Gurdjieff and Mind Controllers #1

Written by Robert Bruce Baird

Continued from page 1

Since Gurdjieff's death, work with his methods has continued in formally and informally organized groups scattered across many countries. Any attempt to penetraterepparttar real meaning of Gurdjieff's work leads torepparttar 150714 inescapable conclusion that such meaning can be grasped only through sustained personal effort over a period of months and years - through self-observation, certain exercises carried out underrepparttar 150715 instruction of a qualified teacher, and a commitment to work on oneself inrepparttar 150716 context of a supportive community of fellow-seekers. Gurdjieff taught not so much a doctrine or creed as a method or a way, and it was a way whose transmission through mere books was deemed impossible.

Nevertheless he wrote a number of books himself, and a fair number of his followers, often after considerable gnashing of teeth and soul-searching - givenrepparttar 150717 admittedly ineffable nature ofrepparttar 150718 subject-matter - have overrepparttar 150719 years committed their thoughts on Gurdjieff, his ideas, and his methods torepparttar 150720 printed page. In 1985 J. Walter Driscoll, in collaboration withrepparttar 150721 Gurdjieff Foundation of California, published Gurdjieff: An Annotated Bibliography, a remarkable listing of over 1,700 books, articles, reviews, unpublished manuscripts, and other items in English, French, and other languages. Through this source one can gain some considerable insight intorepparttar 150722 identity of this enigmatic figure andrepparttar 150723 profound impact he had on any soul so fortunate or unfortunate as to grapple with him.

Gurdjieff was born inrepparttar 150724 Armenian town of Alexandropol. With a Greek father and an Armenian mother, he had what one might call a flexible Middle Eastern appearance - one he would learn to shift, chameleon-like, at will, impersonating one or another race according torepparttar 150725 demands ofrepparttar 150726 moment. (With shaved head and groomed moustache, in his youth he looked perhaps not unlikerepparttar 150727 majestic Tony Levin.)

Gurdjieff's father was a successful, even rich, cattle herder until his animals were wiped out by a pestilence; afterrepparttar 150728 loss of all his wealth he worked as a carpenter and at other jobs. Most important to Gurdjieff, however, was his father's avocation as an asokh, or story-telling bard, for which he was widely known, having at his command hundreds of songs, poems, legends, and folk-tales. From him Gurdjieff inherited not only treasures of ancient wisdom from a rapidly vanishing oral tradition, but a tendency to viewrepparttar 150729 world in allegorical terms, as a surpassingly rich drama with elements both tragic and comic.

Gurdjieff was trained privately in medicine and Orthodox religion, but at some point aroundrepparttar 150730 age of twenty, driven by a need to seek answers to life's ultimate questions, he left his home environment and embarked on a lengthy series of travels aroundrepparttar 150731 Middle East, Central Asia, Tibet, India, and Egypt, at times alone and at times inrepparttar 150732 company of a number of other singularly committed individuals who called themselves "The Seekers of Truth."

Tales of Gurdjieff's many expeditions and wanderings over this twenty-odd year period are told in his autobiography, Meetings with Remarkable Men. The modern Western reader is bound to find much in this spiritual travelogue astonishing and almost literally unbelievable. Miracles, prodigious psychic feats, exotic customs, and a faraway fairy-tale or medieval atmosphere pervaderepparttar 150733 book. Gurdjieff portrays a fluid, teeming life atrepparttar 150734 mythical center ofrepparttar 150735 world,repparttar 150736 cradle of civilization - a life in which currents ofrepparttar 150737 great organized world religions mix with esoteric teachings, in which traditional Asian cultures run up againstrepparttar 150738 forces of modernization - a world in which contemporary Europeans are viewed almost universally as soulless fools, a world in which Western dividing lines between body and spirit, matter and psyche,repparttar 150739 mundane andrepparttar 150740 paranormal blur and vanish underrepparttar 150741 searchlight ofrepparttar 150742 seeker's unremitting will to know.

Enduringrepparttar 150743 harshest physical hardships, learning to be a trader, carpet dealer, businessman, fix-it man, con man, and consummate actor, drawing on his knowledge of some sixteen languages and dialects, Gurdjieff spent these years studying himself andrepparttar 150744 world, accumulating convincing evidence forrepparttar 150745 existence of higher powers, and meeting many, as he put it, "remarkable men" - gurus, yogis, fakirs, story-tellers, teachers, holy men, healers, monks - some situated in fantastically remote areas, hidden in monasteries unknown torepparttar 150746 world and completely inaccessible to Westerners, where esoteric teachings had been transmitted orally for centuries, even millennia.

In 1912, convinced that he had discovered and mastered a certain knowledge whose core of truth is found in all genuine religious traditions, and whose lineage went back to pre-Babylonian ages, Gurdjieff went to Moscow, where he beganrepparttar 150747 teaching efforts he would pursuerepparttar 150748 remainder of his life. One of his students was P.D. Ouspensky, with whom he would split inrepparttar 150749 1920s, but who wrote a systematic account of Gurdjieff's early ideas and methods, In Search ofrepparttar 150750 Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, a book which Gurdjieff approved and cleared for publication shortly after Ouspensky's death in 1947.

The practical philosophy that Fripp was developing during his three-year retreat fromrepparttar 150751 music industry, which he would put into practice in his musical work ofrepparttar 150752 late 1970s and early 1980s, and which would turn up in full bloom in his Guitar Craft courses after 1985, owes much to Gurdjieffian ideas that Ouspensky relates in In Search ofrepparttar 150753 Miraculous. The overarching theme ofrepparttar 150754 book isrepparttar 150755 idea that in our normal state we human beings are asleep, unconscious, running on automatic. Our ideals, morals, ideologies, religion, art, and lofty philosophizing are all a sham,repparttar 150756 product of instinctual groping inrepparttar 150757 dark, automatic mental associations, wishful thinking, bloated egotism, laziness, shallow romanticism. ‘It is possible to think for a thousand years,’ said Gurdjieff. ‘It is possible to write whole libraries of books, to create theories byrepparttar 150758 million, and all this in sleep, without any possibility of awakening. Onrepparttar 150759 contrary, these books and these theories, written and created in sleep, will merely send other people to sleep, and so on.’

The individual human organism is merely an animal, according to Gurdjieff, a self-deluded machine, followingrepparttar 150760 course of least resistance, slipping unconscious day by day to its ultimately inevitable death. Occultist students would ask Gurdjieff about life after death, reincarnation, and so on, and he would reply that for most people, death is indeedrepparttar 150761 ultimate end, you go out like a light and that is it. Only for those who had persistently labored to develop a soul, a real, permanent, unchangeable "I," was there any possibility that some essential quality of their being would surviverepparttar 150762 death ofrepparttar 150763 physical body.

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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.

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