Building blocks or basic concepts of Work - Essence

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Building blocks or basic concepts of Work - Essence

Postby mguru » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:27 pm

Building blocks or Basic concepts of Work
Post by mguru » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:33 pm

Without much conscious thought and elaborate searching , one name for this new site which occurred to me was EssenceGrowth.
Harry suggested an added association with the 4th Way . Hence the final name came about for this forum.

Since then there has been an urge in me to ponder deeply on this key idea of the 4th Way - Essence and Personality.
and while searching for resources today , I happened to come across a discussion on this very same issue at an old 4th Way site

Here's a brief extract -
The gradual reduction of false personality and the establishment of true personality in its place allows for the growth of essence.
Essence, which had been severely restricted due to the graceless growth of false personality like a crust around it,
now begins to receive essential nourishment once again in the form of direct impressions of diverse and finer energies.
....We start by struggling with false personality.

Work is of transforming value when , first , we read about (get the intellectual knowledge of ) very unique ideas like the one above which are generally
not to be found in conventional psychology . Next we try to see the truth of it in ourselves through self-observation and set ourselves on the path
of true understanding with a clear taste of it distinctly . So the spiral of Knowledge and Being takes off provided we keep nourishing it.

Therefore the next thought is .. why not take each fundamental idea of the Work , like the 3 centres , self-remembering , Law of three and so on
(selecting these building blocks is itself a major task) and explore them all deeply ?

Would this interest each and everyone here - so that it evinces a higher level of participation ? Feedback is welcome - including any variants of the theme.

Re: Building blocks or Basic concepts of Work

Post by John S » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:52 am


You're right: selecting the building blocks is the first major task. Connected with this is how they interact with each other - something we never got to the
end of in Ian's forums.

Still, there's always fresh ideas to uncover: the book I've just read, 'Ladies of the Rope', gave me new perspectives on some of these familiar fundamental
blocks, due mainly to the in-depth descriptions of the personalities of those involved, and how G himself used these characteristics of each of them to attack
them and break them down into their strengths and - mostly - their weaknesses, ie the mistaken ideas they had of themselves which, somehow, had to be


Re: Building blocks or Basic concepts of Work

Post by boever » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:10 pm


Jean Vaysse - Towards Awakening ... sp=sharing

I believe that this work can serve as a good starting point.

Re: Building blocks or Basic concepts of Work

Post by cor_delia » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:38 pm

Good morning everyone,

From above:

The gradual reduction of false personality and the establishment of true personality in its place allows for the growth of essence.

Yes that surely is a basic concept in the Gurdjieff Work. As Mr G said; "Man has soul in embryo."
This is not found in other traditions so much.

Recently I've been listening to some old Osho tapes. He uses studies in Kirlian photography to prove that in the animals and plants, essence comes PRIOR to
manifestation of the physical; whereas in man, this is not so. Essence has to grow AFTER manifestation of the physical body. We have to self-develop the
higher bodies. There may be very faint imprints, but no fixed pattern or blueprint as in the case of for example a cat, or a rose, which arrive in this
world fully potentially developed. And that is the only way they can grow - already essentially perfect in 'kittyness' or 'rosiness'.
I find this a most interesting study and confirmation.
Osho seems to have spent much effort in confirming several of Mr G's statements and obviously reveres him.

The tapes in question come under the title of "Anxiety = who are you; anguish = who am I" and the main topic relates to the question Ramana Maharshi gave his


(This post is actually in answer to a suggestion from Harry that we post two to three times weekly here. I agree this is desirable, especially at present, where
it seems only three or four of us are active members.)

Re: Building blocks or Basic concepts of Work

Post by mguru » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:15 pm

Seems to me , as a child grows up, once self-consciousness starts setting in - mainly for the introverted types - the false personality's growth starts
and that of Essence slows down. But this can be a chicken and egg conundrum. Does a self-conscious trait make one introverted ?

It does sound plausible Judy , that beings other than humans are fully developed at birth in their essence and the rest of their lives is a manifestation from
But ,like humans, I guess, each , for example, cat may have it's unique personality. In humans , quite obviously we see , right from birth , that each
person has unique in-born traits .

The difference could be that man has the power or force in him (consciousness ? ) which can be marshalled to develop his essence and true personality or , left
to itself, simply gets fully deployed in other directions.

Was it in ISOTM that it is said that a human facing life in the raw in tough natural environments tends to have good development in Essence/Being ?

Anyway, the crux of the matter for me now is how precisely can I see clearly in myself ,at-least to begin with , the manifestation differences between
false and true personality.

Re: Building blocks or Basic concepts of Work

Post by cor_delia » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:56 pm

I suppose where I was coming from is that this big idea that only man is a self-developing organism is indeed one of the basic concepts of the Gurdjieff
Work. Some schools, for example those of Willem Nyland, focus very much on this concept and study in depth a diagram, the 3-bodies-diagram. It is also evident
in Daly-King's Oragean Version. Indeed, many of my regular exercises are directed towards the development of Kesdjan and Mental bodies.

Would someone else like to add another basic concept to this particular forum? Or discuss the above one?

Use the love of the Work to involve the interest of the Intellectual Centre, or use the interest of the Intellectual centre to awaken the heart. Either one will

All the best,

Re: Building blocks or Basic concepts of Work

Post by mguru » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:01 am

I've read that those finer bodies need suitable food.and that the 'food' for this is generated from our ingesting the higher
impressions (arising from THY WILL)

Now the grosser impressions are feeding the personality.

So Essence Growth seems in a way a result of the development (or allowing the development) of true will.

For this, in the moment , I need to be sensitive (First Conscious shock) and ,over a period of time ,non-reactive - in the usual mechanical way
( Intentional suffering)

Just do it , Guru. Or pray for it :)

One task I am with now is , when listening to the other , be aware of the physical sound vibrations in addition to what they are wishing to communicate
and what I am thinking in reaction.

Re: Building blocks or Basic concepts of Work

Post by cor_delia » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:53 am

This "feeding of the embryonic 'I'" needs much careful study.

Basically, though, the food is the impressions which occur during the moment of correct self-observation. That is, it has to be impartial and simultaneous both.
My knowledge and understanding of this comes from personal notes taken from listening to tapes by Willem Nyland; in particular, the first eight introductory
tapes which are usually available by correspondence after application to a nearby Nyland Group. This is also covered by other schools and groups but I am
not familiar with these. I would recommend the introductory course to anyone who is serious about the work. They are excellent. At first one has to act "as if"
the "I" is alive. It becomes alive when the higher hydrogens (energies) are activated from good quality self-observation. It begins as a possibility before
it becomes a reality. Too much to go into here, Gururaj. This is all involved with giving the first conscious shock in the octave. This 'feeding of the
embryonic I' is how we grow the soul. We are not simply growing Essence. We are developing the astral and soul bodies which can survive the shock of death.

Subject is covered in ISOTM under various 'food diagrams", detailing the physical food for the earth body, air to the kesdjanian and impressions in
self-observation for the mental body (soul). It is however not so detailed or clearly understandable (to me anyway) as are the Nyland tapes which are more
from Orage perhaps. ISOTM however does have much extra intellectual information, of course being from Ouspensky. There are no doubt many versions from the
different transmissions of Gurdjieff's direct students.

All the best,


Re: Building blocks or basic concepts of Work - Essence

Postby rideforever » Sat May 24, 2014 11:08 am

mguru wrote:Jean Vaysse - Towards Awakening ... sp=sharing

I have just been having a look at this document, and I want to share some thoughts on it.

The document is intended to give us understanding of the great insight that we are asleep ... but also to show us that because we have no understanding, to submit to the teaching - a teaching given by 'strangers' to us. This seems to me to be absolutely contradictory, and a little dangerous.

Validation. We are encouraged to validate everything for ourselves ... but is anyone really doing this? Firstly the concepts in the 4th Way are quiet dense and "outrageous" in a way ... and the manner of their verification not given except in a very general sense. And there seems to be no real challenging of these concepts - are they even discussed? I have a stack of 4th Way books here and mostly people are repeating O or G, verbatim in many cases, ... is anyone really able to experience these structures of reality directly, unquestionably, and to expand on them, and explain them ... it seems not. Only Bennett from my experience ... and Nicoll with psychological concepts.

We may also ponder on how we can set out on an adventure to discover with freedom ... when we are already told what we are supposed to find.

It is as if someone has painted a series of incredible concepts on the wall, saying you must verify this for yourself. And then they walked away. This manner of doing things has an effect on human participants ... some of them just walk away, and some start imagining things. How does it lead to contact with the truth ?

In the East, in some traditions, no concepts are given because it is known that any such things will just turn the wheels of your imagining.

Others like the Bihar School of Yoga has published a series of yoga books that details very subtle areas of teaching, a step by step teaching of a tremendous ocean of practical techniques with pictures. It would be good if the 4th Way could do the same - if someone exists who is able to do that. Is there such a person ? Can we be simple and cease appealing to exciting mysteries. We are looking for reality after all.

I always have a feeling of anxiety looking at those tables of hydrogens and diagrams of this or that. I am an engineer and widely read. I know how to read, learn and understand. But with the 4th Way materials ... I normally have the feeling that half of it is ... incoherent and incomplete. People just state incredible things with no explanation, no examples, no evidence, no way to verify it for yourself. And often verbatim copies of O's diagrams or descriptions. After seeking explanations of basic concepts like LOT from various people and authors, it is clear to me that it is poorly understood. When I was younger and heard about "entropy" I also had a similar feeling. At what level are you talking about ? What do you experience wrt this concept ? How am I to comprehend it or verify it ? Intellectually only ? At what scale ? The truth is that people who talk of such things have no investigated their own understanding of it, they have not triangulated it within themselves and so can explain it no better.

Similarly many gurus in the East say "I am Brahman". 'Really, then can you make it stop raining ?' No ....

Is there a fear of using your mind ? Perhaps it is considered negative to ask a question ?

Given what has occurred to many famous students in the 4th Way, I can't see how a student could be bullish about it, or confident. I think the appropriate posture of a 4th Way student is to interest him in the material but recognise that he has to verify that the areas of the teaching that are correct and those that aren't, and not imagine that the path leads to the top. As well as honouring those who have come before, we must also accept their limitations and failures.

It is after all no shame to understand better than the previous generation, nor to lead the teaching. That is what 'work' is. Following is just lazy.

Culturally, there is a peculiar reverence for authority that contradicts the verify-it-for-yourself emphasis. And a great mystery has been made of the teaching, strange happenings, dark princes, incomprehensible statements.

It is a wonder that people can so sheepishly follow without questioning or challenging ... whilst at the same time consider themselves to be verifying the cutting of edge of spiritual teachings! My experience with different 4th Way groups is that if a person so much as raises a simple question, he is told that he is too stupid to understand. Incredible!

Also "The Work". I wonder if anyone else has had cause to consider whether we overestimate ourselves and underestimate other beings by capitalising our studying. Today other "teachers" also are calling their efforts "The Work" ... it seems silly to me. And not very humble. Can we be sure everyone else is wasting their time ? It's superficial. We can also consider this ... is a person who is working in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd way ... arriving at a different place then we intend to ? You see, a person is not the path he is "on". That's just a container, an association. I am sure many beings who were on one path actually attained the realisations that are claimed by other paths ... beings are not robotically copying a path ... it is just the wallpaper that they have chosen for this particular leg of their journey. We are after all to find our-selves and our-journey ... and not to robotically replicate something.

I see this in many areas of spiritual life on the planet; for instance those "theologians" who scrape the barrel of ancient scriptures hoping to find the one grain that eludes ... but they miss the point entirely. You are the point, the path, and the goal. It is useless to find some sacred manuscript ... you must find the sacred in you. Turning in, seems to be the very last thing that a man would do ... and contrives so many ridiculous excuses. It is undignified. But perhaps we should see the funny side. Work harder !!!

One item that particularly dawned on me several years ago is "who is doing the work" ? Was I, a confused monkey-man, really capable of fixing myself ? Perhaps it was like performing brain-surgery on oneself ... making the best stab of it given my current semi-sanity ... and if I didn't terminate this organism on the table ... then perhaps with the slightly better functioning that resulted from such surgery ... I could perform the next bit of surgery ... and step by step inch my way out of hell. Is that how it is ?

Today, I feel that there is something to it ... but instead of performing surgery on myself ... my effort is to open myself so that the Light can perform the surgery. Quite a different emphasis. I have no idea what to do to myself, except that. Let the Light do it, if it wants to. I just need to put myself in the right place with the right opening. My only "work" is to let the Light work on me.

Mindfulness of our selves our machinery our environment ... which seems to be available at an unusually deep level with the 4th Way technology ... is not the same as becoming the Light. There will be no end to comprehending our Universe ... the scale of it is vast vast vast - if we seek to verify each and every particle of it ... we will surely be busy for eternity. We must find a way out of it ... for even though we may understand subtle laws and be way-ahead of other "people" ... it's not much difference after all. I don't see how that can lead to a way out - perhaps someone can correct me. There must be a short cut. Becoming a channel of the Light and surrendering to it, seems to me to be simply the way out. And in my view too much effort and not enough surrender was presented in G's time.

I wonder if the 4th Way could be presented quite differently. There is something so wordy and complicated about the whole thing ... a typical 4th Way pre-amble exhausts you as it both expects you to comprehend spectacular theories, whilst demanding that you acknowledge you know nothing. At least if a few good jokes were thrown in you could have a laugh.

Many many errors of a basic kind have been made in the spiritual path on this planet. Simple reasoning, simple honesty ... seems alien to our "species".

I have been thinking recently that a picture book is the best kind of instruction that can be given. Because it operates on the level of man's mind which is created for bananas, caves and trees. And it is through this primitive pass, that spiritual information must travel ... pictures are appropriate.

In particular the pictures should show people's bodies as they perform the exercises. Meaning lifelike pictures showing a person concentrating on a bone in his foot ... with the active areas highlighted on the picture. Making those pictures unmistakeable. It is the only way people really understand - otherwise it's in the head.

I do wonder what the effect would be if ALL spiritual information on the planet was displayed like that. Then any individual on this planet could flip open a page and visually see the exercise and he could do it right there and then. Without reading any "explanations". It is the "explanations" that prevent mankind evolving.

If only we could give an individual a next step. Just a simple next step. That's it. Just one little step forward, it would have a gigantic impact in my view. But the whole problem is that spiritual information is presented in the most dense and complicated way.

In my view it is not true that mankind is unwilling to take a step forward. It is just those with knowledge have not understood the correct presentation of the material. Take for instance the 60 bone exercise. It's child's play. It's a little game. But ... just imagine the titanic barriers to an individual who is confronted by the 4th Way. Absolutely gigantic barriers, warnings, incredible concepts, fantastic brags. And it all boils down to feeling the bones in your foot !!! Please tell me someone else can hear what I am saying.

As soon as you start with words and grand concepts you guarantee misunderstanding and foolishness.

Well, I suppose that sums up my sense of the 4th Way.

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Re: Building blocks or basic concepts of Work - Essence

Postby mguru » Sun May 25, 2014 7:09 pm

Hi RideForEver (Am addressing you this way as you have not signed off with a name. Hope it's OK)

That was a huge effort on your part ( as also on my part in reading it twice ;) ) to share your perspective .
Your varied experience is noteworthy and welcome here in the context of so few persons in the world at large , apparently , being interested deeply in Inner work.

Some of your thoughts resonated for me and some did not. Would this be understandable ? I think so , because , even though much is common in the human design,
each of us is a unique entity.
One can only be true to oneself and operate from where one is without being side tracked by the 'lawful' variations between each person.

Though,this is not to broadly sweep under the carpet any difference in viewpoints . After all one purpose of the group is to caution and question another member
when appropriate. For example , when you state that a picture is the most effective way to communicate a Truth than so many words, I wonder how many persons
have been transformed by seeing the Sphinx which is considered as a classic example of a Legominism . Jutting out so gigantically from the desert sands, nothing
else can be so 'in your face'. Yet...

This 'Seeking' seems to be such a nebulous thing .Moreover this internet based medium and its form has its own limitations.

Yet I have found participation in the online group of benefit to keep the pot simmering and to attempt to understand , and more importantly, verify the 4th Way precepts.
The key to this is to , whenever one remembers , experiment on ourselves and share it here . Again ,since each of us in the group here have some common
and some unique aspects to ourselves , so often times it may appear that we are talking past each other , though , by and large the exchanges give value to all over
a period of time, I presume.

Warm regards,


Re: Building blocks or basic concepts of Work - Essence

Postby rideforever » Tue May 27, 2014 6:45 pm

If you feel that you may be talking past each other, why don't check ?

You say you "presume" that there is value ? Aren't you supposed to verify and validate things ? Isn't that the foundation ? What is presumption ?

You say that seeking is "nebulous" ? This does not give me much confidence that this group is capable of finding anything.

Are you not verifying and validating things ? Have you not been successful ? Have you not tracked your progress ? Do you know where you are and where you are going ? Is anyone home ?

What I would like to hear from a 4th Way group is ... Yes we make concrete progress. Yes, this leads to this, and that to that. Yes I engage with your questions. Yes here is my position. This is my understanding. This is my state. This is what we can do. This is where we are going.

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Re: Building blocks or basic concepts of Work - Essence

Postby hroeder » Wed May 28, 2014 12:39 pm

You cannot select a destination you cannot see.

Columbus had a theoretical idea that there was another way to get to the Far East. Lo and behold he found a New World. But he had to set sail first.

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