A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour.
Laughter relieves us of superfluous energy, which, if it remained unused, might become negative, that is, poison. Laughter is the antidote.
Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening.
We must strive for freedom if we strive for self-knowledge. The task of self-knowledge and of further self-development is of such importance and seriousness, it demands such intensity of effort, that to attempt it any old way and amongst other things is impossible. The person who undertakes this task must put it first in his life, which is not so long that he can afford to squander it on trifles.
Realization: G.I. Gurdjieff was a seeker from early childhood. Exposed to a great variety of Eastern and Western cultures as a boy, he was touched by mysteries which created in him a great hunger for knowledge. He organized expeditions through central Asia and the Middle East in search of schools where answers could be found to the questions that interested him.
What Gurdjieff had been born with, and what had been given him by schools(if he had passed through a school), he was a genius in his own domain, he had scarcely had to learn, what he knew could not be learned. He spent years searching in Central Asia, North Africa, and other places for a hidden tradition whose traces he had encountered in youth. During this search he came into contact with certain esoteric schools. Gurdjieff believed he had a mission. That mission was to bring to the West an ancient teaching, formulated and calibrated to exigencies of the contemporary world.
Death: George Ivanovich Gurdjieff died on October 29, 1949 American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Siene, France.
Teaching Style: Gurdjieff transmitted his ideas through a number of different methods and materials, including meetings, music, movements (sacred dance), writings, lectures, and innovative forms of group work. He formed and liquidated various schools around the world to utilize his teachings.
Fame: He is most notable for introducing what some refer to as “The Work,” connoting work on oneself according to Gurdjieff’s principles and instructions, or as he first referred to it, the Fourth Way. Gurdjieff taught people how to increase and focus their attention and energy in various ways, and to minimize daydreaming and absentmindedness. He appears to have given new life and practical form to ancient teachings of both East and West. His system, which involved music, movement, dance, and self-criticism, enabled the unrealized individual to transcend the mechanical, acted-upon self and ascend from mere personality to self-actualizing essence.”
Legacy: Opinions on Gurdjieff’s writings and activities are divided. Sympathizers regard him as a charismatic master who brought new knowledge into Western culture, a psychology and cosmology that enable insights beyond those provided by established science. Critics assert he was simply a charlatan with a large ego and a constant need for self-glorification. He had a strong influence on many modern mystics, artists, writers, and thinkers.
Gurdjieff’s teaching mainly addressed the question of people’s place in the universe and their possibilities for inner development. He taught that higher levels of consciousness, higher bodies, and inner growth and development is possible.
His said that human life is lived in waking sleep; transcendence of the sleeping state requires a specific inner work, which is practiced in private quiet conditions, and in the midst of life with others. This leads to otherwise inaccessible levels of vitality and awareness.
Gurdjieff claimed that people do not perceive reality, as they are not conscious of themselves, but live in a state of hypnotic “waking sleep.
According to him man lives his life in sleep, and in sleep he dies. He said that each person perceived things from a completely subjective perspective. He stated that maleficent events such as wars and so on could not possibly take place if people were more awake. He asserted that people in their typical state were unconscious automatons, but that it was possible for a man to wake up and experience life more fully.
According to him inner development in oneself is the beginning of a possible further process of change, whose aim is to transform a man into what he ought to be.
Gurdjieff taught that group efforts greatly surpass individual efforts towards self-development.
There are at any one time 3 forces acting: active force, passive force, and neutral force. Mostly we think of two forces as, yes and no. Third force though present usually is invisible.