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QUESTION: What must 1 do?

GURDJIEFF: There are two kinds of doing. Automatic doing and according to wish.

Take a small thing that you wish to do, which you are not able to do, and make this your God. let nothing interfere. Only aim at this. Then, it you succeed in doing this, I will be able to give you a greater task. Now you have an appetite to do things too big for you. This is an abnormal appetite. You can never do these things, and this appetite keeps you from doing the small things you might do. Destroy this appetite, forget big things. Make aim the breaking of a small habit.

If you “wish” you “can.” Without “wishing” you never “can.” Wish is the most powerful thing in the world. Higher than God. With conscious wish everything comes. An example: I wish for money. I ask someone. My wish sets up an “automatic wishing” in this "someone” who then goes to many people to borrow money for me. The automatic wish in this someone causes a wish to give in those he sees, but the first prime wish was mine.

If I wished, I could make you sell your clothes to give me money, but I do not want money. I only want you to wish to give it to me.

Question: Would a good task be to bear the manifestations of others?

Gurdjieff: To bear the manifestations of others is a big thing. The last thing for a man. Only a perfect man can do this. Start by making your “aim” your “God” the ability to bear one manifestation of one person that you now cannot endure without nervousness. Taking a voluntary aim and achieving it gives magnetism and the ability to “do.”

Mr. W: I think my worst fault is talking too much. Would trying not to talk so much he a good task?

Gurdjieff: For you, this is a very good aim. You spoil everything with your talking. This talk even hinders your business. When you talk much, your words have no weight. Try to overcome this. Many blessings will flow to you if you succeed. Truth, this is a very good task. It is big thing, not small.

I promise you, if you achieve this, even if I am not here I will know about your achievement, and I will send a man to teach you what to do next.

~ "Gurdjieff's Early Talks 1914-1931"



"[George Adie] took me to a welcoming spot: a little white brick patio, with an unusual shape. You reached it either through the house or by a few steps from the path, and sat with a view of a lawn and garden. He noticed that I kept putting my hand up to my face. Could I see if I could refrain from making that movement? I said I would try. Now, who in my family had been a lawyer? [Azize was studying to be a lawyer]. Only my uncle on my mother's side. Ah. And what about my body, which side did I take after? Not sure ... well, my nose is like my mother's side. And your baldness? That's like my uncle. Which uncle? My mother's brother, the barrister. You see? It means that these matters may be essential; so do you like this uncle? Yes, very much. Ah, so it does sound essential. Once more, surprise on surprise. Here he was, after five minutes, showing me gears and levers somewhere inside a control box I had never dreamt was there. Then I started to lift my hand to my face – I looked up at him, and stopped myself at once. You see? You can catch yourself in mid-movement. It is possible.

"And that was my first meeting with Adie – Mr Adie to me. In that first personal encounter he taught me something both about my physical descent and about my chance of conscious ascent. I had truly met the man who had laughed so cleanly at my childish enthusiasm."

~ Joseph Azize "George Adie - A Gurdjieff Pupil in Australia”




MR. S: I frequently remember my aim but have not the energy to do what I feel I should do.

Gurdjieff: Man has no energy to fulfill voluntary aims because all his strength which he acquires at night during his passive state, is used up in his negative manifestations. These are his automatic manifestations, the opposite from his positive or willed manifestations.

[To gain energy, Mr. Gurdjieff gave an exercise for those who are able already to often automatically remember their aim, but have no strength to do it.]

Sit for a period of at least one hour alone. Make all muscles relaxed. Allow associations to proceed but do not be absorbed by them. Say to them: “If you will let me do my business now, I will later grant your wishes." Look at associations as another being to keep from identifying yourself with them.

At the end of an hour take a piece of paper and write your aim on it. Make this paper your God. Everything else is nothing. Take from your pocket and read it constantly everyday, In this way, it becomes part of you. At first theoretically, later actually.

To gain energy, practise this exercise of sitting still and making your muscles dead. Only when everything in you is quiet for an hour, then make your decision about your aim. Don’t let associations absorb you.

~ "Gurdjieff's Early Talks 1914-1931"



Before lunch, Alice is speaking with Gurdjieff and tells him that Krokodile is upset, having realized that day that the separation will be nearly six months.

GURDJIEFF: [to Krokodile/Kathryn Hulme] We not be separate as long as with inside same idea have. This going not will touch your inner world. We are together. Soon again we will meet.

~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"

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