) The revision of the verse to, Let her with the saints repose She was a rare one, goodness knows! (pg. 27)
certainly presents a more orthodox and less outrageous picture of the young Gurd jieff. It also produces a very different mood and emotional response in the read er, goodness knows! Aren t you worried, even a little, that Gurdjieff s grandmother, whose dying words to him were never do as others do , might learn of her eldest gr andson s revised verse and fulfill his fears by turning in her grave like an Irish weathercock ? (pg. 41) This is one of the more shocking changes made in Chapter I, but many other revis ions in this chapter are just as bewildering. For example, why was it felt neces sary to change ever so slightly the opening prayer from In the name of the Father and of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost. Amen. to, In the name of the Fa ther and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen ? (pg. 3) Why was the chant of so a nd so and so you must, do not eat until you bust (pg. 30) changed to enough is eno ugh, you don t need to stuff ? (pg. 27), or the famous Georgian song, little did we t ipple (pg. 46) to Drink up again, boys ? (pg. 42) Even the author s exclamation near t he end of the chapter, Stop! Misunderstanding Formation! (pg. 50) has been altered ; now, by the end of the first chapter of revised text, the revisers have Gurdji eff exclaiming Stop! Misconceived formulation! (pg. 46) We cannot help but wonder whether this new injunction may be addressed to the revisers themselves as they attempt the reformulation of Gurdjieff s thoughts.
Subject: A Protest VIII Throughout the whole of Chapter I, The Arousing of Thought , Gurdjieff, in the authe ntic text, makes masterful use of his precise and unique style of expression to instill gradually and subtly sympathetic feelings in the reader, feelings that ser ve to open the readers heart and mind to all that follows in that magnificent Bo ok. According to Bennett, Gurdjieff: gave more time and care to the composition of The Arousing of Thought than to anythi ng else he wrote. His translators assert that it was completely rewritten at least seven ti mes, and read in his presence innumerable times to old and new pupils and friends, to chance acquaintances and even to complete strangers. Gurdjieff could be in no doubt about the hostility it would provoke; offending, as it does, every canon of literary and personal taste (Talks on Beelzebub s Tales, pages 9-10) Have you fully considered that for every word or phrase that is changed or improv ed upon , that there is also the risk of altering the subtle impact of this remark able opening, and its consequent results in the reader for the whole of the Book . As Bennett adds, The Arousing of Thought is not an isolated phenomenon, but a cha racteristic specimen of Gurdjieff s teaching. Does not the potential risk to the re ader therefore extend beyond this writing to the whole of Gurdjieff s Teaching and Work? In The First Visit of Beelzebub to India , Gurdjieff describes how easily a teachin g can be lost. Through Saint Buddha, he says that owing to the maleficent particu larity of our psyche called Wiseacring , we gradually change the teaching of Sacred In dividuals until the whole of it is finally completely destroyed . (pg. 238) Saint B uddha s teaching itself did not escape this fate. Gurdjieff may have been giving u s a warning about his own teaching when Beelzebub tells us, the first succeeding g eneration of the contemporaries of this genuine Messenger from Above also began to wiseacre with all His indications and counsels until nothing was left but Only-info rmation-about-its-specific-smell. (pages 239-240) He states further: LITTLE BY LITTLE they so changed these indications and counsels of His that if th eir Saintly Author Himself should chance to appear there and for some reason or
other should wish to make Himself acquainted with them, He would not be able to even suspect that these indications and counsels were made by Him Himself This al ready long established practice there consists in this, that a SMALL, SOMETIMES AN ALMOST TRIFLING, CAUSE is enough to bring about a change for the worse or eve n the complete destruction of [objective good]. (pg. 240) (Emphasis added.) Not only did Gurdjieff predict that his followers would sanitize his writings, b ut he also, in Life Is Real Only Then, When I Am (Third Series), refers to the fact that today, enemies with an unusual inner attitude toward me are multiplying in great numbers He explains this unusual inner attitude as follows: There is not, so to speak, a single one of my sworn enemies who, in one or another of his ordinary states, would not be ready to sell his soul for me . (pg. 174) While this appears to be absurd, he explains, it is nevertheless an irrefutable fact that can be demonstra ted at will . He says, The more someone has direct relations with me, the more stre ngth he shows later in the diametrically opposed actions that he manifests towar ds me. (pg. 175) Is it not possible, therefore, that even action taken by those w ho have felt closest and most intimately connected to Gurdjieff could manifest i n a way that is diametrically opposed to Gurdjieff s aim?
Subject: A Protest IX Gurdjieff is not saying that these enemies act consciously against him, but accordi ng to lawful scientific principles. How well one knows that actions can produce the opposite of the results intended, even when carried out with the best of int entions. In this case, action taken with the apparent intent to propagate the Te aching, perhaps is instead actually the beginning of its deterioration. As Beelz ebub s highly esteemed teacher, Mullah Nassr Eddin, says: Isn t it all one to the poo r flies how they are killed? By the kick of the hooves of horned devils, or by a stroke of the beautiful wings of divine angels? (pg. 1086) Gurdjieff literally put all and everything into this Book. As Gurdjieff himself said, he did not have the slightest wish to write, but circumstances quite indep endent of him constrained him to do so. He had already been not only through the mill but through all the grindstones as well. (pg. 18) He began writing when he r ealized there no longer was time to disseminate his teaching by way of direct co ntact alone. He was in his last stages of life, had never before written for pub lication and was to receive neither fame nor riches for his efforts. Yet he bega n writing only a few months after his near fatal automobile crash, which he surv ived against all medical expectations. For a period of twenty-five years, Beelze bub s Tales took on its form and content, until the printer s proofs set for publica tion were at last delivered to Gurdjieff. Having received confirmation that his life s work was to endure in at least this written form, Gurdjieff died eight days later.
His Book has been referred to as his Magnum Opus , the divine glorification of his life s work, a flying cathedral of a book, and an objective work of art . It is a book o ly in the sense the Bible is a book a scripture. Gurdjieff perhaps saw the entir e Book as one magnificent prayer, for he advises that it be read thrice, because , any prayer may be heard by Higher Powers and a corresponding answer obtained on ly if it is uttered thrice , first for one s parents, then for one s neighbor, and las tly for oneself. Gurdjieff s writing of this Book is a demonstration of the truth that real Work, like prayer, is to be invoked for the benefit of others. Beelzeb ub s Tales is written to and for the Grandson, for the benefit of the reader and t hose to come after. In this Book, Gurdjieff has sown the seeds of an authentic t eaching of immeasurable welfare for mankind. Whether or not Gurdjieff s labors wil l grow to harvest now depends on us, the readers, and whether we make use of the teaching as he presented it. Gurdjieff expressed a very strong hope and wish fo r the reader of Beelzebub s Tales, in his words, a hope that according to your unde
rstanding you will obtain the specific benefit for yourself which I anticipate, and which I wish for you with all my being. Such a powerful wish from Gurdjieff, a wish made with all his being, can be received only with complete humility and the recognition that the fulfillment of Gurdjieff s wish must come through the und erstanding and efforts of the reader. In writing Beelzebub s Tales as he did, Gurd jieff left us a living legacy of hope, the Hope of Consciousness, which is stren gth. Our wish is that it continue to be a real source of strength to learners an d strivers everywhere. (End)
Beelzebub sTales To His Grandson: original english version earlier transcript version revised de Salzmann version ^^^^ You can find all three versions here on scribd.com!
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