Author Topic: Why Gurdjieff?  (Read 32052 times)

Offline Laura

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #60 on: November 05, 2010, 10:19:05 PM »
I'm not sure that the "All is Real" series is exactly that.  I just finished reading "Gurdjieff: A New Life" by Paul Beekman Taylor and the information he brings to the table is, to some extent, rather shocking.  (To me, at least.)  LOTS of detailed stuff that nobody else has ever really talked about.  Puts Gurdjieff in a whole new context.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

Offline Buddy

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #61 on: November 05, 2010, 10:35:05 PM »
[...]
Taylor and the information he brings to the table is, to some extent, rather shocking.  (To me, at least.)  LOTS of detailed stuff that nobody else has ever really talked about.  Puts Gurdjieff in a whole new context.

From a book review that is more than just summary:

Quote
The text[of the book] is dense with detail but written with great clarity of expression.
_http://gurdjieffbooks.wordpress.com/category/john-robert-colomo-page/john-robert-colombo-reviews-a-new-biography-of-gurdjieff-by-paul-beekman-taylor/
It seems, from all the studies that are done, that an elevated mood - one of happy expectation of the possibility of adventure - is the greatest protection against illness. Perhaps it is also the one that makes one "inedible" to the Matrix? -Laura

Offline Laura

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #62 on: November 05, 2010, 10:50:05 PM »
Thought I would add, since I was thinking about it in the bathtub and this came to me:  It seems that Gurdjieff approached intellectual work from a moving center perspective.  He obviously had a tremendous intellect, but everything was filtered through that moving center.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

Offline andi

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #63 on: November 05, 2010, 10:51:39 PM »
Also this :

Inventors of Gurdjieff
By Paul Beekman Taylor

_http://www.gurdjieff.org/taylor1.htm

Offline Laura

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #64 on: November 05, 2010, 10:53:57 PM »
By the way, monkey, I'm still waiting for those citations about the Khazars...

 :knitting:
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

Offline Dingo

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #65 on: November 06, 2010, 03:22:46 AM »
Dingo, have you read "The Myth of Sanity" and "Prehistory of the Mind"???

Prehistory of the Mind is a new one to me, who is the author?

Offline Alejo

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #66 on: November 06, 2010, 03:39:58 AM »
i may be a little late on this thread, but to address monkey's questions..:

No one here can answer that for you, no one here can show you the value, no one here can find a need for you in you.

people here can share their own experience with the work, but really you must be able to see the need for it, to understand why, otherwise it will seem like a meaningless practice.

by the very nature of the work, no one here can "sell" you it.

the answer to most of your questions only you can answer them for you, so my addressing to you is...why gurdjieff? why the work? well, i don't really know it for sure.... you tell me.

Offline Vulcan59

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #67 on: November 06, 2010, 04:13:18 AM »
Dingo, have you read "The Myth of Sanity" and "Prehistory of the Mind"???

Prehistory of the Mind is a new one to me, who is the author?

Hi Dingo,

Have a look here for the author and discussion of the book   :)
"To love you must know. And to know is to have light. And to have light is to love. And to have knowledge is to love."


Offline Approaching Infinity

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #68 on: November 06, 2010, 05:35:33 AM »
I'm not sure that the "All is Real" series is exactly that.  I just finished reading "Gurdjieff: A New Life" by Paul Beekman Taylor and the information he brings to the table is, to some extent, rather shocking.  (To me, at least.)  LOTS of detailed stuff that nobody else has ever really talked about.  Puts Gurdjieff in a whole new context.

Laura, can you share a few things from the book that were shocking for you? I've got the book, too, so I can flesh out whatever parts you mention with quotes and summaries (if you've got the time and inclination, of course!)
Man's inhumanity to monsters is notorious and shameful. --John Keel

Offline Approaching Infinity

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #69 on: November 06, 2010, 05:43:31 AM »
Thought I would add, since I was thinking about it in the bathtub and this came to me:  It seems that Gurdjieff approached intellectual work from a moving center perspective.  He obviously had a tremendous intellect, but everything was filtered through that moving center.

Seems so to me. Even some of the intense feats of intellect he taught his early students (like extreme mnemonics, on par with the complex Movements exercises) were to be done in conjunction with yard work at the Prieure.

Apparently G is quoted as saying, "I trust my instinct over God", or something to that effect, which is fitting. Also, the whole food diagram, rooted in the physical. Of course, studying the food diagram gives some cool insights in relation to EE: the importance of diet, correct breathing, their effects on digestion and metabolism, and their relation to the functions of all centers and the possibility of producing and attracting "higher" energies...
Man's inhumanity to monsters is notorious and shameful. --John Keel

Offline Laura

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #70 on: November 06, 2010, 10:32:19 AM »
Laura, can you share a few things from the book that were shocking for you? I've got the book, too, so I can flesh out whatever parts you mention with quotes and summaries (if you've got the time and inclination, of course!)

First of all, it seems that Gurdjieff had a strange idea about Truth.  It's as though he took the dictum that the teacher can lie for purposes of helping others way too far.   For example, much of the story told by him in "Life is Real" is, to put it plainly, lies.  These are exposed as lies by Taylor by virtue of his tracking of finances and travel and witness testimony.   In this case, I really can't see the reason for the lies though I can see that in other instances, he lied to shock others.

Then, there was his general personality effect on others.  That was NOT how to "win friends and influence people."  Well, we know he wanted to reach people who were really dedicated.  Fine.  But I think he went over the line there, too.

Then, of course, there was his attitude about, and use of, money, especially other people's money.  I mean, if there was ever an example of what is NOT External Considering, that is what he was doing!  Yeah, I realize that he was desperately trying to further his aims and take care of a lot of people, but I do think that he went about it kind of ham-handedly.   I think it was the difference between the Oriental mind and the Occidental mind that caused these issues.

Also, his moving center approach to sex and the free way he fathered children with some of his students.  This is very disturbing to me.  But, again, probably the result of the Oriental view of things.  But that's not much comfort when you consider that we are trying to deal with soul issues, not ethnicities.

I think all the silly claims about Gurdjieff being a spy or involved with the Nazis or whatever are really dumb in light of what was actually going on.  He was an Eastern being trying to do things in a Western culture and he never quite found the right note until towards the end. 

There was that totally wonderful side of him, that brilliance, that care, that concern, the moving center "get things done" approach, and surely that was needed to get anything done in those times with the system he had to work with, but only up to a point.

 I dunno.  It was just disturbing.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

Online dantem

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #71 on: November 06, 2010, 03:11:31 PM »

Then, of course, there was his attitude about, and use of, money, especially other people's money.  I mean, if there was ever an example of what is NOT External Considering, that is what he was doing!  Yeah, I realize that he was desperately trying to further his aims and take care of a lot of people, but I do think that he went about it kind of ham-handedly.   I think it was the difference between the Oriental mind and the Occidental mind that caused these issues.



There's a passage in ISOTM where Ouspensky/group asks G. about the money issue. Is there more than that in Taylor's book?

Quote
Chapter One

In regard to his work in Moscow G. said that he had two groups unconnected with one another and occupied in different work, "according to the state of their preparation and their powers," as he expressed it. Each member of these groups paid a thousand roubles a year, and was able to work with him while pursuing his ordinary activities in life.

I said that in my opinion a thousand roubles a year might be too large a payment for many people without private means.

G. replied that no other arrangement was possible, because, owing to the very nature of the work, he could not have many pupils. At the same time, he did not desire and ought not—he emphasized this—to spend his own money on the organization of the work. His work was not, and could not be, of a charitable nature and his pupils themselves ought to find the means for the hire of apartments where they could meet; for carrying out experiments; and so on. Besides this, he added that observation showed that people who were weak in life proved themselves weak in the work.

"There are several aspects of this idea," said G. "The work of each person may involve expenses, traveling, and so on. If his life is so badly organized that a thousand roubles embarrasses him it would be better for him not to undertake this work. Suppose that, in the course of the year, his work requires him to go to Cairo or some other place. He must have the means to do so. Through our demand we find out whether he is able to work with us or not.

"Besides," G. continued, "I have far too little spare time to be able to sacrifice it on others without being certain even that it will do them good. I value my time very much because I need it for my own work and because I cannot and, as I said before, do not want to spend it unproductively. There is also another side to this," said G. "People do not value a thing if they do not pay for it."

I listened to this with a strange feeling. On the one hand I was pleased with everything that G. said. I was attracted by the absence of any element of sentimentality, of conventional talk about "altruism," of words about "working for the good of humanity" and so forth. On the other hand I was surprised at G.'s apparent desire to convince me of something in connection with the question of money when I needed no convincing.

If there was anything I did not agree with it was simply that G. would be able to collect enough money in the way he described. I realized that none of those pupils whom I had seen would be able to pay a thousand roubles a year. If he had really found in the East visible and tangible traces of hidden knowledge and was continuing investigations in this direction, then it was clear that this work needed funds, like any other scientific enterprise, like an expedition into some unknown part of the world, the excavation of an ancient city, or an investigation requiring elaborate and numerous physical or chemical experiments. It was quite unnecessary to convince me of this. On the contrary, the thought was already in my mind that if G. gave me the possibility of a closer acquaintance with his activities, I should probably be able to find the funds necessary for him to place his work on a proper footing and also bring him more prepared people. But, of course, I still had only a very vague idea in what this work might consist.


Quote
Chapter 8

At this time certain definite types of people had already begun to show a negative attitude towards our work. Besides the absence of "love" many people were very indignant at the demand for payment, for money. In this connection it was very characteristic that those who were indignant were not those who could pay only with difficulty, but people of means for whom the sum demanded was a mere trifle.

Those who could not pay or who could pay very little always understood that they could not count upon getting something for nothing, and that G.'s work, his journeys to Petersburg, and the time that he and others gave to the work cost money. Only those who had money did not understand and did not want to understand this.

"Does this mean that we must pay to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?" they said. "People do not pay nor is money asked for such things. Christ said to his disciples: 'Take neither purse nor scrip,' and you want a thousand roubles. A very good business could be made of it. Suppose that you had a hundred members. This would already make a hundred thousand, and if there were two hundred, three hundred? Three hundred thousand a year is very good money."
G. always smiled when I told him about talks like this.

"Take neither purse nor scrip! And need not a railway ticket be taken either? The hotel paid? You see how much falsehood and hypocrisy there is here. No, even if we needed no money at all it would still be necessary to keep this payment. It rids us at once of many useless people. Nothing shows up people so much as their attitude towards money. They are ready to waste as much as you like on their own personal fantasies but they have no valuation whatever of another person's labor. I must work for them and give them gratis everything that they vouchsafe to take from me. 'How is it possible to trade in knowledge? This ought to be free.' It is precisely for this reason that the demand for this payment is necessary. Some people will never pass this barrier. And if they do not pass this one, it means that they will never pass another. Besides, there are other considerations. Afterwards you will see."

The other considerations were very simple ones. Many people indeed could not pay. And although in principle G. put the question very strictly, in practice he never refused anybody on the grounds that they had no money. And it was found out later that he even supported many of his pupils. The people who paid a thousand roubles paid not only for themselves but for others.
I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time [...] General facts may indeed be collected from them [...] but no details can be relied on. He who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false. [Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Norvell, 1807]

Offline JGeropoulas

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #72 on: November 06, 2010, 06:23:44 PM »
However, I have already uploaded the text to the cass site, it is just not published yet.  I'm working on getting all the original images back in before I do.  When I first published it on the website, it had lots of photos which I think made the story more interesting because you could see photos of people and places as I talk about them.  But, when it went to book form, it was too expensive to include all those pictures.  That was the real downside of the book.  So, I'm restoring the original text with photos and even MORE photos so it is more fun! and it should be ready to launch in a few weeks!

Fantastic to hear that!  That book was nearly the first of your writings I encountered online (2004?).  So much in it spoke deeply to my parallel experiences (e.g. getting "saved" from fundamentalism, divorcing, then being "stripped to the bone" by all that followed these unpardonable "sins").  Most of all, it bolstered my courage to ignore the screams of all my programs and press on in my search for the truth.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." – Aristotle

"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance" –  Einstein

Offline Stevie Argyll

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #73 on: November 07, 2010, 12:06:40 AM »
Hi
Laura

Re
Quote
For example, much of the story told by him in "Life is Real" is, to put it plainly, lies.  These are exposed as lies by Taylor by virtue of his tracking of finances and travel and witness testimony.

I don't see anywhere that Gurdjieff states that the  third series is autobiographical in fact in one section of it Gurdjieff clearly states he is using the communicative style of  Mulla Nassr Eddin. If  Beekman Taylor has uncovered lies , mistruths and  fallacies in the text then perhaps thats  apointer for us not to take it at face value.
"whatever the mind tells you, you are not that. It would be good to become more aware of those false voices so that they could become a reminder for us. It is useless fighting them or trying to stop them. What is possible is to make a small stop at the very moment of hearing a mind voice of this kind, then to collect one’s attention and make an affirmation—aloud when alone, under the breath if with others. An affirmation should be made many times every day. It becomes a source of strength, especially if I practice sensing at the same time. Only real I can know “me.” But it needs to be called..

Offline Buddy

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Re: Why Gurdjieff?
« Reply #74 on: November 07, 2010, 12:38:20 AM »
For anyone new who may be unfamiliar with references to Gurdjieff's various books:
Quote
    ALL AND EVERYTHING
    Ten Books in Three Series
    by G. I. Gurdjieff


    FIRST SERIES: Three books under the title of “An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man,” or, “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson.”

    SECOND SERIES: Three books under the common title of “Meetings with Remarkable Men.”

    THIRD SERIES: Four books under the common title of “Life is Real Only Then, When ‘I Am.’”

All written according to entirely new principles of logical reasoning and strictly directed towards the solution of the following three cardinal problems:

    FIRST SERIES: To destroy, mercilessly, without any compromises whatsoever, in the mentation and feelings of the reader, the beliefs and views, by centuries rooted in him, about everything existing in the world.

    SECOND SERIES: To acquaint the reader with the material required for a new creation and to prove the soundness and good quality of it.

    THIRD SERIES: To assist the arising, in the mentation and in the feelings of the reader, of a veritable, non-fantastic representation not of that illusory world which he now perceives, but of the world existing in reality.

Source: _http://www.gurdjieff.org/all.htm
It seems, from all the studies that are done, that an elevated mood - one of happy expectation of the possibility of adventure - is the greatest protection against illness. Perhaps it is also the one that makes one "inedible" to the Matrix? -Laura