The Intentional Quest: Gurdjieff in the 21st Century

Gurdjieff in the 21st Century
A workshop with Anthony Blake, author of the Intelligent Enneagram

Friday and Sunday 3/27/98 – 3/28/98

The Fourth Way was launched by the remarkable innovator G.I. Gurdjieff soon after the beginning of this century. It was an attempt to answer the question of how to create a spiritual life under the conditions of modern life. Foreseeing many of the effects of rapidly accelerating technology, and the demise of previously isolated and protected environments in which spiritual practice could be maintained, Gurdjieff argued for a totally new methodology that integrated the traditional ‘ways’ in methods that could work even as we lived our hectic, artificial lives. He went so far as to claim that there were new methods that could turn the apparent turmoil and distractions of our environment to advantage.

The Fourth Way did not depend on blind faith in human creativity, but supposed that there was an active intelligence or intelligences that was deeply concerned with the evolving universe in all its details. The higher the intelligence, the greater the concern with individuality. As John Bennett (one of Gurdjieff’s most creative followers) insisted, all transformational work depended on coming into communication with higher intelligence. However, the core action is produced whenever people come together in a state of conscience. We have to utilise our differences of perception to provide a field in which an intelligence can come into effect.

The Fourth Way now at the end of the twentieth century appears as an important way of understanding what humanity is being called upon to undertake. While preserving our particular inclinations to this or that tradition or practice, it challenges us to question all received wisdoms. It asks us to go beyond the limits of belief. It shows us how to take advantage of the energy of the times. It is a way that is different every time it comes into manifestation. It is no longer to be identified with the legacy of Gurdjieff’s own teachings.

Anthony Blake, a student and collaborator of John Bennett, will be conducting a workshop on this ever-renewing methodology. Some of the topics to be addressed are: being in the body, making consciousness, communication outside space and time, receptivity to higher influences and the reading of experience. Sometimes we will be talking, sometimes we will be dancing, sometimes we will be in silence. Most of the usual distinctions between theory and practice will not apply. The point is to create a kind of knowledge that proves itself and does not require belief in another person’s words.

You are welcome to join in the enterprise. But you must be ready to question, attend, wish for your own sake and for the sake of others as well. One of Gurdjieff’s many practical sayings was: All true initiation is self-initiation.

New York City, NY
Friday March 27 & Saturday March 28, 1998
Location: The Sufi Bookstore
227 W. Broadway
New York City, NY 10013
(212) 334-5212