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“It takes a long time working on oneself to free oneself from what may remain of egoism, pride, and even the idea of being on a ‘way’! For one must always be searching for it.

“I would not have perceived the notion of this process, of these stages to cross, without passing through certain traumatic experiences, painful and distressing situations at the limit of what was bearable.

“The choices and the suffering that took place in me, the reflection on and understanding of the shocks given by G.Gurdjieff, ripened the field of my perception, thought and consciousness. I found myself, as I still do, as if in a particular realm of asceticism.

“Did G.Gurdjieff want me to become conscious of this?

“In any case, his words had this effect and they have never left me. On the contrary, they have always pushed me to search, to really understand what my path was, my real, deepest essential need. To become conscious of it, and to follow it.”

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



“The young Gurdjieff showed a great interest in science, and it was no hardship for him to have to study the subjects preliminary to his course in medicine. It would indeed have been difficult to name any subject in which the boy was not keenly interested, and the danger which threatened him was that his energies would become dissipated over too wide a field. Unwittingly his father increased this risk. 'The great thing in education,' he declared, 'is nor to accumulate a vast store of information, but to learn how to learn.' In order to teach his own son how to learn he adopted a certain procedure. The boy was set a certain piece of work to do with his hands and as soon as he had discovered the right technique for doing it, this work was immediately/ stopped and another entirely different type of work begun. By this means the youthful Gurdjieff rapidly learned a number of different trades.”

~ Kenneth Walker "Venture With Ideas"



“Finally a day came when we were all sitting together, our heads bowed, thinking hard, when something made us turn towards Gurdjieff, and we heard him say, in a voice we had never heard before, both solemn and with an element of love in it—and yet, if I may so put it, quite abstract—‘You started the Quest. You are on the road. You must go on.’

“It was as if we were being ordained. We all sat still, profoundly moved. Then one of us said, ‘I will go on, Georgi Ivanovitch, because you have put us on the right road.’

“Gurdjieff said, ‘I will try to hammer into your heads as much as I can of that special knowledge you are after, what Ouspensky calls seeking the Miracle. There will be others coming to join our group, and they, too, will gradually progress. The only condition is that they must make the maximum effort to absorb what they hear, either from me or from one of you six.’

“We sat, then, and thought about the changes that were coming and how we might transplant our theories, and how, if these newcomers came, we would enlighten them as much as we could so that the group of six would be the foundation of a greater number of followers.

“Perhaps in teaching others what we knew we would learn more ourselves. But the main thing was that we had been (as it were) ordained: the Group of Six was now going to be six plus many more. It was going to have a foundation, rules and regulations, even though we always moved along the path of freedom in following the Quest.”

~ Anna Butkowsky "With Gurdjieff in St. Petersburg and Paris"



I tell Gurdjieff that in the exercise, I get mixed with my task about cigarettes (not smoking for a week to see what new flow of associations results) and that I seem for the moment to learn more of myself through cigarette abstinence. Example: I discover I have wild animals, I discover "it" is very crafty, never once has even the word cigarette come up in my mind, imagination never produces a picture of a cigarette, and I can look on friends smoking without feeling anything. All while "it" is suffering for a cigarette – but a very cunning crafty animal I have, which spends great craft covering up its desires.

GURDJIEFF: This can be thing for power. I tell you one very important thing to say each time when longing come. At first you say and maybe notice nothing. Second time, maybe nothing. Third time, maybe notice something. Say, "I wish that the force of my wishing be my own, for being." [Then he thinks.] No, better another way. Force such as this have special results – make chemicals, have special emanations. Better say, "I wish result of this my suffering be my own for being.'' Yes, can call that kind wishing suffering, because is suffering. This saying can maybe take force from animal and geev to being ...and can do this for many things – for any denial of something that is a slavery."

~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"



“In the process of our common life, which is spread everywhere, especially among Americans, and consists in that people, in their striving to achieve the same aim, are divided into various so called "parties" which, in my opinion, especially in these last years, have assumed the character of one of the biggest so to say "plagues" of our contemporary common life.”

~ George Gurdjieff

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