George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1877-1949) was born of a Greek father and an Armenian mother in Alexandropol in Russian Armenia, a region where Eastern and Western cultures mixed and often clashed. To his questions: Who am I? Why am I here? he found no answer either in religion or in science. He suspected knowledge may lay hidden behind some religious traditions and those strange myths and legends which he learned from his father, a traditional bard or 'ashokh'.

Inspiring like-minded companions, he set out to find in Central Asia and North Africa the answers he sought, learning many languages, and acquiring many practical and rascal skills to earn the money for his journeys.

Gurdjieff’s personal sex life appears from all accounts to be complex and sometimes contradictory, with varied expressions throughout his life. At times he was celibate, at other periods highly sexually charged. He fathered numerous children out of wedlock, including many with his own female disciples.

In 1912 he brought to Moscow an unknown teaching, a teaching that was not a religion, nor a philosophy, but a practical teaching to be lived. To follow the way he proposed, nothing is to be believed until verified by direct experience. It is a way in life, on which - gradually, for it cannot be done all at once - everything has to be questioned; one's beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, one's whole outlook on the life of man on this Earth.

Gurdjieff’s system is designed to point man toward a central and simple power of apprehension which Gurdjieff taught is merely latent within the human mind and which is the only power by which man can actually understand himself in relation to the universe.

Man is asleep, said Gurdjieff, he has no real consciousness. He is not free; he lives in only a small part of himself. He can become conscious and find his true place as a human being in the creation, but this requires a profound transformation, “a transforming search,” rather than “a search for transformation.”

A student after spending years in Gurdjieff work, self-remembering asked what personality defect he must still struggle with.

Just one thing - was the answer, and that is the problem with most of the people who are working with the Gurdjieff school: the problem is of too much seriousness... Because of too much seriousness you want to be attentive, alert, aware, self-remembering for twenty-four hours; that is against the rhythm of life. Life is very rhythmic and the rhythm is created by the opposites - life and death, attentiveness and inattentiveness. You cannot be attentive twenty-four hours because that too is losing the rhythm.

That′s what people are doing - being asleep for twenty-four hours. That is of course is bad, certainly bad, but to move to the other extreme and to make an effort to remain alert for twenty-four hours is again falling into the same trap - of a non-rhythmic life.

Gurdjieff himself was very playful but somehow he gathered very serious people around him and those serious people started interpreting his non-seriousness very seriously. So drop seriousness and start playing with self-remembering - ′playing′ is the word - just as one plays with a toy.

Conclusion? It is not about the other, it is not about Gurdjieff, it is about you, your feelings, your thoughts and your experiences.




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