“These activities with G.Gurdjieff were no different from ordinary daily activities; he was a man like everyone else, flesh and bone, who knew how to do everything. I can see him now putting a big pat of butter on some meat roasting on the coal-fired stove, where five or six big stewing pans were simmering gently for hours at a time. He himself always cooked for the groups, for guests, or for just one person, with great care, with a deep feeling of reverential hospitality, close, I felt, to a communion, without the guests being fully aware of it.
“Being close to G.Gurdjieff in all his activities in his flat, I felt as if I was at home with my family, at peace with a quiet and simple joy that I had never felt before.”
~ Solange Claustres “Becoming Conscious With G.I. Gurdjieff”
GEORGE GURDJIEFF ON THE EGO:
"Only then may a man be a good altruist to his nearest, when at times he can be a complete egoist."
"It is better to be temporarily an egoist than never to be just."
"In order to help others one must first learn to be an egoist, a conscious egoist. Only a conscious egoist can help people. Such as we are we can do nothing."
"Before all else you must think of yourself, you must try to lift yourself. You must be an egoist. Egoism is the first station on the way to altruism."
SOME OF THE ANCIENT SAYINGS BELOVED BY GEORGE GURDJIEFF:
"A man is not a pig to forget good, nor is he a cat to remember evil."
"The first refusal to a person who is devoid of conscience or consideration will destroy the results of even thousands of good deeds formerly manifested toward him by you."
"Only that person is worthy to be a follower of any religion who, although he remembers the wrong done to him by someone, will not manifest any evil toward him."
"You will be reasonable only then when you will learn to distinguish your future good or evil from that of your present."
ANGELS AND DEVILS
"Mr. Self-love and Madame Vanity are the two chief agents of the devil." ~ George Gurdjieff
Gurdjieff once asked me: ‘Do you know who has the most vanity?’ I said, ‘Actors, film stars, high officials?’ He said, ‘No, angels and devils.’ ~ CS Nott
"Angel can only teach one thing, Devil can teach everything." ~ George Gurdjieff
"Always, when one thing goes well, there appear at once in man some factors of opposition. One must struggle. The good force is the angel. The revolt is the devil. It is an automatic process of struggle. You must enter into this automatic process and help the angel or the devil. You have the taste of what is the good angel; favor the angel. Otherwise you will sell yourself to the devil." ~ George Gurdjieff
INNER GROWTH IS UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE WHILE WE CONTINUE TO LIVE ON A BASIS OF ILLUSION
Real change, in the sense of awakening to a new consciousness, is the great goal of this work, but the shortest and especially the safest way to this goal is the seeming detour via self-observation.
The remarkable thing, moreover, is that this self-observation in itself already produces a change in us. “In observing himself”, says Gurdjieff, “a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening. By observing himself he throws, as it were, a ray of light onto his inner processes which have hitherto worked in complete darkness. And under the influence of this light the processes themselves begin to change. There are a great many chemical processes that can take place only in the absence of light. Exactly in the same way many psychic processes can take place only in the dark.”
That is why getting to know ourselves, though admittedly extremely painful and disillusioning, is at the same time such a wonderful and liberating experience. And it is necessary, since inner growth is utterly impossible while we continue to live on a basis of illusion.
It follows that rightly conducted self-observation, observing without allowing ourselves to be distracted by our emotions, without self-justification on the one side or self-vilification on the other, without slipping away into analysis, without working for ‘results’ or wishing to combat and change immediately, yet with an intense interest and feeling of connectedness as well as an urge to penetrate the truth about ourselves, is an art that we really have to learn. It requires a control over our attention which can only be obtained by a great inner alertness and by self-remembering.
“Try to remember yourselves when you observe yourselves”, Gurdjieff says in his group, “and later on tell me the results. Only those results will have any value that are accomplished by self-remembering. Otherwise you yourselves do not exist in your observations. In which case what are all your observations worth?”
~ Martin Ekker “GURDJIEFF: The Man and his Work”