MEETING & DISCUSSION
Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff
Tuesday, June 14th, 6:30 - 8:00
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, East Liberty
2nd Floor Meeting Room
130 Whitfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Discussion: "The Life Force"
We wish to live, to be in life. From the moment we are born,
something in us seeks to affirm itself in the outside world. I want to
be heard and seen, to devour the world. At the same time, I do not want
to be devoured. I want to be first, always. But all too soon I encounter
the resistance of the world, and the basic impulse of self-affirmation
has to take others into account. My affirming often assumes curious,
even though common, forms such as self-pity or a refusal to express
I wish to live, I agree with life. I do everything to live, and this
same force maintains the life of my body. I wish for something or to do
something, and when the wish appears, this force is here. It impels me
toward manifestation. Throughout my life, in everything I do, I seek to
affirm this force. There is no act, however small, that is not an
affirmation. If I speak to someone or write a letter, I affirm this
force, I affirm my intelligence. Even if I merely look at someone, it is
this force. If I hang up my coat, it is this force. Behind this
unbridled affirmation, there is surely something true. This force in me
is irrepressible. At the same time, I do not know what the affirmation
is based on. I believe I am affirming myself. I identify with this
force. Yet even though it is in me, this force is not mine. And in
affirming it as my own, I do not see that I separate myself from it. In
wanting to attribute its power to myself, I cut off its action. I create
an inner world that is deprived of the action of this life force. My
sense of “I,” of my self, is heavy and inert.
We need to see our childishness in relating to the life force, always
wishing to have more. The child wants to have, the adult wants to be.
The constant desire for “having” creates fear and a need to be
reassured. We need to develop an attention in us that would relate the
whole of ourselves to a higher force.
There is only one source of energy. As soon as my energy is called in
one direction or another, a force appears. Force is energy in movement.
There are different directions, but the source is the same. The life
force, the force of manifestation, is always in movement. It has to
flow. And I am entirely taken by it, I am swept along. I begin to
suspect that I will always be taken if I do not also turn toward
another, unknown part of myself.
- Madame De Salzmann, "The Reality of Being"
Thursday, June 23rd (6:30-8:00 at Panera, 5430 Center Ave)
Thursday, June 30th (6:30-8:00 at E. Liberty Carnegie Library)