Gurdjieff Northern UK Group

Self Remembering

On one occasion at the beginning of a meeting Gurdjieff put a question to which all those present had to answer in turn. The question was; “What is the most important thing that we notice during self-observation?”

Some of those present said that during attempts at self-observation, what they had felt particularly strongly was an incessant flow of thoughts which they had found impossible to stop. Others spoke of the difficulty of distinguishing the work of one centre from the work of another. I had evidently not altogether understood the question, or I answered my own thoughts, because I said that what struck me most was the connectedness of one thing with another in the system, the wholeness of the system, as if it were an “organism,” and the entirely new significance of the word to know which included not only the idea of knowing this thing or that, but the connection between this thing and everything else.

Gurdjieff was obviously dissatisfied with our replies. I had already begun to understand him in such circumstances and I saw that he expected from us indications of something definite that we had either missed or failed to understand.

“Not one of you has noticed the most important thing that I have pointed out to you,” he said. “That is to say, not one of you has noticed that you do not remember yourselves.” (He gave particular emphasis to these words.) “You do not feel yourselves; you are not conscious of yourselves. With you, ‘it observes’ just as ‘it speaks’ ‘it thinks,’ ‘it laughs.’ You do not feel: I observe, I notice, I see. Everything still ‘is noticed,’ ‘is seen.’ … In order really to observe oneself one must first of all remember oneself” (He again emphasized these words.) “Try to remember yourselves when you observe yourselves and later on tell me the results. Only those results will have any value that are accompanied by self-remembering. Otherwise you yourselves do not exist in your observations. In which case what are all your observations worth?”

Adapted from: P. D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1950, Ch. 7.

To purchase this book, please click one of the images below. Please ensure that the book you buy is by P.D. Ouspensky – other titles of the same name have nothing to do with the Fourth Way of G.I. Gurdjieff.

The Science of Being

Ouspensky relates his talks with Gurdjieff about ‘Knowledge and Being’. Gurdjieff said that:

“People understand what ‘knowledge’ means. And they understand the possibility of different levels of knowledge. They understand that knowledge may be lesser or greater, that is to say, of one quality or of another quality. But they do not understand this in relation to ‘being.’ ‘Being,’ for them, means simply ‘existence’ to which is opposed just ‘non-existence.’ They do not understand that being or existence may be of very different levels and categories. Take for instance the being of a mineral and of a plant. It is a different being. The being of a plant and of an animal is again a different being. The being of an animal and of a man is a different being. But the being of two people can differ from one another more than the being of a mineral and of an animal. This is exactly what people do not understand. And they do not understand that knowledge depends on being. Not only do they not understand this latter but they definitely do not wish to understand it. And especially in Western culture it is considered that a man may possess great knowledge, for example he may be an able scientist, make discoveries, advance science, and at the same time he may be, and has the right to be, a petty, egoistic, caviling, mean, envious, vain, naive, and absentminded man. It seems to be considered here that a professor must always forget his umbrella everywhere. “


Gurdjieff’s Mission: Sunday Lecture at the Leeds Theosophical Society

Sunday, January 8th, 2017, 2.30 pm at the Leeds Theosophical Society, 12 Queens Square, Leeds, LS2 8AJ

Bob Bows will discuss the teaching called the ‘Fourth Way’, which was brought to the West in 1912 by G. I . Gurdjieff.
Bob is co-founder of the Leeds Gurdjieff Society, an organisation which employs traditional Fourth Way methods such as Group Meetings, Craft Activities, Readings, Sacred Dances, and Music. This can provide the ‘material’ through which, if rightly used, can lead one to a new way of living in the sense of ‘Being’.
One of Bob’s research interests is to study the correspondences between various subtle energies (Animal magnetism, Orgone, Vril, Odyll and Gurdjieff’s ‘Active elements’ including Okidanokh).
In terms of the energy fields surrounding humans, animals and plants, Bob has studied the effects of various materials following the work of Baron Dr. Carl von Reichenbach and Franz Anton Mesmer.
Bob’s wife Jan Ellan Bows is a professional musician, and is the Movements Instructor for the Society, and was a student of Lillian Massey, a pupil of J.G. Bennett.