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A Personal Tribute to Mr. Gurdjieff
To the Living Memory of the Teacher
Mr. Gurdjieff said we learn from those who know. This is a fact of life. But it is important that we understand what he meant by knowing and knowledge. He certainly did not mean that one should possess lots of information and have great erudition. In fact, he emphatically said in many places of his writings that such achievements were obstacles rather than accomplishments on the way to normal development.
On page 902 of Beelzebub"s Tales, he wrote about the difference between mental knowledge and knowledge of being. Here is the exact quote:
And any information, even if true, gives to beings in general only "mental knowledge," and this mental knowledge, as I have already once told you, always serves beings only as a means to diminish their possibilities of acquiring this knowledge-of-being.
And on pages 1166-1167, he elaborated in great detail about the difference between what he designated as Reason-of-knowing and Reason-of-understanding. The alchemy of how these two Reasons are formed in us is well explained in those pages in respect to the operation of the Sacred Triamazikamno. In this respect, the major difference in how the third factor or sacred-reconciling participates in the formation of two reasons. For the Reason-of-knowing, the third factor is served by the new impressions proceeding from without. In the Reason-of-understanding, the third factor is served by what is described as "the results of the persevering actualizing of the striving towards the manifestation of one's own individuality. It is obvious that, contrary to the formation of the Reason-of-knowing, the formation of the Reason-of-understanding demands certain very specific efforts.
But it is in the third series of the Legomonism All and Everything, in the Fifth Talk of Life is real only then, when "I am," that Mr. Gurdjieff tells us in very clear terms about the difference between knowledge and being. Here is the exact quote:
The initiates belonging to the first category were those who thanks to their intentional sufferings and conscious labors attained a high gradation of what is called Being, and for this they acquired the title of "Saint." To the second category belonged those who thanks to the same factors acquired a great deal of information, and to their names was added the title "Learned;" and to the third category, those who by means of again the same factors attained Being and also enlightened themselves concerning a great number of objective truths, and to their names was added the title "Sage."
By all accounts, Mr. Gurdjieff was a Sage. He was a man of great Knowledge and great Being.
But where can we go to find this great Knowledge and great Being?
We go to the Legomonism he handed to us and to future generations.
The greatest honor and tribute we can bestow on Mr. Gurdjieff is to go to the Legomonism to meet him and find him, and then to bring him to our lives and to the lives of others.
That is what he anticipated and wished for us with all his Being.
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