"The Fourth Way is an approach to self-development described by George Gurdjieff which he developed over years of travel in the East (c. 1890 - 1912). It combines and harmonizes what he saw as three established traditional "ways" or "schools": those of the mind, emotions, and body, or of yogis, monks, and fakirs respectively. Students often refer to the Fourth Way as "The Work", "Work on oneself," or "The System". The exact origins of some of Gurdjieff's teachings are unknown, but people have offered various sources. The term "Fourth Way" was further used by his student P. D. Ouspensky in his lectures and writings. After Ouspensky's death, his students published a book entitled The Fourth Way based on his lectures.
According to this system, the three traditional schools, or ways, "are permanent forms which have survived throughout history mostly unchanged, and are based on religion. Where schools of yogis, monks or fakirs exist, they are barely distinguishable from religious schools. The fourth way differs in that "it is not a permanent way. It has no specific forms or institutions and comes and goes controlled by some particular laws of its own."
When this work is finished, that is to say, when the aim set before it has been accomplished, the fourth way disappears, that is, it disappears from the given place, disappears in its given form, continuing perhaps in another place in another form. Schools of the fourth way exist for the needs of the work which is being carried out in connection with the proposed undertaking. They never exist by themselves as schools for the purpose of education and instruction.
The Fourth Way addresses the question of humanity's place in the Universe and the possibilities of inner development. It emphasizes that people ordinarily live in a state referred to as a semi-hypnotic "waking sleep," while higher levels of consciousness, virtue, unity of will are possible.
The Fourth Way teaches how to increase and focus attention and energy in various ways, and to minimize day-dreaming and absent-mindedness. This inner development in oneself is the beginning of a possible further process of change, whose aim is to transform man into "what he ought to be."
"In Search of the Miraculous" by P.D. Ouspensky p. 312
There are thousands of religions, philosophies and ways of being in the world. no one is any better or less than another. Follow the one your heart feels is right for you and do not judge the ways your brothers and sisters follow. We are, after all, one being in search of our way to the homeland.
An Eschatological Laundry List by Sheldon Kopp
This is it!
There are no hidden meanings.
You can't get there from here, and besides there's no place else to go.
We are all already dying, and we will be dead for a long time. Nothing lasts!
There is no way of getting all you want.
You can't have anything unless you let go of it.
You only get to keep what you give away.
There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
The world is not necessarily just.
Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune.
You have a responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
It is a random universe to which we bring meaning.
You don't really control anything.
You can't make anyone love you.
No one is any stronger or any weaker than anyone else.
Everyone is, in his own way, vulnerable.
There are no great men.
If you have a hero, look again; you have diminished yourself in some way.
Everyone lies, cheats, pretends (yes, you to, and most certainly I myself).
All evil is potential vitality in need of transformation.
All of you is worth something, if you will only own it.
Progress is an illusion.
Evil can be displaced, but never eradicated, as all solutions breed new problems.
Yet it is necessary to keep on struggling toward solution.
Childhood is a nightmare.
But it is so very hard to be an on-your-own, take-care-of-yourself-cause- there is-no-one-else-to-do-it- for-you grown-up.
Each of us is ultimately alone.
Love is not enough, but it sure helps.
That may not be much, but that's all there is.
We must live within the ambiguity of partial freedom, partial power and partial knowledge.
Yet we are responsible for everything we do.
You can run, but you can't hide.
It is most important to run out of scapegoats.
We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.
The only victory lies in surrender to oneself.
All of the significant battles are waged within the self.
You are free to do whatever you like.
You need only face the consequences.
What do you know...for sure...anyway?
Learn to forgive yourself, again and again and again and again.
From: “If You Meet the Buddha on the Road Kill Him” by Sheldon Kopp
From the Gestalt School
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.
(Fritz Perls, "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim", 1969)
A handout received while attending classes at the Gestalt Institute of San Francisco, 1968
I must give myself the right to be me – to function as I see fit. It is impossible to have a sound self-concept until I am true to myself and accept full responsibility for my own individual life, my own need fulfillment. At any instant I can start a new life.
I ALLOW MYSELF THE FREEDOM * I DEMAND OF MYSELF THE RIGHT
To recognize myself as the most important and interesting person in my world – a unique and precious part of life.
To feel warm and happy, kind and loving towards myself.
To realize at my divine center I am no better or worse, no more or less important than anyone else in the entire world.
To be different, to make mistakes, to be “wrong”, to be inadequate.
To take the time and effort to fulfill my own needs.
To be happy and free, to be harmonious and effective – to succeed.
To be open and kind, loving and lovable, compassionate and helpful.
To be keenly sensitive and aware – radiantly healthy and energetic.
To overeat – to indulge my sensual appetites, to lie and cheat.
To do less than perfect – to be inefficient, to procrastinate, to “goof off”, to kill time.
To perceive myself as an absolute nothing – unworthy and unneeded.
To have “unacceptable” thoughts images, desires and experiences.
To allow others to make mistakes, to be “wrong” – to be ignorant, to be “screwed up.”
To act spontaneously, to resist, to cry, to be angry, to hate, scream, shout, swear – to be selfish and uncaring.
To drop all masks and images – to not fulfill others expectations and images of me.
To be “closed off”, hostile and condemnatory, to be inappropriate.
To let myself be judged – to be hurt. To be anxious, to be fear ridden.
To feel shame, to blame myself, to experience guilt and remorse.
To use unacceptable words and terms – to present a poor image, to use other people.
To be depressed, tense, impatient and at cross-purposes with myself.
To be generous, to be penurious, to be a spendthrift.
To be lazy cowardly, disloyal, petty and mean.
To be rich, to be poor – to be selfish, greedy and aggressive.
To be criticized, condemned, rejected and embittered.
To be loyal, courageous and exceptional – in both my person and in my work.
To accept my own authority – to follow my own “knowing.”
I allow myself complete freedom, and I recognize that I am inescapably responsible for all my actions. For I must inevitably pay the price incurred. I cannot “have my cake and eat it too” for I profit or suffer, learn and grow according to the nature and consequences of my act. I realize that “good and evil”, “right and wrong”, are but intellectual concepts for there is only wisdom and unwisdom, only wise and unwise acts. Therefore, prior to serious decisions I ask myself, “Is this act wise? (i.e. will it injure myself or others – will it contribute to my basic needs – is it in alignment with the laws and forces of life?”) What is the total price involved? Can I afford to pay it? And, am I willing to accept the consequences? I know that in the final analysis I need only to answer to myself and that I have all the time there is for my total unfoldment – that at worst I can only postpone my ultimate reunion with the infinite. However, wisdom and love freedom and joy beckon me onward and I choose to proceed as my prevailing perception and wisdom allow.
Author unattributed, Gestalt Institute of San Francisco, 1968, please pass on freely
“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender be on good terms with all persons’”
“Speak your truth, quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story”
“Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself”
“Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time”
“Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But not let this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and every where life is full of heroism”
“Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth”
“Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imagining. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.”
“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should”
“Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”
“Strive to be happy”
Desiderata was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, follow this link for a history
and there is this well known advice
DAILY LIFE AS A SPIRITUAL EXERCISE
Solitude in a crowd. Be invisible.
Do not identify yourself with anything whatsoever.
Be present in every breath,
Remember yourself in all situations.
Know what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Purposely seek the difficult.
Life is a quest for the unanswerable question.
Do not seek approval from anyone, not even God.
Do not try to impress anyone, not even yourself.
Do not depend on anyone, there is only Divine Presence.
Do not follow man made rules or conventions.
Do not rely on other people to give you instructions.
You are the only one that knows the way Home.
Do not do as others do, follow your own path.
Your journey is towards the One and your Homeland
Do not let your attention wander from the path.
Remember your one friend, God, She/He is always with you.
Remember yourself and you will always be in Divine Presence.
There is only One God and many forms of worship.
No form is any more or less important than any other form.
Know all the forms and then invent your own form.
The Kingdom of God is within
Blessed are He and She who find the path within.
And twice blessed are He and She who takes someone else along for the ride.
You are the only one that knows the way to the homeland
Spiritual exercises for followers of the Fourth Way
Neither God nor the planets make things happen
You make things happen
When you take responsibility for making things happen,
then, and only then, will you enter the
Kingdom of Heaven.
V22: Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you shall enter the Kingdom.” The Gospel of Thomas, translated from the Coptic by Marvin Meyer, 1992
The difference between all your other lifetimes and this one is, you can sit down and look at your intentions in this lifetime. You can make a conscious effort to do something about repairing your past while maintaining the present. How do you do that?
(1) Becoming authentic and conscious, which means, waking up.
(2) By living an exemplary life and helping others less fortunate than you.
(3) Harming no other person or living creature.
(4) Following the commandments and teachings of whatever religion you believe in.
(5) If you do not believe in any particular religious philosophy, make up your own.
In any case DO WHAT YOU WILL but do not harm to any other person or animal (You know exactly what that means so don’t try to bullshit yourself or others – “I didn’t know” is such a lame and phony excuse for not being conscious).
Karma (if you happen to believe in that) is the bad stuff you bring from previous lives. Dharma is the spiritual exercises you use to get rid of the old karma and to prevent the accumulation of new karma.
Get off the idea you need to be someone special, that you need to save the world, that you need to be a hero. Just being ordinary will set you apart from all the phony actors in the world, and that in itself, will make you extra-ordinary.
The following table is from the back cover page of James Park's book, 'Becoming More Authentic'. The book addresses the difference between authentic living, enculturation, or living according to 'they'. You can find more information about this book here
Original Existence Authentic Existence
1. Accept (even defend) our given 1. Transcend enculturation.
culture or sub-culture.
2. Governed by cultural patterns; 2. Invent our own patterns; rise above
victims of circumstance. circumstances
3. Culturally-defined types. 3. Unique, self-defining, self-creating.
4. 'Pursue' culturally-provided 4. Create our own meanings and goals.
meanings and goals.
5. Role- and game-playing; 5. No roles or games from the culture.
elaborate social games and rituals.
6. Directed by others. 6. Directed by ourselves.
7. Believe what others believe. 7. Believe what we know from experience.
8. Lost in the immediate present; 8. Gather the past, present, and future into the
pulled from one moment to the next. wholeness of our resolute selves.
Structure of Our Selves, Identity
9. Deny our Existential Predicament. 9. Embrace our Existential Predicament.
10. Fragmented. 10. Unified.
11. Unfocused. 11. Focused.
12. Unowned (or owned by the 'they'). 12. Owned by ourselves.
13. Diffuse, hazy. 13. Solid, organized.
14. Unintegrated. 14. Integrated.
15. Uncentered. 15. Centered.
16. Lost in superficial details. 16. Governed by larger, deeper patterns.
17. Double-minded. 17. Single-minded; willing one thing.
18. Complex, tangled. 18. Simple, direct.
19. Indecisive. 19. Decisive.
20. Self-indulgent. 20. Self-creating.
21. Seeking equilibrium, homeostasis. 21. Seeking meaning, purpose.
22. Bad faith—trying to be a thing, 22. Always free and responsible for
role, temperament, or type. ourselves.
23. Many competing concerns; 23. Having an ultimate concern.
no structure or organization.
Be the anomaly. The aberration. The glitch. The inconvenient. The divergent. The string of junk code. The stubborn apple that falls nowhere near the trees or the forest. Be the fool. The bonehead. The idiot in the room. Let them shake their groupthink heads at you. Let them be ashamed of you. Embarrassed of you.. Pissed off at you. They will call you names and you must let them. Let them jeer. Let them point. Let them laugh. Be resistant to their mockery. Be the fodder for their jokes. Be a magnificent failure in their eyes. A tiger does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.. Go ahead. Be the scar tissue of their worldviews. Their normality. They'll loathe you. They'll fear you. They'll wish they were you.
I am taking my life back from the craziness of the world.
I am interrupting the worlds plan for me to live out my dreams instead.
I am shutting myself off from the deadness of conforming.
I am doing this life my way from now on.
__ S C Lourie
Never be bullied into silence.
Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
Accept no one's definition of your life,
but define yourself.
__ Harvey Fierstein
Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are
The Secret of Life
...is to fall seven times and get up eight times.
Quotes from the introduction of David Icke's book, The Phantom Self , an absolute must read
“You know, if we understand one question rightly, all questions are answered. But we don't know how to ask the right question. To ask the right question demands a great deal of intelligence and sensitivity. Here is a question, a fundamental question: is life a torture? It is, as it is; and man has lived in this torture centuries upon centuries, from ancient history to the present day, in agony, in despair, in sorrow; and he doesn't find a way out of it. Therefore he invents gods, churches, all the rituals, and all that nonsense, or he escapes in different ways. What we are trying to do, during all these discussions and talks here, is to see if we cannot radically bring about a transformation of the mind, not accept things as they are, nor revolt against them. Revolt doesn't answer a thing. You must understand it, go into it, examine it, give your heart and your mind, with everything that you have, to find out a way of living differently. That depends on you, and not on someone else, because in this there is no teacher, no pupil; there is no leader; there is no guru; there is no Master, no Saviour. You yourself are the teacher and the pupil; you are the Master; you are the guru; you are the leader; you are everything. And to understand is to transform what is." Jiddhu Krisnamurthi
God is found in the heart – paradise lies within.
Key Sufi Principles
Sufi’s believe that Sufism is a divine knowledge bestowed by God upon a selected few for the benefit of humanity. Here are some key principles:
I.Attain God through your spiritual master – your master is God.
II.Devotion to your spiritual master – constant remembrance (“Dhikr”) is the path.
III.You may use devotional music to help strengthen your devotion.
IV.God lies within you - you must kill your animal spirit (“Nafs” or ego).
V.Knowledge is not as important as direct spiritual experience.
VI.Control your anger, lust and materialistic greed - control your mind.
VII.Devotion and faith are the corner-stones.
VIII.As you start evolving your suffering initially increases to cleanse you.
IX.Good and Bad mean different things as you evolve – the same rules don’t apply.
X.An evolved man will experience the results of his actions much faster (he who rises higher falls harder).
XI.Your powers are not your own, they are as a result of the Grace of your spiritual master.
XII.Tremendous courage is needed to be a Sufi.
XIII.Ultimately, you must conquer lust if you want to achieve God.
If your looking for one, best you find a guru a little off of kilter that will help you be yourself