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Dossier Zelfkennis: een lezing van Gurdjieff van rond het jaar 1918

Getiteld: 'Essentuki, omstreeks 1918'.
door Tsenne Kikke - zaterdag 11 juni 2022 0:56

Beste bezoeker,

Gelieve te beseffen dat Zelfkennis-teksten in wezen enkel en alleen gericht zijn tot mensen die aan Zelfkennis doen - of, zich er in willen verdiepen, waaronder de Eclectici.

Indien je daar niet bij behoort, kan je die Zelfkennis-artikels best niet lezen, omdat ze ongewild kwetsend zouden kunnen overkomen; gewoonweg, omdat jij ze zo zou kunnen interpreteren. Waarheden kunnen nu eenmaal kwetsen, zonder dat het hun bedoeling is. Bovendien is de kans groot dat je dingen kunt lezen, die jij niet graag leest - met als gevolg: jou kunnen irriteren. Anderzijds staan er op deze Spiritualia-website genoeg blogs en rubrieken waaraan je misschien wél iets kunt hebben, nietwaar?... :-)

Beste Zelfkenniser of Eclecticus...

Vandaag plaatste ik een tekst op Eclecticus van elf A-4 bladzijden lang, met als titel 'Essentuki, about 1918'. Het is een weergave van een voordracht die Gurdjieff daar toen hield.

Hieronder staat er een stukje uit afgeprint om de eclectici onder ons daarvan op de hoogte te brengen en hen aan te sporen het geheel te lezen. Bovendien zullen mensen, die tot onze doelgroep willen behoren, dit dolgraag lezen.

George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff: "... I suggest that, in order to understand better what I mean, each of you should now ask himself the question "What am I?" I am certain that 95 percent of you will be puzzled by this question and will answer with another one: "What do you mean?..."

And this will prove that a man has lived all his life without asking himself this question, has taken for granted, as axiomatic, that he is 'something', even something very valuable, something he has never questioned. At the same time he is unable to explain to another what this something is, unable to convey even any idea of it, for he himself does not know what it is. Is the reason he does not know because, in fact, this 'something' does not exist but is merely assumed to exist? Is it not strange that people pay so little attention to themselves in the sense of self-knowledge? Is it not strange with what dull complacency they shut their eyes to what they really are and spend their lives in the pleasant conviction that they represent something valuable? They fail to see the gailing emptiness hidden behind the highly painted façade created by their self-delusion and do not realize that its value is purely conventional.

True, this is not always so. Not everyone looks at himself so superficially. There do exist enquiring minds, which long for the truth of the heart, seek it, strive to solve the problems set by life, try to penetrate to the essence of things and phenomena and to penetrate into themselves. If a man reasons and thinks soundly, no matter what path he follows in solving these problems, he must inevitably arrive back at himself, and begin with the solution of the problem of what he is himself and what his place is in the world around him. For without this knowledge, he will have no focal point in his search. Socrates' words "Know thyself" remain for all those who seek true knowledge and being.

I have just used a new word - 'being'. To make sure that we all understand the same thing by it, I shall have to say a few words in explanation.

We have just been questioning whether what a man thinks about himself corresponds to what he is in reality, and you have asked yourselves what you are. Here is a doctor, there an engineer, there an artist. Are they in reality what we think they are? Can we treat the personality of each one as identical with his profession, with the experience which that profession, or the preparation for it, has given him?

Every man comes into the world like a clean sheet of paper; and then the people and circumstances around him begin vying with each other to dirty this sheet and to cover it with writing. Education, the formation of morals, information we call 'knowledge' - all feelings of duty, honor, conscience and so on - enter here. And they all claim that the methods adopted for grafting these shoots known as man's 'personality' to the trunk are immutable and infallible. Gradually the sheet is dirtied, and the dirtier with so-called 'knowledge' the sheet becomes, the cleverer the man is considered to be. The more  writing there is in the place called 'duty', the more honest the possessor is said to be; and so it is with everything. And the dirty sheet itself, seeing that people consider its 'dirt' as merit, considers it valuable. This is an example of what we call 'man', to which we often even add such words as talent and genius. Yet our 'genius' will have his mood spoiled for the whole day if he does not find his slippers beside his bed when he wakes up in the morning."

....

George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff: "Besides self-knowledge, there is another aspect of the search: self-development. Let us see how things stand there. It is clear that a man left to his own devices cannot wring out of his little finger the knowledge of how to develop and, still less, exactly what to develop in himself. Gradually, by meeting people who are searching, by talking to them and by reading relevant books, a man becomes drawn into the sphere of questions concerning self-development.

But what may he meet here?... First of all an abyss of the most unpardonable charlatanism, based entirely on the greed for making money by hoaxing gullible people who are seeking a way out of their spiritual impotence. But before a man learns to divide the wheat from the tares, a long time must elapse and perhaps the urge itself to find the truth will flicker and go out in him, or will become morbidly perverted and his blunted flair may lead him into such a labyrinth that the path out of it, figuratively speaking, will lead straight to the devil.

If a man succeeds in getting out of this first swamp, he may fall into a new quagmire of pseudo-knowledge. In that case truth will be served up in such an indigestible and vague form that it produces the impression of a pathological delirium. He will be shown ways and means of developing hidden powers and capacities which he is promised, if he is persistent, will without much trouble give him power and domain over everything, including animate creatures, inert matter and the elements. All these systems, based on a variety of theories, are extraordinarily alluring, no doubt precisely because of their vagueness. They have a particular attraction for the half-educated, those who are half-instructed in positivist knowledge."

Wist je, beste lezer...,

...dat van al de duizenden maandelijkse bezoekers praktisch niemand de blogs met anderen - via Facebook of Twitter, bijvoorbeeld - deelt?... Kan jij daar iets aan doen??? Al bij voorbaat bedankt!

- Indien je een (bak)steentje bijdraagt - of, ooit hebt bijgedragen: mogen we jouw naam hieronder publiceren? -

"Vind mensen, die in zichzelf zowel de motivatie als de aangeboren drijfveer hebben om aan hun Innerlijke Zelf te werken, en we zullen hen gidsen."

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