George Gurdjieff, fully George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff, fully George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

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

Author Quotes

Love without knowledge is demonic.

One of man’s important mistakes, one which must be remembered, is his illusion in regard to his I. Man such as we know him, the "man-machine," the man who cannot "do," and with whom and through whom everything "happens," cannot have a permanent and single I. His I changes as quickly as his thoughts, feelings and moods, and he makes a profound mistake in considering himself always one and the same person; in reality he is always a different person, not the one he was a moment ago.

Sincerity is the key to self-knowledge and to be sincere with oneself brings great suffering.

There is a cosmic law which says that every satisfaction must be paid for with a dissatisfaction.

Wish is the most powerful thing in the world. Higher than God.

Man has no individual “I”. But there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small "I"s, very often entirely unknown to one another, never coming into contact, or, on the contrary, hostile to each other, mutually exclusive and incompatible. Each minute, each moment, man is saying or thinking, "I". And each time his “I” is different. Just now it was a thought, now it is a desire, now a sensation, now another thought, and so on, endlessly. Man is a plurality. Man's name is legion.

One of the best means for arousing the wish to work on yourself is to realize that you may die at any moment. But first you must learn how to keep it in mind.

Sincerity is the key which will open the door through which you will see your separate parts, and you will see something quite new. You must go on trying to be sincere. Each day you put on a mask, and you must take it off little by little.

There is only one kind of magic and this is ‘doing.’

With thorns in the inner world there will always be roses in the outer world, in law-able compensation.

Man has the possibility of existence after death. But possibility is one thing and the realization of the possibility is quite a different thing.

One of the strongest motives for the wish to work on yourself is the realization that you may die at any moment—only you must first realize this.

Sleep is very comfortable, but waking is very bitter.

To be just at the moment of action is a hundred times more valuable than to be just afterwards.

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

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.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Gurdjieff, fully George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
Birth Date
Death Date

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