Gurdjieff asserts that the harmonious development of man can only be achieved by the balanced pursuit of three aims: one directed towards his own welfare, the second towards the welfare of others and the third directed towards serving a purpose far greater than himself which we can term the Great Work. Now this formulation leaves out of account the need also to balance the inner and outer world of man. To achieve this harmony of the inner and outer world of man is certainly beyond our power alone. We do not know even how to begin. At all times we need help to avoid the many pitfalls into which we can fall through not even knowing ourselves. We do not see our vanity, our partiality, our lack of acceptance of other people, our sectarianism and other narrowness, all of which can bring our work to nothing. Above all there is in our attempt to serve something greater than ourselves, the danger of wishing to have a place and the danger of being jealous of any one more important or more rewarding.
Transformation is a process with its own stages, having its own pattern, governed by its own laws, which cannot be violated without throwing something out of balance. The more we understand the process, the more likely are we to accomplish God’s purpose.
This has led me to take a fresh look at where we stand in relation to our very existence and the miraculous process we call the work.
We may be truly involved at, this moment in one or another aspect of the work, but now I believe is the time to look at the process as a whole put in its simplest terms, in our own terminology the work can be said to be a process of chemical transformations. The formation of a new being in us is chemistry. This is the transformation of substance. As it is put in Beelzebub,.. This is dependent on certain kinds of inner experiencing and inner conditions. If they are, present this transformation will go on. Something will be formed that is both strong and permanent and will transcend some of our worldly limitations.
The agony of the struggle of yes and no can help us to reach “in to the very center of our self-hood where eventually, we have ‘to face the need’ to renounce our egoism.”
There is in reality more than one process. We need a twofold orientation. There is one orientation that makes a process of crystallization possible and the other is needed so that the crystallization will be capable of further evolution.
If I have an aim and direct all my energies towards that aim, that struggle against everything that leads me away from it will produce the shock by which the transformation of air takes place. And the foundation of a second body will proceed.
“We have also heard ad nauseam: it is not sufficient that I should realize this with my head. It is quite useless. I must see what I am. I must see that I am nothing. I myself am empty. Not that man in general is empty, but that I am. It is not possible to work with any hope that something true will come from it if we lose this realization”
Pierre Elliott/ 1980