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Many evenings in the salon with its beautiful gray walls and red curtains, a chapter of Beelzebub's Tales was read in Russian, French, German, or English, depending on which guests were at the Prieuré. Regardless of the language read, I felt the flow of the chapter and recognized certain words. As I began to know the content of the chapters, it didn't matter what language they were read in. The unfamiliar Russian was like a dress which clothed a familiar body.

There slowly developed in us the capacity to "make oneself empty," to learn to open, to listen. Something new can enter only when there is space. This is a much more difficult process than most people want to believe. It is the freeing of the purely subjective thinking and picturing kaleidoscope, which we received automatically, and the acquisition of a consciously functioning, ever true, objective wealth in its place.

~ Louise Goepfert March “The Gurdjieff Years”



Questioner: That's why I ask the question. I am there and I feel too tranquil.

Gurdjieff: You imagine, you believe that you shall go directly to Paradise. No, here there must be efforts above the ordinary. For example, for this person (he indicates a newcomer) it is good enough for her, but you, you shall not go far with this. You must begin to make a super effort, and now, if you do not do it, it is because you do not have an aim. How can you stay calm? With the effort you are making today, you will never succeed. A normal person could not be calm.

Questioner: It is just for that reason that this makes me restless.

Gurdjieff: It is necessary here to make efforts. You are accustomed to performing as before in life. Before, this want, now already it is not enough. The effort must strain all your muscles, all your nerves, all your brain even. A similar concentration must be yours. You should have been doing it for a long time. In the beginning, for a new person it is pardonable. For you, you have the taste for real work. You must realize it in your ordinary life. I am; always: I am. Never forget. Little by little your "I" shall make a contact with your essence. It is necessary to repeat it many times.

~ George Gurdjieff "Paris/Wartime Meetings"



Associative influences, on the other hand, are quite different [from chemico-physical]. Let us take first the associative influences on me of "form." Form influences me. I am accustomed to see a particular form, and when it is absent I am afraid. Form gives the initial shock to my associations. For example, beauty is also form. In reality we cannot see form as it is, we only see an image. The second of these associative influences is my feelings, my sympathies or antipathies.

Your feelings affect me, my feelings react correspondingly. But sometimes it happens the other way round. It depends on the combinations. Either you influence me or I influence you. This influence may be called "relationship."

The third of these associative influences may be called "persuasion" or "suggestion." For example, one man persuades another with words. One persuades you, you persuade another. Everybody persuades, everybody suggests.

The fourth of these associative influences is the superiority of one man over another. Here there may be no influence of form or feeling. You may know that a given man is more clever, wealthier, can talk about certain things; in a word, possesses something special, some authority. This affects you because it is superior to you, and it happens without any feelings.

~ George Gurdjieff "Views from the Real World"



(He [Gurdjieff] excoriates newspaper articles and the nonentities who write them.)

They are nothing, but use words to cover nothingness. I, from nothing, nothing can take. Normal man cannot take where is nothing, But psychopathic man can take, with his wish and imagination he see something where is nothing.

~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"

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