Purpose of the Society
The Gurdjieff Society of Maine has formed to study the principles of the Fourth Way, a spiritual practice in the context of everyday life with the core assumption that only the development of “real conscience,” with the guidance of higher levels of Reason, can alter the tenuous course of Humanity. In its essence, the work recognizes the inner psychological world of man as a bridge between the outer world of the senses and the underlying dynamics of a living, intelligent universe.
Gurdjieff claimed that we have within ourselves the potential to experientially participate in this interchange, if we can awaken from the sleep of illusion and inattention to which we have been conditioned and grown accustomed. Initiated in the first half of the last century by the enigmatic G.I.Gurdjieff, and carried forward in diverse forms by students establishing centers of practice around the globe, the Fourth Way has no set form. It is transmitted by oral tradition and practice, brought by each generation according their best understanding of the needs of the time.
To Know, to Be, to Understand
Since I am the singular instrument through which my entire universe is experienced, I must learn to study myself. Where my Attention is, there am I. To engage in a real search I need to learn how to look, listen, sense, feel and attend to the world within myself, the very filter through which I interpret both myself and the outside world. To become more objective to what I see about myself and more sincere in my effort to free myself of the bias and subjectivity that impedes the impartial observation of self, is the Way of this disciplined, practical, non-religious spiritual work.
The focus is on practical understanding grounded in experience. Nothing is taken on faith. The Fourth Way, or as it is sometimes called, “The Work,” stresses balanced development of all sides of our human nature, intellect, emotion and body, approached through a group practice of inner exercises, meditation, sacred dance or movements, the study of Fourth Way literature, and engagement in practical physical work.
Participation is open to all who share a serious wish to know themselves through inner exploration.