The Gurdjieff Journal—Fourth Way Perspectives


Selected questions and responses from The Gurdjieff Legacy Foundation group meetings.

Question: What is a direct impression of a posture?

Response: It isn't until one begins to inhabit the body that there exists the possibility of having a direct impression unfiltered through or deflected by the formatory mind. A posture contains much more than outer positioning. There is an inner posture—such as the feeling of "hiding" or "knowing"—that is related to the outer physical posture but only experienced when there is relative presence, in the body, not in terms of a glimpse but of duration.

Q: I see that I am always doing something; that is, if it's not physical work then I am always thinking about something, someone.

R: We do not consciously inhabit the body. We live in and out of the head brain; rarely does anything or anyone reach us emotionally and then we usually sexualize, fantasize, or identify with doership. To be and to simply observe, impartially, takes long and repeated effort, such is the depth of our identification. Every impression is a picture. Inhibit the desire to sharpen, crop and otherwise manipulate. Simply see and 'taste' the "I" of the moment.

Q: In remembering myself suddenly something from the past comes up.

R: It is valuable that in observing the present one makes connection with the past. It's all here and all there, as well. But do not dwell in the past, make it a fetish. Insist on being present to oneself. Then, the present may spring one into one's past, or rather spring the past into one's present. In the present, one then consciously relives their past.

Q: I am always in an "I."

R: Of course. But the question is: am I identified with the "I" of the moment? If so, then by definition one is not present to it. It is only "seen" afterward. We need to work to see in the moment. Otherwise, it is just "history."

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