#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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#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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#15. Psychology of Impressions

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION 

 

#15. Psychology of Impressions

All that happens to us, all that we see, all that we hear, all that we feel, all that we learn is registered in our mental decorum. In the time of Ouspensky the first of phonographic recording were made on wax rolls. The sensory input from our five senses leaves a definite imprint on the ‘wax rolls’ in our being.. An impression can be deep, or it can be very slight, or it can be simply a glancing impression that disappears very quickly and leaves no trace after it.Everything that we know, everything that we have learned, everything that we have experienced is all there on our rolls. When we are thinking mechanically we can think of nothing new, nothing that is not on our rolls. When we feel mechanically we can’t feel anything new, we only relive the emotional imprints that are recorded on these rolls.

These rolls act like a database. We cannot event anything new outside of our...

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#14. Psychology of Lines of Work

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION

 

#14. Psychology of Lines of Work

Working according to the principles of the system is that the work of a real school of ‘The Fourth Way’ needs to proceed along three different lines simultaneously. Working only on one or two lines wouldn’t be considered schoolwork. What are these three lines of work?

The first line is the study of oneself and study of the system, or the 'language.'  It is the line of work that’s all about you getting something for yourself. It is about understanding and learning about yourself via understanding the concepts of the system. It is the line of work of these lectures. Working on this first line certainly s very important but if you only work on the first line you can not expect any result.

The second line of schoolwork is working with other people in the school. One works not only with them but also for them. By explaining and observing one another you are able to acquire a...

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