#20. Ouspensky’s Epilogue

Introductie in het gedachtegoed van 'De Vierde Weg'
op basis van fragmenten uit "Psychologie van Men's Mogelijke Evolutie"


“ I met this system in 1915 in Russia. There was a group in Moscow conducted by G. I. Gurdjieff, a Caucasian Greek who came to Russia from Central Asia. I learned very much working with these groups, but in 1918 I parted from them because, from my point of view, they began to lose the most important of their original principles. Soon after my parting with them, almost all members of groups parted with Mr. G. Only four people remained with him.  I met Mr. G. again in 1920 at Constantinople and again tried to work with him, but very soon found that it was impossible. In the beginning of 1922, when I was already in London, Mr. G. came to me and told me about his plans for new work which he intended to start in England or in France. I did not believe much in these plans, but I decided to make a last experiment and promised to help him to organize his work. At that time, I already had groups in London. After some time G.’s work was started in France. I collected money for him, and many of my people went to the place he bought at Fontainebleau on their money. I went there myself several times and continued to do it till the end of 1923 when I saw that things were going wrong at Fontainebleau and decided to part with Mr. G. completely. If you ask me what was wrong, I can say only one

thing, which really was quite sufficient to wreck everything. By this time, Mr. G. had abandoned most of the principles he taught us in Russia, particularly principles referring to choice and preparation of people for the work. He began to accept people without any preparation, gave them places of authority, permitted them to speak about the work, and so on. I saw that his work was going to crash, and I parted with him in order to save the work in London. In January 1924, I told my groups in London that had broken all connections with Mr. G. and his group and would continue my work on my own as I began it in 1921. I offered them a free choice: to remain with me or to follow Mr. G. or to leave work altogether. At the same time, for those who decided to remain with me introduced a new rule, namely, that they should not speak about Mr. G. or discuss the causes of the failure of the work at Fontainebleau. I introduced this rule because I wished to stop imagination, for since nobody knew anything, all talks on these subjects would have been pure invention or repetition of malignant gossiping, which came from Mr. G.’s new people, and who from my point of view, should not have been admitted in the work at all. I said that whoever wishes to know anything about it, he must ask me. You must understand that all rules are for self- remembering. First, they have a purpose in themselves, and second, they are for self-remembering. If there are no rules, there is no work. If the importance of rules is not understood, the possibilities of a school disappear.”

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