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GEORGE GURDJIEFF

1
“Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not know where to go.”

2
“If you help others, you will be helped, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in one hundred years, but you will be helped. Nature must pay off the debt. It is a mathematical law and all life is mathematics.”

 

3
“If you meditate and the Devil comes, make the Devil meditate.”

 

4
“A man must first of all understand certain things. He has thousands of false ideas and false conceptions, chiefly about himself, and he must get rid of some of them before beginning to acquire anything new. Otherwise the new will be built on a wrong foundation and the result will be worse than before. To speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world; one must study a great deal and for a long time in order to speak the truth. The wish alone is not enough. To speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. And this nobody wants to know.”

 

5
“You can never awaken using the same system that put you to sleep in the first place.”

6

“Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening.”

7

“The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge, and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear.”

8

“A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror.”

9

“Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it.”

10

“The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness, and 'consciousness' cannot evolve unconsciously. The evolution of man is the evolution of his will, and 'will' cannot evolve involuntarily.”

11

“If a man could understand all the horror of the lives of ordinary people who are turning around in a circle of insignificant interests and insignificant aims, if he could understand what they are losing, he would understand that there can only be one thing that is serious for him - to escape from the general law, to be free. What can be serious for a man in prison who is condemned to death? Only one thing: How to save himself, how to escape: nothing else is serious.”

12

“Knowledge by itself does not give understanding. Nor is understanding increased by an increase of knowledge alone. Understanding depends upon the relation of knowledge to being...It appears only when a man feels and senses what is connected with it.”

13

“What you need to know is very little, but to know that little takes very very much.”

14

“Begin with the possible; begin with one step.”

15

“It is only by grounding our awareness in the living sensation of our bodies that the 'I Am,' our real presence, can awaken.”

16

“Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.”

17

“Laughter relieves us of superfluous energy, which, if it remained unused, might become negative, that is, poison. Laughter is the antidote.”

18

“One of man's important mistakes, one which must be remembered, is his illusion in regard to his I. Man such as we know him, the 'man-machine,' the man who cannot 'do,' and with whom and through whom everything 'happens,' cannot have a permanent and single I. His I changes as quickly as his thoughts, feelings and moods, and he makes a profound mistake in considering himself always one and the same person; in reality he is always a different person, not the one he was a moment ago.”

19

“Sincerity is the key which will open the door through which you will see your separate parts, and you will see something quite new. You must go on trying to be sincere. Each day you put on a mask, and you must take it off little by little.”

20

"One of the strongest motives for wishing to work on yourself is the realization that you may die at any moment - only you must first realize this."

21

“That which is easy is bad for your inner life.”

22

"The only type of sexual relations possible are those with someone who is as advanced and capable as oneself."

23

"Believe nothing, not even yourself."

24

"Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave."

25

"I ask you to believe nothing that you cannot verify for yourself."

26

"Time began when you were born. It will end when you die."

27

"By teaching others you will learn yourself."

28

"If you can serve a cup of tea right, you can do anything."

29

"The degree of consciousness corresponds to the degree of density or the speed of vibrations. The denser the matter, the less conscious it is."

30

"Better to die than live in sleep."

31

"It is the greatest mistake to think that man is always one and the same. A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour."

32

"The first fundamental law of the universe is the law of three forces, of three principles, or , as it is often called, the law of three. According to this law every action, every phenomenon in all worlds without exception, is the result of a simultaneous action of three forces- the positive, the negative, and the neutralizing."

33

"The highest that a man can attain is to be able to do."

34

"If you want to lose your faith, make friends with a priest."

35

"Practice love first on animals, they are more sensitive."

36

"It is the same with everything else, with food, with pleasures, with sleep; with everything there is a limit to what is necessary. After this "sin" begins. This is something that must be grasped, a "sin" is something which is not necessary."

37

"Every ceremony or rite has a value if it is performed without alteration. A ceremony is a book in which a great deal is written. Anyone who understands can read it. One rite often contains more than a hundred books."

38

"Humanity is moving in a circle. The progress in mechanical things of the past hundred years has proceeded at the cost of losing many other things which perhaps were much more important for it."

39

"Personality in man is what is "not his own" . . . what come from outside, what he has learned, or reflects, all traces of exterior impressions left in the memory."

40

"Man has the possibility of existence after death. But possibility is one thing and the realization of the possibility is quite a different thing."

41

"Meat is necessary when there is hard physical work to be done, or in a very cold climate, or when edible plants cannot be found...Animal flesh provides all the substances we need, both for the intensive working of our organism and for maintaining a normal temperature in cold climates."


 

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