Me and GI Gurdjieff

To me, the Gurdjieff work has to be about the practice, about methodology, about the movement of attention within oneself, and toward the present moment, and toward the finer vibrations from the higher. The ideas can be over emphasized, in my opinion, to the detriment of actual Work; and actual Work is the real point. At its best it’s experiential.

Gurdjieff didn’t have to be right about everything. I doubt this exiohary business–enough that I’m not going to reach for the book to check its spelling–I doubt that the moon will ever be like the Earth, and the Earth like the sun, and so on. I take Darwin quite seriously and while he was not any sort of absurd creationist Gurdjieff didn’t seem to respect Darwin much (as witness Beelzebub’s Tales) …

I think that probably his “autobiographical” work Meetings with Remarkable Men is true…and not true, in places. Some of it is likely conflation of several events and places; some is sheer allegory; some of it happened. Paul Beekman Taylor’s newest book makes a persuasive argument that Gurdjieff probably never actually visited Tibet (though Taylor isn’t certain), and there’s no one who respects Gurdjieff more than he. Gurdjieff had his reasons for adapting bits of Hindu/Chinese “alchemy” into his system, for adapting neo-Platonism and Kircher into his system. I think he was exposed to many esoteric schools, like the Naqshbandi–but I think a lot of the Fourth Way is the product of his experimentation, his personal experience. His effort to find a way to set people free from the subjection that leads to war and needless human miseries…that could free humanity from “the terror of the situation”. And that way actually succeeds in providing, bit by bit, inner freedom for practitioners.

And that’s what matters to me. It’s why I’m a committed Gurdjieffian and it’s why I’ll have an enneagram on my gravestone some day.

Anyway, here’s a link to an article I wrote introducing Gurdjieff. http://www.darkecho.com/JohnShirley/jsgurd.html

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