The term ‘Fourth Way’ is a term Ouspensky adopted from George Gurdjieff. But although the name ‘Fourth Way’ appears for the first time in the twentieth century, . P. D. OUSPENSKY. THE FOURTH. WAY. A RECORD OF TALKS AND ANSWERS TO as method of awakening—Approach to self remembering through the. Ouspensky’s Fourth Way by Gerald Beckwith than one copy and for enquiries about volume and trade purchases, please email [email protected]
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The Fourth Way is an approach uospensky self-development described by George Gurdjieff which he developed over years of travel in the East c. It combines and harmonizes what he saw as wqy established traditional “ways” or “schools”: The exact origins of some of Gurdjieff’s teachings are unknown, but people have offered various sources. The term “Fourth Way” was further used by his student P. Ouspensky in his lectures and writings.
After Ouspensky’s death, his students published a book entitled The Fourth Way based on his lectures. According to this system, the three traditional schools, or ways, “are permanent ouwpensky which have survived throughout history mostly unchanged, and are based on religion. Where schools of yogis, monks or fakirs exist, they are barely distinguishable from religious schools.
The fourth way differs in that “it is not a permanent way. It has no specific forms or institutions and comes and goes controlled by some particular laws of its own.
When this work is finished, that is to say, when the aim set before it has been accomplished, the fourth way disappears, that is, it disappears from the given place, disappears in its given form, continuing perhaps in another place in another form. Schools of the fourth way exist for the needs of the wy which is being carried out in connection with the proposed undertaking. They never exist by themselves as schools for the purpose of education and instruction.
The Fourth Way addresses the question of humanity’s place in the Universe and the possibilities of inner development. It emphasizes that people ordinarily live in a state referred to as a semi-hypnotic “waking sleep,” while higher levels of consciousness, virtue, unity of will are possible. The Fourth Way teaches how to increase and focus attention and energy in various ways, and to minimize day-dreaming and absent-mindedness.
This inner development in oneself is the beginning of a possible further process of change, whose aim is to transform man into “what he ought to be. Gurdjieff’s followers believed he was a spiritual master,  a human being who is fully awake or enlightened. He was also seen as an esotericist or occultist.
The Fourth Way teaches that humans are born with a soul but that one’s soul becomes encapsulated by fouryh leaving one not really conscious, even as they clearly believe they are. A person must free the soul by following a teaching which can lead to this aim or “go nowhere” upon death of his body. Ousspensky a person be able to receive the teaching and find a school, upon the death of the physical body they will “go elsewhere.
Gurdjieff taught “sacred dances” or “movements”, now known as Gurdjieff movementswhich they performed together as a group. Gurdjieff insisted that these paths – although they may intend to seek to produce a fully developed human being – tend to cultivate certain faculties at the expense of others.
The goal of religion or spirituality was, in fact, to produce a well-balanced, responsive and sane human being capable of dealing with all eventualities that life may present. Gurdjieff therefore made it clear that it was necessary to cultivate a way that integrated and combined the traditional three ways. Gurdjieff said that his Fourth Way was a quicker means than the first three ways because it simultaneously combined work on all three centers rather than focusing on one.
It could be followed by ordinary people in everyday life, requiring no retirement into the desert. The Fourth Way does involve certain conditions imposed by a teacher, but blind acceptance of them is discouraged. Each student is advised to do only what they understand and to verify for themselves the teaching’s ideas.
Ouspensky documented Gurdjieff as saying that “two or three thousand years ago there were yet other ways which no longer exist and the ways then in existence were not so divided, they stood much closer ouzpensky one another. The fourth way differs from the old and the new ways by the fact that it is never a permanent way.
It has no definite forms and there are no institutions connected with it.
Ouspensky quotes Gurdjieff that there are fake schools and that “It is impossible to recognize a wrong way without knowing the right way. This means that it is no use troubling oneself how to recognize ouspenzky wrong way. One must think of how to find the right way. In his works, Gurdjieff credits his teachings to a number of more or less mysterious sources: Conscious Labor is an action where the person who is performing the act is present to what he is doing; not absentminded.
At the same time he is striving to perform the act more efficiently. Intentional suffering is the ouspenssky of struggling against automatism such as daydreaming, pleasure, food eating for reasons other than real hungeretc In Gurdjieff’s book Beelzebub’s Tales he states that “the greatest ‘intentional suffering’ can be obtained in our presences by compelling ourselves to endure the displeasing manifestations of others toward ourselves” .
This is to strive to observe in oneself behavior and habits usually only observed in others, and as dispassionately as one may observe them in others, to observe thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging or analyzing what is observed.
The Fourth Way by P. D. Ouspensky | : Books
Gurdjieff emphasized that awakening results from consistent, prolonged effort. Such efforts may be made as an act of will after one is already exhausted. These have nothing in common with one another and are unaware of each other, arising and vanishing for short periods of time. Ouspensy man usually has no unity in himself, wanting one thing now and another, perhaps contradictory, thing later.
Gurdjieff classified plants as having one center, animals two and humans three. Centers refer to apparati within a being that dictate specific organic functions. There are three main centers in a man: Gurdjieff focused on two main cosmic laws, the Law of Three and the Law of Seven [ citation needed ].
How the Law of Seven and Law of Three function together ouspnesky said to be illustrated on the Fourth Way Enneagrama nine-pointed symbol which is the central glyph of Gurdjieff’s system.
In his explanations Gurdjieff often used different symbols such as the Enneagram and the Ray of Creation.
Gurdjieff said that “the enneagram is a universal symbol. All knowledge can be included in the enneagram and with the help of the enneagram it can be interpreted A man may be quite alone in the desert and he can trace the enneagram in the sand and in it read the eternal laws of the universe. And every time he can learn something new, something he did not know before. The diagram has eight levels, each corresponding to Gurdjieff’s laws of octaves.
Through the elaboration of the law of octaves and the meaning of the enneagram, Gurdjieff offered his students alternative means of conceptualizing the world and their place in it. To provide conditions in which attention could be exercised more intensively, Gurdjieff also taught his pupils ouspensy sacred dances ” or “movements” which they waj together as a group, and he left a body of music inspired by what he heard in visits to remote monasteries and other ouspenaky, which was written for piano in collaboration with one of his pupils, Thomas de Hartmann.
Ouspenskg laid emphasis on the idea that the uospensky must conduct his or her own search. The teacher cannot do the student’s work for the student, but is more of a guide on the path to self-discovery. As a teacher, Gurdjieff specialized in creating conditions for students – conditions wzy which growth was wa, in which efficient progress could be made by the willing.
To find oneself in a set of conditions that a gifted teacher has arranged has another benefit. As Gurdjieff put it, “You must realize that each man has a definite repertoire of roles which he plays in ordinary circumstances After nearly dying in a car crash inhe recovered and closed down the Institute. He began writing All and Everything.
FromGurdjieff made visits to North America where he resumed his teachings. Ouspensky relates that in the early work with Gurdjieff in Moscow and Saint PetersburgGurdjieff forbade students from writing down or publishing anything connected with Gurdjieff and his ideas. Gurdjieff said that students of his methods would find themselves unable to transmit correctly what was said in the groups. Later, Gurdjieff relaxed this rule, accepting students who subsequently published accounts of their experiences in the Gurdjieff work.
After Gurdjieff’s death in a variety of groups around the world have attempted to continue The Gurdjieff Work. Bennett ran groups and also made contact with the Subud and Sufi schools to develop The Work in different directions.
Maurice Nicolla Jungian psychologist, also ran his own groups based on Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’s ideas. The French institute was headed for many years by Madam de Salzmann – a direct pupil of Gurdjieff.
There is debate regarding the ability to use Gurdjieff’s ideas through groups. Some critics believe that none fiurth Gurdjieff’s students were able to raise themselves to his level of understanding. Gurdjieff himself seemed to have formed this impression some ten years before his death, which led him to wway his efforts away from ouspensyk Institute and into writing.
The Fourth Way
Proponents of the continued viability of Gurdjieff’s system, and its study through the use of groups, however, point to Gurdjieff’s insistence fourthh the training of initiates in interpreting and disseminating the ideas that he expressed cryptically in Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. This, combined with Gurdjieff’s almost fanatical dedication to the completion of this text Beelzebub’s Tales say, suggest that Gurdjieff himself intended his ideas to continue to be practiced and taught long after his death.
Other proponents of continuing the Work are not concerned with external factors, but focus on oyspensky inner results achieved through a sincere practice of Gurdjieff’s system. Every teacher, or guru, is a specialist in some one thing. One is an astronomer, another a sculptor, a third a musician.
And all the pupils of each teacher must first of all study the subject in which he has specialized. In contrast, some former Gurdjieffians joined other movements,   and there are a number of offshoots, and syntheses incorporating elements of the Fourth Way, such as:. The Enneagram is often studied in contexts that do not include other elements of Fourth Way teaching. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Fourth Way disambiguation. This article needs additional citations for verification.
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