30 May 2008

Death of 'I' as material for work

"If a man were deprived of his illusions and all that prevents him from seeing reality -- if he were deprived of his interests, his cares, his expectations and hopes -- all his strivings would collapse, everything would become empty and there would remain an empty being, an empty body, only physiologically alive. This would be the death of 'I,' the death of everything it consisted of, the destruction of everything false collected through ignorance or inexperience. All this will remain in him merely as material, but subject to selection. Then a man will be able to choose for himself and not have imposed on him what others like."

-- Gurdjieff, from Views from the Real World

15 May 2008

Universal nature (Aurelius)

All things come to their fulfillment as the one universal nature directs; for there is no rival nature, whether containing her from without, or itself contained within her, or even existing apart and detached from her.

-- Marcus Aurelius, from Meditations 6:9

13 May 2008

Finite and Infinite Games (II)

Art is not art except as it leads to an engendering creativity in its beholders. Whoever takes possession of the objects of art has not taken possession of the art. Since art is never possession, and always possibility, nothing possessed can have the status of art.

Poets do not "fit" into society, not because a place is denied them, but because they do not take their "places" seriously. They openly see society's roles as theatrical, its styles as poses, its clothing costumes, its rules conventional, its crises arranged, its conflicts performed, and its metaphysics ideological.

-- James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games

Eschewing false hope

"If we can learn to understand that even though we may feel quite content just now at this moment, around the corner not too far away some form of suffering is inevitable, and that we have our choice between suffering and pain, then perhaps we can find in ourselves the serious 'wish to work.' The false hope of some future attainable state in which we will feel no pain can destroy the inner necessity for work, unless we realize once and for all with the whole of our Being that this is an imaginary idea."

-- E.J. Gold, from The Hidden Work

12 May 2008

Gurdjieff on Ceremony

Every ceremony or rite has a value if it is performed without alteration. A ceremony is a book in which a great deal is written. Anyone who understands can read it. One rite often contains more than a hundred books.

-- Gurdjieff