Some choice words about Gurdjieff …

Recently someone posted this video in a comment. I thought it deserved more prominence. Sam Harris is an author, philosopher, neuroscientist, critic of religion, blogger, and podcast host of Waking Up. Until now, I’d heard his name but knew nothing else about him. He addresses a range of human experience: spirituality, morality, neuroscience, free will, and terrorism.

He is traveling the world giving talks to sold out theaters, and such. He also has some choice words for Georges Ivanoff Gurdjieff, whose ideas are the basis of the “teaching” “school” trots out. If you listen to the YouTube video — which I recommend, highly — you’ll hear the following:

” … the roll of guru seems to attract more than its fair share of narcissist and confidence men … this seems to be a natural consequence of the subject matter … one can fake being an enlightened adept … GI Gurdjieff set the standard, here … he was the classic example of the gifted charlatan; he managed to attract a wide following of smart, successful devotees.”

FYI, devotees include: Georgia O’Keefe,  J.B. Priestly, René Daumal, Katherine Mansfield, Aldous Huxley, TS Eliot, Frank Loyd Wright.

“Gurdjieff taught his followers that the moon was alive. That it controlled the thoughts and behaviors of unenlightened people. That it devoured their souls at the moment of death. He used to make visitors to his chateau in Foutainbleu spend long days digging ditches in the sun, only to have them immediately fill them in again and begin digging elsewhere… I’m confident that if I were to teach a similarly insane doctrine, all the while demanding painful and pointless sacrifices from my students, I wouldn’t have a friend left on earth by the end of the week.”

I remember the first time “school” started trotting out this crazy shit about the moon. In a rare, courageous moment, I told my class, “You have no idea how absurd this sounds to me.” My teachers smiled at me in that patronizing way … the one that says, ” … you’ll get it when you’ve been doing The Work long enough.”

Long enough = til death do you part, $350/month, plus all of your un-schooled family & friends. That is the nature of the beast. It’s how every cult works. So … as Nancy Reagon used to say about drugs, “Just say no … ” I’ll amend that slightly: say, “Fuck no.”

6 thoughts on “Some choice words about Gurdjieff …

  1. Butterflies Don't Need School says:

    Excellent post, my dear! Well said. I enjoy all your posts but this one hits it.
    What is really vexing in this case is that the ‘school’ or ‘study’ of this group is not even linked in any real way with Gurdjieff.
    NOT ONE OF THE SAN FRAN THEATER GROUP THAT MORPHED INTO NYC AND BOSTON FAUX-SCHOOL, FAUX-THE WORK, FAUX-INNER DEVELOPMENT GROUP, OR STUDY, EVER MET HIM!
    So in the case of these hocus-pocus men and women and their NYC and Boston group, it is just one charade after and on top of another.
    They don’t even know people who knew Gurdjieff!
    And as bad or weird as G was, he at least was interesting. And Ouespensky, who broke with G, had an incredible mind.
    The main components of Boston New York Sharon/Robert bullshit, farce, is that for all the money and time you put in – you get absolutely Nothing back. You are BORED BY ENDLESS BULLSHIT, manipulated, abused, and isolated, and depleated. You lose years of energy, youth, and productive living, all fed to the narcissistic wolves who claim to your face that they love you!
    Oh Lordy!
    Good God Help Us!
    Run from the Wolf who would devour your holy soul!
    RUN! FAST! NOW!

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Hi BDNS (so true) Thanks for your post and for that adding that point to my missive – not only was “school” appropriating “the work”, and not crediting “the source” (as reprehensible as the source was) “school” had absolutely no connection, to “the source”. “School” is a never-ending slew of bullshit. And, yes, it will suck you dry until you’re in your grave. I’ll reiterate:don’t let this con steal your life. I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog! GSR

      • Butterflies Don't Need School says:

        Tossing out Old notebooks and found one towards the time I left. Here are a few excerpts:
        “School helps from time to time, but exacerbates the sense of loss, pain, confusion, and complicates things with judgement on top of everything.”
        and
        “Can’t do ‘the work” for someone else’s approval, becomes abusive psychologically”
        and
        “Why go some where to be yelled at for what’s in me?”
        and
        “Class is private hell – we see magnified the shit that is in us – But seldom the gold. Why?”

        • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

          It is interesting to come across evidence of when your inner skeptics started to win, isn’t it? Do you have any regrets about leaving? Some do. I have none, myself, but by the time I left it was clear that there was nothing but crap for me in the hollow halls.

  2. Butterflies Don't Need School says:

    No regrets at leaving, Only regret staying too long.

    Here’s a few TITLES OF LECTURES for pp to be aware of:
    WHO IS THE EARTH?
    FOUND IN TRANSLATION, THE GOLDEN AGE of SPAIN
    MOZART, I CAME TO MYSELF IN THE DARK WIODS
    THE DEVINE FEMININE
    All using OTHER people’s research, with zero acknowledgement for their plagiarism.

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Bless you, BFDNS! I will be posting the lecture/presentation titles in a post – they deserve a prominent place. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.