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Ouspensky Foundation
updated till: 6-dec-01

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Quotes File  


On this page, you will find quotes the Foundation has used in the past.
The quote used this month can be found on quote of the month.


A few quotations from G.I. Gurdjieff to start with  
I cannot develop you; I can create conditions in which you can develop yourself.  
Man's obligation is to co-operate with the laws which operate the universe. The realization of the working of certain laws is the kingdom of heaven. The obligation goes with the fact that man has a unique place. But the awareness of his place is not a gift of nature. No man by wishing or by taking thought can do anything about his development. He must do something unique. This method offers this unique activity.  
Since we have no technique for development, our life is like a dream. In dreams we don't choose or invent events. Our life is like that. And we can't voluntarily wake from this dream. We wake, or develop, only if the dream becomes unbearable or if someone shakes us awake.  
The octave was originally a formula to explain cosmic truths, only later it was used musically.  
Five Obligations:
1. Preserve your life. (Be just to the body; satisfy its needs; treat it as a good master treats a good servant.)
2. Find your place in the scheme. (Understand the meaning and aim of existence. Know more and more concerning the laws of world creation and maintenance.)
3. Develop yourself. (Constant unflagging need for self-perfection in the sense of Being. Improve your 'Being', make 'Being' efforts.)
4. Help others to develop. (Assist in the most rapid perfectioning of other beings.)
5. Pay back. (To lighten the load of the Creator, pay back in gratitude and effort for the fact that Evolution has helped you to get this far.)
When you have finally grasped the meaning of 'transformation' and realized how false your picture of yourself has been, when you have discovered the kind of person you really are... this is the moment when you can say you have begun at the beginning.  
It is almost a desire of man to be asleep. We are so asleep that unless life becomes too difficult we don't wake up. A shock can waken you. But you must find your reasons for wanting to wake up.  
When you see how mechanical you are you begin to wake up. Just as at the moment of waking from a dream you know you have been asleep. In dreams you are running down energies which you did not use up during the day.  
You cannot change by mind alone. You must begin with the body. Bring body and emotions into line. The body is the only tool you have to work with. Make it a good tool. Resent the body's control of you. Try to establish the physical as something apart from the 'I'. The beginning of adult life is the knowledge that we have an 'I'. Our bodies are fertilizers for a soul. The personal equation between you and your body is pernicious. Our body is as much an object of the outside world as a tree, a plant or a stone.  
Introspection is bad - we have nothing to look into.  
You have found how difficult it is to manage your body. Our minds don't move. Our environment has paralysed our minds. Try exercises of mental stretching.  
Self-observation is conscious suffering. We live only seventy years because of the useless suffering we submit to. We must sacrifice automatic suffering.  
Dig out your essence. Discover your type. This will be an active alternative against unconscious behaviour.  
Conscious suffering is arrived at by putting yourself in a situation agreeable to one centre and very disagreeable to the two others. Object: to get stretch. To get out of mechanicality.  
One of the great chief features is always self-love; complete self-love. The little thing you put on the scales of a balance that tip them down is usually your chief feature. Your chief feature is an outgrowth of you emotional attitude towards yourself. Chief feature is never a good thing, but, once found, it can be used consciously.  
We are 1 percent ourselves and 99 percent sociological. The personality is the mask you have to hide your essence. The mask is very difficult to discover. Everyone has reasons for protecting himself.  
You don't have to lose your mask if you don't want to. But know it. You can alter it when you know it. You cannot change anything without knowing it.  
The human race is in decline because of useless emotion. Emotion today is merely fermentation. Observe and you may get an idea during the observation. This changes the centre of gravity (from fermentation to emotion): a 'conversion'.  
When we don't do self-observation we eat ourselves.  
Mind is the faculty of taking thought. Its real process is pondering (reflection). The subject matter should be large, true fact such as the organization of the universe, etc. Its object is to group these ponderings into great wholes. But we cannot hold before our minds for one second the whole evidence about anything.  
Every situation in the world has a positive, negative and a neutral force. The neutralizing force is the form-giving force.