few thoughts of G. I. Gurdjieff

One thing alone is certain, that man’s slavery grows and increases.

Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains.

He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it.

And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.

* * *

Laughter relieves us of superfluous energy, which, if it remained unused, might become negative, that is, poison. Laughter is the antidote.

*  * *

Certain teachings compare man to a house of four rooms.

Man lives in one room, the smallest and poorest of all, and until he is told of it, he does not suspect the existence of the other rooms which are full of treasures.

When he does learn of this he begins to seek the keys to these rooms and especially the fourth, the most important, room.

And when a man has found his way into this room he really becomes the master of his house, for only then does the house belong to him wholly and forever.

* * *

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

 * * *

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.

* * *

Everything is dependent on everything else,

everything is connected, nothing is separate.

 * * *

Of the desires expressed

the one which is most right

is the desire to be ‚master of oneself‘,

because without this nothing else is possible.

* * *

 A very important moment in the work on oneself is when a man begins to distinguish his personality and his essence.

A man’s real I, his individuality, can grow only from his essence. It can be said that a man’s individuality is his essence, grown up, mature.

But in order to enable essence to grow up, it is first of all necessary to weaken the constant pressure of personality upon it, because the obstacles to the growth of essence are contained in personality.

 * * *

There is no compulsory, mechanical evolution.

Evolution is the result of conscious struggle.

The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness, and ‚consciousness‘ cannot evolve unconsciously.

The evolution of man is the evolution of his will, and ‚will‘ cannot evolve involuntarily.

The evolution of man is the evolution of his power of doing, and ‚doing‘ cannot be the result of things which ‚happen‘.

 * * *

‚Progress‘ and ‚Civilization‘, in the real meaning of these words, can appear only as a result of conscious efforts. They cannot appear as the result of unconscious mechanical actions.

 * * *

The evolution of man can be taken as the development in him of those powers and possibilities which never develop by themselves, that is, mechanically.

Only this kind of development, only this kind of growth, marks the real evolution of man.

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