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VERSIONE ITALIANA 

The basis of Gurdjieff's thinking

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This Site is dedicated to the Work and to all Seekers

 

Dear QuartaVia Explorers,

We are writing to let you know that we await your e-mails with any questions and doubts that may have arisen after reading or hearing about the Fourth Way.

If your questions come from the heart, we will have great joy in answering you with just as much feeling, not trying to illuminate you, but sharing our thoughts with you. We can’t promise to publish all your letters in this space, but we will do our best.

Quartavia.org Staff


Your letters

 

Marco A.

 

What kind of job is bestsuited to help our inner development?

I just need a simple answer to help me understand what kind of profession I should undertake.

 

A: Any profession can help us to improve our inner development. It is through our ability, intentions, and desire to grow and mature that a job becomes a chance to Work.

Best wishes

The Staff

 

 

Giuliana B.

If  we are ready does the Master always come?

 

A: Dear Giuliana, if you are ready the Master can’t fail to come.

 

 

Luca F.

In a previous e-mail, I told you that, although I don’t identify myself in any particular school, I’ve begun to work on myself (Osho groups, gestalt psychotherapy, study groups on the “enneagram”). I also wrote you that I was feeling and I still feel the need for a Master. I would like your advice.

 

A: What kind of help do you need? Listen to your heart and ask yourself whether you are really looking for a Master.To stay close to a Master is not an easy thing and it’s hard to take. But if your wish really comes from your heart the Master will approach you, and not the other way round. All you have to do is just walk in his direction and look for him, but the Master will find you.

Do not be afraid to fall into the trap of false teachers. The only way to free oneself of false prophets is by spending time with them. They usually have a poison which will eventually turn against them.
You should, however, ascertain their level of sincerity. Always be honest.
And by honesty we mean the effort to truly want to seek the truth.

Quarta Via.org Staff

Marco G.

I have recently left the “XYZ” Fourth Way School (we have omitted the name) having attended for a month. Of course I haven’t had enough time to understand, but I got the really strong impression at the “XYZ” in Rome and in “ZXY”s writings that there was an attitude of spiritual pride and spiritual racism toward people outside the school, and toward  people who leave it, and what's more, they claim they are destined for eternal recurrence.

Alas, I see more involutional forces than evolutionary ones in this Master “ZXY”, who claims to be a level 7 Master. It reminds in some ways of nazism, but on what we might call a spiritual level.

They all believe they are Chosen in that school, but I didn’t feel Chosen, nor even one of the few who will be saved. I just wanted to ask you if you too have such an exclusive view of evolution. Few immortal people and many dead people. In this school they teach division instead of Union. I prefer mechanicalness  and eternal recurrence to feeling divided from people. I feel that I am an individual and, at the same time, One with all the others. I think that salvation and awakening is the destiny of every soul although it will take a long time. I look for the unity inside me so that I can find it outside of me and understand, at the end, that the One stays in the Multiplicity and that the Multiplicity stays in the One.

Greetings to everybody.

Thank you

 

A: If you read your letter again carefully, you will see that, although it may be true that “XYZ” school is made up of people who consider themselves “an elite”, your attitude shows that you too feel “elite”: I am better than them… you are not so different from the people you judge. Only by understanding this will you be enabled to develop… feeling better than others is only one of the many deceptions that the school so ably arouses in you.

Yes, we are like the “XYZ” school, or maybe we are even worse.

Best wishes

QuartaVia.org Staff

Michele R.

Hello… I would like to to know if you can recommend any Gurdjieffian schools or schools of a similar ethos in Campania (if there are any)… however I have some doubts about the reliability of the teachings, now affected by the time which separates us from Gurdjieff’s death… so, if you can, please first of all tell me what I should avoid…

 

A: Avoid those who tell you to avoid something or, even worse, someone. Best wishes

QuartaVia.org Staff

Sandro R.

Dear Editorial Staff,

I read, in a book containing questions that Gurdjieff's disciples asked him , the following question and answer: “I would like to know how to prevent my imagination from prevailing when I am not working on myself, just for a while.”

Gurdjieff answers: "For this problem I will give you somevery simple, very ordinary advice. You are on the right side too. You may find my suggestion amusing . Trying to understand it in advance with your usual logic won’t be any use. You will understand why this suggestion is good only later. Whenever you have some spare time, count 1,2,3,4,5,6… up to 50. Then count back down 50,49,48,47,46, etc. Do it seven times over without stopping, and say the following words: “I AM, I WANT TO BE, I CAN BE. Not to serve evil, but to serve Good. To help my neighbour when I can BE, I AM.” Then start to count again, not automatically, but consciously. Always do it in your spare time. The first time it will seem absurd to you. But when you've been doing it for two or three weeks you will thank me with all your heart. Do you understand?"

I want to know if I have to repeat the phrase while I am counting or if I have to count first and then repeat the phrase.

Thanks and greetings

Sandro

 

A: Dear Friend,

the greatest risk when you read extracts such as the one you submitted to us is that you can forget that a Master of monsieur Gurdjieff's calibre has the ability to use techniques and tools, shaping them according to the personal requirements of those who come to him to be trained.

For this reason we strongly recommend that you to do not repeat this exercise.

Who ever said that this exercise could be helpful for you? And if it isn't?  If you need a different suggestion? Your question reminds us of the story of one of our readers: he often suffered from migraines, and so he regularly did rhythmic movement exercises with his head because “this was the traditional teaching” or because “that was what the ancient Masters taught” or just because “that is what has always been done”, but in this way his headache just kept getting worse.

Do you want to reproduce an exercise just because 70 years ago Gurdjieff prescribed it for a specific disciple?

He certainly didn't give it to you. There is no such thing as a prescription suitable for everyone. What may be good for one person can be poisonous for others. Do not take risks, leave it be. No good book will ever be able to tell you what is right specifically for you.

QuartaVia.org Staff.

Marco G.

 

 

Can remembering oneself be likened to those moments of “mental suspension” that take place in highly emotive situations, such as when we are "surprised” by a road accident, or when the school teacher unexpectedly shouts in your direction, and at you in particular, thrusting you into "the here and now"?

A: Remembering oneself is the deeper experience of “remembering existence". Mechanisation, indifference, the atrophy of our consciousness are the day-to-day alternative to that memory that is not just clearer emotional "perception", but is certainly the consequence of an "alarm" (a teacher shouting or surprise at an accident) which, awakening us from a long hibernation, forces us into greater presence. What is the risk of all this? That when the danger is past, our consciousness returns to its state of sedation. That the experience of a little awakening excites us, leading us to believe that we have reached new stages and levels that, in order to be Real, also need to become lasting. Unfortunately however, we go back to sleep dreaming of a happy awakening full of wonderful joys, rediscoveries of the spirit, without bounds. Until the day when destiny brings us a new "alarm", which reminds us that we were sleeping. This, in reality, is only an involuntary, random "memory of self". The deeper memory of self is what happens when, through specific work of a technical nature, the individual constructs a stable element within his psyche. He will become estranged from himself, leading to the realisation of a stable perception of estrangement from his masks. This will be an inner revolution, a persistent and lasting change. One he will never again be able to ignore. He will have constructed the lasting and global perception of the temporary. The memory of the temporary, remembering with one’s whole being, physical, emotional and intellectual memory, is Memory of self at a far higher level. It is not possible to get there alone, without the right help.

The staff at QuartaVia.org

Damiano P.

 

Here we publish the report sent to us by a friend, or as he defines himself, an “Idiot in Paris", on the trail of the favourite haunts of Gurdjieff:

I got back from France just yesterday, and I have brought back with me an endless array of sensations that I am slowly filtering, with the deep desire of understanding their true origin. Paris is immense, and words could not do justice to its beauty, charm and rhythm; I spent my time there trying to "remember" constantly the "where" and the "why" of circumstances and recognising and forcing unforeseen and unknown weaknesses, from which I learned to be on my guard, also against myself. The city was in full swing when I set my sights on the "Café de la Paix", first from afar, and then drawing nearer, with the intention of defining every detail, fully taking in my location. Then, magically, the transformation took place, and the people were no longer the same, the hazy colours of a past era appeared in all their splendour: horses and carriages instead of cars and mopeds, birds and chatter instead of hooting horns and traffic lights, people’s desire to live instead of the lost look of the tourists. What cyclic and speedy alternation of men and women, of eras and desires, of illusions and love... almost always an unconscious and unfruitful waste of energy. Is this life, or a silent movie in which the roar of the cosmos crashes into the dome of our deaf existence?!

G.I. Gurdjieff was right there, and as I watched him he was writing, as was his wont, immersed and yet apart from the sounds of his time. I constantly wondered where I was and why I had wanted to be there; I identified my location and took a virtual leap, from the street towards the sky: the "Café de la Paix", Paris, France, Europe, the world, Earth, the Solar System, the Universe, the Cosmos... the journey lasted a few seconds, long enough to remember, long enough to forget, unfortunately.

I observed everything closely, and it was nice to do that, the images are still clear within me: the signs, the doors, the people, the chairs and tables. Everything was in its rightful place, but I appeared not to be so very “in tune” with the situation, internally I was not so, because I was too taken up with remembering, too seduced by constructing. In a fraction of a second I thought of the level of familiarity that the Café de la Paix must have held for Gurdjieff, how naturally he could desire that place, and choose one table rather than another, perhaps with the same tranquillity with which I play my instrument or speak on the phone. So basically I tried to feel Gurdjieff the man, and not his ghost, not his shadow or the projection of his actions in the collective imagination. I simply sought the man, because it is from the man that I am learning to know myself. The impact with the inside was overwhelming in a sense, perhaps because of the decor, which deliberately immortalised the tastes and flavours of a specific period in history, when people were in less of a hurry and, perhaps, stopped to think more. I stared at the glasses, the plates and cutlery, and people’s expressions, and then at myself as I contemplated the fetishes erected by the myth of the master; then I smiled as I looked upon the “liturgy of the city bar”, in a corner, the chair, the table and the inevitable desire to stay right where you are, the requiem of every poor tavern. And it was there that I understood and overcame every doubt, I could finally leave that place and go elsewhere.

The city entranced me for some days, and I decided to keep for the return journey the onus of taking in Fontainebleu, almost a therapeutic goal for my anxious and stupid inability to wait, a test in the tough experience of a “flight” by car from the heart of Ciociaria, Italy to long-yearned-for Paris. But the tremors of an unexpected discovery pushed to the fore when, following the directions of an inhabitant of Avon to reach the Prieuré, I espied within my field of vision a "technological entrance" with a car-park and an automatic traffic bar. All this was far from my image of the institute of the diaries of the Bennets and De Hartmanns, there was something unusual about the scene, and having parked the car I set off towards "le Prieuré": nowadays a luxurious, modern nursing home...

An important appointment forces me to stop here, but I would propose continuing my tale in a later e-mail.


 

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