The First Initiation – G.I.Gurdjieff

February 24, 2012

G I Gurdjieff



The First Initiation

G.I. Gurdjieff

The following is a translation of words recorded by G. I. Gurdjieff‘s pupils during a meeting in Paris on December 16, 1941.


You will see that in life you receive exactly what you give.  Your life is the mirror of what you are.  It is in your image.  You are passive, blind, demanding.  You take all, you accept all, without feeling any obligation.  Your attitude toward the world and toward life is the attitude of one who has the right to make demands and to take; who has no need to pay or earn.  You believe that all things are your due, simply because it is you!  All your blindness is there!  None of this strikes your attention.  And yet this is what in you keeps one world separate from another world.

You have no measure with which to measure yourselves.  You live exclusively according to “I like” or “I don’t like”; you have no appreciation except for yourself.  You recognize nothing above you—theoretically, logically, perhaps, but actually no.  That is why you are demanding and continue to believe that everything is cheap and that you have enough in your pocket to buy everything you like.  You recognize nothing above you, either outside yourself or inside.  That is why, I repeat, you have no measure and live passively according to your likes and dislikes.

Yes, your “appreciation of yourself” blinds you!  It is the biggest obstacle to a new life.  You must be able to get over this obstacle, this threshold, before going further. This test divides men into two kinds:  the “wheat” and the “chaff.”  No matter how intelligent, how gifted, how brilliant a man may be, if he does not change his appreciation of himself, there will be no hope for an inner development, for a work toward self-knowledge, for a true becoming.  He will remain such as he is all his life.  The first requirement, the first condition, the first test for one who wishes to work on himself is to change his appreciation of himself.  He must not imagine, not simply believe or think, but see things in himself which he has never seen before, see them actually. His appreciation will never be able to change as long as he see nothing in himself.  And in order to see, he must learn to see:  this is the fi rst initiation of man into self-knowledge.

First of all he has to know what he must look at.  When he knows, he must make efforts, keep his attention, look constantly with persistence.  Only through maintaining his attention, and not forgetting to look, one day, perhaps, he will be able to see.  If he sees one time he can see a second time, and if that continues he will no longer be able not to see.  This is the state to be looked for, it is the aim of our observation; it is from there that the true wish will be born, the irresistible wish to become:  from cold we shall become warm, vibrant; we shall by[sic] touched by our reality.

Today we have nothing but the illusion of what we are.  We think too highly of ourselves.  We do not respect ourselves.  In order to respect myself, I have to recognize a part in myself which is above the other parts, and my attitude toward this part should bear witness to the respect that I have for it.  In this way I shall respect myself.  And my relations with others will be governed by the same respect.

You must understand that all the other measures—talent, education, culture, genius—are changing measures of detail.  The only exact measure, the only unchanging, objective real measure is the measure of inner vision.  I see—I see myself—by this, you have measured.  With one higher real part, you have measured another lower part, also real. And this measure, defining by itself the role of each part, will lead you to respect for yourself.

But you will see that it is not easy.  And it is not cheap.  You must pay dearly.  For bad payers, lazy people, parasites, no hope.  You must pay, pay a lot, and pay immediately, pay in advance.  Pay with yourself.  By sincere, conscientious efforts.  The more you are prepared to pay without economizing, without cheating, without any falsification, the more you will receive.  And from that time on you will become acquainted with  your nature. And you will see all the tricks, all the dishonesties that your nature resorts to in order to avoid paying hard cash.  Because you have to pay with your ready-made theories, with your rooted convictions, with your prejudices, your conventions, your “I like” and “I don’t like.”  Without bargaining, honestly, without pretending.  Trying “sincerely” to see as you offer your counterfeit money.

Try for a moment to accept the idea that you are not what you believe yourself to be, that you overestimate yourself, in fact that you lie to yourself.  That you always lie to yourself, every moment, all day, all your life.  That this lying rules you to such an extent that you cannot control it any more.  You are the prey of lying.  You lie, everywhere.  Your relations with others—lies.  The upbringing you give, the conventions—lies.  Your teaching—lies.  Your theories, your art—lies.  Your social life, your family life—lies.  And what you think of yourself—lies also.

But you never stop yourself in what you are doing or in what you are saying, because you believe in yourself.  You must stop inwardly and observe.  Observe without preconceptions, accepting for a time this idea of lying.  And if you observe in this way, paying with yourself, without self-pity, giving up all your supposed riches for a moment of reality, perhaps you will suddenly see something you have never before seen in yourself until this day.  You will see that you are different from what you think you are.  You will see that you are two.  One who is not, but takes the place and plays the role of the other.  And one who is, yet so weak, so insubstantial, that he no sooner appears than he immediately disappears.  He cannot endure lies.  The least lie makes him faint away.  He does not struggle, he does not resist, he is defeated in advance.  Learn to look until you have seen the difference between your two natures, until you have seen the lies, the deception in yourself.  When you have seen your two natures, that day, in yourself, the truth will be born.


A Nano-Flash from reading “The Theory of Celestial Influence”

February 21, 2012

I wrote the stuff below after I read Rodney Collin’s book, “The Theory of Celestial Influence”. I was attempting to put in my own words a ” flash ” his book gave me. Rodney Collin began writing this book during P D Ouspensky’s last illness. He completed it soon after Ouspensky’s death. In fact, Collins believed that much of the book was transmitted to him by Ouspensky both before and after his death. Whether this is true or not doesn’t concern me.

The Theory of Celestial Influence” is one of those books which have thrilled me with the vision of worlds within worlds with onion skinned layers of Eternity and Time. He sets out to reconcile the considerable contradictions of the rational and imaginative minds and of the ways we see the external world versus our inner selves. It is subtitled MAN, THE UNIVERSE, AND COSMIC MYSTERY. You feel that it is an on the spot documentary report of the way the world is. It is staggering in its reach and depth.

For readers familiar with Gurdjieff’s cosmology you will here find further examinations of the systems outlined in by Ouspensky in In Search of the Miraculous. If you get a chance read it.


Let us attempt to visualize the metageometrical form of a four dimensional solid using as a model the planetary world.

From this view when looking into the sky we are actually observing cross sections of the sun and the moon. Planetary movement is no more than our perception of a succession of discrete points along the greater line of time. Yet in order for us to appreciate the magnitude of a four dimensional form we must take as our subject of investigation a sufficient number of points along the timeline of our solar system. But inasmuch as our own individual lives are quite trivial relative to the solar existence we cannot hope to formulate an interesting or even approximately accurate representation unless we view a much longer span of time than that occupied by the mere life of either a human or, for that matter, humanity.

Therefore, let us take as our “point in time” a one million year segment. In order to simplify our model let us first presume that the direction of the sun comprises a straight line. The four dimensional body or form of the sun over a million years would appear to an observer capable of perceiving such a thing as a large burning rod . Bound and tightly coiled about the rod spiral twelve much smaller concentric threads These are the planets. Upon closer examination we detect even smaller ridges spiraling the planetary threads. These are various moons and satellites. We could further complicate our model to include asteroids and comets as they traverse the sun, and as a matter of course we would have to significantly expand this now growing model if we were to place the sun in its proper place, because the sun itself spirals “through space” on its own predetermined path within the much larger galactic cosmos. Thus, instead of a straight rigid rod we would likely observe a curved, twisted, and spiraling rod. In fine, within this new model our time has become space. Imagining space thusly (i.e. in four dimensions) begs the question, “What of a man’s life?” Dissecting tightly wound threads from the central core and subsequently stripping away the outer threads (planets) we would eventually reach the third to the last thread, our earth. 

Living Solar System “Sperm” from book.

If we had a powerful enough viewing instrument we might discover various geologic ages. If our microscope were capable of finer resolution we might even be able to discern the age of man. As yet, an individual man, or even a single civilization would not be apparent. Perhaps certain age old relics would be observable such as the Sphinx or the Great Pyramids. And maybe the period between 1945 and 1965 would somehow be detected as the many above ground atomic explosions conducted by the U.S., U.S.S.R., and China were measured as strange bursts of nuclear energy.

Still, the life of any individual would not be missed. The wars, deaths, and all the suffering of humanity would be a minor thing indeed. And what we revere in our science, religion, and art would be nothing. In reality and if such a thing were possible it would be even less than nothing since we must remember that we are dealing with an almost instantaneous fragment of the life of the sun, i.e., a mere one million years.

Sciatica, a Hair Shirt and Attention

April 13, 2011

So, this is sciatica. I get pains from my lower back and down my leg. I walk stilted and my leg is sometimes numb. I’m getting treatment for it and it doesn’t seem to be a chronic condition even though I’ve had it off and on for about 3 months. Each time the sciatic nerve becomes better I inflame it, twice now. Each inflammation was due to my helping Kevin the Handyman. It’s not his fault and neither mine. The jobs needed doing and I had to help him otherwise they wouldn’t get done and he could have got hurt if I didn’t help. Each job seemed small and if I didn’t have sciatica they were. I did not listen to my body.

Sciatica - diagram from Wikipeadia

This is the key – my not listening to my body.

In fact, if I view this situation from a Work perspective, the sciatica, instead of being a useless pain, could be useful as a powerful sensation reminding factor. I remember when I first came across the idea that sensation was the anchor, the platform, the foundation of awareness of oneself, I thought I found the key to my tan tien, my centre. Up to the discovery of sensation as an anchor for attention I visualised where my centre was. Informed by my Tai Chi teacher the centre, the tan tien was about  3 inches below my belly button and about an inch or two in towards my spine. I tried to direct my attention by visualising the surface of my body. With the discovery of sensation as an anchor things changed. I theorised that if I can place my attention on my body, or a part of it and at the same time carry on doing what I normally do, I have the beginnings of separation between “I” and “me”. The attention is divided between sensation and what I am doing. (Check out a development of this idea in my post Kites and Consciousness.)

I went about trying to find means of remembering my tan tien, my centre while watching and counting my breath using the sensation of cold incoming breath and warm outgoing breath through my nose. This was the simple Buddhist meditation of counting the breath. I scratched the spot where the tan tien should be on the surface of my body gently, I even put tiger balm on the area because the heat generated would draw my attention there. I thought I’d figured out why some monks wore hair shirts. It reminds them that they have a body and not to just squat in their minds.

Tan Tien

Did it work?

I gained a sense of my centre but this was also due to the growing sensation of my whole body. It was easier to remember the tiger balmed spot and it was the heat of the balm that drew my attention.

My sciatica has freed me from the need of a hair shirt or tiger balmed strategic spots. Sciatica has given me the “gift” of pain sensation in my lower back and leg and attending to it with awareness of my breath – I type or eat or drive as needed. The pain is there when inflammation fires up but my awareness of it is not. Reacting and feeling the pain is not being aware of it – the pain leads and my mind follows.

If I can build a floor, a stable point of attention in my body I will have the beginnings of separation.

Why the need for separation between the body and awareness?

Why the need to say I see through my eyes not with them; I hear through my ears not with them; I sense through my pain but not with it?

Without that separation “I” am not here, there’s just a happening, an event but no observer.

I wish to be present to what is happening and if what is happening is witnessed within the mind-body then I witness through this mind-body.

So, who am I? Who is the Observer? The Witness?

A born again virgin soul

April 6, 2011

I’m attempting to reach a state where I am a born again virgin soul, a state where I can dream once again of clouds passing through my ear into my head and out again through the other ear carrying life giving water.

I’m looking at the process of writing this down and it has opened up a little river of opportunity. Action … it seems acting (doing something) sets up its own dynamic in a super structure sense. The action into the unknown allows another higher order world that shows signs on the crossroads. The GPS here is set to the inner satellite orbiting one’s heart. Obviously the muscle pumping blood around the body hasn’t got a Latter Day Sputnik bipping around it. The heart I speak of is that part of ourselves which tastes truth and sees through the onion layered worlds we live in. Sees through? Yes, like a prehistoric insect sees through amber before it solidifies.

One of my greatest “heroes” is a guy called Gurdjieff. Someone wrote that the Fourth Way which Gurdjieff brought to the West was a method of making the real – super real. In fact, it is practical surrealism. So now I want to practically surrealise some of my dreams. Using the template of power-in-action through visualisation, various projects were able to be given a material existence (like the Cultural Stomp and the Flotillas of Hope). It is not “me” who did it, or who does it. In fact, my job as a person with heart is to move out of the way so that the forces attempting to make whatever needs to happen, happen.

I remember one time when the Flotillas of Hope project was white hot in its birthing. Two websites had already manifested, as well as a satellite phone and 2 boats. An art auction was about to happen in Sydney, where we raised over $8,000, and I get this call from a guy heavily involved in the Socialist Alliance.

 He says, “Stavros, this is big. How the fuck are you managing this – where’s your committee?”

I laughed and told him that if he knew the truth he wouldn’t want to work with me because he’d think I was absolutely crazy. Really crazy! He pleaded with me to tell him the truth.

So I told him,”My job is to just keep the fire burning while aligning myself to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life using the astrological chart of the project as the foundation.”

Tree of Life from Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi’sAdam and the Kabbalistic Tree, Rider, London 1974



Tree of Life - another aspect from Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi's "Adam and the Kabbalistic Tree", Rider, London 1974

 He went quiet. I added, “I am just focussing on the vision – the image of us sailing to Nauru and the focus is the fire.” 

 He replied slowly as if it pained him to hear something like that, “B-u-l-l-s-h-i-t !!”

I laughed and told him that it was true and if it was all bullshit, how did he explain the manifestation of boats, websites, satellite phones, art auctions, crews, inverters etc etc that are here in the real world? He didn’t ask me again how I was managing .

I’m trying to get out of the way so that what is most necessary at this time comes to fruition. Who knows, it may be a book, a million dollars, a shop with hidden treasures or a beautiful garden. It may be the birth of another grand child, or my recently planted grapevine bearing fruit this coming year.

Having a shed allows me to play and tinker to my heart’s delight. At the very least, I want to have made my scaled down Great Pyramid to experiment with to see if Pyramid Power is real, my very own Orgone Accumulator and a simple Dream Machine within a year or so.

I suppose to gain a born again virgin soul is really to regain the innocence of a child. We were all once children, so innocent and then experience came in and made us fall from that state of grace. This is so beautifully expressed in William Blake’s  “Songs of Innocence and Experience”.

William Blake's Frontispiece for "Songs of Innocence and Experience"

The Divine Image   by William Blake                                      

The Divine Image


To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God our Father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is man, His child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity, a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

Time Body

August 23, 2009

 “Being in the timeless moment without the coercion of time is to dream, while lacking any sense of the timeless is to be only a machine.” Anthony Blake, “A Seminar on Time”

spiral clock-animated-gif-18

I have been long thinking about the Time Body since I turned 40. My interest in this was not only aroused by my entering the 40’s Chamber but also because I have read in the esoteric / occult tradition that the Path of Initiation cannot truly begin until the aspirant is at least 40 years old. So, all the Sufi practices, all the Gurdjieff exercises, all the attempts at the Jesus Prayer in Rhythm to the Breath, all the quiet desperation in a cube, all the immobility of mind, “Stopping the World” and the sacred wish arousing in the Heart….all of these things and more are only a preparation. Note, however, that when we speak of 40’s we are speaking of 4 to a number of degrees. Four is not 40 but shares attributes of four-ness with 40 as does 400 and 0.04 and 0.4.

Preparation for what? For the next phase of one’s life – the 40’s and the next few decades left in the mortal coil of three score and ten and beyond. Let’s remember that women, generally go through menapause in their 40’s, and men go through a “midlife crisis”. Why then? There’s something happening to us, just as powerful as puberty but this time it is the “puberty of old age”. What I mean by this is if I live to be 84 (a good number to work with because of the 12 X 7 connection), then 42 is the mid point (6 X 7). During the period of the 40’s we are laying the foundation (if we wish to) for a healthy, vibrant old age – my 60’s and the rest.
So, who is it that sees someone in the mirror that isn’t them? It’s me and all of us who are in mid life. In me there is a cry for the youth that I was and a fear of what I may be in old age. I have decided that this decade will and is the decade of consolidation. Actually, this is pompous. I didn’t decide anything, it’s more that there is a period of consolidation in one’s Time Body. The Time Body is the body of your mortal coil, it is the moment of your birth, like an Ourbouros, eating the moment of your death..this whole picture of one’s life/body is spatially perceived as 0 – 84 years long.



Taking the Time Body as 84 and working with a hint from Schwaller de Lubicz’s insight into Ancient Egyptian understanding we will enter a realm of geometrical/numerological correspondences. Though one is inclined in this Age of Techno-Scientism to use words like “mathematics” to denote a respectable regard for dead abstractions, I like to think that the magico-mythico-Pythagoro Number is where I’m working from. Status quo respectability, when it comes to such life and death considerations such as,  “Where am I going? Why am I here on this Earth? Who am I? Is there Life after Death?” can go in the dustbin of history. The danger of leaving the table of consensus reality – the current technoscience rationalism, is that you may end up sitting alone at  the table of insanity. An unbending intent, a purity of heart and a constant need to grow will at least provide some assurance that one’s understanding may not be crazy, but just the way things are if we live in an onion layered world.

Let’s get back to de Lubicz’s hint.  His insight is to consider that at every 7 years of one’s life a “life” has been and a new 7 year lot is coming up. Like layers of skin, each layer 7 years thick is a time-onion-skin where each skin is a period of 7 years. Consider that at 7 years old – the Church and Institutionalised understanding has it that a child has reason. Let’s go to 14 – puberty ….21 adulthood…..
A few clues: get Dane Rudyar’s  “Astrology of Personality” and read about The Dial of Life. It is interesting because he considers the language of Astrology as the Algebra of Life. Read P D Ouspensky’s account of the Enneagram in In Search of the Miraculous. Also Ouspensky’s “Tertium Organum”, a classic book which gives some semblence of “rationality” to the mystic vision and his other classic “A New Model of the Universe” where he introduces the idea of Eternal Recurrence (not the same as Nietzsche’s concept). My account of the onion skin layers of time is dependent on all of the above and a generous helping of experience.
Try this as an experiment:  Write out in 7 year lots X 7 a table like this:

time body table

To make it “user friendly” you can include the year of the age eg 1(1962)   2(1963)   3(1964)   4(65)……etc
As you write the number and year beginning from your birth year try to notice any images/memories arising and what year they pertain to. These memories as they arise become “key symbols”, they become in a very personal sense the x,y,z and the a,b,c ‘s of one’s own algebra of life. If focussed enough you create your own memory body. Now, look at your “algebra of life” through the prism of your meaning/memory. Like, what happened to you when you were 7,14, 21, 28, 35, 42 ? Looking across and down the table: what happened at 4,11,18, 25, 32, 39, 46 ? You will find that there is a corresponding change in “motion” for each layer of 7. With each lot of 7 years there is a noticeable change and experience that suggest layers of octave experience. Each year is a note in the scale Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si Do. What is interesting is that there is a discernible signature for each octave period. Later on you can then put the table of years onto the Enneagram.



The Circle depicts daily life, the life of the diary - sequential time.

The Circle depicts daily life, the life of the diary – sequential time.

The inner movement 1-4-2-8-5-7 depicts the "notebook", the method and know how, the Sadhana. In the events of one's life, this is where synchronicity resides.

The inner movement 1-4-2-8-5-7 depicts the “notebook”, the method and know how, the Sadhana. In the events of one’s life, this is where synchronicity resides.

The Triangle depicts the idea of a creed, one's faith. It is Timelessness.

The Triangle depicts the idea of a creed, one’s faith. It is Timelessness.

The Enneagram with all three aspects of one's experience together as a whole. See A G E Blake's "The Intelligent Enneagram" for a detailed discussion of this symbol.

The Enneagram with all three aspects of one’s experience together as a whole. See A G E Blake’s “The Intelligent Enneagram” for a detailed discussion of this symbol.

I have done all this and more with my own life numbers. If you are astrologically inclined, do the Solar Returns of each year and see what you find. The whole purpose of this is to focus the mind onto one’s own life stream. This focussing is not analytical, indeed, the process abhors analysis. It is the realm of imagining and then self remembering – or at least a preparation for this. The exercise itself is another version of “Recapitulation” which Carlos Castaneda refers to. Indeed, you will, if you delve a little deeper in what I’ve just given above,  find not only clues to the notion of Fate but also clues to one’s Destiny. These clues are not uttered in any way by me, but rather by the very simplicity of the gods – Numbers. The Ancient Egyptian concept of Neter is close in meaning to the Pythagorean concept of Number.

The cover of R A Schwaller de Lubicz's magnum opus "Temple of Man"

The cover of R A Schwaller de Lubicz’s magnum opus “Temple of Man”

What are you looking for in the numbers of the years of your life? Just a few hints that can help name the years. Maybe then, your heart will play around with mystic circles and triangles with the Numbers of Life turning off and on like a  light show.
All this may sound weird, but I can assure you, if you try this experiment, you will be pleasantly surprised by the octave “correspondence” you will see in your life experience. It will be as if there is a pattern, unknown to you, unfolding in a manner totally unexpected. A kind of music of your life, a hidden melody that you were not able to hear notes of until this moment. At times you may experience a déjà vu  , the feeling that you have been here before,and this is interpreted exactly as that through the Great Idea of Eternal Recurrence as expressed through P D Ouspensky in his “A New Model of the Universe”. A good summary of this idea & its connection with Nietzche’s and Steiner’s take on it is here.

I’ve been influenced much by the 4th Way – through Gurdjieff and other teachings. Is it any wonder that I have become a middle aged Gnostic seeker carrying the lantern of wonder?

Try it  and see if it isn’t true. You will find a pattern that will truly spook you. If you follow the clues and hints you will see the synchronicity of events


maybe the big question will arise:


Now clock animated

Effective Knowledge = Direct Knowledge

August 9, 2009

A shaman in a desert may be more effective in the  world than a scientist in a laboratory. By more effective I mean more in connection with real knowledge….direct knowledge….direct perception of the flow and the numbering that crystallizes into the geometry of our perception. This knowledge because it doesn’t fit into the categories of accepted consensus reality is more often than not ridiculed as mere myth…the myth of an invisible world closed to our senses five….so, a Tibetan guide in Nepal who can use telepathy to communicate  may have access to technology of which we in the West are blind to.


I believe that there is the possibility of psychic technology…technology of the psyche …which cannot only send messages between two living beings but can also carry messages from the dead and the not- yet- born…from the past and the future. (See the post “Is Consciousness a Function of the Brain or Vice Versa” in this blog for further discussion on this.)

You know as I am writing this I can sense my need to stand tall and declare myself a true believer in magic. This is not to say that the products of science are relegated to the bottom drawer. They are
different responses to the universe each with their place and time and usefulness. If I was  sick, I’d go to my local doctor AND pray.

The visit to the GP is the language that my conditioned self wrapped in the body recognises as a potent and powerful healing agent … the doctor in white is the witch doctor of our culture. The rituals and the drama of visiting your local GP and then having to go under the knife while in the twilight regions of anaesthetised sleep..all these are the expressions of the Consensus Reality we share.

The praying is directed to some other unknown dimension. It doesn’t matter what we call this ” otherness” because whatever we call it the word is never ” it”. This other realm has its own laws and practices.

The point is, it is not what I direct my energy to but whether I AM, or just automatizing my mortality. The more I AM is experienced the more opportunities there are for me to participate in the REAL world…the inverse world to the dominant paradigm.

The internet experience will provide an excellent analogue for the dynamics of psychic space, just as the hologram provided the analogue for the WHOLE as the ONE. The hologram gives us a static metaphor for the ONE – internet experience gives us a process metaphor for the movement of psychic energy. For a more detailed look at this possibility please see my post “Internet as Analogue of Akashic Mirror”. Internet experience will alter one’s conception of time and space. Whether this will be translated into the general overall consciousness of an individual I don’t know. My feelings are that only the individual part of us that wishes to trancend the familiar will have the chance to do so. The rest of us will sleep and automatize mortality. Our only hope is that more humans will wish to be online with the ONE.

As Teilhard de Chardin  (1881 – 1955) said,

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.”

M C Escher - "Ambidextrous Peeled Faces"

M C Escher - "Ambidextrous Peeled Faces"

Recommendatons for Living – G I Gurdjieff

March 15, 2009


George I Gurdjieff  (1866? – 1949) was a Greek – Armenian who introduced the Fourth Way to the Western world. His Greek name is Georgiades which has been “Russified” to Gurdjieff by which he is more commonly known. Gurdjieff’s ideas have touched me to the core and I can say that of all the spiritual teachings available to us today, that his resonates in a very deep way with my own needs and search.

G I Gurdjieff

G I Gurdjieff

Below are some “Recommendations for Living”  from a Spanish site that states these are Gurdjieff’s. Don’t know if this the case but they feel right. Both the original in Spanish and an English translation are here, plus a link to the original source is provided at the end of the quote:

1. Fija tu atención en ti mismo, sé consciente en cada instante de lo que piensas, sientes, deseas y haces.
~ Fix your attention in yourself, be conscious at every instant of what you think, feel, want and do.

2. Termina siempre lo que comenzaste.
~ Always finish what you started.

3. Haz lo que estás haciendo lo mejor posible.
~ Do your best with whatever it is you are doing.

4. No te encadenes a nada que a la larga te destruya.
~ Do not chain yourself to anything that will destroy you on the long haul.

5. Desarrolla tu generosidad sin testigos.
~ Develop your generosity without witnesses.

6. Trata a cada persona como si fuera un pariente cercano.
~ Treat every person as if they were a close relative.

7. Ordena lo que has desordenado.
~ Order what you have messed up.

8. Aprende a recibir, agradece cada don.
~ Learn to receive, thank every gift.

9. Cesa de autodefinirte.
~ Cease to autodefine yourself.

10. No mientas ni robes, si lo haces te mientes y te robas a ti mismo.
~ Do not lie or steal, if you do, you lie to and steal from yourself.

11. Ayuda a tu prójimo sin hacerlo dependiente.
~ Help your neighbor without making him dependent.

12. No desees ser imitado.
~ Do not wish to be imitated.

13. Haz planes de trabajo y cúmplelos.
~ Make work plans and carry them out.

14. No ocupes demasiado espacio.
~ Do not take too much space.

15. No hagas ruidos ni gestos innecesarios.
~ Do not make unnecessary noises or gestures.

16. Si no la tienes, imita la fe.
~ If you don’t have it, imitate faith.

17. No te dejes impresionar por personalidades fuertes.
~ Do not let yourself be impressed by strong personalities.

18. No te apropies de nada ni de nadie.
~ Do not take possession of anything or anyone.

19. Reparte equitativamente.
~ Distribute equitably.

20. No seduzcas.
~ Do not seduce.

21. Come y duerme lo estrictamente necesario.
~ Eat and sleep what’s strictly necessary.

22. No hables de tus problemas personales.
~ Do not speak of your personal problems.

23. No emitas juicios ni críticas cuando desconozcas la mayor parte de los hechos.
~ Do not emit judgments or criticisms when you do not know most of the facts.

24. No establezcas amistades inútiles.
~ Do not establish useless friendships.

25. No sigas modas.
~ Do not follow fashions.

26. No te vendas.
~ Do not sell yourself.

27. Respeta los contratos que has firmado.
~ Respect the contracts you have signed.

28. Sé puntual.
~ Be on time.

29. No envidies los bienes o los éxitos del prójimo.
~ Do not envy the goods or successes of your neighbor.

30. Habla sólo lo necesario.
~ Say only what’s necessary.

31. No pienses en los beneficios que te va a procurar tu obra.
~ Do not think of the benefits that your actions will bring you.

32. Nunca amenaces.
~ Never threaten.

33. Realiza tus promesas.
~ Keep your promises.

34. En una discusión ponte en el lugar del otro.
~ In a discussion put yourself in the place of the other.

35. Admite que alguien te supere.
~ Admit that someone might supersede you.

36. No elimines, sino transforma.
~ Do not eliminate, transform.

37. Vence tus miedos, cada uno de ellos es un deseo que se camufla.
~ Conquer your fears, each one of them is a desire that camouflages itself.

38. Ayuda al otro a ayudarse a si­ mismo.
~ Help the other help himself.

39. Vence tus antipatí­as y acércate a las personas que deseas rechazar.
~ Conquer your antipathies and get close to the persons you wish to reject.

40. No actúes por reacción a lo que digan bueno o malo de ti.
~ Do not act out of a reaction to what good or bad they say about you.

41. Transforma tu orgullo en dignidad.
~ Transform your pride in dignity.

42. Transforma tu cólera en creatividad.
~ Transform your anger into creativity.

43. Transforma tu avaricia en respeto por la belleza.
~ Transform your greed into respect for beauty.

44. Transforma tu envidia en admiración por los valores del otro.
~ Transform your envy into admiration for the values of the other.

45. Transforma tu odio en caridad.
~ Transform your hate into charity.

46. No te alabes ni te insultes.
~ Do not praise nor insult yourself.

47. Trata lo que no te pertenece como si te perteneciera.
~ Treat what doesn’t belong to you as if it did.

48. No te quejes.
~ Do not complain.

49. Desarrolla tu imaginación.
~ Develop your imagination.

50. No des órdenes sólo por el placer de ser obedecido.
~ Do not give orders just for the pleasure of being obeyed.

51. Paga los servicios que te dan.
~ Pay for the services that you are given.

52. No hagas propaganda de tus obras o ideas.
~ Do not make propaganda of your doings or ideas.

53. No trates de despertar en los otros emociones hacia ti como piedad, admiración,
simpatí­a, complicidad.
~ Do not try to awaken in others emotions towards you like compassion, admiration, sympathy or complicity.

54. No trates de distinguirte por tu apariencia.
~ Do not try to distinguish yourself by your appearance.

55. Nunca contradigas, sólo calla.
~ Never contradict, just be silent.

56. No contraigas deudas, adquiere y paga en seguida.
~ Do not contract debts, acquire and pay right away.

57. Si ofendes a alguien, pídele perdón.
~ If you offend someone, ask for forgiveness.

58. Si lo has ofendido públicamente, excúsate en público.
~ If you have offended him publicly, apologize in public.

59. Si te das cuenta de que has dicho algo erróneo, no insistas por orgullo en ese error y
desiste de inmediato de tus propósitos.
~ If you realize you have said something wrong, do not insist out of pride on that mistake, and desist immediately of your intentions.

60. No defiendas tus ideas antiguas sólo por el hecho de que fuiste tú quien las enunció.
~ Do not defend your old ideas just because of the fact that it was you who uttered them.

61. No conserves objetos inútiles.
~ Do not keep useless objects.

62. No te adornes con ideas ajenas.
~ Do not adorn yourself with others’ ideas.

63. No te fotografíes junto a personajes famosos.
~ Do not take Pictures of you next to famous characters.

64. No rindas cuentas a nadie, sé tu propio juez.
~ Do not explain yourself to anyone, be your own Judge.

65. Nunca te definas por lo que posees.
~ Never define yourself by what you posses.

66. Nunca hables de ti sin concederte la posibilidad de cambiar.
~ Never speak of yourself without granting yourself the possibility of changing.

67. Acepta que nada es tuyo.
~ Accept that nothing is yours.

68. Cuando te pregunten tu opinión sobre algo o alguien, di sólo sus cualidades.
~ When asked your opinion about something or someone, only say their qualities.

69. Cuando te enfermes, en lugar de odiar ese mal considéralo tu maestro.
~ When you are sick, instead of hating that illness consider it your teacher.

70. No mires con disimulo, mira fijamente.
~ Do not look hintedly, look straight.

71. No olvides a tus muertos, pero dales un sitio limitado que les impida invadir toda tu vida.
~ Do not forget your dead, but give them a limited place that impedes them from invading all your life.

72. En el lugar en que habites consagra siempre un sitio a lo sagrado.
~ In the place you live consecrate always a place for the sacred.

73. Cuando realices un servicio no resaltes tus esfuerzos.
~ When you perform a service do not highlight your efforts.

74. Si decides trabajar para los otros, hazlo con placer.
~ If you decide to work for others, do it with pleasure.

75. Si dudas entre hacer y no hacer, arriésgate y haz.
~ If you doubt between doing and not doing, take a risk and do.

76.  No trates de ser todo para tu pareja; admite que busque en otros lo que tú no puedes darle.
~ Don’t try to be everything for your couple; admit he/she may search for in others what you cannot give him/her.

77.Cuando alguien tenga su público, no acudas para contradecirlo y robarle la audiencia.
~ When someone has their public, do not approach to contradict or steal the audience.

78. Vive de un dinero ganado por ti mismo.
~ Live off of money earned by yourself.

79. No te jactes de aventuras amorosas.
~ Do not boast about love affairs.

80. No te vanaglories de tus debilidades.
~ Do not vainglory yourself of your weaknesses.

81. Nunca visites a alguien sólo por llenar tu tiempo.
~ Never visit someone just to fill your time.

82. Obtén para repartir.
~ Obtain in order to share.

83. Si estás meditando y llega un diablo, pon ese diablo a meditar.
~ If you are meditating and a devil arrives, put that devil to meditate.

Here are some photos of Gurdjieff and some of the key people in the Work:

%d bloggers like this: