History

The Gurdjieff Work

"The ideas are a summons, a summons towards another world, a call from one who knows and who is able to show us the way. But the transformation of the human being requires something more. It can only be achieved if there is a real meeting between the conscious force which descends and the total commitment that answers it. This brings about a fusion.

A new life can then appear in a new set of conditions which only someone with an objective consciousness can create and develop.

But to understand this one must have passed through all the stages of this development oneself.

Without such experience and understanding the work will lose its effectiveness and the conditions will be wrongly interpreted; they will not be brought at the right moment and one will see situations and efforts remaining on the level of ordinary life and uselessly repeating themselves."

from Jeanne de Salzmann's introduction to
Views from the Real World: Early Talks of G.I. Gurdjieff,
New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1973

 

"In our society, mainly concerned with production and efficiency, the drama is that our capacity for questioning, still so vivid in early childhood, is very quickly eradicated or pushed aside for the benefit of our capacity for answering. When a child has a real question, most of the time he is immediately given a stupid answer. In the best cases the educator goes to the dictionary to be sure his answer is accurate. But anyhow unconsciously, if not proudly, he closes the question. From school to the end of our life it is always necessary to answer. We are compelled to learn how to answer. If we don't know how to answer, we are just no good. So little by little we become some kind of model machine able-to-answer-to-all-situations with all the necessary blindness as regards its own contradictions. That kind of answering, whose degree of sophistication may sometimes hide from us its conditioned character, is required by our life. But under its dominating necessity, is it possible to keep alive in ourselves our most authentic and precious capacity, which is questioning?"

from "Man's Ever New and Eternal Challenge,"
Dr. Michel de Salzmann's chapter in On the Way to Self Knowledge,
Jacob Needleman and Dennis Lewis, editors, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1976.

 

Bibliography
Books by G.I. Gurdjieff:
 
Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson
Gurdjieff, G.I., Penguin Arkana, New York, 1999
 
Meetings with Remarkable Men
Gurdjieff, G.I., E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc, New York, 1974
 
Views from the Real World: Early Talks of G.I. Gurdjieff
Gurdjieff, G.I., Viking Press, New York, 1991
 
Related:
In Search of the Miraculous
Ouspensky, P.D., Harcourt, San Diego/New York, 2001

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