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Oksanen, Reijo
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Oksanen, Reijo

Reijo Oksanen

Reijo Oksanen was born in Helsinki 1942, heard of Gurdjieff and also the Orthodox Way in 1962 and came to London to join the Work in 1967. He moved back to Finland in 1971 and joined the Orthodox Church. In 1990 Oksanen moved to Denmark and in 2004 to Switzerland. After a long career in textiles, clothing and furniture industries, he set his mind into putting Gurdjieff properly into the internet.

From 2004 Reijo Oksanen is actively engaged in the activities of ars sacra Life Workshop.

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Gurdjieff Internet Guide

The Outer Aim

When I started to edit GIG to launch it on my 60th birthday (7th of August 2002) I had the idea that the internet needed an independent web site; I mean: independent of the official and inofficial Gurdjieff organisations.

At that time there were some very strange web sites, but also the unofficial official web site called Gurdjieff International Review; the official organisations, Foundations and Societies, had hardly anything on internet, and if they had, it was just to give contact information. I have dealt with this question in an earlier article called Why GIG is needed?, where I said "the official organisations have left the job of giving the presentation of Gurdjieff and his teaching to anyone and anybody".

Who was I to try to change the situation?

Before launching the site in 2002 I phoned a respected old friend of mine (who has been active in the Gurdjieff Society of London from the time it was started) and asked him if the Society was interested in what I was doing and if they were interested in contributing to the project.

He said he does not think so, but he will check from the person responsible and phone me back; he phoned back soon and confirmed that there was no interest in the Gurdjieff Society to support GIG.

I trodded on, worked on the site, got others interested to co-operate and, as it is said, little by little things on the internet started to change. The scene is today totally "upside down" compared to what it was in 2002.

To give an idea what is at stake in giving information on the internet I want to add a detail from a recent retreat I had in the Finnish New Valaam Orthodox Monastery.

In a weekend seminar about St. Silouan the Anthonite (who was born in 1866, which is one of the years when Mr. Gurdjieff was born) a Russian monk who spoke among other things of the Prayer of the Heart, also gave the reason why the internet should be avoided.

This reason is that the internet is full of the action of the Devil! The consequence, according to the monk, is that it is better to have nothing to do with internet, because through it we come in direct contact with the enemy.

This is a very important point. If we stay away from the internet then we are protecting ourselves "from the one with hoofs".

But what about all the others?

This work is not only something that I try to do to "save myself"; it is also about working with others, the second line of work and moreover the third line of work: the work for the work itself.

Today part of this work is to deal with the internet in the right way.

The Inner Aim

The mentioned call to my friend in the Gurdjieff Society did pour some cold water over my neck, but at the same time it gave me a certain urgency to do my best of the job at hand.

Before he put the phone down my friend said: "When you are editing GIG please try to ask yourself the question: `what am I doing?`"

I did not quite get the point of the question then, but over the years I was putting it to myself every now and then. Was it a simple question, or was it perhaps complicated? Was there a hidden meaning in it?

My inner aim in editing GIG was to get some distance to Mr. Gurdjieff the man (who I never met, but who impressed me a lot) and to his ideas. To put it more bluntly, and to say it in the "Gurdjieff language", I had been totally identified with Mr. Gurdjieff the person and with his teachings for 40 years.

In this process of getting distance the question "what am I doing?" was 100% right. This was true also in the sense that if everything I did was, so to say, "under the influence", then it was not at all what I wanted.

This was for me exactly what the work is about. Gurdjieff expressed it in one of the meetings in 1943 in the following words: "Do everything exactly as you are accustomed to doing. But you must play a role, without participating, without identifying yourself interiorly; and remember what your value is - nothing. Work, work and again work, in order to change that nothingness into something definite" (learn more about these meetings).


Online Fourth Way School
With the same understanding and inspiration, Reijo, I established an online community that connects people who value the fourth way and seek to delve deeper into its principles. Everything we read about George Gurdjieff indicates that were he to live in this age, he would not flee from the Internet as one flees from the devil, but would explore it and aim to take full advantage of its potential.

Reijo, I read elsewhere on your site that you have retired from working on it. If you are still interested, please contact me here: Fourth Way School.

, United States
added 2017-01-24

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