About Fourth Way Studies

Our Aim

Why Fourth Way Studies? What are we doing anyway? Who are these papers meant for?

There is a definite problem with what passes for studying Fourth Way. The ideas found Gurdjieff's system are absolutely esoteric but they were never intended to be kept secret.

Fourth Way concepts are much too valuable to be simply used for ammunition to project authority in a dusty lecture hall or to extort thousands of dollars at weekend retreats (complete with false promises of consciousness--once the check clears, that is)

With all this in mind, we have made the cost of our papers and guides intentionally low.

By teaching others you will learn yourself.

These papers are for the 45-year-old welder in Boise, Idaho who has just a little suspicion that there's something not quite right. They are for the middle-aged mother of two who's read every book she could find but needs more. They are for the 23-year-old college student who thinks her education has been incomplete.

Suspicion in hand, your thoughts may fall to the question, "What now?" Maybe you have no one to talk to about the things you've read. These papers are available because of you.

What could be exciting and life affirming about Fourth Way teaching often descends to dull bantering about pedantic issues. "Did you read the latest book?" "What about the next to the latest book?" "Did you agree?"

This is an expected calamity once those who claim to lead have instead chosen to sleep. If there are still actual schools actively presenting Fourth Way, they have once again slipped into invisibility. We have every sympathy for such choices.

Gurdjieff's hope for the harmonious development of man was never more immediately relevant than now.

The arrangement that we offer isn't perfect. But even that idea of perfection is suspect.

Credentialism in the teaching of the Fourth Way

All sorts of people seek out the substance of the teaching left by Gurdjieff. Yet they can easily find themselves derailed by elitist credentialists. There's no shortage of books written by those willing and able to qualify themselves under Mr. Ouspensky's criteria for purity in teaching the Fourth Way. Unhappily, students who seek out these pure lineages are too often distracted by those pure credentials and replace the real work on themselves with that nonsense.

This interesting dilemma, built rigidly on every kind of mischief, arises from the shaky fact that none of these students has even so much as the faintest inkling of any of the names or faces of these scholars, wise men, or other erudite thinkers to who demans this irritating respect. These poor struggling students have little more than a barely fed, tragic hint of the personalities populating the path from here to the esoteric core. Even that hungry little thing is one given to them by others with every kind of suspicious motive.

Nonetheless, this search through every manner of Fourth Way credentialism rages on, making for the poor, dear students some figment with a life between that of a hobby and that of "the burning question of the day".

You may be a student who is "too crafty to be tricked." For you, this warning:

There looms the awful possibility that everything on this web site is a cruel fraud which will rise up later to embarrass you. They will all say, "What a fool he is to buy something like that!" They might add, "He really should have bought something written by an author with more substantial credentials! That is, at least an author who once shook the hand of someone we have heard of or perhaps received his vital spark while having lunch in a certain building frequented by other notables--and an expensive lunch, by the way."

"Oh my!" This snakey fraud has caused the first tiny nip within you. You have called your favorite risk avoidance ballet as small, cold comfort from organic humiliation avoidance! And there you have it! You as a student who is "too crafty to be tricked" have outsmarted these uncredentialled paper sellers.

The fact is, you have been taught for free. All work begins with self-observation. It falls to you to find your lesson and find your prize. Measure by what you see before you, not imagining what unseen secret it should contain.

For all the other brave, curious souls, we sincerely hope that you enjoy this site and benefit from our papers! This school can only afford substance, not some whimsy arising from reports of our notable history.

There will be no credentials, only papers.

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