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“Chairs were arranged at one end, and two or three visitors entered and sat down. To into the room, looking neither right nor left and appearing not to recognize us. Soon afterwards Thomas de Hartmann came in and sat down at the piano. I had not suspected that either of them was connected with Gurdjieff.

“Gurdjieff himself came in soon after. He was dressed in black. As soon as he entered, all the performers stood up and arranged themselves in six lines. They wore different coloured sashes, and I expected to see them arranged according to the colours of the spectrum; but for some reason the red was in the wrong place.

“Hartmann began playing. The first dance was accompanied by a magnificent slow theme that was more like a Greek anthem than an Eastern temple dance. The dance itself was very simple—almost like Swedish gymnastics. Each dance lasted only one or two minutes. The action grew more and more intense. After a time, the straight lines were broken up and the performers placed themselves in some intricate pattern. Before the dance began, one of the men said in English: "The exercise that will follow represents the Initiation of a Priestess. It comes from a cave temple in the Hindu Kush." This was the most impressive and moving event of the evening. The exercise lasted much longer than the others. The part of the priestess, who scarcely moved at all. was taken by a tall and very beautiful woman. The expression of her face conveyed the feeling of complete withdrawal from the outer world. She seemed unaware of the complicated weaving movements of the men and women surrounding her. I had never before seen such a beautiful dance, or heard such strangely disturbing music.”

~ JG Bennett “Witness”



“Later, he says that when you start accumulating emanations, you find that there is a place in you for them, like that place in automobiles where power is accumulated. ‘When you have many emanations accumulated, you find they will crystallize, then you have force. Not force that can go out of you like water, but emanations crystallized. Then can do many things with. And when do this (in reply to another question of hers), it best to have all muscles relaxed. Weak. Have all muscles weak. No tension’.”

~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"



"Man," said Jane [Heap a senior student of George Gurdjieff], "is the highest possible development of the self-evolving form. Nature can do no more. All further development requires conscious effort." The Gurdjieff work she described as "a method of effort – conscious effort, not mechanical automatic effort." The start toward such consciousness was neutral scientific observation of one's self to discover from which center, physical, emotional or mental, most of one's reactions flowed. Reactions, not actions. We must keep in mind that as we were, everything was done in us from outside, that we took no part in our activity because we had no unique central I, only a crowd of "personality I's" in continual argument between centers, fighting for their turns in the driver's seat. This, I realized, had been my state ever since I could remember, but I had thought it a condition peculiar to me – the writer who had to live multiple lives in order to understand Life. I had even thought it admirable to have such a capacity for varieties of expression.

Jane went on to speak of proofs (if we rightly read them) of a superior knowledge found all over the world – monuments Wendy and I had seen and been moved by Temples, pyramids, dolmens, Mayan architecture and of course the Gothic cathedrals which had been built, said Jane, with a conscious purpose by conscious artisans, to elevate, if even for a moment, the vibrations of people. This ancient knowledge was lost to the mainstream of the human race, vast bodies of it having been wiped out by wars and calamities, as chalk off a slate, exactly as in our own personal lives there were great blocks of memory irretrievable to us in our present state incapable of self-remembering.

~ Kathryn Hulme “Undiscovered Country”



He [Gurdjieff] told me that many people—people with "middle-class western world morality" had questions about, and objections to, his methods of procuring money, which he always needed for the support of the Prieuré and also of many of the students who were not able to pay him anything. He said, almost angrily, that our kind of morality was based on money; that the only thing that troubled us about such occurrences was the fact that he had, apparently, extracted money without having given anything in return.

"All my life," he said forcefully, "I tell people this work not for everyone. If can solve problems with religion or with your American psychiatrist, this good. But people not listen what I say; always find other meaning—interpret what I say in own way, make self feel good. So must pay for this good feeling. Many times I tell that my work cannot help with ordinary life problems: sex, illness, unhappiness; such things. If cannot solve such problems alone, then my work, which not have to do with such problems, no good for them. But such people come here no matter what I tell, to have good feeling; woman who smoke many cigarettes can now tell everyone, but particularly her 'self' that she consult me about problem and that I give answer, even though I not give answer. So just such people can justify existence by helping me with many money problems. Even with their stupidity they help good thing—my work. This already enough reward for such people."

"Is unfortunate weakness in people today; they ask advice but not wish help, wish only find out what already want. They not listen words I say—I always say what I mean, my words always clear—but they not believe this, always look for other meaning, meaning which exist only in their imagination. Without such woman, such people, you and many other people at Prieuré not eat. Money this woman pay is money for food." It was one of the few times that I had ever heard him "explain" or "justify" such activity on his part.

~ Fritz Peters “Boyhood With Gurdjieff”


GURDJIEFF: I hope with all my heart that there will rise in all of you feeling of humanity. American and especially English people cannot feel for even one person except self, so spoiled he is, so degenerate. Even your Negroes not so spoiled, he has twice times more feeling for humanity than you Americans who hate him. Negro I like, I can be friend with, they understand tones and gestures.

~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"

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