The Gnostic Gurdjieff


NOTE: This blog is offered up as a 3rd party comparative analysis of Gurdjieff for seekers who are looking to make connections between Gurdjieff and other teachings.  It is not meant to be an authoritative review of his principles or his ideas.  That can be found by contacting the Gurdjieff Foundation.   The author makes no claims of any 'spiritual attainments'...  just as a researcher interested in these areas.


The Gnostic Gurdjieff

"Tao is the way of doing something"... Bruce Kumar Frantzis

Gurdjieff's relevance in today's world

 Gurdjieff is particularly compelling in today's world because although he taught in the first half of the 20th century, in retrospect he appears to have been speaking directly to those of us in the 21st century... and about all that we are dealing with.  That's because many of the topics he was speaking about back then are still relevant in our world.  So that tends to get your 'attention'.  In particular, Gurdjieff gets your attention when you start to see the subtle, 'covert' overlaps with the Gnostics and Gurdjief... with Buddhism and Gurdjieff as well as Gurdjieff and Advaita-Vedanta, which usually gets overlooked by the casual first time reader as it's typically presented in an almost subliminal fashion.   This also tends to get overlooked by most critics of Gurdjieff who usually fixate on one or two of his ideas by turning them into 'talking points' to debate, while ignoring what he is trying to tell us from the more profound, paradoxical standpoint of his own impersonal awareness or conscience.

Gurdjieff was all about the individual and all about waking up... and that takes attention.


"I saw that the ocean of pure awareness, on the surface of the universal consciousness, the numberless waves of the phenomenal world arise and subside beginninglessly and endlessly.  As consciousness, they are all me.   As events, they are all mine.  There is a mysterious power that looks after them.   That power is awareness..."

 Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj    from "I Am That"

Authors Update: 11/19/15

A word on the 'proper' application of Crazy wisdom as a communication tool

Cognitive dissonance (as crazy wisdom)... operates on multiple levels simultaneously.  Thus its aim (when done correctly and with the proper motivation) is to 'speak' to individuals on multiple levels... simultaneously... but with different messages and different goals, depending on the level of perception of each individual.

Because of the seemingly contradictory nature of cognitive dissonance, for an individual with a flexible linear mindset, if they are open to whats being transmitted, they can reach a point where they can no longer figure out whats being said at which point they are 'given' the opportunity to have a 'light bulb moment' in which they 'give up' trying to figure it out and just let go... thereby creating an opening in the form of a breakthrough which arrives as a sudden intuitive insight that they might not otherwise have had. 

So for these individuals, cognitive dissonance... is a 'koan'.

  For those with a rigid and inflexible linear mindset, they may experience confusion as they will not be able to resolve the apparent contradiction in their minds.   The frustration with this confusion will 'send them away', if you will, as they will have no patience with what's being said, thus leaving them 'free' to find a more compatible message elsewhere.

For the individual operating on multiple levels simultaneously, cognitive dissonance will deliver multiple messages simultaneously... one to the 'person'... and one to the 'individual.   And because of its multidimensional nature it also serves as a sort of 'non verbal handshake' with the individual that simultaneously validates their multidimensional view by informing them on multiple levels... simultaneously.

So for one individual its a teaching tool in the form of an 'opening'.   For another its an 'invitation' to find satisfaction elsewhere and for another it's a form of multidimensional validation.

Thus it has multiple meanings on multiple levels for multiple individuals... simultaneously.   As such, it acts as a 'filter' and a time saver for the individual transmitting the message as they don't have to spend their time and attention on those that are not open to what they have to say while allowing them to focus on those that are open to their message... IE: those that have 'the ears to hear'.

Thus cognitive dissonance... is a paradox.

Thus, when 'crazy wisdom' teachers speak... their words have 'double' meanings.


The 3 levels of paradox

There are 3 levels of paradox.   The individual primarily identified as a separate 'person' is operating on a single level pf perception.  Thus they only perceive contradictions... and thus 'problems'. 

The individual operating on multiple levels simultaneously perceives contradictions as a paradox... because their awareness enables them to 'understand' both sides simultaneously.   Thus for them, so called 'problems' brought on by contradictions are 'workable' paradoxical situations.  

For the enlightened non-local individual, they are both sides of the 'paradox'... thus they see no contradictions... or paradox.   Thus they have no 'problems'.


The 'mechanics' of 'crazy wisdom'

The mechanics of crazy wisdom - IE that which makes it work - is that the individual that is primarily identified as a separate 'person' reacts to the contradiction... whereas the individual that is primarily identified as impersonal being or awareness 'responds' to the paradox... with 'understanding'.

One is a knee jerk 'mechanical' reaction... the other an intuitive 'response'... an intuitive 'understanding'.

Big Difference.

They can 'do' that because they 'see' through the contradiction... to the paradox... via awareness.

Awareness makes us 'nobody's fool'... thus they're no longer 'fooled' by 'contradictions'... because they 'know better'. 

Thus 'crazy wisdom' teachers are not 'considering' your 'personal' opinion of them... or what they say.   They are only interested in communicating with other 'individuals'... or those that are intuitively savvy enough to aspire to being 'individuals'. 

The Seekers job

The seekers job is to discern between the crazy... and the wisdom... and to avoid the former while gaining from the latter.  That takes awareness... as in the awareness to discern what's in ones highest 'Self' interest.   Thus if the teaching leaves out the importance of discernment... or of looking after ones 'Self' interest... then ones 'interest' in the teaching may soon be waning.

It also helps if the seeker 'understands' that it's not their job to become enlightened... because the 'person' which is seeking is not what gets enlightened.   The seekers job is to find the correct path for them and to commit to the work that's required... until they 'understand'.

IE: until they 'know better'.

You'll know you 'know better' when you no longer fall for that which is clearly not in your 'Self' interest... and you're no longer trying to enlighten that which doesn't exist.  Trying to enlighten that which doesn't exist is a 'fools' errand.   Thus you're no longer 'fooled' by paths that 'make' you crazy... at the expense of your own 'Self' interest.

Only an individual being can reliably discern for its 'Self' that which is always in it's highest 'Self' interest.  'Persons'... are prone to craziness... because they are torn in opposite directions... simultaneously.   The individual see's through the craziness in the 'person' and the 'personal'... to that which 'knows better'.

Once you 'know better' you're no longer on a 'path'... so much as you're on a 'road'.   The 'road' that leads you directly to your destination.    Intuitively informed impersonal awareness is the road.   How you 'get' there is your business.

Once you're reliably 'on' the 'road'... you're 'good to go'.

When you're 'good to go' you no longer 'need' a teacher... 'crazy' or otherwise... because you'll 'understand' what's going on now.

NOTE: The perception of detached impersonal awareness, distinct from consciousness, is what makes the perception of paradox possible... and what makes Gurdjieff... 'understandable'.

IE: detached impersonal awareness... is what 'looks after' consciousness.

  Detached impersonal awareness can 'look after' consciousness because it's intuitively informed... thus it 'knows better'.

Being 'on the road'

 Everything makes sense at the level of 'understanding'.

   'Understanding' takes place when the individual is 'operating' on multiple levels simultaneously.   The individual is 'operating' on multiple levels simultaneously when they are 'operating on the 'impersonal' (and the 'personal') level... simultaneously.   

Thus 'the' level of understanding is actually two levels of understanding... simultaneously.

'Operating' on two levels of understanding simultaneously... is a paradox.

One is impulsive... one 'knows better'.   Thus the impersonal becomes the 'adult' supervision of the 'person' and the 'personal'.

IE: it 'looks after' them.

It 'looks after' them because it see's that which the 'person' can't 'see'... and it 'knows' that which the 'person' can't know.

Thus the impersonal individual 'understands'... because it see's more than the 'person'... because it 'sees' through it.  Thus the impersonal individual is the 'nexus' between the impersonal being and the 'person'.

So when the individual 'understands'... everything 'makes sense'... including the 'person'.

When everything 'makes sense'... you can go about your business (on the road)...  it's just that you 'know better' now about what's 'going on'... with 'you'... and 'others'.

(and the world)

IE:  you're mot 'fooled' by it anymore.

When you're not 'fooled' by it anymore... 'crazy wisdom' will make perfect sense.

NOTE: Gurdjieff divided the path between the 'stairway' and the 'way'... (Paul Brunton referred to this division as the 'long path' and the 'short path').   Intuitively informed impersonal awareness is what Gurdjieff referred to, in the language of his times, as... 'self consciousness' or 'objective consciousness' or... at times, just 'Consciousness'.... all of which require detached awareness.   Thus, in today's terminology, they're seen as more than just 'consciousness'... or as having something other than just 'consciousness'.


The Buddha had a term for those that wish to distract and manipulate us... he referred to them as 'Mara's daughters'.   Gurdjieff had an equally descriptive term... he called them 'machines'.


Separating the 'Essential Gurdjieff' from his ideas

It helps if you don't take Gurdjieff at face value (at times) if you are going to appreciate his being as there is a certain level of 'cognitive dissonance' involved in some of what he say's (and does).   Several of his ideas were ahead of their time, such as the Ray of Creation, which is a classic holographic description of the breakdown of the 'waves' of reality, while others are dated (on yogis) or merely meant to 'shock' the individual out of their complacency (the moon).  Some, like the ones on the astral body and 'centers' are, at times, better expressed elsewhere, as in TCM or Ayurveda. Eventually though, too many moving parts can be a distraction.   It's as if his ideas - and particularly the methodical way in which he presents them - were more of a tool for establishing his authoritativeness.   But once that is established in the seekers mind they no longer are the main point of his work.   So a certain amount of discernment is required with Gurdjieff.  In fact you could say that sifting out Gurdjieff's individuality and his being from his ideas is meant to be an exercise in discernment.

A good example of cognitive dissonance in Gurdjieff is in the presentation of his persona.   While he goes to great pains to establish his authoritativeness he goes to equal pains to disassemble his personal legacy through clearly and intentionally acting out in an off-putting manner.  In a sense this is a tribute to his lack of attachment to his own persona (IE not 'considering' what others think of him) and a tribute to the strength of his individuality as he clearly is doing this as a service to the seeker so that they are discouraged from putting him up on a 'personal' pedestal... and thus worshiping him... instead of actualizing their own self mastery, will and individuality.  In other words he's more concerned with the seekers experience then he is with their 'personal' opinion of him.   That is rare... and important to note.  So 'seeing through' Gurdjieff while 'seeing' what he has to say... is an 'art'.

Gurdjieff was first and foremost interested in if a seeker could work as hard work was an indicator of a focused mind and a focused mind was a mind focused on its own 'business'... as in internal business.  Gurdjieff appreciated seekers that could mind their own business as a focused mind is a balanced mind... and a balanced mind is the mind of a 'responsible' individual.  So if a seeker could establish that... that would indicate that they had potential.  First get a handle on the problem... and then the answers will come.   Once you understand the problem... intuition will be the individuals guide... and eventually conscience.   Once a seeker had conscience... they no longer needed Gurdjieff.   They were 'good to go'.


Getting the most from Gurdjieff

So getting the most from Gurdjieff is a matter of 'taking what you like and leaving the rest'.   The discerning seeker knows what to 'take'... and what to leave behind... and what to interpret in their own way based on their own experience with other teachings and traditions.  Thus it takes an open, aware, informed, independent and discerning individual to get the most from Gurdjieff... which is how he wanted it.

An 'open, aware, informed, independent and discerning' individual is the very definition of what Gurdjieff referred to as being... 'intelligent'.


Gurdjieff's General Laws

'General Laws' are in effect to the extent that we are reacting from a solely 'personal' perspective.  IE: from the sole standpoint of our 'Ouspensky'... IE: the separate 'person'.  Individual impersonal awareness, being or essence liberates us from 'General Laws'... because we don't take things so... 'personally'... so we're responding more... and not just reacting.  Thus we 'rise above' general laws... IE: unconscious mechanical habits of reacting from a solely 'personal' perspective.

Thus Gurdjieff taught 'impersonal awareness' that comes from practicing the 'observer' position... IE: 'self' observation or detachment. 

A being that rises above general laws is a being that is a 'law' unto its 'Self'... so to speak... because it is operating from its own 'impersonal' awareness or 'conscience'... instead of being mired in a solely 'personal' perspective.


NOTE: Overcoming 'general laws' liberates us from the 'general'  way of the world... which has the usual consequences.


 Individuals who are reacting solely from mechanical laws (IE 'machine like') are what Gurdjieff referred to as 'machines' (for all intents and purposes).   IE: they are 'asleep'.   Individual beings, on the other hand,  are what he referred to as 'intelligent'... because they are capable of making 'intelligent' choices.  IE: they have risen above mechanical laws to an awareness of  'impersonal awareness'... balanced with 'personality'.   An individual that is aware of awareness and personality simultaneously operates intelligently in this world... instead of merely being fooled by it.

The difference between a 'machine' and a 'being' is intelligent choices based on awareness.  Awareness makes us 'nobody's fool'... so to speak.

In order to make 'intelligent' choices it is necessary to have simultaneous access to something 'other' than the personality.  That 'something else'... is impersonal awareness... which is intuitively informed.   An intuitively informed individual is operating from 'conscience'... because they 'know better' than their own personality.

An 'intelligent' individual is a paradox as they appear to us as a 'person'... yet they are not solely informed by the 'General laws' of 'persons'... because they are informed by that which is 'above' the 'person', so to speak.   IE: impersonal awareness.

Being aware of 'impersonal' awareness and that which is 'personal' (personality) simultaneously is a paradox.  'Intelligent' individuals are a paradox.  You can only spot 'intelligent' individuals by what they 'don't do'.  IE: they don't merely react to 'General Laws'... because they 'know better' than that.   Thus they are 'free' to operate in this world 'intelligently'... which is a pleasure.  It's a pleasure to operate 'intelligently' in this world... instead of being 'burdened' by the 'General Laws' of it.  

 When operating in this world is a pleasure it's easier to 'aim' ones 'Self' in an intended direction... with a specific 'purpose'.  Intelligently operating individuals 'operate' on 'purpose'.   Operating on 'purpose' is an act of will... that serves a 'purpose'.   

Intelligent individuals operate for their highest good as well as the highest good of 'others'.  Operating for the highest good of our 'Self' and 'others' is a 'purpose' worth 'aiming' for.

Operating for the highest good of our 'Self' and 'others' simultaneously... is to 'operate' from inside the 'esoteric' circle of humanity.


Gurdjieff's 'circles' of humanity

 Gurdjieff noted three concentric esoteric circles of humanity but all three are based on a common 'understanding'.  Thus in essence, once an individual 'understands'... as in an understanding that comes from 'impersonal awareness' or 'conscience', they are operating from inside the esoteric circle of humanity.  Those outside the 'esoteric' circle of humanity are still operating from a solely 'personal position'... thus they are subject to 'General Laws'... and thus they lack a common 'understanding'.  This outer circle of humanity is what he referred to as the area of the 'confusion of tongues'... as in a lack of a common understanding even if people speak a common 'tongue' or language.  Thus mis-understandings are inevitable.   True 'understanding' only comes from an 'impersonal awareness' or 'conscience' that is greater than the 'person' and not limited to any language... thus it is available to all, but (in most cases), requires work to achieve.


A 'mistake' has been made

NOTE: Gurdjieff did not present such circles as some sort of 'elite' for a 'person' to apply to but rather as another example of the less than ideal circumstances that we have to labor under in this world, such as it is.  IE: that we have to work for that which is our 'own'... as in our own inherent awareness or being.   As such it's a 'Gnostic' view of this world.   One where the world is seen as having a 'design flaw'... a 'flaw' that leaves us no choice but to work for that which is our own... rather than just enjoy it as a 'birthright' in this world.

Thus we are presented with... a 'choice'... a choice that requires 'will'.  'Free will' begins with the freedom to make a conscious choice.  And in order to make a more productive 'choice' it helps to have an 'intelligent' view of this world.

NOTE: A world with a 'design flaw' indicates that a 'mistake' has been made... in its 'original design'.   Perpetuating the 'mistake'... is a 'mistake' on the part of the individual... that is 'correctable'... by the individual... with the will to make a conscious choice.

That choice is made... with inner attention.

Unconscious loyalty to the 'mistake'... is a 'mistake'... on the part of the individual... that can be corrected with will and inner attention.

IE: Loyalty to a 'mistake'... is a mistake on our part.


Gurdjieff and 'free' will

One of the most instructive examples of cognitive dissonance in Gurdjieff is his apparently contradictory statements about 'free' will and the lack of self determination.  What is happening is that he is speaking from the second level of paradox that recognizes that he may appear to contradict what he says... but in reality he's actually validating it... but that can only be understood from a similar paradoxical view.

So Gurdjieff placed a heavy emphasis on 'will'... the individual will of a fully conscious individual.  But he also said that 'everything just happens'... and that there is nothing anyone can 'do' about it.   

That's a paradox.

What he was referring to was that on the mechanical 'personal' level everything is 'just happening'... but on an impersonal level there is a 'choice' to be made.  And that ability to 'choose' to be aware requires 'will'... which leads to awareness... which leads to the ability to 'do'.  

'Doing' implies that the individual is operating outside the purely mechanical general laws of 'persons'... thus they are 'free' to serve their own highest good as well as the highest good of 'others'.   Thus they are free to influence their future... in this life and beyond.  


NOTE: Knowing what you 'do'... is the antithesis of 'knowing not what you do'.


Dharma and General (karmic) Laws

The reason the 'person' can't apply to the esoteric circle of humanity is because you can only begin to 'enter' it with an 'impersonal' view.

General (karmic) laws are all about the 'person' and the 'personal'.   There are no impersonal General (karmic) laws... thus the 'impersonal' individual is a 'law' unto its 'Self'.

So 'dharma'... is just 'doing' what you came here to 'do'... 'outside' the General (karmic) Laws of 'persons'.

When you are 'doing' your 'dharma' outside the General (karmic) Laws of 'persons'... you are 'operating' inside the esoteric circle of humanity... whether you know it or not.   That's because the esoteric circle of humanity is not a group of 'persons' but a distributed network of individuals who are 'only' connected (if you will) by a lack of connection to a 'personal' identity.   

And most of what they 'do' will not be obvious... because it will be out of the 'view'... of the 'general' public.

When you're 'doing' what you came here to 'do'... you're no longer 'doing' what your 'Ouspensky' would 'have' you 'do'.   When you're no longer 'doing' what your 'Ouspensky' would 'have' you 'do'... you understand 'the way of doing something'.


Free will and Original Mind

'Free' will does not mean you can just do anything you want.   That's called willfulness.

'Free' will is intuitively informed individual will that is 'free' to serve the highest good of the individual... now that it is no longer completely 'distracted' by the 'personality'.

'Original mind' (IE: intuitively informed impersonal awareness) is the primary mode of perception when you are 'doing' your 'dharma'... inside the esoteric circle of humanity.

Thus 'free' will is only available to those who are 'doing' their 'dharma'... outside the General (karmic) Laws of 'persons'.

NOTE:  'Free' will gains its 'independence'... from its independence from willfulness.


Objective consciousness

Distinguishing our 'Original mind' from our 'Ouspensky' is a form of 'detachment'.

IE: 'Objective' consciousness is not just 'consciousness'... it's consciousness and detached awareness... simultaneously.   Thus you 'see' the world (and the personality)... 'objectively'.

Thus objective 'consciousness' is 'seeing the world 'as it is'... not how we'd like it to be.

Some would call that 'mindfulness'... as in paying attention... as in minding your own business.

When you're minding your own business... you may appear to be doing 'nothing'... but in fact, you're 'doing' plenty... just not what 'others' would 'have' you 'do'.  

When you're no longer 'doing' what 'others' would have you 'do'... you're no longer 'doing' what 'Mara's daughters' would have you 'do'.

When you're no longer 'doing' what 'Mara's daughters' would 'have' you 'do'... you're no longer 'nobody's fool'... if you will.

Awareness makes us 'nobody's fool'.  If ever there was an individual who was 'nobody's fool'... it was Gurdjieff.


 Our 'proper' mind

'Objective' consciousness is a paradoxical perspective... because you are 'in' the personality... but not 'of' it... simultaneously... so to speak.

IE: 'Objective' consciousness... is a paradox.

When you are operating from the point of view of 'objective' consciousness ... you 'understand' the 'proper' use of the entire mind... as in your 'proper' mind. 


Impersonal does not imply inhuman

NOTE:  'Impersonal' does not mean inhuman.   'Impersonal' means we haven't completely 'personalized' our humanity.  

(humanity is required for a human experience)

Being is fully compatible with a human experience... but it can be obscured by a completely 'personal' experience.

The impersonal is not devoid of personality.  Impersonal means the 'person' is in its 'proper place'... in relation to the impersonal... in our minds.

If you think the 'impersonal' is 'inhuman'... try contemplating 'mans inhumanity to man'.


The Gnostic Gurdjieff

Of all the concepts related to Gurdjieff the idea of Conscience is perhaps the most obscure in terms of its origin.   The quotes below shed some light on that...

   The following is a Gnostic view on balancing temporal morality and spiritual conscience... from On the Gnostic World View.   Gurdjieff didn't teach morality as he saw it as changing from culture to culture, but he did teach 'conscience' because it is innate, and thus universal.  But he didn't have a problem with using 'rules' to achieve his 'aim', as he saw them as a tool for developing 'responsible individuals'.

 "If the words “ethics” or “morality” are taken to mean a system of rules, then Gnosticism is opposed to them both. Such systems usually originate with the Demiurge and are covertly designed to serve his purposes. If, on the other hand, morality is said to consist of an inner integrity arising from the illumination of the indwelling spark, then the Gnostic will embrace this spiritually informed existential ethic as ideal.

 To the Gnostic, commandments and rules are not salvific; they are not substantially conducive to salvation. Rules of conduct may serve numerous ends, including the structuring of an ordered and peaceful society, and the maintenance of harmonious relations within social groups. Rules, however, are not relevant to salvation; that is brought about only by Gnosis. Morality therefore needs to be viewed primarily in temporal and secular terms; it is ever subject to changes and modifications in accordance with the spiritual development of the individual."

  It goes on...

 "Different historical periods also require variant attitudes regarding human conduct. Thus both the Manichaean and Cathar Gnostic movements, which functioned in times where purity of conduct was regarded as an issue of high import, responded in kind. The present period of Western culture perhaps resembles in more ways that of second and third century Alexandria. It seems therefore appropriate that Gnostics in our age adopt the attitudes of classical Alexandrian Gnosticism, wherein matters of conduct were largely left to the insight of the individual.

 Gnosticism embraces numerous general attitudes toward life: it encourages non-attachment and non-conformity to the world, a “being in the world, but not of the world”; a lack of egotism; and a respect for the freedom and dignity of other beings. Nonetheless, it appertains to the intuition and wisdom of every individual “Gnostic” to distill from these principles individual guidelines for their personal application."

 So in other words... both morality and conscience have their place.  One for the sake of the 'person' and by extension, society... and one for the sake of the individual... and by extension 'other' individuals.   Thus neither 'operate' in a vacuum.  

 One can get hung up on the horns of dilemma... one 'knows better' than that.  Thus one works well in an 'Age of Reason'... but one operates well... no matter what the 'season'.

 One is a necessary adhering to an 'others' rules for the sake of ones 'self' and 'others'... the other is ones 'rules'.   One is borrowed... one is ones own.   Thus one is an aide and a precursor to the other... but one is not the other.  

 Learning to adhere to another's rules, at the proper time, has its place... particularly when it comes to becoming an adult, by putting the 'self' in its 'proper place'.  But internalizing ones own rules is operating on another level altogether and that can only come from impersonal awareness that is informed by intuition.

 Gurdjieff used 'rules' as a tool for exposing the 'personal' willfulness of the seeker so that they could 'see' it for what it is... which helped them to 'sacrifice' it... thus building their individual will in the process. Thus they were a 'favor' to the individual.

  So 'persons' need rules (at times) in order to put them in their proper place.  Individuals are a 'law unto themselves'... as they know how to 'rule' themselves in such a way that they are 'Self' regulating... thus they are not necessarily in need of outer rules... but they are not disrespectful of them either... in their 'proper place'... as they understand their 'proper place' in the bigger scheme of 'things'... such as we are.

 So it would appear that Gurdjieff had the "conscience" of a Gnostic... but he understood rules as a teaching tool.   IE: rules are 'salvific' in helping to 'save' the individual from their 'Ouspensky'... as in 'saving' the 'Self'... from ones 'self'.

 So Gurdjieff was, 'essentially', a Gnostic because he was a 'law' unto his 'Self'... but... he wasn't 'just' a 'Gnostic'.

You can only 'spot' Gurdjieff by what he didn't 'do'... IE he didn't just react from the 'General (karmic) Laws' of 'persons'.


  A curious footnote to Gurdjieff's Gnostic connection comes from Gurdjieff and the Gnostic Gospel of Judas  by Ralph Metzner...

 "In 2006, there appeared the first English translation of a Gnostic text known as the Gospel of Judas, that had been lost for 1600 years, and was discovered in the 1970s in a cave in Egypt. It was traded and moved across through continents and suffered major damage that reduced it to fragments. This fragmented text was finally translated by scholars, from the Coptic into English, in 2001. The appearance of the text, and an article about it in the National Geographic magazine, caused a sensation, because it turned the traditional Christian conception of Judas as the prototypal traitor, on its head. In this version of the story, Judas is portrayed as one of Jesus’s closest disciples and friends, who carries out the so-called betrayal at the request of Jesus, and is rewarded by being given some secret, very high teachings that the other disciples did not get.

 Students and readers of Gurdjieff’s All and Everything no doubt recalled, as I did, that Gurdjieff had himself declared a very similar perspective on the story of Judas, calling him “not only the most faithful and devoted of all the near followers of Jesus Christ, but also, only thanks to his Reason and presence of mind, all the acts of this Sacred Individual (Jesus) could form that result…which was, during twenty centuries the source of nourishment and inspiration for the majority of them in their desolate existence and made it at least a little endurable.” (p. 740). Since Gurdjieff wrote his book in the 1940s, long before this Gospel of Judas, or any other of the by now extensive Gnostic texts had been re-discovered, this synchronicity confirms the notion that Gurdjieff was aware of and could draw on secret initiatory teachings and revelations that had not seen the light of day in almost two millennia."   


'Self'-ishness vs willfulness

Being 'Self'-ish is not the same as being 'self'-ish.

'Self'-ishness is operating for the sake of ones 'Self'... and 'others'... simultaneously.

Willfulness is operating for the sake of ones 'self'... and the hell with 'others'.

Big Difference.

'Machines' are willful because they 'know not what they 'do'.

The 'person' (our Ouspensky) is bound by willfulness... individuals are 'free' to 'do their dharma'.

Being 'Self'-ish is knowing that what's good for the 'Self' is, by default, good for 'others' because anytime you act for your highest good... it's for the highest good of 'all' involved.

Rules are a 'favor' to the individual (in their proper place) because consciously sacrificing willfulness is an act of will that transfers power from the willful 'person' (our Ouspensky) to the 'impersonal individual'.  Why?  Because they intuitively understand it serves their highest 'good' now.. as well as the highest good of 'others'.

Thus they learn to become 'responsible'... as in 'Self' regulating.

Gurdjieff was not afraid to be 'Self'-ish as 'machines' can be willful in the extreme... at the expense of 'all' involved.   Thus Gurdjieff did not come across as either 'stupid'... or a 'saint'.

(his words)

Sacrificing willfulness is a path to becoming an 'adult'.   Gurdjieff was the ultimate 'adult' in the room.


NOTE: If you don't believe that cognitive dissonance is a communication tool, try contemplating the message behind the words... 'Apple Computer'.   The term 'Apple Computer'... is a koan.  'Apple' is known... for 'operating' on intuitive insights.

Changing the name from 'Apple Computer' to 'Apple'... was a 'mistake'.


For more on these links see also this blogs Home Page linked here...


''Self remembering'

'Self remembering' is 'Self'awareness

You can't 'remember' the 'Self' because its not a memory... but you can choose to 'remember' to look for it... with inner attention... and thereby become 'aware' of it.

You can't be conscious of awareness... only aware of it.

Consciousness is consciousness of things.  Only awareness can be aware of its 'Self'.

Thus being conscious of things and being aware of awareness... simultaneously... is operating on multiple levels simultaneously.

Operating on multiple levels simultaneously is a sign of a burgeoning individuality... or 'Self'.   

Thus, in Gurdjieffs terms, 'remembering' the 'Self'... is being aware of ones 'Self'.


The mind of a Sage

 Sages don't see themselves as 'persons'.  They 'see' themselves as non-local impersonal individuals speaking through the vehicle of their individual human experience.   

Big difference.

So the next time you see a sage and 'think' you see a 'person'... think again.


"If he were to think the he was asleep he would wake up(from Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous').


'Seeing' the world the way it really is

There are several points in Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous' that are essential to internalize if the individual is to take advantage of what Gurdjieff has to say.   The first is in the beginning on pages 17-28 where 'G' covers a number of important topics to the reader but the most 'essential' topic - a topic that is required if one is to take advantage of 'Gurdjieff'... is the point that people, as we know them (including ourselves) are 'machines'.   Not in their nature... but in their behavior as a reflection of their level of awareness... or lack thereof.   IE: they are strictly subject to 'outside' influences and as such are 'asleep'.

The reason this is essential is that as long as we 'project' the ability to 'do' onto those that are devoid of it, we will mistakenly 'believe' such an ability to 'do' exists in ourselves... further cementing our own sleep.
The other reason this is 'essential' is that to 'see' the world the way 'it is' is to devalue it in our minds in relation to our own being.  As long as we value sleeping existence over our own being, we will not be motivated to transcend it... IE we won't have the will to overcome it.

 It's a trap.   A 'self' created trap.

So as long as we see others as 'awake'... we deny our own sleep... and value the world 'as it is'... IE a sleeping world.

The most 'compassionate' thing we can do is to first 'see' others... as they are... not as we imagine them to 'be'.


 “To ordinary people, I look completely mad.   To me, ordinary people look completely mad.”



'Seeing' through others peoples Ouspensky

Gutdjieff saw the world as a world of sleeping people... because he saw that they were convinced they were their 'Ouspensky'... and asleep to their own impersonal awareness or being.   

He called them... 'mad machines'... 

because 'they know not what they do'.

They 'know not what they do'... because they've 'forgotten' what's in their highest 'Self' interest... (because they don't 'remember' their 'Self').

Thus if Sartre would say that 'hell is other people'... then Gurdjieff would say that 'hell' is other 'persons'... as in 'hell' is other 'Ouspensky's'.

Thus, the way out of 'hell'... is to see through other peoples 'Ouspensky'... (including our own)... by 'remembering' our 'Self'.

IE: Seeing through other peoples 'Ouspensky'... is seeing through their belief in their own sleep.

(IE: We put each other to sleep... by seeing each others 'Ouspensky')

Thus we wake up when we see through other peoples belief in their 'Ouspensky'... (as well as our own)... when we 'remember' our 'Self'.


NOTE: Seeing through other peoples 'Ouspensky'... is seeing through Mara's daughters.

Seeing through others 'Ouspensky is a practice that can be practiced.


Seeing through other people

When you see through other people (including your 'self')... you're no longer 'considering' them as their 'Ouspensky'... but you're more likely to be 'considerate' of them... because you 'see' them for the unique individuals that they are... whether they know that or not.

It's a paradox.

Thus if 'hell' is other 'persons'... then 'seeing' others as individuals... creates a 'workable situation'... whether they know that or not.


NOTE: 'seeing through' other people (including ourselves) is a paradoxical term that implies the withdrawing of mind projections from them... or what's known, in yogic terms, as a form of... pratyahara.

Withdrawing mind projections from 'other people' creates 'space'... as in the mental space... to 'respond' to them... instead of mechanically reacting to them.

Practicing the withdrawal of mind projections from other people (including ourselves) is an act of will that creates space... for impersonal awareness (original mind) to arise.

IE: choosing to withdraw mind projections from other people is an act of will... that leads to awareness... that leads to the ability to... 'do'.

Thus... 'Doing' implies that the individual is operating outside the purely mechanical general laws of 'persons'... thus they are 'free' to serve their own highest good as well as the highest good of 'others'.   Thus they are free to influence their future... in this life and beyond. 

That's called... choosing 'free will'... by choosing to wake up.

Choosing 'free will'... is choosing to wake up... because it beats the 'hell' we're in.

So the next time you see a 'person' and think you see a 'person'... think again.

Or more correctly... the next time you see an individual and see someone who's convinced they are their 'Ouspensky'... you're right.

When you 'see through' other people you still see their behavior... for better or worse... you just don't 'personalize' it.

IE: you don't take it 'personally'.


When you can see through other peoples 'Ouspensky'... you'll intuitively  understand... 'the way of doing something'.

'Seeing' through other people... is 'seeing' through the behavior of other people... for better or worse... and then dealing with them as they are.

Dealing with people as they are (and not as we imagine them to be) is a 'workable' situation.

You'll be withdrawing mind projections automatically from other people when you're no longer attributing their behavior... for better or worse... as the behavior of a 'person'.

When you 'see' through other people... you'll be automatically minding your own business... in the highest sense.

'Seeing' through other people is what 'namaste' is all about.   Namaste is just no longer being 'fooled' by other peoples 'Ouspensky'.   Namaste is just dealing with people as they 'are'... not how we imagine them to be.

Waking up is just the practical 'workable' application of... 'namaste'.

IE: Waking up is the practical mental yoga of 'namaste'... that allows us to deal with others as they 'are'... for better or worse... not how we imagine them to be,  Thus we're no longer 'fooled' by them... or by our 'selves'.

'Namaste' is just seeing through other people... as well as our 'selves'.

IE: Namaste is just dealing with others as they 'are'... not how they imagine themselves to be.

Gurdjieff 'understood' namaste... without showing his 'hand'.


  NOTE: If you find yourself looking 'down' on others as 'asleep' then you forgot to include yourself.

  'Seeing through other people' is the 'sly' way to 'collect attention'.

'Seeing through' Gurdjieff is a god place to start... to 'see through' other people.

NOTE: When you learn to 'see' through other people... you'll be 'Happy' you did... automatically.


"If we see what we have not got we will know what we want"

  from  It's up to Ourselves  by Gurdjieffs daughter


Ouspensky wakes up

 For an example of this waking up read page 265 in Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous'.  In it, he describes walking down a street when, suddenly, he starts to 'see' sleeping people everywhere... that is... until he saw that he'd 'fallen asleep' himself, once again... when his 'attention' wandered.

The difference is that in Ouspensky's case it just 'happened'... whereas the individual can turn that around and 'do' it themselves... intentionally... by changing their own assumption about the world they can change their view of the world... and themselves in it.

Waking up is an act of...'will'.

Practicing 'waking up' is practicing 'will'... by making a conscious choice.

When you 'wake up'... conscience is a 'given'.

Ouspensky 'woke up' in that moment... because he was 'seeing' through other people.

He saw through them because he saw they were convinced they were their 'Ouspensky'... while he 'knew better'.

He 'saw through' them... in that moment... because he wasn't projecting anything 'onto' them...  that they were 'not'... anymore.

(because his inner attention was 'collected')


NOTE: When you're no longer 'considering' others as their 'Ouspensky'... you're moving from the 'stairway'... to the 'way'.

Crazy wisdom teachers don't 'consider' your personal opinion of them... because they don't 'consider' you a 'person'.

IE: Sages don't 'consider' your 'personal' opinion of them... because they don't consider this a 'personal' world... but an impersonal world that has been 'personalized' by the imaginings of 'other' individuals like themselves.

   Thus they are in a 'position' to 'understand' others... by 'seeing' through the imaginings of 'others'.    Namaste is just a natural respectful expression of that 'understanding'... whether you 'understand' that or not.

In the west, namaste doesn't have to be expressed outwardly... but it can be 'understood' internally... without anyone else knowing whats going on.

IE: without showing your 'hand'.


On Waking up

The individual 'wakes up' when it 'dawns' on them that this is a world of 'sleeping' people.  Their basic working assumption is that everyone they meet is 'asleep'... until they demonstrate otherwise.  Those that are 'awake' don't feel the need to prove to others that they are 'awake' as 'reality' is 'Self-validating'.  It's all the 'proof' they need.   Its up to 'others' to impress them... that they are 'awake'.   So the burden of 'proof' is on 'others'... not the awakened individual. 

This working assumption of the reality of this world reprioritizes and rearranges their inner and outer values including how they value this world in relation to their Being, intuition and conscience.

This inner reprioritization of Being results in an increased inner and outer focus of awareness or attention and a greater reliance on their own Self.

When this 'realization' (IE acceptance) of the fact that 'this is a world of sleeping people', is the primary filter of ones perception you 'wake up'... because it gives you the motivation to withdraw your mind projections... because it changes your values... and thus your inner attention is naturally redirected because inner attention 'falls'... on that which is 'left over'...

IE: our impersonal awareness... which now has room to arise.

Inner attention 'falls' on Being naturally when we no longer value this world for what it is not... because we 'see' through the world for what it is.

As long as we value the world for what it is not, inner attention will be distracted from Being... by our own mind projections... which 'project' our inner attention away from being.

As long as we value this world for what it is 'not'... we'll be distracted from reality.

As long as we're distracted from reality, we'll be distracted from the truth about this world.

As long as we're distracted from the truth about this world... we'll be 'asleep'.

If you want to awake you have to be willing to see the world the way it really is.

If you want to wake up you have to be comfortable with the world the way it really is.

If you want to wake up you have to have the will to forego distractions.

If you want to wake up you have to have no expectations of how the world should be... other than what it is.


Realization of the 'reality' of this world... is an 'advantage' in this world.

Waking up is an advantage in life.  If you don't see waking up as an advantage - there is no motivation to awaken.

Realization of the world as a world of sleeping people is an advantage... in a world of sleeping people... who want to distract you.

Reality is an advantage because 'mystery creates doubt'... and reality puts the 'doubter' in its proper place.


Reality... explains alot of 'things'.


The purpose of waking up is to focus inner attention on the reality of ones Being.  Make 'being' a distraction... and see what happens.

Waking up puts distractions in their proper place so we can focus on reality... the reality of our own Being... once and for all.

IE: mind projections are a distraction.

So waking up is a pre-cursor to Greater 'things' to come.

Waking up sets the stage... for Greater 'things' to come.


When you wake up you don't value the 'personal' opinions of 'others' over your own conscience because you see that they are the 'personal' opinions of sleeping people.

The best time to wake up is early in the morning... when you 'wake up'... before the distractions start.

Waking up can be practiced... by practicing the acceptance of the fact that this is a world of sleeping people.   Acceptance of this fact as a new working assumption... is practicing waking up.

So the best time to practice waking up is early in the morning... before the distractions start.

Waking up can be practiced... until you learn to rely on it.

 Waking up can be practiced until you rely on it more than you rely on distractions.

You'll rely on reality when you value it more than distractions.

You'll rely on reality more... the more you practice it.

The more you practice it... the more its value will be obvious.

Waking up is obvious... in light of awareness.

When waking up is 'common sense'... you'll no longer need to practice it.

When waking up is 'common sense' you'll no longer have to 'tell' the world what it is... because it will just be 'understood'.


NOTE: When we wake up we wake up to our own being... that has no 'opposite'... thus it has no bone to pick with the 'person' or the body.

NOTE: When we wake up we wake up to the fact that we're asleep.  We then realize that we are 'responsible' for our own sleep... so waking up is taking responsibility for our own sleep.  So when you wake up you wake up to your own being... which was asleep to it's own Self

NOTE: Taking responsibility for our own sleep is a relief... because we know that we don't have to wait for someone else to awaken us.  So we have nowhere else to look.  Thus 'seeking' gets narrowed down quite a bit... so we're more focused... we're more focused on the answer.

Being responsible for your own sleep is... 'impersonal' empowerment.

'Personal' empowerment can be problematic... impersonal empowerment is an 'aspect' of knowing how to wake up.

IE: If you want to go to heaven... you have to first get out of 'hell'.

IE:  the 'self' imposed 'hell'.'

Once you're out of 'hell'... the rest is a 'workable' situation.


NOTE: Nothing 'focuses' the mind like realizing that we are asleep.

'Seeing' that you are asleep is the quickest way to 'wake up'... even if only for a moment.


But... When someone 'impresses' us that they are 'awake'... that should get our attention.  When we 'respect' someone who impresses us as being 'awake' (awake to their own sleep)... that's called validating the 'others' essence.   It's a form of mutually acknowledged 'impersonal' respect.


The Matrix of mind projections

Being 'responsible' for your own awakening is like taking your own 'red pill'... without the 'pill'... and without the 'side effects'.   When you wake up to your own Self you realize that 'Morpheus' only 'appears' as a manifestation of your own will.  And then 'Morpheus' is seen as your own 'Self'.


In 'The Matrix'... 'machines' ('Mara's daughters') are portrayed as 'agents'.

 If you are looking for a spiritual analog of 'The Matrix'... then the Gurdjieff (and Ouspensky) in 'In Search of the Miraculous' is a good place to start... because it was Ouspensky who was the 'One' who delivered his message... in the end.

NOTE: The 'Matrix' of mind projections... is the 'hell' we're in.


Conscience Defined

The reason it is important to 'see' others (including ourselves) as asleep is because as soon as we 'see' the reality of others (including ourselves) as asleep we start to 'see' the reality of our Selves... as awake... because we 'see through' our own sleep.  Its a paradox.   As long as we 'tell' others they are awake... we'll 'tell' ourselves the same thing... despite being 'asleep' to our own sleep.

Being 'awake' is being 'awake' to our own 'sleep'.

As long as we see 'others' as awake... we'll value their 'personal opinions'... especially their 'personal opinions'  about us.  As long as we value the 'personal' opinions of 'others' who are 'asleep'... we'll discount our own intuition.   As long as we discount our own intuition we'll be cut off from conscience.

Impersonal awareness or Conscience is a 'sustained intuitive, impersonal knowing' of what is 'right' or 'wrong' in a given situation, unencumbered by 'personal' opinions'.

What is 'right' is that which supports reality.  What is 'wrong' is that which distracts from reality.


What is 'right' is that which supports our understanding of reality... or is in the best interest of reality in a given situation.   What is 'wrong' is that which distracts from reality... in any situation.

'Right' and 'wrong' in this world is about that which promotes reality and that which distracts from reality.

Conscience 'understands' what supports reality... and what distracts from reality... intuitively.

So conscience is an intuitive ongoing impersonal understanding of that which supports or distracts from reality in any given situation.

The more you rely on conscience... the less you'll rely on the 'personal' opinions of 'others'. The less you rely on the 'personal' opinions of 'others' the less you'll 'consider' them.   The less you 'consider' the 'personal' opinions of 'others' the more you'll be 'considering' your own conscience.

The more you 'consider' your own conscience... the more you'll rely on it.

When you value knowing 'right' and 'wrong' over your own 'personal opinions'... you're waking up.

When you value your own conscience over the 'personal' opinions of 'others'... you're waking up.

When you value your own conscience... you value your own being... even more than your own personal opinions.


The Gnostic Gurdjieff is the 'Essential' Gurdjieff

Gnosis is 'knowing'.

A 'Gnostic' values 'knowing'... more than their own 'personal' opinions.

So a Gnostic 'knows better' than their own 'personal' opinions.


A Gnostic is one who values conscience over their own 'personal' opinions.

A Gnostic is one who values knowing 'right' from 'wrong'... over their own 'personal' opinions about 'right' and 'wrong'.

A Gnostic is one who values their own conscience... even more than their own 'personal' opinions.

Gurdjieff was a Gnostic because he valued reality... more than his own 'personal' opinions.

Gurdjieff was a Gnostic because he valued his own Being... more than his own 'personal' opinions.

Gurdjieff was a Gnostic because he valued his own conscience... more than his own 'personal' opinions.

'Essence' is Being.  So the 'Essential' Gurdjieff is the Gurdjieff that valued his own Being... over his own 'personal' opinions.


Gnostics are 'awake' to their own 'sleep'.

NOTE: A Gnostic is someone who is 'responsible'... for their own 'sleep'.

IE: Gnostics are good 'citi-zens'... because you can be 'considerate' without considering.   

It's a paradox.

Being 'considerate' is a form of 'consideration' and respect for 'others'.  It's what Gurdjieff called 'external' considering.   'External' considering is natural when we 'understand' others... as well as ourselves.


NOTE:  The awakened Being is satisfied with it's Self because 'reality' is obvious... and obviously impersonal.


Ouspensky's view of the 'Self'

The quote below (from page 380 of Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous') refers to the impersonal confidence (as opposed to 'personal' confidence) that is synonymous with the view from the 'Self'.

"Remembering all I had experienced in the preceding year, particularly after G's departure, I said that I had acquired a strange confidence, one which I could not define in one word but which I must describe."

"This is not self-confidence in the ordinary sense", I said, "quite the contrary, rather it is the confidence in the insignificance of self, that self we usually know.  But what I am confident about is that if something terrible happened to me like things that have happened to many of my friends during the past year, then it would be not I that would meet it, not this ordinary I, but another I within me that would be equal to the occasion.  Two years ago G. asked me if I felt a new I inside me and I had to answer that I felt no change whatever.  Now I can speak otherwise."

That 'strange confidence' is what's known as 'impersonal' confidence... as opposed to 'personal' confidence.    'Personal' confidence is a variable function of the memory and experience level of the 'person' or 'self'.  'Impersonal confidence' is an innate characteristic of the 'Self'.  

 IE: it comes with the 'Self'.

Big difference.

'Impersonal' confidence is innate to the 'Self' because only the 'Self' has no 'opposite'... and it doesn't get 'overconfident'.   It just 'knows', thus it has no doubts.   It was 'strange' to him because he was, in temporal terms, 'new' to it... and thus not expecting it... yet he was clearly pleased with it.

The appearance of a 'new' I happens because as the 'Self' arises our identification naturally shifts to it.  Thus it appears to the individual as a 'new' I.   Eventually with experience it appears as the 'actual' I, as in the I that we actually are... as opposed to the 'apparent' I that 'appears' to us as I.

IE: our 'Ouspensky'.


Authors NOTE 10-10-15


Buddhism can't be 'constructed' as in piling one concept on top of another until we come to a 'conclusion'.  It can only 'dawn' on the individual as the result of a 'deconstruction' of fundamental assumptions.  

So Buddhism is not a construction site... it's more of a 'hole' in the foundation.

The 'hole' in the foundation in Buddhism is where the 'personal' me (our 'Ouspensky') used to go.


Deconstructing Gurdjieff

If this page is helpful to individuals who are interested in the connection between Gurdjieff, Gnostics, Buddhism and Vedic thought systems it is because it 'takes' what's 'common' to all of them... which is what all of them have in 'common' from the standpoint of impersonal awareness (balanced with personality)... and 'leaves' (deconstructs) the rest... IE: that which is unique to all of them... or that which could potentially create unnecessary mental conflicts or 'barriers' in the mind to 'understanding'.  

So when you 'deconstruct' all that is around each of them and just 'leave' the rest... that which they have in common from the standpoint of impersonal awareness, then you are 'down' to the 'essentials'... as in the 'essential Gurdjieff'.

When Gurdjieff 'dawns' on you... as in his impersonal being or 'essence', there's no more need to turn him into a 'construction site'... because you 'understand' him now.

IE: Deconstructing Gurdjieff (the 'Essential' Gurdjieff) from his ideas is just... 'taking what you like and leaving the rest'.


NOTE: When you are letting go of (deconstructing) 'false ideas' (assumptions) about yourself... original (proper) mind will be staring you right in the 'face'.

 Gurdjieff was all about the 'way'... and all about 'doing something'. 

Detached and intuitively informed impersonal awareness is the 'way'... the 'way' that shows us the way to 'do' something.

  When you are 'doing' something for your highest good, as well as the highest good of 'others'... you have the 'tao' right where you want it.


 Choosing influences 

We are always subject to influences.  But Gurdjieff spoke of the possibility of, even the necessity of, 'choosing influences'... as a conscious choice, because we are 'never not' subject to influences, if you will.  But he left the door open as to what that choice was exactly.  The more our impersonal awareness is distinct from our 'Ouspensky' the more intuitively informed and 'intelligent' our choices become... IE they're more free from conscious thought about them and more instantaneous and seamless... because impersonal awareness is the 'antenna' that 'receives' intuition.   So the more distinct and noticeable the awareness... the greater and more seamless the intuitive 'direction'  we receive.   So we go from being directed by mechanical outer 'influences' (some very far away) to being informed by intuitive inner 'influences'... (closer than close).

 Choosing the 'influence' that is more 'profitable'... is part of the conscious 'path'.

 That choice is made with inner attention.

 Gurdjieff's use of 'profitable' in this sense is 'understanding' what's in our 'highest interest'.

The 'person' (our Ouspensky) is a contradiction... thus it may or may not know what's in our highest interest.   Only the individual knows, without a doubt, that which is always in its 'highest interest'... because it's intuitively 'understood'... because only the individual operates on multiple levels... simultaneously.

Thus it's the highest form of... 'common sense'.

Understanding 'common sense', in its highest 'sense'... is no longer 'falling' for 'Mara's daughters'.

Common sense in its highest sense is... 'conscience'.


Once the individual sees that the 'original flaw' is in the world... and not in their nature as impersonal being... then they start to see that this flaw manifests as the 'matrix' of mind projections, contradictions (and distractions) that serve our 'Ouspensky'... (and 'Mara's daughters')... and not our 'Self'.   Thus they start to see that their business is not to fix the original flaw in the world because the world is going to do what the world is going to do... and there is nothing anyone can do about it except to overcome it (IE 'outwit' it)... first for the sake of ones 'Self'... and then by extension... 'others'. 

This recognition shifts our inner values which has the effect of shifting our inner attention off of our 'Ouspensky' and onto our 'Self'... which knows better.

This 'shift', at some point, can become a conscious 'choice'... thus the 'choice' of influences.

IE: choosing 'that' which we pay inner attention to... because it's obviously in our highest interest to. 


NOTE: When intuition becomes more and more obvious it becomes the obvious choice.   Thus we begin to rely on one over the other... without abandoning the other.   

That's a paradox.


Movement and General Laws

Unconscious habits are a symptom that 'General Laws' are in effect.  Unconscious habits are solidified in the body.  Gurdjieff understood that bodily practices 'break up' unconscious habits... into conscious habits... and awareness.   

Bodily practices are 'conscious' movement... that are practiced 'consciously'.

Conscious habits are 'useful'... to the individual.   Unconscious habits are a symptom of 'sleep'.   Awareness of habits is a symptom of waking up.   Bodily practices support waking up.

Conscious habits and awareness are symptoms that General Laws are losing their effect.

Loyalty to ones own impersonal awareness, being or essence is a conscious habit worth 'aiming' for.

Bodily practices (yoga) build will... thus minimizing the need to sacrifice our willfulness until we have our own will.

The downside is hubris.   

The 'cure' for hubris... is to 'serve' others. 


Gurdjieff's Sacrificing of suffering

You'll know you're no longer 'personalizing' the world when you can sacrifice your suffering... at will... when you 'see' it's in your highest good.

'Suffering' in this context is 'existential' suffering.  IE: suffering brought about by 'self' absorption... not the inevitable suffering we all encounter as human beings... which is not a problem... when 'seen' from the proper perspective.



NOTE: Every time you see through the 'person' you're chipping away at 'buffers' between you and reality.

Attachments support 'buffers'... because they support contradictions.

Managing 'buffers' takes alot of attention.

'Personal' contradictions are inevitable because the personality exists to perpetuate 'personal' contradictions.

Opposites are the 'echo chamber' for 'personal' contradictions.

Individuals 'see' through their own 'personal' contradictions.

Thus individuals don't 'settle'... for their own 'personal' contradictions.

Individuals 'settle'... where their attention 'settles'.

When you're no longer satisfied with 'personal' contradictions... you'll be willing to 'see' through them.


50 Gurdjieff themes in the Who Needs the Higgs Blog

The homepage of this blog started out as a spiritual practice in writing but then it revealed something 'else' that was unexpected.

See if you can pick out the 50 Gurdjieff themes (listed below) in the 'Who Needs the Higgs blog'... (linked here).  I didn't... not at first.   It took a few months after writing the main core of the blog (in the Home page) in the Fall of 2011 before I began to 'see' them.   They can be found in Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous'.   What surprised me was that I hadn't read it in over 5 years... nor was it on my mind when I started writing the blog... yet clearly parts of it had been 'buried' in my mind.   How strange.  Or maybe what it says is 'just' universal... and available.   In any case, in terms of his Understanding, his Will, his Being, his Self Mastery, and his Conscience, my respect for Gurdjieff has only gone up.  The list below applies to the latter group in my opinion, as those are, 'essentially'... 'The 'Essential' Gurdjieff.  

IE: that which is 'essential' in order to 'understand' him.

The 'Who Needs the Higgs' blog can be particularly helpful to individuals who are working on their own (and who have done their homework) as it is experiential in that it contains several simple practices, hints and reminders that can help the reader to actualize the principals in everyday life.   It's a  practice that can be practiced... together with practices that can be practiced.


In addition it is helpful in shedding light on the Double Arrow of Attention, as it gives a take on it that is experiential and useful.   It also sheds light on why Gurdjieff referred to himself as the 'unique idiot' and how that can apply to the seeker because the 'person' is 'special' but the 'individual'... is 'unique'.   Anyone can be 'special'... but being content to be 'unique... is unusual.   Being 'unique' without being 'special'... is an 'impersonal art'.   Objective 'art' is art that encourages an objective view... by inspiring our own impersonal objective 'art'.

Individuation is not separation.  Individuation is a 'unique' individual perspective... of the 'whole'.  If Gurdjieff was anything... he was 'unique'.


NOTE on studying this List

NOTE:  To study the list below it helps to go back and forth between the blog home page and the list and then re-read about them in 'Search' again... and then see if you are understanding them in a new light.   They can be found by looking through the Index in the back of 'Search' or the notes on each chapter in its Table of Contents, if you haven't already bookmarked them.

NOTE: Gurdjieff was a 'paradox'... so it helps to understand paradox in order to 'understand' Gurdjieff.

1) The Double Arrow of Attention... the 4th way teaches first to focus inner attention on the body - as in 'outside' the head... similar to HeartMath... or in the Buddhist teaching of following the breath, as well as 'collecting' it... 'in'.  The blog give a visualization tool for turning inner attention 'in' based on the 'arising and subsiding' nature of waves.   Bodily practices (intentional 'movement') teach us how to focus inner attention 'in' the body... thus 'separating' it from outer attention... in our minds... so that we can use it... intentionally.

2) Attention... "if TV we're paying attention it would be focused on itself and then we could all get back to reality".   All spiritual practice, in the end, is about inner attention.  The blog is about distinguishing inner attention from outer attention... and working with 'that'.   Attention is required because being is the hardest 'thing' to 'see'.

3) Being... What Gurdjieff calls 'essence' the blog calls 'being'... same 'thing'.  His reference to being in 'Search' is not as clear as his explanation of essence... so if you see what he says about essence then the blog will make perfect sense.   Particularly as it relates to the balance of 'being' or 'essence' and personality.

4) Trinities... their relation to individuality... and their role in resolving 'opposites'.  You have to be '3' before you can be 'one'... so to speak.  IE: the Law of Three.

5) Ego - as it relates to a singular permanent 'I'.

6) Individuality.   What is an 'individual'... vs a 'person'.   Individuals have a balance between  'essence' and personality.   'Persons' have little or no essence.   Our 'Ouspensky' is the 'person'.

7) Understanding - the nature of this most misunderstood  word... see also... More on Understanding.   Understanding is what comes from being informed by being or essence... you 'understand'.

8) Balance - as it applies to the seeker and society.   Individuals are balanced... persons are problematic.   Individuals are a balance of 'personality'... and essence.

9) Will...  and how its related to 'doing'... and his 'making a future'.  Gurdjieff defines will as 'conscious control'.  So..."Will is a faculty useful to being.    But will-fullness is a product of the person.   One is fueled by belief... one is a tool for being.   One is free to use... one comes at a cost.   Until we distinguish the two... there will be doubts about free will"... from the 'Who Needs the Higgs' blog.

10) Transmutation... the nature of it... how to practice 'transformation' via transmutation.

11) Waking up"If he were to think the he was asleep he would wake up" (from Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous').   Enough said.  The section above as well as the home page speaks to this and shows how to practice it. 

12) Bodily Practice...  Gurdjieff's movements are about the body because mechanical habits have been solidified in the body thus they 'begin' in the body.  So bodily practices are where habits can be powerfully transformed into awareness.  Gurdjieff Movement groups are hard to find, thus the blog encourages bodily practices like yoga as another, more accessible way to become a more balanced, 'flexible' and adaptable seeker.

13) Suffering... and the transmutation of unnecessary existential suffering (as opposed to ordinary human suffering)... as 'food' for being.

14) Identification... and it's relation to imaginings... and attention.

15) Aim... and will... and how it relates to having a 'purpose'... which manifests as 'doing'.  'Doing' in this sense is thus 'dharma'.

16) To be... is recognizing when you 'are'.  See also... Self Inquiry and Buddhism

17) Being Serious... Gurdjieff was absolutely serious... and he had a sense of humor.  They can work together.

18) Conscience... the source of Gurdjieff's conscience.   Conscience is 'obvious' in light of awareness... it's 'common sense'.  Persons are 'informed' by external influences.  Conscience is what 'informs' the individual.  So individuals 'know better'.

19) Objective Art... and its relation to Quality, Sacred Geometry and the Golden ratio... IE: it's what Gurdjieff referred to as...'mathematics'.   Why individuals appreciate objective 'art'... and why it is an aide to - and a sign of - individuality... as well as an 'intelligent' society.

20) Man as Machine... the 'person' is a machine... being or essence  is 'that' which is free from outside influences... thus not 'machine like'.  IE: detached.  So the blog is about recognizing both... and using that knowledge to the seekers advantage.

21) The Unique idiot... the 'person' is 'special'... the individual is 'unique'.  Gurdjieff was a unique individual.   Unique individuals have a unique 'personal expression and history' coupled to being which is common to all.   Thus 'unique' individuals are a paradox.   Our 'Ouspensky is 'special'... our individuality is unique.

22) Progress... all problems with 'progress' are 'self' induced problems... IE problems induced by the 'person' that is oblivious to being.  True progress is 'recognition of being'.

23) False imaginings... are a distraction.  'Sacrificing' them improves creative imagination... its a paradox.

24) Doing things well... and the relationship between Quality and the Sacred.   Individuals 'do' things well... because they are focused on the task at hand.

25) Considering... and standing alone from manipulation... free from identification with 'others'.  Considering is a form of identification.   You can be 'considerate' without 'considering'.

26) Common Sense... the importance of it... the definition of it.  This may not be spoken of directly by Gurdjieff but its implied and applicable.  See also 'Conscience'.

27) Self Observation... is observing the mechanics of the 'person'... without diagnosing it.  See also... A Spiritual Roadmap

28) Self Remembering... "The third state of consciousness is Self Remembering or Self consciousness or consciousness of ones being" (from Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous).  Self Remembering is first 'remembering' (IE recognizing) ones own essence (being) and then remembering to recognize ones 'Self'... and how to practice that... see also... Self Inquiry and Buddhism

29) To do... when "doing" is obvious... its relation to will... and how it is compatible with being.  How it relates to aim or purpose.

30) Law of Three... as manifested in the individual... IE: the Trinity... and in nature... IE: waves.

31) The Source of Vibrations... where they come from... and where they go to...
NOTE: "You don't need to know what a wave 'is'... in order to appreciate where it's coming 'from'. (from the 'Who Needs the Higg's' blog')

32) Self Mastery... and its relation to Self Recognition.  'Self' Mastery begins with will and ends with a reasonably balanced individual.  See also... A Spiritual Roadmap

33) Imagination... it differs from Imaginings... one is a distraction... one is useful... Gurdjieff had a vivid imagination (All and Everything)... but he never imagined he was a 'person'.  How to transmute one into the other.

34) The study of 'Man' and the nature of the world in parallel... how the paradox in nature relates to the paradox in individuals. 

35) Habits... their nature.   Taking 'advantage' of them.

36) Octaves... "In order better to understand the significance of the law of octaves it is necessary to have a clear idea of another property of vibrations namely the so-called 'inner vibrations'.  This means that within vibrations other vibrations proceed" (from Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous).  The blog explains what 'inner vibrations' are (fractals) and the source of their circular 'nature'... and why everything is circular.  When you 'see' how circularity is 'built' into nature... it's easier to deal with 'octaves'... as well as the spiritual path.

37) Objective consciousness... it's not just 'consciousness'.   'Objective' consciousness is a balance between consciousness and detached awareness or essence.  Thus you 'see' the world... 'objectively'.

38) Division of ones 'self' as a pre-requisite... taking a step 'backwards'... so to speak, in order to move forward.   Separating out awareness from the fog of 'consciousness' is 'dividing' ones self... into 'Self' and 'not self'.  IE: detachment from our 'Ouspensky' or 'self'.

39) Nothingness...  Nothingness is 'impersonal'.   Nothingness is 'undefined'.  Nothingness is 'undefined' being or 'essence'... awareness.

40) How everything 'just happens'...   or the experience of the 'person' vs the experience of the individual.   The 'person' is led... the individual is inspired.

41) Gurdjieff's view of the infinite... in Gurdjieff's view, the infinite lies behind the 'I'... the blog shows how to 'look' in the direction of the infinite.

42) How the 'Rich Magician's' (as in Brahma's) magic functions... and its relation to the 'person'... 

43) Sacrifice... attachment to personal suffering and attachment to imaginings about what we 'are' are what gets sacrificed... there are no impersonal attachments.  It also explains how that is related to transmutation.

44) Being Nobody's fool... this is not talked about explicitly but is implied in Gurdjieff... as in not being 'fooled' by those that want to distract you... IE: 'Mara's daughters'.

45) The nature of 'it' - as in what 'it' wants'... observing 'it'.  'It' is the 'person'... See also... A Spiritual Roadmap

46) The Labyrinth of contradictions... the 'person' (our Ouspensky) is a contradiction... 'essence' is 'consistent'.  See also... The Personal Dilemma

47) Talking... being or essence is the only 'thing' that puts talking in its 'proper place'.  When you know what you 'are' you don't feel as much need to talk as being is satisfied with itself.

48) Ouspenskys 'Strange Confidence'... and how that is different from 'personal' confidence.  Impersonal confidence is an aspect of being or essence.

49) Choosing Influences... transitioning from one to the other (see comments above on 'Choosing Influences'). The personality is subject to personal external influences... the individual is subject to impersonal inner influences... IE being, intuition and conscience.  So shifting from external to internal influences is the 'path'.

50) The Obyvatel... is not lost in abstractions or blinded by ideals... they are grounded in practicalities and common sense.   The Obyvatel is 'nobody's fool'.

(NOTE: I believe there are a few more in there but for now I'm leaving the list at 50)


To correlate this further see this blogs Home page at... Who Needs the Higgs blog


Robert McCoy is a yoga practitioner who spent several decades in technology... primarily as an integrated circuit layout designer, working on microprocessors for enterprise, wireless and internet TV applications for a major Silicon Valley IC manufacturer

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