Gurdjieff's Primitive Cosmology

Ennio

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Here is the Part 2 of the show we did with Father Joseph Azize on Gurdjieff's exercises and ideas. And he sure does keep his thoughtful responses to our questions coming; one, after the next, after the next.

MindMatters: Interview with Joseph Azize Pt. 2: The Usefulness of Gurdjieff's Teachings For Our Times

Delving deeper into some of G.I. Gurdjieff's ideas and practices, we continue our discussion with Father Joseph Azize, author of the recently published book Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, & Exercises. Among a broad range of related topics covered, Fr. Azize describes the esoteric dynamics of prayer as it relates to the "Four Ideals" exercises and the types of impressions that we may access and 'digest' as a result. The detrimental effects of 'negative emotions' are also examined - as they relate to the growing irrationality that surrounds us, and the necessary work of growing one's consciousness and conscience to counter these manifestations for one's self, and for others. Further to this is an increased awareness of one's own thinking and feeling centers and how strengthening these 'bodies' plays such a large part in the growth of an individual.

On today's MindMatters we look back to the remaining fragments of G.I. Gurdjieff's teachings and exercises so that they may not be lost to obscurity, and forward, because this time we're living in necessitates their use. In addition to these issues, Fr. Azize speaks of his own synthesis of these ideas regarding his work in the priesthood and the Christian tradition. Finally, a brief but informed survey of some other important Gurdjieff books. In these times of accelerated change, what if anything can Gurdjieff's work do to assist us in our response to it, and our working on ourselves?

Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, & Exercises
Also check out Fr. Azize's previous book, George Adie: A Gurdjieff Pupil in Australia.

Suggestions for a Basic Gurdjieff Bibliography (courtesy of Fr. Azize)

Gurdjieff (essential):
  • Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson
  • Meetings with Remarkable Men
  • Life Is Real Only Then, When "I Am"
  • Gurdjieff's Early Talks, 1914-1931
  • Transcripts of Gurdjieff's Meetings 1941-1946, 2nd ed.
  • Paris Meetings 1943
Ouspensky:
  • In Search of the Miraculous (essential)
  • The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution
  • The Fourth Way
  • A Record of Meetings
  • A Further Record
Biographical Records:
  • John G. Bennett, Witness: The Story of a Search
  • Solange Claustres, Becoming Conscious with Mr Gurdjieff
  • Thomas and Olga de Hartmann, Our Life with Mr Gurdjieff
  • Kathryn C. Hulme, Undiscovered Country
  • Dorothy Philpotts, Discovering Gurdjieff
  • Irmis P. Popoff, Gurdjieff: His Work on myself ... with others ... for the Work
  • Tcheslaw Tchekhovitch, Gurdjieff: A Master in Life
  • Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope
Approaches to the Teaching:
  • John G. Bennett, Gurdjieff: Making a New World
  • John G. Bennett, A Spiritual Psychology
  • Jane Heap, Notes
  • Maurice Nicoll, Notes Taken at Meetings January 18, 1934 to April 28, 1934
  • Maurice Nicoll, Selections from Meetings in 1953
  • Maurice Nicoll, Simple Explanation of Work Ideas
  • Jeanne de Salzmann, Reality of Being
  • A.L. Staveley, Themes I, II, and III
  • Jean Vaysse, Toward Awakening
  • Gurdjieff's Emissary in New York, Talks and Lectures with A.R. Orage 1924-1931
Aside from Amazon, Fourth Way books can be purchased at By The Way Books. Book Studio has published numerous important volumes, including original manuscript versions of Gurdjieff's works, and previously unpublished talks and notes.


 

Approaching Infinity

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I would like to refare to something that Father Azize said about the words 'I am' (around 48:00 in the video), that 'behind real I lays God' and that 'only God can really say I am'. Those words made some connections in my mind. In that case a path towards real 'I' is also path towards God and to know and fulfill God's Will is to wake real 'I', it is interrelated. To follow this path it is neccessary to take control over your tiny little I's, as Gourdjieff defined it, in other words one have to die to the sin. Sinful act is then everything that takes away from connecting to real 'I', that is when the passions, principalities (little I's), takes control.

Well put, Janek. And to further relate it to Ashworth, when connection with the higher centers is secured, and one merges with "God's will" (or the "mind of God/mind of Christ", in Paul's terms), then through ones actions, one manifests the kingdom or dominion of God. This relates to what G said about the esoteric circle of humanity (which consists of man no. 7 according to G's system):

This circle consists of people who have attained the highest development possible for man, each one of whom possesses individuality in the fullest degree, that is to say, an indivisible ‘I,’ all forms of consciousness possible for man, full control over these states of consciousness, the whole of knowledge possible for man, and a free and independent will. They cannot perform actions opposed to their understanding or have an understanding which is not expressed by their actions. At the same time there can be no discord among them, no differences of understanding. Therefore their activity is entirely co-ordinated and leads to one common aim without any kind of compulsion because it is based upon a common and identical understanding.
 

Temperance

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Here is the Part 2 of the show we did with Father Joseph Azize on Gurdjieff's exercises and ideas. And he sure does keep his thoughtful responses to our questions coming; one, after the next, after the next.

MindMatters: Interview with Joseph Azize Pt. 2: The Usefulness of Gurdjieff's Teachings For Our Times




Excellent interview! There are two things that really stuck out to me from this one, which are the following:

-The idea from that exercise discussed of leaving quiet or contemplative time after an exercise or prayer, to digest and incorporate those higher hydrogens or finer substances that we may have accessed. I thought of this in terms of the end portion of the meditative part of the EE program, and the benefits I have felt when I stay with that "state" afterwards, rather than go on to cut it short.

-The second one, is the analogy made in regards to the arrow being shot by a layperson as opposed to a marksman, and I've been thinking of this both in terms of one who actively works on themselves(to raise FRV?) etc., or who trains on their ability to pray and contemplate more fully, with more depth of feeling, intent, and concentration.

This has got the wheels turning in the importance of a meditative practice, and using exercises, to enhance the state of mind in which we then may pray more deeply, if that makes sense.

I have ordered the book, and it should be here by the end of the month, hopefully. It truly is interesting timing with this information becoming published, when it is most needed by the world. Thank you again for this interview!
 

Menna

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This circle consists of people who have attained the highest development possible for man, each one of whom possesses individuality in the fullest degree, that is to say, an indivisible ‘I,’ all forms of consciousness possible for man, full control over these states of consciousness, the whole of knowledge possible for man, and a free and independent will. They cannot perform actions opposed to their understanding or have an understanding which is not expressed by their actions. At the same time there can be no discord among them, no differences of understanding. Therefore their activity is entirely co-ordinated and leads to one common aim without any kind of compulsion because it is based upon a common and identical understanding.

There is no lieing no faking intent and action is alligned all the way through their body from intellectual to emotional to mechanical. They can not contradict themselves everything is aligned. A true person of their word so to speak.
 

Ennio

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MindMatters had another opportunity to discuss Gurdjieff with the extremely knowledgeable author Father Joseph Azize. We hope that you enjoy listening to him as much as we did!

MindMatters: Father Joseph Azize Interview: Gurdjieff's Legacy and the 'New Work'

Few scholars and writers in the world today have the experience and in-depth knowledge that Father Joseph Azize has of G.I. Gurdjieff's Fourth Way work. In this new interview with the author of Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation and Exercises, we explore a range of issues : Have students and organizations based on Gurdjieff's work watered down and distorted what the great teacher wrote and instructed? At what point do ideas - in an attempt to make them more "accessible" - lose their power and potency altogether? And by contrast, what does it look like when integrity is maintained?

This week on MindMatters we discuss these issues as well as some more of the specially designed exercises Gurdjieff prescribed for his pupils that we began to explore with Fr. Azize in our first interview. Looking specifically at the mystic's "Second Assisting" and "Web" exercises we examine what they were intended to do for the practitioner - as well as what the larger implications and possible benefits that such work had, and has, for humanity as a whole. Join us as Joseph Azize gives a number of very nuanced and informed explications of Gurdjieff's ideas, and what value they hold for those seeking to climb the staircase of one's own being.


 

Ennio

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MindMatters had the opportunity to interview another Great guest who knows a thing or two about Gurdjieff's work...

MindMatters: Interview with Alan Francis: The Fourth Way, Taoism and Spiritual Development

Today on MindMatters we interview Alan Francis, a longtime Fourth Way practitioner, teacher and author of the book Secrets of the Fourth Way. Alan is the founder of the Russian Center for Gurdjieff Studies as well as the International School of the Fourth Way, planned to open this coming winter. Our discussion covers a range of topics, from Alan's early life experiences that led him to the Fourth Way, basic Fourth Way topics like kundabuffer and Gurdjieff's take on kundalini, addiction, and fear, to 'powers and principalities', Taoist alchemy and its possible significance in relation to Gurdjieff's ideas and practice, concluding with a demonstration of a unique Fourth Way gymnastics exercise.

Alan's Facebook group is accessible here.


 
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