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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 169 March 2, 2019

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Welcome to the newest page of the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence Discussion.

Here, you can share your thoughts, your stories, your own experiences as a former member of the FOF.  If you are considering becoming a member, you are invited to read the discussion to better know the organization you are considering joining; we welcome your questions. Participants in the discussion may post under their own name, or anonymously.

The first comment of all new participants will be moderated before they can start communicating in real-time.  You will need to register with a valid email address and be able to reply to the welcome/verification email you will receive. If you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear within a day after it has been submitted; any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously.

At the Moderator’s discretion, excessive abuse, such as personal attacks, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion anonymously will prompt a warning. Continued abuse will result in your removal from the discussion.

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://livingpresence.com/

Comments

1. Ames Gilbert - March 2, 2019

Jeez, it’s hard to keep up. Latest news from the bowels of the criminal enterprise, a.k.a. The Fellowship of Friends, the cult headquartered in Oregon House, California, 95962.

Burton has decided: there are four future ‘conscious beings’.
They are:
Dorian Mattei, Sasha Shalapanov, Nitzan Nitzan, and Samuel Mercer (grandson of Maria Machado).

Alert readers will quickly note that—wait for it, wait for it—Girard Haven is not on the list.

Great gallomphing goobers! I can hardly believe it myself.

After spending most of his adult life mooning after Burton, writing untold reams of rubbish about how to act more ‘conscious’, whole books of self–referential fluff justifying the actions of a loon (albeit, a ‘conscious’ loon), attempting to square the circle of the Fourth Way with the Precious Sequence™, being obedient and obsequious every moment of his life when not in front of a screen (o.k., this is a family blog)… amusing himself—and being rewarded for all this by being anointed as a ‘Man #5…

… and then having even this meagre recognition denied him? Where is the justice? Why the humiliation? It seems so unnecessary and gratuitous and cruel.

I ‘sorta’ feel for him.

But don’t worry, my source tells me that Girard is taking it well. He has nobly accepted the word of his Master, who has once again treated him as lower than a dog.

This begs the question: what about ‘Solartype’, ‘William’, ‘Nicolas Walker™’, and the rest?

Too bad, you are all ‘in imagination’. The eighty–first angel has announced The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth.
You are mere pretenders, frauds, all of you.
Robert Earl Burton, God–Emperor of Oregon House, has spoken.

So. Be. It and So. It. Is.

Until, at a guess, next week.

2. Ames Gilbert - March 2, 2019

Oh, and Burton has taken the predicted holocaust in 2019 off the table.

Phew! Catastrophe averted. No doubt Burton will take credit for that, though.

Never fear, Ames hereby predicts that, soon enough, another random mailbox or T–shirt or some weird combination of numbers or shapes will titillate his neurons in a suggestive way, compelling yet another prediction of the end of the world. It’s the sole thing you can trust about Burton—he’ll never stop spewing nonsense.
And it’s a sure bet his followers will always root through the random garbage, trying to find the significant tidbits—or even inventing them when necessary to preserve their self–esteem or impress their peers.

3. crossroads - March 2, 2019

“Correct action by the present -Fellowship of Friends Board – -would entail:
• Firing Burton as ‘chief minister’, effective immediately
• Resigning their Board positions, effective immediately, and calling for elections by vote open to all members. But not before:
• Hiring independent legal counsel to investigate Burton’s past actions and Board past actions
• …with full authority and money to hire professional investigators (including forensic accountants) as necessary, with the aim of pursuing restitution, legal and financial, that falls within the statute of limitations, including inviting prosecutors to lay a case if voluntary attempt at restitution does not occur or does not suffice to make victims whole (including tax authorities)
• …with full authority to publicize and apologize for actions that fall outside the statute of limitations—wherever paths the independent investigation follows
•…with full authority to organize and conduct a “truth commission”, with all proceedings open to any member of the public, and current and especially former members victimized by Burton, along the lines of and in the spirit of the South African Truth Commission.
• … stating categorically that they will not run for a position on the Board again, ever, and that any former members of the Board are likewise prohibited for running, ever.

167-133. Ames Gilbert

4. crossroads - March 2, 2019

“In my opinion, the reason that this blog has been active for so many years is because the ego doesn’t get too much food here. In my case, for example, I find it very difficult to be vain for joining a cult and staying for almost 30 years.

“…we think that there is an audience watching the argument attentively so our vanity and ego get very excited. (but) Really, guys, people that come here because they googled “Fellowship of Friends” don’t give a shit either. – (about your vanity and ego…)

Basically, I’m saying that there is no “audience”, so let’s concentrate on the purpose of this blog: To inform people that that Fellowship of Friends is a cult and Robert Earl Burton is a sexual predator.

168 – 60. – 64. Cult Survivor

5. crossroads - March 2, 2019

167 – 62. My dear
“…The whole thing will be hilarious if is not because so many people got fucked up along the way. It takes courage to admit to oneself there was nothing spiritual behind the whole thing. But the lesson is huge: elitism is a very neurotic and dangerous attitude.”

elitism is a very neurotic and dangerous attitude

6. WhaleRider - March 2, 2019

If it is true burton has walked back on his latest apocalyptic prediction that was destined to fail, then maybe he has evolved to the point where he realized he can be far more successful at predicting disasters are not going to happen on certain dates.

If only he could do the same about not abusing his position of power and sexually exploiting his male followers…

7. crossroads - March 2, 2019

last but not least…
Said the web guru, is about time to make some money out of this bullshit! welcome to -cult survivor dot com-
167-134 Cult Survivor

8. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 2, 2019

A genius in the land of idiots…

Victor Hugo wrote a sentence that is 136 words long. When Gurdjieff heard of this he said to himself (paraphrasing), So this the secret of literary recognition, the unknown recipe for becoming famous as a genius writer.”

Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson:

I have the honor to inform you that although, due to circumstances that have arisen in one of the later stages of my life, I am now going to write books, during my whole life I have never written a single book or “instructive article,” or even a letter in which it was necessary to observe what is called “grammaticality,” so that although I am about to become a “professional writer” I have no practice at all in the established rules and procedures or in what is called “bon ton literary language,” and am therefore constrained to write not as ordinary “patented” writers do, to whose form of writing you are in all probability as much accustomed as to your own smell.

This sentence only has 120 plus words in it, but Gurdjieff was just warming up in his project to become a great legend of European “thought”. The sentences would get longer. Much longer. In the Land of Idiots, in the land of juvenile minds searching the world for the hidden meaning of life, Gurdjieff succeeded in convincing adults with infantile minds that he was, indeed, a great saint of “understanding” and “consciousness”, or as he referred to it he proved himself a master of the unconscious mind.

What astounding morons populate this world. Gurdjieff was the gateway drug for many in their downward spiral into the nauseating world of the Fellowship of Friends.

9. Golden Veil - March 3, 2019

8. Four Days of the Fourth State – March 2, 2019

Well said, Four Days, especially that Gurdjieff was a “master of the unconscious mind” (psychopath grand manipulator). But, I do not give as much weight to his writings regarding prospective students joining the Fellowship of Friends as you do here: “Gurdjieff was the gateway drug for many in their downward spiral into the nauseating world of the Fellowship of Friends.”

Although I had read Meetings with Remarkable Men and only the third vol., of the trilogy, Life is Real Only Then, When ‘I Am’ by Gurdjieff, I learned the most about the ideas via Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous. In fact, I have met Fellowship of Friends students who hadn’t read any of the Work books before joining the Fellowship of Friends.

But it wasn’t the books so much as a chance meeting with friendly Fellowship of Friends students and the mysterious prospective student meetings that reeled me in.

Of course in Gurdjieff’s time, I suspect that it was his force of personality on the vulnerable people that met him that gained him followers, as at least early on he didn’t have the books for them to read.

People write here a lot about Robert Earl Burton but I think that his students have the most influence on whether a prospective student will join or not. It’s definitely a mix of timing in one’s life, finding that bookmark or having a relative or friend that is a Fellowship of Friends student – combined with that beguiling (for some) trilogy of prospective student meetings with Fellowship of Friends students and their highly refined ‘esoteric act’.

A prospective student will be especially groomed, love bombed, whatever you want to call it and recruited – especially if they fulfill target desirabilities such as having money, prestige and / or potential sexual attractiveness to Robert Earl Burton.

Since before the turn of the century, the Fellowship of Friends students who lead the prospective student meetings and actively procure for Robert Earl Burton are the most complicit in perpetuating the sexual abuse and financial crimes that are instigated from the top of the hierarchy of the Fellowship of Friends. They are complicit.

10. Artemis44 - March 3, 2019

9. Golden Veil

Right on, GV. I did the prospective Fellowship meetings a few months after a very painful breakup and shortly after an emergency surgery so I was suffering physically and emotionally. A friend gave me a couple of books by John Bennett and Ouspensky to help me deal with my suffering. After reading the books, I bought ‘Talks with a Devil’ by Ouspensky and inside I found a bookmark with the phone number of the Fellowship, so I called the number and attended the prospective meetings. I was especially groomed and love bombarded, as you said, so I joined immediately. There you go.

During my time in the Fellowship, I especially groomed and love bombarded lots of people and several became members, so now I am here to get rid of my bad karma.

11. brucelevy - March 3, 2019

10. Artemis44

For me it was different. I read the Search in 1969 and was very attracted to the ideas. Then in 1973, in SF, I found a bookmark. Made it to Anna Gold’s. Wasn’t much love bombing for me…and it wouldn’t have worked anyway. Many of the “students” seemed to have sticks up their asses. I thought it was the only Ouspensky game in town so I joined.

12. Golden Veil - March 3, 2019

I think that the students leading the prospective student meetings with, as I’ve described, ‘their highly refined “esoteric act”‘ or who according to Bruce “seemed to have sticks up their asses” adjusted their demeanor to their prospective student. Although they had a script for the presentation, how they interacted one on one after the presentations could be based on “photographs” taken of perceived “chief features” of the prospective student and also by being sympathetic to the self information the prospect gave to them. “Love bombing” could be, among other things, ego feeding by compliments, giving attention to those starved for it, or just intense intellectual demonstration and exchange.

Artemis44, can you give us any details about how you were trained to give prospective student meetings or were you just connecting people to them and others gave the meetings?

13. Insider - March 3, 2019

9. Golden Veil
“…their highly refined ‘esoteric act’”

In truth, the main (unconscious) activity in the sad remains of the Fellowship is pretending, and then trying to convince everyone else, that you are “conscious.”

The smile. The walk. The talk. Making “esoteric” connections from license plates. Speaking authoritatively about gods, angels, even “the absolute.” Their vast knowledge of history, literature, the arts. The all-too-visible “taking in of impressions.”

Of course the biggest actor of all is Robert Burton. Although the act of even the oldest and most highly accomplished “older student” is believed only by the newest and most naive Fellowship members, and then only for a short time, Burton continues to keep most members firmly under his spell, never questioning the utterly mad comments flowing unceasingly from Burton’s mouth, like regular visits from “the absolute,” but rather taking the madness as sure proof of Burton’s “level of being.”

14. rich - March 3, 2019

I met Gurdjieff’s ideas as a freshman in college, must have been
the Gurdjieff Foundation. The did some of the movements.
Read from the “Search”, went on a hiking trip, back in 1964-65.
Later, I read more and found a bookmark for FOF in ’74. I
was 30 years old, had drinking problems and living with
my parents, a loner and didn’t like it. I met folks my age
and appeared to have the same interest. Stayed 5 or 6 years.
This was back when the “Professor” was supposed to be
celibate. The best thing is that I could not quit smoking,
and tossed out. Even when I left in ’80, rumors were that
Burton was lying about the celibacy. Plus in ’80 Burton’s
first false prediction was in the future. This blog and the
Greater Fellowship are now a part of the record of FOF.
We thought we were special and it’s humbling to realize
we got burned. For those still interested in joining look
at the suicides and wrecked lives. I feel ashamed….

15. Artemis44 - March 3, 2019

12. Golden Veil

In 1992 I had access to a Fellowship manual called Center Directors’ Guidelines. Below are some of the rules for prospective meetings as I remember them. By the way it’s due to the weird atmosphere that these rigid rules created that a prospective student started this blog.

GUIDELINES FOR PROSPECTIVE MEETINGS (AS OF 1992)

– Always wear school meeting clothes for prospective meetings (coat and tie for men, dress or long skirt for women). Tell prospective students to also dress like that.
– Always start the meeting on time and don’t let prospective students participate after the meeting starts. If a prospective student shows up after the meeting started tell him politely that he will have to call to join the next series of meetings (there is one every month).
– The number of students must be equal to the number of prospective students plus two.
– One of the students, usually the most experienced, acts as the meeting leader and does most of the talking. Other students may ask the leader to speak raising a finger and then being authorized to speak by the leader, but they should keep their comments very short.
– Never give a photograph to a prospective student because his false personality is still very strong and he may become negative.
– Do not use or mention the word exercises with prospective students because they may find that very strange.
– Ask prospective students to refrain from asking questions until the end of the meeting. If a prospective student has many questions, tell him that he will have the opportunity to ask more questions when he joins the school.
– Avoid telling personal stories or theories during prospective meetings. Follow the text in this manual.
– Mention the donation of 10% of the gross salary at the end of the third prospective meeting to make sure the person can make the donations and visit Renaissance. This usually requires the person to belong to the middle class or higher.
– Mention only the no smoking exercise at the end of the third meeting (do not mention other exercises, such as no extramarital sex). If the prospective student is a smoker, tell him that he has one year to quit smoking. Do not mention the fines for breaking the exercises.
– Mention the name of the Teacher and the location of Renaissance only at the end of the third prospective meeting.
– After the meetings, spend a maximum of 30 minutes socializing and having tea and biscuits. Use fine porcelain and tablecloth and make sure there is a vase with flowers on the table.
– Be intentional, emotional, and make efforts to be present during the meetings. Remember that prospective students are more impressed by our level of being than our words.

Immediately after joining, each new student was assigned an older student as a ‘mentor’ to help him integrate with the school. After 3 weeks, I remember finding the meetings too artificial and people very stiff, so I stopped going to meetings. A few days later my mentor called and asked what was happening and I told him that the Fellowship was not for me. His response was that it was my first ‘interval’ and that I could attend without paying for a month to ‘bridge the interval’. I accepted his offer and when I attended the meetings he was always close to me, explaining the Fourth Way and the Work, giving me photographs of my body type and center of gravity, telling me stories about Renaissance and the Teacher, etc. We became close friends and remember that I was very disappointed when he left the school 10 years later, but by then I was an older student and was mentoring new students and making sure that they were especially groomed and bombarded with love.

16. WhaleRider - March 3, 2019

One could think of this blog and the Greater Fellowship now as the student’s perspective meeting…

At the time of my joining I was considering a spiritual pilgrimage to India, but my center directors had already been, and I thought joining the group would save me the trip, plus you didn’t have to renounce everything to be a member…at least in the beginning. We were supposed to be “invisible”, operating under the radar, so to speak, unlike the Hare Krishna group for example, which I had explored.

I do remember the experience early on made me feel special, with members emphasizing how “lucky” I was.

Little did I know it was they who needed other new recruits to bolster and reinforce this “lucky” feeling in themselves. Recruiting young males or rich people meant more attention from burton.

Soon the wine drinking began with classical baroque music always playing to amplify the group experience, followed by the idealization of Renassiance and the “Teacher”. What was there to resist?

I was impressed with card trick and “center of gravity”, and body type ideas, primarily because at the age of 21 I was suffering from an identity crisis and these ideas provided me with a ready-made identity.

In a vulnerable state, I had nothing to lose except my dignity, AKA “false personality”, only to be supplanted with a false sense of entitlement, which the group labeled as my “true personality”, now known as the “higher self” vs. the “lower self”.

Years later, after leaving the group and going back to university, I totally understand the value of teaching young people critical thinking skills, the first casualty of joining a cult.

17. WhaleRider - March 3, 2019

PS. IMO, it is precisely the cult’s instilled false sense of entitlement that eventually erodes one’s conscience, which continually requires bolstering at the expense of others.

One can see it sometimes in rich people, fundamentalist religions, sexism, racism, and nationalist politics…and for eyes that see, in burton as well.

18. Artemis44 - March 3, 2019

It’s the trademark of narcissistic psychopaths like Napoleon, Hitler, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Ted Bundy and Robert Burton. Oh yes, I forgot Donald Trump.

19. John Harmer - March 3, 2019

#168/102 There is something dreary and ponderous about these theatrical productions. The actor who plays Julius Caesar looks like a soft modern american. The delivery of the actors is like that embarrassed and heavily pronounced performance we see at school nativity plays. And there is a voice that I call “the reading out poetry voice” that they all seem to think adds gravitas to their mediocre efforts.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzRhxailALD3EA05q63ny8Q

20. crossroads - March 3, 2019

One thing that does not make sense to me is the fact that Rumanian cinematographer Radu Sava, an active member of the Fellowship of Friends is a photography teacher for elementary kids at YES academy in Oregon House. Bringing this up is painful -everybody likes Radu lol- but is more painful to keep silent.

“Having a blast at Wild and Scenic Film Fest. Our film “Belonging” is playing today”. He displays a photo when he is being interviewed.

I recently interacted with Conrad – who I met at the Galleria kitchen while “restoring” after a big dinner many years ago. So the 3d line volunteers are having dinner in the kitchen while the Fucker is in his full just few yards away. Conrad recites Shakespeare to us and knows exactly what is going on in the fucker’s bedroom. And now 20 years later, he pretends nothing is going on… Same with Radu. They dismiss my inquire. They avoid me… fucking cowards.

21. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 3, 2019

Jules Verne’s novel Around the Moon invented the very popular science fiction concept of travel in a spaceship. In 1902 the French film Le Voyage dans la Lune made Verne’s concept of space flight a common fantasy. In his attempt to establish himself as the author of a “new Bible” Gurdjieff borrowed the idea: “Through the Universe flew the trans-space communication ship Karnak.” -Beelzebub’s Tales

“Karnak”, another very popular subject in the European mind at the time of the writing of Gurdjiff’s novel was the discovery in Egypt by Howard Carter of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, which was a raging newspaper sensation at the time.

“Gurdjieff Ouspensky Centers”, the heading on the bookmarks placed in selected books by the devious Fellowship of Friends cult of California beginning in the 1970s.

22. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 3, 2019

Internet hellhole:

23. Artemis44 - March 4, 2019

Rowena Taylor manages the Fellowship Twitter account and only confirmed students have access. She is the same person that recently claimed that she spent ‘four days in the fourth state’, so we came full circle…

24. brucelevy - March 4, 2019

In my opinion, if there are people who actually have their spiritual shit together they are both silent and invisible. These are simply malignant narcissists and sociopaths…you know…the usual.

25. Robert P. - March 4, 2019

It is a grave mistake for anyone to equate Gurdjieff and his teaching with Burton and his teaching. Burton developed his pseudo teaching using “scraps from Gurdjieff’s table” taken from Ouspensky’s book, “In Search of the Miraculous”. Over the past five decades, he has transformed his meager understanding of Gurdjieff’s ideas into a mountain of utter nonsense, lies and deceit. Burton has no connection whatsoever to Gurdjieff’s teaching and neither did Burton’s so-called teacher Alex Horn. As for the comments made above by “Four Days of the Fourth State” and “Golden Veil” critical of Gurdjieff, it is a certainty that they, like Burton, know next to nothing about Gurdjieff’s teaching. I write this for the benefit of any potential grandson of Beelzebub who might innocently stumble upon this site.

26. Ames Gilbert - March 4, 2019

To Robert P., greetings!

O.K., you confirm that Burton’s ravings have nothing to do with Gurdjieff or his teaching.
And you categorically state that ‘Golden Veil’ and ‘Four Days in the Fourth State’ are talking through their respective hats. Yet FDFS has spent years with the Gurdjieff Foundation (and has panned them on this site). And I know from their own accounts that quite a number of ex–followers of Burton have joined the GF over the years.

Please, tell us where to find a ‘true Gurdjieff teaching’, a rough idea of the setup, the lineage, and if it is not well–known enough for us to find out more with an internet search, how to contact them/you or start a productive search.

And, please tell us your qualifications to ‘know’ it is a real teaching, which seems, to me, to be your implicit claim.

Thank you so much for your help!

27. Cult Survivor - March 4, 2019

Robert P., thank you for the reminder.

MESSAGE TO ANY POTENTIAL GRANDSON OF BEELZEBUB WHO MIGHT INNOCENTLY STUMBLE UPON THIS SITE

It has never been proven that the so-called “Fourth Way” is a system to produce consciousness in its participants, on the contrary.

Georges Gurdjieff, the person who first talked about the Fourth Way, used to say he received the knowledge from a mysterious esoteric Sufi sect called “Sarmoung Brotherhood,” but nobody has ever found any information about it. He hummed some basic melodies to Thomas de Hartmann, a skillful Russian composer, and de Hartmann transformed them into what is now called “Gurdjieff music”. His “sacred dances” look like contortions performed by a spastic gymnast. Any courageous person who tried to read Gurdjieff’s main work “Beelzebub”s Tales to His Grandson” verified that is poorly written and practically incomprehensible. It’s well documented that Gurdjieff was very promiscuous and had a minimum of 7 illegitimate children with his students. According to some witnesses, his last words were “I leave you all in a fine mess”.

Peter Ouspensky, Gurdjieff’s most famous follower, was a talented writer — without his books the so-called Fourth Way would probably be dead by now — but he was highly intellectual and not practical at all. According to several of his followers he was an alcoholic. He started several Fourth Way groups but he told his followers he was abandoning the Fourth Way before he died.

Robert Burton and his mentor Alex Horn never studied with a true Fourth Way teacher, whatever that means. Burton claims that he is a “conscious being” and told his followers to abandon the Fourth Way more than a decade ago. Burton has being sued for sexual abuse in the past and according to some sources there is an arrest warrant in Europe against him.

Burton’s most prominent disciple, Asaf Braverman, left Burton’s group recently and runs an “online school” with his own interpretation of the Fourth Way. He claims to be a higher being, charges high fees for people to attend online workshops, private Skype sessions and physical gatherings around the world, and closely monitors online every exchange between his followers.

Bottom line, there is no proof that the so-called Fourth Way is a real method for developing consciousness. If that were the case, where are the “conscious beings” it produced? Not in the groups of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Alex Horn or Robert Burton, that’s for sure.

There may be conscious beings who actually have their spiritual shit together and are silent and invisible, as Bruce said, but as far as I know the Fourth Way has created some very promiscuous alcoholic narcissist sociopaths.

CAVEAT EMPTOR.

28. John Harmer - March 4, 2019

#25 Regarding Gurdjieff (and many other examples), as soon as someone claims to have knowledge that is certain and from such a rarefied source that it cannot be verified or disproved by ordinary mortals, you are on a hiding to nothing.

29. crossroads - March 4, 2019

“The way of the sly man” – Gurdjieff’s own words…

Wiki definition – “sly” adjective:

Having or showing a cunning and deceitful nature: “she had a sly personality” synonyms: cunning, crafty, clever, wily, artful, guileful, tricky, conniving, scheming, devious, designing, deceitful, duplicitous, dishonest, disingenuous, underhand, sneaky, untrustworthy, manipulative, calculating, Machiavellian, foxy, shifty, fly, shonky, slim, subtle, carnyantonyms: honest, artless

30. Phutatorius - March 4, 2019

Re 11 Bruce Levy. My own experience was more similar to yours than to the reported lovebombing that some report. I’d been reading Gurdjieff & Ouspensky, along with related material for five or six years & I’d read All & Everything three times, once aloud to myself. I, too, thought the FOF was the only game in town, since the Gurdjieff Foundation groups were keeping a low profile, then and now. I quit a good job and it took me some time to recover my career & finances — really not until after I left the FoF. Burton took an “interest” & i found it flattering, but being around him made me uncomfortable. I’d had more than a decade’s worth of experience in dealing with the unwanted attentions of gay men by the time I joined up in 1978. Burton never made an overt advance, perhaps knowing how I’d respond. It took me a little over four years before I’d finally had enough and left. I credit having read Hoffer’s book “The True Believer” back in the 60s in part for my regaining my independence with relative ease. I thought that there were many true believers among the “students” I met.

31. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 4, 2019

Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity (published in 1915)

[Einstein presented his space-time theory in the form of highly complex mathematical calculations. He did not simply write down an outline in German and insist that the verbal description represented reality. His mathematical theories are only reality now because here in the 21st century science has developed the ingenuity and instrumentation to prove Einstein’s 1915 calculations correct.]

(The following description is taken from the Internet: 17661-theory-general-relativity, from space dot com. I don’t add the link on the chance it will hang in moderation)

“Einstein realized that massive objects caused a distortion in space-time. Imagine setting a large body in the center of a trampoline. The body would press down into the fabric, causing it to dimple. A marble rolled around the edge would spiral inward toward the body, pulled in much the same way that the gravity of a planet pulls at rocks in space. Although instruments can neither see nor measure space-time, several of the phenomena predicted by its warping have been confirmed.

“Einstein’s Cross is an example of gravitational lensing.(Image: © NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) )
Gravitational lensing: Light around a massive object, such as a black hole, is bent, causing it to act as a lens for the things that lie behind it. Astronomers routinely use this method to study stars and galaxies behind massive objects.

“Einstein’s Cross, a quasar in the Pegasus constellation, is an excellent example of gravitational lensing. The quasar is about 8 billion light-years from Earth, and sits behind a galaxy that is 400 million light-years away. Four images of the quasar appear around the galaxy because the intense gravity of the galaxy bends the light coming from the quasar.”

When Gurdjieff presented Einstein’s General Relativity in his book he did not bother to even mention Einstein, hoping to be taken as an original genius of physics himself:

Beeelzebub’s Tales, The Law of Falling

“Saint Venoma formulated this cosmic law as follows:

” ‘Everything existing in the world “falls to the bottom.” The “bottom” for any part of the Universe is its nearest “stability,” and this stability is the point toward which all the lines of force from all directions converge.

‘The centers of all the suns and planets of our Universe are precisely such points of stability. They are the lowest points of that region of space toward which forces from all directions of the given part of the Universe inexorably tend, and where they concentrate. Each of these points is also a center of gravity that enables suns and planets to maintain their proper places.’

“Saint Venoma stated further that when an object, wherever it may be, is dropped into space, it tends to fall on one or another sun or planet, depending on which sun or planet this part of space belongs to—that sun or planet being for the given region the stability, or bottom.”

In the 1920s few ‘men-on-the-street’ knew anything about Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity other than that Einstein was a genius who made a big splash in all the papers. Gurdjieff could amateurishly and unethically outline the concept as if it were is own discovery, or the magical Saint Venoma’s formulation.

32. Insider - March 4, 2019

31. FDFS

So are you saying that Gurdjieff was somewhat remarkable in that he not only knew about Einstein’s work, but had the scientific background to actually study it? As you say, for the 1920s that would have been quite unusual, except in the highest scientific circles. Or is it possible that Gurdjieff came to these ideas himself, i.e. from other sources having nothing to do with Einstein?

33. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 4, 2019

32. Insider

Google: “newspaper descriptions of general relativity from 1916”

or any year thereafter. Gurdjieff simply read a description of General Relativity from a newspaper article and plagiarized it in his book.

Gurdjieff was a flimflam artist motivated entirely by self-promotion for the purpose of amassing simpleminded cult slaves (most specifically sex slaves). Something he was successful at. So, there’s that. To this day there are simpleminded enthusiasts who declare him a fabulously brilliant saint who now sits at the side of God. So, there’s that too.

At this point I’m not too impressed with him.

34. Robert P. - March 4, 2019

Reply to Ames #26

Thanks for the warm greetings (which I assume are sincere?). I regular visit these pages hoping to hear what would be much welcome news of the end of Robert Burton and the FOF. I rarely post anything for reasons that are obvious given the “hornet’s nest” that my most recent post has stirred up.

I am not here to advertise for the GF but, since you ask, I will say a bit about it.

The GF is not a monolithic, centralized organization structured like the FOF. It is an umbrella group consisting of 4 main organizations located in New York, Paris, London and Venezuela. Each of the main groups has many smaller groups affiliated with it. The main groups and each of the affiliated groups are autonomous in their respective organizational structures and finances. They communicate with each other and offer shared support but they make their own decisions and pay their own way.

I have only limited experience with affiliated groups outside of Toronto but, generally speaking, they all have a similar program which includes weekly meetings and monthly work periods (2 to 7 days). The weekly meetings usually include Movements, sittings and a group exchange. The exchanges are not about discussing 4th Way ideas but involve people sharing their experiences and observations when trying to put the ideas into practice.

Information on the GF is now readily available on the internet (which for many decades was not the case). I would suggest contacting whichever affiliated group is closest to where you live.

Unlike the FOF, it can be difficult to gain admittance to the GF and it is very easy to leave. Individual experiences may vary, as well as the practices of the various groups and affiliated groups, but most often interested persons will meet as a separate small group led by a few senior persons for a period of months, sometimes more than a year, before a decision is made to admit them (or not) to the main group. No payment is asked for during this probationary period. If a person is admitted to the main group, he/she is asked to contribute to the expenses of the group. Expenses include primarily the cost of the building where meetings are held (either payment of the mortgage, taxes and utilities or rent). No one gets paid for his/her role in the GF, no one is on salary – it is all strictly volunteer. If a new member, or any member, legitimately can’t pay their fair share of the group’s expenses, they are asked to pay what they can pay or may be allowed to participate free of charge.

My personal experience is as a member of two of the three Foundation affiliated groups in Toronto, Canada for a total of about the last 10 years. The lineage of the Toronto groups is all the same: Gurdjieff – Jeanne de Salzmann – Louise Welch. I was in the FOF from 1982 to 1987 (before things started to get really crazy there).

35. crossroads - March 4, 2019

Did they know the internet was going to be invented?
Gurdjieff, Madam Blavatsky etc

36. Ames Gilbert - March 5, 2019

Robert P., you are welcome, and thank you for the information.

Reviews of the Gurdjieff Foundation are mixed, as I’m sure you are aware. Seekers will have to judge for themselves if the results are worth the effort. My main concern would be: is there coercion, that is, any form where older ‘students’ take advantage of their authority or power to gain advantage over newer or more naïve followers, in any regard whatsoever. And if so, is there institutional recourse for such abuses of power.

Speaking only for myself, I have decided that in the limited time I have left, I have to apply the lessons I have learned, both from my experiences in the Fellowship of Friends, and from life in general. When I left the FoF, I did look around a bit, because I had been trained to seek a higher, supposedly more knowledgeable authority, but after a while I realized this was just ridiculous, just a habit. I had plenty of material, plenty of observations, plenty of experiences, I had made the acquaintance of my conscience, and it was time to actually ‘live the questions’. And if not then, when? Which of course continues to the present—if not now, when? So, I’m no longer a ‘seeker’.

But, I appreciate your honest input, and hope that it is useful to someone reading it now, or who comes across your post in the future.

37. Cult Survivor - March 5, 2019

Just found this on YouTube. The parallels with the FOF are staggering.

38. phutatorius - March 5, 2019

I was in one of the GF’s groups for a couple of years long after i left the FoF. What Robert P. says up above in #34 agrees with what I observed. There was no exploitation of members. Costs were reasonable. There was actual teaching going on. The secretive hierarchy with division into Groups 1 and Groups 2, presumably exoteric and esoteric was something I was willing to tolerate, without quite understanding what it was all about. I would recommend the GF way over and above the FoF, without hesitation. On the other hand, interested people might want to look into a book called “Meditations on the Tarot” by “anonymous,” an author who turns out to be Valentin Tomberg, a former Steiner pupil. Particularly the chapter on “Death” which contains a few pages devoted to Gurdjieff & Ouspensky. I think that what Tomberg has to say about Gurdjieff & his teaching is worth serious thought.

39. Cult Survivor - March 5, 2019

I found a PDF of the book phutatorius mentioned above:

Click to access Meditations-on-the-Tarot.pdf

The part about Gurdjieff is on pages 355-361, here is an excerpt:

We have chosen Gurdjieff (and Ouspensky) to exemplify the ideal and the method of the “construction of the Tower of Babel”, but Gurdjieff — being openly materialistic in the true sense of this word, and being deprived of all mystical sense — only spoke on behalf of the multitude. All he did was to give forth clearly what animates and impels in an unconscious or semi-conscious way — millions and millions of scientists devoted to the cause of longevity, i.e. to the victory over death through human science, without God and without mysticism: the universal cause of the construction of the Tower of Babel. Gurdjieff is simply a representative of the cause of materialistic science; he knew what it wants in reality and he also knew what he wanted himself. He was, moreover, a good-natured man, endowed with an exquisite sense of humour, a good son. a good friend, and very intelligent with respect to common sense — to indicate only the qualities that he possessed which leap out at one. It would therefore be wrong to see in him a “prophet of darkness” or an instrument of a special “Satanic mission”. No. he was simply a good representative of the “wisdom of this world”, i.e. of good sense and empirical experience without any mystical inclination. Gurdjieff was not any more a “Satanist” than the celebrated Russian physiologist Pavlov or any other representative of materialistic science.”

40. WhaleRider - March 5, 2019

phutatorius:
I would recommend the GF way over and above the FoF, without hesitation.

Recommend them for what?

41. Joey Virgo - March 5, 2019

37. Cult Survivor

Absolutely stunning the parallels between Serge and Robert — except for sexual orientation and “universal medicine” ideas. Thanks for the video post.

42. Bryan Reynolds - March 5, 2019

You can purchase an ebook copy of The Beelzebub Tales for around three dollars in the Google store. Gurdjieff probably did not forsee the search feature. During recent posts about conscience a quick search revealed that the word conscience appears 92 times in the Beelzebub Tales. To paraphrase one passage remorse of conscience as being in touch with the sorrow of the “Endless Creator”

43. WhaleRider - March 5, 2019

Bryan Reynolds:
…remorse of conscience as being in touch with the sorrow of the “Endless Creator”.

…implying that atheists cannot have a conscience?

44. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 5, 2019

I would be very, very surprised if anyone who has been in the Gurdjieff Foundation for more than a year would post even one word about it without permission and detailed instructions. I don’t care what they say otherwise, and these people do not hesitate for a second to mislead as a means to manipulate, no member makes the slightest public move in regards to the Gurdjieff Foundation cult without permission.

45. Artemis44 - March 5, 2019

I predict that in less than 10 years the Fourth Way would be gone forever (Fourth Way books disappeared from the shelves of physical bookstores long time ago).

Sure, a few people in their 80’s will still be members of the Gurdjieff Foundation reading Beezebub’s Tales and doing sclerotic movements and some will be in the FOF attending meetings in their wheelchairs and having formal dinners with a small plate for the pills.

46. Robert P. - March 5, 2019

Reply to Ames #36:

The Gurdjieff Foundation, its’ various groups and affiliated groups, are not perfect for the simple, obvious reason that its’ members are far from perfect. That, of course, cannot be blamed on Gurdjieff even by his most ardent critics. The “mixed reviews” of the GF are at times due to the defects of its members and at other times due to the defects of its’ critics. I agree entirely with you that seekers should judge for themselves.

As to your main concern, I can speak to my experience with the Toronto GF only. There is no intentional coercion (a few times, I felt that a member or two might have been somewhat overzealous in his/her desire to direct another member onto the correct path as he/she sees it – but that is, again, a product of human weakness). I can say that I have never seen an older student take advantage of a newer student/naive follower in any regard whatsoever. If there was such an abuse of power, I fully expect that the abuser would be summarily kicked out.

Living the questions, as you say, is surely the only useful way to proceed. Many of us already have more than enough information, observations and experiences to begin to work productively. The difficulty I came to, about 10 years ago, is my inability to work on my own with any force or consistency. As I reached middle age, I realized that I was merely spinning my wheels. Joining the GF gave me the opportunity to work with, and learn from, other like-minded persons. It may sound like “nails scratching on a chalkboard” to some (even many?) of the participants of this blog, but my experience is that the three lines of work are necessary for a (more or less) steady progression of things.

47. Michael Kearney - March 5, 2019

Reply to Robert P. # 25
I agree 100 % with yourself. But if your post is directed to those who write insulting remarks about Gurdjieff, I don’t think writing the post was really worth your trouble. It all comes down to judgement. In their judgement, Gurdjieff was a scoundrel, a fakir, etc. And it seems that that judgement is fixed in their minds and is not going to change. Some people think that the Argentinian, who goes about in an all white get-up, is a great religious leader. Other people think he is diabolical, but that they and their co-religionists will be kept in the memory of Jehova, and will be recreated by Jehova when it is convenient to do so. But the followers of the Argentinian will cease to exist. So it’s all a matter of judgement, as I said. However, I don’t think that the Gurdjieff haters on this site belong to those groups mentioned above. I think rather that they are devout believers in Modern Science. In other words, they believe devoutly that a 2 chambered heart can change in small steps to 4 chambered heart, with each small step representing an advance on the original, functioning, 2 chambered heart. In my opinion their judgement is even worse than the followers of the Argentinian, or those who are planning to enjoy a paradise here on earth with pet tigers and lions, after, that is, they are recreated by Jehova.

48. WhaleRider - March 5, 2019

Michael Kearney:
I think rather that they are devout believers in Modern Science. In other words, they believe devoutly that a 2 chambered heart can change in small steps to 4 chambered heart, with each small step representing an advance on the original, functioning, 2 chambered heart.

Maybe you could spare us the mystifying Gurdjieff-speak and use your own words, please?

Hey, Microsoft Windows started out as a “flawed system”, too, but that didn’t stop people from using it and made Bill Gates a very, very rich man. He also created his own foundation…to give away a portion of his fortune in order to help others less fortunate in developing countries, to relieve some sorrow in the world, and to help fight preventable diseases through funding vaccination programs for people who couldn’t afford it.

Now I happen to hate Windows and much prefer using Apple, but that doesn’t mean I hate Bill Gates, nor do I love Steve Jobs, who I happen to have personally met.

And I believe in vaccinations, because it’s based upon, well, science, AKA the scientific method of verification and peer review, not upon verifabrication and confirmation bias…and not upon what can be read on the internet by people who might also believe they are machines instead of flawed human beings, just like Gurdjieff was, whose “second line of work” apparently included fathering children with his followers.

I am happy to be a father, both for myself and my two kids.

So what I’m saying is: no one is perfect, no system is perfect-although there may be some value in it, just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you hate them, and if you are going to believe in anything, believe in yourself, the totality of your “many I’s”, and not solely in one part of yourself that endeavors to beat up on another part of yourself for being flawed.

49. John Harmer - March 5, 2019

#47 It causes a wry smile on my face when I read people who believe in nonsense accusing those who don’t, of being “devout believers in modern science”. Science is a method of investigation not a set of dogmas, the information it offers about the world changes as scientists come up with new guesses and set about confirming or disproving them.

I loved Gurdjieff when I was a teenager, and cannot see how I could have avoided trying out his system to see if it worked. Unfortunately for me the practices of both self remembering and transformation of negative emotions (via non identification) resulted in a state of depersonalisation. I don’t doubt others have had better results (or they wouldn’t persist surely), but there is a sorry litany of sexual exploitation and mind control associated with many of the cults that are currently touting for new recruits, and it is worth pointing that out to potential victims before they ruin their lives chasing the unicorn of “cosmic enlightenment”

50. crossroads - March 5, 2019

38. phutatorius- 39. Cult Survivor – Thank you for that pdf.

“Meditations on the Tarot” by “anonymous,” an author who turns out to by Valentin Tomberg, a former Steiner pupil.

It says:
“…he -Gurdieff- was simply a good representative of the “wisdom of this world”, i.e. of good sense and empirical experience without any mystical inclination. Gurdjieff was not any more a “Satanist” than the celebrated Russian physiologist Pavlov or any other representative of materialistic science.”

Compared to Pavlov = Behavior control?

I got attracted to Gurdjieff when my car broke and had to walk back home. On the way I visited the local bookshop to cure my depression; in the front table there was a small book: “Gurdjieff: White or Black Magician?” –

Of course I bought the book and read it at once!
After that, my brother handed me -and truly enjoyed the first volumes of this work -The Psychological Commentaries on the teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky by Maurice Nicoll. (RB said it was unnecessary talk – maybe – but fun) – Then, I rushed to the book shop and found In Search of the Miraculous with a bookmark… yes a fucking by the Fellowship of Friends Bookmark –

51. Golden Veil - March 5, 2019

In the earliest days of the Fellowship of Friends, one of the oldest ever students, Carmel-based children’s book author Francis Kalnay, is said to have related that he met Gurdjieff at Cafe De La Paix and that he was “abrasive.”

I never met Gurdjieff, of course (and who of us writing here has?) but inspired by Four Days of the Fourth State’s description of Gurdjieff as a “master of the unconscious mind” I wrote that he was a “psychopath grand manipulator.” But, (and I hope that I don’t dig myself in deeper merde here ) perhaps it would have been more appropriate to say a “Machiavellian grand manipulator.” Gurdjieff definitely had the guru / follower thing down. After all, he reputedly sired seven children with seven different followers, and at least one of them was married to someone else. If true, I think that would at least indicate a man with a highly persuasive personality – and a rather low moral code. But I am by no means a “hater” of Gurdjieff; that is not possible!

I’ve heard that prior to the release of Peter Brook’s film Meetings with Remarkable Men, the Gurdjieff Foundation’s Lord Pentland actually went to Renaissance (or the Farm, Via Del Sol, whatever it was called at the time) and met with Robert Burton. Was anyone writing here present at that visit?

52. brucelevy - March 5, 2019

51. Golden Veil

I was there then.

53. John Harmer - March 5, 2019

We can listen to the voice of Gurdjieff on this early recording. I was amused to note that one of the effects of the guru/follower relationship is that probably without realising it native English speakers use truncated speech forms that Gurdjieff uses as a foreign speaker eg at 2:39 the American who is touting the wire recorder says “Your voice very low tonight…ha ha…sometimes much different”. I pick up the atmosphere of fluttering obeisance that the guru type evokes in true believers the world over.

54. Ames Gilbert - March 5, 2019

Golden Veil (51), #MeToo.
There were lots and lots of rumors floating around (after the fact), mainly followers in full gaga mode sending up trial balloons on the lines of, “Pentland recognized that Burton was conscious, and came to offer his students to Burton” kind of stuff, which to give a bit of credit where it is due, were shot down on sight.
It was years before I heard that Pentland had in fact come asking for financial support for the movie.

My personal memory was watching him being helped by a couple of his own people, plus four FoF followers hovering at the edges, as he walked very slowly past the White Barn on his way to the Lodge for a lunch. I recall that a bunch of people were looking through the gaps between the planks, same as when a pretty girl walked past. I myself was with several people in the anteroom of the east part, where the Antique Restoration Octave conducted business, so there was an actual glass window with a good view. A bright, sunny day in Paradise…
______

Artemis (#45), you should point out that it will be forbidden for followers to down their pills at these dinners unless Burton is downing his pills at the same time.

Thinking about the food served (then often wasted) at Burton’s expensive fund–raising dinners, I’m surprised that none of it is gilded. I first heard about gilded food when someone wrote about a $10,000 per person dinner served at some posh place in London a few years ago, but then it became somewhat fashionable over here, and now has finally reached the masses. I’m sure the official FoF ‘minder of the Blog’ will appreciate my research, and will pass this link on to the Galleria kitchen posthaste:
https://www.eater.com/2018/11/2/18052394/glitter-food-trend-edible-gold-chicken-wings-instagram-bait

This is all that is necessary to complete the already gaudy–beyond–belief ‘higher impressions’ in the ‘Wordsworth Room’, or whatever it is called nowadays. Frankly, I’m surprised that the diners don’t already have to wear shades!

Then, for the final touch, gilded pills on the small plates you suggested above. There is bound to be some craftsman who can gild pills over there in Apollo. Burton could charge, say, $50 for the gilding of regular pills, and $200 for serious life–saving pills.

Burton, of course, can have the edible glitter mentioned in the article added to everything on his plate; some of his 80 angel buddies have obviously seen fit to ensure it comes in purple and lavender as well as gold. And apparently, a careful person can add gold flakes one at a time to the wine, and they swirl around for quite a while before they settle. The ultimate sign of consciousness…

55. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 5, 2019

“So that you may have at least some understanding of this Omnipresent Okidanokh, let me tell you that the second fundamental cosmic law—the sacred Triamazikamno— consists of three independent forces; that is to say, this sacred law manifests itself everywhere and in everything in the Universe, without exception, in three separate and independent aspects. “And these three aspects exist in the Universe under the following names:

The first, the Holy Affirming; The second, the Holy Denying; and The third, the Holy Reconciling.

“This is why Objective Science, among other statements about this sacred law and its three independent forces, has the following formulation ‘A law whose consequences always become the cause of further consequences, and which always functions by means of three independent and quite opposite manifestations, latent within it as properties neither seen nor sensed ‘ -Beelzebub’s Tales

‘For my part, I propose that this be done through the universal law called the “Law of Sevenfoldness.” ‘The “Law of Sevenfoldness” exists on the Earth and will exist forever and in everything.

” ‘For instance, in accordance with this law, the white ray is composed of seven independent colors, in every definite sound there are seven different independent tones, in every state of man there are seven different independent sensations, furthermore, every definite form can be made up of only seven different dimensions, every mass remains at rest on the Earth only as a result of seven “reciprocal thrusts”, and so on. ‘Well then, we wish that knowledge existing today— both what we have personally attained and what has reached us from times past, just that knowledge which all agree will be useful for our remote descendants—be indicated in some way or other in these human “afalkalnas” and “soldjinokhas,” so that in the future it may be perceived by the pure Reason of man by means of this great universal law. ‘The Law of Sevenfoldness, I repeat, will exist on the Earth as long as the Universe exists, and it will be seen and understood by men in all times as long as human thought exists, and therefore it can boldly be said that the knowledge indicated in this manner in the works of man will also exist forever on the Earth.

[…]

“In accordance with the chief cosmic law, the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, this ‘naloo-ossnian spectrum of impulses’in its original essence consists of seven heterogeneous layers, from the point of view of their engendering as perception and resulting manifestation. “And if these different aspects of the entire ‘spectrum of naloo-ossnian impulses’ were described according to the notions of your favorites and expressed in their language, they might be defined as follows:

1 Every kind of depravity, conscious as well as unconscious, 2 The feeling of self-satisfaction from leading others astray, 3 The irresistible urge to destroy the existence of other breathing creatures, 4 The inclination to free oneself from the necessity of making the beingefforts required by Nature, 5 The tendency to make use of every kind of artifice to conceal what in the opinion of others are one’s physical defects, 6 Serene enjoyment in the use of what is not personally deserved, 7 The striving to be not what one is… -Beelzebub’s Tales

Three and Seven…from where and whence do these Great Factors arise in the mind of the great conscious Gurdjieff? Do they float in from the higher consciousness of esoteric law? Or, more likely, from the superficial study of an early science struggling to find answers in the darkness of the 1800s?

“Döbereiner’s triads”

In the history of the periodic table, Döbereiner’s triads were an early attempt to sort the elements into some logical order by their physical properties. In 1817, a letter reported Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner’s observations of the alkaline earths; namely, that strontium had properties that were intermediate to those of calcium and barium.[1] By 1829, Döbereiner had found other groups of three elements (hence “triads”) whose physical properties were similarly related.[2] He also noted that some quantifiable properties of elements (e.g. atomic weight and density) in a triad followed a trend whereby the value of the middle element in the triad would be exactly or nearly predicted by taking the arithmetic mean of values for that property of the other two elements. -Wikipedia

“Newlands’ Octaves”

One of the first attempts at a periodic table, known as “Newlands octaves”, arranged the known elements by atomic weight. Newland noticed that if he broke up his list of elements into groups of seven – starting a new row with the eighth element – the first element in each of those groups had similar chemistry. -The INTERNET Database of Periodic Tables

“Law of octaves”

Law of octaves, in chemistry, the generalization made by the English chemist J.A.R. Newlands in 1865 that, if the chemical elements are arranged according to increasing atomic weight, those with similar physical and chemical properties occur after each interval of seven elements. Newlands was one of the first to detect a periodic pattern in the properties of the elements and anticipated later developments of the periodic law. -Encyclopaedia Britannica

Note that both these early theories on how to arrange the periodic table of elements did not work out. Both Döbereiner and Newland failed to find an effective organization of the discovered elements. Gurdjieff didn’t bother to consider that fact. He encountered these ideas in his superficial study of early science and declared: “Eureka! I have discovered the secret, sacred laws of the universe that equally apply to everything in the world! I will teach these sacred laws to my many fawning followers who will then spread their white European legs for my entitled satisfaction!”

56. brucelevy - March 5, 2019

If I remember correctly Pentland brought a few people, notably writer Jacob Needleman, who was a pompous ass with his cigarette holder. Also, as I remember from the Meissen Room dinner, Pentland was not impressed with RB. But he was there to solicit money so he was somewhat courteous. Robert did his pseudo-humble nodding at the solicitation but stated that he needed all the funds to “build his school”. Also Pentland, when being exposed to the pomp of the Meissen Room, stated that he’s spent much of his adult life getting away from such pretension. And RB gave him a gift…a hand embroidered little pillow. After Pentland left RB told everyone that he gave the pillow to him to indicate to Pentland that he knew he was actually asleep and didn’t posses the level of being that RB had. It was a meeting of assholes and egomaniacs at best.

57. Cult Survivor - March 5, 2019

I find it very interesting that a few people here that left the FOF decades ago still admire Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way. At the same time, I can’t judge them because I sometimes feel that a part of me is still “identified” with the Fourth Way — what do you expect after 30 years of FOF brainwashing? (Yes, I did notice that I used the word “identified”…).

A year or so after leaving the FOF I remember clearly one day being in the kitchen with my wife and seeing her close a drawer with her knee because she had things in her hands. I immediately told her “Honey, it’s not nice to close drawers with the knee”. She looked me in the eyes, and said “You mean that you are giving me a photograph because I’m not intentional in the moving center? Dear, we are not in the FOF anymore” (she left the FOF shortly after me).

On another occasion around the same time I went to San Francisco to visit a friend that left the FOF 10 years before me; we were close friends when we both were in the FOF but after he left I avoided him like the plague because he was a “former student”, you know what I mean. When I entered his home, I noticed that it was very neat well kept (my wife whispered in my year “Looks like a Fellowship home”). I asked him “You have a big house, do you live alone?” and he replied “Most of the time, yes. Sometimes I have friends staying with me but I am alone most of the time”. I immediately said “That’s right, you work with Jovial-Lunar” and he replied with a smile “I don’t work with anything at the moment”.

After those episodes with my wife and my friend I set the aim to observe in me habits and attitudes created by the FOF/Fourth Way programming and found so many examples that to list them would take more pages than this blog. It is a long and arduous process to cleanse our brains from the FOF/4th Way brainwashing, and I verified that this blog is very helpful in that process.

58. Cult Survivor - March 5, 2019

As an addendum to the comment above (“forgive me for the associative thinking”, a voice said inside…), my friend that leaves in San Francisco told me that a couple of years after he left the FOF he had to visit the FOF compound in Oregon House because he had a partner in a business that was still a member and they were renting part of the vineyard for agricultural purposes. He called ahead asking for authorization to visit the land he was renting and he was told that he had to be “authorized by the Teacher”. A couple of days later he received a call with the following message: “Robert says that unfortunately we can’t allow former students in the property. He said that Influence C wants to keep Apollo pure”. My friend was revolted. Did Robert have to use the word “pure”? Anyway, that was 10 years ago; today former members can attend events like concerts or theatrical plays and are allowed to enter the property to check their businesses, so I guess Influence C doesn’t want to keep Apollo pure anymore.

59. Fee fi fo fum - March 6, 2019

57 & 58 Cult Survivor

Your comment about your wife closing the drawer with her knee, and your reaction to that seeming act of unrefinement, brought back memories of when I left the FF.

Some of us who were in the FF for a long time, especially those students who were very susceptible to trusting REB,no matter what he did, and being lured and brainwashed by the FF, probably found the exit process to be slow and painful. It’s like loosening your entire inner and outer life from a tight vise. It’s not just re-examining how we speak or think (undoing so-called “work language”) or move (“don’t be in the jacks”). It’s an entire value system that needs to thaw out and melt away.

The FF way of life is filled with judgement: so many “photographs” were given in the name of “helping someone to be more present,” but in fact, wasn’t there a sense of superiority that we “saw” something that the other person did not? Pat yourself on the back for being a jerk, not for “being present.” Unkind deliveries of photographs were justified in the name of helping the person to be more awake. The FF is not known for its sense of humanity or compassion. Its only concern is for itself. REB’s only concern is for himself, which at the age of 80 this May, is a very, very sad statement about him.

The FF is an echo chamber of limited thoughts and ways of living, where members reinforce an expected set of behaviors and values. Go to someone’s house for a meal, and you see variations of the same art reproductions on the walls, the same nice table setting, the predictable classical music, the equally predictable book choices on the book shelves. It is not that there’s anything wrong, per se, with any of that;; it could be a whole lot worse. It’s the conformity; the insularity among the members; the certainty that this is the best life possible, and leaving it means a descent into meaninglessness.

People who are still in the FF live a very compromised life. They support – directly or indirectly – a deep level of corruption and lying. For REB to refer to the property in Oregon House as “pure” is almost hilarious, except it is actually disgusting. He has ruined the lives of many individuals, morally and financially.

60. Ames Gilbert - March 6, 2019

Thank you, Fee Fi Fo Fum, for pointing out all the different ways being in the Fellowship conditioned us, and thank you, Cult Survivor, for the real–life examples.
Yep, the ‘photographs’, day in, day out, were powerful modifiers of behavior and thinking. And of course, being only too human, we would also modify our behavior in a second–order way, we would try to preempt possible ‘photographs’ by censoring our behavior in advance.

Anyone who didn’t catch it then might find this re–post of mine from page 149–24 (June 26, 2015) quite relevant…

___________

Readers who are interested in exploring how hard it is to change habits, physical or mental, might gain insights viewing this video, which documents an interesting (and amusing) experiment about learning just one common skill (though actually very complex, made up of lots of assorted sub–routines, as you will see), then the difficulty of unlearning it:

After all, the majority of those who joined the Fellowship of Friends were persuaded that the best way forward, the Work, consisted of ‘re–programming oneself’, and labored very hard at it.

Questions I came up with:
• How long did it take to learn to see the world in these recommended new ways?
• Did we learn just one skill, or many?
• Were these skills spread across many parts of our minds?
• How hard were we willing to study exactly what was happening, the process—while it was occurring?
• What are our chances of successfully reversing this after we leave if we hadn’t studied how the original changes were made at the time, or have accurate memories or notes from that time (of the process)?
• What were the chances we have ‘caught everything’ (covered every area of change) if we do try to ‘de–program’ ourselves?

61. Michael Kearney - March 6, 2019

Well, here I go again. I just composed a moderately long post, but it seems to have disappeared. This is in response to the two people who responded to my post. I am aware of the definition of Modern Science that Modern Science gives to itself. However, in my opinion Modern Science is based on a belief. And once some one has that belief, they use their imagination to create theories consistent with that belief, and they look for facts, or interpretations of facts, that support the theories. I don’t believe that Darwin’s theory is imperfect, I believe it is completely untrue, and obviously so, and it always was obviously so, from the time that Darwin proposed it. And so I don’t think that a person who uses Modern Science to attack an occultist or religionist is standing on solid ground. Well, that’s the way things are in my judgement. It is sort of painful for me to read people calling Gurdjieff names, so I thought I would present a different point of view.

62. Cult Survivor - March 6, 2019

61. Michael Kearney

Some of my posts also disappeared in the past —- a couple of times after pressing the “Submit” button. Now I compose any post that takes more than 5 minutes to write in Word or a text editor and then copy and paste it here.

By the way, here are some useful commands in case you don’t know (replace “[” by “”):

[b]text[/b] bold
[i]text[/i] italic
[u]text[/u] underline
[blockquote]text[/blockquote]

quote

I also noticed that sometimes posts don’t show after pressing the “Submit” button but they appear after refreshing the page.

Ames, let us know if you know of any other command or trick.

63. Cult Survivor - March 6, 2019

Let’s try again…

Replace “[” by the sign of “smaller than” (shift ,)
Replace “]” by the sign of “greater than” (shift .)

If it’s still not clear, check this page with basic HTML commands:

Click to access htmlcheatsheet.pdf

64. Cult Survivor - March 6, 2019

Correction: There is no underline ( [u]text[/u] )

65. Ill Never Tell - March 6, 2019

169/59. Fee fi fo fum:
“Some of us who were in the FF for a long time, especially those students who were very susceptible to trusting REB,no matter what he did, and being lured and brainwashed by the FF, probably found the exit process to be slow and painful. It’s like loosening your entire inner and outer life from a tight vise.”

Perhaps you could substitute ‘vice’ instead of ‘vise,’ no?

66. crossroads - March 6, 2019

They are nice people
say the locals
Of course they are unconscious
They are the famous
-machines they are born-machines they die
I say yes
“It’s an entire value system that needs to thaw out and melt away.”
But it has gotten a life of its own

59. Fee fi fo fum

67. John Harmer - March 6, 2019

#61 Michael Kearney, could you clarify, what is the belief that modern science is based on?

68. rich - March 6, 2019

Doubt of RB will get any prison/jail time, too bad, bet
some crew is working on several DaVinci masterpiece
for his tombstone…..

69. Cult Survivor - March 6, 2019

On Post 136, Page 166 (February 8th, 2019), I made the following announcement:

Last November I posted a video of Robert condemning Asaf and showing a picture he received of a tombstone with the name “Pierce” (the last name of Asaf’s wife) indicating that it is “a sign from Influence C” meaning that her departure from the FOF with Asaf is a sinister fact. I just received via Google search the following image:

So April 29th, 2019 is the date I was told for REB to end his task and join the 80 angels in electronic form. If it doesn’t happen on that date, it is a shock from Influence C to humiliate me.

70. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 6, 2019

Views From the Real World, by Gurdjieff

“It is the same with us: physical man, emotional man, intellectual man—each has a different set of morals befitting his nature. The machine in every man is divided into three basic parts, three centers.

“Look at yourself at any moment and ask: “What sort of ‘I’ is it that is working at the moment? Does it belong to my intellectual center, to my emotional center or to my moving center?” -Gurdjieff

Anyone interested in esoteric ideas encountering something like this in a book, say back the 1970s, would indeed take notice and perk up with interest. This seems like some real information. Have you ever heard anything like this before, you’d likely think. Esoteric information for certain. What is this? Where’d it come from? Who is this Gurdjieff who teaches this kind of thing? How does he know this? What is his source? Is it magic? It’s mysterious for sure! I need to join these people tomorrow!

Chambers’s Encyclopaedia was founded in 1859 by William and Robert Chambers of Edinburgh and became one of the most important English language encyclopedias of the 19th and 20th centuries, developing a reputation for accuracy and scholarliness that was reflected in other works produced by the Chambers publishing company. -Wikipedia

Before publishing an encyclopedia, Chambers produced a smaller publication, Chambers’s Information for the People. This began as a serial publication in 1835. Like the Penny Cyclopaedia, and others of the time it was meant to be a cheap reference work that was targeted at the middle and working classes. Hence, it focused only on subjects that would be of interest to the common man and pertinent to his self education. -Wikipedia

CHAMBERS’S INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE

THE HUMAN MIND.

In our exposition of the proper phenomena of mind, we shall adopt the following divisions of the subject:-

I. The SENSATIONs, APPETITEs, and INSTINCTS, which form an allied group, and make up a region of mind in so far complete in itself.

II. The INTELLECT.

III. The EMOTIONs.

IV. The Activities; meaning such as are of a higher order than the Appetites and Instincts treated of in the first division, and which connect themselves with the Intellect and Emotions.

[…]

I. Outward appearances, actions, and works, and the traces and results of these that are permanently engraved upon the face of external nature. The inner workings of the mind are displayed to some extent in the outward movements of the body, in the features, looks, utterance, gestures, and movements, or in what is called the natural language of man. But the acts and operations directed upon external things are a still more decided class of indications of the character of the mind. The nature of the appetites is shown by what is visibly seized and devoured; the instincts are made known by the actions that each creature is observed to perform on the material within its reach, as the capabilities of a machine are understood from the effects that it can produce; the various passions and emotions may be studied through their various stages by noticing the object that excites them, the agitation and expression of the bodily frame, and the mode of reaction upon the exciting cause.

[…]

In the sphere of the organized mind, or of consciousness, there is a free communication between the separate centres, which permits of harmony or conflict, mutual assistance or mutual resistance. If a certain motion is given to the arms, and if a motion is also given to the eyes, and if the two are in harmony, the coincidence is felt within the system, and the one sensibly ministers to the support of the other; but if there be any compatibility, a conflict arises, and one must succumb: such harmonies or conflicts are among the class of feelings resulting from the consolidation of the mind into one thread of conscious operations. The more highly a creature is organized, the more perfect is this union of all the operations of the system into a central train of operations, which enables conflicts to be suppressed at once, and tends to cause the various processes of life to go on in perfect harmony. The sense of vivid mental existence depends on this great peculiarity of united action in one organized train. The fact of consciousness, and the fact of the mutual connection and common understanding of all the more important operations of the system, go together, if they are not one and the same fact. In fine, consciousness is mental existence. The various circles may be going their rounds of operations; but if they impart no feeling, the mind is not awake; the circles are disconnected, and reduced to the mere reflex character. In the state of unconsciousness, any one circle is unable to agitate the whole frame to sympathise with or assist its movements; and in this case the pains and pleasures caused by it are for the time suspended. Such a state as this is exemplified in sleep. -Chambers

(Chambers_s_Information_for_the_People.pdf available online from google books.)

Sarmoung Brotherhood…? No, just a cheap set of encyclopedias found on a shelf somewhere in a backroom of a warehouse in a rundown neighborhood of Kars.

71. rich - March 7, 2019

69.Cult Survivor, it’s too plain, pour on the gaud…..statures,etc…

72. Golden Veil - March 7, 2019

70. Four Days of the Fourth State – March 6, 2019

Thank you, this is interesting. Are you the originator of this theory – or did you read about someone else’s theory that the source of elements of Gurdjieff’s work ideas was based on the work of the Chambers (brothers, I presume) ? If not based on your own origina research, and you have read elsewhere of this theory that the Chambers brother’s work was the source of Gurdjieff – will you please give us your source via links or footnotes?

73. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 7, 2019

My source is Google and I found this material maybe 4 to 5 years ago, possibly. I’m the source for this series of posts about possible sources of Gurdjieff’s “system”.

74. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 7, 2019

Second try. I’m the source. Dug it all up maybe 5 years ago while on a spree.

75. Insider - March 7, 2019

73, 74. Four Days

Gurdjieff openly admitted that he searched for and collected fragments of knowledge that had once been part of a unified body of knowledge or teaching.

What if your research had discovered that the source of the Law of Three had been the Vedic teachings, which they call The Yoga of the Three Gunas? Then G would have collected that from India. Instead, you believe he learned about that law from certain European scientists.

But so what? Why would G or anyone not be entitled to learn from whatever sources they happen to find? And so he describes it in his own terms and according to his understanding. Don’t we all do this?

Just what is your point with your rants about Gurdjieff?

76. brucelevy - March 7, 2019

75. Insider

Word. Yup. Demanding or stating that useful “signposts” be “The Way” is the sign of a lazy mind. And also what feeds people believing “teacher’s” bullshit.

77. Artemis44 - March 7, 2019

Guys, what’s the point of this thread? We can discuss Gurdjieff’s sources until the cows come home but that won’t change my perception that he was a promiscuous manipulating charlatan.

78. Tim Campion - March 7, 2019

69. Cult Survivor

When you posted this photo previously, I considered asking that it be removed. To me, it seemed insensitive to link the untimely and relatively recent death of that other REB to this blog.

Now, adding the date of his death to this discussion (as the subject of a joke) only increases the likelihood that his friends and/or relatives may land on this page. Though I can’t be certain, it may be an unintended consequence.

Thanks for all your other contributions to this discussion. You’ve certainly helped revitalize the blog!

79. Cult Survivor - March 7, 2019

78. Tim Campion.

Good point, Tim, I removed the photograph from the server so it won’t be displayed here. Thank you also for the kudos, your site is a source of inspiration.

80. Cult Survivor - March 7, 2019

I’m organizing a dinner for FOF bloggers on Monday April 29th at 7 PM at the following venue:

Alloro Ristorante
124 Bank St.
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Tel (530) 273-3555

There’s no need to confirm, it’s a Monday so it won’t be a problem to accommodate us (I’ll remind people when we get closer to the date).

If REB kicks the bucket on that day we will celebrate with champagne 🥂🍾

81. rich - March 7, 2019

70.Four Days of the Fourth State:there’s a first rate LONG
article on the internet about the sources of Gurdjieff’s system.
I can’t find it, but trying……

82. Golden Veil - March 7, 2019

73. Four Days of the Fourth State – March 7, 2019
74. Four Days of the Fourth State – March 7, 2019

Sometimes I go on sprees sometimes, too!

83. Tim Campion - March 7, 2019

79/80. Cult Survivor

Thanks. This group’s overdue for a celebration. Speaking of celebration and toasting, about a week ago I heard through the grapevine that longtime members Elizabeth H. (43 years) and Bradley R. (40 years) were officially “disfellowshipped.”

I wish them good luck in “life” (also known as freedom)!

84. Golden Veil - March 7, 2019

Whoops!

85. Golden Veil - March 7, 2019

83. Tim Campion – March 7, 2019

Disfellowshipped sounds like they were “acted” upon, rather than de-fellowshipped themselves. I was going to write that I hoped they left and were not excommunicated – but either way they are no longer part of the mass delusion/collusion, at least. They will, no doubt, have years of recovery…

86. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 7, 2019

About the menace to society known as Gurdjieff… When you’re presenting ideas as an “esoteric/spiritual teaching” that you are demanding money for, a teaching that you’ve actually taken from obscure published sources and elaborated on, at the same time claiming that you found it in secret and sacred monasteries deep the forbidden mountains of Asia, then you’re a con artist, a crook, a sociopath using triggering concepts to produce mental confusion for the purpose of mind-fucking people into psychological, physical and sexual slavery. Gurdjieff had actual cult slaves at his disposal, people bound to him by the nonsense they believed, nonsense he made up.

More than a hundred years later when you have explain this reality to people complaining about the disrespect to the criminal, only then do you begin to understand the extent of the cult mind-fucking.

87. Artemis44 - March 7, 2019

Anybody has an opinion about ‘The Michael Teachings’? I read here a while ago that Miles Barth used that ‘teaching’ after leaving the FOF and that made me curious so I bought the book ‘Messages from Michael’ from Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I’m half way through the book and it’s clear to me that whoever ‘channeled’ Michael’s teachings was very familiar with the Fourth Way.

88. rich - March 7, 2019

86.FDFS: well, G. admitted he was milking people…..

89. Tim Campion - March 7, 2019

87. Artemis44

There’s some discussion of that here: “The Original Michael Group” forms (but I don’t have an opinion about it.)

90. Michael Kearney - March 7, 2019

#63 Cult Survivor
Thanks, I will have to study that information that you are giving me.
#67 John Harmer
That’s an easy one. Modern Science is based on the belief that all things that exist are merely some particular arrangement of the same tiny particles of which all other things are composed. There is no higher invisible world that controls and creates the world that the scientists are able to study.

91. Insider - March 7, 2019

80. Cult Survivor

Why do you keep mentioning the date of April 29, 2019? Did you hear from your FF contacts that Burton himself made a prediction about his own death? I ask because my contacts recently heard (from Burton) something very different. Thanks.

92. Insider - March 7, 2019

80. Cult Survivor

Why do you keep mentioning the date of April 29, 2019? Have your FF contacts heard something about Burton actually predicting his own death on that date? I ask because my contacts recently heard (from Burton) something very different. Thanks.

93. Insider - March 7, 2019

Sorry for the double post. First one did not show up for a few minutes.

94. Golden Veil - March 8, 2019

55. Four Days of the Fourth State – March 5, 2019

“So that you may have at least some understanding of this Omnipresent Okidanokh, let me tell you that the second fundamental cosmic law—the sacred Triamazikamno— consists of three independent forces; that is to say, this sacred law manifests itself everywhere and in everything in the Universe, without exception, in three separate and independent aspects. “And these three aspects exist in the Universe under the following names:

The first, the Holy Affirming; The second, the Holy Denying; and The third, the Holy Reconciling.

~ ~ ~

In case no one got it, I quote from the above post in regard to this detail showing the Three Graces expressing the Law of Three (I believe) in the painting La Primavera by Botticelli (c. 1482). It’s likely that one of the neoplatonic scholars in Florence assisted in creating the program for this painting.

Look at their arms.

95. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 8, 2019

94. Golden Veil

Are you really promoting this insanity here?

96. John Harmer - March 8, 2019

#90 Michael Kearney, thanks for the clear answer on the beliefs underlying modern science. Though many scientists probably do believe that proposition, I don’t think modern science is based on it. The fundamental idea was well presented by Richard Feymann. To find a new law, first someone makes a guess. They then look at what the consequences would be it their guess was true. Some work goes on to devise tests that would show if the guess was accurate. If the tests fail to support the guess, the guess was wrong. This procedure places no limits on the wildness of the guesses it can accommodate, that is up to individuals. And in sharp contrast to esoteric systems of knowledge, is matters not a jot to science whether any particular person “believes” it or not.

In the current scientific debates, there are several theories that postulate other universes, which could qualify as invisible worlds. When you use the qualifier “higher” to characterise the invisible worlds, it sounds like a set of religious assumptions are hiding in that phrase, and that doesn’t fit with scientific thinking I agree, it is superstition.

97. Golden Veill - March 8, 2019

95. Four Days of the Fourth State – March 8, 2019

Hmmm, a bit snappish, aren’t we? You can calm down now. The post in 94 is not a promotion – unless your post in 55 is. It is simply an addition to your list of sources for theories thought by so many to be original to Gurdjieff; that they may have been prevalent also in Italy almost five centuries previous to his writings.

98. rich - March 8, 2019

94. Golden Veil: it’s too much of a stretch on incredulity…don’t buy it….

99. Artemis44 - March 7, 2019

94. Golden Veil

I can see you left the FOF a while ago. According to the current teaching, the Three Graces are Short Be, Middle Be and Long Be. The one on the left is Short Be, the one showing her back is Middle Be (the monosyllable ‘Back’ in the Sequence) and the one on the right is Long Be (looking up to the Fourth Wordless Breaths).

Come on guys…

100. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 7, 2019

“Delusion of reference: The person falsely believes that insignificant remarks, events, or objects in one’s environment have personal meaning or significance. For instance, a person may believe that he or she is receiving special messages from the news anchorperson on television. Usually the meaning assigned to these events is negative, but the “messages” can also have a grandiose quality.”

Believing that the staged positioning of pairs of hands in a painting by Botticelli (c. 1482) is somehow an affirming clue to a quote in a book about the “Law of Three” written by a cult leader in 1922 is a prime example of delusional referencing. Especially since the cult leader in question would likely not have any knowledge of the particular painting. Gurdjieff was not really appreciative of ‘high art’.

http://www.minddisorders.com/Br-Del/Delusions.html

101. Cult Survivor - March 7, 2019

93. Insider

Regarding posts not showing, it’s happening with me also, as I mentioned before. Refreshing the page is not working for me, closing the page and opening it again sometimes works.

May be something is wrong with the site, fofblogmoderator?

Anyway, I suggest to wait 10 minutes after pressing “Submit” if the post is not showing before posting the same post again.

102. Golden Veil - March 7, 2019

100. Four Days of the Fourth State – March 7, 2019

My point is not that Gurdjieff saw the painting. My point is that for many centuries in various parts of the world people have written about – and painted symbolic interpretations of ideas such as the Law of Three before Gurdjieff ever did, which I thought was your point as well – with your compilation. I’m sorry, I probably misunderstood your earlier post.

99. Artemis44 – March 7, 2019

The post is not a reference to Robert Burton and his interpretation of the painting. It is a reference to the my own iconographical interpretation of the Three Graces in the painting. I think it have more meaning than the solely elegant posing of women – and that it’s possible a neoplatonic scholar was instrumental in designing the composition. The arms are very striking in their arrangement and might express positive, negative and neutral forces.

Or, maybe my theory is completely off base and the arrangement of the women’s arms is simply an esthetic decision to create a more harmonious composition.

103. Artemis44 - March 7, 2019

I was being sarcastic and didn’t think you were referring to Robert Burton but the tendency to see esoteric symbols in art is a by-product of our years in the Fellowship that needs to be detected. Your last comment seems more objective to me since the representation of the three graces holding hands or embracing is a classic one. For example see Rubens and Canova:

104. Golden Veil - March 8, 2019

103. Artemis44 – March 7, 2019

I began to read works by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky a decade before studying Italian Renaissance art. My interest in Italian Renaissance art and Neoplatonic thought far preceded my time with the school. When I began attending the Fellowship of Friends meetings I focused on word-of-mouth teachings of older students repeating Robert Burton’s angles; the focus was not on Gurdjieff (except for a few references to “food for moon”, etc) or even Ouspensky, but more on Rodney Collins. I don’t recall discussing art interpretation with them at all.

My research on paintings like La Primavera preceded my time with the Fellowship of Friends. There are many interpretations of the Three Graces but in the one by Botticelli there may be more than meets the eye. The arms may be symbolic. You do not see them like that in any other representation. But, you may not see the arrangement the same way I do. For me, it is striking. Perhaps if you compare the arms to the other two that you posted, you well see the difference. Whether or not it is symbolic of universal laws cannot be known with certainty, but I am not the only one that thinks that the painting is deeply symbolic.

https://scholarworks.umb.edu/masters_theses/129/

105. WhaleRider - March 8, 2019

Golden Veil:
Re: Three Graces, you mention the symbolic position of their arms, how about the position of the eyes as a means of communication?

The direction of their gaze to me is very suggestive…the facial axis of two looking at each other on the left forming a cross, “complimenting” each other and the one the right looking “higher” which may support the thesis of Neoplatonic influence.

The three graces in Botticelli’s version to me seem to be a “snap shot” of a dance, an integral part of Renaissance life and celebration, where the Grace in the middle is about to travel under the arms held in the air, which may be why the Grace on the left is on her tip toes…which suggests. IMO, an interconnectness of the three Graces: Mirth, Beauty, Elegance “revolving” around each other, which undoubtedly is on great display during springtime and cause for celebration, along with the other themes and elements of the painting.

And thus ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, so to speak.

The “three wordless breaths” interpretation by burton seems like more FOF Yak poop confirmation bias to me, seeing only what one wants to see.

I’d be interested to hear more about what the position of the arms means to you, because I don’t “get” how they relate to the so-called Law of Three”…although three, as I’ve been told…is a magic number.

Are there not more forces of Nature than just three, just as there may have been more than three Graces or Charites?

It’s unclear to me how a catalyst qualifies as a third “force”, for instance, just as there are other scales of music (particularly in Hindu music) besides the Greek Apollonian, which Gurdjieff relates to in the so-called “Law of Seven”.

Artemis44:
Re: Micheal Channeling, IMO, is a process whereby the person “channeling” enters into a trance state to connect with the creative parts of their particular unconscious, but for whatever reason chooses to believe (and promote) that creativity and innate wisdom is derived from an disembodied entity residing outside their own mind, which I do not believe is the case, IMO.

Shamans and psychics fall into the same category, IMO. They trip or journey on behalf of others whom might be too afraid of their own unconscious which can seem like a scary place, given what can go wrong in severe mental illness.

I do believe that every person has the same capability, under the right conditions and by a wide range of means, and enter such a state and commune with their own inner guru, if they so desire. This is why I value the naturally occurring dream state so highly as a means of self-exploration.

106. Golden Veil - March 8, 2019

Whalerider, Of course there are many cosmic laws mentioned in diverse philosophical schools of thought. The arm positions of the Three Graces may be intentionally symbolic in the painting by Botticelli – or not. There are many triadic symbols and patterns, including in music and the Bible. I just drew from the recent post 55 by Four Days in the Fourth as State’s quotes of Gurdjieff as an example:

“…this sacred law manifests itself everywhere and in everything in the Universe, without exception, in three separate and independent aspects. “And these three aspects exist in the Universe under the following names:

The first, the Holy Affirming; The second, the Holy Denying; and The third, the Holy Reconciling.”

The arms up: The first, the Holy Affirming;
The arms down: The second, the Holy Denying
The arms in the middle: The third, the Holy Reconciling.

What Gurdjieff wrote about the Law of Three may or may not share ancient roots with the studies of the 15th century neoplatonic scholar who probably programmed the La Primavera painting for Botticelli.

I cannot give any more on this topic here.

107. WonderingWhosWatching - March 8, 2019

Just another garden variety cult!
This is what Robert Earl Burton might have become had he not met with the Fourth Way.

Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo Official Trailer

Find on SundanceTV
“Ministry of Evil chronicles the life and crimes of Tony Alamo, who, together with his wife, became a born-again, fire-and-brimstone televangelist and cult leader. The two launched The Tony and Susan Alamo Christian foundation in 1969, which soon evolved into a cult that is said to still operate today. Together, by skirting the law and enforcing a code of silence among their followers, the Alamos came to wield unimaginable power, becoming millionaires on the backs of their believers. The new docuseries explores the cultural consequences of the Alamo empire and features rare archival footage, including an exclusive videotaped deposition with Alamo himself. It also weaves together interviews with the FBI agent who took Alamo down as well as cult survivors who have never previously shared their stories.”

108. WonderingWhosWatching - March 8, 2019
109. WonderingWhosWatching - March 8, 2019

The Tony Alamo Story (from 2010)

110. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 8, 2019
111. WhaleRider - March 8, 2019

Thanks for the clarification, Golden Veil… another interpretation in that regard might be the upper, lower and middle “paths”…?

I suppose I didn’t get your association because I have difficulty seeing the three arm positions as representing three static points, but more as a moment captured in the flow of a dance, given how their fingers are interlaced, along with the positions of the other moving elements captured in the painting, portrayed within the context of the revolving seasons of nature.

….not to mention the “six” hands, legs, feet, nostrils, and ears of the dancing triad, only truly appreciated by a man number 6…all contained within the “four” corners of the painting!

Then again, there are “30” fingers and toes in the triad, too…signifying the FOF “sequence”, perhaps?

It brings up an interesting point…The possibilities for burton’s numerological ideas of reference are endless!

I don’t know how FOFers get through their days with all those numbers floating around in their heads!

112. rich - March 8, 2019

111.WhaleRider & 106.Golden Veil, etc: Voodoo math is great!!!

113. Four Days of the Fourth State - March 8, 2019

“In January 1781, before Georg Ohm’s work, Henry Cavendish experimented with Leyden jars and glass tubes of varying diameter and length filled with salt solution. He measured the current by noting how strong a shock he felt as he completed the circuit with his body. Cavendish wrote that the “velocity” (current) varied directly as the “degree of electrification” (voltage). He did not communicate his results to other scientists at the time,[5] and his results were unknown until Maxwell published them in 1879.[6]

:Francis Ronalds delineated “intensity” (voltage) and “quantity” (current) for the dry pile – a high voltage source – in 1814 using a gold-leaf electrometer. He found for a dry pile that the relationship between the two parameters was not proportional under certain meteorological conditions.[7][8]

“Ohm did his work on resistance in the years 1825 and 1826, and published his results in 1827 as the book Die galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet (“The galvanic circuit investigated mathematically”).[9] He drew considerable inspiration from Fourier’s work on heat conduction in the theoretical explanation of his work. For experiments, he initially used voltaic piles, but later used a thermocouple as this provided a more stable voltage source in terms of internal resistance and constant voltage. He used a galvanometer to measure current, and knew that the voltage between the thermocouple terminals was proportional to the junction temperature. He then added test wires of varying length, diameter, and material to complete the circuit.”

[…]

“Ohm’s law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the voltage across the two points. Introducing the constant of proportionality, the resistance,[1] one arrives at the usual mathematical equation that describes this relationship:[2]

[equation here]

where I is the current through the conductor in units of amperes, V is the voltage measured across the conductor in units of volts, and R is the resistance of the conductor in units of ohms. More specifically, Ohm’s law states that the R in this relation is constant, independent of the current.[3] Ohm’s law is an empirical relation which accurately describes the conductivity of the vast majority of electrically conductive materials over many orders of magnitude of current.” -Wikipedia

I,current – R,resistance – V,voltage … I – V – R (yes, I’ve mixed the order up as Gurdjieff did)

First, Gurdjieff came across Döbereiner’s Triads and invented the “Law of Three”, then he came across Ohm’s Law and invented “The Three Cosmic Forces” and then he applied this nonsense to everything in existence–everything. Only silly people accept this kind of pseudo-scientific nonsense and only crazy people “verify” it.

“The first, the Holy Affirming; The second, the Holy Denying; and The third, the Holy Reconciling.” -Gurdjieff

114. fofblogmoderator - March 8, 2019

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