April 2000 Issue, Vol. III No. 2
In Memoriam: Some Pupils of Gurdjieff
Our tenth issue continues our memorial focus on Gurdjieff in recognition of the 50th year since his death in Paris on October 29, 1949. In this issue, we draw upon accounts of some of Gurdjieffs first generation pupils. All back issues are available in their entirety as printed copies.
Pencil sketch of Gurdjieff by Ziga Valishevsky, circa 1919
The greater the height to which Beelzebub goes, the more the confusion of our usual jumble of ideas is dispelled. What emerges is the oppositewe see in high relief what was previously screened and misunderstood. The high has illuminated the low. Infinite spaces have ceased to frighten us.
I can too easily assume that this I AM of Gurdjieffs (or of the Bible) is all about me and my personal development. It may take years of inner work to come to the realization that this self-centered attitude of mine is the greatest barrier between me and the impersonal highest in me, which he calls I.
Madame de Salzmann would always rise graciously to welcome a visitor. She would sit upright, still and contained, and would respond with laughter or seriousness, finding precisely the words and the idiom that corresponded to the age and understanding of the listener.
Jane [Heap] seldom if ever said, Go herego there. Do thisdo that. Her method of transmitting the teaching was to create learning situations, and from these you learned. Or did not learn, as the case might be.
Annie Lou Staveley
Its a question of emphasis. You put emphasis on its [negative emotion] strength, when it should more practically be on your weakness. And that relates to your understanding. All negative emotion has is momentum, but if you are there, it stops.
The first step is to learn to listen, to wish to listen, to wish to drop the chaos in oneself in the same way that we drop the body at physical death. This step means that we wont interfere any longer, will not change anything (in the beginning not even ourselves); that we will not quarrel, that we have no opinion to insist upon; that we will not translate what we hear into our automatic daily languagewhich would be equal to letting it go out the other ear.
I have chosen to focus on what I remember and believe Mr. Nyland himself considered important: his unrelenting imperative to work on oneself and to do so correctly and in accordance with an accurate representation of inner effort and its relationship to the ideas as a whole.
Terry Winter Owens
He turned his full attention towards me, which, I can tell you, was considerable, and said Is more important that you say I am, than is that you breathe.
The hours of sleep were short; the hours of labor long. Gurdjieff constantly pushed his pupils past their states of imaginary fatigue, and on through their second wind to real fatigue.
Copyright © 2000
April 1, 2000
April 1, 2000