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Wilkinson, John A. W.
John Wilkinson Interviewed by Kristina Turner
Being Present and Other Articles
Dilemma in the Fourth Way

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Wilkinson, John A. W.
John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson has dedicated his life to investigating many of the world's paths in his effort to uncover a way that works in this time and place. He uses a variety of activities with his students, including talks, groupwork, exercises and meditation.
John was a pupil for many years of J G Bennett, mathematician and philosopher. He specialised in learning and teaching the Gurdjieff Movements and was on the staff of the College for Continuous Education. He is also a fully trained Martial Arts teacher in Aikido and Judo and a head schoolteacher. After Mr Bennett's death he studied with other enlightened teachers under whose guidance he researched widely in India and the Middle East. Subsequently, he began to find his own particular Path, which he now shares with those who listen.

"What I am trying to encourage you to do is to take an interest in yourself, in your makeup, what you are and what your capabilities are. All real investigation is investigation of yourself. When I get into this independent thinking I am starting to investigate the infinite world that I am because truly there are infinite worlds within us, from the highest to the lowest."

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Dilemma in the Fourth Way

Mr G.I.Gurdjieff was a teacher of the Fourth Way and he indicated in his writings that it required only a relatively small number of conscious Beings to bring about a re-balancing of the obviously unbalanced societies on earth.

Despite all the various schools propagating his work this has patently not happened, which must be of some concern to the ‘Higher Intelligences’ responsible for Evolution on this planet.

It is true, we have hundreds of powerful, self satisfied egos running about on earth claiming to propagate the ‘True’ Way. And even, not a few, of what Mr Gurdjieff would call ‘Enlightened Idiots’. It is also probably true that quite a number of people would class me as one of the above! But, be that as it may, it is of great concern to me, and some others who have sincerely worked to practice and spread true development.

What has gone wrong? Is there something that we have missed? Have some practises become the opposite of what they were intended? Have ideas become fixed instead of evolving to meet the new demands of changing times? Have we ignored the demand to constantly criticised and question our methods, aims and actions? And so on and so forth…Mr Gurdjieff warned of the dangers of all the above.

Recently during my exercises and meditations something has surfaced that seemed nothing at first, or of little import, until it struck me forcibly that this one seemly unimportant element might lie at the heart of what has gone so wrong.

It is this…when I used to finish an exercise and was in a truly collected state, I affirmed myself in the words ‘I AM’. You notice I said, ‘I affirmed’, this ‘I’, that short affirmation, CANNOT BE the True Self. It is more likely that it is the ego affirming it’s own strength and dominance. Now when I reach this collected state I find that ‘I Am’, and I affirm this in my self, as a humble servant of the Divine. I have found this practise to be of great healing and re-centring of where I come from and I pray that one day I can be forgiven my past arrogance. I hope that this can be of help to someone.


You helped me.


Lynn Lennon, United States
added 2012-06-21

Tai chi for moving center
Thank you for throwing me out of the Sherborne House kitchen in 1976. Lasting lesson and impression.

After much interest and some efforts in other disciplines, I find a rekindled interest in 4th way (recently Nicoll) writings.

Without a movements teacher here in Maine USA, I am believing that tai chi with an accomplished martial artist can provide some of the moving center work. Can you help me think rightly about this?

Colin Caissie, United States
added 2012-07-17

Fourth Way Schools influencing humanity
Thanks for the humble observation. When Peter Ouspensky referred to Gurdjieff's same claim, that a relatively small number of conscious beings could influence humanity, he also said, "When fourth way schools influenced humanity, humanity was very small and schools very big. Now humanity is very big and schools very small." Humanity has almost tripled its size since he said this. Perhaps we must think of a fourth way school as influencing humanity in other ways than bringing about a re-balancing of its unbalanced societies?

, United States
added 2016-12-20

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