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GURDJIEFF: Look how she is chic. Yesterday she saw me in new suit and was jealous. Jealousy can be good thing, can be holy impulse. Man see something higher than himself, wish to be such, so make effort. Jealousy can be factor for cunning. Of course, not the dirty kind, not man-woman jealousy. (Greek selos, meaning zeal or eager rivalry.)

~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"



On the day G. Gurdjieff set off for America, accompanied by Mme de Salzmann, several of us went to be with G. at his departure from the Gare Saint-Lazare railway station. For us it was quite an event, as we had been close to him for several years without separation.

While we were on the platform, G. Gurdjieff was as he always was, a simple quiet man, as if he had eternity before him. He got into the train with Mme de S. and they disappeared from view. We waited to see G. at his compartment window.

Gurdjieff appeared. But, he was no longer the same man. He was transformed. He emanated a great radiance, without his outer appearance being changed. His presence was filled with an unusual majestic force, which he had never shown us. He looked at us intently, as if passing us a message. What I felt from him made a very deep impression.

Then, G. Gurdjieff beckoned me to come closer. I went towards him, and G. told me of an exercise that I was to give to my companions at our next meeting: "To think of him, Mme de S. and all the group members as a network, all connected to one another, even at a great distance." I relayed the exercise that evening at a meeting in his flat in the Rue des Colonels Renard. This gave us a greater consciousness of our relationship with him and the group.

~ Solange Claustres “Becoming Conscious with Mr. Gurdjieff”



A few days later the paper to which A. was contributing contained an article "On the Road" in which A. described the thoughts and impressions he had on the way from Petersburg to Moscow. A strange Oriental had traveled in the same carriage with him, who, among the bustling crowd of speculators who filled the carriage, had struck him by his extraordinary dignity and calm, exactly as though these people were for him like small flies upon whom he was looking from inaccessible heights. A. judged him to be an "oil king" from Baku, and in conversation with him several enigmatic phrases that he received still further strengthened him in his conviction that here was a man whose millions grew while he slept and who looked down from on high at bustling people who were striving to earn a living and to make money.

“My fellow traveler kept to himself also; he was a Persian or Tartar, a silent man in a valuable astrakhan cap; he had a French novel under his arm. He was drinking tea, carefully placing the glass to cool on the small window-sill table; he occasionally looked with the utmost contempt at the bustle and noise of those extraordinary, gesticulating people. And they on their part glanced at him, so it seemed to me, with great attention, if not with respectful awe. What interested me most was that he seemed to be of the same southern Oriental type as the rest of the group of speculators, a flock of vultures flying somewhere into Agrionian space in order to tear some carrion or other—he was swarthy, with jet-black eyes, and a mustache like Zelim-Khan. . . . Why does he so avoid and despise his own flesh and blood? But to my good fortune he began to speak to me.

"They worry themselves a great deal," he said, his face motionless and sallow, in which the black eyes, polite as in the Oriental, were faintly smiling. He was silent and then continued:

"Yes, in Russia at present there is a great deal of business out of which a clever man could make a lot of money." And after another silence he explained: "After all it is the war. Everyone wants to be a millionaire." In his tone, which was cold and calm, I seemed to detect a kind of fatalistic and ruthless boasting which verged on cynicism, and I asked him somewhat bluntly:

"And you?"

"What?" he asked me back.

"Do not you also want this?"

He answered with an indefinite and slightly ironical gesture.

It seemed to me that he had not heard or had not understood and I repeated: "Don't you make profits too?"

He smiled particularly quietly and said with gravity:

"We always make a profit. It does not refer to us. War or no war it is all the same to us. We always make a profit."

[G. of course meant esoteric work, "the collecting of knowledge" and the collecting of people. But A. understood that he was speaking about "oil."]

It would be curious to talk and become more closely acquainted with the psychology of a man whose capital depends entirely upon order in the solar system, which is hardly likely to be upset and whose interests for that reason prove to be higher than war and peace. . . .

In this way A. concluded the episode of the "oil king."

~ PD Ouspensky “In Search of the Miraculous”



After the second bell he [Gurdjieff] went into the carriage — his compartment was next to the door and came to the window.

He was different! In the window we saw another man, not the one who had gone into the train. He had changed during those few seconds. It is very difficult to describe what the difference was, but on the platform he had been an ordinary man like anyone else, and from the carriage a man of quite a different order was looking at us, with a quite exceptional importance and dignity in every look and movement, as though he had suddenly become a ruling prince or a statesman of some unknown kingdom to which he was traveling and to which we were seeing him off.

Some of our party could not at the time clearly realize what was happening but they felt and experienced in an emotional way something that was outside the ordinary run of phenomena. All this lasted only a few seconds. The third bell followed the second bell almost immediately, and the train moved out.

I do not remember who was the first to speak of this "transfiguration" of G. when we were left alone, and then it appeared that we had all seen it, though we had not all equally realized what it was while it was taking place. But all, without exception, had felt something out of the ordinary.

G. had explained to us earlier that if one mastered the art of plastics one could completely alter one's appearance. He had said that one could become beautiful or hideous, one could compel people to notice one or one could become actually invisible.

~ PD Ouspensky “In Search of the Miraculous”



Tuesday, April 20, 1937

He has a “Greek lunch”—seven different courses laid out. Kanari begs off from his special roasted sweet potatoes.

KANARI: I am afraid will make fat, Mr. Gurdjieff.

GURDJIEFF: Potato not make fat—potato have in him ~ {Russian word). [He tries to tell, touches his collar.] What make hard? we say.] Starch. This is what potato have.

KANARI: But starch makes fat.

GURDJIEFF: Excuse, not make fat if know what to eat with, with what combinate. Starch is very important thing, is one of the seven divine things for man. Without it, he could not even breathe. Always this has been known but now nobody know this, now starch is used for (to make stiff) collar for pimp and this thing (petticoat) for prostitute. And this, one of the seven divine things, people are afraid eat, afraid make fat.

MISS GORDON: Sugar also, Mr. Gurdjieff.

GURDJIEFF: Excuse, sugar is cheap thing, is svoloch thing found everywhere. Everybody can have sugar.

MISS GORDON: But sugar makes heat, isn’t this bad in the body for making heat?

GURDJIEFF: Sugar gives by the way heat. Starch gives everything — body heat, material, even God thing.

~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"

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