Every branch of science endeavors to elaborate and to establish an exact language for itself. But there is no universal language. For exact understanding exact language is necessary.… This new language is based on the principle of relativity; that is to say, it introduces relativity into all concepts and thus makes possible an accurate determination of the angle of thought—making it possible to establish at once what is being said, from what point of view and in what connection. In this new language all ideas are concentrated round one idea. This central idea is the idea of evolution … and the evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness.
G. I. Gurdjieff, paraphrased from page 70 of IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS
Philosophy and Religion
THERE DO EXIST ENQUIRING MINDS, which long for the truth of the heart, seek it, strive to solve the problems set by life, try to penetrate to the essence of things and phenomena and to penetrate into themselves. If a man reasons and thinks soundly, no matter which path he follows in solving these problems, he must inevitably arrive back at himself, and begin with the solution of the problem of what he is himself and what his place is in the world around him. For without this knowledge, he will have no focal point in his search. Socrates’ words, “Know thyself” remain for all those who seek true knowledge and being.
VIEWS FROM THE REAL WORLD, p. 43 [pb]
LIBERATION LEADS TO LIBERATION. These are the first words of truth—not truth in quotation marks but truth in the real meaning of the word; truth which is not merely theoretical, not simply a word, but truth that can be realized in practice. The meaning behind these words may be explained as follows:
By liberation is meant the liberation which is the aim of all schools, all religions, at all times.
This liberation can indeed be very great. All men desire it and strive after it. But it cannot be attained without the first liberation, a lesser liberation. The great liberation is liberation from influences outside us. The lesser liberation is liberation from influences within us.
VIEWS FROM THE REAL WORLD, p. 266
RELIGION IS DOING; a man does not merely think his religion or feel it, he ‘lives’ his religion as much as he is able, otherwise it is not religion but fantasy or philosophy. Whether he likes it or not he shows his attitude towards religion by his actions and he can show his attitude only by his actions. Therefore if his actions are opposed to those which are demanded by a given religion he cannot assert that he belongs to that religion.
IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, p. 299
ONE MUST LEARN TO PRAY, JUST AS ONE MUST LEARN EVERYTHING ELSE. Whoever knows how to pray and is able to concentrate in the proper way, his prayer can give results. But it must be understood that there are different prayers and that their results are different. This is known even from ordinary divine service. But when we speak of prayer or of the results of prayer we always imply only one kind of prayer—petition, or we think that petition can be united with all other kinds of prayers.… Most prayers have nothing in common with petitions. I speak of ancient prayers; many of them are much older than Christianity. These prayers are, so to speak, recapitulations; by repeating them aloud or to himself a man endeavors to experience what is in them, their whole content, with his mind and his feeling.
IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, p. 300
THE COMMANDMENT INCULCATED IN ME IN MY CHILDHOOD, enjoining that “the highest aim and sense of human life is the striving to attain the welfare of one’s neighbor,” and that this is possible exclusively only by the conscious renunciation of one’s own.
BEELZEBUB’S TALES, p. 1186
ALL THE BEINGS OF THIS PLANET THEN BEGAN TO WORK in order to have in their consciousness this Divine function of genuine conscience, and for this purpose, as everywhere in the Universe, they transubstantiated in themselves what are called the ‘being-obligolnian-strivings’ which consist of the following five, namely:
The first striving: to have in their ordinary being-existence everything satisfying and really necessary for their planetary body.
The second striving: to have a constant and unflagging instinctive need for self-perfection in the sense of being.
The third: the conscious striving to know ever more and more concerning the laws of World-creation and World-maintenance.
The fourth: the striving from the beginning of their existence to pay for their arising and their individuality as quickly as possible, in order afterwards to be free to lighten as much as possible the Sorrow of our Common Father.
And the fifth: the striving always to assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings, both those similar to oneself and those of other forms, up to the degree of the sacred ‘Martfotai’ that is up to the degree of self-individuality.
BEELZEBUB’S TALES, pp. 385–386
IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN WHAT TAKES PLACE IN ME when I see or hear anything majestic which allows no doubt that it proceeds from the actualization of Our Maker Creator. Each time, my tears flow of themselves. I weep, that is to say, it weeps in me, not from grief, no, but as if from tenderness. I became so, gradually, after meeting Father Giovanni.…
After that meeting my whole inner and outer world became for me quite different. In the definite views which had become rooted in me in the course of my whole life, there took place, as it were by itself, a revaluation of all values.
Before that meeting, I was a man wholly engrossed in my own personal interests and pleasures, and also in the interests and pleasures of my children. I was always occupied with thoughts of how best to satisfy my needs and the needs of my children.
Formerly, it may be said, my whole being was possessed by egoism. All my manifestations and experiencings flowed from my vanity. The meeting with Father Giovanni killed all this, and from then on there gradually arose in me that “something” which has brought the whole of me to the unshakable conviction that, apart from the vanities of life, there exists a “something else” which must be the aim and ideal of every more or less thinking man, and that it is only this something else which may make a man really happy and give him real values, instead of the illusory “goods” with which in ordinary life he is always and in everything full.
Professor Skridlov, MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN, pp. 245–246
YES, PROFESSOR, KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING ARE QUITE DIFFERENT. Only understanding can lead to being, whereas knowledge is but a passing presence in it. New knowledge displaces the old and the result is, as it were, a pouring from the empty into the void.
One must strive to understand; this alone can lead to our Lord God.
And in order to be able to understand the phenomena of nature, according and not according to law, proceeding around us, one must first of all consciously perceive and assimilate a mass of information concerning objective truth and the real events which took place on earth in the past; and secondly, one must bear in oneself all the results of all kinds of voluntary and involuntary experiencings.
MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN, p. 242
FAITH CAN NOT BE GIVEN TO MAN. Faith arises in a man and increases in its action in him not as the result of automatic learning, that is, not from any automatic ascertainment of height, breadth, thickness, form and weight, or from the perception of anything by sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste, but from understanding.
Understanding is the essence obtained from information intentionally learned and from all kinds of experiences personally experienced.
MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN, p. 240
ALL RELIGIONS SPEAK ABOUT DEATH DURING THIS LIFE ON EARTH. Death must come before rebirth. But what must die? False confidence in one’s own knowledge, self-love and egoism. Our egoism must be broken. We must realize that we are very complicated machines, and so this process of breaking is bound to be a long and difficult task. Before real growth becomes possible, our personality must die.
VIEWS FROM THE REAL WORLD, p. 86
THE SOLE MEANS NOW FOR THE SAVING OF THE BEINGS OF THE PLANET EARTH would be to implant again into their presences a new organ, an organ like Kundabuffer, but this time of such properties that every one of those unfortunates during the process of existence should constantly sense and be cognizant of the inevitability of his own death as well as of the death of everyone upon whom his eyes or attention rests.
Only such a sensation and such a cognizance can now destroy the egoism completely crystallized in them that has swallowed up the whole of their Essence and also that tendency to hate others which flows from it—the tendency, namely, which engenders all those mutual relationships existing there, which serve as the chief cause of all their abnormalities unbecoming to three-brained beings and maleficent for them themselves and for the whole of the Universe.
BEELZEBUB’S TALES, p. 1183
WILL IS A SIGN OF A BEING OF A VERY HIGH ORDER OF EXISTENCE as compared with the being of an ordinary man. Only men who are in possession of such a being can do. All other men are merely automata, put into action by external forces like machines or clockwork toys, acting as much and as long as the wound-up spring within them acts, and not capable of adding anything to its force.
VIEWS FROM THE REAL WORLD, p. 71
Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feelings is slavery
Hope of body is disease.
BEELZEBUB’S TALES, p. 361