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London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Meetings with Remarkable Men. New York: Penguin Compass.

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Howarth, Jessmin and Dushka Howarth. New York: Gurdjieff Heritage Society. Humphreys, Christmas. Kornfeld, Jack. Landau, Rom. London: Ivor Nicholson and Watson. Moore, James. Shafsbury, Dorset, UK: Element. Nott, C. Gurdjieff and A. Orage in New York and at Fontainebleau-Avon. Ouspensky, Pyotr Demianovich. Patterson, William Patrick. Fairfax, CA: Arete Communications. Voices in the Dark.

Perry, Whitall N. Gurdjieff in the Light of Tradition. Peters, Fritz. Boyhood with Gurdjieff and Gurdjieff Remembered.

Gurdjieff Remembered

London: Wildwood House. Samuel, Geofrey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Schipper, Kristofer. The Taoist Body. Translated by Karen C. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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Translated by P. Urban, Hugh B. Washington, Peter. London: Secker and Warburg. Webb, James. Gurdjieff, P.

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Ouspensky and Their Followers. London: Tames and Hudson. Wellbeloved, Sophia. New York: Solar Bound Press.


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But I already saw that I stood upon the threshold of a very great discovery. I had always been astonished at the weakness and the insufficiency of our memory. So many things disappear. For some reason or other the chief absurdity of life for me consisted in this. Why experience so much in order to forget it afterwards? Besides there was something degrading in this. A man feels something which seems to him very big, he thinks he will never forget it; one or two years pass by — and nothing remains of it.

It now became clear to me why this was so and why it could not be otherwise. If our memory really keeps alive only moments of self-remembering, it is clear why our memory is so poor. All these were the realizations of the first days. Later, when I began to learn to divide attention, I saw that self-remembering gave wonderful sensations which, in a natural way, that is, by themselves, come to us only very seldom and in exceptional conditions.

Thus, for instance, at that time I used very much to like to wander through St. Petersburg is full of these strange sensations. Houses, especially old houses, were quite alive, I all but spoke to them. I did not think of anything, I simply walked along while trying to remember myself and looked about; the sensations came by themselves. Later on I was to discover many unexpected things in the same way. But I will speak of this further on. Sometimes self-remembering was not successful; at other times it was accompanied by curious observations.

The noise, movement, everything distracted me. Every minute I lost the thread of attention, found it again, and then lost it again. At last I felt a kind of ridiculous irritation with myself and I turned into the street on the left having firmly decided to keep my attention on the fact that I would remember myself at least for some time, at any rate until I reached the following street.

"Remember Yourself Always and Everywhere" - George Gurdjieff

I reached the Nadejdinskaya without losing the thread of attention except, perhaps, for short moments. Then I again turned towards the Nevsky realizing that, in quiet streets, it was easier for me not to lose the line of thought and wishing therefore to test myself in more noisy streets. I reached the Nevsky still remembering myself, and was already beginning to experience the strange emotional state of inner peace and confidence which comes after great efforts of this kind.

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Still remembering myself I thought I would call there and order some cigarettes. Two hours later I woke up in the Tavricheskaya, that is, far away. I was going by izvostchik to the printers. The sensation of awakening was extraordinarily vivid. I can almost say that I came to. I remembered everything at once. How I had been walking along the Nadejdinskaya, how I had been remembering myself, how I had thought about cigarettes, and how at this thought I seemed all at once to fall and disappear into a deep sleep. At the same time, while immersed in this sleep, I had continued to perform consistent and expedient actions.

I left the tobacconist, called at my Hat in the Liteiny, telephoned to the printers.


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  6. I wrote two letters. Then again I went out of the house. I walked on the left side of the Nevsky up to the Gostinoy Dvor intending to go to the Offitzerskaya. Then I had changed my mind as it was getting late. I had taken an izvostchik and was driving to the Kavalergardskaya to my printers. And on the way while driving along the Tavricheskaya I began to feel a strange uneasiness, as though I had forgotten something.

    I spoke of my observations and deductions to the people in our group as well as to my various literary friends and others. I told them that this was the center of gravity of the whole system and of all work on oneself; that now work on oneself was not only empty words but a real fact full of significance thanks to which psychology becomes an exact and at the same time a practical science. I said that European and Western psychology in general had overlooked a fact of tremendous importance, namely, that we do not remember ourselves; that we live and act and reason in deep sleep, not metaphorically but in absolute reality.


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    And also that, at the same time, we can remember ourselves if we make sufficient efforts, that we can awaken. I was struck by the difference between the understanding of the people who belonged to our groups and that of people outside them. The other people did not understand this; they took it all too lightly and sometimes they even began to prove to me that such theories had existed before.

    You will find there his latest definition of apperception. It is exactly the same thing you speak of. Of course Wundt knew of it. I did not want to argue with Volinsky. I had read Wundt. And of course what Wundt had written was not at all what I had said to Volinsky.

    Wundt had come close to this idea, but others had come just as close and had afterwards gone off in a different direction. He had not seen the magnitude of the idea which was hidden behind his thoughts about different forms of perception. And not having seen the magnitude of the idea he of course could not see the central position which the idea of the absence of consciousness and the idea of the possibility of the voluntary creation of this consciousness ought to occupy in our thinking. Only it seemed strange to me that Volinsky could not see this even when I pointed it out to him.

    I subsequently became convinced that this idea was hidden by an impenetrable veil for many otherwise very intelligent people — and still later on I saw why this was so. This article is reprinted from the book In Search of the Miraculous.

    Boyhood with Gurdjieff, Gurdjieff Remembered, Balanced Man

    Copyright renewed Tatiana Nagro. Pyotr Demianovich Ouspensky was an author, teacher, and student of George Gurdjieff. The path to enlightenment often begins with the discovery that we are nearly always lost in thought. In other words, we are nearly always in a state of apparent unconsciousness. Ouspensky made this discovery and recognized its tremendous importance.

    In this book he describes that discovery and state better than anyone else has ever done. Self-remembering is what you do to keep yourself out of the unconscious, lost-in-thought state. But his discovery of that state, and the excitement and clarity with which he describes it, make this book must-reading. We recommend it highly. See it on Amazon. This website contains hundreds of pages of information for people who want to become enlightened.