Wisdom of Life

G.I. Gurdjieff: On the Wisdom of Life and Man

30492-77518I will tell you one thing that will make you rich for life. There are two struggles: an Inner-world struggle and an Outer-world struggle… You must make an intentional contact between these two worlds; then you can crystallize data for the Third World, the World of the Soul.

If you are working inwardly, Nature will help you. For the man who is working, Nature is sister of charity; she brings him what he needs for his work. If you need money for your work, even if you do nothing to get it, the money will come to you from all sides. If you help others, you will be helped, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in one hundred years, but you will be helped. Nature must pay off the debt. It is a mathematical law and all life is mathematics.

Remember you come here having already understood the necessity of struggling with yourself — only with yourself. Therefore thank everyone who gives you the opportunity.

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.

Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it.

In order to awaken, first of all one must realize that one is in a state of sleep. And in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must recognize and fully understand the nature of the forces which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which induces the hypnosis… One thing alone is certain, that man’s slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.

Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.

The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness, and ‘consciousness’ cannot evolve unconsciously. The evolution of man is the evolution of his will, and ‘will’ cannot evolve involuntarily.

A man must first of all understand certain things. He has thousands of false ideas and false conceptions, chiefly about himself, and he must get rid of some of them before beginning to acquire anything new. Otherwise the new will be built on a wrong foundation and the result will be worse than before. To speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world; one must study a great deal and for a long time in order to speak the truth. The wish alone is not enough. To speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. And this nobody wants to know..

Man has no individual ‘I’. But there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small ‘I’s, very often entirely unknown to one another, never coming into contact, or, on the contrary, hostile to each other, mutually exclusive and incompatible. Each minute, each moment, man is saying or thinking, ‘I’. And each time his ‘I’ is different. Just now it was a thought, now it is a desire, now a sensation, now another thought, and so on, endlessly. Man is a plurality. Man’s name is legion.

Liberation leads to Liberation. These are the first words of truth — not truth in quotation marks but truth in the real meaning of the word; truth which is not merely theoretical, not simply a word, but truth that can be realized in practice. The meaning behind these words may be explained as follows: By liberation is meant the liberation which is the aim of all schools, all religions, at all times. This liberation can indeed be very great. All men desire it and strive after it. But it cannot be attained without the first liberation, a lesser liberation. The great liberation is liberation from influences outside us. The lesser liberation is liberation from influences within us.

I also very well remember that on another occasion the father dean said: ‘In order that at responsible age a man may be a real man and not a parasite, his education must without fail be based on the following ten principles. ‘From early childhood there should be instilled in the child: Belief in receiving punishment for disobedience. Hope of receiving reward only for merit. Love of God—but indifference to the saints. Remorse of conscience for the ill-treatment of animals. Fear of grieving parents and teachers. Fearlessness towards devils, snakes and mice. Joy in being content merely with what one has. Sorrow at the loss of the goodwill of others. Patient endurance of pain and hunger. The striving early to earn one’s bread.

Real love is a cosmic force which goes through us. If we crystallize it, it becomes the greatest power in the world.

He who has gotten rid of the disease of “tomorrow” has a chance of achieving what he is here for. Everything is dependent on everything else, everything is connected, nothing is separate. Therefore everything is going in the only way it can go. If people were different everything would be different. They are what they are, so everything is as it is.

Excerpts from G.I.Gurdjieff’s works.

***

~George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was a mystic, philosopher, spiritual teacher, and composer of Armenian and Greek descent, born in Alexandrapol, Armenia.

©Excellence Reporter 2019

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Categories: Wisdom of Life

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