Hannes

Ouspensky and the forth way

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Yesterday I went to a presentation, given by a friend of mine, about the "fourth way".

She spoke about the philosophy of Ouspensky and his interactions with Gurdjieff and spoke about the book "In search of the miraculous".


 

In true turn of the century Russian style (before the Bolsheviks took over Russia) intellectual thought, his work seems to bear many similarities to the more esoteric teachings of Dao, Indian philosophy and some late German philosophy/psychology.


 

It seems so interesting that the last years all my searching and learning in different traditions and modalities seem to broil down to the same core of knowledge; and Ouspensky's work seems to be another one of those modalities (or maps of the territory like I like to call it) that seem to fit in with an underground thinking that has been going on as long as the history of written language.


 

Although from what I can see, I have a feeling I will appreciate the more scientific approach to these esoteric topics; since growing up without a strong cultural/religious tradition it is hard for me to find  myself in any of the more culturally based traditions.

 

Do any of the Bums out here have any comments on Ouspensky/ Gurdjieff? Any warnings or advice, or any kind of teaching they can offer?

 

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I have studied the Fourth Way pretty extensively and Ouspensky's in Search of the Miraculous is a wonderful book which documents a period of the work of Gurdjieff. I would recommend reading Gurdjieff's Meetings With Remarkable Men next. 

 

The teachings Ousepensky offers are only partial though in the sense he provides a lot of the mental or intellectual side of things, whereas the more complete Fourth Way involves working on all centres at once, so a critical aspect is the movements or dances, music, as well as all the work of self observation and remembering and conscious suffering.

 

Group work is also  essential but the modern Fourth Way groups are very variable in quality, some of which have gone off the deep end, so I'd be careful. 

 

If you really want to go into the teachings it involves reading Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales, which is some undertaking. 

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Indications are that Mr. G. lost it, that is if he ever had it besides fragments from here and there along with astral level manipulations.  (for instance killing yaks with his mind and blowing peoples minds for the power trip of it)

 

On the other hand I do appreciate Mr. O's work a lot. 

 

 

Edited by 3bob
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On 11/11/2018 at 1:19 PM, Jetsun said:

...

Group work is also  essential but the modern Fourth Way groups are very variable in quality, some of which have gone off the deep end, so I'd be careful. 

 

If you really want to go into the teachings it involves reading Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales, which is some undertaking. 

 

Interestingly my friend who's lecture I went to talks about starting a group herself; or at least teach its existence to people around this area. She found indeed that many of the groups are either total batsh*t crazy or exclusive to the very rich.

 

I have started reading "In search of the Miraculous" and I must say; this book is like a synopsis of things that are going through my mind for the last seven years.

 

You know the book where I would wonder why I didn't found and read it sooner; only I have an inkling of understanding why this is the right time for me to find this book and his insights/teachings.

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Read Gurdjieff when i was a kid. liked him, but like most things, had to find my own way. doesn't hurt to read from the great thinkers, but in the end we all have to walk our own road.  

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Ouspensky's work is a very bad place to start ... after teaching students for 30? years in London he became an alcoholic and then told all his students they would have to "make a new start on Mt Athos" ... in other words the entire group had failed.   And the reason is pretty simple he was just stuck in his head.   When he first met Gurdjieff, Gurdjieff took him back to meet some students and gave him Gurdjieff's play he had been working on (struggle of the magicians) ... anyway Ouspensky didn't understand any of it.  
Ouspensky hung out with royal princes and aristocrats and so on ... smelly people.

Read or listen to some chapters of Beelzebubs Tales.   The book is designed to challenge you in many ways, it is not really a book ... but a teaching tool with very specific intentions.   It is designed to vastly improve your intelligence concentration memory conceptual grasp mental flexibility sense of humour and devotion, as well as giving a detailed history of the evolution of consciousness in man over several milleniae.

 

Also there are 2 Gurdjieff movements on youtube you can do called ... Movement 39, Om Circles.   There is a group of three students in white performing them and you can follow.   Notice the details (eyes and vocalizations).   These are actually Osho students.

 

And Rebecca Nottingham has a good book on the Fourth Way.   Following that the books of his students like Fritz Peters and Martin Benson really tell you who you are dealing with.

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I really like ted nottingham's youtube channel for breaking down the 4th way, and the work of Gurdjieff. As for Ouspensky however, i'd  agree his understanding appeared rather limited. The strange life of Ivan Osokin is the only book of his I've read and i don't plan on picking it up again.

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On 11/11/2018 at 3:36 PM, 3bob said:

Indications are that Mr. G. lost it, that is if he ever had it besides fragments from here and there along with astral level manipulations.  (for instance killing yaks with his mind and blowing peoples minds for the power trip of it)

 

On the other hand I do appreciate Mr. O's work a lot. 

 

 

Many years ago, I was interested in Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. I tend to research deeply things in which I am interested.

 

At that time, I had a friend who introduced me to some one who had known Gurdjieff personally. (She had spent time in the Crimea with Gurdjieff while fleeing from Russia at the time of the Russian Revolution. Her father had been court painter for the Romanovs and she had lived at court until the Revolution. She knew Gurdjieff well and stated that she regularly beat him at chess.) After discussing Gurdjieff with her and hearing more about Ouspensky, my spiritual practices proceeded in a different direction and I never looked back.

 

Gurdjieff apparently exhibited a very powerful presence but, as you duly noted, "indications are that Mr. G. lost it" and I won't go further. As you probably know, Gurdjieff was interested in movement among other things and wanted this woman to collaborate with him on movement exercises. (Instead, she ended up eventually in NYC and became a prima ballerina under Balanchine. )

Edited by Still_Waters
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On 11/11/2018 at 8:36 PM, 3bob said:

Indications are that Mr. G. lost it, that is if he ever had it besides fragments from here and there along with astral level manipulations.  (for instance killing yaks with his mind and blowing peoples minds for the power trip of it)

On the other hand I do appreciate Mr. O's work a lot. 


 

46 minutes ago, Still_Waters said:

Gurdjieff apparently exhibited a very powerful presence but, as you duly noted, "indications are that Mr. G. lost it"

 

 

What indications are there that Gurdjieff lost it ? 

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Gurdjieff's 4th Way is primarily based on Karma Yoga. There are 4 major categories of attaining to one's ultimate nature (Buddha Nature, True Self, No Self...whatever you want to call it.).

 

 

Jnana Yoga - uses intellectual intelligence as a primary vehicle

Bhakti Yoga - uses emotional intelligence as a primary vehicle

Kriya Yoga - uses energies of the body as a primary vehicle (a lot of Qigong/Neigong is 3rd Way stuff)

Karma Yoga - uses everyday life activities of everything your own daily life throws at you as a primary vehicle

 

In truth everybody has a mix of all 4 but because people have different things they enjoy and prefer typically one of these 4 will be primary while the other 3 act as supports.

 

Gurdjieff was always talking about how he was trying to teach people right in the midst of life's happenings with all the hustle bustle of daily modern lifestyles. That is absolutely a Karma Yoga way of reaching people. Or as Sri Aurobindo said - your life becomes your yoga. It has the benefit of allowing busy people to "do Yoga" even while on the job or performing for audiences, speaking, playing, etc.

 

The bit about periodically suddenly flushing his disciple's Sanga's down the drain around him was one means of reminding everyone part of the inner growth any yoga is to not get too stuck or too comfortable/dependent upon things working out the way you prefer to keep your inner stability and joy going. As the student's Karma Yoga (4th Way) begins to take hold things like suddenly permanently losing your beloved Guru or Teacher and Sanga (as happened over and over with Gurdjieff's students) will knock you off balance and upset you less and less. Because in life...sometimes stuff you don't like happens anyway for reasons you don't understand even though you are a master at all the 4th way practices taught. A teacher may move on if he or she sees his/her sticking around is strengthening instability/dependency rather than the opposite. Or they may use it as a teaching method. Or both. Other Gurus have done similar things like this, not just Gurdjieff only.

 

Advancing students will often grow to be very self-reliant and resilient to a point where a Guru/Teacher will only very occasionally pop up to help. Sometimes not at all. In other words...if something is working for that disciple, don't mess with it.

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Posted (edited)

I have read nearly all or all of both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and was obviously enticed and fascinated enough to do so.

 

I was also a member of one of the many groups at one time and became friends with someone quite famous in the many groups that exist today.

 

The fundamental problem with what has come to us is the top heavy heady nature of the teaching and a general reliance on the accepted need for an Awakened teacher.

 

Some of the general concepts entirely taken from the east have been so well acclimated to clear English that it is hard to put the books down.

 

Such concepts/observations as ‚Äúwalking sleep‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúintentional suffering‚ÄĚ and general references to automation within the noise of the illusions.

 

Further, one is enticed with an entire array of reasonings and labelings and¬†mental notations in all sorts of things that pretty quickly one thinks they know something ‚Äúsecret‚ÄĚ in a way and now it is a matter of ‚Äúthe tough work‚ÄĚ upon oneself and the ending of all the cracks in the dam.

 

However - it is hard to find a more clueless group when it comes to actually achieving - nor groups more beset with extreme competition and judgement.

 

Self subjugation and Doing is chief among the habituations The groups unknowingly and knowingly hyper practice. Often knowing little to nothing about meditation.

 

If you do find yourself Awakened consider that in high probability - not one member of your group will rejoice, understand or not rebuff you.

 

At best you will be questioned to death in order for them to access if you are a man number 7 or some level or on what Ray - as if they have any slight understanding of the teaching/programming that they have read.

 

The group dynamic is awesome - but dries up in the sterility of the heady ness - at the time I could not have been more intellectual and all of it was intoxicating - luckily I had a strong base in real Yoga - with a far greater depth and not fragmented borrowing from a very charismatic leader.

 

I did enjoy the group - but it became quite clear that for all the finery and exceptional meetings - the reading of Carlos Castenada and others proved equally valuable if not more valuable as they did not offer such a complete detour.

 

I say ‚Äúdetour‚ÄĚ because the top down approach is a bit like going to a bar in order to stop drinking.

 

As a side note:

Beelzebubs Tales to his Grandson should not be read here and there.

It should be read from one end to the other.

And then read again from one end to the other.

Otherwise you can toss it in the trash.

It is a vibrational work of art - the general content is and always was of no great value - it’s artistry and strength is in full readings start to finish. Gurdjieff himself would laugh at the thought that it’s parted out content was something more than bafoonery.

 

(I do not mean to imply that one should read all 1100 pages in one sitting - but rather that it is not a book you pick up and read out of order that is nearly always pithy and often any page is apt to be perfect on its own.)

 

 

 

Edited by Spotless
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Gurdjieff is a very great man and he tells exactly what to do, the episodes recorded of him show what it means to be a real human being and live.

 

Ouspensky and those many "famous people" who follow in his wake are a disaster.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, rideforever said:

Gurdjieff is a very great man and he tells exactly what to do, the episodes recorded of him show what it means to be a real human being and live.

 

Ouspensky and those many "famous people" who follow in his wake are a disaster.

Let us remember - Ouspensky was not ‚Äúin his wake‚ÄĚ as an after thought - he was there and working with G in his writings, practice and doings.

 

His (‚ÄúG‚Äôs‚ÄĚ)¬†efficacy in impressing people was top notch - in Waking them Up - very poor.

 

I can think of several Awakened teachers that were for a time and sometimes for many decades ardent students who Awoke after leaving the groups and attest that the G work was of no value or little value and also often concur that they were lost in heady appeal with elaborate and interesting dance and work but - not really associated with Awakening and in many ways replacing real work with a high form of song and dance and delusion.

Edited by Spotless

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On 11/11/2018 at 11:16 AM, Hannes said:

Do any of the Bums out here have any comments on Ouspensky/ Gurdjieff?

 

"Gurdjieff's former students who have criticized him argue that, despite his seeming total lack of pretension to any kind of "guru holiness," in many anecdotes his behavior displays the unsavory and impure character of a man who was a cynical manipulator of his followers."

 

So this is similar to other early 20th century revisionist stuff presenting an altered, "New Age" version of traditional material.

 

Same like Blavatsky, Krishnamurti, George Ohsawa, Bruce Lee, etc, etc.

 

Better to study what they say their sources were.

Humans do not actually need any spiritual "middlemen".

 

We all have same status in Reality, where we actually live.

 

"Colin Wilson writes about "Gurdjieff's reputation for seducing his female students. (In Providence, Rhode Island, in 1960, a man was pointed out to me as one of Gurdjieff's illegitimate children. The professor who told me this also assured me that Gurdjieff had left many children around America).""

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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Posted (edited)

In the same context as Gurjieff one might also look at the many great works from Theosophy and at some of the great teachers that came from that ‚Äútradition‚ÄĚ such as the well known Rudolf Steiner and the extraordinary Franklin Merrel¬†Wolff:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0791419649?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

 

The Theosophy groups are generally little more than gatherings of politely interested folks who often invite interesting lecturers. But many of the books offer in Western terms superb introduction and clear thinking regarding practice. However - I am not talking about Blavatsky who was Gurdjieff’s double in so many ways.

 

She was interesting and certainly no fool - but ...

 

The Secret Doctrine is dribble compared to Franklins work copied above - and so is any of G’s - though I agree with G - B’s tales to his Grandson is a masterpiece - if read through in sequence.

Edited by Spotless
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Posted (edited)

Ouspensky students always speak like that.

I was just reading a memory by CS Nott who visited Ouspensky in England, during the meeting Ouspensky had never even heard of the Tales and asked to borrow Nott's copy, and Ouspensky admitted he was a great physical and emotional coward - which means the work was not possible for him.   Ouspensky became an alcoholic at the end of his life and said that his teaching had failed, what a failure.

I don't know what Ouspensky taught, it was just exotic garbage for "famous people" who like to talk a lot.
Traditions are destroyed by idiotic students almost the minute they are formed on this planet.

Theosophy ?  Gurdjieff said that he had followed Blavatsky's journey and it took him a great deal of time before he realised that she had not personally witnessed the things she had described but had written second hand, more exotic ideas.

Gurdjieff also said that the people of the island Albion do not see or hear anything.

I just sent back this book, Gurdieff Cosmic Secrets, it was just tables after tables after tables of musical intervals analysis.   And that was it.   Completely one dimensional.   No application.   No idea.   These Ouspensky people are so much in their mind it is frightening, they are in their mind but they can't use their mind.

Ouspensky brought Hollywood to Gurdjieff, famous people, famous writers, the rich intelligensia.   Was quite similar to when the Hollywood crowd went North to Oregon to bring drugs and debauchery to the Osho commune then.   And with the same disastrous results.

Gurdjieff was cooking for 80 people, building walls with his bare hands, and earning an ordinary living supporting two dozen relatives .... whilst those bums were "discussing things".

 

Edited by rideforever

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Posted (edited)
On 11/11/2018 at 8:16 AM, Hannes said:

Yesterday I went to a presentation, given by a friend of mine, about the "fourth way".

She spoke about the philosophy of Ouspensky and his interactions with Gurdjieff and spoke about the book "In search of the miraculous".


 

In true turn of the century Russian style (before the Bolsheviks took over Russia) intellectual thought, his work seems to bear many similarities to the more esoteric teachings of Dao, Indian philosophy and some late German philosophy/psychology.


 

It seems so interesting that the last years all my searching and learning in different traditions and modalities seem to broil down to the same core of knowledge; and Ouspensky's work seems to be another one of those modalities (or maps of the territory like I like to call it) that seem to fit in with an underground thinking that has been going on as long as the history of written language.


 

Although from what I can see, I have a feeling I will appreciate the more scientific approach to these esoteric topics; since growing up without a strong cultural/religious tradition it is hard for me to find  myself in any of the more culturally based traditions.

 

Do any of the Bums out here have any comments on Ouspensky/ Gurdjieff? Any warnings or advice, or any kind of teaching they can offer?

 

All of the books are quite excellent - the Fourth Way - In Search of the Miraculous - Meetings with Remarkable Men and on and on including many other students.  They are in a fresh western wording and the Forth Way is Ouspensky's mostly verbatim accounting of the teachings of G.

 

Lets assume Gurdjieff is exceedingly profound and as fantastical as it seems he may have been.

 

Ask your friend - "if i awoke tomorrow" - self awakening - what would you be able to offer in the form of any clue as to what has transpired?

 

G often spoke of needing someone who had been outside the jail to shed some light on what it is like - what is the lineage that she can offer that has this living teaching?

 

Is your friend - friendly in the normal sense - or does she tend to be on the very serious side of seriousness?

 

I ask the last question because while G had a great and often very vulgar sense of humor - most in these groups tend to be nearly as stiff as a thin piece of glass. With perfection pictures that are beyond reason and very often fully ready to accommodate a tyrant in want of a shock.

 

Intentional speaking and intentional everything is indeed a fun exercise for a bit of time - and quite difficult for some - tolerating Roostering Alpha's in hopes of a real dressing down is more of a Christian exercise but often rampant in the inner meetings.

 

Take the teachings for what they are - old words in new wording - from a very flamboyant character. Gurdjieff was a con-artist,  thief and trickster by his own admission - a heavy drinker - a womanizer and definitely a man of Many talents. He moved about during exceptionally difficult times wherein lots of these talents were useful and enabling. In his teaching he often lead the students to complete drunken stupor and excess.

 

Does his teachings and those of Ouspensky have merit? - without any doubt - should you be wary - as wary as you should always be - until either you are safely back asleep or simply have moved on from worry.

 

As in all of this: Carry Salt and Measure Head

Take it all with a grain of salt and feel within and listen.

Measure your head often - if it has begun to swell look at what beliefs you have swallowed.

 

I know of few groups that think they have the inside track as much as Gurdjieff group members and fundamentalists/athiests.

 

Edited by Spotless
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If and when you decide to read "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson" it is meant to be read through. 

It is a musical book - a tonal book that is a Master Piece just as Gurdjieff said it is. It's content is not it's worth but the entire structure of it. It is a composition - that has very real profound effects - though few have an idea of what I am talking about either before or after reading it. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Beelzebubs-Tales-His-Grandson-Everything/dp/0140194738

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On 5/9/2019 at 1:39 PM, Spotless said:

If and when you decide to read "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson" it is meant to be read through. 

It is a musical book - a tonal book that is a Master Piece just as Gurdjieff said it is. It's content is not it's worth but the entire structure of it. It is a composition - that has very real profound effects - though few have an idea of what I am talking about either before or after reading it. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Beelzebubs-Tales-His-Grandson-Everything/dp/0140194738

 

 

Would you elaborate as to how one reads it? Musical or tonal must mean in a specific way?

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, ralis said:

 

 

Would you elaborate as to how one reads it? Musical or tonal must mean in a specific way?

It was written to have specific effects on one when reading it.

 

It holds to certain frequencies relentlessly and beyond that I would only want to speak about it with those that have read through it twice.

 

It can be read through somewhat quickly in the first go or not and probably is best at a bit of a pace.

 

It is often given considerable reverence and that is good in order to give you the impetus to drive on through it.

 

It is not the greatest book - but it is a masterpiece in its construct.

 

Like a sustained high note breaks glass.

 

Edited by Spotless

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On 5/9/2019 at 2:04 PM, Spotless said:

...

Ask your friend - "if i awoke tomorrow" - self awakening - what would you be able to offer in the form of any clue as to what has transpired?

 

G often spoke of needing someone who had been outside the jail to shed some light on what it is like - what is the lineage that she can offer that has this living teaching?

 

Is your friend - friendly in the normal sense - or does she tend to be on the very serious side of seriousness?

..

 

I will next time I see her. Strangely she seems to pop up every time I delve into this (daoism/4th way) subject.

 

I cannot tell if she has attained something besides the fascination of reading Ouspensky at a young age.

 

She is the type of person that appears when I need help. She is really serious. But she is not super friendly in the friendly sense; she has good manners of course, but it seems for like she has a fascination with the topic and maybe something I can offer.

Like she has an intuitive hunch about me, the first time she met me. Maybe something karma related or just kindred souls or something.

She literally made it possible for me to stay in this country. (She is the kind of person that has a "fate" quality about her)

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On 5/8/2019 at 11:39 PM, rideforever said:

Ouspensky students always speak like that.

I was just reading a memory by CS Nott who visited Ouspensky in England, during the meeting Ouspensky had never even heard of the Tales and asked to borrow Nott's copy, and Ouspensky admitted he was a great physical and emotional coward - which means the work was not possible for him.   Ouspensky became an alcoholic at the end of his life and said that his teaching had failed, what a failure.

I don't know what Ouspensky taught, it was just exotic garbage for "famous people" who like to talk a lot.
Traditions are destroyed by idiotic students almost the minute they are formed on this planet.

Theosophy ?  Gurdjieff said that he had followed Blavatsky's journey and it took him a great deal of time before he realised that she had not personally witnessed the things she had described but had written second hand, more exotic ideas.

Gurdjieff also said that the people of the island Albion do not see or hear anything.

I just sent back this book, Gurdieff Cosmic Secrets, it was just tables after tables after tables of musical intervals analysis.   And that was it.   Completely one dimensional.   No application.   No idea.   These Ouspensky people are so much in their mind it is frightening, they are in their mind but they can't use their mind.

Ouspensky brought Hollywood to Gurdjieff, famous people, famous writers, the rich intelligensia.   Was quite similar to when the Hollywood crowd went North to Oregon to bring drugs and debauchery to the Osho commune then.   And with the same disastrous results.

Gurdjieff was cooking for 80 people, building walls with his bare hands, and earning an ordinary living supporting two dozen relatives .... whilst those bums were "discussing things".

 

So I just checked out that Gurjideff Cosmic Secrets music intervals analysis book. You are correct - it's just Western logarithmic math b.s. Whenever you see that Western logarithmic math promoted as spirituality - that's just Freemasonry. Nothing new there - and no it is definitely NOT real alchemy.

 

 

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