On life, being human and seeking truth

Jean Vaysse


In the universe we live in, it is obvious that nothing is lost. Everything comes from somewhere and, having been changed or transformed to some degree, returns somewhere. Nothing which has taken form or is alive remains immutable, and each of these changes serves life in some fashion. A human being cannot be an exception to this universal principle. Being endowed with thought, how can a man go through life without questioning himself? and, being endowed with feeling, how can he remain indifferent to such questioning?


Minderal, vegetable, animal, human, each kingdom or genus of life on our planet is the bearer of a specific quality which characterizes it and which, within a certain range of variation, it has the mission to develop. Being endowed with thought, is a man not bound to ask himself what is the specific characteristic of human life, which human life alone can develop? One day, should he arrive at an answer which seems valid, can a man worthy of the name have any other aim than to try to nourish from then on, by all available means, this quality proper to him and his brothers?


Once a man has realized that he ought to get to the root of things, and that he can no longer be content with living in accordance with the demands of the ordinary world, then a Question arises about what he himself is and about the meaning of his own life. In the beginning, the way he searches and the way he puts this question to himself can take very different forms. But finally, beyond the partial aspects, which appear at first to be the only ones, does not all search in this field come to be seen as one - that of knowing, behind appearances, what is true? And, in the end, is not every man who asks himself this question, definitely and essentially a seeker of the truth?

From: An approach to the teaching left by Gurdjieff, Toward Awakening, Jean Vaysse, p. 6, 7