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Ask Yourself

(From Gurdjieff's "Views from the Real World," pp. 56-59)

The more a man studies the obstacles and deceptions which lie in wait for him at every step
in this realm, the more convinced he becomes that it is impossible to travel the path of self-
development on the chance instructions of chance people, or the kind of information culled
from reading and casual talk.

At the same time he gradually sees more clearly--first a feeble glimmer, then the clear light
of truth which has illumined mankind throughout the ages. The beginnings of initiation are
lost in the darkness of time, where the long chain of epochs unfolds. Great cultures and
civilizations loom up, dimly arising from cults and mysteries, ever changing, disappearing
and reappearing.

The Great Knowledge is handed on in succession from age to age, from people to people,
from race to race. The great centers of initiation in India, Assyria, Egypt, Greece, illumine
the world with a bright light. The revered names of the great initiates, the living bearers of
the truth, are handed on reverently from generation to generation. Truth is fixed by means
of symbolical writings and legends and is transmitted to the mass of people for preservation
in the form of customs and ceremonies, in oral traditions, in memorials, in sacred art
through the invisible quality in dance, music, sculpture and various rituals. It is
communicated openly after a definite trial to those who seek it and is preserved by oral
transmission in the chain of those who know. After a certain time has elapsed, the centers of
initiation die out one after another, and the ancient knowledge departs through
underground channels into the deep, hiding from the eyes of the seekers.

The bearers of this knowledge also hide, becoming unknown to those around them, but they
do not cease to exist. From time to time separate streams break through to the surface,
showing that somewhere deep down in the interior, even in our day, there flows the
powerful ancient stream of true knowledge of being.

To break through to this stream, to find it--this is the task and the aim of the search; for,
having found it, a man can entrust himself boldly to the way by which he intends to go; then
there only remains "to know" in order "to be" and 'to do." On this way a man will not be
entirely alone; at difficult moments he will receive support and guidance, for all who follow
this way are connected by an uninterrupted chain.

Perhaps the only positive result of all wanderings in the winding paths and tracks of occult
research will be that, if a man preserves the capacity for sound judgment and thought, he
will evolve that special faculty of discrimination which can be called flair. He will discard the
ways of psychopathy and error and will persistently search for true ways. And here, as in
self-knowledge, the principle which I have already quoted holds good: "In order to do, it is
necessary to know; but in order to know, it is necessary to find out how to know."

To a man who is searching with all his being, with all his inner self, comes the unfailing
conviction that to find out how to know in order to do is possible only by finding a guide with
experience and knowledge, who will take on his spiritual guidance and become his teacher.

And it is here that a man's flair is more important than anywhere else. He chooses a guide
for himself. It is of course an indispensable condition that he choose as a guide a man who
knows, or else all meaning of choice is lost. Who can tell where a guide who does not know
may lead a man?

Every seeker dreams of a guide who knows, dreams about him but seldom asks himself
objectively and sincerely--is he worthy of being guided? Is he ready to follow the way?

Go out one clear starlit night to some open space and look up at the sky, at those millions of
worlds over your head. Remember that perhaps on each one of them swarm billions of
beings, similar to you or perhaps superior to you in their organization. Look at the Milky Way.
The earth cannot even be called a grain of sand in this infinity. It dissolves and vanishes,
and with it, you. Where are you? And is what you want simply madness?

Before all these worlds ask yourself what are your aims and hopes, your intentions and
means of fulfilling them, the demands that may be made upon you and your preparedness
to meet them.

A long and difficult journey is before you; you are preparing for a strange and unknown land.
The way is infinitely long. You do not know if rest will be possible on the way nor where it will
be possible. You should be prepared for the worst. Take all the necessities for the journey
with you.

Try to forget nothing, for afterwards it will be too late and there will be no time to go back
for what has been forgotten, to rectify the mistake. Weigh up your strength. Is it sufficient
for the whole journey? How soon can you start?

Remember that if you spend longer on the way you will need to carry proportionately more
supplies, and this will delay you further both on the way and in your preparations for it. Yet
every minute is precious. Once having decided to go, there is no use wasting time.

Do not reckon on trying to come back. This experiment may cost you very dear. The guide
undertakes only to take you there and, if you wish to turn back, he is not obliged to return
with you. You will be left to yourself, and woe to you if you weaken or forget the way--you
will never get back. And even if you remember the way, the question still remains--will you
return safe and sound? For many unpleasantnesses await the lonely traveler who is not
familiar with the way and the customs which prevail there. Bear in mind that your sight has
the property of presenting distant objects as though they were near. Beguiled by the
nearness of the aim toward which you strive, blinded by its beauty and ignorant of the
measure of your own strength, you will not notice the obstacles on the way; you will not see
the numerous ditches across the path. In a green meadow covered with luxuriant flowers, in
the thick grass, a deep precipice is hidden. It is very easy to stumble and fall over it if your
eyes are not concentrated on the step you are taking.

Do not forget to concentrate all your attention on the nearest sector of the way--do not
concern yourself about far aims if you do not wish to fall over the precipice.

Yet do not forget your aim. Remember it the whole time and keep up in yourself an active
endeavor toward it, so as not to lose the right direction. And once you have started, be
observant; what you have passed through remains behind and will not appear again; so if
you fail to notice it at the time, you never will notice it.

Do not be overcurious nor waste time on things that attract your attention but are not worth
it. Time is precious and should not be wasted on things which have no direct relation to your

Remember where you are and why you are here.

Do not protect yourselves and remember that no effort is made in vain.

And now you can set out on the way.

(From Nicoll's Commentaries, pp 1252 and 809)

We are taught to practise relaxation. In some situations it is the only thing we can practise--
just to relax and not think. Begin with the small muscles of the face. Yes-- but to relax the
muscles of the face it is necessary to become conscious that they are tightened or
contracted. A muscle can tighten without visibly contracting. It can be in a state of
heightened tone which is unnecessary and wastes force. When a person is said to be "keyed
up" or some similar phrase, if you examine him, you may find all his reflexes over-brisk,
which may mean over-tone in the muscles which are being kept on the stretch unnecessarily
and so are wasting force. I will not argue about this point....

To return: as we are, directed attention practised, say, for five minutes, by putting
consciousness into every part of the body, beginning with the face-muscles, will give
definite results at any moment when it is done in order to prevent some difficult period of
being identified. Directing one's attention to the Intellectual or Emotional Centre
demands internal attention. Internal attention begins with self-observation. Putting
consciousness into the muscle-tension of the body is both internal and external attention.
Begin by trying, say, to put your consciousness into your right thumb--then shift it to your

Try therefore to study relaxation when you can. Notice how your face-muscles are
contracted and try by putting your internal attention into the face-muscles to relax them. I
advise you to begin with the muscles round about your eyes and then the muscles round
about your nose (those muscles which sneer so easily) and then the small muscles all round
your mouth and your cheeks; and then put your internal attention into those muscles which
are just under the chin and in the front of the neck and then go round the back of your head
and relax those muscles that make you stiff-necked, and then into the bigger muscles round
your shoulders and gradually descend through internal attention right down to your toes. Of
course this takes a long time but it is a very good thing to try to do. I have left out the
muscles of the hands. I should have said: Pass from the shoulders down the arms to the
hands and begin with the wrist-muscles. Put your internal attention into your wrist-muscles
so that your wrists are quite flexible, quite dropped down, and then try to go into the small
muscles of the fingers and relax them. Everyone in going through the muscular tensions in
their bodies in this way will get to know for themselves certain groups of muscles which are
not ordinarily relax properly. remember above all that you cannot relax just by saying to
yourself: "Relax." It is an actual exercise of internal attention. It is a directed effort that has
to be made comparatively consciously and even if you do it only once a week you will get

Often people are kept awake at night because of a certain group of muscles being in a
these state. They may observe their Emotional Centre and their Intellectual Centre and try
to relax--i.e. not identify with these two centres--but they do not observe through internal
attention the muscular contractions that exist in their body. Now this paper is about
muscular relaxation. It is about relaxing the Moving Centre. I will remind you again that the

Work says that every centre can hypnotize another centre. In the case of Moving Centre this
means that certain typical postures and typical expressions induce in you typical emotions
and typical thoughts. For example, a hurried person, who cannot stop rushing about, is a
person who has a Moving Centre that assumes certain positions or postures, or rather, in
this case, certain movements, which belong to the same idea, and therefore is always
hypnotized by Moving Centre assuming these postures and movements. These hurried
movements would induce hurried and anxious emotions and hurried and anxious thoughts.
This is where illness sometimes is so good. I can only say that I have noticed it in myself
very often. Illness quiets Moving Centre and so often does a great deal of good by relaxing
us. Perhaps some of you have noticed the same thing. I may not be emotionally anxious or
have any reason to be, but if I am accustomed to make hurried movements and apparently
never have time for anything, my Moving Centre will hypnotize my Emotional Centre into
feeling anxiety and being harassed. Of course we must not think for a moment that we are
all going to begin to walk about majestically and slowly just to shew off how we are relaxed.
One has to be really relaxed through internal attention when one wishes to be and when one
feels one needs to be relaxed. If you will start with the small muscles of your face and do
this exercise quite sincerely you will be very surprised to find out how very often rather
difficult and worrying thoughts completely cease. For example, stop frowning for a short
time, I mean, don't just stop frowning because you are told not to frown but through internal
attention really go into the muscles that are frowning, and lo and behold, all your frowning
thoughts will disappear. This means that they are kept going by the posture of your face.
Again, people who stick out their jaws and clench their fists find that it is quite remarkable if
they can cease to do this--they feel quite alien from themselves. But, since we all wish to
remain mechanical and do not wish to change at all, I fancy that these people will very soon
stick out their jaws and clench their fists and make chests as before.

Now in discussing this paper please remember that we start in the Work with relaxing the
muscles of the face and this takes a lot of practice in putting the consciousness into these
muscles and relaxing them one by one, and remember especially the small skin-muscles
just underneath the chin and the muscles at the back of the neck. In my personal
experience I have found that relaxing the wrist-muscles when I have no time to do anything
else is extremely useful. Let your hands drop because the hands so easily express violence.

(G, as quoted in Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous," p. 203)

"It is impossible to recognize a wrong way without knowing the right way. This means that it
is of no use troubling oneself how to recognize a wrong way. One must think of how to find
the right way. This is what we are speaking about all the time. It cannot be said in two
words. But from what I have said you can draw many useful conclusions if you remember
everything that has been said and everything that follows from it. For example, you can see
that the teacher always corresponds to the level of the pupil. The higher the pupil, the
higher can be the teacher. But a pupil of a level which is not particularly high cannot count
on a teacher of a very high level. Actually a pupil can never see the level of the teacher. This
is a law. No one can see higher than his own level. But usually people not only do not know
this, but, on the contrary, the lower they are themselves, the higher the teacher they
demand. The right understanding of this point is already a very considerable understanding.
But it occurs very seldom. Usually the man himself is not worth a brass farthing but he must
have a teacher no other than Jesus Christ. To less he will not agree. And it never enters his
head that even if he were to meet such a teacher as Jesus Christ, taking him as he is
described in the Gospels, he would never be able to follow him because it would be
necessary to be on the level of an apostle in order to be a pupil of Jesus Christ. Here is a
definite law. The higher the teacher, the more difficult for the pupil. And if the difference in
the levels of the teacher and pupil go beyond a certain limit, then the difficulties in the path

of the pupil become insuperable. It is exactly in connection with this law that there occurs
one of the fundamental rules of the fourth way. On the fourth way there is not one teacher.
Whoever is the elder, he is the teacher. And as the teacher is indispensable to the pupil, so
also is the pupil indispensable to the teacher. The pupil cannot go on without the teacher,
and the teacher cannot go on without the pupil or pupils. And this is not a general
consideration but an indispensable and quite concrete rule on which is based the law of a
man's ascending. As has been said before, no one can ascend onto a higher step until he
places another man in his own place. What a man is received he must immediately give
back; only then can he receive more. Otherwise from him will be taken even what he has
already been given."

(G, as quoted in Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous," p. 294)

"Speaking in general it must be understood that the enneagram is a universal symbol. All
knowledge can be included in the enneagram and with the help of the enneagram it can be
interpreted. And in this connection only what a man is able to put into the enneagram does
he actually know, that is, understand. What he cannot put into the enneagram he does not
understand. For the man who is able to make use of it, the enneagram makes books and
libraries entirely unnecessary. Everything can be included and read in the enneagram. A
man may be quite alone in the desert and he can trace the enneagram in the sand and in it
read the eternal laws of the universe. And every time he can learn something new,
something he did not know before.

"If two men who have been in different schools meet, they will draw the enneagram and
with its help they will be able at once to establish which of them knows more and which,
consequently, stands upon which step, that is to say, which is the elder, which is the
teacher and which the pupil. The enneagram is the fundamental hieroglyph of a universal
language which has as many different meanings as there are levels of men."

Limit Of Consciousness
(From Ouspensky's "Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution," pp. 19-20)

I shall try to explain how consciousness can be studied. Take a watch and look at the second
hand, trying to be aware of yourself, and concentrating on the thought, "I am Peter
Ouspensky," "I am now here." Try not to think about anything else, simply follow the
movements of the second hand and be aware of yourself, your name, your existence, and
the place where you are. Keep all other thoughts away.

You will, if you are persistent, be able to do this for two minutes. This is the limit of your
consciousness. And if you try to repeat the experiment soon after, you will find it more
difficult than the first time.

This experiment shows that a man, in his natural state, can with great effort be conscious
of one subject (himself) for two minutes or less.

The most important deduction one can make after making this experiment in the right way
is that man is not conscious of himself. The illusion of his being conscious of himself is
created by memory and thought processes.

This Work is to pull a person together. Your relationship to the Work is an internal matter that lies between you and the Work right down. So do not complain too easily. a person may ask. It is actually the first step in the Work. One Thing You Can Do (from Nicoll's “Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. He can let the whole of the Work discharge itself into small 'I's. and so on. and if in spite of all the failures this valuation persists. The Work must be practised. There is one thing that you are told you can do in regard to yourself and that is that you can observe yourself. must I do? The answer is that you must begin to follow as sincerely as you can all the practical things that the Work tells you to observe and separate from. deep inside you. He can connect the Work with some feature in himself and turn it into a source of perplexity and worry.” pp. But it is necessary to keep the Work. that you can observe when you are justifying yourself. you are taught first of all to observe yourself. The intelligent scrutiny of oneself. that you can observe when you are internally considering. the practice of a directed noticing of oneself. and patience is the Mother of Will. as it were. the application of non-identifying with certain states of oneself. A great deal of patience is necessary. that you can observe the working of different centres and that you can observe different 'I's in yourself. It is quite useless to shrug one's shoulders mentally speaking and again it is quite useless to think that one should understand the Work after a few years' casual practicing of it. inviolate. then a centre of gravity will be formed. where he is saying things mechanically that should belong to self- observation. If there is valuation and if in spite of all difficulties we can feel that here is something that can eventually lead us away from our present states. that you can observe when you are identifying. as something utterly pure that cannot be contradicted and which at the same time is telling one something if one will only listen to what it is saying. he must try to let light into himself in order to see what is going on in him and so where he is going in himself. For this reason. 369-370) One of the objects of self-observation is actually to observe something. and when this is so it is a very blessed condition. So do not have too short a view. and then to observe yourself from certain well-defined angles. and to make him have a more distinct relationship to all that goes on inside him. remembering that certain 'I's weaken oneself and undermine everything one does--all this is being led by the Work. What then. We find ourselves in a crowd of people within us and some of them say one thing and some say another. Also he must observe where he is talking wrongly. But it is important how one treats the Work. a point in the Work will be established. it takes a very long time to learn anything in a real way in life. he must steady himself. If you never call upon the Work to help you it will not be able to help you. All this is . In every wrong state it is absolutely necessary to review oneself from what the Work teaches and try to see where one is. as you all know. that you can observe when you are negative. A man can treat the Work in a thousand different ways. It can produce very great tensions within one. if one will only relate oneself to what it is teaching. You remember how often it was said that if you wish to learn Chinese thoroughly it will take you all your life. the first step to realization. but there is a right way of saying this and a wrong way. to brace him. It is quite easy to say that one does not understand the Work. Now I must say here that to take the Work-phrase "Man cannot do" in such a way that one makes no effort is a very good example of chaotic thinking in the Work. where he is complaining and not working. Its object is to do so. A person can talk as much as he likes about his difficulties with the Work. because. Do not think that when you begin to observe yourself and find a chaos within you you need be pessimistic. A man must get hold of himself.

again not on moral grounds. We are like people standing in the drenching rain complaining that they are catching cold and saying how miserable they feel. they are all mechanical manifestations. Then we see everything through the medium of this bad state but we do not think of practising non- identifying with this bad state.” pp. He discovers that the more he can control a manifestation. when their own house is standing close beside them into which they can go. by itself. of seeing that it is not 'I'. his other functions. lying has a different meaning. We wriggle about. and that the less he can control it. we say 'I' to it. the Work is too difficult for me. and even cannot know. and one must pass through this jungle. the more one is in it. this kind of darkness. that is. but some small 'I' pipes up and says: "Oh. Very often when we stand in this drenching rain and this bad inner state. I speak only from a practical point of view. that is. and the more one thinks that one is free from lying. . Lying is unavoidable in mechanical life. Speaking in general. is lying. You must understand that I do not speak from any moral point of view. 47-48) En Español Now we must see what are those harmful features that man finds in himself.following the Work. we think vaguely of trying to work on ourselves and separating ourselves from it internally by an act of consciousness and Will. The first. and we argue about everything from this bad state which is quite incapable of leading us anywhere save into a worse state. like a fish on the end of a line and will not submit to the gentle pull of the line which will lift us into another atmosphere. the more harmful it can become. But all this it is necessary to pass through. of what is useful and what is harmful to self-study and self-development. until one discerns the Work and what it is saying. When man understands this. but on the grounds that he cannot control his lying. the more mechanical it is. No one can escape it. and what is bad. Starting in this way. as has already been said. People do not surrender to the Work for a long time. as though one knows and can know. through this tangled forest. We have not yet come to questions of what is good. and that lying controls him. For a long time the last thing that we ever think of doing is to work on ourselves in accordance with what the Work teaches. the less harmful it can be. Life as it is could not exist without lying. They keep on trying to do things by themselves according to their own lights instead of doing things according to the Work. On the contrary. They continue to make the same life-efforts as before but they do not make Work- effort. man very soon learns to discover signs by which he can know harmful manifestations in himself. It means speaking about things one does not know. he becomes afraid of lying. as it were. We get into a bad state and we identify with it right away." Study Of Lying (From Ouspensky's “Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution. But from the psychological side.

Whoever does nothing receives nothing. but his efforts immediately increase the demands made upon him. Nothing a man did yesterday excuses him today. This is the origin. For instance. which by their nature could still be cleaned. one of the first demands is sincerity. Of course he accepts only those machines that are within his power to mend. no demands are made upon him today. give them some kind of rights or advantages. and we really know that we know nothing. This is lying. Quite the reverse. then he refuses to take it. 229-230) "Speaking in general the most difficult barrier is the conquest of lying. or act as though I knew it. We always think and act as though we knew the truth. their former merits. become quite hopeless if they begin to tell lies. Nevertheless lying must be conquered. A man must either decide at once to tell him nothing but the truth. it is lying. When I know that I do not know something. "At this stage people very often make a mistake that is constantly made. "As i have said already. They think that the efforts they have previously made. "You must realize the teacher takes a very difficult task upon himself. we act and think and speak as though we knew who we are. even the most insignificant. or of something the man himself has said to another. or at once give up the whole thing. the beginning of lying. There is clever sincerity and there is stupid sincerity. So long as a man has not made any serious efforts the demands made upon him are very small. if a man did nothing yesterday. diminish the demands to be made upon them. "Here is something you must bear in mind. This certainly does not mean that it is better to do nothing. yet we never recognize or admit the fact.” pp. A man lies so much and so constantly both to himself and to others that he ceases to notice it. just as there is clever .” p. so to speak. at once puts an end to the work of that man. (From Ouspensky's “The Fourth Way. But even such machines. And the greater the efforts that are made. of course. (G. concealment of any kind such as the concealment of something another has asked to be kept secret. and at the same time say that I know. the greater the new demands. is most profoundly false. we know nothing about ourselves. the cleaning and the repair of human machines. if he did anything yesterday. This. especially if he has made previous efforts. and constitute as it were an excuse should they not work or should they afterwards do something wrong. we never confess it even to ourselves. it means that he must do more today. But there are different kinds of sincerity. as quoted in Ouspensky's “In Search Of The Miraculous. A lie to the teacher. If something essential is broken or put out of order in the machine. And the first effort required of a man is to conquer lying in relation to the teacher. 30) The most serious lying is when we know perfectly well that we do not and cannot know the truth about things and yet never act accordingly.

" pp.' But it here necessary to note that sincerity must not become 'lack of considering. they are all mechanical manifestations. is lying. and very soon he begins to believe what he imagines. it is. This will be 'clever sincerity. but instead of that. and the impossibility even of struggling against this mechanicalness without help. Both stupid sincerity and stupid insincerity are equally mechanical. Imagination is almost as bad as lying.. and for those who have difficulty with their inner denial and awkward doubts it can form a starting-point beyond argument for the reception of the Work. he will never learn to distinguish the truth from a lie. I repeat. and that it always carries him away from his more conscious decisions in a direction in which he had no intention of going." Work On Uncontrolled Imagination (From Ouspensky's "Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution. He wishes to observe something. Man starts to imagine something in order to please himself. and he forgets about observation. must be admitted even if one believes nothing else. as I have said already. that is. destroys all possibility of any work. We can experience hell on earth in more ways than one. or at least some of it. he forgets to use it. the expression of negative emotions. are shut out. Now if one believes in nothing else. But sincerity in the group is an absolute demand. imagination.. For even if a man has received certain material. This. The first. and unnecessary talking--will show man his utter mechanicalness. he must be sincere first of all with his teacher and with people who are senior to him in the work. in fact. because. 47-50) Now we must see what are those harmful features that man finds in himself.' Lack of considering in relation to the teacher or in relation to those whom the teacher has appointed.. But if a man wishes to learn to be cleverly sincere. one can admit that sometimes one is in a better state and sometimes in a worse one. Speaking in general.insincerity and stupid insincerity. that he can never control it.. The difficulties he has in observing these four manifestations--lying.. without new knowledge and without actual assistance. Now. to set about cleansing the Augaean stables of negative emotions by running the river of the truth of the Work- . as has already been said. Very soon after starting his observation of himself he comes to the conclusion that the chief obstacle to observation is imagination. If he wishes to learn and to be cleverly sincere he must be insincere about the work and he must learn to be silent when he ought to be silent with people outside it. who can neither understand nor appreciate it. in other words. lying to oneself. which can change us. States (From Nicoll's “Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.” pp. imagination starts in him on the same subject. forgets to observe himself.. We know there are far worse states than we usually experience. Very soon he realizes that people ascribe to the word "imagination" a quite artificial and quite undeserved meaning in the sense of creative or selective faculty. if a man continues to lie in the group in the same way as he lies to himself and others in life. he falls asleep again and must always be awakened. 1499-1500) The influences coming down the Ray of Creation and received by Higher Centres. The second dangerous feature he finds in himself is imagination. He realizes that imagination is a destructive faculty. externally and internally.

marvelling that he could do it. There is a plank to cross by. That is all. I pass on.teaching throught them is real intelligence indeed. somewhere. though they don't want it. No doubt when he had finished he was going on. "Well. This requires a different sort of assessment than is ordinarily made. of beasts of prey. like the invisible influence of some magnet. and there were boats stored near it. He does not seem to mind. One must give them help. There were no recruits for me and certainly none of the waiting boats was mine. this has to be done. Then I find myself across--on the other side. . As for me. for all negative emotions lead down to violence and root in it. That was the secret. perhaps a shop. of monsters. but this will not make any difference to him. He does not shew any signs of impatience when they are rude to him. No one can be rising in the scale of being unless he is leaving violence more and more behind him. where recruits were being taught. I had been given only a glance into the meaning of a new will--a will not based on violence or on having your own way. I thought much about this direction. And then I reflected that to reach him I had to get across to the other side of the deep gulf full of the bones of prehistoric beasts. To do what he is doing is so utterly contrary to anything I would do. One cannot expect much. this special effort you teacher/school makes. It would mean I would have to go in a direction I never went in. Eventually in one's development violence must go. this task gives one an entirely new angle on life and what one has to do. The lesson is nearly over. with the fear of crossing this depth-- although the width is not great--holds me back. Note from Kevin Roberts: It is useful to consider your teacher/school in this light. you will fight with them. I know also that the possibilities of following this new will and new direction lie in every moment of one's life. but the air seems full of restraining power. Beyond is the sea. where the non-violent lived and taught--the country of the non-violent. That was the source of the curious power I detected in him. Unless you can see this side. I could not take on such a thankless task. I will append here an account of an experience I had in connection with this matter some time ago. ideally speaking. I cannot say for how long for there is no ordinary time in all this. And. When I wake I think of this man. of course. He seemed purified from all violence. But from this glance I know better what going in a new direction is and what a new will purified from violence means. and this. He has some curious power but hardly uses it. I repeat--only a glance." It is his invulnerability that strikes me. as a person who is without violence psychologically. At first sight there seems nothing marvellous. would be finally to eradicate violence. It is in the form of a dream. How could I define it to myself? I would have been violent to those recruits. He had nearly finished his lesson. I come to a place. He indicates somehow that he does not necessarily expect to get any results from what he is doing. I would need a new will to do it. The results. and is as follows: The difficult-to-cross ditch at the top of the slope is full of the bones of prehistoric animals-- the remains of violent things. He had not a will of violence. What wonderful vision do I now behold? I see someone teaching or drilling some recruits. Yes. For I knew I had not really crossed that deep gulf filled with the bones of the violent past and left it behind finally. A man without violence. that was it. He shewed no violence. It is as if he said. They go far down into this abyss. He is not hurt or angered by their sneers or lack of discipline. He smiles. where boats are stored. of snakes. Beyond was the sea.

a line of work. but the chief and most active are vanity and self-love. But it cannot be attained without the first liberation. Active Reasoning (From Gurdjieff's "Views from the Real World. for a beginner depends very little on external influences. The meaning behind these words may be explained as follows: By liberation is meant the liberation which is the aim of all schools. One teaching even calls them representatives and messengers of the devil himself. For some reason they are also called Mrs. I have mentioned only these two as the most fundamental. 266-270) Liberation leads to liberation. and prevent not only good but also bad external influences from entering. truth which is not merely theoretical. from these watchmen. All men desire it and strive after it. Thus they have a good side as well as a bad side. Maybe it is for the best. Inner influences and inner slavery come from many varied sources and many independent factors--independent in that sometimes it is one thing and sometimes another. for beginners. all religions. For a man who wishes to discriminate among the influences he receives. it is an advantage to have these watchmen. there are many enemies. whom some considerable undesirable. These are the first words of truth--not truth in quotation marks but truth in the real meaning of the word. This liberation can indeed be very great." pp. Self-Love. The great liberation is liberation from influences outside us. There are so many of these enemies that life would not be long enough to struggle with each of them and free ourselves from each one separately. I said that we have many independent enemies. and it would take too much time since there are so many. As I have said. no matter what they may be--for it is impossible to select only the good ones--he must liberate himself as much as possible. and finally altogether. The lesser liberation is liberation from influences within us. So we must find a method. Vanity and Mr. At first. this lesser liberation appears to be very great. which will enable us simultaneously to destroy the greatest possible number of enemies within us from which these influences come. It would be difficult to work on each of them directly and specifically. . So we have to deal with them indirectly in order to free ourselves from several at once. a lesser liberation. for we have many enemies. not simply a word. at all times. but truth that can be realized in practice. But if a man wishes all influences to enter. Inner influences prevent a man from falling under external influences. These representatives of the devil stand unceasingly at the threshold which separates us from the outside. Only a man who has already become free of inner influences falls under external influences. At the moment it is hard to enumerate them all.

It does not offend me. I think. And if certain attainments or liberations are supposed to bring us to certain experiences. M. For a dirty look must have a reason behind it. If someone. called me a fool--I am offended. I am not affected inside. they will not do so if things remain as they are. M. now I sit here. Take for instance. All people are so affected. I am sorry for . called me a fool. But if in a given instance I was a fool and am called a fool. because my task is not to be a fool. When I am connected with outside.For this there are many methods. And so if this place is occupied with such experiences as these. He gave me a dirty look. I connect myself with the outside. Can he have such a reason? I know myself. its momentum closes all the doors. then. there can be no question of our having the experiences we desire. M. Either someone has said something to him about me. K. Our machine is so arranged that there are no separate places where different things can be experienced simultaneously. I am hurt and shall not calm down and come to myself for a long time. We live together. but everybody lives thus. Possibly someone had told him something that made him form a bad opinion of me. is here and also K. or something. Personally I would advise you to try freeing yourselves and to do so without unnecessary theorizing. active reasoning. which occupies almost half of our time and our life. If a fool has called me a fool. He called me a fool. so it does not offend me. K. I can judge from my knowledge of myself. gave me a scornful look. but no sooner has it subsided than another of the same nature starts. if he fails to do so by this method. Through active reasoning this is possible. but if anyone does not succeed. helps me to realize that I am a fool and acted foolishly. it is not life. On the contrary. self-love. has wounded our self-love from outside. maybe I have more self-love than anyone here. I live. I shall think about it and perhaps not act foolishly next time. not only at that moment but for a long time afterwards. or he has formed his own foolish opinion that I am a fool--so much the worse for him. One cannot demand wisdom from a child. so I don't take offense--not because I have no self-love. We have only one place for our psychic experiences. I know that I am not a fool. One experience subsides. For instance. Why should I be offended? Such things do not hurt me. So he reminds me. When I examine myself. I consider. I feel sorry for him because of the dirty look he gave me. I cannot expect wisdom from him. gave me a scornful look--I am offended. I reason in a way exactly the reverse of the usual way. I am not hurt. there are no other means for what is to follow. His reasoning was foolish. and a great number of means. all have similar experiences the whole time. I assume this to be everyone's aim. Must he necessarily be wise? He himself may be a fool or a lunatic. in either case I am not hurt. Maybe it is this very self-love that does not let me be offended. So. and therefore shuts out life. within yourselves. If I live only inside myself. by simple reasoning.

we do not possess--is desirable and necessary. bearing the same name. Submission Of Will (From Ouspensky's “In Search of the Miraculous. He is a slave and so he cannot hurt me. among those sitting here. As we have said earlier. by this very fact we shall become free of many enemies in us. 159-61) Gurdjieff: "In the life of an ordinary man truth and falsehood have no moral value of any kind because a man can never keep to one single truth. If we consider self- love. This is so even when we look at others. are safe from confusing the one with the other. Self-love is I--I is God. are outwardly alike. But if we look superficially. Thank God we. If a man has this self-love it proves what he is. it should be practiced long and in many varied ways." Active reasoning is learned by practice. And in spite of the fact that we are full to the brim with self-love.” pp. Self-love is a great thing. These two. But self-love is an attribute of the soul. we have not yet attained one tiny bit of freedom. everyone is full to overflowing with self-love. I say all of this as an example of reasoning. Self-love indicates and proves that a given man is a particle of heaven. the secret and the cause of all such things lies in the fact that we do not possess ourselves nor do we possess genuine self-love. There exists a saying: "He who has self-love is halfway to freedom. Self-Love and Mrs. Self-love is hell." Yet. If for a certain time it does not change. Actually. His truth changes. Therefore it is desirable to have self-love. the main brake to our aspirations and our achievements. If we have self-love. In the beginning of the lecture I used the words "active reasoning. self-love is a representative of the devil. Vanity. then it follows that true self-love-- which. By self-love one can discern the spirit. it is simply because it is kept by 'buffers. Self-love is a sign of a high opinion of oneself. and self-love is heaven.him because he is so much a slave that he looks at me through other people's eyes.' And a man can never tell the . as we generally understand it. We can even become free of these principal ones--Mr. We are lucky! Genuine self-love is totally absent. who are sitting here. Self-love is the principal weapon of the representative of hell. it is our chief enemy. when we look at ourselves it is still more difficult. Our aim must be to have self-love. How to distinguish between one kind of self-love and another? We have said that on the surface it is very difficult. so there is nothing to confuse. we can go on looking throughout our whole life without ever distinguishing the one from the other. unfortunately. but totally different and opposite to one another in essence. This proves that he is not. as reprehensible.

neither of them depends upon him. and convictions which in reality he never has had and never could have.' because otherwise the will of the man who directs his work will not be able to control his actions. full and unquestioning submission although without understanding. But when he begins to work on himself a man must give up his own decisions. A man is afraid that he will be made to do things that are opposed to his principles. And this is equally true when applied to a man's words. But a man is not conscious of this. Results of efforts are always proportional to understanding. the constant incessant lies he tells himself.' 'Buffers' automatically control a man's actions. Only a man who possesses will. everywhere. If 'buffers' were to be destroyed all control would disappear. A man cannot exist without control even though it is only automatic control. all his life in the most barefaced manner begins suddenly to fear that he will be made to tell . both of them depend upon accident. thoughts. views. Moreover. views. if a man begins to destroy 'buffers' within himself he must at the same time develop a will. may present insuperable difficulties to a man if he had failed to realize beforehand that actually he neither sacrifices nor changes anything in his life. can live without 'buffers.' Consequently. A man who has lied to everyone. And as will cannot be created to order in a short space of time a man may be left with 'buffers' demolished and with a will that is not as yet sufficiently strengthened. this fear is actually one of the most serious obstacles on a man's path. words. However strange it may seem. 'sacrifice his own decisions. Sometimes 'it tells' the truth. sometimes 'it tells' a lie. Schools of the fourth way demand understanding before anything else. and ideas. But no work on himself is possible until a man is free from this illusion. "In schools of the religious way 'obedience' is demanded before anything else. "Renunciation of his own decisions. his feelings. and to his conceptions of truth and falsehood. I use the word 'studied' because a man must understand why such obedience is necessary and he must learn to obey. that is. that is. The latter is not at all easy. A man who has never in his life thought of morality suddenly begins to fear that he will be made to do something immoral. "These lies are created by 'buffers. which includes the destruction of 'buffers. Even the fact that he has seen the necessity for changing himself shows him that his decisions are correct and strengthens his belief in them.' In order to destroy the lies in oneself as well as lies told unconsciously to others. Usually this subordination to another man's will is studied before anything else. this fear immediately creates in him the illusion that he really has principles.' a man must be ready to obey another man's will so long as his own will is not yet fully developed. conscious control. that all his life he has been subject to some extraneous will and has never had any decisions of his own. The only chance he has during this period is to be controlled by another will which has already been strengthened. he must realize his 'nothingness' in the full sense of the term. "This consciousness of one's nothingness alone can conquer the fear of subordination to the will of another. A man beginning the work of self-study with the object of attaining control over himself is accustomed to believe in his own decisions. 'buffers' must be destroyed. "This is why in school work. he must realize that he can lose nothing because he has nothing to lose.Consequently his truth and his falsehood have no value. It is hard for him to renounce the illusion that he directs and organizes his life himself.truth. and feelings. "In order to understand the interrelation of truth and falsehood in life a man must understand falsehood in himself. subordination to the will of another. "He must realize that he does not exist. to his thoughts. But then a man cannot life without 'buffers. A man who has never thought of his health and who has done everything possible to ruin it begins to fear that he will be made to do something which will injure it. He considers that he has the right of free choice.

This happens very seldom. Such as we are. I knew a drunkard who was afraid more than anything that he would be made to drink. or not to do something. Will is measured by time. In order to create will. A second mistake is not remembering certain principles to which you give up will. 107-109) O: What does giving up will mean? How can it be achieved? You have mistaken ideas about this. in the sense that one cannot act foolishly and without discrimination. but if you stop yourself. simply because it is forbidden. If one is not sure. In that way one is not free. When their chance comes and people are told to do something. A single action means nothing. Will can be grown if a man works on himself and makes his will obey the principles of the work. but only self-will and willfulness. knowledge and Permanent 'I'. But the desire to criticize may be so strong that he would have to make a really big effort to stop it. or to the work? If he does not know. But this needs time. A man does not realize that a subordination to which he consciously agrees is the only way to acquire a will of his own. a man may want to criticize someone and he calls it sincerity. such as rules. and for this method school organization is necessary. Real will must depend on consciousness." (From Ouspensky's “Conscience. This is an illusion because you have no such will to give up. one can ask. For example there is a rule that you should not talk about this system. If a man has been long in the work. About this idea of giving up one's will: it must be repeated that men nos 1.” p. Try to understand what that means. and so on without end. One must think before one acts. he can ask. 'No. 2 and 3 have no will. that you obey this rule.' These are the two types of will we have. Things that do not concern the work cannot be connected with it. Without school one can do nothing. There is a great difference in this. Time passes. If once we give up three minutes of will. For instance. "The fear of being subordinated to another man's will very often proves stronger than anything else. and you must not do it. this another of your mistakes. All that we have is self-will and willfulness.lies. there is practically not a single action that does not touch upon the work. You think that giving up will means doing something. It is a question of training. it means that you give up will. Our will is resultant of desires. but you say. not one single action. they go against it for what seems to them the very best of reasons. So they miss their opportunity. They are based on opposition. a man must try to co-ordinate his every action with the ideas of the work. and a man cannot make real efforts by himself. and later they may see that they have missed their opportunity. And an instance of self-will is when someone sees that you are trying to do something that you do not know how to do and wants to help you. Giving up will is a continuous process. you want to explain to someone what you think of him. I will do it myself. . we have not got it. For instance. This is the only method by which will can be created. Desires may be very well hidden. In most cases you are told not to do something. That is the penalty of self-will. Being willful means one wants to do or actually does something forbidden. Our wills last for about three minutes. the more things begin to touch upon the work. There are many other principles to which you must give up your will in order to follow them. tomorrow another three minutes will grow. he must in every action ask himself: How will it look from the point of view of the work? Is it useful or harmful to me. there are not independent actions. The natural desire is to talk. but the more you enter into the work. Q: Does giving up one's will mean not to act without understanding? O: You see. First you think of it as a final action: that you give up will and have no more will. but it can no longer be replaced by anything.

There is only one thing they have to sacrifice and that is their suffering. Man is made in such a way that he is never so much attached to anything as he is to his suffering. petrifying action.' 'health. 1239-42) Work-Ideas Gurdjieff said: (1) "This Work is Esoteric Christianity. No one who is not free from suffering. But if there is anything in the world that people do not understand it is the idea of sacrifice. so subtle." Commentary Everyone suffers. Nothing can be attained without suffering but at the same time one must begin by sacrificing suffering. so devious.” p. They think they have to sacrifice something that they have. like that .' The understand this literally. private. so historically long-standing--in short. Sacrifice Suffering (From Ouspensky's “In Search of the Miraculous. very difficult." (2) "People imagine they have something to sacrifice. decipher what this means. and so on. can work. And it is necessary to be free from suffering. healthy. 274) "I have already said before that sacrifice is necessary. But then the point is that they have not got either faith. For example. It is very difficult also to sacrifice one's suffering. in spite of this rather tiresome picture of themselves. It is something so intricate. Everyone suffers mechanically. They are always bright. We do not see its continual. so various. who has not sacrificed his suffering." said G.” vol. It is much easier to sacrifice real things. 4. "Without sacrifice nothing can be attained. inner. A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering. Cheerful people assure you they never suffer. They must sacrifice their fantasies. or tranquillity. What is mechanical suffering? It is something quite different from conscious suffering. pp. so apparently contradictory. Yet they suffer. I once said that they must sacrifice 'faith. In actual fact they have to sacrifice only what they imagine they have and which in reality they do not have. a habit--that we do not observe it. Later on a great deal must be said about suffering. "Another thing that people must sacrifice is their suffering. But this is difficult for them. or health.' 'tranquillity." (3) "A man in this Work must eventually begin to know what Conscious Suffering is compared with Mechanical Suffering." (From Nicoll's “Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. All these words must be taken in quotation marks. Now.

a woman. But notice especially where this teaching. being identified with "Mechanical Suffering". sacrifice.steady drip of calcium-charged water that builds up those strange pillars in deep caves between floor and roof. In order to change. at tea. in the club. He called attention to the fact that most people whom we meet in the street. The sacrifice the Work seeks is that of our habitual. Ouspensky when he was first teaching. whose being is characterized by the possession of Magnetic Centre--will understand how this Work offers . It only sees its own merit. which in the Gospels means. inevitably. Yes. a matter of being full of meritorious virtues and so of swelling up the False Personality which imitates every virtue inartistically and so causes much weariness and boredom to others. Not with your sins in any ordinary sense. Oh. How many bad plays walk the streets of London. In the Work-sense there is no justice on this planet where everything happens in the only way it can happen. That surely is a key to how to reach a higher level of being. But as Consciousness increases we include more and more as being in ourselves. at dinner. people will at this point justify themselves and say they have no such suffering. It is for those Good Householders. a woman. To change is to become different. then you ascend the Ladder of Being which ends in Divine Being-- which forgives all--a thing we cannot remotely understand as we are at present with our store of negative emotion. through self-observation and work on yourself. if I realize I am worse than you. "cancel" the debt. This is for those who do not believe that life can be explained in terms of itself. one must sacrifice something. with Magnetic Centre. dazzlingly. ask yourself this question: "Can I possibly imagine that I can change if I do not give up. This is the first education--the formation of a good educated life-personality. who seeks to find something more than life does not so easily die. those Good Householders. This is a matter we all have to reflect on. the Work teaches. of course. which means that you will have actually to think for yourself of the answer--I say. Of course. this self-justifying that you all go in for. who do not really believe in life and yet carry on their duties. we pretend we do not judge--a quite different matter. do we judge. But life alone makes us dead very soon. How can there be justice in a world of sleeping people--of people who are not yet conscious--of people who are governed by their negative emotions and finally by hate? Now how. so we are very brittle to insult. A low level of being forgives no one. Understand clearly and ask yourself--if it ever does occur to you to ask yourself a question. can you blame others who were equally so? Were not those who you think caused your suffering mechanical people? Remember that in such a case you can only forgive. then. Now notice carefully what we have to give up. Mechanical suffering leads nowhere. have mechanical suffering and that this is the only thing we have to offer as sacrifice. male and female. working day and night for fifty years--yes. We die life- millionaires. And those Good Householders who believe still further that there is and must be something else and seek for it--that is. something?" This means simply that you cannot change if you wish to continue as the same person. I fancy I am saying something similar to a remark made by Mr. The Work teaches that we all. projecting on to others all we cannot accept as being in ourselves. cannot awaken if they retain this dreadful weight. mechanical suffering. If I want to go to London. a woman. judge you? At present. but with what the Work regards as a great. when you begin to see your own mechanicalness in your behaviour. must sacrifice their suffering. by a continual process of justifying it. but we died perhaps years ago. Now a man. Why? Because we are all low down in this total Scale of Being. with an increasing lack of conceit. those educated and responsible people. and nourish it. How can I. But there is a second education and always has been. begins in regard to what you have to give up. but this is possible according to your level of being. Nor. are dead. or that what suffering they have is logical and reasonable. The Work does not invite us until we reach a certain life-value called "Good Householder". I must give up being at Amwell. A man. which belongs to the Fourth Way. When. you see more and more clearly that you are as bad as anyone else. which means we include very little in our consciousness of what we are like ourselves. like a bad play. their mechanical suffering. and died often years ago. A man. even perhaps the greatest sin--namely. until we cannot be insulted.

" Like What “It” Does Not Like (From Gurdjieff's “Views from the Real World. love acquired through work. In one of the Gnostic Books--the Acts of John--which are not included in the ordinary New Testament. once you begin to understand what it is saying." (II Cor. a woman. you must replace the luxury of mechanical suffering by suffering because you still love mechanical suffering. That is. that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. The Work teaches that mechanical suffering is useless--it leads to nothing--but that conscious suffering leads to inner development. What then replaces it? What replaces it is suffering because you are suffering. I do not regret it. copious verification. not that ye were made sorry but that ye were made sorry after a godly sort. that is. only the second has value. And so he says that the suffering of the world leads to death--that is. Now I rejoice. opens your mind to innumerable things said in the New Testament. What Paul is saying is that to suffer because you have behaved mechanically can lead to something. and thou shalt be able not to suffer. Now reflect on this remark: "The sorrow of the world worketh death. . Let us take an example. we find ample--in fact. But let us take a clear example from Paul. Esoteric means simply inner--not obvious. what clearing of yourselves . He has written a letter to his group at Corinth cursing them for not working on themselves.8-11) Now this rather outworn terminology masks the real meaning. yea. For behold. *** Let us come now to the idea of conscious suffering as distinct from mechanical suffering. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation. It is connected with the Sacred Dance that Christ performed with his disciples: "If thou hadst known how to suffer. that one has been fast asleep in life and its vexatious daily troubles and therefore identified with the events entering from outside via the senses--this is to suffer in another way. in the Sermon on the Mount. for instance. vii. death? A man. Learn thou to suffer. This is the love about which all religions speak. what earnest care it wrought in you. thou wouldest have been able not to suffer. mechanical suffering. which must be acquired by work. He calls this "godly suffering"." He meant that this Work lies hidden in the New Testament. 243-245) There are two kinds of love: one. . He explains that to feel one has not been working--that is. the other. that ye were made sorry after a godly sort.” pp. for I see that that epistle made you sorry. Gurdjieff said: "This Work is Esoteric Christianity. a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." Do you see that in these words is the same idea as "mechanical suffering is useless for self-development and puts us to sleep--that is. I will quote the passage: "For though I made you sorry with my epistle. must sacrifice their mechanical suffering". People easily read the New Testament without seeing what is meant. though but for a season. Can we find any parallels in the New Testament? I would say that in the Gospels. there is a passage which runs in this way. .the second education for men and women who have fulfilled the conditions necessary for attaining the level of Good Householder. this self-same thing. the love of a slave. though I did regret. The Work. The first has no value at all. From this brief example one can see what Gurdjieff meant in saying that this Work is Esoteric Christianity.

if you dislike it. Every man touches another on the raw. one and the same thing is loved and not loved. then put another in its place and then notice and try to understand why this attraction or aversion is there. For this love you must work. To understand what kind of love we are speaking about. Now we are speaking about love for life. and not only in the sense that if you sow wheat you will get wheat. The difference is quite startling. others only in old age. Whoever can see the representative will see Him who is represented. Every life is sensitive to love. but if you begin to look consciously. and he will hit back at you. It is a process which takes place in the subconscious. On the same ground. Even unconscious life reacts in a corresponding way to each man. so you reap. As you sow. Some know it from childhood. Love may be of different kinds. you must work out in yourself different kinds of attitudes. and so on. To begin straightaway by trying to love a man is impossible. X. Wherever there is life--beginning with plants (for they too have life). in a word wherever life exists. Real love is Christian. religious love. try to dislike it. Every man is attracted toward certain plants. It can literally turn to straw. Whoever wishes to learn to love his neighbor must begin by trying to love plants and animals. And it is impossible to begin learning directly. Many became ill and died. For instance. and responds to him according to his reactions. Even a cow will give less milk if you do not love her. But it is very difficult to learn. on people. Animals are also very sensitive. and the mind does not see it. It is best to begin with the world of plants. It is very important for a man who works on himself to understand that change can take place in him only if he changes his attitude to the outside world. With you. it does not depend on you and so has no merit. Man is more sensitive than a cow. In general you don't know what must be loved and what must not be loved. the hens laid fewer eggs. and not by others. Circumstances make you love mechanically. But these are only seeds. different people can sow the same seeds and the results will be different. Now if you want to work on yourself. it is only because somebody has sown something bad in you. You love even when you should not love. makes you put on brakes and gives you very little chance to try. First you have to look. If somebody has real love. Each life is a representative of God. try to like it. you have to exercise yourselves in this way: if you like a rose. because all that is relative. Therefore it is more productive and practical to forget about what you call good and bad and begin to act only when you have learned to choose for yourself. because the other man is like you. but unconsciously. I am sure that everyone feels something or senses something. was sent to look after the animals. It is what we call the love of a slave. it is necessary to define it. but there are objective things which we must love or must not love. Man is certainly more sensitive to what is sown in him than a seed. Whoever does not love life does not love God. with that love no one is born. Even inanimate things such as flowers. animals. you will . he acquired it during his life. try from tomorrow to look at plants in a way you have not looked before. And so if you feel antipathy or hate another person. But an animal is mute and will sadly resign itself. which have no consciousness. understand whether you love them or not. Perhaps we have not noticed that till now. although less so than man. Except with big and more clear-cut things which are undeniably bad.If you love when "it" loves. there is love. The question is how you sow. That is why it is easier to start practicing on animals.

formed on the basis of long years of experimental elucidations. the ephemeral nature of former conceptions and understandings. and relations exist also between plants and men. Plants act on a man's moods and the mood of a man acts on the mood of a plant. or the mentioned instructors. should give the possibility to cognize. Even living flowers in a pot will live or die according to the mood. consists in indicating the categorical necessity that each of you should cease entirely. and who became. It was just for this purpose that your group was organized and is now reorganized to consist of people who have more or less cognized the absurdity of our ordinary life and who. thanks to a series of accidentally arranged circumstances of life. and you. simply refer to the corresponding chapter in this first series. already having preliminary information about this. your own real individuality. are continuing to learn as many aspects of the objective truth as possible so as to determine. which in this case has no value. not only with one's ordinary automatic consciousness. but they change from time to time. helping to accustom the reader automatically to active mentation and contributing to an easy and simultaneous theoretical assimilation of the very essence of the questions dealt with.’ ” pp. and speak about its details. All things depend on each other. Plants. when ‘I am. chiefly in order to obtain directly or indirectly information elucidated from all sides regarding those definite notions upon which will be based and from which will logically derive all the problems which are pursued for practical attainments. An acquaintance with the contents of these books is quite indispensable for each of you. at least for three months. 103-5) This benevolent advice of mine to you Americans. although you have not yet sensed it with all your Being but are seriously striving to take in what you have cognized. may easily assimilate what we shall subsequently develop in detail. This includes everything that lives. and the elucidation of all these questions has been made by me in such a logical sequence and in such a confrontative form as.see many things. the reading of your newspapers and magazines. An all-around acquaintance with the contents of these three books is necessary also in order that when I personally. and during this time should become as well acquainted as possible with the contents of all three books of the first series of my writings entitled An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man [All and Everything: "An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man" or Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson]. speak during our general meetings about some question which in the given moment is the center-of-gravity question. we may. As long as we live we shall make experiments. It must be said that all I have expounded in the three books of the first series in its totality embraces almost all the questions which in my opinion. like man. for the purpose of economizing time. you will discover many Americas. in order to manifest afterwards in everything in a way corresponding to a Godlike creature. . have relations between themselves. in accordance with this. first of all. that which is most important and is unfailingly required for the possibility of further work upon oneself. but with all one's being. composing in the given case this group. All living things are tied one to another. my nearest essential friends. No News (From Gurdjieff's “Life is real only then. may arise under the conditions of contemporary life in the ordinary mentation of man. namely.

Consequently it proves that there is nothing for him here. the desire of a grown-up man.) . Our weak essence can change at any moment. each of you can have the power and capacity to act not as he now acts. Even if he merely looks at me.. for it is dependent on many influences: on food. Speaking of the mind I know that each of you has enough strength. I am . because I need him for business purposes and can do what I wish only with his help. not reacting to anything or anyone. B.. He is a blockhead. . every grown-up man can achieve this. To govern oneself is a very difficult thing--it is a problem for the future. Every weak man can give the desired direction to his mind. He is vile. does not require much strength. and on a multitude of other causes. Our mind. When we say "to separate oneself from oneself" it means that the mind should stand apart from the essence. Well. it requires much power and demands much work. If a man cannot do it.. But no one tries. to separate oneself from oneself. I repeat. on time. I decide to set myself the task of establishing a good relationship with Mr. with a little effort. no dependence. But I dislike Mr. But he has no power over his essence. it can be kept in the desired direction." pp. anything you like. intending in today's meeting to speak about a question which is based on data I have already more or less elucidated in the last chapter of the third book. has nothing in common with us. But this first thing. I am so made that these traits affect me. on the weather. it only needs desire. if you were all well-informed of its contents.For example. but now I shall be compelled to waste time on reading to you certain extracts. our thinking. namely in the chapter entitled "From the Author. Our mind lives by itself and our essence lives by itself. If he talks nonsense. I become irritated. with our essence--no connection. . on our surroundings. serious desire.. great power is required to give direction to essence and keep essence to it. B. then I could for the purpose of economizing time refer to the requisite passages. everyone who has a serious desire can do it. for he is a very disagreeable man. But the mind depends on very few influences and so..." the deliberations on the proposed question today should be as a continuation of this chapter. it shows that he lacks the desire of a grown-up man. (Body and essence are the same devil. I shall give you an example: now.. in a calm state. What we do here can only be a doing suitable for grown-up men. In order to understand better what I mean. He understands nothing. 148-150 As long as a man does not separate himself from himself he can achieve nothing. and no one can help him. Separating the Mind from the Essence from Gurdjieff's "Views from the Real World.

. because he is a grown-up man. in this separation of oneself from oneself. equally they are given to imaginary fears. If I keep to this purpose. 304 On one occasion. A man must do it for himself. equally they react. I am only a man. but my mind would continue to pluck at me. The only difference between a child and a grown-up man is in the mind." And what happens when the mind becomes merely a function? If I am annoyed. But the mind is powerless to do anything. receptivity is the same. have you noticed where this word sounds in you?" . if he is honest. with sensitivity. hate. but it is able to remember.. so don't be cross or rude to him. The only difference is in the mind: we have more material. whatever problem he has set himself." It could even happen that I would curse him. The same things are in a child and in a grown-up man: love. Even if he cannot achieve it in practice. G. he will always keep it in his mind. his mind will not forget the problem he has set himself. Functions are the same. how beside myself I am. so I am weak and cannot persuade myself that I need not be annoyed--I shall go on being annoyed. Even if he is influenced by other considerations. with naiveté. I shall think. reminding me that I should not do so. beginning with hunger. and I shall see everything in the light of the annoyance. if I lose my temper. No one can help him in this remembering. Yet I can control myself. Only then. I say to myself: "You need him. This is what is meant by "separating the mind from the essence. He has a duty to perform and. he will strive to perform it. to this desire. that problem will always remain in his head. No matter how annoyed I may be. but a grown-up man--whatever he decides. This is precisely what anyone who has a serious desire not to identify himself with his essence can do. in accordance with this annoyance.beside myself.. In short there is no difference. All the weaknesses are there. can another man help him. I shall be able to do so. there is no difference. everything. in connection with the description of exercises in concentration and bringing the attention from one part of the body to another. To hell with it! And so I say that with a serious man--a simple. from the moment a man has this separation. or hit him. in a corner of my mind I shall still remember the task I set myself. My mind is unable to restrain me from anything. depending on how serious my desire is to gain the end I wish to gain through him. No matter how furious. unable to make me feel this or that toward him. more logic than a child. Sounding from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. this state of wishing will be in my mind." p. ordinary man without any extraordinary powers. asked: "When you pronounce the word 'I' aloud. or rather "it" will think.

But we very soon began to notice that when pronouncing the word 'I' some of us definitely felt as if this word sounded in the head. listened to all these remarks and said that there was an exercise connected with this which.. flies are biting. most delicious red apple you have ever tasted and offer it to this horse. Do not go too fast. but reading it will suffice. try making adjustments. etc. lifting his arms. In worse conditions there is no adequate food. Start by seeing. People shouting from all angles in a language completely unfamiliar. diseases. This message will likely not be in words. the harness holding the shafts too tight or loose. others felt it in the chest. or grooming. the shafts attached wrongly to the cart and the cart which itself is in bad repair. Make eye contact as the horse receives the apple. Notice how you feel and how your relationship to the horse has changed. wait for a message from the horse (If you are giving the exercise. Notice the condition and demeanor of this horse. a horse. I must mention here that personally I was entirely unable to evoke this sensation in myself and that I have to rely on others. Externally consider the horse as you are able. which are bent at the elbows. the maladjusted bridle and bit. always waiting for a message from the horse. It is usually done with eyes closed.We did not at once understand what he meant. according to him. There is always this nagging feeling that you are going nowhere. A monk kneels or stands in a certain position and. had been preserved up to our time in the monasteries of Mount Athos. As the exercise progresses over time. The Apple (From Kevin) It is helpful to have someone 'give' this exercise to you. riding or other things the horse needs. wrong mounting of the harness to the horse. and others over the head--outside the body. And always the whip. G. substitute carrots etc. wait for a change in the bodymind). These are all things the horse must deal with in the best of conditions. The purpose of this exercise is to feel "I" every moment a man thinks of himself and to bring "I" from one center to another. Repeat often. Feel what it is like to have some idiot pulling the reins. hooves are cracked. at some distance. Pull from your pocket the juiciest. the horse needs time to develop a relationship with you! One Telling . yourself and. he says--Ego aloud and drawn out while listening at the same time where the word "Ego" sounds. in your mind's eye.

Far away even from our tiny sun. I have tried to reach it again by trying to self-remember. stop the exercise. where our Creator resides. Imagine the sun. But we have to be open to them. It is very far away. But if you do it several times you will be able to remember some of the steps. But feel how incredibly intense they are to our being. Stay in contact with these rays of the Sun Absolute for a few minutes. our sun. Q. did not again assume the importance it had before. It will force an organizing of our talking and a prioritizing of audience as well as a shock for remembering during the relating. I had a problem which was worrying me. A [Ouspensky]. The quiet place is not a metaphor--it is a very real thing. you can take it like that. Is it the state you get to when you self-remember. 132-133) Q. When you are ready. Sun Absolute Meditation from Leah. but could not find it. Q. Notice the effect it has on you. Only you cannot do it after one experience. and nothing can disturb you--only it is difficult to find the way there. without other details. Just feel the sun. Quite right. shining on you. This will bring about a definite 'conscious labor/suffering' and reveal much in regard to lying. (Pause) Now imagine the Sun Absolute. return first to our sun. for you will not remember the way. The Quiet Place (From Ouspensky's "Fourth Way" pp. but the problem. Much deeper than the skin and head- brain. when it returned as one. Notice where the rays of the Sun Absolute touch you.from Kevin This simple exercise requires that in all relating of events and constatations to friends and acquaintenences we 'tell the story' only once. are more than enough for us to absorb. I find it very difficult to recapture this state.just barely. because everything seems peaceful then and one really seems to be aware of oneself? A. and by the same steps you may come there again. and if you get lost. just a few rays make it all the way to Earth. then venture out to that sun which is so much bigger and so less familiar. and at the same time my sense of values generally changed. Yes. This state did not last long. Feel how these rays which hardly even make it here. calm. Feel how the rays of the Sun Absolute touch the earth . I tried to self-remember and for a short time I got into a state in which it was no longer possible to worry. who made a variation on Russ' exercise: Imagine the sun. . Continue to observe and you will find that there is a place in you where you are quiet.

then again one finds it and again loses the way. 1377) People all have unpleasant or even truly devilish 'I's but they must be awake to them and not identify with them. so to speak. And at first he must take mental note of only such observations as regards which he has no doubt whatever. He must reject all vague or doubtful cases and remember only those which are unquestionable." The Work teaches that we have Real I in us. that life as Neutralizing Force that exhibits us to one another as single fat or thin bodies does not give you this power which comes from the Work-ideas as Neutralizing Force. But via the senses it looks so. A man is not his body: a woman is not her body. It softens you. If you find yourself in it again. a man must. The idea that we are not one but many 'I's can begin to transform your relationships to one another. If the work is carried on properly. conceive differently. How many of you have had the ever-recurring experience of losing what you call your temper with someone that you care for and then feeling that you ought to seek forgiveness? This kind of forgiveness is not much good. that is. immediately refer his impressions to this or that category. waiting in the wings to emerge on the stage. the number of unquestionable observations will rapidly increase. So perhaps you will begin to see that psycho- transformism means calling the ideas of the Work into your daily duties and reactions and seeing the Work point of view instead of the life point of view. and have new attitudes to one another. One must say: "This is not really me. What you have to do is to see that certain 'I's emerged and you gave way to them on the stage of your limited consciousness. You put the feeling of I into these 'I's which are always bitter and negative. for sometimes it happens that one finds this place and loses the way there. But we know very little about this side of our nature. And that which seemed doubtful before will be clearly seen to belong to the first. which is far from most of us. It is very difficult to remember the way to this place. p109 "It is necessary to know what these points are and it is necessary to know how to approach them. Self- . and yet the Work says we all have a trace of it. it relaxes you. Instead of becoming pointed. Filing Impressions from Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous. its own associations. try to remember how you got there. As a matter of fact each center consists of three parts: the thinking. the emotional. pp. Remember that from the senses you would not guess this idea of Man or Woman not being one. Be Gentle (From Nicoll's Commentaries. "Having fixed in his own mind the difference between the intellectual. It dissolves away some of your wrong self-valuation. Each center has its own memory. those where he sees at once to what category they belong. the third center. Instead of being bound up in an artificial packet you will distribute your feeling of yourself over a wider area and therefore you will become gentler-- first to yourself and then to other people. I mean. the emotional. for if one does not begin with them one will either get no result at all or wrong and undesirable results. Be gentle to yourself consciously first of all. as he observes himself. and the moving functions. In each center we know only one part. the second. you become broad. which make you think differently. and the moving. not think that this is their I.A. its own thinking. So this transforming idea which is only one among many that could be mentioned as psycho- transforming is very important.

Each center strives. Whatever work a man may be doing. to pass its work on to another and. It works out a certain plan of action and continues to follow it even though the circumstances have changed and quite a different course of action is necessary. of the theoretical mind. or of movement. feverishness. This becomes perfectly clear if we imagine the interferences of thought. not what it ought to be doing. with his mind. that is. following very movement. can never satisfy him. but if he tried to ask himself before every letter: 'Where is "k"?' 'Where is the comma?' 'How is this word spelled?' he at once begins to make mistakes or to write very slowly. But in becoming habitual it becomes at the same time harmful. And the decisions of the first. Its decisions are much too general and do not correspond to the decisions which the emotional center would have made. it will make a muddle of everything and the result of its interference will be most unsatisfactory. The thinking center working for the emotional center brings deliberation into situations which require quick decisions and makes a man incapable of distinguishing the peculiarities and the fine points of the position. in some cases the interference of the thinking center gives rise to entirely wrong reactions." Work Photographs from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. since it begins to interfere with right working by enabling each center to shirk its own direct duties and to do. their wrong working. In an unbalanced kind of man this is precisely what 'being unbalanced' or 'neurotic' means. side by side with their right working. because the thinking center is simply incapable of understanding the shades and distinctions of many events. the work for which it was specially destined and which it can best perform. while steering with the help of one's mind is absolutely impossible for an ordinary man. it strives to do the work of another center for which it is not fitted. that is. As has been said already. at the same time. and he will see that the quality of his work will change immediately. his fingers. the attempts of the emotional center to think. find the necessary letters themselves. especially in the streets of a large town. it is enough for him to try to do each action deliberately. the working of one center for another: the attempts of the thinking center to feel or to pretend that it feels. He is not feeling anything himself so the feelings of another do not exist for him. or in any case that it contains more possibilities than we think. 146-47. The mind cannot understand shades of feeling We shall see this clearly if we imagine one man reasoning about the emotions of another. The emotional center working for the thinking center brings unnecessary nervousness. A full man does not understand a hungry one. or of sensation. If he is typing. but what it likes bast at the moment. Instances of this kind are the easiest to find. The mind cannot keep pace with all the movements necessary for developing a greater speed. that is of the mind. Nor is it capable of controlling movement. There are situations in life which the thinking center alone can deal with and can find a way out of. calm judgment and deliberation are essential. In exactly the same way the mind cannot appreciate sensations. and hurry into situations where. one center working for another is useful in certain cases. as it were. In a normal healthy man each center does its own work. If one drives a car with the help of one's mind. If at this moment the emotional center begins to work instead. controlled by his moving center. in all three cases the interference of the mind leads to wholly undesirable results. in the domain of feeling. one can go only in the lowest gear. Thought is too slow. Besides. for it preserves the continuity of mental activity. For it they are dead. To drive at full speed. however." pp.observation. that is. will very quickly show us that our mental life is much richer than we think. But for the other they have a very definite existence. Events that are quite different for the moving center and for the emotional center appear to be alike to it. the attempts of the moving center to think and feel. on the contrary. 149 .. "At the same time as we watch the work of the centers we shall observe.

thoughts. not separate details. words. The more convinced he is that he can. with which he has lived from year to year.Gurdjieff: "When a man comes to realize the necessity not only for self-study and self-observation but also for work on himself with the object of changing himself. which appears in his life only for very short moments and which can become firm and permanent only after a very lengthy period of work. His work on himself starts from the moment when he begins to feel two men in himself.' 'Zakharov. taken together. "At this stage a man can see nothing either in relation to himself or to others. and artificial in this other man whom other people know and whom he knows himself. is in reality only 'Ouspensky. a man will see that his usual conception of himself. the real I. to see. But it is not so easy to learn how to take these photographs at the most interesting and characteristic moments. postures. "So long as a man takes himself as one person he will never move from where he is.' is active. But if he can be even to a slight extent sincere with himself and really wants to know the truth. Now he must begin to see himself. One is passive and the most it can do is to register or observe what is happening to it. and characteristic thoughts. so to speak. to be an impartial witness. A man must realize that he indeed consists of two men.' or 'Zakharov. then he can find an exact and infallible basis for judging rightly first about himself and then about other people. "Instead of the man he had supposed himself to be he will see quite another man. tones of voice. trying only to register this or that phenomenon. And to begin self- observation and self-study it is necessary to divide oneself. and so on. It is he as other people know him. how to catch characteristic postures. . This 'other' man is himself and at the same time not himself. is very far from reality. 'mental photographs' of himself at different moments of his life and in different emotional states: and not photographs of details. and speaks of itself in the first person. "One is the man he calls 'I' and whom others call 'Ouspensky. which calls itself 'I. In other words these photographs must contain simultaneously everything that a man can see in himself at a given moment. invented. movements. will show him quite clearly what he is.' 'Petrov. He has studied the work of the machine. The other. You must learn to divide the real from the invented. Emotions. moods. the more he is mistaken. People do not understand that sincerity must be learned. For a man himself knows that there is a great deal that is unreal.' . But how can a man be sincere with himself when in actual fact he sincerely does not see what he ought to see in himself? Someone has to show it to him. but photographs of the whole as he saw it. as he imagines himself and as he appears in his actions.. If a man succeeds in seizing interesting moments for these photographs he will very soon collect a whole album of pictures of himself which. and so on. but to see everything taken together as a whole--the whole of himself such as others see him..' or 'Petrov. the character of his self- observation must change. that is to say. "For this purpose a man must learn to take. not the work of small wheels and levers. characteristic emotions. And his attitude towards the person who shows him must be a right one. If the photographs are taken successfully and if there is a sufficient number of them. And this is by no means easy. characteristic facial expressions. but not altogether such as he actually is. sensations. But the whole point lies in being sincere with oneself. He has so far studied the details of the work of the centers. facial expressions. They imagine that to be sincere or not to be sincere depends upon their desire or decision.' The other is the real he.

try to use it and imagine yourself conscious. you bring about a contact between your consciousness and the various unconscious parts of your general presence. namely. 78 "So in the meantime. writing and all that you do. will not be able to be a good servant of our COMMON ENDLESS CREATOR and by that will not even be worthy to pay for your arising and existence. 113 Q. moments of consciousness will come more often and will stay longer. such as will help him to see what is shown him and not. or that it is enough to try once--and it must come. "This is a very serious moment in the work. Try to understand the difference between remembering yourself in this way and being conscious. Try to imagine yourself conscious--that would be the right use of imagination. as often happens. and this brings moments of consciousness. but your general presence of which they are part. You begin to remember yourself simply by forming your mental processes in a certain way. hinder him if he begins to think that he already knows better. while watching the reflection of its splendor. in the period of your responsible age. Only do not forget one thing. they. We develop this power of imagination in an absolutely wrong and useless way which is always making trouble for us. and he will never see himself as he really is. It must be understood that without outside help a man can never see himself. At first self-remembering is an effort on functions. he will lie to himself and invent things. Even if we put the same amount of energy into self-remembering that we put into the study of a foreign language we would acquire a certain amount of consciousness. so you have a certain control over it. exist as you exist. But you can make efforts on thoughts. Unfortunately we do not want to put even that amount of energy into it. for once. It is the same mental process that you use in everything. but no permanent efforts. gradually. . not only cannot fulfill the good that befits them. I still do not see what it means to try and think as we would think if we were more conscious. Then.that is. Try to make this state last and to convince the unconscious parts--as if they were conscious--that if they hinder your general functioning. and in this way you can work on consciousness in a roundabout way. if you continue to make these efforts. Self-remembering needs effort. we think that these things must come by themselves. You cannot work on consciousness itself: you can make one or two spasmodic efforts. A man who loses his direction at this moment will never find it again afterwards. This is the most important part of the method." Imagine Yourself Conscious from Ouspensky's "Fourth Way. at sunrise. But now." p. Exist as You Exist from Gurdjieff's "All and Everything." p. in reading. Try to think how you would act. so. self-remembering will cease to be purely intellectual--it will have an awakening power. Even if he tries to. think. at your age it is indispensably necessary that every day. It must be remembered that man such as he is does not possess the means of distinguishing 'I' and 'Ouspensky' in himself. A [Ouspensky]. speak and so on.

The first thing for you to do is to stop these movements. reflect the essential nature of the principles which have created them. But in relation to himself his understanding of the laws of duality and trinity can express itself in a practical form. try in the meantime not to hink about these questions. consciously or unconsciously. necessary and unnecessary. he can. long practice is necessary. This is an example of doing. that you have no authority and are a booby. confine the manifestation of the laws of duality and trinity to the permanent line of struggle with himself on the way to self-knowledge. You must aim to acquire this. useful and harmful." pp. which at your age it is still early for you to think about. Make this your aim. impressions. good . 280-82 Gurdjieff: "The understanding of symbols can be approached in the following way: In studying the world of phenomena a man first of all sees in everything the manifestation of two principles. your God. the accomplishing of which will create in him the great symbol known by the name of the Seal of Solomon. namely. you can perhaps gain attention.. my dear boy. Self-observation is only possible after acquiring attention. you can never play real melodies. With these restless movements you cannot be anything. He consists entirely of dualities or 'pairs of opposites. one opposed to the other. thoughts.' All man's sensations. The melodies you will play will be cacophonous and will make people suffer and hate you. . so to speak. which in conjunction or in opposition. Dualities ("Seal of Solomon") from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. If you wish to play melodies without first practicing. Another example--an aspiring pianist can never learn except little by little. feelings. having understood these laws in himself. Question: What small things can we start on? What should we do? Answer: Your nervous and restless movements make everyone know. are divided into positive and negative.. It is the same with psychological ideas: to gain anything. in the normal state natural to him. that is. Start on small things. "Everything in its proper time!" Unconscious Muscle Movement from Gurdjieff's Views from the Real World Page 90 Question: How can we gain attention? Answer: There is no attention in people. "Man. give one result or another. But in relation to the cosmos he is merely a spectator and moreover one who sees only the surface of phenomena which are moving in various directions though seeming to him to move in one direction."I repeat once more. In this way he will introduce the line of will first into the circle of time and afterwards into the cycle of eternity. Only after this. Even get your family to help you. is taken as a duality. This manifestation of the great laws of duality and trinity man sees simultaneously in the cosmos and in himself.

coming from conscious motives. what guides us today becomes secondary and subordinate tomorrow. incapable of further development. which is the most beyond doubt. the moving. Any man who observes himself. pleasant and unpleasant. the transformation of quaternity into quinternity and the construction of the pentagram has not one but many different meanings even in relation to man. This is the duality in which proceed all the perceptions. at the very beginning of the formation of this new group composed of various persons pursuing one and the same aim. I now. "The development of the human machine and the enrichment of being begins with a new and unaccustomed functioning of this machine. The creation of a permanent third principle is for man thetransformation of the duality into the trinity. relating to the work of centers. "Strengthening this decision and bringing it constantly and infallibly into all those events where formerly accidental neutralizing 'shocks' used to act and give accidental results. But if a man brings the work of the five centers within him into harmonious accord. by becoming locked within a circle of life independent and complete in itself. that is. first of all. The understanding of duality in oneself begins with the realization of mechanicalness and the realization of the difference between what is mechanical and what is conscious. the instinctive. And everything is equally mechanical. The next stage. This understanding must be preceded by the destruction of the self-deceit in which a man lives who considers even his most mechanical actions to be volitional and conscious and himself to be single and whole. the emotional. Thoughts oppose feelings. "When self-deceit is destroyed and a man begins to see the difference between the mechanical and the conscious in himself. and the sex. The full and proper functioning of five centers brings them into union with the higher centers which introduce the missing principle and put man into direct and permanent connection with objective consciousness and objective knowledge. however little.and bad. For this purpose a man begins with endeavors to set a definite decision. he then 'locks the pentagram within him' and becomes a finished type of the physically perfect man. The work of centers proceeds under the sign of this division. all the reactions. what is victor today is the vanquished tomorrow. gives a permanent line of results in time and is the transformation of trinity into quaternity. We know that a man has five centers: the thinking. and that is in your mutual relations to be sincere. equally independent of will. The predominant development of any one center at the expense of the others produces an extremely one- sided type of man. he embodies in himself the Seal of Solomon. there begins a struggle for the relation of consciousness in life and for the subordination of the mechanical to the conscious. against mechanical processes proceeding according to the laws of duality." Sincerity Life is real only then. find it necessary to warn you of an indispensable condition for the successful attainment of this common aim. can see this duality in himself. And of these is learned. the whole life of man. and leads equally to no aim of any kind. "And then man becomes the six pointed star. one. when ‘I am’ p136 For an all-round assimilation of both these "assisting" or as might otherwise be called "helping" exercises for the mastering of the chief exercise. "But this duality would seem to alternate. he becomes isolated from foreign influences or accidental shocks. Moving impulses oppose instinctive craving for quiet. .

In the present case. Sincerity with everyone in general is weakness. as "self-love. therefore. and in questions concerning the common aim. you must not be afraid of being sincere among yourselves. In my opinion. Being occupied with the solution of questions concerning this common great aim.The unconditional requirement of such sincerity among all kinds of other conditions existed. Only by trying to see oneself. We can even change results by full and complete understanding and by not trying to hide it. but we must bear it and try to understand that only by fully confessing it to ourselves can we avoid repeating it again and again. yet he must also know when." "conceit" and so on. in the collective work. inevitably arising in you and unworthy of man. speak of all the results attained by you from doing this kind of exercise. for we have many reservations. Although the normal man must be able to be sincere. 159-60 Q. if we are afraid of it. to find excuses and explanations. Only sincerity and complete recognition of the fact that we are slaves to mechanicalness and its inevitable results can help us to find and destroy buffers with the help of which we deceive ourselves. If we try to avoid suffering. but even if we wished we could not be. It may hurt dreadfully. No one of you separately is capable of doing anything real at all. In order to be sincere it is not enough only to wish it. A. slavery and even a sign of hysteria. We can understand what mechanicalness is and all the horror of mechanicalness only when we do something horrible and fully realize that it was mechanicalness in us that made us do it. can be. be sincere only here in the group. but in quiet moments. the more useful you will be to one another. it is only by fulfilling this condition for the given proposed collective work that it is possible to attain a real result in this aim which one has set oneself. This must be understood. If we try to cover it. The more sincere you are with one another. Q. How can one learn to be sincere with oneself? A. and which has already become for contemporary people almost impossible." pp. where and for what purpose it is necessary to be sincere. of great value in helping one another. not in emotional moments." "pride. Being able to be sincere is a science. In many cases we do not wish to be sincere. Any information expressed by any of you relating to the elucidation of the various details of this first exercise which is for all of you at the present moment the center of gravity. without restraint. Each of you having become an equal-rights participant in this group newly formed for the attainment of one and the same so to say "ideal" must always struggle with such impulses. to be sincere is desirable. and so on. or that it was somebody else's fault. I have been trying to be sincere. Just think about yourself. as it happened to become known to me from various authentic sources. and do not justify yourself because generally we justify and explain everything by saying that it was inevitable. each of you must always cognize and instinctively feel that you are all in a certain respect similar to each other. Of course. Therefore. And in the present case. among people of all past times and of every degree of intellectuality. but I see now that I do not really know what to be sincere means. It is necessary to be very sincere with oneself to be able to see it. from Ouspensky's "The Fourth Way. and not be ashamed to be sincere in your answers concerning your observations and constatations on the exercises recommended by me. if we try to persuade ourselves that nothing . And even deciding to be sincere is very difficult. and that the well-being of one of you depends on the well-being of the others. help one another in this newly formed group which might also be called a brotherhood. whenever they gathered together for the collective attainment of some common aim. We can escape from the tentacles of mechanicalness and break its force by big suffering. even for the sake of only an egoistic aim. we will never realize it.

" said G. 249 "You do not understand what it means to be sincere. not only shall we never escape. Both stupid sincerity and stupid insincerity are equally mechanical. did not want to pretend. he must be sincere first of all with his teacher and with people who are senior to him in the work. Then he convinces himself that it was the other man's fault. But if he approaches a man with his own requirements nothing except new internal considering can ever be obtained from it. not to quarrel. if a man continues to lie in the group in the same way as he lies to himself and to others in life." from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. after all. If he can do this his work becomes easier for him. This you cannot do alone. just as there is clever insincerity and stupid insincerity." from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. and so on. it is unimportant and that things can go on just as they were going before.' But here it is necessary to note that sincerity must not become 'lack of considering. you must think in a new way." p. who can neither understand nor appreciate it. He begins by deciding not to consider and afterwards blames other people for not considering him. one of the first demands is sincerity. There is clever sincerity and there is stupid sincerity." p. "You are so used to lying both to yourselves and to others that you can find neither words nor thoughts when you wish to speak the truth." from G Views. We shall then see whether you will understand me or not. It very often happens that a man begins with a blessing and ends with a curse. you must find your possible aim. as I have said already. But sincerity in the group is an absolute demand. 230 Gurdjieff: "As I have said already. This is an example of how external considering passes into internal considering. and shall very soon come to a state when there will be no possibility for us and no chance. And then he will enter into his position. To tell the complete truth about oneself is very difficult. he will never learn to distinguish the truth from a lie. This will be 'clever sincerity. And if he is a weak man he will of course give way to this desire and afterwards justify himself and say that he did not want to lie. you must call on a friend . But there are different kinds of sincerity. But if a man wishes to learn to be cleverly sincere. But before telling it one must know it. even to give way to him. p241 "First you must decide: is the Way necessary for you or not? How are you to begin to find this out? If you are serious.bad really happened. destroys all possibility of any work. and he will be really able to understand and feel what another man thinks and feels. And you do not even know what the truth about yourselves consists of. But if a man really remembers himself he understands that another man is a machine just as he is himself. Some day I will tell every one of you his chief feature or chief fault. But the other man did not at all want to consider him so that nothing could be done with him. If he wishes to learn to be cleverly insincere he must be insincere about the work and he must learn to be silent when he ought to be silent with people outside it. he wanted to be sincere. but we shall become more and more mechanical.' Lack of considering in relation to the teacher or in relation to those whom the teacher has appointed. he will put himself in his place. you must change your point of view. that. because. from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. 153 G: "Very often a man desires sincerely to express or somehow or other show to another man what he really thinks of him or feels about him." p. He really wanted to consider him.

but externally I am different. Outwardly it must be what is best for her and for me. But these attitudes should be separated. and so we also have two kinds of considering. perhaps there is no need to change either. We have two lives. I am also polite. but. An ordinary man lives as he is dictated to from inside. In an ordinary man the external attitude is the result of the internal. When she looks at me. It is very difficult to be sincere all at once. both if one wants to continue working and for external life. I am cross with her. but from today we want to change. later it will be necessary to collect again. you will improve gradually. Internal and external considering must be different. This angers me. but what takes place in me is internal considering. we presume the need of inner change. The fact that I am angered is the result. Yesterday. discard what is useless and build something new. If she is polite. there is no need to change. We constantly consider. I can show you. if you try.who can help you—everyone can help—but especially two friends can help each other to revalue the values. I was cross." External Considering from Gurdjieff's Views from the Real World Page 94-96 Everyone is in great need of one particular exercise. and you will find what is necessary and useful for yourself. Man has much that is good and much that is bad. When we speak of change. because maybe it is original. we must separate and then sort out. From today onward I want to be calm inside. Externally if everything is all right. but externally one should do more than one has been doing so far. We want to change not only inside but also outside. or help you to see. I feel inside a dislike of her. the things you are afraid of. This internal and external considering are different. Internally I am what I am. Outwardly I want today to be polite. inner and outer life. When you can be sincere. We must learn to be able to control separately both kinds of considering: the internal and the external. This is external considering. Until now we did not change anything. If we discard everything. . But today I understand that perhaps the reason why she looked at me like that is that she is a fool. If it is not all right. Now she says that I am a fool. but if necessary I can appear angry. but externally I am polite because I must be very polite since I need her. when she gave me an unfriendly look. But how to change? First. Internally one should be free from considering. And today I want to remain calm. I must consider. She is a slave and I should not be angry with her inwardly. or perhaps she had learned or heard something about me. What is necessary is to change inside.

But the horse has no education whatever. and I am bad. Even if the mind gives the order to stop. Even if he reads all the books. every man considers utterly mechanically. another thing: if you want to be a friend to both and behave in one way. She also obeys orders mechanically and does what another one wants. But as soon as you meet someone. Who is not well educated should be better educated. one should play a role in everything. "Goodbye" "How do you do?" But it is only the driver who knows this. We react to everything affecting us from outside. One man likes one thing. Then your life will be easier. it obeys orders from outside. cannot drag the cart without the horse--it is too heavy. I am a puppet. she is bad. Only the internal is needed. we can change even externally. We must cease reacting inside. We educate nothing but our mind. The horse was also capable of being taught. I am as she wants me to be. another. She is good. . it never went to school. We know how to behave with such and such. Inside us we have a horse. If the horse does not change. otherwise he does not answer the requirements of life. And so it grew up a neglected orphan. Because all this knowledge will belong to the driver. the other will not like it. he is greatly mistaken. we must not react inside. . Inside us we have a horse. But inside it must be different: different in relation to the one and the other. But she too is a mechanical puppet. It only knows two words: right and left. all mysteries--nothing will come of it. It is easy to decide to change sitting quietly in your room. everything will remain the same. If someone is rude. . And he. And our mind is too weak to do anything inside. nothing will stop inside. The work needs nothing external. he will need to fill the gaps. even if he knows. The horse must change. no matter how long we study. Sitting on his box he has read about it. It is very difficult.If a man has not enough on the external side. Now we obey orders. If anyone thinks that self-study will help and he will be able to change. If the horse changes. if you behave in another way. Whoever manages to do this will be more free. Externally. You should behave with one as he likes it and with the other as this other likes it. one of them will not like it. especially in our times. it knows no languages. Externally a man should be an actor. . But this is for life. masters all knowledge. It has not even been taught the alphabet. What I said about inner change refers only to the need of change in the horse. and I am good. but we forgot all about it. the horse kicks. As things are now. studies for a hundred years.

even to give way to him. And if he is a weak man he will of course give way to this desire and afterwards justify himself and say that he did not want to lie. "Right external considering is very important in the work. because only external considering on his part shows his valuation of the work and his understanding of the work. a great control over oneself. in the work. an understanding of their tastes. Then he convinces himself that it was the other man's fault. and so on. to their understanding. not to quarrel. This is an example of how external considering passes into internal considering. 153-54 Gurdjieff: "The opposite of internal considering and what is in part a means of fighting against it is external considering.External Considering from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. But the other man did not at all want to consider him so that nothing could be done with him.' without any particular shade. to their requirements.* that is. By considering externally a man does that which makes life easy for other people and for himself. External considering requires a knowledge of men. on a level lower than ordinary life. and prejudices. for some reason or other. It is used in the sense of 'inhabitant. But if he approaches a man with his own requirements nothing except new internal considering can ever be obtained from it. he wanted to be sincere. He really wanted to consider him. and he will be really able to understand and feel what another man thinks and feels. It very often happens that a man begins with a blessing and ends with a curse.: Gurdjieff: "Obyvatel is a strange word in the Russian language. is very easily forgotten. External considering is based upon an entirely different relationship towards people. Remember that work cannot begin and cannot proceed on a level lower than that of the obyvatel." pp. And then he willenter into his position. did not want to pretend. they decide that just because they are in the work they have the right not to consider. At the same time external considering requires a great power over oneself." *The definition of obyvatel. If he can do this his work becomes easier for him. ten times more external considering is necessary than in life. Whereas in reality. and success in the work is always proportional to the valuation and understanding of it. It often happens that people who understand very well the necessity of external considering in life do not understand the necessity of external considering in the work. This is a very important principle which. habits. But we will speak about this separately afterwards. that is for a man's own successful work. he will put himself in his place. But if a man really remembers himself he understands that another man is a machine just as he is himself. from p. Very often a man desires sincerely to express or somehow or other show to another man what he really thinks of him or feels about him. At the same time it is used to express contempt or . He begins by deciding not to consider and afterwards blames other people for not considering him. 362 et seq.

Nothing of the kind. What is a man worth who is unable to do this?" "What does obyvatel actually mean?" asked somebody. the type of obyvatel who lives all his life just as the other people round him. This is the obyvatel of which I speak. for example. perhaps a good master. What attitude should an obyvatel have towards war?" "There can be different wars and there can be different patriots. and fools. poets. justifies their weakness and inadaptability. A man lives and works. His own life as an obyvatel can be his way. he gives everything to them and goes into a monastery. does not believe in words. an obyvatel values the possibilities of the 'ways' and the possibilities of 'liberation' or 'salvation' better and quicker than a man who is . conspicuous in nothing. rascals. perhaps he does not need this. He realizes how much idle talk is hidden behind them. Perhaps he does not go into a monastery. then." "And how would an obyvatel look upon pacifists or upon people who refuse to go to the war?" "Equally as lunatics! They are probably still worse.derision--'obyvatel'--as though there could be nothing worse. I call 'tramps' all the so-called 'intelligentsia'--artists. who are too weak to struggle with and conquer life. but there are others. and is perhaps even close-fisted.' I mean by this that. In the meantime we will talk about the obyvatel. I do not at all wish to say that all obyvatels are people of the objective way. accustomed to deal with real values. who despises the obyvatel and who at the same time would be unable to exist without him. very often look down on the obyvatel and in general despise the virtues of theobyvatel. "You all still believe in words. Ability to orientate oneself in life is a very useful quality from the point of view of the work.' And finally there are different types of obyvatel. so to speak. "Let us suppose there is war. Imagine. I merely wish to say that being a good obyvatel by itself does not hinder the 'way." said G. Among them are thieves. any kind of 'bohemian' in general. People who shout about their patriotism are psychopaths for him and he looks upon them as such.' Afterwards I will perhaps explain what I mean by these two words. when his children or his grandchildren are grown up. dream of the ways. This is very often lost sight of on people who are unable to organize their own personal lives. "When I say that an obyvatel is more serious than a 'tramp' or a 'lunatic. or what they consider are ways. At the same time he dreams all his life of monasteries. a good obyvatel has many more chances than a 'lunatic' or a 'tramp.. And such things happen in the East and in Russia. for instance. because they think it will be easier for them than life and because this. But they only show by this their own personal unsuitability for any way whatever. An obyvatel. if he is a good obyvatel. A man who can be a good obyvatel is much more helpful from the point of view of the way than a 'tramp' who thinks himself much higher than an obyvatel." . "Can it be said that an obyvatel is a good citizen?" "Ought an obyvatel to be patriotic?" someone else asked.. "People who are definitely thinking about ways. But those who speak in this way do not understand that the obyvatel is the healthy kernel of life. who makes money. particularly people of intellectual ways. And from the point of view of the possibility of evolution. A good obyvatel should be able to support at least twenty persons by his own labor. Because no way can begin from a level lower than the obyvatel. and dreams that some time or other he will leave everything and go into a monastery.

If I now move my arm thus. Now we must ask ourselves. even if he is lying down.accustomed all his life to a circle of imaginary values. in other words they believe everything that people say. that they signify anything. This for him is not being serious. energy flows in." Walking With Momentum (From Gurdjieff's Views from the Real World Pp 116 & 161) It is a very interesting thing. one coil represents the nose. We cannot get more energy. another a leg. in his heart. he uses more energy than a man who spends a whole day in physical labor. even if he does nothing. which means that it is connected with the accumulators. that anything depends on their decisions. which is still worse.) At the moment when energy has given the initial push. and imaginary possibilities. then. less energy is spent. If the machine is made to produce ten amperes it will go on producing ten amperes. imaginary interests. The amount of energy produced is constant: even if the machine is put right. he laughs at people who think. When I make a sudden movement. and you must try to understand what I am saying about momentum. I spend energy. a third a man's complexion or the size of his stomach. The current can be increased only if all the wires and coils are changed. (He demonstrates. this same energy is needed for the work we intend to do and without which we can achieve nothing. the rest do not concern us--almost all of us have this delightful habit. If tension is absent. he is not able to formulate it. but he knows that things 'do themselves' simply through his own practical shrewdness. so long as I do it with pauses. in general. We must bear in mind that this energy about which we now speak so simply and easily. the inflow of energy will not increase: the machine will remain such as it is created. If my arm is tense. are there many among us who are free from this terrible disease? Almost all of us--we are not speaking of people in general but of those present. "People who are not serious for the obyvatel are people who live by fantasies. or who want to assure him. do anything. So the machine cannot be changed--its structure will remain as it is. The obyvatel knows that they only deceive people. chiefly by the fantasy that they are able to do something. this amount will increase very little. as it is now. and that actually they are simply arranging affairs for themselves--or they are lunatics. Tension needs energy. but when I repeat the movement the momentum no longer takes energy. . For instance. the flow of energy stops and momentum takes over.. An understanding of what is not serious can help him to value that which is serious. But a man who does not have these small chronic tensions certainly wastes no energy when he does not work or move. . a continuous current is required. promise them God knows what. that they can change or.. If a man suffers from chronic tension. which we waste so unnecessarily and involuntarily. therefore. "The obyvatel perhaps may not know it in a philosophical way. that is to say.

What is the distinction in the meaning of attention and consciousness? A. or does it always come accidentally? . Try it in practice to understand better. hate something. and so on. would we ever be able to be conscious when we want to be. Stopping Thoughts (From Ouspensky's "Fourth Way. As we are. I now walk without tension. we must develop consciousness. As we practice it. Now I want to walk without spending any force. you will do it differently from the way you do ordinarily. If we realize that we are asleep and that all people are asleep. another his back. it does not depend on you. It is quite clear that people cannot do anything differently from what they do now if they are asleep. when you lie down--to tense your right arm or your left. (Speaking to M. we do so with enjoyment. Each of us is able to do it more or less. Try to relax everything except your legs. Learn--when you sit. and walk. let each person also begin to practice the following exercise: if you are touched to the quick. the rest goes by momentum. as hard as you can. I only give an initial push. If we want to have will. Q. One thing depends on another. Pay particular attention to keeping your body passive. you must only want to and do it. I shall rock. consciousness needs double attention. and what it means. Control your reaction. tense your arm and keep the rest of your body relaxed. at every step. One has tightened his legs. You see. In this way I cross the room without having wasted any force." pp. but the head and face must be alive. see that it does not spread all over the body. From tomorrow on. Q. do not let it spread. The desire brings the possibility. If you pay attention. To do this you must let the movement do itself. we are annoyed at something. Now we are consciously relaxing some parts of our body and consciously tensing others. Attention can be regarded as the elementary beginning of consciousness--the first degree. The tongue and eyes must speak.) Get up. I am speaking of physical things. everyone does it differently. the better he will be able to do it. close your fists and take care to tighten your muscles only in your fists. As I said. when you stand. 115-118 and 380) En Español Q. If I stand still. then all the absurdities of life are explained. I said earlier to someone that if he regulates his speed it shows that he is tensing his muscles. What is the object of attaining this higher consciousness--to live more fully? A.Sit as I sit. When you pull. All you need is practice. if we want to awake. if we want to be free instead of being marionettes. It is not full awareness for it is only directed one way. taking care only to keep my balance. try to distinguish strain from resistance. All day long. like something. and each one is sure that the more he practices it.

he does not know about it. it gives a different result. A. to see for how long you can keep your thoughts down. Flashes are possible. Q. There are different degrees. For instance. But suppose a man who does not know about self-remembering tries this--he will not come to the idea of self-remembering in this way. for instance. in the so-called Yoga literature there are many near approaches to self-remembering. Q. it may produce a kind of trance state. This is a definite fact because we have no energy for lasting higher states. to think about nothing--if you know about self-remembering. Nothing comes in its full state at once. Q. The first step is to be more conscious. after some time you will be able to be conscious for five minutes. so it cannot produce good results. You see. You can study it to understand the principle that if you do a certain thing knowing what it is. Cannot they last in memory even? A. Is it possible to have done self-remembering before one met this system? I ask because I have tried to self-remember and the results seem to correspond to what I used to do before. If. for how long will depend on your efforts. with effort. higher states cannot last. For example. you can now make yourself be conscious for a minute. This method is described. only again you must judge and classify them by what material they bring. When you said 'knowing about self-remembering'. You cannot rely on it. and if you do almost the same thing without knowing what it is. but they are so theoretical that you cannot get anything out of it. But if you take a man who has studied ordinary psychology or philosophy. control and use is only intellectual. then it is imagination. and if they last. or practice without theory--and neither from the one nor from the other did they come to the real truth. the second step is to be still more conscious.A. they speak about 'I am' consciousness. You must try methods that will produce it. Q. then. It is a very good way. did you mean if you have it in your head as an aim. Is it wrong when it is accidental? A. others came very near to it in theory but without practice--either theory without practice. but people who try it do not know why they are doing it. and intellectual memory cannot keep them. Self-remembering was never mentioned in any literature in an exact. Many people came very near to self-remembering in practice. without knowing what I was doing. concrete form. we speak about self-remembering all the time. It seems to me quite impossible to self-remember at will. they are just flashes. so you cannot say you do not know about self-remembering. As we are. that will create a moment of self-remembering. Q. it gives one result. we always come back to it. although in a disguised form it is spoken about in the New Testament and in Buddhist . if you work on it and do all that is possible to help. If you already know. in some books on Yoga. The memory that we can command. Quite the opposite. That's the thing. A. Try this method of stopping your thoughts. or if you had a taste of it? A. although it seems not quite so difficult to observe myself.

If you do it for a few minutes it is quite sufficient. and throw all other thoughts out. otherwise you will persuade yourself that you are doing it when instead you will just sit quietly and think and be very happy about it. You said real self-remembering needs emotion. This question was asked once in our old groups and Mr. try stopping thoughts. I have given you a very simple. You simply decide to remember yourself. You have to use effort all the time. In the first you bring in a certain definite thought--the realization that you do not remember yourself. Can one remember oneself without emotional experience? A. you must not put any definite demands upon it. Stopping thoughts is a very difficult thing. And stopping thought is simply creating a right atmosphere. but when I think of it I do not experience any emotion. You must always remember that self- remembering needs the best work you are capable of. You cannot control emotions. So they are not the same thing. Is emotional centre the chief centre that works in self-remembering? A. the practice of stopping thoughts will produce the same effect. As much as you can you must keep only one thought. Not exactly. But if you put all centres to the work there is nothing that can stop it. but you must not be disappointed if at first you cannot. do not forget your aim--that you do it in order to remember yourself. What centres work in self-remembering? A. right surroundings. Are self-remembering and stopping thoughts the same thing? A. if you cannot remember yourself. self-remembering will come by itself in the intervals. 'I do not want to think about anything'. Gurdjieff answered: 'If you can stop breathing for ten minutes it is very good. to be aware of oneself. 'Watch. Gurdjieff asked: 'For how long?' The man said for ten minutes. Is it bad to stop breathing when one tries to stop thoughts? A. So. Q. So you must not do it for long. because other centres can interrupt your self-remembering and stop it. Self-remembering needs the best work you can produce. and they stop. as I said. Is one's work more accurate if one is remembering oneself and the work one is doing? . You must make it a regular practice to try and remember yourself. if possible at the same times of the day. Q. weak work-- the work of one or two centres. practical method. For instance. And what comes with it you just notice. at the same time. What prevents self- remembering? This constant turning of thoughts. Try to stop your thoughts but. If you make it a regular practice to try and remember yourself three or four times a day. Self-remembering cannot be produced by slow. and perhaps you will have a taste of it. but only an exercise. Mr. they are two different methods. Q. do not sleep'. so the more centres that take part in it the better the result. It is a very good exercise. when it is said. when you need it. this is self-remembering. You can stop thoughts. You must always start with that. for self- remembering. Q. You may begin with two centres. But people interpret it differently. but they bring the same results. Stop this turning. Q. But that you will notice later. The idea is to remember oneself. You cannot say to yourself 'I will stop thoughts'..writings. And. because after four minutes you die!' Q. but it is not sufficient. That may help.

But there is a difference already. Because this is not being conscious. when you are awake you can do everything better. if it comes often--like seeing oneself in a mirror--then there comes another form of self-remembering. and this can be created only at a moment of a serious emotional stress. Then it interferes with what you are doing. There are also other steps. It does not mean you have changed anything: they happen differently. the time-body. because we do not know how to use them. These emotional moments come from time to time. It is necessary to create a certain particular energy or point. we have all the necessary organs for it. We do not have it. for you see many things you could not have seen before. It is a question of perfecting our instrument of cognition. Besides. nor make a single thing different. When you get accustomed to self-remembering you will not be able to understand how you ever worked without it. otherwise it would be imagination. But in the beginning it is difficult to work and to remember oneself at the same time. This increases possibilities. not accustomed to using them. it is above centres. suppose you forget or lose things: you cannot lose things on purpose. but we can have it. remembering one's life. Our . For instance.A. Still. But real self-remembering is not in centres. Q. self-understanding. Moments may come. self-observation. you can lose them only mechanically. So what we are doing now is a sort of practising? A. What is this preparation you are speaking about? A. Is our life long enough to attain results? A. But it cannot be done if you do not prepare yourself beforehand. just as when you are writing and suddenly think 'How is this word spelt?'--you cannot remember. Q. Self-study. But if you find yourself in a moment of very strong emotional stress and try to remember yourself then. Yes. but we can only speak of one step ahead. using this word in an ordinary sense. We can change nothing yet. and many things 'happen' differently. So only with very intense emotion is it possible to create this foundation for self- remembering. when I thought 'I am here' I did not know what I was doing. We must realize that the capacity for remembering oneself is our right. You come to the understanding of this point through self-remembering. We must understand that we must not touch certain questions without self-remembering. Now you are only studying yourselves. All experience of all times shows that these efforts are always rewarded. because some things can only be mechanical. A. but a long time is necessary for that. When you reach certain results in it. Q. it is thinking about self-remembering. Everything before that is only preparation of the method. It all happens in the same way as before. it will leave a certain trace. one will see one's mistakes. but we do not use them. efforts in this direction give very interesting results. and then you will be able to remember yourself. While performing on the piano. It cannot interfere with the work of centres. you can do nothing else. If you try sufficiently hard to remember yourself during a moment of intense emotion. This is one function interfering with another. only one will see more. of that there can be no doubt. it will remain after the stress is over. and this will help you to remember yourself in the future. so to speak. but you will get nothing from them. and if the emotional stress is strong enough. but we are not trained. if you make these efforts you will understand that certain things one can only do in sleep and cannot do when one is awake. Q.

Sometimes I feel that I have the capacity to concentrate. In other words. as if they had a sort of awareness that was them. That will accumulate enough energy for this effort to remember yourself or the effort to stop thoughts. You cannot try to be emotional--the more you try. Discount the possibility of imagination. you will become more emotional. you must accumulate energy by struggle with mechanical habits and things like that.mind is very limited by our state of consciousness. they identify with their habitual personal reactions to life. begin to identify with negative emotions--i. Do not try to explain. You must think about how to get more energy to be conscious. They do not observe what happens to them simply because they have no self-observation in the Work-sense. You can try to be conscious. It all seems to come back to the same question--how to be more emotional. they fall asleep on rising. your emotions and your movements. What does it mean? Hermes was an actual teacher that taught this Work. 803 Most people. He taught sealing yourself from the effects of life on yourself. but I do not know what to do. for a man can only attain his individuality by sealing himself off from the effect of the events of life upon him. Hermetically Sealed Nicoll Commentaries. The do not remember themselves. you can never be at a loss as to what to do. and the answer would be that first you must stop leaks and try to get more energy by following all the indications you get from the work--all of them. about five minutes after they get up in the morning. We can hope that certain things will become comprehensible if our state of consciousness changes. They pass the day in attracting to themselves situations and things that would not come to them if they remembered themselves. your thoughts. and if you become more conscious. Q. Q. They do not hold themselves together internally. You have always more than enough material for work on yourself. I only think about small things and it disappears again. Page 380: Q. A. Sometimes you can feel strange things in that way. A. you should seal every center from being negative. It is quite a different state of yourself that can observe after some time in the Work. In one of the teachings of Hermes. Sometimes when I have tried to self-remember I have a strange feeling about inanimate objects. If you have no energy to do that. but explanations are always wrong. the less emotional you will be. you can always find something that you did not do. But when you begin to explain it. p1306 Now notice when you become negative. it is said that before you get up in the morning. They let themselves go. because you feel with one very good apparatus and explain with another.e. just leave it. A. a very clumsy machine that cannot really explain. Do not only concentrate on one. Let us say simply that you feel something new in things. you begin to imagine. p. That would be a right question. Half an hour's work in the morning can make a great difference all . Try to stop thoughts--that is easy and useful.

to learn their real nature. Taking new. unaccustomed postures enables you to observe yourself inside differently from the way you usually do in ordinary conditions. People often open letters the moment they get up. and saying no to them-- lifting oneself out of them--not taking them as you--all this work on non-identifying with certain machines. and so on. and the muscles that were relaxed must remain relaxed. you wish to become an actress. and the staleness of life is prevented which is really the staleness of oneself always reacting in the same way to everything. on the other hand. You must make the effort to keep thoughts and feelings as they were. But people have to find this out for themselves. always taking others in the same way. can alter the whole day. At this command you have to freeze not only externally but also to stop all your inner movements. long. etc. in his life. You can all see for yourselves what it means to be under the Law of Accident and the Law of Destiny or Fate. or several [inner states] together. letting go all inner accounts--if possible. always having the same views. A man. of course. which is worth doing. in the early morning. to work on oneself in the early morning. to each inner state corresponds a certain posture. Is it necessary to be plunged immediately into the accidents of life without having formed in yourself a certain resistance to life. certain ‘I’s. belongs the idea of cancelling debts. descending into life and duty. or two. noticing the small beginnings of worrying or negative thoughts or self-pity. 138 If you notice. A countess has quite different postures.. and at the same time to observe yourself. has a certain number of habitual postures and he passes from one to another without stopping at those between." pages 167 & 231(sb)/239-241(hb) page 167: You ask about the aim of the movements. Uncomfortable Posture from Gurdjieff's "Views from the Real World. a maid--yet you have to act the part of a countess. . To each position of the body corresponds a certain inner state and. etc. without having a certain sacred moment with yourself of Self-Remembering. For instance. pages 231/239-241(hb): The time will come when we shall endeavor to shut off artificially one. Then something fresh and new begins the day. This becomes especially clear when on the command "Stop!" you have to freeze at once. so that life and all its accidents do not instantly rush in and occupy the whole psychology?" p. as it were. And to this. Muscles that were tense must remain in the same state of tension. you will see that little forms of worrying start very early in the morning. Your habitual postures are suited to acting a certain part--for instance. A little conscious work at that time. It is a very good thing. I wonder why.

each one must understand and examine his sensations and feelings and learn approximately the difference between them." pp.. because we have already had practical experience of them. These desires are artificial and their consequences will be equally artificial. And if thoughts are artificial. excepting those whom I specially instructed to do so. and Nicoll's "Commentaries. On the contrary there was a definite rule that none of you. if they ask you to. bring them to the ought by now to have some understanding as to the nature of the system and its principal methods. I call it artificial because I was not born with these desires. In the case of our thoughts the means of artificially evoking them is conversations." We shall call "feeling" the one whose place of origin is what we call the emotional center.At present we must have an idea of two different experi-ences. then you should be able to pass it on to others. We desire. You have already heard enough. then I can create in myself for this purpose sensations which are also artificial. try to prepare those who show interest and. The first thing is thought. Now. 241-43. You will remember that at the beginning I was against your talking about the ideas of the system outside the groups." pp. At the beginning all three need to be evoked artificially. New People from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. you would have even deprived them of the possibility of coming to them at a later time. 298-302. Ouspensky's "The Fourth Way. We can come to this exercise only with the participation of thought. And if you really have made efforts to understand what you have heard. of course. nothing is evoked. And I explained then why this was necessary. one of which we shall agree to call "feeling" and the other "sensation. a correct impression. But now the situation is different. You would not have been able to give a correct picture. lectures and so on. Instead of giving people the possibility of coming to these ideas you would have repelled them for ever. and you ought to be able to pass these ideas on to others. if nothing is said. therefore our thoughts can be more or less easily adapted to this work. should talk to anyone either about the groups or the lectures or the ideas.. Readings. 1456-1458 from Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous. while "sensations" are those so-called feelings whose place of origin is in what we call the moving center. 241-43: Gurdjieff: ". For primary exercises in self-remembering the participation of all three centers is necessary. We already know this. we wish." pp. they are not an organic necessity. and we began to speak of the difference between feelings and sensations because it is necessary to have simultaneously both feeling and sensation." pp. they are not natural. Therefore I will give you a definite task. But . "Try to lead conversations with your friends and acquaintances up to these subjects. talks have served as an artificial shock. For example.

laughed when we recounted to him our conversations with our friends. you would not believe in it yourselves." "How can we recognize people who are able to come to the work?" asked on of those present. and secondly in all the old ways. In order to approach this system seriously." The next meeting after this was very interesting. If he is a scientist he should be disappointed in his science. He should know what it is possible to know through ordinary channelsabout the ideas of esotericism. "How to recognize them is another question. What I mean is that these ideas ought not to appear to him as something entirely new." . But at the same time there are people who are able to take in these ideas and with whom it is worth while talking. that you have already assimilated something. but in this case he has to be obedient. It is useful also if he has at least some scientific or philosophical preparation. It can be said that there is one general rule for everybody. If he has a good essence there is another way for him without any talks at all.." he said. disappointed in what he has been searching for. has thought but little. Another man. others found absurd the idea that we could not "do. everyone had a great many questions.. people must be disappointed. he will find it very difficult. If he . he has to give up his will. And he has to come to this also in some way or other. G. others asked who had seen the centers and how they could be seen. "You must understand that a man should have. and second. first. and so on. Try speaking to him about these ideas and you will see at once that he is an utter fool. about possibilities of the inner evolution of man. . that is to say. that you are able to appraise people. certain luggage.' But before speaking of this we must establish what kind of people are able to come to the work and what kind are not able. "If you were to put together everything that people are able to say about this system. If he is a politician he should be disappointed in politics. understood something. If a man has a good knowledge of religion. In general. You may know a man all your life and think that he is not a bad fellow. that he is even rather intelligent. to understand with whom it is worth while talking and with whom it is not worth while. The proper performance of this task by each of you will show first." said G. They asked for instance what we had got from the work and openly expressed doubts as to our "remembering ourselves. a certain preparation." On the other hand others had themselves no doubt whatever that they "remembered themselves..everyone must realize that this is his own task and not expect others to do it for him. has read but little." Others found the "ray of creation" and the "seven cosmoses" ridiculous and useless. everyone was somewhat discouraged and disappointed.. if a man knows but little. and thinks very seriously. If he is a religious man he should be disappointed in his religion. in their powers. Otherwise it is difficult to speak to him. But if he is tied to religious forms and has no understanding of their essence. first of all in themselves. on the other hand. but speak to him on these subjects and you find that he thinks. about hidden knowledge. because the majority of people cannot take in any of these ideas and it is perfectly useless to talk to them. it is difficult to talk to him. A man cannot feel what is most valuable in the system unless he is disappointed in what he has been doing. It proved that friends and acquaintances asked very shrewd questions to which most of our people had no answers. Everyone was full of impressions of talks with friends. "To do this it is necessary to a certain extent 'to be. "This is nothing. this can also be useful. This system has a wonderful property: even a mere contact with it calls forth either the best or the worst in people. might appear to have nothing in him.

This system is for those who have already sought and have burned themselves. And those who have not yet burned themselves do not need it either. no matter what used to interest him. are none of them any good to us. he might discern the flavor of truth in what you say no matter how clumsily you might speak. I do not mean that he must throw up everything he used to do before. And you must always remember this and take care not to tell them much because everything they learn from you they might use for their own purposes.' "There is only one thing incompatible with work and that is 'professional occultism." . All these spiritualists. "They ask: Do we admit the existence of the ether? Or how do we look on evolution? Or why do we not believe in progress? Or why do we not think that people can and should organize life on the basis of justice and the common good? And things of this sort. This is entirely unnecessary. no matter what he used to do before. it means that he is not ready. But he must realize that it is only a profession. To be disappointed in occultism does not mean losing faith in the miraculous. if a man has arrived at this state of disappointment in ways that are possible and accessible. In this case it is another matter. it is merely being convinced that ordinary. If you should speak to such a man. To be disappointed in science does not mean losing interest in knowledge. or a necessity. everything you say will sound absurd to him and he will never even listen to you seriously. the visible and the hidden. it is often even better if he continues to do what he used to do. and to feel the necessity for finding the hidden and unknown part of religion. "So that. to begin to search for others. he will then be able not to 'identify. professional charlatanism. But if he continues to think that he is able to find anything on his former way. or that he can. But if you should speak to a man who is convinced about something else. But you must understand what this means. In the meantime remember one thing only: A man must be sufficiently disappointed in ordinary ways and he must at the same time think or be able to accept the idea that there may be something--somewhere. Those who have not sought and who are not seeking do not need it. or a habit. under whatever name it may pass." "But this is not what people begin with. and even advertised occultism. excepting of course the completely degenerated religions of savages and the invented religions and sects of modern times. it means being 'disappointed' in the teaching and the methods only. And so on. realizing that the religious teaching he knows is not enough for him." said one of our company. This does not mean that he should lose his faith. by himself. All religious teachings. and so on. or that he has not as yet tried all the ways. it is worth while speaking to him about our system and then he may come to the work. although somewhere something does exist. To be disappointed in philosophy means being convinced that ordinary philosophy is merely--as it is said in the Russian proverb--pouring from one empty vessel into another. To be disappointed in religion means being disappointed in the visible. find anything or do anything. I say for instance that a religious man should be disappointed in religion. everything that man knows or is able to learn in the ordinary way is not what he needs. having become convinced of this. is simply charlatanism and self-deception and that. accessible.' in other words. and that people do not even know what philosophy means although true philosophy also can and should exist. that is. On the contrary. It means being convinced that the usual scientific methods are not only useless but lead to the construction of absurd and self- contradictory theories. consist of two parts. If he is a theosophist he should be disappointed in theosophy. healers. clairvoyants. It is not worth while wasting time on him. can lead him nowhere. and. or even people closely connected with a philosopher he should be disappointed in philosophy. If he is an occultist he should be disappointed in occultism. "There are still other categories which are no good but we will speak of them later. to make fools of other people. On the contrary.

is the division of men from the point of view of the possibility of changing being. Belonging to one of the first three categories is not permanent and can be changed. 'Snataka' or 'Householder' simply means a man who leads an ordinary life. not from the second or the third. 298-302 What is interesting in this connection. So. he may be a statesman or a professor. You understand that what I mean is that this very question about either or about progress or about the common good could be asked by a man simply in order to say something. First it is necessary to understand these three categories from the point of view of the possibility of changing being. This division is not parallel to any other division. they may be rich and may still be 'tramps' in their attitude to life. Tramps do not necessarily mean poor people. and second. Such a man can have doubts about the value of ordinary things. Only from among such men come people who are able to climb the staircase and reach the Path. It is particularly connected with the idea of the Path or Way. 'lunatics'. This division means only one thing-- that people are not in exactly the same position in relation to possibilities of work.. climb it and reach the Way. Mr Gurdjieff answered by using a Russian word which can be translated as 'Householder'.. But it is necessary for the question to be an aching one. but one can come to the work only from the first category. and what I would like to speak about. have already destroyed all possibility of changing their being. lunatics because they have false values. "and you can begin from any question if only it is sincere. Other people he divided into two categories: first. either after a long life or at the beginning of life. they lose their rights very easily. 'tramps'. he can come to a school." from Ouspensky's "The Fourth Way. tramps because they are not really interested in anything. and there are people belonging to yet a fourth category who." said G. because they brought their being to such a state that there is no starting-point in them. . There is such a division. though people may be born with the same rights. If it is an aching question for him you can give him an answer and you can bring him to the system through any question whatever. You remember it was said that from the moment one becomes connected with influence C a staircase begins and only when a man gets to the top of it is the Path or Way reached? A question was asked about who is able to come up to this staircase. There are people for whom the possibility of changing their being exists. and on the other hand he could ask it because this is the question with which he aches. there are many people for whom it is practically impossible. the fourth category excludes all possibilities. or to repeat what someone else has said or what he has read in some book. he can have dreams about possibilities of development. So if they attempt to climb up the staircase they only fall down and break their necks. And a 'lunatic' does not mean a man deprived of ordinary mind. . possibility of school-work. by different means. so to speak.."All questions are good. and he can work in a school. In Indian and Buddhist literature this is a very well-defined type of man and type of life which can bring one to change of being. These two categories are no good for a school and will not be interested in it." pp.

from Nicoll's "Commentaries. That is. who does not believe in life but sees the real value of things. Such a Good Householder has Magnetic Centre. What is it that determines which category a man belongs to? A. Mr. So practical thinking and self-discipline are characteristics of the first category. Ouspensky in this respect. that is the householder--to begin with he is a practical man. but who are really at a much lower level and have no feeling of responsibility towards anything and do not understand what a fool is in themselves. and a normal man. The fourth category is separate. he sees how false the aims of life are and how. I will give you just a few definitions." . 1456-1457 Let us review again how the Work defines Man.Q. he is not formatory. Lunatic and Hasnamous. Emotional Man. otherwise he would not be what he is. the definition of Man takes various forms in the Work. As you know. But to-day we will recall another way of looking at Man from the Work point of view. in so many cases. One of the first things about a 'Hasnamuss' is that he never hesitates to sacrifice people or to create an enormous amount of suffering. Man as he is on Earth is divided into Good Householder. and certain possibilities that one has. to people.. etc. You have heard many times that people must be at the level of Good Householder. with being a tramp and a lunatic at the same time. so in the work these two characteristics must increase and grow. . has the possibility of development. because you have nothing to do with such people. such as Moving Centre Man. just for his own personal ambitions. consisting of two Turkish words. whether we think of Good Householder as a man who believes in life or as a man who does not believe in life. and Intellectual Man. Tramp. nothing is attained. Now we will talk about the next definition: Man as being a Tramp. How a 'Hasnamuss' is created is another question. As to the characteristics of a man in the first category. In the system this category has a special name. I will give you some actual words of Mr. you will find many artists and poets. Such a man has enough of these for ordinary life but not enough for work. who despise Good Householder. This category cannot interest you practically. if they are brought into this Work." We see therefore from these definitions that Good Householder can be of two kinds.. but you meet with the results of their existence. and yet in both cases does his job." p. There is the householder who believes in life and can deal with his affairs reasonably and again there is the Householder in the Work sense who is well orientated to live and knows his job. In other words. We all have a fool in us.. He said: "Good Householder really means in the Work sense a man well orientated to life. he sees the real value of things. Ouspensky said: "Amongst Tramps. It is 'Hasnamuss'. given favorable conditions. Another definition of a 'Hasnamuss' is that he is crystalllized in the wrong hydrogens. he must have a certain amount of discipline. About this fourth category. It begins with formatory thinking. A householder is a normal man. he does not believe that life will get him anywhere in the direction in which he wishes to go and has the feeling that life is not real although he continues to do his duty--that is. A certain attitude to life. This man is quite different from Good Householder. but does not believe in life. It is the same for all the three categories.

Finally. Of course you must understand that Hasnamous is built on a big scale or a small scale. from the Work point of view. was there he pointed out some dictators who were really Hasnamous people. people whose well-being depends on the ill-being of other people.Now let us take the third definition--i. The fool in us never sees Second Force and lives in phantasies and imagination. But the quality of such people is not right for the inner discipline of this Work. Mr. you would easily see what Hasnamous means historically. These are the Lunatics. or the force of resistance to what you want to attain. Immediately they find any difficulties they are like those people spoken of in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed who. are not Good Householders and are not suitable for this Work. on this particular occasion. and again. G. Now what happens to the Good Householder with Magnetic Centre who is well orientated to his Work in life but does not believe in life? What do you understand yourself by this strange definition and why do you think that such a man has a better being than all the rest mentioned so far? Mr. Ouspensky said: "Hasnamous men are people whose well-being depends on the non-well- being of other people. A man who is Hasnamous (which is a word invented by Mr. but unfortunately Tramps come in very often imagining that this Work will make everything easier for them. people who are called. if he does this. Ouspensky: "Was Napoleon a Hasnamous man?" He smiled and said: "I did not know Napoleon personally. that we can take it like this--the Way of Good Householder is a very long way. Ouspensky. Tramp. Lunatics. Good Householder without Magnetic Centre. Someone once said to Mr. sown on rocky ground. . Lunatics do not come much into the Fourth Way Work because they are perfectly contented with their own ideas and theories. "are like politicians. people who are mad in their theories about how life should be run and imagine that by rules and laws people can be changed. may I point out to some of you that this place here." At the time when G. they do not see the fool in themselves. He may have gone into a monastery or he might have gone elsewhere to find out something different from life.e. People do not hear of him. It will take a very long time and many lives for him to separate from himself and develop himself in the way he should by creation." So we have to think of the answer for ourselves. create greater disorder because they do not calculate Second Force. I want people who are some good already and who know something about the difficulty of meeting Second Force and seeing that the fault is in themselves. Now let us talk about this Good Householder and again remind ourselves that no one must come into this Work who is not in some degree Good Householder. and I fancy if some of you read a little more history than you do. You remember that Voltaire once said that history is a history of crime. And so we have five definitions of Man from this Work point of view: Good Householder with Magnetic Centre. Lunatic and Hasnamous. This Work is not for Tramps or Lunatics. Ouspensky said in this connection at the time of which I am speaking: "He often disappears after having done his duty. people who think they can do. wither away. people who think that they can change life by means of themselves. "These"." On the other hand. based on some Persian or Turkish language) is a man who is clever enough to see that he can gain power by means of tricks over ordinary people." He said: "Such a man often vanishes. On the other hand. this Group that we are gradually forming. because they have no root. he said that they have always existed-- that is. said Mr. may find something that makes it possible for him to develop. Such a man. This means that they think they can change everyone by some new enactment and do not realize that to change a person is a very difficult thing. Then lastly we have this strange word Hasnamous. People who are no good at life. people who." The fool in you is what does not calculate Second Force. has nothing to do with a hospital or a charitable institution. if they put their theories into practice. he said in so many words.

in the whole lexicon of words in the English language there cannot be found one even approximately corresponding. even if I do not like it. the degree of the expression of that so to say "slavish impulse" for which there are. I must like it. which significance. that is. never want." yet not in the sense in which this word is used in the contemporary English language but in the sense in which Englishmen used it before what is called the "Shakespearean epoch. "I can"--he really can. lastly. I wish from Gurdjieff's "Life is real only then.' " pp. This impulse." "need." "desire" and so on. and the corresponding force of action from their manifestation. When "I wish"--I feel with my whole being that I wish. "I wish"--he really wishes. "I wish. that I like or. "like.I am. can be defined in the English language only descriptively." Although for the exact definition of the second of these human impulses in the contemporary English language there is a word. as well as by the English people themselves. that I desire. one of certain definite manifestations in the general presence of every normal man. No." This third impulse. Only such a man." almost composes and represents the genuine I of a man who has reached responsible age. and can wish. one might employ the English word "can. Opposite Attitudes . namely. particularly in this language." "want. those which I have already said can be approximately expressed in English by the words "can" and "wish." I never like. I do not desire anything and I do not need anything--all this is slavery. This does not mean that I want." I wish--I feel with my whole body that I wish. of course unconsciously. It is only in a man with such an I that these three impulses. a multitude of words as. I should define it for now in the following words: "the entire sensing of the whole of oneself. if "I wish" something. I can. because "I can. namely "wish. when 'I am. that I need. And as regards a word for the expression and understanding of the third definite aforementioned human impulse." it is nevertheless employed by you Americans. I can wish to like it. with many words. when he consciously says "I am"--he really is. because its association with the first two. proper exclusively to man. for example. is of all the seven exclusively-proper-to-man impulses the most important. is obtained only in a man who by his intentional efforts obtains the arising in himself of data for engendering these impulses sacred for man. which should be sometimes in the waking state of man." acquire in their turn that significance which I presume. only in order to vary. 110-111 For an approximate definition of the first of these three human impulses which must arise and manifest themselves in a real man. two of which are approximately defined in English by the words "I can" and "I wish. I wish--because I can wish.

All this arises from a lack of consciousness of oneself. he will condemn. who rises to the top of life--that is. One should be able to read the papers without constantly saying "tut-tut" or feeling angry or depressed. so it could be compared to crossing over to the other side of yourself from that side that has hitherto governed you by means of typical one-sided attitudes. acquired attitudes we will judge from those attitudes. When you have a photograph of yourself in this sense you see yourself as a certain kind of person over many years. This increase of consciousness shews the possibility of taking everything in another way. so to speak. I head at different times later on that taking photographs of oneself was different from merely observing oneself at any particular moment. whether it was necessary for everything to be overcome in oneself. He will judge. and form gradually a photograph of yourself over a considerable period of time. of so violently not forgiving. in a mechanical. and in this particular case he is imprisoned y his acquired mechanical attitudes. these observations become liked. Now. and so on. He is called a strong man. Amongst other things we have to try to become more conscious of our attitudes which have been laid down in us from early life from imitation of our elders or the romances of the period. a while side of life which a conscious man will never think of judging. He said: "No" and seemed then to speak in an indirect way more of the necessity of creating new attitudes to things so that. governed by certain attitudes. so that neither one side nor the other side of the opposites governs him exclusively. perhaps back to childhood. through an interpreter. as when crossing the road. collect together. I think that Ouspensky called this a Time-Photograph or possibly one photograph of your Time-Body. everything that happens. 1263-4 On one occasion I asked Gurdjieff.from Nicoll Commentaries . He indicated that this was only possible if you took photographs of yourself. it was comparable to crossing from one side to the other. One has not observed it. so that he can only see everything from one point of view. . even automatic way." You must understand that if we have fixed. and a conscious man is one who is freed from these limiting one-sided attitudes. a man of limited one-sided being. He said: "Try to notice what you object to in people. and try deliberately to think and talk from the opposite attitude. Ouspensky once gave us an example of the following description. in fact. I understood him to mean that if we remain with our present attitudes we are on one side but if we change attitudes we can go to the other side of ourselves. If your quality of self-observation is sincere and if it is not merely done out of a sense of being told to do it. he will not forgive. the difference between mechanical man and conscious man is that a mechanical man is in the prison of himself. You all know what it means to meet a man who has very strong and fixed attitudes. he can be conscious in the full swing of the opposites. One does not realize that one is much the same as the people one is condemning and judging and not forgiving because one is not conscious that one does the same things oneself. in politics. So one can say such a man cannot cross the road and do things from the other side. Now. as mechanical people we study how to become more conscious. pp. So I gathered that an attitude is always one-sided. We understand that a conscious man can see things from different angles and. condemning.