MARCH 3 — GEORGE GURDJIEFF QUOTES
WHETHER THROUGH HIS OWN FAULT OR NOT, THE BATTLE WILL ALREADY BE LOST
In ordinary life, too, there are many ‘diplomats’, who can easily deceive those who are good and simple, even though not particularly stupid. Many of the latter do not even conceive that people can use such tactics, and so invariably lose their battles. Take the lives of a husband and wife, for example, with all their major and minor love scenes, their quarrels and arguments: often they do not suspect the existence in themselves of the ‘third’ and ‘fourth’ persons, or possibly one may and the other not. Thus the weaker one uses only his ‘first’ voice against the other two, because his own inner voice is often undeveloped and thus not of a harmful nature. This weaker partner may well be on his guard in speaking to a stranger, using his own natural reserve, but in conversation with someone he believes he has no need to fear (often for some very naive or trivial reason, such as coming from the same town or village!) he will relax. It may well be that he has known this person for a long time, or that it is someone who has been strongly recommended to him, or more rarely it could be the result of some calculated conspiracy between others; but whatever the reason, and whether through his own fault or not, the battle will already be lost.
~ Anna Butkowsky "With Gurdjieff in St. Petersburg and Paris"
AT THE MOMENT WHEN YOU FEEL YOUR DOGS, STRUGGLE AGAINST THEM
Questioner: At present our dogs [inner animals] oblige us to use others for our ends.
Gurdjieff: There you have good ground for being-work. Today you are an ordinary man; in your work try to be a superior man. Afterward perhaps you will be a complete man, a real man. At the moment when you feel your dogs, struggle against them; this conflict is necessary for you, in order to become a real man; it's good soil for the work. And there are still more dogs in you that are invisible.
Questioner: But shouldn't one give up using egotistically one's power over others?
Gurdjieff: Today you do it unconsciously; try to do it consciously. Then it will be good, both for them and for you.
~ George Gurdjieff “Paris/Wartime Meetings”
VANITY AND SELF-LOVE HAVE A GOOD AS WELL AS A BAD SIDE
I said that we have many independent enemies, but the chief and most active are vanity and self-love. One teaching even calls them representatives and messengers of the devil himself.
For some reason they are also called Mrs. Vanity and Mr. Self-Love.
As I have said, there are many enemies. I have mentioned only these two as the most fundamental. At the moment it is hard to enumerate them all. It would be difficult to work on each of them directly and specifically, and it would take too much time since there are so many. So we have to deal with them indirectly in order to free ourselves from several at once. These representatives of the devil stand unceasingly at the threshold which separates us from the outside, and prevent not only good but also bad external influences from entering. Thus they have a good side as well as a bad side.
For a man who wishes to discriminate among the influences he receives, it is an advantage to have these watchmen. But if a man wishes all influences to enter, no matter what they may be — for it is impossible to select only the good ones — he must liberate himself as much as possible, and finally altogether, from these watchmen, whom some consider undesirable. For this there are many methods, and a great number of means. Personally I would advise you to try freeing yourselves and to do so without unnecessary theorizing, by simple reasoning, active reasoning, with yourselves.
~ George Gurdjieff "Views from the Real World"
THERE IS A PROVIDENTIAL POWER AT WORK IN THE WORLD
More than seventy years have passed since I began to ask questions and remember the answers. I asked my mother: "Why can't we see God?" to which she replied, "I expect He doesn't want us to." This did not satisfy me then, but it satisfies me now. I can understand much better why some mysteries must remain mysteries and why others can be revealed. I am wholly convinced that there is a Providential Power at work in the world, but it cannot help us without our consent. I finish this new edition of Witness as I did the first by quoting Gurdjieff:
"Two things have no limit: the stupidity of man and the mercy of God."
~ JG Bennett "Witness"