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Gurdjieff

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Gary Lachman is the author of twenty-one books on the links between culture, consciousness, and the western esoteric tradition, including Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump, Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, The Secret Teachers of the Western World, and Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World. He writes for several journals in the UK, US, and Europe and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. In a former life he was a founding member of the rock group Blondie and is an inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He can be reached at www.garylachman.co.uk

The Fourth Way is an approach to self-development described by George Gurdjieff which he developed over years of travel in the East. It combines and harmonizes what he saw as three established traditional “ways” or “schools”: those of the mind, emotions, and body, or of yogis, monks, and fakirs respectively. Students often refer to the Fourth Way as “The Work”, “Work on oneself,” or “The System”. The exact origins of some of Gurdjieff’s teachings are unknown, but people have offered various sources The term “Fourth Way” was further used by his student P. D. Ouspensky in his lectures and writings. After Ouspensky’s death, his students published a book entitled The Fourth Way based on his lectures.

“Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.”

According to this system, the three traditional schools, or ways, “are permanent forms which have survived throughout history mostly unchanged, and are based on religion. Where schools of yogis, monks or fakirs exist, they are barely distinguishable from religious schools. The fourth way differs in that “it is not a permanent way. It has no specific forms or institutions and comes and goes controlled by some particular laws of its own.”

When this work is finished, that is to say, when the aim set before it has been accomplished, the fourth way disappears, that is, it disappears from the given place, disappears in its given form, continuing perhaps in another place in another form. Schools of the fourth way exist for the needs of the work which is being carried out in connection with the proposed undertaking. They never exist by themselves as schools for the purpose of education and instruction.

The Fourth Way addresses the question of humanity’s place in the Universe and the possibilities of inner development. It emphasizes that people ordinarily live in a state referred to as a semi-hypnotic “waking sleep,” while higher levels of consciousness, virtue, unity of will are possible.

G.I. Gurdjieff : The War Against Sleep

This examination of a psychologist and teacher of genius also provides an introduction to the philosophy of Gurdjieff. This work presents the life and work of one of the most influential psychological theorists of modern times. George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff is one of the most enigmatic figures of our time. He attracted legends as easily as disciples. But behind the Gurdjieff myth lies a solid corpus of thought, the importance of which is only now being generally recognized. At its heart was the idea of ‘the war against sleep’, the fact that man, in Colin Wilson’s words, is like ‘a grandfather clock driven by a watch-spring’. This brilliant and much praised examination of a psychologist and teacher of genius has established itself as the most important and accessible account for the general reader of Gurdjieff’s life and work.

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The Fourth Way teaches how to increase and focus attention and energy in various ways, and to minimize day-dreaming and absent-mindedness. This inner development in oneself is the beginning of a possible further process of change, whose aim is to transform man into “what he ought to be.”

This is a newly arranged system for the practical development of consciousness. For those wishing to practice the principles of this system, I offer free weekly videos on beperiod.com. For those wishing to understand the theory behind its construction.

www.beperiod.com for further details