the fourth way .gurdjieff . foreword when p. d. ouspensky was asked if he intended to publish his

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  • P. D. OUSPENSKY

    THE FOURTH

    WAY

    A RECORD OF TALKS AND ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS BASED ON THE TEACHING OF G. I.

    GURDJIEFF

  • FOREWORD

    WHEN P. D. Ouspensky was asked if he intended to publish his lectures, he answered: 'What is the use? The most important is not the lectures but the questions and answers.'

    This book consists of verbatim extracts from talks and answers to questions given by Ouspensky between 1921 and 1946. Chapter I is a general survey of the fundamental ideas, which in subsequent chapters are amplified subject by subject in the specific order followed by Ouspensky himself.

    To achieve this order some of the material has had to be taken out of its chronological sequence; but in no case has there been any alteration of phrasing or meaning.

  • CONTENTS

    FOREWORD

    CHAPTER I What the system is aboutStudy of psychologyIncompleteness of man Study of the world and study of man"Principle of scale Possible evolution Self-studyMany 'I'sDivision of functions Four states of consciousness Self-observationSelf rememberingTwo higher functionsWrong work of the machine ImaginationLyingAbsence of will'Lack of control Expression of unpleasant emotionsNegative emotionsChange of attitudes Observation of functionsIdentificationConsideringSleep Prison and escapeSeven categories of manMechanicalness Law of ThreeLaw of SevenIllusionsWe cannot 'do'Good and evilMorality and conscience Only a few can developA, B and C influencesMagnetic centreWe live in a bad place in the universeRay of CreationOrders of laws.

    CHAPTER II Man if an incomplete beingHe lives below his legitimate level Revaluation of old values'Useful' and 'harmful'IllusionsMan is asleepPractical self-studyStudy of obstaclesPsychology of lyingMan is a machine Creating a permanent 'I'Allegory of a house in disorderRolesBuffers Self-rememberingWhy this system cannot be popularPrisonFormulation of aimTo be freeSinRepentanceHelping humanityAttraction and repulsionSelf-observationDivision of all that belongs to man into seven categoriesKnowledge and beingTheir relationshipWe can have wore knowledgeNecessity of changing being UnderstandingHarmful functionsExpression of negative emotionsUnnecessary talkDifference between this system and othersLevels of beingThinking in different categoriesDangers of the present situation.

    CHAPTER III Self-study and improvementStates of consciousness and functionsDegrees of consciousnessDivision of functionsSelf-rememberingMechanicalness Study of functions of the four centresSubdivision of centresAttention Formatory apparatus Wrong work of centresFour kinds of energy Stopping leaks Negative emotionsStopping the expression of negative emotions Change of attitudes.

  • CHAPTER IV language Different divisions used in the systemEssence and personality A, B and C influencesMagnetic centreWrong magnetic centreDeputy StewardLaw of accidentLaw of fate Law of willLaw of cause and effectEscape from the law of accidentCentre of gravityWhy schools are necessaryFor whom schools are necessaryWhat constitutes a school Degrees of schoolsWay of fakir. Way of Monk and Way of YogiThe Fourth WayDifference between the fourth Way and the traditional ways All ways lead to the same goalLevel of school depends on the level of students Inner circles of humanity

    CHAPTER V Possibility of man's further developmentAbsence of consciousnessCognition of truthStudy of degrees of consciousnessSelf remembering and self-observation Impossibility of defining what self remembering isSelf-remembering as method of awakeningApproach to self remembering through the intellectual centrereconstructing thoughtsStopping thoughts as a method of bringing self-rememberingremembering oneself in emotional momentsIgnorance and weaknessIdentification and struggle with it 'External and internal consideringNegative emotionsQuiet place in oneself

    CHAPTER VI Understanding as the chief requirement in this systemrelativity of understandingHow to increase understandingA new language Right and wrong attitudesAttitudes and understandingNecessity of aim and direction Difficulty of finding out what one wantsOur aims are too remoteGood and evilMorality and necessity of moral senseNecessity of finding a permanent standard of right and wrongDevelopment of conscience as aim of the systemSeeing contradictionsbuffers as the chief obstacle to development of consciencePreparation for breaking down buffersInner disharmony and happinessNeed to establish an inner balance Standards of conduct in life Consciousness and conscienceHow to recognise truthNeed for sincerity with oneselfMechanicalness

    CHAPTER VII Plurality of our being and absence of permanent 'I'Five meanings of the word 'I'Different personalities and likes and dislikesUseless and useful personalitiesMagnetic centre and Deputy Steward Division of oneself into 'I' and 'Mr X'False personalityWhat is 'I'? Study of false personality as means of learning to remember oneselfEfforts to struggle against false personalityNeed of controlFalse personality and negative emotions What is reliable and what is unreliable in oneself-Suffering and its useNot saying 'I' indiscriminatelyFalse personality distorts the ideas of the system Chef feature or featuresNecessity of knowing one's weaknessesStatic Triad ValuationDanger of becoming two Crystallisation

  • CHAPTER VIII Man's place in the worldLimitations of our perception and thinking Knowledge is knowledge of allPrinciples of relativity and scaleLaw of ThreeFour states of matterWe are third force blindLaw of Seven Ascending and descending octavesObserving intervals Ray of Creation Will of the AbsoluteRay of Creation as an instrument for new thinking Special languageRay of Creation as an octaveOrganic life on earth Feeding the MoonCosmic influencesMechanical influence of the moon Influences and state of beingPlanetary influences and essenceLiberation from laws Possibility of developmentMan as part of organic lifeStudy of lawsJustice and injusticeLaws belonging to manWorking against natureStudy of cosmological ideas as help to self-rememberingLaw of Three and creationPassage of forcesThree octaves of radiationsTable of HydrogensDifferent levels of matterLateral octavePossibility of evolution,

    CHAPTER IX Study of man as a chemical factoryFood DiagramThree octaves of food and their developmentFirst stage with one mechanical shockSecond stage with one conscious shockThird stage with second conscious shockRelative value of the three foods ImpressionsSelf-rememberingCarbon 12 LaughterGood and bad impressionsImpressions as different hydrogens Control of impressionsWork on mi 12Centres and their speedHigher centres and their characteristicsConnection with higher centres Higher centres and drugsTelepathyNecessity to increase the production of higher mattersEnergy and the storing of energy. AccumulatorsConnection with the big accumulatorYawningAll work must be concentrated on consciousness.

    CHAPTER X We cannot 'do'Importance of realising the truth of this ideaIllusion of 'doing' and what produces itIn life everything happens but in the work we must learn to 'do'Going against the currentInner 'doing' A vicious circle and the way outCo-ordination of centres'Doing' begins with 'not doingInner controlDoing the impossible and what it meansPutting more pressure into one's effortsWork on will What is will in the full sense of the word and what is our will?Our will a resultant of desiresInner conflict and struggleGiving up willWe only have short moments of will DisciplineNecessity of remembering oneselfConsciousness means will Aim as the controlling factorNecessity of returning constantly to the question of aimSelf-will and wilfulnessFriction Work against self-will One can do nothing without schoolNecessity of regular workCross-roads Creating moon in oneself-Centre of gravitySuper-effort What creates stimulus for work.

    CHAPTER XI Necessity for study of school principles and methodsThree lines of work Right and wrong in relation to the three linesThe need for understanding Aims and needs of the schoolPutting another in one's placeAn organization

  • is necessary for practical workWhat is 'work'?ValuationWorking with peopleWorking for the schoolTaking personal interest in the organizationThe right kind of peopleA fourth Way schoolRight attitude PaymentHow to pay?Centre of gravityDiscipline RulesNot doing what is unnecessarySurrendering one's decisionsMeeting demands Shocks in school workIdea of choicePhysical workSchool knowledge Men of higher mind Can schools influence life?

    CHAPTER XII Necessity to distinguish more important from less important ideas of the systemLimitations of beingPossibilities of changing being Householder, tramp and lunaticHasnamussSleep and the possibility of awaking Realisations and wordsHow to increase emotional attitudeSense of proportionSelf rememberingTo know and to see oneselfBeing serious Struggle with habits Understanding mechanicalnessEffortsSelf study Self observationShocksHow to be more emotional?Putting more pressure into the workTraining the emotional centrePositive emotions Pleasant and unpleasant emotionsIncreasing valuationHow new things comeSlowness of understanding Raising one's standard

    CHAPTER XIII Different categories of human actionsRight and wrong use of triadsStudy of human activitiesRemembering the starting point Inner separation Learning to see false personalityMasksBuffers and weaknessesStudy of methodsAlarmsImpossibility of studying the system from an utilitarian point of viewPhilosophical, theoretical and practical languageThree degrees of schoolRight thinkingLong and short thoughtsRole of intellect Different valuesRight and wrong curiosityCritical attitude Influencing othersStory of the sly man and the devil

    CHAPTER XIV Personal difficultiesNecessity of finding one's most urgent and