A Russian Esotericist, Philosopher and Mystic
Ouspensky's quest for the miraculous resulted in the publication of a very insightful book: The Fourth Way. He actively promoted Gurdjieff’s spiritual methods for developing consciousness.
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The term The Fourth Way is now used as a general term to describe the body of ideas and teachings of Gurdjieff. The book consists of Ouspensky's lectures, and the question and answer sessions.
Ouspensky - Inspiring Quotes about The Fourth Way
About Self-remembering and Awareness:
- Another illusion is that we are awake. When we realize that we are asleep we will see that all history is made by people who are asleep. Sleeping people fight, make laws; sleeping people obey or disobey them. The worst of our illusions are the wrong ideas among which we live and which govern our lives. If we could change our attitude towards these wrong ideas and understand what they are, this in itself would be a great change and would immediately change other things.
- When one realises one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.
- We think we can take a certain decision and act accordingly. In reality we are controlled not by internal decisions but by external influences. If the internal decision corresponds to the external influence, we will do it, otherwise we will not. But we can create in ourselves powers to 'do'. Nature has made us machines acting under external influences, but with a possibility to develop our own motor. If there is no inner motor, we will always turn round in the same place.
- There is no possibility of remembering what has been found and understood, and later repeating it to oneself. It disappears as a dream disappears. Perhaps it is all nothing but a dream
- a man can be given only what he can use; and he can use only that for which he has sacrificed something
Man is a Machine
- Man is a machine, but a very peculiar machine. He is a machine which, in right circumstances, and with right treatment, can know that he is a machine, and having fully realized this, he may find the ways to cease to be a machine.
- By self remembering. It is necessary to develop consciousness, and this will bring with it the possibility of using better organs of perception and cognition. Without higher centres we cannot do much, and this is why a philosophical approach is not much use. It can invent certain theories and then it stops. It does not develop the higher centres which alone can understand the ideas fully. Philosophy does not touch them.
- No study of occult philosophy is possible without an acquaintance with symbolism, for if the words occultism and symbolism are correctly used, they mean almost one and the same thing. Symbolism cannot be learned as one learns to build bridges or speak a foreign language, and for the interpretation of symbols a special cast of mind is necessary; in addition to knowledge, special faculties, the power of creative thought and a developed imagination are required.
Check Symbols and Signs
- Besides, all evil is relative. Something that is evil at one level of evolution can be good at an earlier stage because it provides the essential stimulus for development. But you want to judge everything by your own standards. You have reached a comparatively high level and so you see what you fight against as evil. Just think of the others, those who are at an earlier stage of development. Do not bar them from the path toward progress and evolution.
About the four ways of developing consciousness
- The first way is the way of the Fakir. It is a long, difficult and uncertain way. A fakir works on the physical body, on conquering physical pain.
The second way is the way of the Monk... It requires certain conditions, but above all it requires faith, for if there is no faith a man cannot be a true monk.
The third way is the way of the Yogi, the way of knowledge and consciousness...
...Then in The Fourth Way the first principle is that man must not believe in anything; he must learn; so faith does not enter into the Fourth Way.
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