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Ouspensky Foundation
updated till: 6-dec-01

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Q & A  

This Q & A board posts questions asked by visitors of this website (anonymously), answered by the Foundation. You can e-mail your question to Dorine.


Question 1:
Just before his death in 1947, Ouspensky asked Dr. Roles 'to find the source'. After many years, Dr. Roles found the Shankaracharya of the North (one of the heads of the Advaita Vedanta tradition in India). Didn't Ouspensky actually mean to say: 'find the source in yourself?' How does the Ouspensky Foundation interpret Ouspensky's last wish?

In Dr. Roles' book A Lasting Freedom, there is a formulation of Ouspensky's instruction: "If we could only remember ourselves when we need to, life would be entirely different."

Dr. Roles continues: "Ouspensky maintained that there must have been some simple method for doing this, if it were so important in human life; but although he had looked for it in many parts of the world including India, he had never found it; so some of his younger followers would have to find it; and if they did, they would also find men who had a very wide knowledge and a very fine being to guide them after death."

In Yale's biography of Ouspensky, we find the following quotation: Ouspensky: "The aim of a school may be to find another school. Try to think that I may go away and the work, as it is now, may disappear. Do not take it as a permanent institution.

" In The Fourth Way, we find the following:
Q: "Is meditation as advocated in Indian books, the same as remembering yourself?"
A: "They speak of meditation, but also say that one must work under a teacher. If you can remember yourself, you can meditate; if not, you cannot."

These answers really speak for themselves. I think that Ouspensky had an idea that one had to go on looking for schools, and also that one shouldn't rush to the decision that one had found one! But the essential message was to find the source in yourself. I can well imagine that Dr. Roles thought he had hit the target when he came into contact with the Maharishi and his meditation technique, but at that time the West had not yet been flooded by the Sai Babas of this age! Maharishi made use of a hole in the market, but by now his method has been shown as not as authentic as he claims, and that there are a number of dubious sides to it. So to have found a guru, even a very honest one like Shantananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath, does not mean that one has thus found a school. If you look for the source only outside yourself, you will be deceived, and if you look for the source only within, you will get frustrated, because then you cannot test what you know. It seems to me that a combination of these two is the best way.
The Ouspensky Foundation makes use of outside sources, keeps contact with a number of groups, movement groups of Wim van Dullemen in Holland, Kate and Tinky Brass in England, with Tony Blake (a follower of J.G. Bennett), with a group in Oslo and even has connections with India, through the Shankaracharya of Sringeri, without binding itself to any one of these sources. At the same time, the Ouspensky Foundation actively helps to develop the inner being through movements, exercises, group meetings, workshops and seminars. For more information about this, please refer to our activity file on the Website.