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Views from the Real World: Early Talks Moscow Essentuki Tiflis Berlin London Paris NY Chicago as Recollecte (Compass) Paperback – July 19, 1991
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Text: English, Russian (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I recently got a lot of knowledge from "World Tales" by Idries Shah who is the teacher of the same type as the teachers of Gurdjieff. He writes specifically for the Western audience being half a Westerner and half an Easterner.
"World Tales" by Idries Shah have info which is actionable only if you can disregard the cultural accretions and you can penetrate to the content. My recent tale was "The Riddles" and I at first disregarded it as childish until someone wiser demonstrated to me how this is a recipe to get out of depression , and more (if you can see the characters of the story as subpersonalities of your mind).
Then I worked with "The Hermit" (Voltaire's version) in the same collection of patterns (like fractals in the Mandelbrott set of which everything is composed by repetition and combination). Try and see for yourself, there is Idries Shah Foundation in London, or ISHK Book Service in the US, or just Amazon or even your college or public library.
Get several books at once and get the format you like: stories, humor, lectures, questions and answers. Soon the format will not matter, if you honestly want to see how the world works, you will discover the source of Gurdjieff's knowledge, and you will be able to get as far, or further, than he did. You will find yourself, you will change, you will realize what your function in the whole creation truly is. Enjoy.
But perhaps forget this particular book, or just use it as an introduction, and not even the best one. Go to Idries Shah.
Many of the talks in the "Views" are delivered in du Prieuré, Paris or New York in 1922-1924 and only one after his accident in 1924 (1930 in New York). The book has also over 30 pages of the article called "Glimpses of Truth" that Ouspensky was listening to when he was first introduced to Gurdjieff and the aphorisms that decorated the Study House in du Prieuré.
A sample of what I mean by 'even a more authentic tone' is the way Gurdjieff explains in a talk called "Now I am sitting here..." the process of self-remembering, the technique used to access the state of consciousness, which he defines as 'self-consciousness', in which we are more awake than in our normal 'waking state'.
He explains first how we can differenciate between sensations and feelings giving examples of sensations of the body, like warmth, posture and eating and the feelings resulting from memory of his mother and other similar feelings.
On p. 239 he says:
"For primary exercises in self-remembering the participation of all three centers is necessary, and we began to speak of the difference between feelings and sensations because it is necessary to have simultaneously both feeling and sensation.
We can come to this exercise only with the participation of thought. The first thing is thought.... At the beginning all three need to be evoked aritificially.... I repeat: artificial things are necessary only in the beginning."
I don't "practice" his teachings and feel meditation is my work (of course my work and Gurdjieff's methods seem to overlap a great deal), but if I want to explain my work even to myself, then this book provides a rich language to explain the need for a spiritual quest and a need for esoteric work that goes beyond dogma, religion or beliefs. It is for this reason that the book is so satisfying. I think that the most memorable piece I've read is the talk "When speaking of different subjects" and I appreciate Gurdjieff's teachings on the self in the context of the Buddhist notion of Anatta or not self; similarly perhaps, Gurdjieff describes multiple selves within ourselves.
But it is the terribly English way it is presented here. Gurdjieff would have spoken largely in Russian, but these translations and these transmissions are really very special and not easy to find. They contain a huge amount of soul food. I think this is possibly the best book in this series, better than Meetings with Remarkable Men and seamlessly outshines "In search of the Miraculous" in part. In the latter work, there is a lot of technical stuff about a type of Chemistry that is not evident in "Views from the Real World"; Views ... is a shorter version of In Search of the Miraculous, highly digestible and yet, worth revisiting again and again. A lovely book.
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eyes; most of Gurdjieff's oeuvre would be...Read more