"You speak with this woman — you know who she is, how one must be with her, what she likes. Well then do it. Interior she is nothing for me, she is 'merde' for me. She likes people to kiss her hand; I do it because she likes that. I am kind to her. Interior I want to insult her, but I don't do it. I play my role. So then she becomes my slave. Interior I don't react."
~ George Gurdjieff “Paris/Wartime Meetings”
TO DESTROY THE GREATEST POSSIBLE NUMBER OF ENEMIES WITHIN US
"Inner influences prevent a man from falling under external influences. Maybe it is for the best. Inner influences and inner slavery come from many varied sources and many independent factors — independent in that sometimes it is one thing and sometimes another, for we have many enemies. There are so many of these [inner] enemies that life would not be long enough to struggle with each of them and free ourselves from each one separately. So we must find a method, a line of work, which will enable us simultaneously to destroy the greatest possible number of enemies within us from which these influences come."
~ George Gurdjieff "Views from the Real World"
TO CONSIDER THEM A HEALING MEDICINE
“Mr Gurdjieff spoke to us quite often in the evenings, when we gathered in the drawing-room. He began to speak about the nature of our forthcoming work. His words were very condensed and when he pointed out something, it was as if a special weight was attached to the thought itself. In this way he told us, for instance, ‘There will be work for the emotional centre.’ Nobody seemed to understand what he meant, and to me and some others it seemed very strange. But the following day I understood, when, as a result of some awkwardness of mine, he shouted at me ‘Balda!’ (‘Blockhead!’) This wounded me very deeply and the feeling did not pass for some time. But that same evening Mr Gurdjieff told me: ‘So, Thoma, today you also received something.’ I realized that work of feeling had begun and all my oppressive emotions vanished. The word balda was carefully chosen for my character and state. It IS the gentlest of such words — very tough-skinned people, or those who were considerably more advanced, he would call ‘svolotch’— and the manner in which he spoke to me afterward absolutely melted away my unpleasant feelings. I saw again that if I began to boil with anger, my task was to struggle with it internally and not to manifest it.
“In connection with this, Mr Gurdjieff once told me that one should never be resentful of such comments in the Work, but to consider them a healing medicine. With him it was always necessary to ‘listen with all one’s ears’ and respond correctly to his ‘chess moves’. However, the art with which he brought us this pain was so great, his mask so well assumed, that in spite of our having decided in advance not to react and to remember that it was being done to help us, when the experience took place we were quite sure that there stood before us a cold and even a cruel man. We were outraged and, against our will, protests exploded like gunshot. Mr Gurdjieff’s face would at once begin to change. He resumed his usual expression, but looked very sad and would walk away without a single word. We were then consumed by a feeling of terrible dissatisfaction with ourselves. We had ‘forgotten’, not ‘remembered’, why we came here and had reacted in an unsuitable way.”
~ Thomas de Hartmann "Our Life With Mr. Gurdjieff"