The Toronto Hypnotherapist

Hypnosis and Toronto Hypnotherapy with Allan Clews.

FEB. 7 — GEORGE GURDJIEFF QUOTES

MY FIRST TRIUMPH OVER THE "TYRANT BODY"

I stared at my paragraph of self-remembering then closed the notebook. I had forgotten until that moment that I used to bite my nails, often down to the quick. I recalled how vanity had cured me of the habit, in my university years when I fell in love with a fellow chemistry student who had green eyes and red hair...

We were making tests for saponification, shaking our test tubes back and forth as we chatted, when I saw his eyes widen with shock. He had looked at my test tube to check if any fats were saponifying in the alkaline solution and had seen the bitten nails of my right hand exposed down the side of the tube. There was of course no way to hold a test tube without exposing the fingernails. He backed away from me ever so slightly and that was the end of my romance. I never bit my nails again.

Had that been my first triumph over the "tyrant body," that abrupt cessation of a nervous physical habit fixed by eighteen years of gnawing my fingers? I regretted the absence of Wendy who was missing too much. Often I wrote to her from the bistro, transcribing in simplified language my latest notes from the group, especially anything new I picked up on Gurdjieff.

~ Kathryn Hulme “Undiscovered Country”
...

At dinner one day, Gurdjieff again spoke about paying, about the different ways of paying, about paying the debt incurred by one’s arising—the debt to nature. He said, ‘You pay me to be allowed to work here. But by working here you will know and feel how nine-tenths of the world lives. By working physically in the right way you can gain very much in understanding. If you help your neighbour, you, in turn, will be helped; perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in a year, perhaps in a hundred years. But you will be helped. Nature must pay the debt; it is a law. If we like what we do when working we are at once rewarded by the satisfaction received. If we do not like it, and make effort, the reward must come, but later. It is a mathematical law, and all life is mathematical. The present is a result of the past, and the future will be the result of the present. Everything with life has to struggle; in looking back over the past we usually remember the difficult times, times of struggle; but struggle is life.’

~ CS Nott “The Teachings of Gurdjieff - A Pupil's Journey”
...

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER

It was one evening in the Rue des Colonels Renard that Madame Jeanne de Salzmann presented to George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff a group of people that she had introduced to his teaching. I was one of those people.

We arrived in a hallway where we put our coats on an armchair and two chairs, and we went into a room, the dining room. It soon filled up with people, some sitting, others standing, as there was not enough room for more chairs.

On entering, I saw, at the end of a long table, seated in an armchair with his back towards the door, an imposing figure, his head slightly turned to the side. I couldn’t see his face, but it could only be Monsieur Gurdjieff. Impulsively I went and sat on the floor to his left almost up against his chair.

I knew nothing about him, having not even seen a photo. But the little I saw of his back, his physical form, the impression I received, gave me this irresistible urge to be near him, along with a very strong feeling of rediscovering my family, of feeling as if I had come home.

Sitting on the floor close to G.’s chair, the table at head height, I only had to lift my head to see him, but I did not. I made myself quite small, as if huddled up and hidden. I didn’t think anyone would pay any attention to me.

But this is where my first strong and direct experience happened.

There were a few preambles, which I didn’t pay attention to, as I was immersed in this feeling of discovery of being at home and of what was emanating from G. Gurdjieff, which gave me a deep impression of something familiar, from long ago, which I was rediscovering.

And at one moment, in a silence, G. Gurdjieff turned towards me, and pointing to me said in a positive, questioning and slightly emphatic tone of voice, “This person has a question to ask, something important to say."

I was totally taken by surprise. I didn’t expect to be interrogated, as we had come to ask questions! I was almost too embarrassed to speak. I cannot remember my exact words but all I could ask was my constant question, “I am searching to understand the meaning of life.”

Monsieur Gurdjieff, without replying to me, turned towards Mme de Salzmann and with disappointment in his voice reproached her for bringing along people who were not ready, meaning that I was not ready.

He continued his invective towards Mme de Salzmann, who remained calm and unperturbed. From time to time G. Gurdjieff slightly turned his head towards me, watching me surreptitiously.

I realised then that I was not ready. Tears came, streaming silently down my cheeks, coming from a great distress, and a deep need of ‘I knew not what’. I said nothing, I really had nothing to say.

In all the years I was to spend close to him, this was the only time when Monsieur Gurdjieff showed such disappointment in a situation concerning me, and this was my first contact!

It gave me a very strong shock, especially as I was the only one he addressed directly, even though I was quite silent.... I felt as if I had fallen into a deep ravine....

In the silence that followed, G. having looked at me again, turned towards me and asked seriously, “You, angry with me?” I replied straight away with no hesitation, “No Monsieur.” It was true — why would I be angry with him since he was right?

Still turned towards me, G. asked the question again in a surprised tone of voice, “You, not angry with me?” I replied the same way, “No, Monsieur.” My tears were still flowing like water down my face.

G. Gurdjieff then turned towards Mme de Salzmann, shook his head, emitted a deep, muffled sound in acquiescence. Then, with slow movements, he took his own dessert, and leaning towards me, gave it to me with extraordinary gentleness and tenderness.

My feelings were indefinable. Still in tears, taking and tasting this dessert, a little bowl filled with cream, yoghurt, fruit and jam, I had the impression of being nourished for the first time in my life. It was like a recognition, he of me, and me of him - like a pact made between us.

The meeting continued as if nothing had happened.

I tried to understand the meaning of his behaviour, as he had not attacked me personally. I had sat next to him due to an essential need: to be at the centre. In fact I was well and truly at the centre. Had G. Gurdjieff wanted to draw attention to my having sat next to him?

The gift of his dessert was like a consecration, an initiation, I felt it to be a communion - a feeling and sensation of being nourished for the first time in my life, made manifest in the taste of the dessert which was spreading through me and filling me.

This first encounter had a huge impact on me: the feeling of being seen for what I was, giving me the impression of existing. I understood G. Gurdjieff as a being who felt the depth of being, and went directly to the essential.

I felt recognised by him. I felt myself existing for the first time — I existed.

~ Solange Claustres “Becoming Conscious With G.I. Gurdjieff”
...

NOTHING IS GIVEN. IF YOU WISH TO ACQUIRE SOMETHING OF YOUR OWN, YOU MUST LEARN TO STEAL

He said to me: "So far you have come here as a trial. You have been given something. But if you come here to work, you must understand that nothing is given. If you wish to acquire something of your own, you must learn to steal. What I have to give cannot be paid for: it is priceless. Therefore, if you need it, you must steal it.

"You have the possibility of learning to work. The truth is, that very few people in the contemporary world have this possibility: for most people there are barriers that they cannot pass. Everyone has these barriers: they are in human nature. You have seen that it is possible to be directly connected with the Great Accumulator of Energy that is the source of all miracles. If you could be permanently connected with this source, you could pass all barriers. But you do not know how it is done, and you are not ready to be shown. Everything is still in front of you to be done, but you now have the proof that it is possible. It may take twenty, thirty or even forty years before you will be able to enter into possession of the power that was lent to you for a day. But what is a whole lifetime if such a thing is possible? Ever since I was a young boy, I have known of the existence of this power and of the barriers that separate man from it, and I searched until I found the way of breaking through them. This is the greatest secret that man can discover about human nature. Many people are convinced that they wish to be free and to know reality, but they do not know the barrier that prevents them from reaching reality. They come to me for help, but they are unwilling or unable to pay the price. It is not my fault if I cannot help them."

He spoke again about Being and Knowledge, and the danger for me of losing everything if I relied on knowledge alone. He said grimly: "With too much knowledge, the inner barrier may become insurmountable."

~ JG Bennett "Witness"