1 – A Choice Taken

It took me a long time to realize that hardly anyone knew anything about The Tales. One met with two distinct postures in respect of Gurdjieff’s magnum opus, as follows:

  1. One was met with comments that were along the lines of: “I also find it very difficult.” This was common and it was honest. There was no evidence from this that any people had gleaned much at all.
  2. One was met with a posture that implied an understanding: “I know some things but I cannot possibly reveal them.” or “It is for the emotional center. It can’t be expressed in words.” This was often the posture of senior people in The Work. Such people were usually lying.

There were a few exceptions,very few –  it eventually became apparent that hardly anyone knew anything at all. There was no go-to person anywhere. Not in the UK, not in the US, not in France. Nowhere.

It took far too long to come to that realization.

But then, what to do…

There were two choices, throw the book away, or dive into it as deeply as possible. That was 2011. It is a deep thing to dive into – no doubt about it. And you dive in alone. At least that’s what we did.

We’ll recount this journey. It will take a few bursts of writing to do so.

3 Responses to 1 – A Choice Taken

  1. The First Series of “All And Everything” IS Beezebub’s Tales to His Grandson. I am currently embedded in reading the 1931 Typescript Version. The earliest version extant. I was with the NY Gurdjieff Foundation for 15 years and they relied as soon as possible on the 1992 “Revision”, which for some obscure reason I found distasteful. I had no idea why, but something about it “Stunk”, and after a few years I learned of the battle over the 1950 Version (which Mr.Gurdjieff apparently never copyrighted, so that it could have the widest possible chance of reaching more people because anyone could have copies made and sold without any copyright payments.

    That was Mr. Gurdjieff’s own intent. I ordered a copy of the 1950 book and “holy shit!”, Suddenly it made sense to me, although I couldn’t have told you why. I have engaged in the study of hypnosis and human suggestibility since perhaps even before I was able to walk, because for some reason I was able to see inconsistencies between the big people and their words were often contrary to their feelings, which I could see almost as if I was looking at a double exposure – that one where it seemed that each adult had entered into a mutually agreed-upon trance state, so that they paid no attention to the other person’s emotive state – only what the words said – and it was easy to see that language was the primary support for lying.

  2. P-:2):
    I devoured the 1950 version – and instantly realized that it was written in hypnotic language – a careful reading of “The Herald of Coming Good”, through the prologue and fifth lecture in the third series shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only facets of his hypnotic powers which he forsook as a permanent reminding factor for himself only concerned his use of hypnosis selfishly, to further his baser instincts. It also contained over 500 neologisms, or “made up words” that throughout the other 1200 pages are completely cohesive with not even one slip of using these neologisms incorrectly. In the third series he speaks of the word “Wish”, and uses It with the caveat that the word “wish” in English is not as precise as he would like it to be, but that there is no other word in English that would be more to the point he was trying to make.

    With this in mind we should understand that the bulk of the neologisms allowed for more precision than any other language on its own could provide. Mister Gurdjieff left us a science of being, ideas and teachings which we are to assemble within ourselves as if they were part of a beautiful radio, or we could simply play with the parts like a monkey or young child. He allows for that decision – that choice, but in my own opinion he always tried to the utmost of his powers to explain things in the simplest language possible – as Einstein put it, everything should be stated as simply as possible, but no simpler.

  3. I agree that the 1992 “revision” of The Tales, as you express it, “stinks.” Why it exists at all is a mystery, since it has no reasonable function. Your other comments also seem sane and valuable. Perhaps we should meet each other at some time in the future…

    Thanks for your comments.

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