18425Words of Wisdom by G. I. Gurdjieff
- Sep 18, 2012There is only one kind of magic and this is `doing.'
All energy spent on conscious work is an investment;
that spent mechanically is lost forever.
We must destroy our buffers. Children have none;
therefore we must become like little children.
We attract forces according to our being.
Humanity is the earth's nerve-endings through which
planetary vibrations are received for transmission.
Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.
No energy is ever lost in the cosmic scheme.
One twentieth of all our energy goes to emotional and
instinctive centers. Self-remembering is a lamp which
must be kept alight by energy from these two centers.
Our thinking centre is not really a center, but an
apparatus for collecting impressions.
Formatory apparatus resembles a hired typist who works
for a firm and has a large number of stereotyped replies
for external impressions. She sends printed replies to
other centers who are the `directors' of the firm and
who are strangers to each other. Wrong replies are often
sent, as the typist is asleep or lazy.
In deep sleep all communication between centers is closed.
Our sleep is bad because we do not cut off lines of communication.
We have good and bad angels. The good angels work
by way of our voluntary, active nature and the bad through
our passive nature.
Mr. Self-love and Madame Vanity are the two chief agents of the devil.
Do not be affected by externals. In themselves they are harmless;
it is we who allow ourselves to be hurt by them.
We never reach the limits of our strength.
If we do what we like doing, we are immediately rewarded
by the pleasure of doing it. If we do what we don't like
doing the reward must come later. It is a mathematical law
and all life is mathematics.
Man is a symbol of the laws of creation; in him there is
evolution, involution, struggle, progress and retrogression,
struggle between positive and negative, active and passive,
yes and no, good and evil.
Men have their minds and women their feelings more highly
developed. Either alone can give nothing. Think what you
feel and feel what you think. Fusion of the two produces
For some people religion is useful but for others it is
only a policeman.
We are sheep kept to provide wool for our masters who feed
us and keep us as slaves of illusion. But we have a chance
of escape and our masters are anxious to help us, but we
like being sheep. It is comfortable.
He who can love can be; he who can be can do; he who can do is.
Sincerity is the key to self-knowledge and to be sincere
with oneself brings great suffering.
Sleep is very comfortable, but waking is very bitter.
Free will is the function of the Master within us.
Our `will' is the supremacy of one desire over another.
Eastern art has a mathematical basis. It is a script with
an inner and an outer content. In Persia there is a room
in a monastery which makes one weep owing to mathematical combinations of different parts of its architecture. Real
art is knowledge and not talent.
An ordinary man has no `Master.' He is ruled now by the
mind, now by the feelings and now by the body. Often the
order comes from the automatic apparatus and still more
often he is ordered about by the sex centre. Real will
can only be when one `I' rules, when there is a `master'
in the house.
Morality is a stick with two ends; it can be turned
this way and that.
From the time when man began to live on the Earth, from the
time of Adam onwards, there started to be formed within him,
with the help of God, of Nature, and of all his surroundings,
an organ whose function is conscience. Every man has this
organ, and whoever is guided by it automatically lives
according to God's commandments. If our consciences were
clear, and not buried, there would be no need to speak
about morality, for consciously or unconsciously everyone
would behave according to God's commandments. Unfortunately conscience is covered up with a kind of crust which can be
pierced only by intense suffering; then conscience speaks.
But after a while a man calms down and once more the organ
becomes covered over and buried.
You should forget about morality. Conversations about morality
are simply empty talk. Your aim is inner morality.
External morality is different everywhere.
You should understand, and establish it as a firm rule,
not to pay attention to other people's opinions. You must
be free of people surrounding you, and when you are free
inside you will be free of them.
To be just at the moment of action is a hundred times more
valuable than to be just afterwards.
To gain anything real, long practice is necessary. Try to
accomplish very small things first.
There are two kinds of doingautomatic and doing what
you `wish.' Take a small thing which you `wish' to do
and cannot do and make this your God. Let nothing interfere.
If you `wish,' you can. Without wishing you never `can.'
`Wish' is the most powerful thing in the world.
To bear the manifestation of others is a big thing.
The last thing for a man.
In the river of life suffering is not intentional. In conscious
life suffering is intentional and of great value.
To love one must first forget all about love. Make it your
aim and look for direction. As we are we cannot possibly love.
Until a man uncovers himself he cannot see.
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