Belcultassi

Read this slowly, several times, for full impact… “First of all he decided to attain without delay such a ‘potency’ as would give him the strength and possibility to be quite sincere with himself, that is to say, to be able to conquer those impulses which had become habitual in the functioning of his common presence from the many heterogeneous associations arising and proceeding in him and which...

We Do Not Know How To Read

 From In Search of the Miraculous   “A great deal can be found by reading. For instance, take yourself: you mightalready know a great deal if you knew how to read. I mean that, if you understood everything you have read in your life, you would already know whatyou are looking for now. If you understood everything you have written in your own book, what is it called?”—he made something...

Suffering

In the Work, we speak of suffering and intentional suffering. There is an important distinction. Unnecessary Suffering and Inescapable Suffering Unnecessary suffering is the suffering we inflict on ourselves because of our mechanicality—suffering we incur because of negative emotion, unreasonable attitudes and expectations, ill-will, and so on. All of this can be thought of as suffering that...

Effort and Super Effort

In normal life, we use the word “effort” to describe anything that demands energy from us to complete. This is mechanical effort.  We have the habit of making some efforts and the habit of avoiding others. But effort in The Work is different, or at least it should be different.  We do exercises, tasks which we set every week. And we are not particularly successful in this. We know from the...

More Quotes

A mixed collection of quotes from a variety of sources, with attribution.Don’t wait for the Last Judgment, my friend.  It happens every day.  ~ Albert Camus Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.  ~Alexander Solzehnitsyn Once you see your nature, sex is basically immaterial. ~Bodhidharma To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity. ~Bodhidharma The foot feels...

Quotes

Including a collection of anonymous quotes, plus quotes from Confucius, Friedrich Nietzsche, Lao Tzu and Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī.If you want small changes, change your behavior. If you want big change, change your attitude. Know yourself, and your neighbor will not mistake you. Knowledge talks, wisdom listens. Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf. One finger cannot lift a pebble. The...

Proverbs

A modest selection of proverbs from Africa, China, Japan, Kurdistan and PortugalIt is not work that kills, but worry. Much silence makes a mighty noise. Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. The problem of the thief is not how to steal the chief’s bugle, but where to blow it. When an elephant steps on a trap; no more trap. When an old man dies, a library burns down.A bird does not sing...

Saying from Gurdjieff’s Pupils

These sayings come from the following pupils of Gurdjieff’s pupils: Alfred Orage Peter Ouspensky Maurice Nicoll Jane Heap Jeanne de Salzmann. Be a pianist, not a piano. Beings differ in the potentiality of their awareness. Consider the ‘sly’ man; he tries to be aware always. Controlled imagination becomes mental work. Every time we repress the working of a center, we become a two- or one-brained...

Sayings

Sayings from Gurdjieff’s writings: Mullah Nassr Eddin (from the Tales) Gurdjieff’s Father (from Meetings With Remarkable Men) Gurdjieff (from Life is Real Only Then When “I am.” And of Gurdjieff, from other sources. Struth! What might not happen in this world! A flea might swallow an elephant. As soon as anything is needed, it seems that it is filthy and eaten by mice....

Aphorisms

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...

Advice

Alejandro Jodorowsky reports that Gurdjieff gave these “Commandments for living” to his daughter Reyna D’Assia. They were published in a book entitled The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky.Accept that nothing belongs to you.Admit that someone else may be superior to you.Always finish what you have begun.Be conscious at every moment of what you are thinking, sensing, feeling, desiring,...

Sleep—States of Attention

Metaphorically, man’s usual state of awareness when he is up and about can be characterized as a “waking sleep.” In such a state he is capable of many sophisticated actions. Nevertheless, he has very little attention – so little that this state can be characterized as a kind of sleep. He can drive a car, cook and eat food, have conversations, write novels, paint paintings, and so on. And yet he...

Acting and Associations

Associations work in a definite way in each person. I see a man making a certain movement. This gives me a prompt, and from this, associations start. Perhaps I am a policeman and I assume from the movement that the man wants to pick my pocket. But supposing the man never thought of my pocket, I, as the policeman, would not have understood the movement. If I am a priest, I have other...

Child and Man

The only difference between a child and a grown-up man is in the mind. All the weaknesses are there, beginning with hunger, with sensitivity, with naivete; there is no difference. The same things are in a child and in a grown-up man: love, hate, everything. Functions are the same, receptivity is the same, equally, they react, equally, they are given to imaginary fears. In short, there is no...

Acting

The more an actor acts, the more the work of centers becomes separated in him. In order to act, one must first of all be an artist. We have spoken about the spectrum producing white light. A man can be called an actor only if he is able, so to speak, to produce a white light. A real actor is one who creates, one who can produce all the seven colors of the spectrum. There have been and are even...

Of Self-Love

… we do not possess ourselves nor do we possess genuine self-love. Self-love is a great thing. If we consider self-love, as we generally understand it, as reprehensible, then it follows that true self-love—which, unfortunately, we do not possess—is desirable and necessary. Self-love is a sign of a high opinion of oneself. If a man has this self-love it proves what he is. As we have said earlier,...

Three Brains: Driver Horse, Carriage

The Work offers the idea that the human being can be viewed as having three controlling functions or brains: The intellect which resides in the head, the moving-instinctive brain which resides in the spine and the emotional brain which is centered in the solar plexus, but disperse to some degree throughout the abdomen. Gurdjieff presented this in an analogy of a horse, carriage and driver. Here...

Two Kinds of Love

There are two kinds of love: one, the love of a slave; the other, which must be acquired by work. The first has no value at all; only the second has value, that is, love acquired through work. This is the love about which all religions speak. If you love when “it” loves, it does not depend on you and so has no merit. It is what we call the love of a slave. You love even when you should not love....

The Plural Being

Man is a plural being. When we speak of ourselves ordinarily, we speak of ‘I.’ We say, ” ‘I’ did this,” ” ‘I’ think this,” ” ‘I’ want to do this”—but this is a mistake. There is no such ‘I,’ or rather there are hundreds, thousands of little ‘I’s inevery one of us. We are divided in ourselves but we cannot recognize theplurality of our being except by observation and study. At one moment it is...