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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Gurdjieff: Northern Star in the Sky

Osho Rajneesh called him 'Buddha of our time.' Disciples such as Ouspensky, Walker and Nicoll made this master's esoteric teachings known to outside world. George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was a very uniqe mystic.

Born in 1873 in Alexandropol, Russia, his teachings focussed mainly on 'Self- Remembering'. This involved awareness of now. Now was the only real time for him. Past is gone, Future is not yet, only now is. Time is a succession of nows strung like pearls on a string. Present, the only reality, is one infinite moment to be enjoyed and savoured. Be joyous and always remain so.

Nowness or awareness of now, would eventually bring freedom from time factor altogether. And this is remembering (or realising) real nature of oneself and things or the world around us.

To remember or realise this state, however, Gurdjieff taught to see the futility of linear thinking. It is done by the jolt method or shock therapy. Break the habits of mind by an element of surprise or even jolt or shock to attain thoughtfree state. Jolt but don't give a heart attack. Otherwise, whom would you jolt. This 'Out of the blue' jolt method was somewhat similar to Zen Koan. Purpose of both are same --------- Remember your own true nature suddenly and stabilize in it.

Gurdjieff jolted disciples out of their habbits of brooding incessantly on their worries, ills and resentments and at times, on their excitements, pleasures and aspirations which were ephemeral too. He was a man of strict discipline when it came to practising the methods. He termed them "Work." As a result, most of the disciples couldn't stand the strain and quit. Those remained went on to master the technique as per the wish of the Master, like Ouspensky.

Coming back to Gurdjieff's theme, Remember Yourself. Don't forget to remember yourself. Be alert and try in all circumstances to remember yourself.

How to do this? Simply by keeping attention. Gradually, your mind will be more open and expand. You will experience it. You will be able to tell this from mere self-hypnosis. By jolt method, breaking old habits of mind and not building new. By understanding paradoxes, parables. Don't worry even if you forget sometimes to keep attention.

Gurdjieff passed away in 1949 AD.

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