WHY GURDJIEFF'S "FOURTH WAY" TEACHINGS ARE NOT
COMPATIBLE WITH THE MEVLEVI SUFI WAY
by Ibrahim Gamard, 11/6/04, revised 12/3/05
The Present Confusion
There has been much confusion for decades about the so-called
"sufi origins" of Gurdjieff's teachings, beliefs that Gurdjieff
himself was a sufi (of the "blame-seeking" [malâmâtî] kind, as
some have speculated) and assumptions that the spiritual training
he gave to his students was "dervish training" and that the
movement exercises he taught were "dervish dance movements."
This confusion has been increased by some of Gurdjieff's disciples
themselves, such as Ouspensky, who apparently believed that the
Mevlevi tradition was the source of Gurdjieff's teachings1 and J.
G. Bennett ,who believed that the Khwajagan sufi masters of
Central Asia, the forerunners of the strictly Islamic Naqshbandi
sufi tradition, were closely linked with the mysterious source of
Gurdjieff's teachings--the "Sarmân Brotherhood."2
Others have gone to authentic Muslim sufi teachers and added to
the confusion by hoping to find the roots of Gurdjieff's teachings
in the Islamic sufi tradition: as a result, such seekers have been
disappointed by finding "merely religious" Islamic mystical
teachings. And some Muslim sufi teachers have been confused by
such seekers (who sometimes have an impressive level of dervish-
like self-development) who have very little interest in Islam or
praying and are actually hoping to find "esoteric teachings" or
In addition, there are Western sufi teachers, who continue to
encourage their followers to combine sufi training with
Gurdjieffian teachings and spiritual practices, including some
affiliated with the Mevlevi tradition. There are also some "Fourth
Way" groups in which members, after being trained to do the
complicated Gurdjieff movements exercises, are then taught to do
the whirling practice of Mevlevi dervishes as well as the Mevlevi
Whirling Prayer Ceremony (Samâ`).
Idries Shah, who wrote numerous books on sufism was another
author who contributed to this confusion, by suggesting in many of
his books that Gurdjieff's teachings (as well as most of the
esoteric-occult teachings in Europe involving alchemy,
numerology, Tarot cards, etc.) had its origins in sufi teachings.
Like most Occultists,3 Shah maintained that esoteric wisdom is
independent of "mere religion" and often disguised in an "exoteric
religious" form. As a result, he taught that sufism is independent of
Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian and founder of the Arica school of
esoteric training (which includes teachings based on the
Enneagram, an esoteric symbol first taught publicly by Gurdjieff),
originally claimed to be a "Sufi Master" when he began to teach in
Chile in the late 1960's. Ichazo claimed that his teachers were
fellow initiates of the same secret tradition contacted by Gurdjieff,
the "School of the Bees," which he also claimed was centered in
Afghanistan. Subsequently, however, he stated that his teaching
was closely related to the alchemists, the Knights Templar,
Martinists, and the Theosophical teachings of Madame Blavatsky 4
as well as to (the mysterious source of) Gurdjieff's teachings.
Numerous other authors have contributed to the belief that the
origins of sufism are to be found in "esoteric-occult" traditions. For
example, the former leader of the "International Sufi Order," Pir
Vilayat Khan claimed that sufism originated in the ancient Greek
Another source of confusion is the existence of semi-secret
religions in the Middle East whose origins are non-Islamic or
incompatible with Islam that are sometimes claimed to be "sufi" or
whose members are sometimes called "dervishes." Some of these
are the Mandeans, Druzes, Ismailis, Alevis, Nusayris, Yezidis,
Bektashis, and Ahl-i Haqq. Some of these same secret religions
were also named by Theosophists more than a hundred years ago
as related the source of Theosophical teachings and its "secret
Sufism is Islamic Mysticism
First, it needs to be clarified that sufism is the mystical dimension
of Islam. To use the word "sufism" to mean a universal spirituality
that pre-dates Islam is to rob the term of its meaning and to make it
equivalent to the word "mysticism." Mysticism can be defined as
experiential or intuitive understanding of spiritual realities beyond
intellectual understanding. Therefore, mysticism can take
religious forms (spiritual experiences of feeling close to God) or
non-religious forms (such as spiritual experiences involving nature
or the cosmos). The mysticism of Islam is a distinct form of
religious mysticism that is called "tasawwuf" in Arabic and a
Muslim mystic is called a "sufi" (Islamic mysticism was first
called "sufismus" in Latin, then "sufism" in English). Traditional
sufi orders that are well-known in the West are the Mevlevi,
Cheshti, Naqshbandi, Qadri, Rifai, Khalwati, and Shadhili
traditions--all of which are Islamic religious-mystical paths.
Although Western academic specialists (called Orientalists) of the
past were reluctant (for more than a hundred years) to allow Islam
to have its own mystical dimension, and usually claimed that
sufism was "borrowed" from other traditions (such as
Neoplatonism, Yoga, etc.), most Western scholars of Islam today
have been acknowledging that authentic sufism is deeply Islamic
and inspired by Qur'anic verses and the Traditions of the Prophet
Muhammad (upon whom be peace).
While few Westerners would accept the idea that the mystical
teachings of a Hasidic teacher could be independent of Judaism
and the Bible, yet many readily accept the idea that the mystical
teachings of a "sufi teacher" can be independent of Islam and the
Qur'an. This is because of the negative attitudes about Islam, the
Qur'an, and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that have
existed in the West since the Crusades. Westerners prefer to
believe that the beautiful, profound, and inspiring teachings of
sufism are not dependent upon the religion of Islam.
As a result, many people who are involved with Westernized sufi
groups affiliated with more "tolerant" Islamic sufi traditions, such
as the Cheshti sufi tradition of India and Pakistan (such as the
International Sufi Order, the Sufi Movement, and the Sufi
Ruhaniyat Society) and the Mevlevi sufi tradition of Turkey and
former Ottoman-ruled areas, tend to have little interest in what
they view as the "exoteric trappings" of sufism (meaning Islamic
beliefs and practices) and are inclined to believe that the mysticism
they are studying is something universal that transcends particular
religions, and something that pre-dates the Islamic revelation.
They tend to view "universal sufi teachings" as not conflicting with
ancient esoteric-occult teachings that have been reformulated in
recent centuries such as alchemy, Rosicrucianism, Tarot,
Theosophy, Gurdjieffism, etc.
At the same time, the authentic Muslim sufi masters (shaykhs) of
these same traditions in India, Pakistan, and Turkey have long been
hoping and praying that the Western followers of their sufi
traditions will eventually become pious Muslims. This has led to
major misunderstandings and disappointment.
In order to understand how the Occult tradition of mysticism is
radically different than the Abrahamic religious traditions of
mysticism (such as Islamic sufism, Catholic/Orthodox Christian
mysticism, Jewish Hasidic mysticism) it is necessary to understand
that most teachings of Occultism are based on a secret theology
involving Gnosticism.6 This term refers to a very old, secretive,
and revolutionary spiritual movement whose theology is so
contrary to orthodox religion that it has usually been disguised in
different forms . For example, Gurdjieff claimed that his teaching
was "esoteric Christianity."7
The neutral terms "gnosis" and "gnostic" (that have generic
meanings of "intuitive spiritual knowledge" and "intuitive spiritual
knower" and are equivalent to the Arabic sufi terms ma`rifat and
`ârif) should not be confused with the historical term "Gnosticism."
Readers of this article should be aware that they might not
comprehend the nature of Gnosticism and the seriousness of its
challenge to the Abrahamic religions without studying more about
it in encyclopedia articles and books on the subject.
Gnosticism today is the continuation of an ancient "underground"
movement that has usually taken the form of Dualism. Followers
of Gnosticism who understand its teachings have typically viewed
the Creator of the material universe with contempt.8
This contempt was expressed in the dualistic doctrines of
Manicheism and "Christian Gnosticism" which taught that Spirit
(Light) was opposed to Matter (Darkness), that the physical world
and the body are evil, that the Creator of the material world was
either an evil or inferior "moon-god" called the "Demiurge"
[na`audhu bi-llâh--let us take refuge in Allah and seek His
forgiveness for being so explicit about this], and that the true
goal of the spiritual seeker is to find a way to escape the "prison of
matter" and the "sub-lunar" world and reach salvation in the
"Realm of Light" [the Pleroma]. Saviours were periodically sent
down from the "Realm of Light" to offer the knowledge of
salvation, or "gnosis," to seekers who had the potential to escape
the material world. However, only a tiny minority called
"pneumatics" had souls which could survive death and return to the
Realm of Light. Some, called "psychics" had the potential to
develop such a soul. The great majority of humanity were called
"hylics," and had no hope of survival after death.
In 1875 Madame Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in
America and taught esoteric teachings supposedly inspired by
"secret masters" who lived in Tibet. Among the teachings of
Theosophy is the assertion that God as worshipped in the Hebrew
Bible is an inferior "moon god" [na`audhu bi-llâh]. Theosophists
were instructed to cover themselves from the "harmful rays" of
moonlight while sleeping. This antipathy toward Judaism was a
revival of the attempts by "Christian Gnostics" during the early
part of the Christian era to eliminate the Hebrew scriptures from
the "Christian Bible." In many ways, Theosophy is a modern form
of Gnosticism (but in a monistic, not dualistic, manner). It is
known that the teachings of Theosophy were influential in major
Russian cities during Gurdjieff's life there and that Theosophical
ideas are a major part of his teaching.9 Gurdjieff spoke about
"secret Masters," except that he claimed they were in
Gnosticism and the Teachings of Gurdjieff
Among the strange teachings of Gurdjieff is the assertion that
human beings do not have souls, but have to receive knowledge
and training by being part of an "esoteric school" in order to "grow
a soul" (or "astral body") that can then survive death for a period of
"You know what the exression 'astral body' means. But the systems
with which you are acquainted and which use this expression state
that all men have an 'astral body'. this is quite wrong. What may be
caled the 'astral body' is obtained by means of fusion, that is, by
means of terribly hard inner work and struggle. Man is not born
with it. And only very few men acquire an 'astral body'. If it is
formed it may continue to live after the death of the physical body,
and it may be brn again in another physical body... Fusion, inner
unity, is obtained by means of 'friction', by the struggle between
'yes' and 'no' in man."11
Gurdjieff taught that most human beings are mere "slugs" with no
souls and that following death their remaining psychic energy is
"food for the Moon." This teaching can understood as a reference
to the doctrine in Gnosticism that the material world keeps human
beings (but not all, just the few who possess "sparks of light")
trapped in bodies so as to prevent escape. The realm of Darkness is
depicted as not wanting to let of its captured light to escape back to
the realm of Light. Such a follower of Gnosticism seeks to develop
an astral body that can escape the "power of the Moon" and
become freed from the "sub-lunar" material world.12 This explains
another very strange teaching of Gurdjieff: "The way of the
development of hidden possibilities is a way against nature, against
God."13 It means that the seeker following the way of
Gnosticism must gain secret knowledge and methods in order to
escape the control of the "Demiurge." What Gurdjieff called "the
Work" is the goal of spiritual Alchemy, the "Great Work"
(Magnum Opus): the separation of light from darkness--or in
Manichean terms, the liberation of "sparks of light" from being
trapped in the dense world of matter.
In Mithraism, an ancient form of Gnosticism, this gnosis involved
knowing the "magical passwords" necessary for the soul to pass
the planetary guardians ("archons") at each celestial level traveled
through the heavens. During later centuries, followers of
Gnosticism cultivated a revulsion toward the Creator as
worshipped by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. An early example is
the writings of followers of "Christian Gnosticism" (such as the
Dead Sea Scrolls found at Nag Hammadi) are full of such scorn,
and they delight in what may be called "Gnostical reversal": such
as by interpreting the serpent (Satan) in the Garden of Eden as the
hero of the story in the Book of Genesis--the Giver of Light
(Lucifer) who tries to give the gnosis of Salvation that would
elevate humanity to "be as gods," meaning to surpasses the rank of
the "God of the Jews," who is depicted as an oppressor [na`audhu
bi-llâh] who acts to prevent such "liberation."14
Gnostical doctrines may have developed in a Jewish form prior to
the Christian era; some of these doctrines have continued in
esoteric Jewish teachings called Qabbalah (for example, the
doctrine about a cosmic disaster (the "breaking of the vessels")
that caused particles of light to be trapped in darkness, and the
need to liberate "trapped light") associated with the school
of Isaac Luria (beginning in the 16th century). The well-known
psychiatrist, Carl Jung, was a modern believer in Gnosticism; he
revealed his antipathy to Christian worship very frankly.15
J. G. Bennett, a follower of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, wrote
extensively about the "Demiurge." He also taught the strange
doctrine (also found in some teachings of Qabbalah) that God
needs the help of human beings in order to liberate light from
matter and to defeat the power of evil [na`audhu bi-llâh]. He wrote:
"The very high intelligence I am postulating is neither human nor
divine. It is neither perfect nor infallible, but its vision and its
powers far transcend those of the wisest of mankind. I shall call it
the Demiurge... By keeping the word Demiurge for the postulated
spirit of the earth, we can put aside, as beyond our grasp, the idea
of a deity that created and rules the entire universe. In doing this,
we should breathe a sigh of relief... The truth is that the
omnipotence of God is a silly idea thought up by men with narrow,
logical minds. It must be obvious to anyone whose feelings have
not atrophied that love and omnipotence can never be united."16
He also wrote, following the viewpoint of ancient "Christian
Gnosticism": "We might even venture to say that the God of the
Old Testament was the Demiurge, whereas Jesus looked beyond to
the source of Divine Love."17
A student of J. G. Bennett, A. M. Hodgson, wrote:
"The Demiurge has only an indirect connection to the Source,
since it is concerned with long term evolution, not with the state of
'jivanmukti' or 'liberation within one lifetime.'.... In fact, spirituality
is of two distinct kinds which we call 'Liberational' and
"Demiurgic'. Teachings which point this out do exist on the planet.
They are placed there by conscious sources but generally they are
restricted and suppressed by the Demiurgic Intelligences because
their implications are too upsetting to the status quo."18
Another student of J. G. Bennett was Pierre Elliot, formerly the
Director of Studies of (the Gurdjieffian training center called) the
Claymont Society in West Virginia. In the late 1970's, Suleyman
Hayati Loras Dede, an important Mevlevi shaykh from Konya,
Turkey, visited Claymont. He was so impressed by Pierre Elliot
that he initiated him to be a Mevlevi shaykh. Suleyman Dede must
have seen demonstrations of Gurdjieff's movements exercises there
and probably assumed that it was a kind of "dervish training."
In October 1979, Suleyman Dede wrote a letter to Mr. Elliot
stating, "äbecause at the same time my brother Sheikh Pierre
Elliot is bringing the way of Mevlana together with the path of Mr.
Gurdjieff and Mr. Bennett. Allah wishes that these paths should
always be together, and I hope that it will be so."19
As Idries Shah wrote (under a pseudonym or perhaps borrowing
someone's name): "Gurdjieff had taught 'movements', a stylized
dance technique which requires extended energies of attention. The
association of the G 'movements' and the Mevlevi whirling was
perhaps unavoidable, but we shall find reason to suspect presently,
that the 'movements' have a different source, although G. dressed
his disciples in Mevlevi outfits, perhaps for 'misdirection'
purposes."20 In another book, written using a pseudonym, Idries
Shah mocked the beliefs of Gurdjieffians about Mevlevi origins by
claiming that an ancient "Babylonian" mannikin with moveable
arms and legs used to teach "ancient temple dances" that Gurdjieff
claimed to have seen at a "Sarmân monastery" in Afghanistan21
was hidden in a secret underground room of the Mevlevi lodge
where Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi is buried in Konya, Turkey.
A major exercise taught by Gurdjieff is called "self-remembering."
This exercise has been alleged to derive from the sufi practice
of "remembering" [zikr]. But there is a major difference between
Gurdjieff's method of self-development via "self-remembering"
that dismisses the value of prayer and the Islamic sufi practice
of self-effacement via the practice of "God-remembering"
[zikru 'llâh]. This points to an important distinction between
these two different paths of mysticism: the tradition of Occult
mysticism (based on a secret theology rooted in Gnosticism)
emphasizes the development of potential divine powers within a
human being while at the same time trying to escape the power of
the Creator of the material world and to evolve into something
"higher." In other words, the doctrine of this kind of mystic is,
"There is no true divinity except Man."22
In contrast, the tradition of religious mysticism (meaning here, the
Abrahamic religions based on a theology rooted in Monotheism
and the revelations given to authentic Prophets of God) emphasizes
the nothingness of the worshipper before Almighty God and
submission to the Omnipotent Divine Will of the Creator. In other
words, the doctrine of this kind of mystic is, "There is no true
divinity except God."
This is why it is hoped that readers of this article will not dismiss
the important distinctions described here by concluding, "There are
no real differences between mystics/gnostics: mystics of all
traditions, religious or Occult are all saying the same thing in
different spiritual languages in which the conflicts are only
external, not essential." If readers incline toward this view, then
they are strongly advised to study more about Gnosticism23--so that
perhaps they may see more clearly how radical and different it is
compared to the mysticisms of major world religions. This is not a
type of spirituality that offers salvation or enlightenment to most or
all of humanity or sentient beings. Rather, it is aimed at the
liberation of a very small minority of "elite beings" who have a
"spark of light"--and all other humans have no lasting value.
Despite the strong criticism of Gurdjieff's Gnostical theology
expressed in this article, it should be mentioned that some of
Gurdjieff's teachings can be very useful for the sufi aspirant, such
as the practice of "sensing" (as an alternative to compulsive
thinking), developing will power and concentration, the teaching
about objective knowledge and awareness in contrast to a
subjective and "sleeping" state, the need to overcome "mechanical
habits," and the necessity of finding access to a "higher source of
energy" in order to "awaken."
In addition, although this article also criticizes Occultism in
general, it should be mentioned that many followers of Occult
philosophy are idealistic and high-minded individuals who
sincerely wish to further the spiritual evolution of humanity.
However, many or most of them may be unaware of the secret
Gnostical doctrines of Occultism, and they might be unpleasantly
surprised to learn about them.
Mawlânâ Jalâluddîn Rűmî's Teachings about Sleep and
Now let us compare these strange and disturbing teachings of
Gurdjieff and his followers with the heart-uplifting teachings of
Mawlânâ, our beloved Master. In contrast to "self-remembering,"
Mawlânâ taught the "passing away of self" [fanâ] in the
remembrance of God [zikru 'llâh]. And in contrast to "waking up"
and attaining a "permanent I-Am" consciousness, Mawlânâ taught
the waking up to the Presence of God while being "asleep" to ego
and the material world:
"Whosoever is awake (to the material world) is the more asleep (to
the spiritual world); his wakefulness is worse than his sleep.
When our soul is not awake to God, wakefulness is like closing our
doors (to Divine influences).
All day long, from the buffets of phantasy and from (thoughts of)
loss and gain and from fear of decline,
There remains to it (the soul) neither joy nor grace and glory nor
way of journeying to Heaven.
The one asleep (to spiritual things) is he who hath hope of every
vain fancy and holds parley with it."24
Mawlânâ taught that when one is "awake" to the Presence of God,
the physical senses become under control and made to be "asleep."
Then "spiritual senses" become activated so that Heavenly visions
and knowledge are granted to the seeker:
"So, when the intellect becomes thy captain and master, the
dominant senses become subject to thee.
He (who is ruled by the intellect), without being asleep (himself),
puts his senses to sleep, so that the unseen things may emerge from
(the world of) the Soul.
Even in his waking state he dreams dreams and opens withal the
gates of Heaven."25
In contrast with Gurdjieff's Gnosticism which has a derogatory
view of God as worshipped by the those of the Abrahamic
religions, Mawlânâ affirms the Qur'anic faith in the Omnipotence
"From this you may realise that all these things are but an occasion
for the display of God's omnipotence; that these things are of Him,
and that His decree is absolute in all things. The believer is he who
knows that behind this wall there is Someone who is apprised of all
our circumstances, one by one, and who sees us though we see
Him not; of this the believer is certain. Contrary is the case of him
who says, 'No, this is all a tale,' and does not believe. The day will
come when God will box his ears; then he will be sorry, and he
will say 'Alas, I spoke evil and erred. Indeed, all was He; and I
While is true that Mawlânâ does make the analogy that the soul is
like a bird trapped in the "cage of the body,"27 the difference
between his view and the view of Gnosticism is that, as a
religious mystic, he teaches that the entry and exit of the soul from
the physical body is governed in accordance with the hidden
Wisdom and Guidance of God, the Omnipotent Creator--
something that the believer should willingly submit to with an
attitude of faith, trust and love of God, the All-Merciful.
Remembrance of God in the Qur'an
Muslim mystics, or sufis, have specialized in the spiritual practice
of the remembrance of God [zikru 'llâh] for many centuries. This
practice of "recalling" was inspired by verses in the Qur'an, such as
the following: "Recollect your God often" (Q.33:41; see also
Q.3:41). "Remember your Lord within your soul with humility and
in reverence" (Q.7:205). "Remember the name of your Lord"
(Q.73:8). "Recollect God standing, sitting down, and (lying down)
on your sides" (Q.4:103). ". . .those who believe and whose hearts
find satisfaction in the recollection of God--for truly in the
recollection of God do hearts find satisfaction" (Q.13:28). "Men,
whom neither buying nor selling can divert from the remembrance
of God" (Q.24: 37). "And don't be like those who forgot God, for
He made them forget themselves. Such are the transgressors"
(Q.59:19). "They have forgotten God; so He has forgotten them"
(Q.9:67). "Remembrance of God is the greatest [zikru 'llâhi
Those who are seeking to be faithful to the inspired teachings of
Hazrat-i Mawlânâ Jalâluddîn Rűmî would benefit by practicing the
same spiritual practices that he did: the Islamic prayers, fasting,
and study of the Qur'an and the Traditions of the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him), in addition to the sufi
practice of frequent remembrance [zikr] of God and the cultivation
of spiritual love. Those who do not feel ready or willing to do the
daily Islamic spiritual practices that Mawlânâ did should at least
strive to be faithful to his beliefs and teachings. One should avoid
the temptation to "gain more" by combining the Mevlevi Way with
teachings and practices from other mystical traditions--especially
those that are contrary to the principles and teachings of Hz.
1Ernest Scott, "The People of the Secret," 1983, p. 165.
2Bennett, "The Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia," 1977.
3There is evidence that Idries Shah was primarily an Occultist who
used sufism as a cover, and that he deliberately promoted himself:
as the foremost authority on sufism, as a great sufi shaykh, as the
leader of the most esoteric circle of the Naqshbandi sufi order.
However, the latter is contradicted by the fact that this is a very
conservative Islamic sufi order, whereas Shah taught that sufism is
an esoteric tradition independent of Islam. Born in India (the son of
an Afghan father and an English mother) he was raised from early
childhood in England and attended English schools. His first book
was on the subject of magic: "Oriental Magic," 1956, when he was
about 32 years old. In his next book, "Destination Mecca," 1957,
he revealed his ignorance about sufism at that time by asserting
that the "Dancing Dervishes" were part of the Bektashi Order
(when they are a part of the Mevlevi Order). In his late 30's, he was
still involved in Occultism, as is shown in an article written by a
Gurdjieffian who wrote a biography of Gurdjieff, James Moore.
4"Interviews with Oscar Ichazo," 1982.
5Khan, "Toward The One," 1974.
6This conclusion (that the secret doctrines of Occultism are based
on a theology of Gnosticism) is an insight of the author, gained as
the result of many years of study of these subjects; therefore, there
is no particular book or article to which reference can be made
regarding this conclusion. One way of understanding the
connection is by contrasting the neo-Manichean movement in
Europe (called Catharism) which taught its heretical doctrines so
openly and boldly (until it was crushed by the Albigensian Crusade
in the 13th century) with the later secret societies in Europe that
hid their secret teachings in symbols and disguised forms to avoid
persecution from the Church (which suspected that secret societies,
such as Masonry, maintained anti-Christian doctrines).
7quoted by Ouspensky, " In Search of the Miraculous," 1949.
8For a brief introduction to Gnosticism, see the following article.
See also "The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam," 1989, by Cyril
Glassé ("Dualism," pp. 105-06; "Manicheism," pp. 252-56, and
"Seveners," pp. 354-56).
9For further information on the Theosophical roots of much of
Gurdjieff's teachings see the following article by an authority on
Occultism, Arvan Harvat.
10Gurdjieff, "Meetings With Remarkable Men," 1974.
11quoted by Ouspensky, "In Search of the Miraculous," 1949, p.
31. This was restated by Kabir Helminski in "The Knowing
Self," 1999, pp. 211-12: "The world is a place for fashioning the
soul, in the sense that soul is not given to us automatically, despite
our assumptions to the contrary. Our interiority, our presence, must
be created from within the distractions and forgetfulness of
everyday outer life, from within the constant clash of pleasure and
pain, happiness and loss."
12Gurdjieff was also quoted by his student Ouspensky as saying (in
"In Search of the Miraculous," 1949): "Man, like every other living
being, cannot, in the ordinary conditions of life, tear himself free
from the moon. All his movements and consequently all his actions
are controlled by the moon. If he kills another man, the moon does
it; if he sacrifices himself for others, the moon does that also. All
evil deeds, all crimes, all self-sacrificing actions, all heroic
exploits, as well as all the actions of ordinary everyday life, are
controlled by the moon. The liberation which comes with the
growth of mental powers and faculties is liberation from the moon.
The mechanical part of our life depends upon the moon, is subject
to the moon. If we develop in ourselves consciousness and will,
and subject our mechanical life and all our mechanical
manifestations to them, we shall escape from the power of the
13quoted by his student Ouspensky, "In Search of the Miraculous,"
1949, p. 47.
14For a modern example, see "The Cipher of Genesis," 1970, by
15Jung, "Answer To Job," 1952. On the subject of Jung,
Gnosticism, and Alchemy, see the following article.
16Bennett, "The Masters of Wisdom," 1977, p. 94)
17Bennett, "The Masters of Wisdom," 1977, p. 26.
18Hodgson, "Crisis In the Search for Truth," 1984, pp. 80-81, 85.
19This letter appears on the webpage of a contemporary
20Ernest Scott, "The People of the Secret," 1983, p. 164.
21"Teachers of Gurdjieff," 1966, using the pseudonym of "Rafael
22If some readers think that this conclusion is too narrow, perhaps
because of reading in Occult literature positive references to the
word "God" together with an emplasis on the latent Divine powers
and knowledge within the human being, readers should keep in
mind that the author is asserting that this is the secret Gnostical
doctrine of Occultism--and therefore something that most
Occultists would avoid teaching or writing about directly (that
is, if they have known at all about this secret doctrine).
23See the links to articles on the Internet in footnote 8.
24Masnavi I: 409-13, translated by R. A. Nicholson, 1926.
25Masnavi III: 1832-34, translated by R. A. Nicholson, 1930.
26Fîhi Mâ Fîhi, Discourse 45, translated by A. J. Arberry, 1961, p.
27See Masnavi I: 389, 1447, 1540.