Gurdjieff adorned the walls of The Study House at the Prieuré with these aphorisms.
Like what “it” does not like.
The highest that a man can attain is to be able to do.
The worse the conditions of life the more productive the work, always provided you remember the work.
Remember yourself always and everywhere.
Remember you come here having already understood the necessity of struggling with yourself—only with yourself. Therefore thank everyone who gives you the opportunity.
Here we can only direct and create conditions, but not help.
Know that this house can be useful only to those who have recognized their nothingness and who believe in the possibility of changing.
If you already know it is bad and do it, you commit a sin difficult to redress.
The chief means of happiness in this life is the ability to consider externally always, internally never.
Do not love art with your feelings.
A true sign of a good man is if he loves his father and mother.
Judge others by yourself and you will rarely be mistaken.
Only help him who is not an idler.
Respect every religion.
I love him who loves work.
We can only strive to be able to be Christians.
Don’t judge a man by the tales of others.
Consider what people think of you—not what they say.
Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West—and then seek.
Only he who can take care of what belongs to others may have his own.
Only conscious suffering has any sense.
It is better to be temporarily an egoist than never to be just.
Practice love first on animals, they are more sensitive.
By teaching others you will learn yourself.
Remember that here work is not for work’s sake but is only a means.
Only he can be just who is able to put himself in the position of others.
If you have not by nature a critical mind your staying here is useless.
He who has freed himself of the disease of “tomorrow” has a chance to attain what he came here for.
Blessed is he who has a soul, blessed is he who has none, but woe and grief to him who has it in embryo.
Rest comes not from the quantity but from the quality of sleep.
Sleep little without regret.
The energy spent on active inner work is then and there transformed into a fresh supply, but that spent on passive work is lost forever.
One of the best means for arousing the wish to work on yourself is to realize that you may die at any moment. But first, you must learn how to keep it in mind.
Conscious love evokes the same in response. Emotional love evokes the opposite. Physical love depends on type and polarity.
Conscious faith is freedom. Emotional faith is slavery. Mechanical faith is foolishness.
Hope, when bold, is strength. Hope, with doubt, is cowardice. Hope, with fear, is weakness.
Man is given a definite number of experiences—economizing them, he prolongs his life.
Here there are neither Russians nor English, Jews nor Christians, but only those who pursue one aim—to be able to be.