Gurdjieff International Review

Work with Others

Excerpts on Aspects of the Oral Tradition

I think there’s no reason why a teaching shouldn’t continue through an understanding of the traditions in which a real work can live, in which alone a real work can live... The understanding that Gurdjieff gave was, “I can’t help you, you can only be helped by the conditions which I create.” It isn’t a one-to-one teaching. It’s a teaching which depends on its manifestations in groups or in a community. The growth of being and the balancing of deficiencies take place through the interaction between people, of whom the leader is a principal but with whom the leader is sharing his life, subjecting himself to all the forces and pressures and difficulties... How to create those conditions is a matter of day-to-day concern in that sense. It means organizing it, and reorganizing it, and reorganizing it, in accordance with the appearance of new pressures and forces in the environment, both from very high up and from the general environment, and the appearance of new forces within the community.

Lord Pentland, Gurdjieff: Essays and Reflections, p. 389

Esoteric knowledge is the science of man’s relation with God and the universe. Its transmission requires an engagement with others—so-called “schools”—because a certain energy can only be produced in conditions where people work together. Schools may differ in their knowledge and their approach—their way—but they have the same aim in common: to see reality. The knowledge is passed on theoretically and through direct experience, that is, by living a drama which follows the particular way of the school. This creates a relation, the link without which it would not be possible to live in two worlds of different levels at the same time.

Jeanne de Salzmann, The Reality of Being, p. 2

When Madame de Salzmann died at the age of 101, she seemed to be taking the center of life with her. Now, after a long and ashen period of grief, the reality of the present has re-emerged, a present that is waiting to be served in a new way through those who had the fortune of sharing what her influence transmitted. Life continues, a new generation arises, and the world’s need for a living body of understanding is more vital than ever. The enigma of tradition and the mystery of transmission cannot change, but the great set of keys is always there.

Peter Brook, Threads of Time, pp. 206–207

All this teaching given in fragments must be pieced together, and observations and actions must be connected to it. If there is no paste, nothing will stick.

Views from the Real World, p. 194

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Copyright © 2012 Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing
Featured: Spring 2012 Issue, Vol. XI (1)
Revision: April 1, 2012