MARCH 16 — GEORGE GURDJIEFF QUOTES
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TWO KINDS OF MENTATION — MENTATION BY WORD AND MENTATION BY FORM
"In the first chapter of Beelzebub's Tales, Gurdjieff dwelt on the importance of the two kinds of mentation — mentation by word and mentation by form. This idea arrested me. How very important it was to understand this. If I use a word, and someone else from a different culture, or even from a different family, associates in images other than I do with that word, then I have not really communicated with that person. I have only an illusion that my thought, expressed in words, has reached the other person. The listener has only an illusion that he has understood my thought."
~ Louise Goepfert March “The Gurdjieff Years”
YOU MUST EDUCATE YOUR BODY WITH YOUR HEAD
Questioner: Is it possible in actual conditions to avoid a too inharmonic development of the body in regard to the general development?
Gurdjieff: For the physical development, there exist no seasons. Not political seasons. It is always necessary. You must educate your body with your head, consciously. It is very simple. Never allow it to do what it wants. You make it do everything contrary to that which it loves. It likes sugar, you do not give it any. One must inure it to struggle, you are always right when you resist your body. It is simple. Everything contrary; it is so that God created your body and your intellect. It is a very simple thing. For this it is not necessary to read. The program is very simple. Under all conditions, in all political situations, man must educate his body to be submissive to him. Your personality can educate your body. He in which the body is strong and has the initiative over him, this one is null. He who has his body enslaved is intelligent. You understand what is meant by intelligent? Intelligent means he who directs his body. If the body directs, you are a nullity, a peasant—if you direct your body you are intelligent. Thus, choose what you want. Intelligent or peasant? If you want to be a peasant, let your body direct you. If you want to be intelligent, let your consciousness direct your body. The more you want to direct your body, the more it opposes you. And in resisting you, the more strength it gives you.
~ George Gurdjieff "Paris/Wartime Meetings"
IT IS IMPORTANT TO LEARN TO DISTINGUISH THIS ATTENTION FROM MECHANICAL ATTENTION
"Music played during exercises diverts the movement innate in us which in life is the chief source of interference. Music alone cannot separate the whole of our unconscious automatism, but it is one of the aids to this. Music cannot draw away the whole of our mechanicalness, but for the moment, owing to the absence of other means, we shall use only music.
"One thing is important: while performing all the given external tasks to the accompaniment of music, you must learn from the beginning not to pay attention to the music but to listen to it automatically. At first, attention will stray to the music from time to time, but later it will be possible to listen to music and other things entirely with automatic attention, the nature of which is different.
"It is important to learn to distinguish this attention from mechanical attention. As long as the two attentions are not separated from one another they remain so alike that an ignorant person is unable to distinguish between them. Full, deep, highly concentrated attention makes it possible to separate the one from the other. Learn to know the difference between these two kinds of attention by taste in order to discriminate between our incoming thoughts, information on one side and differentiation on the other."
~ George Gurdjieff "Views from the Real World"
MENTATION MEANS EXACT—DIVIDE, TAKE, AND NOT TAKE
Monday, April 12, 1937
GURDJIEFF: How are you, what notable change have you felt?
KANARI: I have one small strong place no subjective state can touch.
GURDJIEFF: Perhaps you mean that center of gravity is now in your nature, not in your mind.
[He asks Alice if she will have a second helping (of a fourth course).] ALICE: [alarmed] Oh. no thank you, Mr. Gurdjieff, I have no place for it.
GURDJIEFF: Look how she is egoist. [He puts his hand level with his chin.] You speak from here up, you not speak for tapeworm. Tapewarm is in your presence, you must not make angry, you must with him be indulgent. Who be kind to tapeworm, who satisfy, tapeworm help him achieve what he wish,
[Later, Miss Gordon is telling him something and uses a fuzzy word which she tries to explain and says, “I think..." and then says something about English words analogous to thinking.]
GURDJIEFF: You have think, ponder, meditate—but not this word (which he gives in Russian) which mean mentation. Mentation means exact—divide, take, and not take.
~ “Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope”