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"This property belonged to the widow of a famous lawyer, Fernand Labori, who had defended and liberated Dreyfus. As payment, the Dreyfus family had given the Prieuré to him. The house was a remodelled mansion of the seventeenth or eighteenth century that once had been a monastery for priors, so it was called the Prieuré. The rumour was that it had once been the residence of Madame de Maintenon.

"Mr Gurdjieff gave my wife the task of arranging the terms with the owner. In Berlin he had begun to train her as his secretary and assistant. He had taught her how to keep attention alert, how to develop memory and how to try in all circumstances to remember herself. He now told her how to act with Madame Labori, the owner of the Prieuré — to hold in mind at all times what she wished to get from her and not for a single moment to lose this thought. Such advice from Mr Gurdjieff was like gold to those who really tried to work with him."

~ Thomas de Hartmann “Our Life With Mr. Gurdjieff”

"Everything would have been wonderful except for Madame Labori’s condition that her gardener should remain in the nice little garden house by the gate. Mr Gurdjieff wished the gardener to leave, so he asked me to go to her again and persuade her to send the gardener away. I was almost sure that she would not do that, as we had only just rented the house and it was filled with antique paintings and furniture of great value. Mr Gurdjieff told me, ‘Even if you speak with her about the most trivial things, but have uppermost in your mind that the gardener has to leave, she will do it.’ I took it as an exercise from Mr Gurdjieff and tried to do as he told me. To my great astonishment, after about a half hour’s conversation, she said, ‘Yes, all right, I will send the gardener away. I trust you that nothing will be ruined in the house.’ And I had not even suggested it to her!"

~ Olga de Hartmann “Our Life With Mr. Gurdjieff”



“[O]rdinary man... can live all his life as he is.

“At the same time Nature has given him the possibility of changing, but this does not mean that any change will necessarily take place.

“This change you speak of is possible, but it is difficult to say if anyone has the chance of reaching it. There are many reasons not dependant on us, which may prevent this.

“The chief reason is... Nature in her foresight has given to man's machine a certain property, which protects the man from feeling and sensing reality.”

~ George Gurdjieff “Gurdjieff's Early Talks 1914-1931”



Everything living has an atmosphere around itself. The difference lies only in its size. The larger the organism, the larger its atmosphere. In this respect every organism can be com- pared to a factory. A factory has an atmosphere around it composed of smoke, steam, waste materials and certain admixtures which evaporate in the process of production. The value of these component parts varies. In exactly the same way, human atmosphere is composed of different elements. And as the atmosphere of different factories has a different smell, so has the atmosphere of different people. For a more sensitive nose, for instance for a dog, it is impossible to confuse the atmosphere of one man with the atmosphere of another.

I have said that man is also a station for transforming substances. Parts of the substances produced in the organism are used for the transformation of other matters, while other parts go into his atmosphere, that is, are lost.

So here, too, the same thing happens as in a factory.

Thus the organism works not only for itself, but also for something else. Men of Knowledge know how to retain the fine matters in themselves and accumulate them. Only a large accumulation of these fine matters enables a second and lighter body to be formed within man.

Ordinarily, however, the matters composing man's atmosphere are constantly used up and replaced by man's inner work.

Man's atmosphere does not necessarily have the shape of a sphere. It constantly changes its form. In times of strain, of threat or of danger, it becomes stretched out in the direction of the strain. Then the opposite side becomes thinner.

Man's atmosphere takes up a certain space. Within the limits of this space it is attracted by the organism, but beyond a certain limit particles of the atmosphere become torn off and return no more. This can happen if the atmosphere is greatly stretched out in one direction.

The same happens when a man moves. Particles of his atmosphere become torn off, are left behind and produce a "trail" by which a man can be traced. These particles may quickly mix with the air and dissolve, but they may also stay in place for a fairly long time. Particles of atmosphere also settle on a man's clothes, underclothes and other things belonging to him, so that a kind of track remains between them and the man.

Magnetism, hypnotism and telepathy are phenomena of the same order. The action of magnetism is direct; the action of hypnotism is at a short distance through the atmosphere; telepathy is action at a greater distance. Telepathy is analogous to the telephone or telegraph. In these, the connections are metal wires, but in telepathy they are the trail of particles left by man. A man who has the gift of telepathy can fill this trail with his own matter and thus establish a connection, forming as it were a cable through which he can act on a man's mind. If he possesses some object belonging to a man, then, having thus established a connection, he fashions round this object an image out of wax or clay and, acting upon it, thus acts on the man himself.

~ George Gurdjieff "Views From the Real World"

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