A COLLECTION OF QUOTES OF GURDJIEFF WORDS, WRITTEN OR SPOKEN, FROM VARIOUS SOURCES MADE BY FRITZ PETERS CIRCA 1945
The Sphinx represents how to become conscious:
Body of a bull means mighty labours.
Legs of a lion, the might necessary for development.
Wings of an eagle for pondering.
Breast of a virgin for love – always.
The head, fixed with amber to the neck, for
(Amber is one of seven planetary formations in the arising of which all of its three separate independent and sacred parts are in equal proportions).
Do: Intentional Suffering
The only connection our emotions have with our body is through the blood, and the emotions can only be connected with the mind by the “Hanbledzoin” – that substance which arises from being-efforts. How unbecoming is the state of man! He cannot by his mind control an emotion. What was life and death for him last year, this year is hardly remembered.
Memory is the repetition of previously-perceived impressions engendering what is called association, and the parts of this repetition entering the field of man’s attention – that condition is called memory.
We have 4 personalities:
1. All automatic functionings including mentation (so-called) of man.
2. The totality of the fixed data received from the 6 receiving organs – receivers of the varied quality vibrations depending on heredity and conditions in preparatory years of formation.
3. The fundamental functioning of the organism and also the motor-reflex-reciprocally-affecting manifestations.
4. The first three all together, which total is called the “I”.
RULES FOR YOUTH:
1. Love your father and mother.
2. Be chaste.
3. Be courteous to everyone, be he power-possessing or a slave, while keeping your inner self free.
4. Love work for its own sake, not for the rewards it brings.
G’s definition of a great man (in the ordinary sense of the word):
One who is resourceful in life, who is restrained in his manifestations (that come from his personality) and who is indulgent of the weaknesses of his fellow:
Do something or do nothing – don’t be American.
You give someone something. The first time he prostrates himself. The second time he kisses your hand. The third time he gets familiar. The fourth time he only nods. The fifth time he insults you because you don’t give him enough.
The sixth time he sues you.
CONSCIENCE is sometimes called the representative of the Creator in us.
SUGGESTIBILITY is a maleficent property of our psyche.
Every real happiness for man can arise exclusively only from some unhappiness, also real, which he has already experienced.
FAITH is desirable. Owing to faith alone appears in a being the self-consciousness necessary for him and also the valuation of Personal Being as of a particle of everything existing in the universe.
“When everything is ashes in your hands, then there is clearer feeling.”
WILL is a certain combination obtained from the results of certain properties especially elaborated in themselves by people who can “do”. (A reel man – man without quotation marks.)
Is man a result of evolution from animals? No, man is a different formula.
Man has never seen angels in the world, only devils, and the more good he thinks he is, the more devils he can see. (The only devil is SELF-CALMING.)
The three kinds of onanism: Physical onanism, Platoism, Socratism. (Man Iost his tail because of titillation in three centres.)
A note in a scale is a center of gravity. The note sol is the center of gravity of the octave.
The sensing of the flow-of-time is directly proportional to the quality and quantity of the flow-of-thoughts.
MOTHER is very important because you get fire from mother.
(to Solita) No correspondence between your inner and outer life. The reason: Bad heredity and education.
To the Yogi-english-vegetarian friend of Gordon: «You not understand what I say? You not even listen.» «I did not hear the last part of what you said.» «Not even first part. No intelligent on face. Even when man not understand he can have lively look for trying.»
MAN HAS TWO WORLDS: Outer: All impressions seen and felt; Inner: the automatic functioning of all organs. Man can have a third world – the soul – which ancients call the «World of Man». Intentional contact must be established between the first and second world; then can begin the third world.
ATTENTION: Depends on the «degree of the gradation of the state of being». The ancients spoke of the STRENGT OF THE EMBRACE OF ATTENTION. Definition of attention according to ancient science: «The degree of blending for sameness between the impulses of observation and constation by the processes of one totality with the process in other totalities».
VIBRATIONS: The blending of vibrations. The spectrum-painting. Each one of man’s three brains has its separate radiations.
One thing at a time:
When do you do a thing do it with all self. One thing at a time. Now I sit here and I eat. For me nothing exist in a world except this food, this table. I eat with whole attention. So you must do in everything. When you write letter do not at same time think what cost laundering of that shirt – when you compute laundering cost do not think about the letter you must write. Everything has its time. To be ABLE to do ONE THING AT A TIME – this is property of Man – not man in quotation marks.
You ask about asleep, you have impulse for sleep with new medicine. Is best not try fight wish for sleep. Nature knows more than 100 doctors. Is all right if you sleep, not half sleep, half dream. Sleep with whole self – one thing at a time. Maybe you wish sleep because some accumulator in you is run out perhaps some special part of you. Some special place, have no energy. This can be accumulated in you only when in absolute passive state – in sleep.
G says: (after driving from Rouen): «So tired last night not sleep, trains pass, today long drive. But in one way is good thing be so tired. Can feel now what non-entity is body. Can look through it and SEE is merde. Can look and find in middle a pearl – the small earned active part – your I. This gives a happy feeling, is good part of being so tired – to look through and find this pearl – your earned part».
Is property of man that he can never do what he plan a week ago, an hour ago.
(What follows are notes – either Katie’s or Margaret’s – I think Katie’s)
Roses, roses…Thorns, thorns. (At the time when Katie had given up smoking).
G started talking about «roses, roses» – how he felt. How next week would be thorns, thorns when the 14.000 francs came due on the car. But thorns, thorns in Outer World were good, because then were roses, roses in Inner World. Is law, for one dissatisfaction always a satisfaction. Then he asked: which I think he would rather have – roses, roses in his Inner world or in his Outer World… When I answered he decided that was too complicated a question. He said: «better I tell you one thing. This makes you rich for life, richer than your mister Rockefeller. There are TWO STRUGGLES: Inner World struggle and Outer World struggle – but never can these two make contact, to make data for Third World; not even God can give this possibility for contact between Outer World struggle and Inner World struggle, not even your heredity. Only ONE thing – you must make INTENTIONAL CONTACT between Outer World struggle and Inner World struggle – then can make data which crystallize for Third World of Man, sometimes called the World of Soul. Understand?»
We said: «Not quite – but get taste». I said (?): One thing cannot thlnk about this INTENTIONAL CONTACT.
G shook his head, said: «Ah that too far ahead, too far ahead for you yet». Then: I can give small example which may be give you TASTE of this intentional contact. Your for example, your cigarettes. You have Outer World struggle – not to take, not buy, remember always – break hebit – and also you have Inner World struggle about same thing. With Inner World you can imagine how it was when you smoke – you imagine in a different way. More keen and with more longing – it seem even, with this Inner World imagining, even more desirable than it ever could be. You have made this cigarette Intentional Contact between the two struggles and even by this small thing will you make data for Third World – for World of Soul as is sometimes said». I tell G. that . . . for the moment I seem to learn more of self through cigarette abstinence etc. G says: «This can be thing for power. I tell you one very important thing to say each time when longing come. You will say it first time and maybe notice nothing. Second time, maybe nothing. Third time, maybe notice something. Say: «I wish result of this my suffering be my own, for being». Forсe such as this have special results – makes chemicals, has special emanations. This saying can maybe take force from animal and give to being. And you can do this for many things for any denial of something that is e SLAVERY.
G expresses a wish for us, using his favourite word, «a good word»: «I wish you not be like merde (ln English). So first I make you feel like merde. Only from there can one begin». «Only from there can man begin. Average man has factors. You have none. Americans and English especially. I give exercises to crystallize for factors. The psyche of man is built up on factors. So to have psyche must have factors. Americans have none, are like burros. With my Inner world I see burro. English like sheep – I see a sheep – and French like donkey. For each, with my Inner world, I have different relation. Burro, sheep, donkey is different thing. But I not let them see is different thing. My inner world is MY world».
At table he pictures us as being half-way along on our journey. He pictures to us how it will be – our suffering and discomfort. «Remember about chair? Leave one … not yet arrive at next. I pity you. I picture what suffering you will have. I cannot lift you to next chair. I can show way to go, or to right or to left. Oh, to others you will seem to set, but HOW you sit only your inner self will know. And what suffering, your inner self. I picture to myself how will be for you. I feel sorry».
«All life is a stage and man is one of two things – is MEAT (for manure etc.) or is ACTOR. To learn role is intelligence, to be able to play role is what intelligence means». (this he says to Katie when she forgets to rise and toast Gordon as «Your Reverenсe»). You see, what I tell you is only Joke thing, but it is role I give you to play. If you forget for joke thing, how can you remember for real thing? You see, I wish you not to be meat».
Alice: I shall walk home, for exercise.
G: Why you want exercise?
A: To make strength.
G: Excuse, exercise not make force. When you make body do what not wish do. Thenthat make force. For making do just one little thing which hate doing that make more force than whole day of walking.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
Knowledge and understanding are quite different. Only understanding can lead to Being whereas knowledge is a passing presence in it. New knowledge displaces the old and as a result there is obtained, as it were, a pouring from the empty into the void.
One must STRIVE to understand. This alone can lead to our Lord God. In order to be able to understand the phenomena of Nature according to Law, proceeding around us, one must first of all consciously perceive and assimilate a mass of information concerning objective truth and the events which really took place on the earth in the past and secondly, to be the bearer of numerous results of all kinds of voluntary and involuntary experiencings. UNDERTANDING-is-the-essence-obtained-from-information-intentionally-learned-end-from-all-kinds-of-experiencings-personally-experienced. One is obligated as Man, to search for the real knowledge to find out what really happened on earth and to be the bearer of this kind of understanding.
Scene in G’s house “STATES”
Donald (Whitcomb) to Dr. Sapeshko, attempts to clarify something G has said. Sapeshko resents this, but with good nature. Only his sudden earnestness betrays offence. Sapeshko tells Donald that only G can say such a thing to him – “not you, you are small man. But he, he can say anything to me and I can take. You know why? Because I love him.” G waits until all is said, then turns to Donald and in quite another tone and with a serious gentle look on his face he begins: “Truth, Donald, one fault you have. Though you are known as kind man, good nature, and though everyone know you not wish give offense, you do this unconsciously sometimes. Is fault, that spoils all life for you. You not have considerateness for state of surroundings. Necessary always know what is around you – state of man around you. With cow, you can merde on face of and he not take offense. He lick, he smile, he shake head; not understand, not offense take. But man around you is already more high – he have states. You must know what is state of every man around you in room. Man of course is most of time asleep, but this make even more important that you be sensitive. Because when he awake, even if only for one moment, he is already in state – for this one moment is delicate, sensitive. Perhaps is only moment in his life when he can be enlightened. So you must consciously try understand, be sensitive for him. I know what is state each man around me because I am educate man, I have knowledge. You must always try have considerateness for state of surrounding. This if you wish be objective bon-ton.
“Never can you offend one thing on earth. Even if you offend one worm – one day . . one day . . he will repay”.
Leighton tells how in West they have expression: “Say it with a smile!” G. Of course, because then he think you joke. You notice . . never anyone take offense anything I say. Even you know what words I use. But NEVER you see man angry with me when I tell. You know why? Because I AM CYNIC.
Discussion re cynic, skeptic, iconoclast., etc. G: Excuse, not skeptic. Skeptic means, You believe, I not believe; you hope, I not hope . . Cynic is word. Cynic means a man who is not afraid to tell truth, exact how is, yet never he offend people when he tell because he is so right, he tell so exact. Never can they be offended, BECAUSE THE TRUTH HETELLS.
WISHING AND DOING
Man has wish or desire but not possibility of DOING what he wishes or desires. This is not his fault, for such he is made – even if he makes a promise and breaks it, not his fault. Either not his fault or we are all guilty.
For wishing and doing man is made in two separate parts, and such is the law concerning the operation of these parts that the more he may wish to do with one part of him, the less he can do in this doing part even with constant struggle. For a young person Nature will help in the effort to do, so the person will not have to struggle as will a person of responsible age. After a certain age this effort is very difficult and often impossible, but there is an artificial aid by means of physico-chemico substances. By the way, a substance can be injected which will furnish artificial help for effort for prayer, or artificial help for effort in some other place. For every one a different quantity is necessary which must correspond with the amount of effort made by the individual. If the effort and the amount of this chemical are not balanced, it becomes a dangerous poisons for the organism.
Good or bad relations among them (between men and men, between men and animals) are established at the present time only by external manifestations, chiefly by politeness, as it is called, that is by empty words.
However much one being might inwardly wish another being good, if for some reason or other he should express himself in the wrong words . . all would be over.
MORALITY (objective and subjective)
Objective morality is established by life and by the commandments given to us by our Lord God himself through his prophets, and gradually becomes the basis in man of what is called conscience. By this conscience is objective morality maintained. Objective morality never changes, it can only broaden in the course of time. As for subjective morality, that is invented by man and is therefore a relative notion differing for different people and different places and is based upon the understanding of good and bad prevailing at the given time.
Subjective morality is a relative notion and if you are filled with relative notions then when you are grown up you will always and everywhere act and judge other people according to the conventional views and notions you have acquired from others. You must learn not what people around you consider “good” or “bad” but learn to act in life as your conscience bids you. An untrammeled conscience will always know more than all the books and teachers put together. But for the present, until your own conscience is formed, you should live according to the commandment of our Teacher Jesus Christ: Always-do-unto -other-as-you-would-have-others-do-unto-you.
From “SAYINGS OF MY FATHER” (Yelov Chapter)
It’s all the same. Our thoughts work day and night. Instead of letting them think of “caps of invisibility” or the “riches of Aladin” let them better be occupied with something useful. In giving direction to thought, of course, a certain energy is spent but no more energy would be spent for this purpose during 24 hours than is required for the digestion of one meal. I decided to study languages in order not to allow my thoughts to hinder my other functions with the idiotic dreams and childish fantasies. Besides, the study of languages itself may sometimes be useful.
The truth is that from which one’s conscience can be at peace.
Once you’ve shouldered it, it’s the lightest thing in the world.
THE FIVE STRIVINGS (For daily effort)
1. Satisfy the needs of the body
2. Constant unflagging instinctive need for self-perfection in the sense of Being.
3. Know more and more concerning the laws of world creation and world maintenance.
4. Pay for your arising and individuality as quickly as possible in order to lighten the sorrow of the Creator.
5. Assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings.
The foundation of the whole of man’s essence has become the psychic properties of cunning, envy, hate, hypocrisy, contempt, slyness, servility, ambition, double-facedness.
HE judges you by: your attention, impressionability, alertness, intensity, sincerity.
The 18th personal commandment: LOVE ALL THAT BREATHES.
Blessed is he who has a soul. Blessed is he who has not. But grief and sorrow to him who has in himself a conception of it.
First Series: To destroy mercilessly and without any compromise whatsoever in the mentation and feeling of the reader, the beliefs and laws, by centuries rooted in him, about everything existing in the world.
Second Series: To acquaint the reader with the material required for a new creation and to prove the soundness and good quality of it.
Third Series: To assist the arising in the mentation and feelings of the reader of a “veritable non-fantastic representation, not of that illusory world which he now perceives, but of the world exicting in reality.
If you have not a critical mind by nature it is useless staying here.
The worse the conditions of life the more productive your effort if you work conscientiously.
Our object is to strive to be able to be Christians.
This house can be useful only to those who have already realized their nothingness and believe it possible to change.
The chief means to felicity is to consider externally always – internally never.
Love not art with your feelings.
He who has got rid of the malady “tomorrow” has a chance of achieving what he is here for.
Help him only who strives not to be an idler.
Only conscious suffering is of value.
The energy consumed in conscious work is immediately converted for fresh use. That consumed by passive work is lost forever.
One of the strongest motives for work is the realization that you may die at any moment, but you must first learn to realize this.
To acquire power you must first require it.
Only he who can care for the property of others can really possess his own.
He cannot be just who cannot enter into the point of view of other.
Here one can only direct and create conditions but not help.
I love him who loves work.
Judge others by yourself and you will rarely be mistaken.
Consider only what, others think of you not what they say.
Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West and then seek.
Judge not by tales.
If you know what is wrong; and do it, you commit a sin difficult to forgive.
Like what IT does not like.
Practice conscious love on animals first.
You are here having already realized the necessity of contending with yourself, therefore thank those who provide the opportunity.