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TOPIC: The Fourth Way

The Fourth Way 14 Feb 2019 14:11 #1

  • shankara
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The spiritual teacher George Ivanovich Gurdjieff brought to the West what he called “THE FOURTH WAY”, a way to spiritual self-realization within, rather than separated from, society. It is not in itself a religion, it is a technique which can be used by someone of any religion -“Respect every religion”, he said.

An Armenian by birth, Gurdjieff wandered far and wide, eventually meeting, he claimed, with a mysterious spiritual organization known as “The Sarmoung Brotherhood”. The factual credibility of this (and the rest of his autobiography) is questionable, though it is certain he was indeed a wandering spiritual truth seeker.

The source of his “FOURTH WAY” is unknown, very ancient. The other three ways are:

- THE WAY OF THE YOGI (Intellect)



These correspond to the three centres of the human being, the Intellectual, Emotional, and Motor centres. Humanity also possesses a Superior Intellectual and Superior Emotional centre, which might be activated by reading some spiritual wisdom or listening to some sublime classical music. THE FOURTH WAY however doesn’t limit itself to one of these centres and doesn’t involve sequestrating oneself from the world like the other three ways, all of which tend to involve detachment from the life around us, solitude. This is in fact unnecessary because in social life itself we can find the material to become enlightened.

The preliminary condition to understanding and practising all of this knowledge is that we realize that we are mechanical, that we are simply responding to stimuli with conditioned responses. Not only are we mechanical, but we believe ourselves to have a permanent “I”, a Self. In fact every desire is an “I”, from moment to moment the different desires posses us then make way for another “I”, each of them temporarily taking control of the Three Centres of the Body.

The key to resolving this problem is self-observation. “Remember yourself always and everywhere” said Gurdjieff. One should observe from moment to moment the different sensations, thoughts, feelings, movements, surroundings etc., without identifying with them. Doing so we AWAKEN, set ourselves free from our mechanical patterns, from going through life like sleepwalkers.

This is the essential of what is known as “the work” or “the work on oneself”. It is a process of spiritual self-improvement, or to put it more clearly “self-creation”. Gurdjieff stated that we do not in fact have a soul, something which survives after death, but that through the work we can create it. Samael Aun Weor, a later great teacher of THE FOURTH WAY, saw things differently. He says that we do continue to exist and in fact go through unlimited rebirths, however we do not Re-Incarnate because we are not yet the Incarnation of anything (a Being), we are simply a chaos of multiple Egos. We have what is called “Lunar Bodies” which after a certain number of Rebirths will be destroyed in a hell realm in order to free the Essence or Soul from it’s karma and eventually permit another cycle of human births to begin. The aim of the work, according to Samael, is to destroy the Egos and create “Solar Bodies”, coming to Incarnate the Being within us.

Gurdjieff’s teaching we can in fact say is preliminary to that of Samael Aun Weor, in the sense that it deals only with only certain sides of THE FOURTH WAY. In fact there are a couple or a few quite important aspects which Gurdjieff either only hinted at or didn’t teach at all, it not being his duty or interest to reveal them. Furthermore Samael’s teaching, we can say up until now has only been explained partially by many of his followers or so-called followers, most of whom have probably simply failed to comprehend it.




"All religions are precious pearls strung on the golden thread of divinity." said Samael. It is possible to incorporate techniques from any and all religions into one’s practise.


Gurdjieff didn’t teach sitting meditation or mantra. His communities were based around labour, somewhat like in certain Christian monastic denominations. A maxim of his was “I love him who loves work”. The same thing is emphasized by Samael, that a person should be normal in the sense of having some kind of labour, normal work, not to retire into the dessert and contemplate. Nonetheless this does not mean that we cannot engage in meditative exercises, sitting meditation and mantra. These traditional techniques, as Samael taught, can be incorporated into modern life and provide the passive Yin to the active Yang of work and activity.


The Arcanum AZF is Sexual Alchemy, non-orgasmic Tantra with one’s husband or wife. This is to create “the superior bodies of the Being”.


“To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints.” (PSALM 149)

Samael’s teaching is known as REVOLUTIONARY GNOSTICISM. Many people like to define that phrase in accordance with technical terms, believing that “Revolutionary” simply signifies “beyond Evolution and Involution”. This is true in a certain sense, in the same way that we could also say that RE-VOLUTION means RE-EVOLUTION. Both of these definitions are correct in their own way, but we shouldn’t use them to escape from the intuitive and obvious signification of this phrase, that the Gnosticism is in some way seeking REVOLUTIONARY change, a totally radical transformation in both ourselves and society.

Let’s define it: Revolutionary Gnosticism is the complete form of Gurdjieff’s FOURTH WAY. It is an Integral and Total, therefore both Spiritual and Political, Non-Violent Revolution. The Spiritual element supports the Political element and the Political element the Spiritual element.

Many people who don’t grasp this believe they are Revolutionary Gnostics and that they are performing the work on themselves, yet are they in reality? Perhaps they work for a bank, a corporation, the government. This is counter-revolutionary and anti-human. It is unlikely that they devote much time and energy, or indeed any at all, to resisting humanity’s oppressors. Thus they live a totally average existence like everyone else in Babylon, except they engage in some spiritual exercises.

In truth to live in Babylon like this is the existence of slaves, drones. Samael says that it is in Social Life that man becomes a God or a Beast, is he then just referring to everyday interactions between people? Most everyday interactions lack substance, are merely hollow formalities. It is when we enter into the substance of things, see the struggle for social justice, that we become Gods or Beasts, according to whether we fight for the good or for our ego. In order to self-realise we must embrace the struggle and take part in it, become conscious of the political goings on and of the perpetual struggle between oppressed and oppressor:

“When a man is a Spiritual and Political Leader at the same time he wields the scepter of power.

In the World of Interrelation, in SOCIAL LIFE, man can become a beast or a Genius.

The Intelligence of the Universe in which we live, move and have our being, is totally social and deeply RELIGIOUS.” (SAMAEL AUN WEOR)

Totally social and deeply religious.

Are these so-called Gnostics then fighting on the side of the oppressed? Are they willing to be persecuted for standing up to the oppressor? Because it is exactly that battle, and the inevitable persecution that a person will experience, which provides the raw material for the work! Without making such a battle, the person isn’t fully working in THE FOURTH WAY, they are submerged in their illusions.

Consider the example of dealing with anger. In THE FOURTH WAY we have to deal with our negative emotions, aspects of ego which consume energy that should be used for our self-realization. But dealing with anger isn’t so much about whether a person gets a little peeved when someone spills coffee on their new shirt, that’s only a small part of it. No, the major part of it’s a person trying to awaken and illuminate the masses even when the masses turn around and mock them, laugh at them, have no respect for all of the spiritual struggles they’ve been through. Can the person avoid reacting mechanically, with anger? Do they mock them just as they are mocked, do they take petty revenge?

People speak about the Christ, the Christ says his followers will be persecuted. Yet unhappily many nominal Gnostics of THE FOURTH WAY, who don’t accept the social teachings, flee from the possibility of being persecuted. “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto Yourself” - would they like to live in a tyranny, under a dictator? Or would they like to be liberated from such oppression?

We must comprehend, therefore (and this is of capital importance) that THE FOURTH WAY means living truly in society, being a part of the whole social existence of this planet. You do not live truly in society simply by having a job and a normal life - that of course is what the powers that be would like, they just want obedient workers. In actual fact even the hermit in the dessert is living more socially than the obedient worker-drone does. The hermit has rejected some social conventions, conventions which control the masses, conventions keeping them supple and docile at the hands of the dark forces who lord it over humanity. The hermit is therefore in fact more pro-social, in rejecting these conventions, than the drone living amidst others (“in society”)!

THE FOURTH WAY is to AWAKEN. That is not just to achieve some state of bliss in meditation. It means to wake up to the Satanists running the show, the whole sick neon dream for a few and nightmare for the rest, the miserable pervert slaves of their own egos killing, stealing and lying their way to dominance over the whole Earth! We cannot have AWAKENING without questioning all the false beliefs which have been instilled in us, without smashing all the idols which the tyrants have installed in our brains, and our AWAKENING means little unless we profoundly LIVE IT.


“Each completed whole, each cosmos, each organism, each plant, is an enneagram. But not each of these enneagrams has an inner triangle. The inner triangle stands for the presence of higher elements, according to the scale of ‘hydrogens,’ in a given organism. This inner triangle is possessed by such plants, for example, as hemp, poppy, hops, tea, coffee, tobacco, and many other plants which play a definite role in the life of man. The study of these plants can reveal much for us in regard to the enneagram. (G.I. GURDJIEFF)

Samael wrote quite extensively on Elemental Medicine. He gave many instructions on the use of plants to heal, pointing out that it is not merely the cadaver of the plant that heals, but the elemental spirit within it. Therefore the plants must be harvested correctly, sometimes used with particular mantras etc. He also stated:

"Super-discipline and perfecting the physical body must be achieved through Natural Medicine.”

A statement which unfortunately very few comprehended, which is perhaps why it is found in a short treatise named “For The Few”. Evidently he is talking here especially about the same plants which Gurdjieff mentioned, the plants with the “inner triangle”, that is to say a certain special type of Elemental Consciousness. The use of such plants is Shamanism, what Samael called “the Indigenous Ray”.

Among plants used by Indigenous Shamans, perhaps the most important is known as “Yage” or “Ayahuasca”, which Samael recommended the use of in “Logos, Mantram, Theurgy”. This combination of two plants brings about states of highly enhanced consciousness, extremely useful in the work, and cleanses both the body and astral body etc., of negative and harmful forces. The Yage is used by various Indigenous tribes in the same way that in our culture one might go to church on Sunday. It is a teacher and a guide, helping them to live harmoniously together. It is Communion in a much more profound sense of the word than when referring simply to some bread which someone has performed a ritual over.

Samael says that we must leave the cities and return to the bosom of Mother Nature, this means to return to the Indigenous life. It is a very simple kind of life, with a lot less distractions than in the life of a city. A boring life, actually, farming or building, exactly the kind of life the ego doesn’t want, day after day so little changing, not much excitement. “Like what ‘it’ does not like” as Gurdjieff said. Then to drink the Yage, which means to be humbled, to see profoundly all of one’s faults (and then of course one must do the work on oneself that the Yage demands.)

All the time together, working and living together in community, “the psychological gymnasium of human existence”. The Indigenous life would seem claustrophobic to those accustomed to the individualism of life in Europe. There’s nowhere to hide, all you can do is overcome yourself or face the shame of not doing so. This is why Gurdjieff himself formed a community, as it provides an excellent structure (indeed by the far the best structure) in which to practise the FOURTH WAY. Yes, it is hard to live in community, very hard indeed sometimes, but it is Living. Indeed it is Living, in the most profound sense of the word, existing in a place beyond the destructive false community Babylon, and on the great adventure of returning to Divinity.

So in conclusion, these are the two aspects of THE FOURTH WAY which the intuitive person finds in Samael’s work, the aspects which make it complete: Social Consciousness and Social Living.

May this be of benefit to all sentient beings.
Last Edit: 14 Feb 2019 17:31 by shankara.
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