#01. Introduction to The Psychology of Man

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

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Pyotr Demianovich Ouspensky was a Russian mathematician and esotericist best known for his work on the teaching he received from Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Ivanovich Gurdjieff a system which later became known as ‘The Fourth Way’.

Ouspensky was born in Moscow in 1878. He studied at the Second Moscow Gymnasium, a government school attended by boys from 10 to 18. In 1906, he was working in the editorial office of the Moscow daily paper ‘The Morning’. In 1907 he discovered Theosophy. In the autumn of 1913, age 35, before the beginning of World War I, he journeyed to the East ‘in search of the miraculous’, or as he would like to put it; in search of the reality that lies behind the reality that we take as reality.

On his travels he visited India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Egypt and met Theosophists in Adyar but was forced to return to Moscow after the beginning of the Great War. There he met George Gurdjieff which introduced him to the system for which he has been searching for all his life. Ouspensky spent the next few years studying with Gurdjieff, and supporting the founding of a school.

Ouspensky says:

“You must understand that I do not speak from any moral point of view. We have not yet come to questions of what is good, and what is bad, by itself. I speak only from a practical point of view, of what is useful and what is harmful to self-study and self-development.”

“THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN’S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION” consists of 5 five preliminary lectures Ouspensky wrote in 1934 as a response of the demand from readers from his former books – The Fourth Dimension who appeared in 1909 and his second book, Tertium Organum from 1912 who were published in English between 1920 and 1934 . People had questions about what he has been doing after the writings of these books. Although it would have taken Ouspensky several books to answer all these questions, in these 5 lectures Ouspensky tried to answer some of these questions and laid out the foundational principles of the system of ‘The Fourth Way’ .

These five lectures were read where listeners could ask questions. In that way the lectures also served as a way to see if people were ready to receive – what Ouspensky called – ‘New Knowledge’. The system that Ouspensky got from Gurdjieff was often mistaken for ‘ordinary knowledge’ which would leave people understanding it on their ordinary terms and miss the extraordinary value the system has to offer. Therefore the ideas and concepts of ‘The Fourth Way’ required a different kind of attitude of listening and demand a certain kind of responsibility to incorporate them into your day-to-day life. The main impact however for interpreting these ideas in an ‘ordinary’ way. is that you would just merely ‘understand’ the system and not ‘get’ its full potential and losing the possibility of ever getting the ideas of the system at all.

Ouspensky says:

” I know that it is not an easy thing to realise that one is hearing new things. We are so accustomed to the old tunes, and the old motives, that long ago we ceased to hope and ceased to believe that there might be anything new. And when we hear new things, we take them for old, or think that they can be explained and interpreted by the old. It is true that it is a difficult task to realise the possibility and necessity of quite new ideas, and it needs with time a revaluation of all usual values. I cannot guarantee that you will hear new ideas, that is, ideas you never heard before, from the start; but if you are patient you will very soon begin to notice them. And then I wish you not to miss them, and to try not to interpret them in the old way.”

 

Pjotr Demianovich Ouspensky was een Russische wiskundige, mysticus, filosoof en estheticus die vooral bekend werd om zijn werk dat hij schreef over de esoterische doctrine die hij ontving van de Grieks-Armeense leraar George Ivanovitsj Gurdjieff. Dit stelsel werd later als ‘De Vierde Weg’.

Ouspensky werd geboren in 1878 in Moskou. Hij studeerde aan het Tweede Gymnasium van Moskou, een overheidsschool voor jongens van 10 tot 18 jaar oud. In 1906 werkte hij in de redactie van het dagblad ‘The Morning’ in Moskou. In 1907 ontdekte hij de theosofie. In het najaar van 1913, op 35-jarige leeftijd, vóór het begin van de Eerste Wereldoorlog, reisde hij naar het Oosten ‘Op zoek naar het wonderbaarlijke’, of zoals hij het zou willen zeggen; op zoek naar de realiteit die zich achter de ogenschijnlijke dagelijkse realiteit schuilt.

Reizen

Tijdens zijn reizen bezocht hij India, Ceylon (nu Sri Lanka) en Egypte en ontmoette hij theosofen in Adyar, maar werd gedwongen terug te keren naar Moskou na het begin van de Grote Oorlog. Daar ontmoette hij George Gurdjieff die hem introduceerde aan het systeem waar hij zijn hele leven naar op zoek was. Ouspensky bracht de volgende jaren door met Gurdjieff en steunde de oprichting van een school.


Ouspensky

“Je moet begrijpen dat ik vanuit geen enkel moreel standpunt spreek. We zijn nog niet bij de vragen aangekomen over wat goed en slecht is. Ik spreek alleen vanuit praktisch oogpunt, over wat nuttig en wat schadelijk is voor zelfstudie en zelfontwikkeling. ”


Het boek ‘De Mens en Zijn Mogelijk Evolutie’ bestaat uit 5 voorbereidende lezingen die Ouspensky in 1934 schreef als antwoord op vragen van de lezers van zijn eerder verschenen boeken.

‘De Vierde Dimensie’  verscheen in 1909 ‘Tertium Organum’, zijn tweede boek uit 1912, werd uiteindelijk gepubliceerd in het Engels in de periode tussen 1920 en 1934.

Mensen hadden vragen over wat hij deed met wat er in de geschriften van deze boeken geschreven stond. Hoewel het Ouspensky normaal gesproken meerdere volumes  zou hebben gekost om al deze vragen te beantwoorden, heeft Ouspensky ze uiteindelijk in deze 5 lezingen getracht te beantwoorden in een kernachtige bloemlezen van de grondbeginselen van het stelsel van ‘De Vierde Weg’.

Deze vijf lezingen werden gelezen waar luisteraars ook vragen konden stellen. Op die manier dienden de lezingen ook als een manier om te zien of mensen klaar waren om – wat Ouspensky noemde – ‘Nieuwe kennis’ te ontvangen. Het systeem dat Ouspensky van Gurdjieff kreeg werd vaak verward met ‘gewone kennis’, waardoor mensen het op hun gewone voorwaarden zouden begrijpen en de buitengewone waarde die het systeem te bieden heeft, zouden missen. Daarom vereisten de ideeën en concepten van ‘De Vierde Weg’ een andere manier van luisteren en eisten een bepaalde verantwoordelijkheid om ze in uw dagelijks leven op te nemen. De belangrijkste impact om deze ideeën op een ‘gewone’ manier te interpreteren, is dat je het systeem alleen maar ‘begrijpt’ en niet ‘zijn’ volledige potentieel krijgt en de mogelijkheid verliest om ooit de ideeën van het systeem te krijgen.


Ouspensky zegt:

“Ik weet dat het niet gemakkelijk is om te beseffen dat je nieuwe dingen hoort. We zijn zo gewend aan de oude deuntjes en de oude motieven, dat we lang geleden zijn gestopt met hopen en ophielden te geloven dat er misschien iets nieuws was. En wanneer we nieuwe dingen horen, nemen we ze voor lief, of denken dat ze door het oude uitgelegd en geïnterpreteerd kunnen worden. Het is waar dat het een moeilijke taak is om de mogelijkheid en noodzaak van vrij nieuwe ideeën te realiseren, en het heeft tijd nodig voor een herwaardering van alle gebruikelijke waarden. Ik kan niet garanderen dat je vanaf het begin nieuwe ideeën zult horen, dat wil zeggen ideeën die je nog nooit gehoord hebt; maar als je geduldig bent, zal je ze heel snel gaan opmerken. En dan zou ik willen dat je ze niet mist, en probeer ze niet op de oude manier te interpreteren.””


English

Pyotr Demianovich Ouspensky was a Russian mathematician and esotericist best known for his work on the teaching he received from Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Ivanovich Gurdjieff  a system which later became known as ‘The Fourth Way’.

Ouspensky was born in Moscow in 1878. He studied at the Second Moscow Gymnasium, a government school attended by boys from 10 to 18. In 1906, he was working in the editorial office of the Moscow daily paper ‘The Morning’. In 1907 he discovered Theosophy. In the autumn of 1913, age 35, before the beginning of World War I, he journeyed to the East ‘in search of the miraculous’, or as he would like to put it; in search of the reality that lies behind the reality that we take as reality.

On his travels he visited India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Egypt  and met Theosophists in Adyar but was forced to return to Moscow after the beginning of the Great War. There he met George Gurdjieff which introduced him to the system for which he has been searching for all his life. Ouspensky spent the next few years studying with Gurdjieff, and supporting the founding of a school.


Ouspensky says:

“You must understand that I do not speak from any moral point of view. We have not yet come to questions of what is good, and what is bad, by itself. I speak only from a practical point of view, of what is useful and what is harmful to self-study and self-development.”


“THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN’S  POSSIBLE EVOLUTION” consists of 5 five preliminary lectures Ouspensky wrote in 1934 as a response of the demand from readers from his former books – The Fourth Dimension who appeared in 1909 and his second book, Tertium Organum from 1912 who were published in English between 1920 and 1934 . People had questions about what he has been doing after the writings of these books. Although it would have taken Ouspensky several books to answer all these questions, in these 5 lectures Ouspensky tried to answer some of these questions and laid out the foundational principles of the system of ‘The Fourth Way’ .

These five lectures were read where listeners could ask questions. In that way the lectures also served as a way to see if people were ready to receive  – what Ouspensky called – ‘New Knowledge’. The system that Ouspensky got from Gurdjieff was often mistaken for ‘ordinary knowledge’ which would leave people understanding it on their ordinary terms and miss the extraordinary value the system has to offer. Therefore the ideas and concepts of ‘The Fourth Way’ required a different kind of attitude of listening and demand a certain kind of responsibility to incorporate them into your day-to-day life. The main impact however for interpreting these ideas in an ‘ordinary’ way. is that you would just merely ‘understand’ the system and not ‘get’ its full potential and losing the possibility of ever getting the ideas of the system at all.


Ouspensky says:

” I know that it is not an easy thing to realise that one is hearing new things. We are so accustomed to the old tunes, and the old motives, that long ago we ceased to hope and ceased to believe that there might be anything new. And when we hear new things, we take them for old, or think that they can be explained and interpreted by the old. It is true that it is a difficult task to realise the possibility and necessity of quite new ideas, and it needs with time a revaluation of all usual values. I cannot guarantee that you will hear new ideas, that is, ideas you never heard before, from the start; but if you are patient you will very soon begin to notice them. And then I wish you not to miss them, and to try not to interpret them in the old way.”


 

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