Quotes by George Gurdjieff

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The Herald of Coming Good by G.I. Gurdjieff (1933, 1971, 1988)

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Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening.

Religion is doing; a man does not merely think his religion or feel it, he lives his religion as much as he is able, otherwise it is not religion but fantasy or philosophy.
A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror.
It is the greatest mistake to think that man is always one and the same. A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour.
Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
A sin is something which is not necessary.
A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.
A man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who possess it. This must be understood from the very beginning. One must learn from him who knows.
In properly organized groups no faith is required; what is required is simply a little trust and even that only for a little while, for the sooner a man begins to verify all he hears the better it is for him.
Man has the possibility of existence after death. But possibility is one thing and the realization of the possibility is quite a different thing.
Every ceremony or rite has a value if it is performed without alteration. A ceremony is a book in which a great deal is written. Anyone who understands can read it. One rite often contains more than a hundred books.
A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.