Notes On Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way

What does it take to transform the whole person?

You sit and meditate, sinking deeper and deeper into This. You disappear, falling down through an unseen door. You transpare into the Absolute.

You open your eyes and return. Moments later, you are angry or disappointed. What gives?

Your body is frail, so you exercise it. It becomes strong. You like what you see. Vanity wraps you up in it. Which turn was the wrong one?

You become equanimous, feeling your emotions as they arise, giving them shape and room to breathe. But your intellect is like a car, gutted, sitting for ages in the desert.

The modern mystic Gurdjieff thought the ways of the fakir (the emotions), the monk (the physical body), and the yogi (the mind) were insufficient. A “Fourth Way” was required, one that brought all three into “harmonious development.” His Movements, a kind of sacred dance, was and was to be at the heart of this development of human beings into those who could be said to have genuine souls.

Yet is even this enough for a human being to be fully transformed?