- Fourth Way
:"For P.D. Ouspensky's book titled 'The Fourth Way' see
Fourth Way (book). For the jazz group, see The Fourth Way (band)."
In his early lectures
G.I. Gurdjieffdescribed his approach to self-development as a Fourth Way. [ P.D. Ouspensky(1949), In Search of the Miraculous, Chapter 2] In contrast to the three eastern teachings that emphasize the development of the body, mind, or the emotions separately, Gurdjieff's exercises worked on all three at the same time to promote comprehensive and balanced inner development. Today, Gurdjieff's teachings are also sometimes referred to as "The Work", "The Gurdjieff Work", "Work on oneself" or simply the "Work". [ [http://www.gurdjieff.org/index.en.htm Gurdjieff International Review] ] Though Gurdjieff never put major significance on the term "Fourth Way" and never used the term in his writings, his pupil P.D. Ouspenskymade the term and its use central to his own teaching of the Gurdjieff Ideas. After Ouspensky's death, his students published a book with that name, based on his lectures.
Gurdjieff's teaching mainly addresses the question of people's place in the Universe and their possibilities for inner development. He also emphasized that people live their lives in a state referred to as "waking sleep," but that higher levels of consciousness, higher bodies, and various inner abilities are possible. [ [http://r.hodges.home.comcast.net/G/html/School.html G. I. Gurdjieff and His School by Jacob Needleman Professor of Philosophy] ]
Gurdjieff taught people how to increase and focus their attention and energy in various ways, and to minimize daydreaming and absentmindedness. [
G.I. Gurdjieff(first privately printed in 1974). Life is Real Only Then, When 'I Am'] [Olga de Hartmann (1973). Views from the Real World, Energy and Sleep] According to his teaching, this inner development in oneself is the beginning of a possible further process of change, whose aim is to transform a man into what Gurdjieff taught he ought to be. [ G.I. Gurdjieff(1950). Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson]
Some of those who had contact with Gurdjieff saw him as a spiritual Master [Meetings with Remarkable Men, Translator's Note] – someone who possessed what Gurdjieff himself called objective consciousness - in other words a human being who is fully awake or enlightened. Others saw him as an esotericist or
occultist. [ [http://skepdic.com/gurdjief.html Gurdjieff article in "The Skeptic's dictionary"] by Robert Todd Carroll] Gurdjieff widely admitted his teaching was esoteric but he claimed that none of it was veiled in secrecy. Rather, Gurdjieff claimed that many people either don't have an interest or the capability to understand certain ideas. When asked about the teaching he was setting forth, Gurdjieff said, "The teaching whose theory is here being set out is completely self supporting and independent of other lines and it has been completely unknown up to the present time." The exact origins of Gurdjieff's teachings are unknown, but various people have offered various sources. Gurdjieff taught that humans are not born with a soul, and are not really Conscious, but only "believe" they are Conscious because of the socialization process. Man must "create/develop" a soul through the course of his life by following a teaching which can lead to this aim, or he will "die like a dog". Gurdjieff taught that men are born "asleep", live in "sleep" and die in "sleep", only "imagining" that they are awake. He also taught that the ordinary waking "consciousness" of human beings was not consciousness at all but merely a form of sleep, and that actual higher Consciousness is possible. To provide conditions in which attention could be exercised more intensively, Gurdjieff also taught his pupils "sacred dances" or "movements", now known as Gurdjieff movements, which they performed together as a group, [ [http://www.gurdjieff-heritage-society.org/excerptsbook.htm Gurdjieff Heritage Society Book Excerpts ] ] and he left a body of music inspired by what he heard in visits to remote monasteries and other places, which was written for piano in collaboration with one of his pupils, Thomas de Hartmann. [ [http://www.gurdjieff.org/mangan1.html Thomas de Hartmann: A Composer’s Life] by John Mangan]
Gurdjieff claimed that there were only three ordinary ways for real spiritual development. Gurdjieff referred to his methods as the "Fourth Way." [
P.D. Ouspensky(1949), In Search of the Miraculous, Chapter 2]
The first three ways are:
* "The way of the
:The "fakir" struggles with the
physical bodyand self-mastery through difficult physical exercises and postures.
* "The way of the
:The way of the "monk" (or nun) represents the way of faith, the cultivation of emotional feelings.
* "The way of the
:The "yogi"'s approach is through knowledge and the mind.
The Fourth Way
Gurdjieff said that his Fourth Way was a quicker means than the first three ways because it simultaneously combined work on all three centers rather than focusing on one as is done in the first three ways, and that it could be followed by ordinary people in everyday life, requiring no retirement into the desert.
The Fourth Way does involve certain conditions imposed by a teacher, but blind acceptance of them is not encouraged. Each student is advised to do only what they understand, and to verify for themselves the veracity of the teaching's ideas. The Fourth Way requires supreme effort to devote oneself continuously to inner work, even though one's outward worldly roles may not change much at first, if at all. In spite of his insistence that work without a teacher was next to impossible, Gurdjieff stressed each individual's responsibility:
:"The fourth way differs from the other ways in that the principal demand made upon a man is the demand for understanding. A man must do nothing that he does not understand, except as an experiment under the supervision and direction of his teacher. The more a man understands what he is doing, the greater will be the results of his efforts. This is a fundamental principle of the fourth way. The results of work are in proportion to the consciousness of the work. No "faith" is required on the fourth way; on the contrary, faith of any kind is opposed to the fourth way. On the fourth way a man must satisfy himself of the truth of what he is told. And until he is satisfied he must do nothing."
By its very nature, the Fourth Way is not for everyone. Gurdjieff said that the so-called "secret knowledge" of his transformational system is not "hidden", but that most people are simply not interested. Gurdjieff referred to those capable of receiving the work as "five of twenty of twenty" - only twenty per cent of all people ever think seriously about higher realities. Of these, only twenty per cent ever decide to do anything about it. And of these, only five per cent ever actually get anywhere, or one in five hundred.
By bringing together the way of the Fakir (
Sufitradition), the way of the Yogi ( Hinduand Sikhtraditions) and the way of the Monk ( Christianand Buddhisttraditions, amongst others) Gurdjieff clearly places the Fourth Way at a crossroads of differing beliefs. However, the Fourth Way bears striking similarities with such integral paths as, for instance, Natya Yoga, where the "divine acting" is one of the core concepts too.
One of the notable factors in Gurdjieff's teachings is that all different subjects fit together and relate to each other. Thus by studying one thing, Gurdjieff said that the person simultaneously studies many other subjects. [Olga de Hartmann (1973).
Views from the Real World, Glimpses of Truth]
Ouspensky documented Gurdjieff as saying that "two or three thousand years ago there were yet other ways which no longer exist and the ways now in existence were not so divided, they stood much closer to one another. The fourth way differs from the old and the new ways by the fact that it is never a permanent way. It has no definite forms and there are no institutions connected with it. ["In Search of the Miraculous" by P.D. Ouspensky p. 312]
In the book, "In Search of the Miraculous," it was noted that Gurdjieff taught that once the initial school with the real teacher is finished, all the other schools which try to continue the work presented by the initial school are no longer real.
Gurdjieff indicated that there are fake schools where the teacher either:
* May be genuinely mistaken and think that he knows something, when in reality he knows nothing.
* May believe another man, who in his turn may be mistaken.
* May deceive consciously.
Ouspensky quotes Gurdjieff saying that these teachers lead nowhere, except making the students believe that they are going somewhere. He also added that "It is impossible to recognize a wrong way without knowing the right way. This means that it is no use troubling oneself how to recognize a wrong way. One must think of how to find the right way." [In Search of The Miraculous (Chapter 10)]
Gurdjieff also noted that there are groups of people who believe they follow his knowledge, but they focus only on one or a few aspects of his teachings, and thus obtain negative or wrong results. [Life is Real Only then When 'I am' (First Talk) ]
Origins of the Fourth Way
It was noted in "In Search Of The Miraculous" that Gurdjieff refused to reveal the origins of his teaching or the Fourth Way. Later on in his autobiography, Gurdjieff credited certain people in Asia for many of his ideas, while he nevertheless still refused to divulge the origins of his system. For the origins of his system, and his teachings (as many people didn't accept Gurdjieff's claims on this subject), various intellectual and spiritual debts have been suggested:
*technical vocabulary first appeared in early 19th century
Russian freemasonry, derived from Robert Fludd, by P.D. Ouspensky
Esoteric Christianity, by Boris Mouravieff
Naqshbandi Sufism, by Idries Shah[Idries Shah: The Way of the Sufi, Part 1, Notes and Bibliography, Note 35]
Ahmsta Kebzeh, by Murat Yagan[http://www.kebzeh.org/publications/bk_Ahmsta-Kebzeh_pb.htm]
Tibetan Buddhism, by Jose Tirado [http://www.gurdjieff-internet.com/article_details.php?ID=251&W=39] J. G. Bennetttraces the Fourth Way back in principle to Zoroaster, and explicitly to the 12th century Sufi leader, Abdulkhaliq Gujduvani. (Cf. "The Fourth Way" Bennett's last public lecture, available on CD from jgbennett.net)
imilarities with other teachings
There are some similarities between the Fourth Way teaching and other spiritual teachings.
*The stop exercise is similar to the Uqufi Zamani exercise in
Omar Ali-Shah's book on the Rules or Secrets of the Naqshbandi SufiOrder. [Omar Ali-Shah:The Rules or Secrets of the Naqshbandi Order.]
*The Fourth Way bears striking similarities with such integral paths as, for instance,
Natya Yoga, where the "divine acting", sacred dance and music are some of the core concepts too.
*The insistence on the realization in the waking state, the "waking up" techniques are very similar to those used in
*Well after the promulgation of Gurdjieff’s ideas throughout the 20 and 30’s, subsequent writers have adopted various aspects of Gurdjieff’s teaching. Such is the case with Carlos Castaneda Don Juan's teaching. An example of this type of adaptation is Gurdjieff's moon symbolism, which asserts that humans aren't aware because of the moon. Don Juan taught that humans' awareness is eaten by higher beings. [The Active Side of Infinity by Carlos Castaneda.]
*The teachings on psychology by
Samael Aun Weoralso seems to have adopted similarities to those of the previously established ideas of Gurdjieff. [PierLuigi Zoccatelli, "Note a margine dell’influsso di G. I. Gurdjieff su Samael Aun Weor" ( [http://www.cesnur.org/2005/pa_zoccatelli.htm english translation available online] ), Aries. Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism, Brill Academic Publishers, vol. 5, n. 2 (2005), pp. 255-275]
Teachings and teaching methods
Basis of teachings
Gurdjieff's teachings mainly focused on the acquiring of the ability to constantly perform conscious labors and intentional suffering. [
G.I. Gurdjieff(1950). Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson]
Conscious Labors - This is a labor where the person who is performing the act is not absentminded during his act, but rather is "remembering himself" the entire time and what he is doing; and at the same time he is striving to perform the act more efficiently.
Intentional suffering - This is the act of struggling against the desires of the physical body such as daydreaming, pleasure, food (in terms of eating for reasons other than real hunger), etc... In
Beelzebub's Talesit states that "the greatest "intentional suffering" can be obtained in our presences by compelling ourselves to endure the displeasing manifestations of others toward ourselves" [ G.I. Gurdjieff(1950). Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, pg 242]
Gurdjieff claimed that these two acts were the basis of all evolution of man.
Gurdjieff's teachings dealt with an enormous number of subjects. His main explanations revolved around the following: Consciousness, Subconsciousness, Higher Consciousness, Conscience, Remorse of Conscience, The Physical Body's Functions, Higher Bodies, Centers, Self-Awareness, Knowledge vs. Understanding, Essence vs Personality, Universal Laws,
Enneagram, Ray of Creation, Human History, Language, Hypnotism, Sacred Dance, Sacred Music, Humans' Natural Weaknesses...some are expanded below:
One aspect is to strive to observe in one's self the certain behaviors and habits which are usually only observed in others, and to observe them in one's self as dispassionately as one may observe them in others; to observe one's self as an interesting stranger. Another aspect is to attempt to discover in one's self an attention that can differentiate between the actual thoughts, feelings, and sensations that are taking place at the moment, without judging or analyzing what is observed. [ [http://www.danzasdegurdjieff.com/auto-e.htm Gurdjieff & the Further Reaches of Self-Observation] , an article by
Division of Attention - "(Preliminary exercise to Self-Remembering)"
Gurdjieff encouraged his students to cultivate the ability to divide their attention, that is, the ability to remain fully focused on an external object or internal thought while being aware of oneself. One might, for instance, let part of one's attention dwell in one's little finger, while the other half is aware of our own presence. In the division of attention, in the initial stages one may need to go back and forth between one thing and another. However, experiencing them both fully and simultaneously is the aim.
Beyond the division of attention lies "remembering oneself" - a state, which is permanent in a "conscious" person, while fleeting and temporary in the average people. In this state a person sees what is seen without ever losing sight of himself seeing. Ordinarily, when concentrating on something, people lose their sense of "I," although they may, as it were, passively react to the stimulus they are concentrating on. In self-remembering the "I" is not lost.
The Need for Efforts
Gurdjieff emphasized that awakening results from consistent, prolonged efforts. These efforts are the ones that are made after a person is already exhausted and feels that he can't go anymore, but nevertheless he pushes himself.
The Many 'I's
Many I's is a term which indicates the different feelings and thoughts of ‘I’ in a person: I think, I want, I know best, I prefer, I am happy, I am hungry, I am tired, etc. These feelings and thoughts of ‘I’ usually have nothing in common with one another, and are present for short periods of time. They tie in directly with Gurdjieff's claim that man has no unity in himself. This lack of unity results in wanting one thing now, and another, perhaps contradictory, thing later.
Gurdjieff claimed that people's bodies are over-tensed during their actions, and thus they unnecessarily waste a lot of energy. Gurdjieff focused on ways of relaxing the physical body and minimizing the tenseness of the human muscles.
Centers (Fourth Way)
Gurdjieff classified plants as having one center, animals two and humans three. Centers refer to apparatuses within a being that dictate specific organic functions. There are three main centers in a man: intellectual, emotional and physical, and two higher centers: higher emotional and higher intellectual.
Body, Essence and Personality
Gurdjieff divided people into three independent parts, that is, into "Body", "Essence" and "Personality". Body is the physical functions of a body. Essence - is a "natural part of a person" or "what he is born with". Personality - is everything artificial that he has "learned" and "seen".It was taught that Essence is the part of a being which is able to evolve.
The two main cosmic laws on which Gurdjieff focused on are the "Law of Three" and the "Law of Seven".
The Law of Three is also called "Triamazikamno" and is described by Gurdjieff as "the second fundamental cosmic law".
The law states that every whole phenomenon is composed of three separate sources, which are
Active, Passiveand Reconciling or Neutral. This law applies to everything in the universeand humanity, as well as all the structures and processes.
The Three Centers in a human, which Gurdjieff said were the Intellectual Centre, the Emotional Centre and the Moving Centre, are an expression of the law of three.
Gurdjieff taught his students to think of the law of three forces as essential to transforming the
energyof the human being. The process of transformation requires the three actions of affirmation, denialand reconciliation.
The Law of Seven is also called "Heptaparaparshinokh" and is described by Gurdjieff as "the first fundamental cosmic law".
The law of seven is used to explain processes. The basic use of the law of seven is to explain why nothing in nature and in life constantly occurs in a straight line, that is to say that there are always ups and downs in life which occur lawfully. Examples of this can be noticed in athletic performances, where a high ranked athlete always has periodic downfalls, as well as in nearly all graphs that plot topics that occur over time, such as the economic graphs, population graphs, death-rate graphs and so on. All show parabolic periods that keep rising and falling. Gurdjieff claimed that since these periods occur lawfully based on the law of seven that it is possible to keep a process in a straight line if the necessary shocks were introduced at the right time.
How the law of seven functions is illustrated on the
Enneagram. A piano keyboard is also a good place to begin one's study of the law of seven, as the seven notes of the major scale correspond exactly to it.
Law of Accident
Gurdjieff and his followers have written that one of the major aims of the Fourth Way system is to escape from the influence of the Law of Accident.
Gurdjieff was documented as teaching that people assimilate and transubstantiate certain matter which upon their death is released from their body and transferred to the Moon. [
G.I. Gurdjieff(1950). Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, pg 1105] The simplest way of explaining this theory is by comparing it to other Biogeochemical cycle such as the Carbon Cycle or the Nitrogen Cycle. In the nitrogen cycle, bacteria assimilate and transfer nitrogen from the soil into the atmosphere. Parallel to this, in Gurdjieff's moon theory, humans assimilate a certain type of matter in order that it is transferred from the Earth to the Moon. [ G.I. Gurdjieff(1950). Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, pg 1105]
The use of symbols
In his explanations Gurdjieff often used different symbols such as the Enneagram and the
Ray of Creation. Gurdjieff said that "the enneagram is a universal symbol. All knowledge can be included in the enneagram and with the help of the enneagram it can be interpreted ... A man may be quite alone in the desert and he can trace the enneagram in the sand and in it read the eternal laws of the universe. And every time he can learn something new, something he did not know before." [ [http://www.endlesssearch.co.uk/philo_enneagramtalk.htm A Lecture by G.I. Gurdjieff] ] The ray of creation is a diagram which represents the Earth's place in the Universe. The diagram has eight levels, each corresponding to Gurdjieff's laws of octaves.
Through the elaboration of the law of octaves and the meaning of the enneagram, Gurdjieff offered his students alternative means of conceptualizing the world and their place in it.
Working conditions and sacred dances
To provide conditions in which attention could be exercised more intensively, Gurdjieff also taught his pupils "sacred dances" or "movements" which they performed together as a group, and he left a body of music inspired by what he heard in visits to remote monasteries and other places, which was written for piano in collaboration with one of his pupils,
Thomas de Hartmann.
Gurdjieff laid emphasis on the idea that the seeker must conduct his or her own search. The teacher cannot do the student's work for the student, but is more of a guide on the path to self-discovery. As a teacher, Gurdjieff specialized in creating conditions for students - conditions in which growth was possible, in which efficient progress could be made by the willing. To find oneself in a set of conditions that a gifted teacher has arranged has another benefit. As Gurdjieff put it, "You must realize that each man has a definite repertoire of roles which he plays in ordinary circumstances ... but put him into even only slightly different circumstances and he is unable to find a suitable role and for a short time he becomes himself."
Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man
Having migrated for four years after escaping the Russian revolution with dozens of followers and family members, Gurdjieff settled in France and established his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at the Château Le Prieuré at Fontainebleau-Avon in October 1922. [ [http://www.gurdjieff.org/institute.htm Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man ] ] The institute was an esoteric school based on Gurdjieff's Fourth Way teaching. After nearly dying in a car crash in 1924, he recovered and closed down the Institute. He began writing All and Everything. From 1930, Gurdjieff made visits to North America where he resumed his teachings.
Ouspensky relates that in the early work with Gurdjieff in
Moscowand Saint Petersburg, Gurdjieff forbade students from writing down or publishing anything connected with Gurdjieff and his ideas. Gurdjieff said that students of his methods would find themselves unable to transmit correctly what was said in the groups. Later, Gurdjieff relaxed this rule, accepting students who subsequently published accounts of their experiences in the Gurdjieff work.
After Gurdjieff's death in 1949 a variety of groups around the world have attempted to continue The Work. The Gurdjieff Foundation, the largest organization directly spawned by Mr. Gurdjieff, was organized by
Jeanne de Salzmannduring the early 1950s and was led by her, in cooperation with other direct pupils. [ [http://www.gurdjieff.org/foundation.htm The Gurdjieff Foundation ] ] J. G. Bennettran groups and also made contact with the Subudand Sufischools to develop The Work in different directions. Maurice Nicoll, a Jungian psychologist, also ran his own groups based on Gurdjieff and Ouspensky's ideas.The French institute was headed for many years by Madam de Salzman - a direct pupil of Gurdjieff. Under her leadership, the Gurdjieff Societies of London and New York were founded and developed.
There is much debate as to the ability of one to follow Gurdjieff's ideas after his death through groups, with some critics pointing to the fact that none of Gurdjieff's students were (apparently) able to raise themselves to his level of understanding. Proponents of the continued viability of Gurdjieff's system, and its study through the use of groups, however, point to Gurdjieff's insistence on the training of initiates specifically in the task of interpreting and disseminating the ideas that he expressed cryptically in
Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson. This, combined with Gurdjieff's almost fanatical dedication to the completion of this text, suggest that Gurdjieff himself intended his ideas to continue to be practiced and taught long after his death.
Other proponents are not concerned with external factors, but rather point to the good inner results achieved through a sincere practice of Gurdjieff's system.
Gurdjieff's notable pupils include [http://www.gurdjieff.org/ (click "His Pupils" on the left side)] :
Jeanne de Salzmann
Jeanne de Salzmann(1889 – 1990) was a close pupil of G. I. Gurdjieff, recognized as his deputy by many of Gurdjieff's other pupils. She was responsible for transmitting the movements and teachings of Gurdjieff through the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York, the Gurdjieff Institute of Paris and other formal and informal groups throughout the world.She began her career at the Conservatory of Geneva, studying piano, orchestral conduction and musical composition. Later a student of Emile Jacques-Dalcroze in Germany from 1912, she taught dance and rhythmic movements. The Russian revolution triggered a move for Jeanne and her husband Alexandre to Tiflis, Georgia where she continued to teach.
The Gurdjieff Foundation, the largest organization directly linked to Mr. Gurdjieff, was organized by Jeanne de Salzmann during the early 1950s and led by her, in cooperation with other direct pupils, until her death in 1990. From that year until his passing in August 2001, Dr. Michel de Salzmann directed the network of Gurdjieff foundations, societies, and institutes. The work of the Foundation continues today with the guidance of direct pupils and the next generation. The Foundation is registered under the name “The Gurdjieff Foundation” in the USA, by the name “The Gurdjieff Society” in the UK, and in France under the name “Institut Gurdjieff.”
Willem Nyland was, after Jeanne de Salzmann, Gurdjieff's closest pupil; he was appointed for an undisclosed special task by Gurdjieff in the USA. At present, Mr. Nyland's groups exist in small concentrations across the United States, most notably at two locations, one termed "The Barn" in rural New York, and another termed "The Land" in Northern California. These groups are thought to be unique amongst recognized Gurdjieff groups, in that they are the only groups to have recorded their original meetings, resulting in an audio library in excess of many thousands of hours featuring almost exclusively talks by an actual first-hand student of Gurdjieff.
Lord Pentland (Henry John Sinclair) was a pupil of Ouspensky for many years during the 1930s and 1940s. He began to study intensely with Gurdjieff in 1948. He was appointed by Gurdjieff as his representative to publish
Beelzebub's Tales, and then Gurdjieff appointed him to lead the Work in North America. He became president of the Gurdjieff Foundation when it was established in New York in 1953 and remained in that position until his death.
Jane Heap( 1883- 1964) was an American publisher and a significant figure in the development and promotion of literary modernism. Heap herself has been called “one of the most neglected contributors to the transmission of modernism between America and Europe during the early twentieth century.” [Baggett, Holly. Dear Tiny Heart : The Letters of Jane Heap & Florence Reynolds. New York, NY, USA: New York University Press, 1999. p 2.] Heap met G. I. Gurdjieff during his 1924 visit to New York, and was so impressed with his philosophy that she set up a Gurdjieff study group at her apartment in Greenwich Village. In 1925, she moved to Paris, to study at Gurdjieff’s Institute. Heap established a Paris Gurdjieff study group in 1927, which continued to grow in popularity through the early 1930s. This developed into an all-women Gurdjieff study group known as “the Rope”, taught jointly by Heap and by Gurdjieff himself.
In 1935, Gurdjieff sent Heap to London in 1935 to set up a new study group. She would remain in London for the rest of her life, including throughout the Blitz. Her study group became very popular with certain sections of the London avant-garde, and after the war its students included the future theatre producer and director, Peter Brook.
Peter D. Ouspenskywas a Russian philosopher with an analytic and mystical bent who combined geometry and psychology in his discussion of higher dimensions of existence. His travels throughout Europe and the East, looking for centers of esoteric knowledge, were unproductive. Upon his return to Russia in 1916, he was introduced to Gurdjieff and spent the next few years studying with him. After the Bolshevik Revolution he broke off from Gurdjieff and formed his own independent groups which also focused on the Fourth Way. Today, Ouspensky is one of the best known Gurdjieff's pupils. His book, In Search of the Miraculous, provides what is probably the most concise explanation of the material that was included.
On the subject of Fourth Way, Ouspensky was asked "You said that one can learn how to escape only from those who have escaped before?" He replied, "Quite right — in the allegory of "prison". And this means a school can only start from another school. This system can have value only if it comes from higher mind. If we have reason to believe that it only comes from an ordinary mind, like ours, it can have no value and we cannot expect anything from it. Then better sit down and write your own system."
Thomas de Hartmann
Thomas Alexandriovich de Hartmann (1885, 28 March 1956) was a Russian composer and prominent student and collaborator of Gurdjieff.
Thomas de Hartmann was already an acclaimed composer in Russia when he first met Gurdjieff in 1916 in Saint Petersburg. From 1917 to 1929 he was a pupil and confidant of Gurdjieff. During that time, at Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man near Paris, de Hartmann transcribed and co-wrote much of the music that Gurdjieff collected and used for his movements exercises.
Olga de Hartmann
Olga de Hartmannwas Gurdjieff's personal secretary for many years. After her husband's death on 28 March 1956 in New York, USA, Olga collected many of Gurdjieff's early talks in the book "Views from the Real World (1973)".
Alfred Richard Orage
Alfred Richard Oragewas a British intellectual, now best known for editing the magazine The New Age. In 1914 Orage met with P. D. Ouspensky, whose ideas left a prominent impression. When Ouspensky moved to London in 1921, Orage began attending his lectures on a "fragmentary" teaching. From this point on Orage became less and less interested in literature and art, instead focusing his attention in the 1910s on mysticism.
In February 1922, Ouspensky introduced Orage to G. I. Gurdjieff. Selling the New Age, he moved to Paris to study at the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. In 1924 Orage was appointed by Gurdjieff to lead study groups in America.
Maurice Nicollbecame a pupil of Gurdjieff in 1922. A year later when Gurdjieff closed his institute, he joined Ouspensky's group. In 1931 he followed Ouspensky's advice and started his own groups in England. He is perhaps best known as the author of the five volume series of texts on the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky: Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (Boston: Shambhala, 1996 and Samuel Weiser Inc., 1996).
John Godolphin Bennett, (8 June 1897 - 13 December 1974) was a British mathematician, scientist, technologist, industrial research director, and author. He is perhaps best known for his many books on psychology and spirituality, and particularly the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff. Bennett met Gurdjieff in Istanbul in 1921, but he later joined Ouspensky's groups, and continued to study Gurdjieff's system with them for fifteen years. In 1941, Ouspensky left England to live in the United States. By then, Bennett was running his own study groups and giving talks on the subject of Gurdjieff's system. Bennett began writing and developing his own ideas in addition to Gurdjieff's, and Ouspensky repudiated him in 1945 - at the time when Bennett had also lost touch with Gurdjieff, and believed him to be dead.
He reunited with Gurdjieff in 1947 and 1948 and visited him nearly every weekend for 18 months. He stayed in Paris for 1 month, helping to co-ordinate the work of Gurdjieff in England after Gurdjieff's arrival in Paris. He founded schools based on the Fourth Way in Sherborne, UK, and Claymont, W.Virginia, USA.
29 "The Theory of Celestial Influence" by Rodney Collin
Fourth Way Enneagram
Ray of Creation
Centers (Fourth Way)
* [http://www.gurdjieff.org Gurdjieff International Review]
* [http://mediaexec.tripod.com New York-Based Fourth Way Teaching]
* [http://www.fourthwayteaching.org A further explanation of The Fourth Way Teaching]
* [http://www.colinblundell.co.uk/ Colin Blundell's i-site expands the concept of 'multiple 'I's']
* [http://www.shsu.edu/~vis_kas/work/faq.html Usenet Fourth Way FAQ with basic information]
* Writings on Gurdjieff's teachings in the [http://webtext.library.yale.edu/xml2html/beinecke.andersonm.con.html Elizabeth Jenks Clark Collection of Margaret Anderson Papers] at Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
* [http://www.fourthwayhomeschool.com Fourth Way Homeschool] Original papers based on Fourth Way concepts and the ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff
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