This is an extract from 'Some Questions and Answers from the French Group' and dates to the 1940's Paris.


Gurdjieff, George Ivanovitch

Q: I have discovered the same quality of emotions of which we spoke, but it gives me such an interior fullness, such a sensation of happiness that I no longer feel remorse; I grudge myself this happiness, for I have not deserved it.

Mr. G: You have imagination and fantasy. I have always said so. You are a representative of art. Foufou. There is no weight. It is light. Philosophy, imagination. A state is a result. It is this which gives weight. This is the counter balance of real happiness which goes in step with it. At the same time in order that it should be genuine, one must not have one without the other. Your nature has a tendency (the result of inertia); you let yourself go toward this tendency of having extraordinary states without a real basis, without weight. You must eliminate this, drive it away. As soon as a state of satisfaction arises, make "tchik." Crush it, eliminate it. Work on remorse, remember yourself, revive the scenes when you were a bad child, when you made your parents cry, perhaps. Feel again in all the details, find your faults again. Search in your past. Suffer. In that suffering you can have real happiness given by real love.

There are two different things under different laws: 1) the organic body; 2) the psychic body. The organic body obeys its laws. It only wishes to satisfy its needs - eating, sleeping, sex. It knows nothing else. It wishes nothing else. It is a real animal. One must feel it as an animal. One must feel it as a stranger. One must subdue it, train it and make it obey, instead of obeying it.

The psychic body knows something other than the organic body. It has other needs, other aspirations, other desires. It belongs to a different world. It is of a different nature. There is a conflict between these two bodies - one wishes, the other does not. It is a struggle which one must reinforce voluntarily. By our work; by our will. It is this fight which exists naturally, which is the specific state of man, which we must use to create a third thing, a third state different from the other two, which is the Master, which is united with something else.

The task is therefore something precise which reinforces this struggle, because by struggle and ONLY by struggle can a new possibility of being be born. For instance, my organism is in the habit of smoking. That is its need. I do not wish to smoke - I elimintate this habit. The need is always there but I refuse to satisfy it. There is a struggle, a conscious voluntary struggle which calls the third force. It is the third force which will be the factor - "I" - which will conciliate and make the equilibrium.

The body is an animal. The psyche is a child. One must educate the one and the other. Take the body, make it understand that it must obey, not command. Put each one in its place. One must know oneself. One must see what goes on. Take a task which is within your possibility, very small to begin with. On eating. On a habit. Each one knows himself and can find a task; it is his interior thing, a will which is opposed to a need and creates struggle.

The only possibility of creating a second body is by an accumulation of a different substance. The only aim is that everything should serve this aim.