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

The Living Force
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.


 

Andrey

Padawan Learner
Excellent thread. Answered a lot of questions I've had reading through 4th way books. I'm relatively new to 4th way, G., and looking forward to exploring what this forum is doing "work" wise. I still have a lot to read and explore regarding 4th way and the work. I am currently going through a phase in my life where I'm staying off the net and reading entire physical books which is new to me. No pdfs right now and no computer screens for reading an entire book. As far as 4th way is concerned, So far I have read the following books:

1. In Search of the Miraculous by ouspensky
2. The fourth way by ouspensky
3. Psychology of man's possible evolution by ouspensky
4. Meetings with remarkable men by gurdjieff

In "the fourth way" it seems like ouspensky wants his pupils to build magnetic center by focusing on the entire system without questioning it. Including blindly accepting the cosmologyamong other questionable things. I did not have access to the internet when i was reading these books so i was wondering aboit the cosmology ingeneral.

Anyways thabks for the thread.

Before reading more gurdjieff books, i wanted to take a break from books focused on 4th way and g. So i ordered idea of history. It arrived today so looking forward to this.

My question is this.. while reading idea of history is there anything i should keep in mind while reading this book in relation to the work? I wanted to check out speculum mentis as well but not right now. Im tryig to pace myself.

How does collingwoods idea of history relate to the work?

Thanks.
 

Mike

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My question is this.. while reading idea of history is there anything i should keep in mind while reading this book in relation to the work? I wanted to check out speculum mentis as well but not right now. Im tryig to pace myself.

How does collingwoods idea of history relate to the work?
Hi Andrey,

For me, this is what I took from 'The Idea of History' in relation to your question and the work.

A main point, and I think an important one, from 'The Idea of History' is that a person or historian in order to be able to better assess a person or event in history needs to basically learn as much about the event or person and any related information in order to have as much appreciation for why things may have transpired the way they did or why a person acted the way they did. In essence you are trying to put yourself in a person's shoes and/or put yourself in the event in order try to see things from the eyes of the people actually involved in order to understand them or an event.

I think this is applicable to the work, since if you do so when looking at another person or situation or even, and maybe most importantly, when trying to understand and work on yourself and also receive a mirror or feedback from other who 'see' you for how you are and how you act, you can possibly build empathy for a person or yourself and act toward them or yourself with this empathy. Kind of like a person opening up their heart via a fuller understanding of things. (But I think this is an add on to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and the 4th Way work, since it has more to do with what Paul seemed to be getting at.) You are considering them or oneself, not as a judge and judgement and one that jumps to hasty conclusions from the perspective of sacred cows, beliefs and biases, which could be seen as an aspect of the predator's mind, but from the perspective of knowledge, understanding and love. You are trying to consider them or yourself fully when interacting with them and I think that is how 'The Idea of History' relates to the work talked about here on the forum.
 

Mikkael

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My question is this.. while reading idea of history is there anything i should keep in mind while reading this book in relation to the work? I wanted to check out speculum mentis as well but not right now. Im tryig to pace myself.

How does collingwoods idea of history relate to the work?
One thing which stood out for me after my reading of Collingwood's IoH and which relates to Work was realization that to think about human past as historians do, is the same kind of thinking I do about my own personal past, about what I did five years ago, or yesterday. Remembering something in the past but being in the present, seeing what I have said or done, trying to understand with the current mind. Doing it over and over again which can bring insight and better understanding of what mind is, mind knowing itself.

It makes it kin with Gurdjieff's work, even though there is perhaps more emphasis on excercises, self-remembering, self-observation and intentional suffering as vehicles how to struggle with one's sleep and way to learn about the mechanical, fragmented nature of self and mind.

At any rate, I guess you're going to get out of Collingwood much more especially as you have formed good question in mind already.
 

Rolae

Padawan Learner
Seems many of times a personal behavior, habit or wrong thinking reflex wrong ideas in the process or already thought processed related person's work, theorems, beliefs. As a hints or clues delivery through a person's expressing incorrectness somewhere in the mentation of delivered. So as I pass by G. I. Gurdjieff enegrams in how off centered he himself would become that particular information was that I also could not either relate or perceive a' should have been dynamic to it as in synchrony with the heart maybe more with the brain yet even I would have thought It was correct only I was not intelligent enough to grasp Gurdjieff thought process or maybe Pyotr Demianovich Ouspenskii further thoughts on such Cosmology. I. Reflection some of G.I Gurdjieff attitude or how he treated even his most dedicated students and pupils unjustly or just plan ruddely as if the teacher himself vented his inconsolable frustration from a misunderstood complex dynamism of his incomplete nature or not enough information to which he would not graps that most hidden of knowledge the hyperdimensional realms. Can one imagine going decades in such a study and life aim and not getting the candle that lit and heated the room. But darkness of not sight the day of getting married. 🥴
 

Rolae

Padawan Learner
Just a note: Read through the section on Epistemology and Gurdjieff clearly had the idea that the "awakened conscience" would lead to a feeling of responsibility to the Universe and actions taken to ameliorate the sufferings of humanity. However, we notice that this is particularly what modern Gurdjieff groups do NOT do.
I would have thought maybe right or limited that the "awakened conscience", opens one to possibilities and not necessarily to a specify result. Forgive me I don't wish to offend. The choice and free-will I think permeates all ?. The "awakened conscience even "awakened consciousness is with respect "unnaturally shocking". Scarry in a real sense! not visually. Perhaps the initial realization is such. That indeed to withstand such an initial awareness shock would take more than one Human Being to accept and Be. My thought remembered in Gurdjieff account of two hundred awakened beings. Well I found out why. From my limited understanding, this I dirived such in very small amount those conscience awakes. Maybe it is the duality of being asleep in the process of awakening here on 3rd density or in third density, that I would experience the unpleasant and after the opposite of that measured conscious effort awareness. 🙏
 
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