Hey fags

Emberfire
Emberfire

Hey fags. Before on this board I talked about a new interpretation of the Gospels I discovered, which is in line with Gurdjieff’s teachings (everyone called me a faggot, you may have been there). I didn’t want to reveal it then but now I don’t really care. Gurdjieff was a controversial Greco-Armenian mystic etc etc. We on Veeky Forums have all got Wikipedia, our preferred source of knowledge. Anyway, most scholars who care about Gurdjieff usually think he was just teaching some of the esoteric doctrines of some Sufis he found in his travels in Central Asia, despite his repeated assertions that he was teaching “esoteric Christianity”. James Webb, an otherwise great biographer of him, confusedly handwaves this phrase “esoteric Christianity” away, making some limp comparison to Dostoyevsky and saying Gurdjieff may have meant it in a rhetorical sense. Another scholar I read also dismissed the “esoteric Christianity”, simply saying it doesn’t make sense. It makes a lot of sense! Margaret Anderson, a student of his who wrote a memoir of her time with him, casually mentions that the system he taught came from the Gnostics. Gurdjieff is constantly making veiled references to the Gospels, and his system offers a completely new and coherent way of reading the Gospels, which, to my knowledge, has never been put in scholarship before. It also fits with Gnostic Nag Hammadi texts, which were not discovered by the mainstream world while Gurdjieff was alive and teaching. I am also making a similar thread on /x/ if you are interested.

Anyway, I will be typing out and preparing a pretty solid intepretation of Christ’s sayings in the Gospels, which should — as I see it — make sense and be pretty overturning of established dogmatic interpretations of Christianity.

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CouchChiller
CouchChiller

k

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

The system he taught didn't come from anywhere.

It's a syncretism. The cosmology is clearly from samkhya philosophy, the practices seem to be from raja yoga and the rest is his own based on his own theories.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

And the dances are a cheap knock off of sufism

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

I thought that pic was Gene Wolfe. I would imagine Gene Wolfe would interpret the gospels in line with Catholic teaching. No idea about the guy you're talking about

Illusionz
Illusionz

Gurgjeff was a fraud.

Read Samuel Aeon Weor.

Spamalot
Spamalot

not being a theologian
not being a Catholic even if God said "Tu es Petrus"
"preparing a pretty solid interpretation of Christ's sayings in the Gospels"

Subjectivism really is a plague.

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Flameblow
Flameblow

Gene Wolfe is a Cosmic Christian and miles beyond the Papacy.
Objectivism? You mean your ever-changing "unchanging" truth?

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

Uncovering and developping truth does not mean that truth evolves.

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

What about truth lost?

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

The House as the Self, Servants as Different ‘I’s
Gurdjieff, according to Ouspensky in In Search of the Miraculous, says that

"Eastern teachings contain various allegorical pictures which endeavor to portray the nature of man's being from this point of view.

"Thus, in one teaching, man is compared to a house in which there is a multitude of servants but no master and no steward. The servants have all forgotten their duties; no one wants to do what he ought; everyone tries to be master, if only for a moment; and, in this kind of disorder, the house is threatened with grave danger. The only chance of salvation is for a group of the more sensible servants to meet together and elect a temporary steward, that is, a deputy steward. This deputy steward can then put the other servants in their places, and make each do his own work: the cook in the kitchen, the coachman in the stables, the gardener in the garden, and so on. In this way the 'house' can be got ready for the arrival of the real steward who will, in his turn, prepare it for the arrival of the master.

"The comparison of a man to a house awaiting the arrival of the master is frequently met with in Eastern teachings which have preserved traces of ancient knowledge, and, as we know, the subject appears under various forms in many of the parables in the Gospels.

Before this, for context, Gurdjieff paints a picture of the average person as totally mechanical, contradictory, and made up of many different ‘I’s. We think we have one unified self and freewill, but really we just have many conflicting desires, thoughts, sensations, and emotions which we say “I” to. We cannot separate ourselves from them, nor can we often keep promises, remember plans or carry out plans successfully for very long, etc.

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Booteefool
Booteefool

According to Gurdjieff, because of this chaotic conglomeration of desires without a unified, permanent ‘I’ is what makes up the average man, nothing, or very little of them, will survive after death. Because we are mostly made up of artificial social conditioning (what he calls ‘personality’), and have not developed our innermost self, which has gone to sleep at a very early age (what he calls our ‘essence’), not much of us will survive. The personality must and will be destroyed at death, and our life after death is only based on the development of our innermost essence. Gurdjieff’s teaching is to weaken the influence of personality, and develop our essence. He suggests the bit of essence which remains alive in people who have mostly been unconscious throughout their life will go and suffer through immeasurable ages as it slowly evolves to greater self-awareness.

Another thing to understand of Gurdjieff’s teachings is the stress he laid on self-observation and what he called “self-remembering”. This is being aware of what we think, feel, and do as we think, feel, and do stuff, not identifying with the mechanical reactions of our body, emotions, and thoughts, and separating ourselves from negative emotions. According to him, we are not already self-aware, i.e., we do not already observe ourselves and are not aware of ourselves as we move about our day, no matter how seemingly deep what we do – make paintings, compose sonatas, eat breakfast, kill people, etc. This practice is meant to make use “awake” whereas the normal person is “asleep”. Gurdjieff also says these practices will accumulate/crystallize energies in us into an actual soul capable of withstanding death (the average person does not have a soul, and, according to him, it must be developed throughout life – people are not born with them). Cf. Buddhist and Taoist ideas of creating a “diamond body” which can withstand death, and Hermetic ideas of immortality as something which must be attained.

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MPmaster
MPmaster

HOW DO I GET THAT MOUSTACHE

Spamalot
Spamalot

So let’s compare this to some parables in the Gospels.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7:24-27 KJV)

If, according to Gurdjieff’s idea that in ancient symbolism the house represented the self, you read the house as the self, there seems a clear meaning that those who don’t follow this teaching will have their selves destroyed at death. Our self is weak, built on sand, and thus cannot withstand death.

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. (Matthew 12:25)

While seemingly out of context (here Jesus is responding to people who think that he is casting out devils because he himself is in league with the devil), the very similar symbolism/meaning seems interested. A kingdom, city, or house (self) divided against itself (not unified, made up of many shifting ‘I’s, thoughts, emotions, desires, actions, etc.) will not stand.

Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. (Matthew 13:52)

According to Gurdjieff in In Search of the Miraculous, we are like people in a house without any awareness of the riches in our house, and even of latent unused capabilities. These he calls “higher emotional center” and “higher thinking center”. Anyway, this imagery of the house as the self is again clear.

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askme
askme

What eastern teaching?

The doctrine of multiple i's is his own invention

massdebater
massdebater

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Matthew 24:1-2)

Again a clear conflation of a physical building or structure with the self or body. This has the literal meaning of referring to the ravages of time, one inner meaning of referring to Jesus’s own death (the body as a temple), and another inner meaning of the inevitable destruction of the pieces of our own personality.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:36-44)

Most scholars and Christians interpret this simply as eschatological, referring to when Jesus will return and the end-times will occur. However, keeping in mind the above ideas of mindfulness, being awake as opposed to asleep, the house as the self, and death possibly destroying our undeveloped selves, this has a totally different meaning.

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PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

cool thread user, keep going

SniperWish
SniperWish

The “day” is our own death. Noah surviving the Flood in the Ark is like a bit of our souls being conscious to survive death. The thief is not Christ (scholars have noted how strange it is to compare Christ to a thief), but death. The goodman of the house “watching” (staying awake) or watching his house (observing himself, being conscious) would be awake when death came so it didn’t “break up his house” (destroy the unconscious components of his personality). Be ready and always be self-observant, because you don’t know when death will come.
Compare also to these sayings from the Gospel of Thomas (Gnostic text found at Nag Hammadi):

Jesus said, "It is not possible for anyone to enter the house of a strong man and take it by force unless he binds his hands; then he will (be able to) ransack his house."
And
Jesus said, "Fortunate is the man who knows where the brigands will enter, so that he may get up, muster his domain, and arm himself before they invade."

Back to Matthew.

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:45-51)

Again, see Gurdjieff in the beginning about this imagery. We are given a body and certain personality type to develop it so it can house a higher self or soul. If we remain chaotic and disunified, we will be destroyed at death/punished by a higher self.

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CouchChiller
CouchChiller

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (Matthew 23:38)
Christ says this when excoriating the Pharisees. Clear meaning.

Also you can compare this all to another part from the Gospel of Thomas:

A man said to him [Jesus], "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me." He said to him, "O man, who has made me a divider?" He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I am not a divider, am I?"

Superficially, it seems to mean Jesus wants to unite people together, not divide them. Esoterically, it means Jesus came to teach us to be internally unified instead of internally divided as we are.

This was mostly about house imagery, just to point out something which I don’t think has much been talked about in scholarship before – the house/garden/servants as representing the self in the Gospels. A nice quote to cap this off:

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1 ESV)

So, to move on to stuff apart from outright house imagery but still pretty similar. It’s hard to quite divide this into different sections because a lot of flows together into one unified whole. Now I’ll just group together some parts which are related to the general idea of how people who are not spiritually developed will be destroyed at death, and those spiritually developed will have a consciousness capable of surviving beyond death. Or, in short, imagery of the growth/development/cultivation of a soul, suggesting we do not already have one.

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Matthew 3:10 KJV)

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Matthew 7:19)

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BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

Again, a seemingly simple message – good people get rewarded, the bad go to heaven; but according to this new interpretation, the “good fruit” is the development of a soul itself.

For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. (Matthew 13:12)

If you have developed your soul, more shall be given to you. If you have not, even what you have (your artificial personality which has never observed itself/been self-conscious) will be taken away, will be destroyed.

But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. (Matthew 15:13)

Very similar to the tree imagery. Every undeveloped self will be uprooted.

Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. (Matthew 21:18-19)

This one I find a funny example of how confused people are when they read something without the proper context. By scholars, it’s been interpreted as an allegory of Israel not bringing forth the fruit of good works. By detractors, it’s been read as Jesus being an asshole. Esoterically, it means that those who haven’t grown the fruit of a soul through practices of self-observation and self-remembering will wither away and be destroyed at death because they were never self-aware.

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

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Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

I don't like guruism after dealing with Blavatsky and others like that for about a year, but I'm bumping because intrigued and Christfaggots could use some thinking

Supergrass
Supergrass

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:14-30)

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Lunatick
Lunatick

We all get certain potentialities, a certain personality type to be developed. If we don’t develop it, we will be destroyed/punished after death. What we have to develop is a soul. Interestingly, all this can be related to a saying in the Gospel of Thomas (a Gnostic text found in Nag Hammadi) which scholars, to my knowledge, have never given a proper interpretation of:

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

Elaine Pagels cutely says that it “resembles a Zen koan” in how strange it sounds, clearly not much understanding it.

Now I’m going to post a pretty long passage which I nevertheless think should be read if you want to understand some more of this. It’s from Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous, the first pages of Chapter 11.

"I AM often asked questions in connection with various texts, parables, and so on, from the Gospels," said G., on one occasion. "In my opinion the time has not yet come for us to speak about the Gospels. This requires much more knowledge. But from time to time we will take certain Gospel texts as points of departure for our discussions. This will teach you to treat them in the right way, and, above all, to realize that in the texts known to us the most essential points are usually missing.
"To begin with, let us take the well-known text about the seed which must die in order to be born. 'Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but, if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.'
"This text has many different meanings and we shall often return to it. But first of all it is necessary to know the principle contained in this text in its full measure as applied to man.

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Booteefool
Booteefool

"There is a book of aphorisms which has never been published and probably never will be published. I have mentioned this book before in connection with the question of the meaning of knowledge and I quoted then one aphorism from this book.
"In relation to what we are speaking of now this book says the following:
" 'A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to diehe must first awake.'
"In another place it says:
" 'When a man awakes he can die; when he dies he can be born.'
"We must find out what this means.
" 'To awake,' 'to die,' 'to be born.' These are three successive stages. If you study the Gospels attentively you will see that references are often made to the possibility of being born, several references are made to the necessity of 'dying,' and there are very many references to the necessity of 'awakening'—'watch, for ye know not the day and hour . . .' and. so on. But these three possibilities of man, to awake or not to sleep, to die, and to be born, are not set down in connection with one another. Nevertheless this is the whole point. If a man dies without having awakened he cannot be born. If a man is born without having died he may become an 'immortal thing.' Thus the fact that he has not 'died' prevents a man from being 'born'; the fact of his not having awakened prevents him from 'dying'; and should he be born without having died he is prevented from 'being.'
We have already spoken enough about the meaning of being 'born.' This relates to the beginning of a new growth of essence, the beginning of the formation of individuality, the beginning of the appearance of one indivisible I.
But in order to be able to attain this or at least begin to attain it, a man must die, that is, he must free himself from a thousand petty attachments and identifications which hold him in the position in which he is.

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Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

He is attached to everything in his life, attached to his imagination, attached to his stupidity, attached even to his sufferings, possibly to his sufferings more than to anything else. He must free himself from this attachment. Attachment to things, identification with things, keep alive a thousand useless I's in a man. These I's must die in order that the big I may be born. But how can they be made to die? They do not want to die. It is at this point that the possibility of awakening comes to the rescue. To awaken means to realize one's nothingness, that is to realize one's complete and absolute mechanicalness and one's complete and absolute helplessness. And it is not sufficient to realize it philosophically in words. It is necessary to realize it in clear, simple, and concrete facts, in one's own facts. When a man begins to know himself a little he will see in himself many things that are bound to horrify him. So long as a man is not horrified at himself he knows nothing about himself. A man has seen in himself something that horrifies him. He decides to throw it off, stop it, put an end to it. But however many efforts he makes, he feels that he cannot do this, that everything remains as it was. Here he will see his impotence, his helplessness, and his nothingness; or again, when he begins to know himself a man sees that he has nothing that is his own, that is, that all that he has regarded as his own, his views, thoughts, convictions, tastes, habits, even faults and vices, all these are not his own, but have been either formed through imitation or borrowed from somewhere ready-made. In feeling this a man may feel his nothingness. And in feeling his nothingness a man should see himself as he really is, not for a second, not for a moment, but constantly, never forgetting it.

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Spamalot
Spamalot

This continual consciousness of his nothingness and of his helplessness will eventually give a man the courage to 'die,' that is, to die, not merely mentally or in his consciousness, but to die in fact and to renounce actually and forever those aspects of himself which are either unnecessary from the point of view of his inner growth or which hinder it. These aspects are first of all his 'false I,' and then all the fantastic ideas about his 'individuality,' 'will,' 'consciousness,' 'capacity to do,' his powers, initiative, determination, and so on.
But in order to see a thing always, one must first of all see it even if only for a second. All new powers and capacities of realization come always in one and the same way. At first they appear in the form of flashes at rare and short moments; afterwards they appear more often and last longer until, finally, after very long work they become permanent. The same thing applies to awakening. It is impossible to awaken completely all at once. One must first begin to awaken for short moments. But one must die all at once and forever after having made a certain effort, having surmounted a certain obstacle, having taken a certain decision from which there is no going back. This would be difficult, even impossible, for a man, were it not for the slow and gradual awakening which precedes it.
But there are a thousand things which prevent a man from awakening, which keep him in the power of his dreams. In order to act consciously with the intention of awakening, it is necessary to know the nature of the forces which keep man in a state of sleep.
First of all it must be realized that the sleep in which man exists is not normal but hypnotic sleep. Man is hypnotized and this hypnotic state is continually maintained and strengthened in him. One would think that there are forces for whom it is useful and profitable to keep man in a hypnotic state and prevent him from seeing the truth and understanding his position.

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farquit
farquit

you gotta prepare your house for the master's arrival

takes2long
takes2long

Whew. So let’s compare this to some quotes:

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:1-9)

The birth of an actual new spiritual body which can withstand death seems to be being referred to here (what’s born of flesh is flesh, what’s born of spirit is spirit).

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:39)

We have to die (to ourselves, to our artificial personality and social conditioning) so we can be reborn (actually be able to have life after death). If we don’t do this, we will lose our life (not exist after death/only a small and barely conscious part of us will survive), and if we do this, we will gain immortality.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:25-28)

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iluvmen
iluvmen

Some have used this passage to say, “LOL Jesus was wrong because the Son of man didn’t come in his kingdom before these people died.” Esoterically read, this has a much clearer meaning – they will never die because they’ve developed an immortal soul. The Son of man coming in his kingdom is also not necessarily an outer event, but an inner one of awakening (Kingdom of heaven is within, the higher self (Son of man) coming to the kingdom (self, body) to inhabit it).

Now I guess is the child-essence motif. Gurdjieff says that children are born all essence – essential, real, honest, unsocialized, what they really are. As they grow up, this essence begins to be covered over with a personality based on social conditioning. They go to sleep. He says that most people have an essence which stopped growing as a child, and, while they may outwardly have very interesting personalities, if hypnotized/certain methods are used (a shock/trauma from outside awakens them, certain drugs ingested), this inner essence will come out, and even a seemingly very adult intellectual or businessman will really just be very empty, shallow, and childish on the inside. They stopped growing at an early age. Moreover, the formation of this personality is also dependent on the creation of ‘buffers’, like those that insulate the shocks of the grindings of a train. In people, ‘buffers’ are like psychological appliances which prevent us from seeing our inner contradictions and being horrified at the vacuity of ourselves. Gurdjieff says:

Our development is like that of a butterfly. We must "die and be reborn" as the egg dies and becomes a caterpillar; the caterpillar dies and becomes a chrysalis; the chrysalis dies and then the butterfly is born. It is a long process and the butterfly lives only a day or two. But the cosmic purpose is fulfilled. It is the same with man, we must destroy our buffers. Children have none; therefore we must become like little children. ... (Prieuré, June 2, 1922)

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Poker_Star
Poker_Star

From the book “Views From the Real World”, based on talks he had with his students.

Thus, some quotes from Matthew about the child and becoming like a child (returning to our essence, which is honest and childlike):

And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:25-26).

A seemingly mysterious, difficult to comprehend passage, but makes sense in the light of Gnosticism/Gurdjieff’s teachings (although Gurdjieff, again, was seemingly just teaching esoteric Gnostic doctrines). The rulers are the cosmic forces which feed on man and keep him asleep so as to feed off of his suffering. In Gurdjieff’s cosmology, all organic life on Earth is like a thin sensitive film on top of the Earth meant to receive and transform and transmit back planetary influences, regardless of whether we desire this or not. The “kings of the earth” are such planetary forces (archons according to the Gnostics). Our childlike essence (which, according to Gurdjieff, comes down from the stars to be housed in a body made of the materials of this planet for further development) will not feed cosmic forces with its suffering, because our essence does not have all the artificial negative emotions of our personality. This idea of us being “eaten” by higher/darker spiritual forces may seem bizarre and as if it is not being implied by Christ, but Christ is reported as saying in the Gospel of Thomas:

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Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

[They saw] a Samaritan carrying a lamb on his way to Judea. He said to his disciples, "That man is […] round about the lamb." They said to him, "So that he may kill it and eat it." He said to them, "While it is alive, he will not eat it, but only when he has killed it and it has become a corpse." They said to him, "He cannot do so otherwise." He said to them, "You too, look for a place for yourself within repose, lest you become a corpse and be eaten."

Back to Matthew.

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4)

Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:13-14)

And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (Matthew 21:16)

One other interesting parable (unrelated to the baby/essence stuff) which can be read in the light of all this:
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

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Evilember
Evilember

this is excellent user, the literal cultivation of a soul is a rare concept in esoteric study most people are not exposed to, thank you for posting this and the parallels between his theory and the scriptures are decently convincing. I'm not sold on every passage, some of them seem to be literal with only a tangential and unrelated (to your inquiry) esoteric nature, but there is enough here and from the Gospel of Thomas to see what you're getting at. Its worth noting that many of those paradoxical statements quoted up above are similar to zen sayings and koans and that in Zen, Chan, dying without seeing the true self nature is basically the same as what Gurdjieff sees for the uncultivated soul. Though obviously there are ontological and epistemic differences between these two lines of thought. Still, a good deed for the board. Guaranteed the thread is ignored mostly

Firespawn
Firespawn

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (Matthew 25:1-12)

According to Gurdjieff, light represents in ancient esoteric systems consciousness, the light from self-awareness, self-observation, self-remembering. The virgins who didn’t bring oil for light (who didn’t develop self-consciousness, remember themselves, observe themselves) can’t go to the marriage, can’t be accepted by the bridegroom (the higher self, conscious existence after death). Also note that they slumbered or slept – wasted their life in sleep.

Pretty much, yup.

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kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

Some more posts I made a while ago including a comparison of Gurdjieff can be found here: warosu.org/lit/thread/S10313432#p10314777 , and I think is helpful to read if you haven'r been acquainted to Gurdjieff before and want to flesh out your understanding of his ideas, as well as understand some Gnostic Christian ideas more. It's a comparison between Gurdjieff's ideas and the conclusions that Philip K. Dick came to after his mystical experiences and his research into Gnosticism besides other forms of mysticism, but Gnosticism particularly.

TreeEater
TreeEater

warosu.org/lit/thread/S9631810#p9638367 is a better link because it also contains other people responding to it with some of their own thoughts, ideas, comparisons and arguments.

Firespawn
Firespawn

Not to criticize for the sake of criticism, but doesn't it seem more likely that Gurdjieff and the Gnostics were drawing from the same eastern wells? Some of the connections you outlined seem fairly tenuous.

Pleasant surprise of a thread, though; I'm currently reading through Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson.

RavySnake
RavySnake

What would a charlatan know about "truth lost" ?
If it's lost, how can he know it ?

King_Martha
King_Martha

he's familiar with a sci-fi/fantasy author and not one of the great Armenian occultists

I think /rbooks is more your board, friend

Playboyize
Playboyize

Eat raw onions and sardines on rye bread so you stop being a soyboy, then hike through central Asia from Armenia to Afghanistan

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

Well first, this is mostly from Matthew (a mainstream accepted Christian text). Second, I may have been being a bit reductive to make it all simpler, because Gurdjieff himself said that Christianity/Gnosticism really came from a much earlier tradition in Egypt.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

By the way, if you continue to read Beelzebub’s Tales, you will realize much in it which is not apparent on a first reading. I’m afraid to give away more. Even the seemingly trite social satire is covering up an allegory/symbol/parable for other things.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

Can you tell us? I read it already and most of it was nonsense

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

read the original and first english translarion done in the 50's or 60's, the new-looking edition on amazon with the rug on the cover is a shitty recent translation where they distorted it while attempting to simplify it and they removed entire sentences.

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

I read the original one from the 50's

I still want to know what you know about it

Playboyize
Playboyize

So how do I get into Grudjieff and the gnostics?

Snarelure
Snarelure

Don't get into gurdjieff. Read this book called the gnostic bible.

SniperGod
SniperGod

The Nag Hammadi Scriptures is a better selection/translation. And then also read the Dead Sea Scrolls.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

It's the same shit.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

No, because the book is too long. To explicate all the meanings would require a commentary longer than the book. One simple example: in the preface, he tells a seemingly irrelevant story about a man whose purpose is to pull on an alarm to wake up the train workers early in the morning, inadvertently waking up the whole town, causing them all to hate him. This is an allegory for Gurdjieff’s own role as someone who “wakes people up”. Those who do not want to be woken up/do not understand him hate him for it. Those who can “work on the train” (do the work, perfect their own being, work on the train which brings them, so to speak, from “Here” to “There”) appreciate it, however. In this connection, he also points out a dog-catcher trying to catch a stray dog with his net while the dog’s “attention is sufficiently captivated by something else.” A church bell ringing suddenly surprises the dog, causing it to run away just before the dog catcher swings his net down. The dog-catcher is the Gnostic malevolent forces which want us asleep so they can capture us and use our energy for cosmic purposes (in fact, it’s said the dogs are captured and, if not claimed after a while, burned in an oven and their soap used to make fat — clear allegory considering Gurdjieff’s view of the world as a huge transforming factory of energies). When the dogs attention is sufficiently kept captive by something good = dog in hypnotic state of sleep, identification, attachment with petty affairs of material world. Church bell ringing is mystical/religious teachings which awaken man and call him to understanding of his true meaning and goal.

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