The First Initiation by Madame de Salzmann

Breton

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Bud,
All I can say is, wow. Thanks very much for sharing this experience with us!
 

Laura

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Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Yes, thank you Bud. My heart goes out to you. In a strange way, it's a process I wouldn't wish on anyone, but at the same time, when I see someone coming out the other side, I practically hear angels singing.
 

RedFox

The Living Force
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Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

I've been following this thread, and wanted to say I'm glad your doing better Bud! That's one heck of a break through :)

Bud said:
When it seemed that I got all this stuff out that I could, I noticed something odd and I wanted to let a couple of days to pass before commenting on it, just in case things changed. There seems to be some 'space' between me, the observer, and everything else. Not a lot when I'm concentrating or active, but it is there and seems permanent for now. There is a part of me in back of everything observing, some sense of 'space' and then everything in the sensual matter field of 3D. That seems the best way to describe it. The 'amount' of 'space' I sense between the observer me and what I'm doing is related to intensity of focus. When I'm not doing anything in particular, it seems like I'm sort of two places at one time, in the visual or 'knowing' sense.

It's different from what I was expecting it to be, I suppose. I had thought that if I ever developed a permanent self-observer, it would be like I was detached, outside my body yet still seeing through my eyes, controlling my body like a puppet while knowing what I was doing. This, however, is more like I'm observing from somewhere else simultaneously with my usual perception. Somewhere where I can't be touched, but also seeing and acting from the body's point of view. I can see that the Real me is not the me that is in 3D. The false personality is what has been operating and it's mostly conditioning and programming for certain ways of living, being and working. Some of this conditioning and programming is necessary, but some of it needs to go at some point, while some of it simply needs to be under volitional control.

I haven't lost this sense of separateness/distinction since I noticed it. Does that make any sense?

Its weird, I've been going through some things recently (although not even close to the scale you seem to have), and this last week or so I seem to have (somehow?) reached a point where I have this "space" in which to observe myself too. Its pretty weird, and totally agree that it is "terrifying and exciting at the same time."
In my case I couldn't say if its permanent or not.....for me it seems to come and go, but the duration and strength that it stays gets longer and longer. I was away for training for work last week and whilst in this "space" walking down the street....it was pretty amazing actually. Like watching someone else walking from the inside, whilst also being that person. Everything I looked at seemed new (well technically it was I guess being in a new town for the week)...observing myself observing my new surroundings. Observing my reactions and thoughts to my new surroundings. Keeping the 'old' thought patterns of 'I can't do this' 'I want to go home!' below the neck (in a gentle mannor that a parent might talk to a child).
Seems for me at least (appart from an apparent shift about a week ago) this is more of a fluid process than yours perhaps?
Its still possible I may have to reach bottom at some point in the future perhaps? But for the moment this "space" inside has opened up a whole new world to me. Its pretty weird observing myself! :P
 

Iron

Dagobah Resident
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Thank you Bud. That was beautifull to read, and inspiring as well!
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

RedFox, thanks for sharing that. I'm not qualified to assess your experience, but fwiw, I feel good for you.

The most practical benefit from my experience other than the relief I feel seems to be that I can see there is obviously much more room to grow. It's like an increased capacity to learn and all I'm interested in, spiritually, is experiencing the Truth, whatever that happens to be.


RedFox said:
Its pretty weird observing myself! :P

I know what you mean. There seems to be a sense of security though in being able to see (for the most part) what part of us and the world belongs to the world of illusion and what belongs to the Real. While writing this, I was reminded of that scripture (attributed to Jesus?): Give to Ceaser what is Ceaser's and give to God what belongs to God. The superficial meanings of paying your taxes, tithes and such have always been obvious, but I see a deeper meaning in terms of encouraging people to understand and acknowledge the identifications and attachments that hold them spellbound.
 

Biomiast

Jedi Master
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Hi Bud and RedFox,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Two days ago, I felt something similar as what you described as observing. I was anticipating an outcome and it didn't turn out to be as I expected. I was really working hard for it lately and hoping to get a reward for my actions. When this didn't happen I felt an enormous amount of betrayal from life and universe. Yet there was a part of me that was saying: "Just give, don't expect anything from Universe and live your life in Its command even It doesn't respond to you."

Well, it is easy to say that! I have been going through some rough times, I hope I can share it in Swamp soon, but I need to get my computer fixed(a gift from rough times :)). Anyway, as I tried to reach an objective point of view and as my Personality was screaming about all unfortunates happened to me, I felt the observer.

It was looking at me and my life, not affected from anything else. Actually Bud described it perfectly. It is really similar to my experience. In my case, I started to think the difference between my 3D understanding and observers ability to transcend all those pain and suffering by not changing. As I was going to sleep I thought how it would be great if the observer would merge with me and that I can retain this ability in my life.

When I woke up, I was feeling really well, yet I don't think my wish was granted. Maybe it is a possibility in the future, but I am not there yet. Thank you again both of you for sharing your experiences. :flowers:

Just my two cents, fwiw.
 

Laura

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Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Bud and Redfox (and others), may I suggest that you get a copy of Jacob Needleman's "Lost Christianity". I think it is the right book at the moment. I was gifted with this book by Black Swan a couple months ago and have been reading it at odd moments with some astonishment. Here is a mainstream professor of philosophy who is basically talking about The Work in a religious context, describing things we know about here, very well, but from a particular, normative perspective. He tells little stories that illustrate his ideas in a way that I think both of you will find very comforting.

I will also suggest that Approaching Infinity, Keit, and a few others might be needing this book at the moment.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Laura said:
Bud and Redfox (and others), may I suggest that you get a copy of Jacob Needleman's "Lost Christianity". I think it is the right book at the moment. I was gifted with this book by Black Swan a couple months ago and have been reading it at odd moments with some astonishment. Here is a mainstream professor of philosophy who is basically talking about The Work in a religious context, describing things we know about here, very well, but from a particular, normative perspective. He tells little stories that illustrate his ideas in a way that I think both of you will find very comforting.

I will also suggest that Approaching Infinity, Keit, and a few others might be needing this book at the moment.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart - both for being there and for thinking of us in that way of a teacher who can see what's needed. :)


Added later:
According to Amazon, the book cites 25 other books; two of which are:

In Search of the Miraculous (Harvest Book) by P. D. Ouspensky
Views from the Real World by G. I. Gurdjieff

Here is the preface, or introduction for anyone interested:
_http://www.jacobneedleman.com/Books/Lost%20Christianity%20Intro.pdf
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

I enjoyed reading the experiences of Bud and Redfox. Thanks for posting them, it may be something I can come to experience one day. It's nice to see that despite tough times, y'all seem to be coming out better.

I'm currently reading ISOTM and have tried to self remember a few times. And I find that it's true, you really just don't remember yourself. I've also been listening to Breton's audio of the First Initiation in the car, and I can sometimes apply the quotes to things that happen to me throughout the day.

So I guess I've just begun. I haven't gotten to the point where I am disgusted with myself, but sometimes I can be irritated by myself. I don't think this phase is something to look forward to, but you got to do it eventually, osit.
 

Laura

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Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

As I mentioned, Jacob Needleman's "Lost Christianity" is very helpful.
 

go2

Dagobah Resident
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Laura said:
Bud and Redfox (and others), may I suggest that you get a copy of Jacob Needleman's "Lost Christianity". I think it is the right book at the moment. I was gifted with this book by Black Swan a couple months ago and have been reading it at odd moments with some astonishment. Here is a mainstream professor of philosophy who is basically talking about The Work in a religious context, describing things we know about here, very well, but from a particular, normative perspective. He tells little stories that illustrate his ideas in a way that I think both of you will find very comforting.

Jacob Needleman was a pupil of Lord Pentland and worked with Jeanne de Salzmann. His book "Lost Christainity" was published in 1980, thirty years ago. His latest
book "What Is God?" speaks of his personal Work and acquaintance with Mr. Gurdjieff's Fourth Way teaching . You may also be interested in his book "The New Religions", published in 1970.

I first read Mr. Needleman's "Money And The Meaning of Life" when my shriveled soul cried out, that I had made money the aim of living. I thought with enough money I wouldn't need God. It is only at this late hour, that I begin to pay attention. Anyway, if we are made in the image of God, I hear his voice on this thread. Thanks.....
 

Stevie Argyl

Jedi Master
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Concerning this 'quote' by alwyn
'..There I was in the steppes of Asia, with hundreds of followers of my ideas dependent upon me for sustenance and only two rubles in my tattered pocket. However, possessing in my humble opinion both an unusual resourcefulness and a spirit determined to turn even this affair to advantage, I collected six thousand pounds of dung and, painting and scenting it with unguents that just happened to be nearby, I summoned my admittedly seasoned arts of persuasion* and wiseacring and announced to all passersby the sale of MAGICAL BEAUTY POULTICES which when applied daily to the face entirely suspended the aging process, enhanced one's sensuality, and contributed toward the formation of a permanent "I." Having not the slightest compunction at so cleverly turning a profit from the mental laziness of my fellow human beings, who nevertheless sensed unconsciously the importance of my mission for mankind, I expanded my own "I" by making ten million in three hours, thereby enabling us to continue our search for truth (and our escape from those we'd bilked via the sacred movement exit, stage left) with a tidy sum left over.'

This story does not appear in Meetings with Remarkable Men and I find it in none of Gurdjieffs writings.

What is interesting to me is how the person who posted it as 'material' had:

1. Not read the book in order to fit the 'story' into context.
2. Not even checked if the story came from the book.
3. Not realised that stories in Meetings with Remarkable Men are perhaps not necessarily historically true but may be written in a picture form language designed to communicate something other than the outward form that the story takes. For example Do we really think that in the chapter Prince Yuri Lubovedsky, that the Seekers After Truth really made 'food' for their 'goats and sheep' from 'organic matter' found in the Gobi Desert ?
 

Gandalf

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Hi Stevie Argyll,

Welcome to our forum. :)

We recommend all new members to post an introduction in the Newbies section telling us a bit about themselves, how they found the cass material, and how much of the work here they have read.

You can have a look through that board to see how others have done it.
 

Alada

The Living Force
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Interesting essay here by William Patrick Patterson. Gurdjieff & Christianity

He doesn't have the whole banana re. Mouravieff/Amis, ironically missing the point that they were interested in the 'Royal Road' of the inner tradition, not external Orthodoxy, but worth the read nonetheless.

William Patrick Patterson said:
Gurdjieff & Christianity

Was Gurdjieff a Christian? The orientation of the teaching—is it Christian? Entering the new millennium, some fifty years after Mr. Gurdjieff’s passing, it is important to begin to understand the part that Christianity played in his life and in the teaching he brought.

Certainly, as Gurdjieff makes clear in Meetings With Remarkable Men, he was raised as a Christian—“I know the rituals of the Greek Church well,” he would say many years later, “and there, underlying the form and ceremony, there is real meaning.” His first religious tutor was seventy-year-old Dean Borsch, the highest spiritual authority of the region. As Dean Borsch aged, he asked the young priest Bogachevsky to tutor Gurdjieff and confessed him every week. For two years, Bogachevsky tutored the young Gurdjieff and then, when the priest was posted elsewhere, he had Gurdjieff continue his confessions by mail.

It is interesting to note, regarding Bogachevsky’s caliber, that later he went to Mount Athos as a chaplain and a monk. Soon, however, he renounced monastic life as practiced there and went to Jerusalem. Bogachevsky joined the Essene Brotherhood there and was sent to one of its monasteries in Egypt. He was given the name Father Evlissi and later became one of the assistants to the abbot of its chief monastery. According to Gurdjieff, the Essenes had preserved the teaching of Jesus Christ “unchanged” and that as it passed from generation to generation it “has even reached the present time in its original form.”

The depth of what Gurdjieff felt for this man was expressed when, in his maturity, he declared, “Father Evlissi, who is now an aged man, happened to become one of the first persons on earth who has been able to live as our Divine Teacher Jesus Christ wished for us all.” [Emphasis added.] Gurdjieff’s choice of words would seem to indicate that for himself Gurdjieff accepts the divinity of Jesus Christ. He speaks, for example, of Jesus Christ as “a Messenger from our ENDLESSNESS,” “that Sacred Individual,” “Divine Teacher Jesus Christ,” and “Sacred Individual Jesus Christ.”

Although Gurdjieff speaks highly of Christianity and of Jesus Christ, there are also many stories of his making fun of Catholic priests, even shouting at them on occasion. For example, his niece Luba reported in her Luba Gurdjieff: A Memoir with Recipes, “My Uncle never taught us how to go to church, or pray, or anything like that. And he never liked priests or the nuns. When we were out driving and he saw a priest, he would say, ‘Shoo! Son of a bitch.’”

Gurdjieff certainly knew a great deal about Christianity—not only its religion but its esoteric foundation as well. This can be seen when he came to Russia in 1912 and took the guise of a Turkish prince, calling himself “Prince Ozay.” Within a year of his arrival in St. Petersburg he met the young English musicologist Paul Dukes, later an officer in British intelligence. Dukes reports that the prince wore a turban and spoke in Russian with a marked accent. He was of medium height, sturdily built and the grip of his hand “was warm and powerful.” His dark eyes, Dukes said, “piercing in their brilliance, were at the same time kindly and sparkling with humor.” After a chess game which the prince won handily, he spoke knowledgeably to Dukes in English (which Dukes said he preferred) of the Lord’s Prayer. The prince told Dukes it was designed “as a devotional breathing exercise to be chanted on a single even breath.”

“I have been in many churches in England and America,” said the prince, “and always heard the congregation mumble the Lord’s Prayer all together in a scrambled grunt as if the mere muttered repetition of the formula were all that is required.”

Ozay informed Dukes that the incantation of prayers as a devotional breathing exercise was practiced in the earliest Christian Church, which inherited it from the ancient Egyptians, Chaldeans, Brahmins, and others in the East, where it is known as the science of Mantra. This esoteric side, Ozay said, was lost in the Western Church centuries ago.

Gurdjieff had intended to found the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Russia, but the revolution precluded this. It was not until eight years later, in 1921, that he was able to establish it in France. At the time, he stated the Institute’s aim unequivocally: “The program of the Institute, the power of the Institute, the aim of the Institute, the possibilities of the Institute can be expressed in very few words: the Institute can help one to be able to be a Christian.” He spoke of a Christian as being “a man who is able to fulfill the Commandments...both with his mind and his essence.” St. George the Victor was proclaimed as the Institute’s patron saint.

The Original Christianity

The opening of All and Everything, First Series, begins with a prayer: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and in the name of Holy Ghost. Amen.” And within, Gurdjieff speaks of Christianity as based on “resplendent love,” saying also that among all of the ancient religious teachings none had so “many good regulations for ordinary everyday life.” He believed that Christianity is the best of all existing or future religions “if only the teaching of the Divine Jesus Christ were carried out in full conformity with its original.” [Emphasis added.] It is not clear what he means by the words “its original,” but presumably a religion or teaching that came before Christianity. Something of the same sort happens with the aforementioned prayer, for he says in introducing it that this “definite utterance...has been formulated variously and in our day is formulated in the following words.” He is quite clearly, then, pointing to something that was Christian but which predates Christianity.

It is clear he believes that Christianity—the religion—was mixed with Judaism, and that Judaism by that time “had already been thoroughly distorted.” During the Middle Ages, Christianity was further distorted by the fantastic doctrines of hell and heaven imported from Babylonian dualism by the Church Fathers. Christianity, Gurdjieff says, had been “the religion and teaching upon which the Highest Individuals placed great hopes”—note how he separates religion from teaching—but, as a result of what he calls “absurdities” and “criminal wiseacring,” genuine faith in Christianity was “totally destroyed.”

Messengers from Above

Perhaps more significant for determining whether or not Gurdjieff was a Christian is that while he obviously held Jesus Christ in very high regard, he does not take him as the only Son of God. Rather, Jesus Christ was but one of a number of Messengers from Above, though of these He apparently holds a special place. Although Gurdjieff speaks of Jesus as a saint, as he does of Saint Buddha, Saint Mohammed, Saint Lama, and Saint Moses, it is only Jesus and Buddha that Gurdjieff also speaks of as being “Divine.”

Gurdjieff’s view of the resurrection of Jesus Christ differs radically from accepted doctrine. He holds that if a person dies and is buried, “this being will never exist again, nor furthermore will he ever speak or teach again.” However, in seeming contradiction, he views the Last Supper as being a preparation for the sacred sacrament Almznoshinoo on the Kesdjan body of Jesus Christ. Almznoshinoo, he says, is a means of materializing and communicating with the higher-being bodies of a deceased physical body by the Hanbledzoinian process of intentionally coating its Kesdjan body. In order to accomplish this, a particle of an individual’s Hanbledzoin must be taken while he is alive and either kept in a corresponding surplanetary formation or taken in and intentionally blended with the Kesdjan bodies of those who will afterward participate in the Almznoshinoo process.

Because Jesus Christ did not have the necessary time before he was crucified to explain and instruct his apostles in certain cosmic truths, he had to resort to a magical ceremony so that he might complete his mission while still in a cosmic individual state. It was at that moment, according to Gurdjieff, that Judas put forward an ingenious plan—the conscious betrayal of Christ—that would gain them the necessary time. Gurdjieff refers to Judas as a saint who, of all the disciples, was the most devoted and had the highest degree of reason.

Concerning religion per se, Gurdjieff tells us there are seven levels. The religions of the first three are subjective and correspond to people who are primarily instinctual, emotional, or intellectual. It is at the fourth level that religion begins to become objective, free from the distortions of personality. At this level, the practitioner is beginning to emerge from the hypnotism of ordinary life and engaging in a struggle with what it means to be a Christian. Only at the fifth level does one have “the being of a Christian,” for only at this level can life actually be lived in accordance with the precepts of Christ, because one has now achieved a commensurate unity and will that is free from external influences.

Good & Evil Nonexistent

Concerning good and evil Gurdjieff is quite clear. “The fantastic notion,” he says, “namely that outside of them [outside of people] there exist objective sources of ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ acting upon their essence” is without foundation—there is no external good and evil.

Our present notion of good and evil, Gurdjieff believes, is based on misunderstanding. He says that long ago a being of Beelzebub’s tribe, Makary Kronbernkzion, who was a full member of the Society of Akhaldans, an esoteric brotherhood, was the first to employ the words. In an essay he wrote, entitled “The Affirming and Denying Influences on Man,” he spoke of the trinity of forces in the conscious evolution of human beings. The first force he characterized as arising from the causes proceeding in the Sun-Absolute, and issuing from it by momentum. This force, like the other two, is totally independent. Kronbernkzion called this force “Good.” When the momentum of this force is spent, there is then a striving to reblend with its source, the Sun-Absolute. This fundamental World Law is characterized as, “the effects of a cause must always re-enter the cause.” This second backward-flowing force, which must continually resist the momentum of the first force, he called “Evil,” or the active force. From the clash and friction of these two forces is formed the resultant, which in relation to the two other forces is considered neutralizing. This trinity of forces issues from one cause, the Prime Source of all creation. As long as people project a good and evil having some objective existence outside of themselves, spiritual evolution becomes curtailed.

Gurdjieff, although raised as a Christian and no doubt baptized, had a deep understanding of Christianity, held its regulations and commandments in high regard, as he did its Divine Messenger from Above Jesus Christ, would nevertheless not be accepted by either the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Churches as a practicing Christian. And yet Gurdjieff, it is quite clear, would insist that he was a Christian—a genuine Christian.

Clearly, for Gurdjieff, the word Christianity has a meaning different from that of contemporary churches. After his arrival in St. Petersburg, the subject was broached when Gurdjieff was first asked, “What is the relation of the teaching you are expounding [the Fourth Way] to Christianity as we know it?”

“‘I do not know what you know about Christianity,’ answered Gurdjieff, emphasizing this word. ‘It would be necessary to talk a great deal and to talk for a long time in order to make clear what you understand by this term. But for the benefit of those who already know, I will say that, if you like, this is esoteric Christianity.’”

In the account it is important to note that the first use of the word “Christianity” is italicized. The word is given even greater stress by making clear that he himself emphasized the word when he spoke, “answered Gurdjieff, emphasizing the word.” Saying he does not know what the questioner understands by the term Christianity, Gurdjieff adds that in any case he will answer, but “for the benefit of those who know already.” On the basis of these remarks some, such as Boris Mouravieff and Robin Amis, have believed that Gurdjieff was referring to Eastern Orthodoxy as it is practiced at Mount Athos. But this is simply an external reading, which, even at that, contradicts itself.

In continuing the discussion, in the very next paragraph, Gurdjieff speaks about “the desire to be master of oneself, because without this nothing else is possible.” Then he addresses the subjects of love of mankind and altruism, and concludes with “In order to help others one must first learn to be an egoist, a conscious egoist. Only a conscious egoist can help people. Such as we are we can do nothing.”

In sum, one must strive to become a true individual and to do that one must practice esoteric Christianity.

Rediscovery of Original Christianity

From the remarks discussed previously, it is quite clear that Gurdjieff, in his quest for the origin of esoteric knowledge, rediscovered what he called a Christianity before Christ. “The Christian church,” said Gurdjieff, “the Christian form of worship, was not invented by the fathers of the church. It was all taken in ready-made form from Egypt, only not from the Egypt that we know but from one which we do not know.... This prehistoric Egypt was Christian many thousands of years before the birth of Christ, that is to say, that its religion was composed of the same principles and ideas that constitute true Christianity.”

After rediscovering the essential principles and ideas, Gurdjieff traveled to Persia, the Hindu Kush, and elsewhere to reassemble the complete teaching from the many elements that had migrated northward over time. He then reformulated the teaching, which he called [or was called] the Fourth Way, for our contemporary understanding and introduced it to the West. In first speaking of its origin he declared—“The teaching whose theory is here being set out is completely self-supporting and independent of other lines and it has been completely unknown up to the present time.” [Emphasis added.] It is “completely unknown” because its origin is prehistoric—predating the ancient Egyptian religion, Judaism, Zoroaster, the Avesta and the Hindu Rig Veda.

So, in sum, Gurdjieff is, and is not, a Christian. The Fourth Way teaching is, and is not, Christian. It depends on what we know about Christianity, our definition of it.

For Gurdjieff, there are two forms of Christianity, its original form, and its contemporary form.

The Fourth Way, for Gurdjieff, is esoteric Christianity in its highest form. That is, if it is so recognized and practiced. Otherwise....

---

Notes

1. Greek Church. G. I. Gurdjieff, Views from the Real World, p. 86.
2. “Passing from generation to generation.” G. I. Gurdjieff, First Series, p. 703.
3. “Messenger from our endlessness.” Ibid., pp. 99, 701.
4. “Sacred Individual.” Ibid., p. 701.
5. “Divine Teacher Jesus Christ.” Ibid., p. 703.
6. “Saint Jesus Christ.” Ibid., p. 737.
7. “Shoo! Son of a bitch.” Luba Gurdjieff, Luba Gurdjieff: A Memoir with Recipes (Ten Speed Press, 1993), p. 64.
8. English. Did Gurdjieff speak English? Mme de Salzmann told James Moore that Prince Ozay was Gurdjieff. Paul Dukes reports that the prince’s friends spoke in Russian. “Ribald stories made up part of the conversation, some of which my host [the prince] translated to me with gusto.” The Unending Quest (Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1950), p. 104. Dukes, an intelligent young man with a fine ear, makes several references to the prince speaking English. As he said he visited with the prince off and on from 1913 until February 1917, it is inconceivable that Dukes could have been misled. By making reference to Gurdjieff speaking English, was Dukes protecting Gurdjieff? As Dukes published his book after Gurdjieff’s death, there was no reason to protect him. Did Gurdjieff feign not being able to speak English to make it harder for his English and American students to understand him? That’s a possibility. As with many things about Gurdjieff, we are left in question.
9. Prayer. Ozay told Dukes that a greater measure of the mantric art survived in the Greek Orthodox Church, especially in its Russian branch, on account of its devotion to pure song without instrumental interference. The Orthodox Church has never allowed its singing to be crippled or debased by organ ‘support,’ and indeed does not permit organs to be placed in churches. Ibid., p. 110.
10. The Institute and Christianity. Gurdjieff, Views from the Real World, pp. 152-54.
11. Relation of Fourth Way to Christianity. P. D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous (Harcourt Brace & Co., 1949), pp. 102-03.
12. Resplendent Love. G. I. Gurdjieff, First Series, p. 702.
13. “Full conformity with its original.” Ibid., p. 1009.
14. “Definite utterance.” Ibid., p. 3. Given this, it is wondered whether Gurdjieff’s admonition “Do not do to others what you would not wish them to do to you” is an example of an original formulation, later changed.
15. “Thoroughly distorted.” Ibid., p. xx.
16. Mouravieff and Amis. William Patrick Patterson, Taking with the Left Hand, The Mouravieff ‘Phenomenon,’ Arete Communications, 1998.
17. “All taken in ready-made form from Egypt.” Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, p. 302.
18. Makary Kronbernkzion. Gurdjieff, First Series, p. 1138.
19. “Completely unknown.” Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, p. 286.

First printed in The Gurdjieff Journal.

William Patrick Patterson is the author of seven books on The Fourth Way, the latest of which is "Spiritual Survival in a Radically Changing World-Time."
 

go2

Dagobah Resident
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Alada said:
He doesn't have the whole banana re. Mouravieff/Amis, ironically missing the point that they were interested in the 'Royal Road' of the inner tradition, not external Orthodoxy, but worth the read nonetheless.

Hi Alada,

I have read and studied Mouravieff’s Gnosis and Gurdjieff’s All and Everything. It is certainly true that William Patrick Patterson’s work doesn’t have Mouravieff/Amis’s whole banana. They have added wisdom by the acre. It is my impression that Gnosis is an intellectual tract contrasting with the intellectual, emotional, and physical demand’s of All and Everything for transformation of the inner being of the reader.

If you wish, could you post your sources for the above quoted statement,”… they were interested in the ‘Royal Road’ of the inner tradition, not external Orthodoxy?”

I also wish to confess this post is in response to a perceived innuendo of your statement that Fourth Way orthodoxy is somehow deficient and not of the inner tradition. The language “whole banana” and “ironically missing the point” reflect this bias. It seems to me an unnecessary impulse to diminish Mr. Gurdjieff’s Work, but I could be wrong.

I would like to follow with a few paragraphs from Taking with the Left Hand by William Patrick Patterson, as a taste of the “orthodox” perspective on the Mouravieff deflection of Mr. Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way teaching.

Taking with the Left Hand-William Patrick Patterson said:
p. 16
For Mouravieff, of course, there is no doubt that Gurdjieff is wrong. His argument is given in full here in Part III, along with it refutation, point-by-point, where it can be seen that Gurdjieff and his language is multidimensional, Mouravieff’s understanding linear and literal. Never having been a student of Gurdjieff’s, or initiated into his teaching,k Mouravieff interprets and judges from, at best, an exoteric point of view. As Philip Sherrard, the highly regarded Christian intellectual, has pointed out: “If a man merely ‘thinks’ of the Truth with his mind, then all his logic is uselss to him because he starts with an initial fallacy, the fallacy that the Truth can be attained by the unaided processes of human thought.” This fallacy he calls “philosophical mentality.”

p. 63
Though never taken seriously during his lifetime, and rarely mentioned in Gurdjieffian literature, the name Boris Mouravieff has in recent years threatened to become more than a footnote, thanks to a diligent campaign by his latter-day followers. A friend of Ouspensky’s, Mouravieff first met Gurdjieff in l920 in Constantinople and later movd to Paris. He never joined the Work, but was never quite able to get Gurdjieff and the teaching out of his system. He forever remained on its periphery, gleaning what information he could, always criticizing, casting doubt, standing between two stools. He kept up his friendship with Ouspensky and oversaw the editing and translation of In Search of the Miraculous. After that, little more was heard from him. It was a surprise then in 1961, twelve years after Gurdjieff’s death, that Mouravieff published a massive three-volume work, Gnosis, which claimed to be “the complete” exposition of the exoteric, mesoteric, and esoteric tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy. Even more surprising was the fact that his book was a direct and unmitigated appropriation of the ideas of the Fourth Way as Gurdjieff had presented it during his Russian period(1912-1919), and which Oupensky reported in Search. Essentially what Mouravieff did was to strip Gurdieff’s teaching of its mooring in sacred science and coat it with Eastern Orthodoxy, adding some peculiarities of his own making. There was, however, a glaring problem. The two teachings simply didn’t fit together. Eastern Orthodox Christianity was mystical and monastic. The Fourth Way was scientific and rooted in ordinary life. Mouravieff surmounted this by inventing what he called “The Knight and the Lady of his Dreams.” ….

What must be recognized is that Mouravieff, never having been a pupil of Gurdjieff’s bases his understanding of the teaching on that of Ouspensky—not Gurdjieff. And so. Mouravieff;s understanding can only be intellectual and therefore partial. A refutation would be as unnecessary as it is tiresome were it not for a small band of Mouravieff’s contemporary followers who, without providing any credible historical evidence, relying on hearsay and Mouravieff’s personal conjecture and opinion as well as other biased sources, have mounted a campaign to: (1) discredit Gurdjieff, (2) deny the authenticity and origin of the teaching as Gurdjieff presented it, and (3) assimilate Mouravieff’s “Christianized” Fourth Way into the Eastern Orthodox Church. Given this, it would be well to examine Mouravieff and the phenomenon he represents…….

p. 123
The editor of Mouravieff's writings and founder of an organization, Robin Amis' Praxis Institute puts out a correspondence course on esoteric Christianity, including monographs and other materials in support of its assumptions. The publisher was greatly influenced by Jacob Needleman's nonfiction work Lost Christianity (Doubleday & Co., New York, 1980) which he mentions in his introduction to Gnosis, Vol. 3. He never seems to have realized the identity of Father Sylvan, the book's central figure.

Yes….Who is Father Sylvan? Could it be Mr. Slyman?
 
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