Indoctrinated into the Fourth Way without a group
Posted by: loggerhead ()
Date: September 01, 2009 09:55AM

As I read the insightful threads here denouncing Gurdjieff and Ouspensky groups, I am curious if anyone out there fell victim to the seductive quality of Gurdjieff literature without the aid of a group?

At age 19, my aunt gave me "In Search of the Miraculous," and "The Fourth Way" to read. I was emotionaly and intellectualy obssesed for the next 13 years. Although I attempted to meet with some of the SF bay area groups, it never happened. Yet, the Gurdjieff material became a central theme in my life. I lived and breathed this pseudo-philosophy as my life crumbled beneathe me. I became resistant to any contrary opinions about human life--I believed I had found the "Truth." In my narrow, deluded Gurdjieff/Ouspensky reality I became maniacal and depressive, and without the aid of any "group." I simply created my own self-cult--Gurdjieff set the stage and I was the (fallen)star.

I cannot, of course, pass all the blame on Gurdy or Ouspensky for my failings--that would be too convienent. In addition, I may never be able to determine how much psycological destruction was done by my unhealthy obsession with anything Gurdjieff. Had I been a seasoned critical thinker, I may have saw the holes in the Gurdjieff Swiss cheeze. What average 19-year-old is?

Ironically, the material warns the reader of the possibility of becoming a,"canidate for the madhouse," but who would take that seriously? You, of course, will fail at achieving the impossible goal of "awakening," but by then you are already so deep in the twisted shit and isolated from the trends of society that you return to the material to see what you missed. It becomes a visicious cycle of depression and failure followed by manic moments of elation on being a "chosen" person. If, by chance, you are a slightly manic-depressive type, as I am, it only fuels the fire. When I should have been fighting my mental illness with methods that are approved by academians, I was too busy being above it all. These false teachings make it such a convenience to swipe away all the scientific work that contradicts the 'work', but doesn't hesitate to emphasize points of similarity that affirm the Gurdjieff work.

Gurdjieff's writings made it possible for me to dismiss all modern thought, and, consequently, I developed a repugnance for modern life. I, all alone, became the master critic of contemporary civilization with the "Gurdjieff bible" validating my perception of reality. I was special and unique because I believed I understood his message, while those mechanical people had no clue, and, in fact, were unable to understand his "gift" to society.

The intellectual force that the Fourth Way presents itself was overwhelming for me to resist. I give Gurdjieff the credit for being a master Charlatan. He covers multiple angels of modern life: Chemistry, Physics, Psycology, etc. He was obscure enough to make one feel privy to a special knowledge.

I filtered everybody and everything through the lens of this intricately deceptive philosophy. Where is the compassion, love, or the community spirit in the Gurdjieff work? It doesn't exist!
The more I write about it that much more I am convinced that I wasted countless years following a genius madman's rants. Oddly, I can't even recall any positive attributes from all my years spent drooling over those pages. I did, however, manage to become a wonderful cynic and pessimist.
Did I mention all the friends I lost--Perfectly fine hard-working people. I was too good for them. Yeah, for me!! Thanks Gurdjieff for helping me isolate myself, see only what is wrong with others(including myself), and discount all the gains of modern science.

Finally, You don't need a cult to be victimized by Gurdjieff! If anybody out there sees some kid engrossed in Gurdjieff, do him/her a favor and tell to come to visit this sight and read all these threads. You might save him/her from the nuthouse.

I would appreciate any stories or similar experiences!! God-Bless

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Re: Indoctrinated into the Fourth Way without a group
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 10, 2009 08:56AM


"Ironically, the material warns the reader of the possibility of becoming a,"canidate for the madhouse," but who would take that seriously"

Many people would read 'this will make you a candidate for the madhouse' and take it as a dare.

Someone offering you a seat at a game played with marked cards will find a way to make this set up look like a grand adventure, not a rip off. They'll make it seem that anyone who refuses to sit down to the marked card game is too much of a weenie to be worthy of the challenge.

They'd read it and think, 'I'm different. I'm strong enough that I wont be someone who will be weak enough to go nuts.'

(In a real challenge, you have a 50-50 % chance of winning. In a rip off, which a game of marked cards is, you have maybe zero to 10% chance of winning. The odds are super heavily stacked in favor of the creep with the marked deck.)

Loggerhead, you're not the only one. A lot of people get seduced by Castaneda literature. They've never met the guy in person but what they get enchanted by is a fictional persona--a false mask crafted by the writer--in this case, the kind of writer who leads you into a maze with no exit.

If you want a very instructive contrast, go to the website for people who were in the Castaneda maze.

Then you can go to the sustained reaction forum and look at the legions of people who
never met the creep, but who think he was real and they think they know him better than the people who lived with him and were abused by him.

Thats what I mean about seduction by a book and seduction by a fictionalized persona.

Folks like this tend to emphasize secrecy, danger, specialness and power. They make it seem that being an ordinary person is a shameful and horrible thing. It isnt.

Note in his book, in Search of the Miraculous, Ouspenksy wrote of how he did Gurdjieffs self remembering exercises then one day woke up and realized he'd done a bunch of errands that day and had no recollection. He felt this was an awakening to the nature of consciousness.

My guess is doing the self remembering exercise caused Ouspensky's conscious awareness to split off and dissociate, and generated a several hours long episode of dissociative amnesia--a trance state that can be very disabling.

That to me indicates that those self remembering exercises, even when taught by Gurdjieff himself, were not safe to do, and could fracture consciousness, not bring it deeper.

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