George Gurdjieff, fully George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff, fully George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

Greek-Armenian-Georgian Writer, Philosopher, Mystic and Spiritual Teacher

Author Quotes

Man is a symbol of the laws of creation; in him there is evolution, involution, struggle, progress and retrogression, struggle between positive and negative, active and passive, yes and no, good and evil.

One twentieth of all our energy goes to emotional and instinctive centers. Self-remembering is a lamp which must be kept alight by energy from these two centers. Our thinking center is not really a center, but an apparatus for collecting impressions.

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West and then seek.

To bear the manifestation of others is a big thing. The last thing for a man.

Woe and sorrow to him who hath it in conception.

Man is given a limited quantity of experiences; being economical with them lengthens his life.

Only conscious suffering is of value.

The advantage of the separate individual is that he is very small and that, in the economy of Nature, it makes no difference whether there is one mechanical man more or less. We can easily understand this correlation of magnitudes if we imagine the correlation between a microscopic cell and our own body. The presence or absence of one cell will change nothing in the life of the body. We cannot be conscious of it, and it can have no influence on the life and functions of the organism. In exactly the same way a separate individual is too small to influence the life of the cosmic organism to which he stands in the same relation (with regard to size) as a cell stands to our own organism. And this is precisely what makes his 'evolution' possible; on this are based his 'possibilities'.

To gain anything real, long practice is necessary. Try to accomplish very small things first.

You must know how to take when it is not given, to steal if necessary, but not wait for somebody to come and give it to you.

Man is refreshed not by the quantity but by the quality of sleep—sleep little without regret.

Only he can be impartial who is able to put himself into the position of others.

The being of two people can differ from one another more than the being of a mineral and of an animal. This is exactly what people do not understand. And they do not understand that knowledge depends on being. Not only do they not understand this latter but they definitely do not wish to understand it.

To know means to know all. Not to know all means not to know. In order to know all, it is only necessary to know a little. But, in order to know this little, it is first necessary to know pretty much.

You must understand that ordinary efforts do not count; only super-efforts count.

Man lies to himself a lot.

Only he who can take care of the property of others can have his own.

The chief means of happiness in this life is the ability to consider outwardly always, inwardly never.

To love one must first forget all about love. Make it your aim and look for direction. As we are we cannot possibly love.

You should forget about morality. Conversations about morality are simply empty talk. Your aim is inner morality.

Man must use what he has, not hope for what is not.

Only help him who is not an idler.

The energy expended in active inner work is immediately transformed into new energy; that expended in passive work is lost forever.

Two things in life are infinite; the stupidity of man and the mercy of God.

You should understand, and establish it as a firm rule, not to pay attention to other people’s opinions. You must be free of people surrounding you, and when you are free inside you will be free of them.

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Gurdjieff, fully George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
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Greek-Armenian-Georgian Writer, Philosopher, Mystic and Spiritual Teacher