Gurdjieff's 82 Rules For Life

Ryan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I hadn't read this list before and found it very inspiring. Well worth printing out and referring to a regular basis.


Gurdjieff's 82 Rules For Life

1. Ground your attention on yourself. Be conscious at every moment of what you are thinking, sensing, feeling, desiring, and doing.

2. Always finish what you have begun.

3. Whatever you are doing, do it as well as possible.

4. Do not become attached to anything that can destroy you in the course of time.

5. Develop your generosity – but secretly.

6. Treat everyone as if he or she was a close relative.

7. Organize what you have disorganized.

8. Learn to receive and give thanks for every gift.

9. Stop defining yourself.

10. Do not lie or steal, for you lie to yourself and steal from yourself.


11. Help your neighbor, but do not make him dependent.

12. Do not encourage others to imitate you.

13. Make work plans and accomplish them.

14. Do not take up too much space.

15. Make no useless movements or sounds.

16. If you lack faith, pretend to have it.

17. Do not allow yourself to be impressed by strong personalities.

18. Do not regard anyone or anything as your possession.

19. Share fairly.

20. Do not seduce.


21. Sleep and eat only as much as necessary.

22. Do not speak of your personal problems.

23. Do not express judgment or criticism when you are ignorant of most of the factors involved.

24. Do not establish useless friendships.

25. Do not follow fashions.

26. Do not sell yourself.

27. Respect contracts you have signed.

28. Be on time.

29. Never envy the luck or success of anyone.

30. Say no more than necessary.


31. Do not think of the profits your work will engender.

32. Never threaten anyone.

33. Keep your promises.

34. In any discussion, put yourself in the other person’s place.

35. Admit that someone else may be superior to you.

36. Do not eliminate, but transmute.

37. Conquer your fears, for each of them represents a camouflaged desire.

38. Help others to help themselves.

39. Conquer your aversions and come closer to those who inspire rejection in you.

40. Do not react to what others say about you, whether praise or blame.


41. Transform your pride into dignity.

42. Transform your anger into creativity.

43. Transform your greed into respect for beauty.

44. Transform your envy into admiration for the values of the other.

45. Transform your hate into charity.

46. Neither praise nor insult yourself.

47. Regard what does not belong to you as if it did belong to you.

48. Do not complain.

49. Develop your imagination.

50. Never give orders to gain the satisfaction of being obeyed.


51. Pay for services performed for you.

52. Do not proselytize your work or ideas.

53. Do not try to make others feel for you emotions such as pity, admiration, sympathy, or complicity.

54. Do not try to distinguish yourself by your appearance.

55. Never contradict; instead, be silent.

56. Do not contract debts; acquire and pay immediately.

57. If you offend someone, ask his or her pardon; if you have offended a person publicly, apologize publicly.

58. When you realize you have said something that is mistaken, do not persist in error through pride; instead, immediately retract it.

59. Never defend your old ideas simply because you are the one who expressed them.

60. Do not keep useless objects.


61. Do not adorn yourself with exotic ideas.

62. Do not have your photograph taken with famous people.

63. Justify yourself to no one, and keep your own counsel.

64. Never define yourself by what you possess.

65. Never speak of yourself without considering that you might change.

66. Accept that nothing belongs to you.

67. When someone asks your opinion about something or someone, speak only of his or her qualities.

68. When you become ill, regard your illness as your teacher, not as something to be hated.

69. Look directly, and do not hide yourself.

70. Do not forget your dead, but accord them a limited place and do not allow them to invade your life.


71. Wherever you live, always find a space that you devote to the sacred.

72. When you perform a service, make your effort inconspicuous.

73. If you decide to work to help others, do it with pleasure.

74. If you are hesitating between doing and not doing, take the risk of doing.

75. Do not try to be everything to your spouse; accept that there are things that you cannot give him or her but which others can.

76. When someone is speaking to an interested audience, do not contradict that person and steal his or her audience.

77. Live on money you have earned.

78. Never brag about amorous adventures.

79. Never glorify your weaknesses.

80. Never visit someone only to pass the time.


81. Obtain things in order to share them.

82. If you are meditating and a devil appears, make the devil meditate too.
 

Jenn

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Thanks for sharing Ryan, as you said it's a great compilation to have to hand. There was one rule that I wasn't sure of:

22. Do not speak of your personal problems.
If one of the aims here is to network with others to gain a more objective view of reality it seems counterintuitive to not speak about the problems that we are facing, but maybe it's the way we do it that is important and who we do it with (based on rule number 53):

53. Do not try to make others feel for you emotions such as pity, admiration, sympathy, or complicity.
If we're talking about our problems to gain pity etc. then it's not really with the intention of solving the issue or learning but about manipulating another and/ or gaining something for ourselves be it energy, or sustaining a false image of ourselves.

62. Do not have your photograph taken with famous people.
Can Jordan Peterson be the exception? :lol:
 

Learner

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you for this list from my side as well, Ryan. That does really sound like G. for me, and it lists many virtues to practice along with mindfulness / awareness. In reading it I thought that it contains many things one could strive for especially in Western countries, where life has become empty and pretty aimless for many, based on the hedonistic, degenerate lifestyle offers & cultural atmosphere being paramount since a long time. It's one pointer to keep direction while society, economy and culture are disintegrating and while having to ground oneself or keep grounded.

Also thought about rule 22, regarding one's personal problems, and do agree with Jenn that it's about how we convey things and with whom. I would add that it also depends on the (inner) place we convey from, the nature of our mental / emotional state and mindset (which may be the ground for the "how"): Are we just getting sucked up into the thought-emotions of these problems, or can we view it from the perspective of a bird's eye as well? It can help to journal and meditate (or whatever else helps) in order to sort this stuff out to some degree, thus getting some distance, and then being able to see things in a somewhat different light, and share from there with trustworthy people who we know can relate.

82. If you are meditating and a devil appears, make the devil meditate too.
That's funny! But it helps making good use to such mental energies. I tried something like that recently, when an intrusive thought energy that tried to wreak havoc appeared during EE - it was put to work in my inner garden, to ready some vegetable or flower beds for winter. It had actually listened to me! :-D
 

Ryan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
If we're talking about our problems to gain pity etc. then it's not really with the intention of solving the issue or learning but about manipulating another and/ or gaining something for ourselves be it energy, or sustaining a false image of ourselves.
Also thought about rule 22, regarding one's personal problems, and do agree with Jenn that it's about how we convey things and with whom.
Interesting; rule 22 was one I pondered about as well. I think the key word there is personal. If we need to talk to others about a problem, it's likely because the problem is affecting others as well, and thus it's appropriate to air out the situation and network. However, purely personal problems are ones that affect only ourselves (eg. bearing the suffering of the consequences of one's own erroneous actions), and thus can only be resolved by ourselves. These are the kinds of personal problems I think Gurdjieff was referring to.

This rule is such a seeming 'grey area' type situation, I wonder if Gurdjieff placed it at number 22 on purpose as an "interval"?

Can Jordan Peterson be the exception? :lol:
There're always exceptions to every rule! :-D
 

Alix

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I love it! Short bullet points that are easy to put into your mind. You could go down the list and pick one or two a day to stay aware of that day. After a while, you will be able to integrate them easily into your life/knowledge/awareness. :thup:
 

Learner

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Interesting; rule 22 was one I pondered about as well. I think the key word there is personal. If we need to talk to others about a problem, it's likely because the problem is affecting others as well, and thus it's appropriate to air out the situation and network. However, purely personal problems are ones that affect only ourselves (eg. bearing the suffering of the consequences of one's own erroneous actions), and thus can only be resolved by ourselves. These are the kinds of personal problems I think Gurdjieff was referring to.

It's interesting that quite a few here of us have thoughts about that rule! Regarding what you wrote, if you take personal as keyword there can be a challenge in finding out the line between the first case when the problem affects others, or if it's purely personal and you could drag others in unneccessarily when sharing about it. And some situations may warrant sharing in the latter case to look for possible options on solving those problems (especially if you suffer from them and can't find a way out on your own), but it would depend on the way of the sharing. However, only we can move towards suggested solutions then.

So one would need to determine which is which, given the situation in question. As you said, it's a "gray area"; it certainly gives some food for thought.
 
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Ben

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
39. Conquer your aversions and come closer to those who inspire rejection in you.

Another rule that might conflict with some of our experiences or understanding. We know that toxic interactions with people such as psychopaths are usually best avoided. But, if self mastery is the aim then such petty tyrants can be very useful. Likewise with the personal problems - what is the motivation for sharing them and is it safe to do so? Does it conflict with the aim of maintaining strategic enclosure? I would happily share things with any of you that I would rather keep secret from members of my family, and certainly the general public.

The Rule of Three also applies to all of these rules, surely.
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Jenn said:
22. Do not speak of your personal problems.
If one of the aims here is to network with others to gain a more objective view of reality it seems counterintuitive to not speak about the problems that we are facing, but maybe it's the way we do it that is important and who we do it with

Based on what we know about G.’s main principles, I think that quote was probably mainly concerned with self-importance, inner-considering and production of friction.

When I think about G.’s Work, I notice that there is no mention of networking whatsoever - like, anywhere. Maybe that particular principle hadn’t started to bleed through from 4D yet. I also think that with G.’s assessment of the human condition and of people in general, he probably had little faith in the idea that a bunch of unconscious machines who were coming from “many years of a wrong and stupid life” had anything to offer each other, other than facilitating the opposite of whatever their intentions were towards each other since their unconsciousness meant they were still subject to the universal law of octaves, and their attempts to go in one direction could only result in them going in the opposite direction.

So with the lack of a concept like networking as a tool for development of his pupils, the main thrust of his teaching focused on friction and conscious efforts.

All of the above could account for that particular aphorism: “Do not speak of your personal problems”. It’s a way of producing friction in oneself. It’s a way of highlighting in oneself one’s self-importance and inner considering, and a way of Working against the automatic manifestations that these qualities bring about, creating inner friction so as to fuse the many i’s and create more of an individuality which was capable of actually Doing.
 

Tuatha de Danaan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Based on what we know about G.’s main principles, I think that quote was probably mainly concerned with self-importance, inner-considering and production of friction.
I agree with everything you have said T.C:. When I read 'do not speak of your personal problems' I immediately related it to speaking to the general public. i.e those not in the Work. Also these rules were made 80+ years ago so can always be tweaked and updated.

Here on the forum we are all on the same path so our individual problems can be shared and therefore learning is accelerated. The C's have also stressed that we network and share so we're not caught in an echo chamber.
 

Mikkael

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
37. Conquer your fears, for each of them represents a camouflaged desire.
I never thought of my fears are camouflage of something else like desire. I don't have immediate recognition that this might be true, so this is something to keep in my mind for further insight.
47. Regard what does not belong to you as if it did belong to you.
I'm not sure of this one either, it certainly is not about appropriating things of others but rather acting in the spirit to be free to use what does not belong to me but could be used when appropriate? And when that is? Not sure I'm grasping this.

Thanks for sharing Ryan, I find it useful for a bit of reflection.
 
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