GEORGE GURDJIEFF QUOTES - FEB. 25
SUFFERING IS ALSO A STICK WITH TWO ENDS. ONE LEADS TO THE ANGEL, THE OTHER TO-THE DEVIL
QUESTION: Is it necessary to suffer all the time to keep conscience open?
GURDJIEFF: Suffering can be of very different kinds. Suffering is also a stick with two ends. One leads to the angel, the other to-the devil. Man is a very complicated machine. Side by side with every good road there is a corresponding bad one. One thing is always side by side with another. Where there is little good there is also little bad; where there is much good there is also much bad. The same with suffering—it is very easy to find oneself on the other road. Suffering easily becomes transformed into pleasure. You are hit once—you are hurt; the second time you are less hurt. The fifth time you already wish to be hit. One must be on guard, one must know what is necessary at each moment, because from the road one may fall into the ditch.
~ “Gurdjieff’s Early Talks 1914-1931”
IF HIS ACTIONS ARE OPPOSED TO THOSE WHICH ARE DEMANDED BY A GIVEN RELIGION HE CANNOT ASSERT THAT HE BELONGS TO THAT RELIGION
“Religion is ‘doing’; a man does not merely think his religion or feel it, he ‘lives’ his religion as much as he is able, otherwise it is not religion but fantasy or philosophy. Whether he likes it or not he shows his attitude towards religion by his actions and he can show his attitude only by his actions. Therefore if his actions are opposed to those which are demanded by a given religion he cannot assert that he belongs to that religion.”
~ George Gurdjieff
EACH SATISFACTION MUST BE PAID FOR BY A DISSATISFACTION
“There is a cosmic law—an objective law which says that each satisfaction must be paid for by a dissatisfaction. And each dissatisfaction a man must sooner or later pay for by a satisfaction. What one sows, one reaps.”
~ George Gurdjieff “Paris/Wartime Meetings”
OUR SPECIAL TIME WITH GURDJIEFF BEGAN WITH SESSIONS OF STUDYING HIM FROM A DISCREET DISTANCE
“Our special time with Gurdjieff began with sessions of studying him from a discreet distance across the salle from “his place” in the Cafe de la Paix, to which he returned unheralded just before Jane Heap left for London. We were three Americans in her liquidated Paris group – Solita Solano, Louise Davidson and myself – who refused to take No for an answer. No, he is ‘not’ organizing any new groups . . . No, he will ‘not’ teach again, except through the medium of his books on which he has been engaged for the past six years. . . No use hoping, he is in another phase of his work now.
“We passed the cafe every morning, looked in to see if he was there. If so, we went in and sat opposite, quietly watchful, disturbingly wishful. When he looked up from his writing he could see us (but never seemed to) like three blackbirds sitting in a row, sipping coffee the way he drank it – with a section of lemon squeezed into it. Occasionally Margaret Anderson and Georgette Leblanc, on a visit from their lighthouse in Tancarville, joined the watch. Then there were five highly vibrating beggars waiting for a crumb from the master's table.
“We did not think this activity strange in the least, although I realize that in today's faithless world my picture of our preoccupation must appear bizarre, suggesting that Gurdjieff was some sort of god in our eyes. He was, in the sense that any genius is godlike. We believed quite simply that we were in the presence of a great teacher who had formulated for the modern mind a sublime cosmogony with ladders in it to help mankind out of its caves. One day, we were sure, he would acknowledge our persistence. One day, perhaps, he might help us out of the underground dens we inhabited, like the deluded humans in Plato's famous analogy the Myth of the Cave which we were then reading.”
~ Kathryn Hulme “Undiscovered Country”
WHEN HE WAS WITH ANY OF US... WE RECEIVED HIS TOTAL ATTENTION
“It did not cross my mind that Gurdjieff could have been, in any sense at all, wrong. There was no question but that I believed in him with my whole being, absolutely. He could do no wrong. Oddly enough, and I find this hard to explain to anyone who did not know him personally, my devotion to him was not fanatical. I did not believe in him as one believes in a god. He was right, always, to me, for simple, logical reasons. His unusual “mode of life”, even such things as the disorder of his rooms, calling for coffee at all hours of the day or night, seemed far more logical than the so-called normal way of living. He did whatever he did when he wanted or needed to. He was invariably concerned with others, and considerate of them. He never failed, for example, to thank me and to apologize to me when I had to bring him coffee, half-asleep, at three o'clock in the morning. I knew instinctively that such consideration was something far more than ordinary, acquired courtesy. And, perhaps this was the clue, he was interested. Whenever I saw him, whenever he gave me an order, he was fully aware of me, completely concentrated on whatever words he said to me; his attention never wandered when I spoke to him. He always knew exactly what I was doing, what I had done. I think we must all have felt, certainly I did, when he was with any of us, that we received his total attention. I can think of nothing more complimentary in human relations.”
~ Fritz Peters “Boyhood With Gurdjieff”