This Guide Is for Those Who Are Searching for Something about Gurdjieff and The Fourth Way. Welcome!
What the Gurdjieff Internet Guide Is and Is Not?
The Gurdjieff Internet Guide is independent of, does not belong to or represent the views of any of the individuals or groups under the definitions 'Gurdjieff' and 'The Fourth Way'. The editor is Reijo Elsner, who has experience of the Gurdjieff Work.
The aim of the web site is to provide an open forum for those interested in the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way. There is no substitute for the 'real thing'. Gurdjieff did not live in 'Virtual Reality'. He talked about quite a different reality, when he answered a question of what is the difference between our normal waking state and being more awake, saying: 'everything more vivid'.
To study the articles, books, music, even the movements and take part in discussions without group work, which is the way his teaching is being carried on, is what Gurdjieff called 'pouring from the empty into the void'. In fact, one of the biggest obstacles for most of those 'seeking the truth' is the habit of finding an explanation to the things we are confronted with. Explanations like this can often be found ready made in our own subconsciousness and if not there, we tend to look for them in writing and having found some answer we can forget the questioning and continue to sleep in peace.
While we, the many contributors to the web site, are trying to give a fair picture of Gurdjieff's teaching, we are aware that, due to the nature of the media, our own 'make-up' and the nature of the 'Work', this picture is incomplete without direct human contacts and personal attempts to wake up. These attempts without proper guidance, and even with their help, can easily fail.
There are many links to the groups, individuals and organizations on this site that can be contacted with the aim of joining the Work. Moreover, the new Fourth Way Contacts site will have your own contact listed.
About Gurdjieff's Teachings - A Short Summary
Gurdjieff did not teach us how to function, but how to use our functions with methods related to what he called 'being'. Hamlet's question 'to be or not to be' he formulated 'to be or not to be at all', subtly pointing out that just to exist or not is not the vital question; existence provides the conditions for us 'to be'. When he said that there are great differences in the 'being' of people, he was not referring to the differences in the functioning of our centers, which he called thinking, feeling and moving centers, but to the differences in the level or state of 'being'.
Being is related to the states, the levels, of consciousness. We can function in sleep and ordinary 'waking state', nature takes care of that. The other levels, self-consciousness and objective consciousness, are in us as a possibility, like a seed, which, when nursed in the right way, can bring forth a new birth, a new kind of 'being'. This process Gurdjieff also called waking up from our ordinary 'waking state', which he called sleep.
The toolkits that Gurdjieff left us are: groupwork, writings, music and the Movements. These tools are available for those who wish to learn to use them. Providing the tools are of good quality, well maintained and skillfully used, they can help us to awake from our sleep. The tools are important - when we use them we can be said to be 'working' according to the method of Mr. Gurdjieff.