Gurdjieff #3

Written by Robert Bruce Baird

Continued from page 1

Conditions. Gurdjieff laid emphasis onrepparttar idea thatrepparttar 150713 seeker must conduct his or her own search - and thatrepparttar 150714 teacher cannot dorepparttar 150715 student's work forrepparttar 150716 student, but is more of a guide onrepparttar 150717 path to self-discovery. As a teacher, Gurdjieff specialized in creating conditions for students - conditions in which growth was possible, in which efficient progress could be made byrepparttar 150718 willing. To find oneself in a set of conditions a gifted teacher has arranged has another benefit. As Gurdjieff put it, ‘You must realize that each man has a definite repertoire of roles which he plays in ordinary circumstances ... but put him into even only slightly different circumstances and he is unable to find a suitable role and for a short time he becomes himself.’

In 1918repparttar 150719 turmoil ofrepparttar 150720 Russian revolution forced Gurdjieff and a small group of devoted followers out of Moscow to Essentuki inrepparttar 150721 Caucasus. Forrepparttar 150722 next four yearsrepparttar 150723 core group moved from place to place, from Tiflis in Georgia to Constantinople to Germany. In 1922 Gurdjieff finally managed to establish a more or less stable base of operations, which he dubbedrepparttar 150724 "Institute forrepparttar 150725 Harmonious Development of Man," atrepparttar 150726 Château de Prieuré in Fontainbleau, near Paris. The Institute's varied activities attracted many new people to Gurdjieff's ideas, and in 1924 he went on a short visit to America where he stirred up much interest and started a group in New York. He returned to France. At this moment ofrepparttar 150727 beginnings of success on a larger scale, Gurdjieff was nearly killed in an automobile accident. During his long recuperation his teaching activities came to an almost complete halt, but from this time to 1935 he did manage to write his three primary works, Beelzebub's Tales, Meetings with Remarkable Men, and Life Is Real Only Then, When "I Am."

If Beelzebub's Tales is an elaborate modern mythological tapestry and Meetings is a spiritual travelogue, then Life Is Real Only Then is a portrait ofrepparttar 150728 creative process in fluid motion. Gurdjieff's most self-revealing book, it takesrepparttar 150729 reader into Gurdjieff's own associative thought-processes, for instance in those passages where he writes about writing itself,repparttar 150730 trains of thought that led him, when still a young man, to renounce all use of his exceptional psychic powers,repparttar 150731 somewhat brutal methods he used to whip his New York followers into shape, and his superhuman, insomniacal efforts to keep his Institute functioning and together on a sound financial footing inrepparttar 150732 Fontainbleau days. Life Is Real was never finished - it ends poignantly with a colon.

Inrepparttar 150733 1930s and 1940s Gurdjieff worked with small groups in Paris, where he lived, and New York. Gurdjieff himself was ultimately an enigma to Westerners, even to those who knew him best. It is doubtful that we will ever knowrepparttar 150734 "person" behindrepparttar 150735 tremendous force of personality he exerted upon all who worked with him. In times ofrepparttar 150736 greatest personal crisis, he would withdraw intorepparttar 150737 circle of his family. He placed extreme demands on his students, but seemed to demand infinitely more of himself. Teacher or prophet, rogue or saint, wily man or gracious servant of God, Gurdjieff today is gone, and among some of his followers there lingers an eschatological atmosphere, a memory-afterglow of a not-so-distant time past whenrepparttar 150738 infinite was concretely embodied in time.” (1)

“KL: Yes, he was in Paris fromrepparttar 150739 early 20's. When he began his work in Moscow (and in St. Petersburg very shortly), things were going rather well, and then they had a little thing calledrepparttar 150740 Russian revolution. It was necessary for Gurdjieff and many of his pupils to leave Russia in a hurry. Many of them were from a stratum of society that was rather too closely associated withrepparttar 150741 Czar, and it in any case conditions had become very bad, very difficult, for anyone in Russia at that time. So Gurdjieff escaped with a small group of followers and establishedrepparttar 150742 center of his activities next in Constantinople, following which there was a brief period in Berlin, and finally he settled just outside of Paris, atrepparttar 150743 Chateau de Prieure at Fontainebleau, and he worked with pupils there very intensively forrepparttar 150744 next few years. That period was cut short by an automobile accident which was very severe; it nearly killed him. Later on, he worked in Paris itself, with, at any given time, a fairly small circle of pupils.

Q.: Who was funding him?

KL: That's a very interesting question. There were certainly people interested in his work who provided funds.” (2)

There is good reason to believe that people who worked in Mind Control associated with Tavistock, Yale and Baruch would have funneled money and clients to Gurdjieff.

Author who cares what the future of humanity will be.

Gurdjieff #2

Written by Robert Bruce Baird

Continued from page 1

What then is this "work"? Those inrepparttar Gurdjieff school write of "work on oneself," and often capitalizerepparttar 150712 concept, as in "The Work." Gurdjieff time and again insisted onrepparttar 150713 importance of direct transmission of knowledge from teacher to student, and emphatically warned ofrepparttar 150714 grave dangers of attempting to learn exercises from a book or cramming one's head full of abstract spiritual notions on one's own. Those who have met an authentic teacher knowrepparttar 150715 sense of presence so important torepparttar 150716 whole process,repparttar 150717 teacher is an embodiment ofrepparttar 150718 knowledge of which he or she speaks, and in a sense what he or she says is of little importance compared withrepparttar 150719 student's opportunity to observe what he or she is. Descriptions of Gurdjieff by those who worked with him are filled with references to his effortless bearing, his economy of movement, his feline grace, his almost overwhelming physical presence as well as his spontaneity and earthy sense of humor. A student in Gurdjieff's Moscow circle described his first meeting withrepparttar 150720 teacher: ‘He looked at me, and I hadrepparttar 150721 distinct impression that he took me inrepparttar 150722 palm of his hand and weighed me.’ {He could cause women to feel sexually aggressive and lose all inhibition throughrepparttar 150723 use of this look combined with breathing techniques.}

Although knowledge is not hoarded secretively, there are inevitable difficulties and pitfalls in efforts to share it with outsiders. Jesus called this "casting pearls before swine." Gurdjieff said students of his methods would find themselves "unable to transmit correctly what is said inrepparttar 150724 groups. [Students] very soon begin to learn from their own personal experience how much effort, how much time, and how much explaining is necessary in order to grasp what is said in groups. It becomes clear to them that they are unable to give their friends a right idea of what they have learned themselves." Ouspensky relates that inrepparttar 150725 early work with Gurdjieff in Moscow and St. Petersburg, it was strictly forbidden for students to write down, much less publish, anything at all connected with Gurdjieff and his ideas; somewhat later, Gurdjieff relaxed this rule, accepting as students many who subsequently published accounts of their experiences inrepparttar 150726 work.

Having, I think, caveatedrepparttar 150727 whole matter sufficiently intorepparttar 150728 dust, I offer here a brief outsider's summary of what was involved inrepparttar 150729 work of Gurdjieff's groups.

Relaxation. Many of Gurdjieff's exercises involved or began with some sort of gradual relaxation ofrepparttar 150730 muscles, starting withrepparttar 150731 muscles ofrepparttar 150732 face and working downward throughrepparttar 150733 body. Fripp has said that we can do nothing when not relaxed, and since his time at Sherborne has practiced a regular routine of relaxation inrepparttar 150734 morning before breakfast; such a ritual, led by a qualified instructor, has been worked intorepparttar 150735 Guitar Craft seminars. Along with relaxation goes a type of exercise for sensingrepparttar 150736 different parts ofrepparttar 150737 body "fromrepparttar 150738 inside." For Gurdjieff's groups, this might have involved, for instance, lying on one's back and concentrating all of one's awareness first on one's nose, then on one's right foot, and so on.

Other Exercises; The Movements. Ouspensky relates a series of what he found to be "unbelievably difficult" physical/mental exercises that Gurdjieff had picked up in various esoteric schools during his travels. In general, these involved some precise and exact combination of counting, breathing, sensing of body parts, and movements, to be done in some coordinated sequence. The famous "movements," often done to music Gurdjieff had composed himself, were dances based on those Gurdjieff had observed and participated in, notably among Sufis and dervishes, and in ancient hidden monasteries. Gurdjieff taught thatrepparttar 150739 movements were not merely calisthenics, exercises in concentration, and displays of bodily coordination and aesthetic sensibility: onrepparttar 150740 contrary, inrepparttar 150741 movements was embedded real, concrete knowledge, passed from generation to generation of initiates - each posture and gesture representing some cosmic truth thatrepparttar 150742 informed observer could read like a book.

Que sera, sera

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