Seek pearls from an oyster, skills from a craftsman
And if you find someone ripe in wisdom,
don't go away empty - handed
Without a little dancing
there's no disappearing.
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, a Greek-Armenian, was born in 1866 in Alexandropol,
on the border of Russia and Turkey. In search of esoteric knowledge and ancient
spiritual wisdom, he traveled the sacred routes of Egypt, Central Asia, Tibet and
India. He spent more than 20 years traveling, learning, teaching and finally escaped
the Russian Revolution 1912 with a small group of students, and setup his first
school in France ‘Institute for The Harmonious Development of Man’.
Gurdjieff’s teachings and the practice at the school were known as ‘the
work’. This consisted the study of cosmic sciences, mathematics, universal
laws, human psychology, dances, meditation and spiritual evolution. Gurdjieff oriented
a lot of his teachings to the study of the ancient Egyptian symbol – The Enneagram
– a nine pointed star. Many of the original dances and the movements reconstructed
by Gurdjieff were based on this ancient symbol, which he studied with the esoteric
Sarmouni Brotherhood (a Sufi sect).
The Enneagram represents the unification of the cosmic laws. The Law of Seven describes
how a process occurs; the law of three describes what makes it happen. Every completion
goes thru six phases and the worldly manifestation of GOD comes in nine aspects.
(In the Indian Mythological Sciences, Godess Durga also has 9 avatars.)
Through his travels, Gurdjieff discovered the system of ideas - the ‘Fourth Way’ that formed the basis of his subsequent
teaching and writing. Together with P.D. Ouspensky they created a large body of
work that can be found in their books. Gurdjieff left his body in 1949, leaving
behind four books authored by him:
All and Everything: Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson –
Meetings With Remarkable Men – G.I. Gurdjieff
Life Is Real Only Then, When "I Am" – G.I. Gurdjieff
Views from the Real World – G I. Gurdjieff
Other books by disciples of Gurdjieff:
In Search of the Miraculous – P.D. Ouspensky
The Fourth Way – P.D. Ouspensky
Teachings Of Gurdjieff – C.S.Nott
The Witness – J.G Benett
Excerpts from Osho
…. And you will see a silence arising and a stillness which has a dance to
it… an unmoving movement inside. Nothing moves, and still everything is tremendously
speedy…. Empty, yet full. Paradoxes meet and contradictions dissolve.
The fourth way is the way of transcendence.
Let me tell you that there are four ways to approach truth.
Man has three dimensions in him: action, knowing, feeling.
The first way -- KARMA yoga: being in action without being a doer. You let God do.
You efface yourself. In this, the path of action, consciousness changes the content.
The second path is the path of knowledge, knowing -- GYANA yoga. You have to drop
all that you carry in your mind as A PRIORI notions -- and then let the reality
be there. Whatsoever it is, you just see it. And that changes you. To know the real
is to be transformed. Once you have known the reality, reality starts changing you.
Consciousness is changed by the content.
The third is BHAKTI yoga -- the way of feeling. Love is the goal. Consciousness
changes the content and the content changes consciousness. The change is mutual.
The lover changes the beloved, the beloved changes the lover.
On the path of will, consciousness changes content, on the path of knowing, content
changes consciousness; on the path of feeling, both interact, both affect each other.
These are the three ordinary paths. Sufism is the fourth. One of the greatest Sufis
of this age was George Gurdjieff. His disciple, P. D. Ouspensky, has written a book
called THE FOURTH WAY. It is very symbolic. What is this fourth way? If it is neither
of action, nor of knowing, nor of feeling -- because these are the three faculties
-- then what is this fourth way? The fourth way is the way of transcendence. In
India this is called RAJA yoga -- the royal path, the fourth way.
Neither consciousness changes the content, nor the content changes consciousness.
Nothing changes nothing. All is as it is with no change. Content is there, consciousness
is here, and no change is happening.
This is what I mean by being. With all the three paths something remains in the
mind that has to be done. With the fourth, all becoming disappears. You simply accept
whatsoever is. In that acceptance is transcendence. In that very acceptance you
go beyond. You remain just a witness. You are no longer doing anything here, you
are just-being here.
A goal is not possible with the fourth way. There is no goal. With the first, the
goal is freedom; with the second, truth; with the third, love. With the fourth there
is no goal. Zen and Sufism belong to the fourth. That's why Zen people say 'the
pathless path, the gateless gate' -- because there is no goal. The goal-less goal.
We are not going anywhere. We are not striving for anything. All that is needed
is already here. It has been here all along. You have just to be silent and see.
There is no need to change anything. With the fourth, the myth of change disappears.
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