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The Student, Pupil and Chela - Facing The Self


by Dr. Derek Lamar, QM21.com

Gurdjieff's 3 Lines of Work

Remember, the school I am speaking about is not only a metaphysical school, or an ontological school, but also a School of the Fourth Way. G. I. Gurdjieff, founder of the Fourth Way Teaching, stated that: 1. The students work on their “self,” 2. The student’s work with other students, and, 3. The students work for the school and its Higher goals. My own Teacher, Thane Walker, also a Fourth Way Teacher, constructed what he thought more clearly defined these three lines of “Work.” 1. Work on the self, 2. Work for the school and 3. Work for children yet unborn.

It seemed clear to me that one must begin by doing “Work” on his or her self first. In this way they are then able to move to the next level. That level of working for the “School” was the “students” since the school and its students are inseparable. This being understood, the “Work” for children yet unborn represented the ongoing

(Above) Gurdjieff's school in Fontainebleau, France: The Prieure.
Gurdjieff (Right) contemplates on bench.

changes in consciousness that would arise by working on that Higher level. One does “Work” in order that clarity and sanity and clearer vision is attained in consciousness which includes the “collective unconscious” and thus others, including those yet unborn, and they benefit by arriving in a Higher state of consciousness. This is not unlike the concept of evolution and how once there are changes in adaptation they are registered, or locked into the race memory of Humankind and these changes are fixed on the cellular level.

This new phylogenetic information would then make itself known through children yet unborn. This would affect our sense of self and our collective identity. This would have its affect on fear/survival dynamics that would benefit everyone in ways that individual “Work” could never compare. It is an incremental magnification of change in consciousness that has only beneficial possibilities. These changes are not based on personal ideas or opinions but rather on sanity and expanded ideas of consciousness based on an “Awake-ness” that operates within consciousness for the clarity of Being. This approach is also in keeping with Quantum Theory and mirrors the same effects seen in the new science of waves and particles and ideas such as “the observer and the observed.”

To Become One With Mind Itself

It is not through religion or politics that the earth realm will change in leaps and bounds but in the discovery of Consciousness and the science that is coming into its own more and more within our current modern society of thinkers in all areas of education including psychology and medicine. There is almost a secret race between those who believe that the cyber world will overcome the human species and the world of Consciousness and those with sentient Being. Machines cannot gain sentience no matter how much technology perfects the appearance of their life-like movements, abilities and production.


(Above) Contemporary production of the Sacred Dances in 2011 performed since Gurdjieff directed the dance movements which were performed around the world since 1922.

Consciousness is not simply synaptic reactions to impulses brought on by electrical currents but rather by MIND itself. The Fourth Way concept of “Waking Up” is the ongoing struggle to become “Conscious” and be linked directly, which is to say “to become ONE with MIND itself, that ONE MIND which has been called by multiples of names: “God,” “I AM that I AM,” “Infinity,” “Omniscient,” “Omnipresent,” “Omnipotent,” and so forth.

The Yogi, The Fakir, and The Monk

The process of this “Work” is the painstaking “Work” on the self and the inner refiling within Consciousness of an understanding of what is “Truth” versus the “facts” which are counterfeits of Reality. The number “3” is a power number which many throughout time have acknowledged. And it is no surprise that the three lines of “Work” represent the “Power” through which real change can take place making the self better and the whole better as well. The entire premise of the Fourth Way concept is based on “3.” This is because there were three classics lines of personal “Work” which were use to bring about spiritual advancement throughout Humankind’s history. They were the “Yogi,” mastery over ideas, the “Fakir,” mind over matter, and the “Monk,” engaged in self-sacrifice, discipline and service. The ironic symbology within the collective of these three elements is the “Yogi” and IDEAS representing MIND, the “Fakir” and BODY discipline, and the “Monk” and devotion and self-sacrifice showing the SOUL. Thereby we find that just as Gurdjieff said that the Fourth Way would be the combining of all three of these classic paths that reveal “Mind, Body and Soul.”

(Above) Enneagram symbol and (Above Right) Gurdjieff revealing his intense but thoughtful beingness.

So too are the “Three Lines of Work” which represent the self, (MIND), others (the collective BODY) and the school and children yet unborn (Dispensation of Higher Ideas: SOUL). But there is a tried and true logic that is based on a sort of divine mathematics of reason that one can begin to see that if you do not work on your self, it is pointless to work on others. Also if you cannot function collectively yet have a heart and mind for the Higher Goals of “The School” you will not be able to achieve Spiritual goals. It is then you move to understanding the “Work” you do is not only for your self, but for your REAL SELF, which includes ALL of Consciousness since there is “ONE MIND” and only through this understanding can Truth emerge and resolve issues which Humankind deals with on any given level.

The springboard of levels within the community of students and humanity is the same
division of desires and goals discovered within each individual student. This is how the three levels of student emerged. (1) the student, (2) the pupil, and (3) the chela. Initially, when one begins their process of learning and “Work” on themselves, they are a “Student.” The vast majority will begin here and often many stay at this level. They desire to make life a little bit better for themselves. Sometimes they simply need a group where they can find comfort among others. Maybe they simply need a diversion from the rat race of the world they are forced to deal with on a daily basis. Their study often involves all of the aspects of other students and that includes the taking of classes, joining groups, working in the school every once in a while and attending parties and special lectures and the like.

(Above and Below): various Turkish rugs reflecting the decor of Gurdjieff school events.

The Presence of The Master

Many students never realize there are any other levels. The “Pupil” is the student who takes seriously the “Work” beyond their own sphere of problems and expands their own sense of “self” and begins to realize the importance of the “Work” and how the “School” is an opportunity to exponentially distribute knowledge, change and evolvement. The “Chela” is the student who has come this far and chooses to work directly with “The Teacher.” This part is more difficult to discuss since few understand it unless they have gone that far. But often dealing with the “Teacher,” in theory, is like being in the presence of the “Truth” one seeks. It, essentially, is the opportunity to be in the “presence of the Master.”

(Above right) Artist rendering of Jesus, The Master Teacher, from Byzantine style portrait.

Some people will read this and react. I can hear the scoffing in the distance. “Oh yeah, to be in the ‘presence of the Master.’” Bogaziti, Bogaziti, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo….. Praise Jeeeezus…..
I know… I know… been there done that. But at the same time intellectuals forever have extolled the virtues of many philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Rene Decartes, G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Friedrich Nietzsche, et al, without embarrassment. Most of those were favorites of the College crowd and frankly they might know their beer but joining the “Occupy Movement” doesn’t seem like the highlight of intellectual breakthroughs. I mean seriously, “I’m broke, there are rich people out there, let’s take their money.” It just doesn’t seem like the brilliant “quantum” answer to humankind’s dilemma. The answer is the understanding and expansion of consciousness. And this begins with the individual.

Real Thinking and What It Entails

All throughout history we read where one person had an idea and followed through on that intuitive insight and it made them famous for centuries. But America’s current craze is to confiscate the money of rich people and they think that will answer all of our problems. That sometimes works until you steal the money of one of THEM and suddenly it isn’t such a good idea anymore. So maybe we need to focus on Universal Truths and follow through on what real thinkers have spent their entire lives on and exactly what it is that they have used to live their lives and how they achieved what they set out to do and then learn from that.

Many people in intellectual circles criticize “Jesus” based on what Christianity has said about him. Well, having studied the life and works of Jesus, it is clear that Christianity and Jesus have little to do with each other. In fact, if Jesus returned today and taught what he taught then, Christianity would try and have him crucified all over again. Because he would be doing a shake up of traditional religious ideas and that is what angered the Hebrews at that time. No one wanted to rock the boat because Rome was in charge and they were in power. Another so-called “Messiah” was the last thing that they needed.

And what exactly was it that Jesus, or Yeshuah, was Teaching? Well, the Bible says he was teaching the “Gospel.” Most people don’t really even know what the “Gospel” was. They think that it simply is “the story about Jeeeezus.” But that is not true. Jesus was not teaching about Jesus. The Bible was translated into German and for the first time printed copies could be made available for the masses to finally read the Bible for themselves. The “Gospel” was actually two words: Gout and Spell. Like John Lennon used to say at Christmastime: “Guten Nobin” which he would slur together and it sounded like Goot Nobbin and that meant “Good Night.” But literally the word “Gospel” means “Good News” and “spell” was also the same word used for “proclamation” or “Good Proclamation” or “Good Publishing,” i.e., “spelling.” But what the “Good News” was and why it was “good news” was the declaration by Jesus (The Master) that “The Kingdom of Heaven is within.”

Gurdjieff, Jesus, Krishnamurti, Nietzsche

This broke with all of the belief systems of the day and even the disciples found it hard to deal with it without again worshipping the image of another human being. Instead they should have been in awe with the Divinity to be found within. This is why both Gurdjieff, Jesus, Krishnamurti, Nietzsche declared that Humankind should “Wake up!” That we should “Wake up” and discover that we are living in a world of illusion which is based on our own misunderstanding and thinking and that: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Which is to say: “As a person thinks in their subconscious, so does their reality issue forth.” It is again the realization that a Matrix of belief exists because of our “collective unconsciousness” and the only way to break free of this state of consciousness is to “WAKE UP” from our sleep as we continue to walk the streets of the Earth like Zombies from a bad 1960’s American International Pictures horror film.

It used to be stated that Einstein revealed to humanity that “nothing is solid,” but in fact everything is “atoms and molecules.” Now with further development we are beginning to understand that all of these particles and waves have created a non-physical Quantum realm in which there are leaps and jumps from here to there and that even the speed of light is questioned as to whether or not quarks and tachyons have influence and how is it that what can be observed can be altered simply by thought or consciousness. Are their parallel universes? Is there even a universe or is it simply the MIND of GOD?

Let’s see, if everything is the MIND of GOD, and the good news is that the KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN US because actually we are all sons of God the most high and Jeeeeeezus is ONE with the FATHER and that you can “Believe it and it will be yours” or “Pray as if you have it already” --- because “the Father may they be One in me as I AM in you” and the Walrus said: “I AM he and you are he and we are all together?” Seriously, isn’t it time to begin thinking beyond the thoughts that are rooted in a limited reality and begin discovering our own “Path” and “look within” because the answers are all there. But yes, it does take study and preparation but there are paths to follow and “Work” one can do as we begin to “Self-Observe” and focus on the Reality that everything is Consciousness and that MIND is what we are dealing with everyday. And then perhaps we can make that LEAP and understand that as we change our mind, our CONSCIOUSNESS, our world will be changed as well. “Change Your Mind, Change Your World.”

Saga continues: Metanoia: Change Your Mind, Change Your World

If you do not choose to change, it will never happen. Most change is negative change where circumstances which happen cause you to fear the future and events happening beyond your control. Rather than opening up to solutions, most people will generally begin to close off for protection. This is the beginning of life tightening around you, strangling your hopes for the future. But it doesn't have to be that way.

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