"A 'group' is the beginning of everything... You do not realize your own situation. You are in prison. All you can wish for, if you are a sensible man, is to escape. But how to escape? It is necessary to tunnel under a wall. One man can do nothing. But let us suppose there are ten or twenty men—if they work in turn and if one covers another they can complete the tunnel and escape."
"The first aim of a man beginning work in a group should be self-study. The work of self-study can proceed only in properly organized groups. One man alone cannot see himself. But when a certain number of people unite together for this purpose they will even involuntarily help one another. It is a common characteristic of human nature that a man sees the faults of others more easily than he sees his own. At the same time on the path of self-study he learns that he himself possesses all the faults that he finds in others."
"One man alone cannot see himself. But when a certain number of people unite together for this purpose they will even involuntarily help one another. It is a common characteristic of human nature that a man sees the faults of others more easily than he sees his own. At the same time on the path of self-study he learns that he himself possesses all the faults that he finds in others... Thus other members of the group serve him as mirrors in which he sees himself."
~ George Gurdjieff
"Only by beginning to remember himself does a man really awaken."
"When a man understands that he does not remember himself and that to remember himself means to awaken to some extent, and when at the same time he sees by experience how difficult it is to remember himself, he will understand that he cannot awaken simply by having the desire to do so."
"To awaken means to realize one's nothingness, that is to realize one's complete and absolute mechanicalness and one's complete and absolute helplessness."
"Only a man who fully realizes the difficulty of awakening can understand the necessity of long and hard work in order to awake."
"There is nothing new in the idea of sleep. People have been told almost since the creation of the world that they are asleep and that they must awaken. How many times is this said in the Gospels, for instance? 'Awake', 'watch', 'sleep not'."
~ George Gurdjieff
SELF-STUDY & SELF-OBSERVATION
Bringing Real Change
"There are a thousand things which prevent a man from awakening, which keep him in the power of his dreams."
"Real change, in the sense of awakening to a new consciousness, is the great goal of this work, but the shortest and especially the safest way to this goal is the seeming detour via self-observation."
"Self-study and self-observation, if rightly conducted, bring man to the realization of the fact that something is wrong with his machine and with his functions in their ordinary state."
"Self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening."
"By observing himself he throws, as it were, a ray of light onto his inner processes which have hitherto worked in complete darkness. And under the influence of this light the processes themselves begin to change."