Gurdjieff International Review

Dances are for the Mind

by Paul Reynard

“Dances are for the mind. They give nothing to the soul—the soul does not need anything. A dance has a certain meaning; everymovement has a certain content.” G.I. Gurdjieff 1
Copyright © 2002 Institut Gurdjieff, Paris
“One moves the movement and forgets the movement, this is not the movement in itself. If, when stimulated by external things, one moves, it is the impulse of the being. If when not stimulated by external things, one moves, it is the movement of heaven.” 2
This ancient Taoist saying could very well be an introduction to the understanding of the “Movements” which hold a very special place in the teaching of G.I. Gurdjieff. The formal performance of the movements, their external action, is the echo of an inner and more potent current of energy. Through the cyclic repetition of a series of attitudes—like the reiteration of a prayer—the attention is sharpened, setting free energies of different qualities and densities (what the Hindu tradition calls pranas) and allowing them to be related to one another in a new way. The outer motion is initiated through the impulse issued within, no longer from a one-sided attention, but from an embracing vigilance supported by the body, in accord with the feeling, and under the look of the mind: a threefold attention.…

[The complete text is available in the printed copy of this issue.]

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1 Views from the Real World: Early Talks of Gurdjieff. Arkana, 1984, p.181.
2 The Secret of the Golden Flower: a Chinese Book of Life. Translated by Richard Wilhelm, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1931, 1962, p.58.

Copyright 2002 Paul Reynard
This webpage © 2002 Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing
Featured: Spring 2002 Issue, Vol. V (1)
Revision: April 1, 2002


Paul Reynard joined a small group in Paris led by Henriette Lannes in 1946. He began to practice the movements in 1947 with Jeanne de Salzmann, and joined the senior class under the direction of Mr. Gurdjieff that fall. He began as a movements instructor under Marthe de Gaigneron, and in 1969 came to the United States. Since then, he has borne responsibility for movements in the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York and other US as well as Canadian Gurdjieff Foundations.