#01. Introduction

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION

#1. Introduction


Pyotr Demianovich Ouspensky was a Russian mathematician and esotericist best known for his work on the teaching he received from Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Ivanovich Gurdjieff  a system which later became known as ‘The Fourth Way’.

Ouspensky was born in Moscow in 1878. He studied at the Second Moscow Gymnasium, a government school attended by boys from 10 to 18. In 1906, he was working in the editorial office of the Moscow daily paper ‘The Morning’. In 1907 he discovered Theosophy. In the autumn of 1913, age 35, before the beginning of World War I, he journeyed to the East ‘in search of the miraculous’, or as he would like to put it; in search of the reality that lies behind the reality that we take as reality.

On his travels he visited India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Egypt  and met Theosophists in Adyar but was forced to return to Moscow after...

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#02. Psychology of The Machine

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION

 

#2. Psychology of The Machine

 
Many people ask themselves ‘What is the teaching of ‘The Fourth Way’ about?’ On encountering the system it appears to be an ordinary teaching of psychology. Although ‘the Fourth Way’ deals with the fundamental questions of what it is to be human, the qualification ‘psychology’ wouldn’t do it any justice.

What is psychology?

Traditionally speaking, psychology has never existed under its own name. Psychology existed under the name of philosophy. The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote many works on morality and how man can overcome his own limitations. He considered himself more a psychologist than a philosopher. In ancient times psychology existed in Yoga and Sufi teachings. Art. Poetry, Drama, Sculpture, Dancing and even Architecture, were all means for transmitting psychological knowledge. For instance, the Gothic Cathedrals...

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#03. Psychology of Many ‘I’s

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION

 
#3. Psychology of Many ‘I’s

 
Man does not know himself. In order to transform his life and his possibilities he has to embrace this unpleasant fact full heartedly. Keep in mind though that one can not transform unless one is prepared to be wrong and acknowledge it.

First of all, what man must acknowledge that he is not one; he is many. He has not one permanent and unchangeable 'I' or Ego. He is always different. One moment he is this, another moment he is another, the third moment he is a third, and so on, almost without an end. This is a very powerful illusion. Not very surprising considering that we have one body and one name. On the inside though we are a manyfold of opinions, feelings and moods that can change hats within seconds. One moment we say one thing like we really mean it and the next moment we contradict ourselves without hesitation. We plan to do X, but we wind up doing Y. One moment we promise to be...

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#04. Psychology of Centres

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION


#4. Psychology of Centres

As we have learned so far that man is a machine who is not aware of him being a machine. Man does not know himself and ascribes all kind of functions to himself that in reality he does not posses. His ability to act, feel and think on his own account is an illusion. Man is governed largely by the impressions of his surroundings and can do only very small things within the limitations of these surroundings. What a mechanical man can do however is complain, object and produce mechanical emotional reactions, all functions of the many different little ‘I’’s that of which his inner world is made of.

Therefore man’s possible evolution has to start with observing himself and acknowledge these basic facts. Here lies another major difference with the more traditional views of psychology. We must understand now that the study of the psychology of man’s possible evolution really means...

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#05. Psychology of Sleep

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION

#5. Psychology of Sleep


In this episode in our search for ‘the miraculous’ - the reality that lies behind the reality that we take for the whole and only reality - we first have to get a better view of what is hindering us from getting access to the ‘miraculous’. The system of ‘The fourth Way’, teaches us that man is asleep and not conscious of his thoughts, feelings and actions. It is useful to remember that this is exactly the inner meaning of many ancient doctrines, best known to us in Christianity and the Gospel teaching, in which, the idea that man lives in sleep and first of all must awake, is the basis of all the explanations of human life. The Gospel teaching also demands awakening, but it does not say how to awaken.

The main idea of the system on how to free yourself from sleep, is to become fully aware of your state of sleep. Therefore it is needed to have a better and more refined understanding...

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#06. Psychology of Schools

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION


#6. Psychology of Schools

 
Mechanical Man will not begin this work and will not consider it necessary unless he becomes convinced that he does not possess self-consciousness and that, in order to acquire anything of value, he can not rely on his will . The manyfold of contradictory ‘I’s that governs his minute to minute actions is not the kind of will that can accomplish anything outside the boundaries of his state of sleep. Real will is consistent over time and is a function of a so called permanent ‘I’, an ‘I’ that is able to separate the mechanical ‘I’s from the “work I’s” and organise them in a group of ‘I’s that has some power and directed attention. That’s the beginning.

Man has to understand two things. First he is a sleep. Second; he needs a method to wake up from sleep. It is vital to understand that no one can escape from sleep on his own....

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#19. Psychology of Being

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION

 

#19. Psychology of Being

The root of all human issue’s is a lack of understanding. We do not, and are not, able to understand one another. The big problem again, is the pretence that we believe we do understand one another or that it is even possible to understand one another. The system tells us quit clearly that ordinary man, man as he is, can not understand one another although he thinks he can. Why is that?

In order for man to be able to understand each other, he has to learn that there are two sides of him that must be developed, that is, the development of ‘knowledge’ and ‘being’. True understanding can not be a function of just knowledge. Knowing more doesn’t mean one understands more. Understanding is the product of the simultaneous development of knowledge and being.

First of all there is the lack of self-knowledge, man does not know himself. Different levels of knowledge is a well know...

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#18. Psychology of Self Remembering

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION

 

#18. Psychology of Self Remembering

 What are our chances for acquiring a higher state of consciousness? What are our possibilities for change? Do we stand a change to conquer our mental pitfalls or are we stuck with who we are?

We have a certain control over our movements but can we also attain the same kind of control over our thoughts, let alone emotions? Anyone with a little self-knowledge knows how hard it is to permanently change oneself. It can be done but this needs special training, very much time and the study of very elaborate exercises. Under normal conditions we can have some control over our thoughts, and the development of our consciousness. The mind is by far the most obedient to our will; that is, our mind, or the intellectual centre, so we have to start from there.

We have no direct control over most of our instinctive functions nor do we have much control over our emotions. We have no direct control over our...

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#17. Psychology of Emotions

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION

 

#17. Psychology of Emotions

 In this lecture we are going to dive into the world of emotions. Like we have learned in the previous lecture, emotional centre is by far the quickest centre of all and therefore very much responsible for most of our actions.

Because of it’s speed, it controls most of our decisions, which do not always lead to the most sensible thing to do. It is exactly because of this tremendous speed of operation that emotional centre accounts for most of our personal difficulties. We are far more emotional than anyone of us want to admit. We all want to be perceived as being sensible. Being emotional can make us impulsive, much like an animal, constantly responding to outside stimuli and basic drives. Therefore Personal Transformation starts by transforming the ‘wrong’ work of the emotional centre by ‘right’ work of the intellectual centre.

The system of ‘The Fourth Way’...

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#16. Psychology of Time

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION 

 

#16. Psychology of Time

The relativity of time, space and matter is a scientific conversation best known for what Einstein coined to the matter, expressed in his theory of general relativity. As one comes to study the system some other very interesting esoteric points of view come into the picture and can evoke some additional transformations in the way you perceive yourself in relation to these phenomena. As you will soon discover in studying the centres, which are hidden from us, their functions are quite open for our investigation.

Functions are the phenomena by which we are able to identify the work of the different centres and by observing these functions we will notice some remarkable properties, which until now, have never been fully taken into account by traditional psychology or physiology.

Observation is the usual course in the scientific approach in physics, chemistry, astronomy, physiology, as when we often cannot...

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