The practicing of certain Inner Exercises can be lead premature crystallization within ourselves. And in order for a house to stand, it must be built on the right foundations. Phrased another way, we must learn to grow in the "proper form and sequence".


A Man of This Kind Becomes An 'Immortal Thing'


“Crystallization is possible on any foundation. Take for example a brigand, a really good, genuine brigand. I knew such brigands in the Caucasus. He will stand with a rifle behind a stone by the roadside for eight hours without stirring.


"Could you do this? All the time, mind you, a struggle is going on in him. He is thirsty and hot, and flies are biting him; but he stands still. Another is a monk; he is afraid of the devil; all night long he beats his head on the floor and prays. Thus crystallization is achieved. In such ways people can generate in themselves an enormous inner strength; they can endure torture; they can get what they want. This means that there is now in them something solid, something permanent.


"Such people can become immortal. But what is the good of it? A man of this kind becomes an 'immortal thing'.”

~ George Gurdjieff


A Wrong, Incomplete Crystallization


“Fusion, inner unity, is obtained by means of 'friction,' by the struggle between 'yes' and 'no' in man. If a man lives without inner struggle, if everything happens in him without opposition, if he goes wherever he is drawn or wherever the wind blows, he will remain such as he is. But if a struggle begins in him, and particularly if there is a definite line in this struggle, then, gradually, permanent traits begin to form themselves, he begins to 'crystallize.'


But crystallization is possible on a right foundation and it is possible on a wrong foundation. 'Friction,' the struggle between 'yes' and 'no' can easily take place on a wrong foundation... [and] such a man will not possess the possibility of further development. In order to make further development possible he must be melted down again, and this can be accomplished only through terrible suffering.”

~ George Gurdjieff


The Lost Civilization...


Long ago an advanced civilization discovered the science of human transformation. As a young man, George Gurdjieff joined a group called "The Seekers of Truth" and went in search of the remnants of this lost civilization. He spent over 20-years visiting ancient ashrams and monasteries — finding pieces of this lost wisdom scattered from Indonesia to Ethiopia. And somewhere along the way he was shown a fragment of this ancient science. Above is Allan Clews's representation of this fragment. All of Gurdjieff's teachings can be understood in relation to this diagram.


The Three Stages in Human Evolution


“The study of the work of the human organism as a chemical factory shows us three stages in the evolution of the human machine. The first stage refers to the work of the human organism as it has been created by nature... The second stage refers to the work of the human organism when a man creates a conscious volitional 'shock'... [The third stage] cannot be so easily described... [and] must consist in work on... the transformation and transmutation of the emotions.”

                                                                                ~ George Gurdjieff


Self-Remembering Series (Part 1) - Mindful Breathing


Self-Remembering Series (Part 3) - Mindful Self-Sensing (V 2)


Self-Remembering Series (Part 5) - Mindful Perceptual Exercises


Self-Remembering Series (Part 7) - Mindful Self-Remembering (V2)


Contralateral Self-Sensing An Inner Exercise


Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, Holy Reconciling


I Wish Result of This My Suffering Be For My Being


I tell Gurdjieff that in the exercise, I get mixed with my task about cigarettes (not smoking for a week to see what new flow of associations results) and that I seem for the moment to learn more of myself through cigarette abstinence. Example: I discover I have wild animals, I discover "it" is very crafty, never once has even the word cigarette come up in my mind, imagination never produces a picture of a cigarette, and I can look on friends smoking without feeling anything. All while "it" is suffering for a cigarette – but a very cunning crafty animal I have, which spends great craft covering up its desires.


GURDJIEFF: This can be thing for power. I tell you one very important thing to say each time when longing come. At first you say and maybe notice nothing. Second time, maybe nothing. Third time, maybe notice something. Say, "I wish that the force of my wishing be my own, for being." (Then he thinks.) No, better another way. Force such as this have special results – make chemicals, have special emanations. Better say, "I wish result of this my suffering be my own for being.'' Yes, can call that kind wishing suffering, because is suffering. This saying can maybe take force from animal and geev to being ...and can do this for many things – for any denial of something that is a slavery."


~ Kathryn Hulme in "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"


Self-Remembering Series (Part 2) - Mindful Self-Sensing (V 1)


Self-Remembering Series (Part 4) - Mindful Looking, Listening & Smelling


Self-Remembering Series (Part 6) - Mindful Self-Remembering (V1)


Filling: An Exercise in Self-Sensing


Perceiving, Sensing and Feeling: Towards a Three-Brained Awareness


The Harmonic Affirmation


The Gist of Inner Exercises

The following contain the "gist" of profound Inner Exercises.


Develop An Aim




Question: I frequently remember my aim but I have not the energy to do what I feel I should do.


Answer: Man has no energy to fulfill voluntary aims because all his strength, acquired at night during his passive state, is used up in negative manifestations. These are his automatic manifestations, the opposite of his positive, willed manifestations.


For those of you who are already able to remember your aim automatically, but have no strength to do it: Sit for a period of at least one hour alone. Make all your muscles relaxed. Allow your associations [the thoughts and pictures that automatically arise in your mind] to proceed but do not be absorbed by them. Say to them: "If you will let me do as I wish now, I shall later grant you your wishes." Look on your associations as though they belonged to someone else, to keep yourself from identifying with them.


At the end of an hour take a piece of paper and write your aim on it. Make this paper your God. Everything else is nothing. Take it out of your pocket and read it constantly, every day. In this way it becomes part of you, at first theoretically, later actually. To gain energy, practice this exercise of sitting still and making your muscles dead. Only when everything in you is quiet after an hour, make your decision about your aim. Don't let associations absorb you. To undertake a voluntary aim, and to achieve it, gives magnetism and the ability to "do."


~ George Gurdjieff "Views from the Real World"


The Essence of the Decision Exercise


“How can we begin to destroy the habit patterns which have been acquired through our lifetime, and try to replace them with intentionally useful and harmonious habits. How do we become “dead to what has become for you your ordinary life”?


“It involves a kind of punishing effort that could almost be called brute force, and mercilessness. The despair that some people experience in the emptiness of their lives can only be altered by a discipline that is – in the proper sense of that word – ruthless. One exercise that may sound simple will serve as a good demonstration of the way our weaknesses can and do prevent us from ever beginning work:


“Make a program for yourself every day; make it thoughtfully, trying not to be overambitious and also avoiding the trap of not giving yourself enough to do for that day. Write it down, hour by hour, trying to estimate thoughtfully exactly what you will be able to accomplish in a given period of time. Depending upon one’s outer life circumstances, it is important to allow for whatever interruptions your life style or your profession may impose on you in any given period of time. A telephone call, for example, can disrupt an entire day, unless you are determined to be in control of the call (and the caller). It is a good idea to allow some “free time” to help with just such contingencies as the telephone, unexpected interruptions, and the like.


“At the end of the day, review in detail exactly what you did do as opposed to what you set out to do, and don’t be depressed by results. Depression is just another form of letting one’s emotions get the upper hand. But punish yourself for the things you did not accomplish, and then forget it. How punish yourself? Make the punishment fit the crime. If you are a smoker, do not allow yourself that cigarette with your coffee after dinner; if you drink skip the evening cocktail. But do these things consciously, in the knowledge that you are giving up these small but necessary pleasures because you have failed in something you set out to do. Punishing yourself this way may sound childish and even idiotic. But remember that what you are dealing with – the mechanism that is you – is like a child who has acquired messy habits and who behaves, in general, completely unconsciously. Children are (or at least should be) punished for infractions of the general rules of life which make life bearable among other human beings. In this case you are the child. The exercise can be boring and seem useless, and it is important not to expect results. Expect what you get and learn how difficult it is to discipline the machine. It may not sound very “esoteric” or “occult” to perform this sort of seemingly mundane exercise. But it will do a great deal more for the eventual discipline of the body (not to mention the emotions and the mind) than any amount of prayer or meditation.”


~ Fritz Peters “Balanced Man”


To Have Your Own "I" It Is Necessary For It To Be Born


"Today you have a thousand "I''s. Each weakness is an "I" that can at any moment make itself your master. To have your own "I" it is necessary for it to be born. It has been conceived because you have allowed the work to enter in you. It will not grow by itself; it must be fed so that it can accumulate substance and one happy day take form. Then it can develop and be born.


"This substance of "I" comes only from intentional suffering. When, for instance, you wish strongly for a cigarette and deny yourself, you will suffer inwardly. Then say: "I wish to make this inward force my own force." "I wish to receive this substance of my intentional suffering for my own 'I'." By this means you can become an Individual and go on the path that leads to the perfected man."          ~ George Gurdjieff "Gurdjieff's Early Talks"


Remember Yourself As Two— You And Your Body


He [Gurdjieff] said: "You have already too much knowledge. It will remain only theory unless you learn to understand not with mind but with heart and body. Now only your mind is awake: your heart and body are asleep. If you continue like this, soon your mind also will go to sleep, and you will never be able to think any new thoughts. You cannot awaken your own feelings, but you can awaken your body. If you can learn to master your body, you will begin to acquire Being.


"For this, you must look on your body as a servant. It must obey you. It is ignorant and lazy. You must teach it to work. If it refuses to work, you must have no mercy on it. Remember yourself as two— you and your body. When you are master of your body, your feelings will obey you. At present nothing obeys you—not your body, nor your feelings, nor your thoughts. You cannot start with thoughts, because you cannot yet separate yourself from your thoughts.


"This Institute exists to help people to work on themselves. You can work as much or as little as you wish. People come here for various reasons, and they get what they come for. If it is only curiosity, then we arrange things to astonish them. If they come to get knowledge, we have many scientific experiments that will instruct them. But if they come to get Being, then they must do the work themselves. No one else can do the work for them, but it is also true that they cannot create the conditions for themselves. Therefore, we create conditions."                   ~ JG Bennett "Witness"


Observe Yourself


In answer to another question about observing oneself, he [Gurdjieff] said: ‘Many things are necessary for observing. The first is sincerity with oneself. This is very difficult. It is much easier to be sincere with a friend. We find it difficult to look at ourselves, for we are afraid that we may see something bad, and if by accident we do look deep down, we see our own nothingness. We try not to see ourselves because we fear we shall suffer remorse of conscience. There are many dirty dogs in us, and we do not want to see them. Sincerity may be the key to the door through which one part may see another part. Sincerity is difficult because of the thick crust that has grown over essence. Each year a man puts on a new dress, a new mask, one over the other. All this has gradually to be removed. It is like peeling off the skins of an onion. Until these masks are removed we cannot see ourselves.


‘A useful exercise is to try to put oneself in another’s place. For example, I know that A. is in a trying situation. He is dejected and morose. Half of him is trying to listen to me, the other half is occupied with his problem. I say something to him that at another time would make him laugh, but now it makes him angry. But knowing him I shall try to put myself in his place and ask myself how I would respond. ‘If I do this often enough I shall begin to see that if someone is bad tempered there may be a reason for it which has nothing to do with me personally. We must try to remember that often it is not the person himself but his state that behaves irritably towards us. As I change, so does another.


‘If you can do this and remember yourself and observe yourself you will see many things, not only in the other person, but in yourself, things you never even thought of.’


~ CS Nott “The Teachings of Gurdjieff - A Pupil's Journey”


Sleep Had Seven Features


“Adie told us that [waking] sleep had seven features: identification, considering, negative emotion, unnecessary talking, lying, formatory thinking, daydreaming and imagination (these last two being two aspects of one feature)."


~ Joseph Azize in “George Adie - A Gurdjieff Pupil in Australia”


One Third of Waking State Must Be Active


Gurdjieff says, "One third of waking state must be active – for active mentation or active in sense that the real 'I' functions. One third of waking state be active, one third be actively relaxed, one third be automatic. Can do this exercise at any time. Example – you go water-closet, know have twelve minutes there, then you give four minutes this exercise. Have three hours free, you know about, know for sure have three hours – then give one hour this exercise, etc."


~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"


Conscious Relaxation


“You take two hours to relax at night, two hours to contract again in the morning. That leaves you three and a half hours of sleep. You do not relax consciously but automatically, and that takes time. You can relax yourself consciously until you sleep, while on the other hand you establish the necessary relation between your body and your consciousness. In the morning when you wake, do the same thing.”

~ George Gurdjieff


Deep Relaxation

by JG Bennett


There are many ways of producing deep relaxation by conscious energy. I shall now describe one that works well for most people. Start by taking a comfortable sitting posture, with the spine as straight and erect as you can make it without straining. You can support your back at the base of the spine. Verify that your head is freely balanced on your shoulders and that there are no obvious tensions. Rest your hands palm downwards on your knees. Now — become strongly aware of your eyes as if ‘you’ had entered into them and were experiencing the sensation of being present in your eyes. You can now relax your eyes and all the muscles surrounding them. Keep them open or you will fall asleep when you relax deeply, but you should now be seeing without focussing on any object. To avoid strain, lower but do not close the eyelids. Move your awareness over your face, into your mouth, to your throat and successively wish each part to relax. Pass on from the throat to the back of the neck — where you should feel yourself present in the muscles of the neck — and move your awareness down the right arm, penetrating into the muscles all the way to the finger tips. The same with the left shoulder and arm. Then return to the throat and let your awareness travel through the thorax down to the diaphragm. Here comes the familiar ‘awareness of the navel’ which is so often treated as a joke. It is very far from comic, because there is in this region a concentration of the vegetative energy which must relax. It is necessary to spend several minutes relaxing the abdominal muscles and obtaining a deep rhythmical breathing. The awareness is again made to travel into the right thigh and down the right leg. This must be done slowly enough to make sure that there is a real contact between ‘you’ and ‘your leg’. The same is repeated for the left side.


Once this is completed there should be a general sensation of the mass of the body and a coherence of awareness of your own presence within the body. The whole exercise is then repeated; but with the determination to penetrate more deeply into the nerves and blood vessels. This causes a tingling or vibrating sensation followed by a feeling of the ‘wholeness’ of the body. The exercise is continued for as long as one can keep from falling asleep or losing the thread of what one is doing. It is not easy and it may have to be done twenty or thirty times before one can be sure what is meant by ‘contact with the body’. It should never be done more than once a day. Once one has learned how it is done, the time taken can be reduced.


~ JG Bennett “Transformations” p 138-9)


Very Important You Know Body As A Whole


SOLITA SOLANA: In this work, it's difficult for me to be aware of my body as a whole, it seems the center of gravity for me is always in the solar plexus and so I am more aware of emanation from that part of the body.


GURDJIEFF: Very important you know body as a whole, for this work, very important. If divide attention then not good. What you do is this: imagine center of gravity on shoulders – theenk it there.


~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"


We Should Learn To Work Like Men


“Having already experienced almost every kind of physical toil and discomfort as soldier, sailor, farmer, labourer; I considered that the Prieuré had nothing to teach me in this respect. But it did not take more than two or three weeks for me to begin to see that I still had much to learn; to realize that I did not know how to do physical work — as a man and not a machine. I had been told to ‘chop’ stones, and with four girls I spent ten days breaking limestone rock into small pieces the size of a nut. It was a contrast to working in the shady walks of the forest with the men; in the hot sun it became monotonous, dull, and wearisome, and my feelings began to revolt. I worked spasmodically and nervously. Gurdjieff came along one day, with the doctor, Stjoernval. ‘Why you work so nervously?’ he asked. ‘It’s a result of the war,’ I said. ‘No!’ he replied, ‘I think you always like this. Watch Gertrude, see how she works. All your attention goes in watching the clock, listening for the dinner bell.’ The next day Dr Stjoernval said to me, ‘You know, Mr Gurdjieff says we should learn to work like men, not like ordinary labourers. Like men, not like machines. Try to save your energy while you are chopping stones. You waste much energy in resenting what you are doing. Make a list of thirty or forty words in a foreign language and memorize them while you are working; at the same time try to sense your body and notice what you are doing’.”


                            ~ CS Nott “The Teachings of Gurdjieff - A Pupil's Journey”


Inner Growth Is Impossible While We Live In Illusion


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.


The remarkable thing, moreover, is that this self-observation in itself already produces a change in us. “In observing himself”, says Gurdjieff, “a man notices that 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. There are a great many chemical processes that can take place only in the absence of light. Exactly in the same way many psychic processes can take place only in the dark.”


That is why getting to know ourselves, though admittedly extremely painful and disillusioning, is at the same time such a wonderful and liberating experience. And it is necessary, since inner growth is utterly impossible while we continue to live on a basis of illusion.


It follows that rightly conducted self-observation, observing without allowing ourselves to be distracted by our emotions, without self-justification on the one side or self-vilification on the other, without slipping away into analysis, without working for ‘results’ or wishing to combat and change immediately, yet with an intense interest and feeling of connectedness as well as an urge to penetrate the truth about ourselves, is an art that we really have to learn. It requires a control over our attention which can only be obtained by a great inner alertness and by self-remembering.


“Try to remember yourselves when you observe yourselves”, Gurdjieff says in his group, “and later on tell me the results. Only those results will have any value that are accomplished by self-remembering. Otherwise you yourselves do not exist in your observations. In which case what are all your observations worth?”


~ Martin Ekker “GURDJIEFF: The Man and his Work


The First Death


“Ultimately I want the freedom to die. To die the first death, the ability to let go of all of my attachments. Actually to let them go, literally. How is it possible? It isn't at the moment. But little by little. If I can let one argument go, I have freedom from that. The argument's over. By moments, I wish to realize the possibility of death. How to realize that? I have to be able to somehow sense the loss of everything I value, except myself. Everything that my ordinary life gropes for, argues for, persists in. I have to see that all gone. All my constructions, all my plots and plans, my manipulations. I have to see myself disappearing from the scene. This is the way of our work, to get freedom."


                                    ~ George Adie (as quoted by Joseph Azize in

                                       “George Adie - A Gurdjieff Pupil in Australia”)


Only One Place For Our Psychic Experiences


Self-love... occupies almost half of our time and our life. If someone, or something, has wounded our self-love from outside, then, not only at that moment but for a long time afterwards, its momentum closes all the doors, and therefore shuts out life.


When I am connected with outside, I live. If I live only inside myself, it is not life; but everybody lives thus. When I examine myself, I connect myself with the outside.


For instance, now I sit here. M. is here and also K. We live together. M. called me a fool — I am offended. K. gave me a scornful look — I am offended. I consider, I am hurt and shall not calm down and come to myself for a long time.


All people are so affected, all have similar experiences the whole time. One experience subsides, but no sooner has it subsided than another of the same nature starts. Our machinery is so arranged that there are no separate places where different things can be experienced simultaneously.


We have only one place for our psychic experiences. And so if this place is occupied with such experiences as these, there can be no question of our having the experiences we desire. And if certain attainments or liberations are supposed to bring us to certain experiences, they will not do so if things remain as they are.


~ George Gurdjieff "Views from the Real World"


You Must Educate Your Body With Your Head


Questioner: Is it possible in actual conditions to avoid a too inharmonic development of the body in regard to the general development?


Gurdjieff: For the physical development, there exist no seasons. Not political seasons. It is always necessary. You must educate your body with your head, consciously. It is very simple. Never allow it to do what it wants. You make it do everything contrary to that which it loves. It likes sugar, you do not give it any. One must inure it to struggle, you are always right when you resist your body. It is simple. Everything contrary; it is so that God created your body and your intellect. It is a very simple thing. For this it is not necessary to read. The program is very simple. Under all conditions, in all political situations, man must educate his body to be submissive to him. Your personality can educate your body. He in which the body is strong and has the initiative over him, this one is null. He who has his body enslaved is intelligent. You understand what is meant by intelligent? Intelligent means he who directs his body. If the body directs, you are a nullity, a peasant—if you direct your body you are intelligent. Thus, choose what you want. Intelligent or peasant? If you want to be a peasant, let your body direct you. If you want to be intelligent, let your consciousness direct your body. The more you want to direct your body, the more it opposes you. And in resisting you, the more strength it gives you.


~ George Gurdjieff "Paris/Wartime Meetings"


Only The Involving Part Can Vivify The “I”


In reply to a question about the second food, air, Gurdjieff said: ‘There are two parts to air, evolving and involving. Only the involving part can vivify the “I”. At present this involving part serves only for general cosmic purposes. Only when you shall have in yourselves a conscious wish will you be able to assimilate this, for you, good part of air, which comes from the prime source.


‘In order to be able to assimilate the involving part of air, you should try to realize your own significance and the significance of those around you. You are mortal, and some day will die. He on whom your attention rests is your neighbour; he also will die. Both of you are nonentities. At present, most of your suffering is “suffering in vain”; it comes from feelings of anger, jealousy, and resentment towards others. If you acquire data always to realize the inevitability of their death and your own death, you will have a feeling of pity for others, and be just towards them, since their manifestations which displease you are only because you or someone has stepped on their corns, or because your own corns are sensitive. At present you cannot see this. Try to put yourself in the position of others—they have the same significance as you; they suffer as you do, and, like you, they will die. Only if you always try to sense this significance until it becomes a habit whenever your attention rests on anyone, only then will you be able to assimilate the good part of air and have a real “I”. Every man has wants and desires which are dear to him, and which he will lose at death.


‘From realizing the significance of your neighbour when your attention rests on him, that he will die, pity for him and compassion towards him will arise in you, and finally you will love him; also, by doing this constantly, real faith, conscious faith, will arise in some part of you and spread to other parts, and you will have the possibility of knowing real happiness, because from this faith objective hope will arise—hope of a basis for continuation.’


~ CS Nott “The Teachings of Gurdjieff - A Pupil's Journey”


Remember, You Must Experience These Feelings


In the Cafe de la Paix, he [Gurdjieff] gave the following exercise to Miss Gordon and Kanari, in nearly perfect English.


“Take any object and put it to your feeling; represent it to yourself with feeling. Then answer these questions. Remember, you must experience these feelings, Kanari. And you. Miss Gordon, you must stir (up) your mind, and police with feeling. As you continue this exercise, you must diversify your objects. Here are the questions.


“1. Its nature and beginning.

“2. The reason for its arising and the aim of its service,

“3. Its dependents and if anything else can be used in its place,

“4. Personal opinion of it and objective opinion.

“5. Its end and its following actualization.

“6. Its legitimate use and the most great and most small use to which it can be put,

"7. Its objective inevitability and its subjective property of service.”


~ "Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope"


You Are The Result Of Your Parents —The Same Blood


Questioner: I should like to ask a question. I should like to know... I remember myself many times a day, but I believe that my remembering is not voluntary. It is only the result of an association which leads me to work. How can I make remembering that results from my wishing and not from my associations?


Gurdjieff: There exists a very good way. Is your father or your mother alive?


Questioner: Both of them.


Gurdjieff: Good, you can be happy. I will give you an exercise. Learn to do it. Later I shall explain to you the details. First of all, fix a contact with your father and your mother.


Questioner: When I am with them?


Gurdjieff: With or without them. You do it interior. For example, "I am." When they are there, you look at them. When they are not there, you represent them to yourself. You say to yourself: For each one of them, "I am thou, thou art I." You are the result of your parents. You are the same blood. Remember that. Later I will explain to you. While waiting, do this. Accustom yourself interior to be very quiet and to see sincerely and with affection your father, your mother. Objectively, they are more than God. God himself said: As long as your father and mother live, I do not exist for you.


Questioner: Why must one thus represent to oneself one's father and mother.


Gurdjieff: You owe your life to them. But that is another question, we shall see that later. It is a law. In the meantime, take it objectively. Your father and mother are more than God. If you pray to God, God himself can send you to the devil: "after their death you will come to me" (chez moi). It is an expression. I give you this exercise which consists of this contact in order to prepare you for another exercise. This will help you. It is difficult to remember yourself. You cannot do it theoretically, for it becomes automatic. Associations will not help you; in order to remember yourself, one must make an effort of will. You understand what I wish to say. Nothing can be born spontaneously. Your associations are not you, they are automatic. Afterward (when you have worked) your associations will always remain automatic, but your work will have a relation, not any more with your associations, with you.


~ George Gurdjieff "Paris/Wartime Meetings"


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