“I AM” with Five Centres, (Paris Groups, Pt X, 20 January 1944, concluded)

Then L.V. asked for a “first exercise” to steady his thought, to stop it “running here and there.” Gurdjieff said that thought has many varied aspects, but that our thought has become established over a lengthy period, and that the it cannot be changed in a day. Further, all the exercises he gave would work to this effect (I think he meant that they would indirectly have this result). Gurdjieff then

For everyone, the first exercise is the same. You must remember yourself often, (and affirm) “I am.” You. Forget what is external. Nothing but you. All the rest, all the outside, your father, your mother, God, leave it on the side. “I am.” That is the first exercise. Remember yourself. Not only with your head, thinking, but also with your feeling.

When you remember with your head, then also feel “I am.” Then, with your whole presence, mobilised, with thought, feeling, and sensation, saying: “I am.” Do that the again; as often as possible. The more you do it the better. It is the good ground on which that which you desire can take form. (53)

(I will pause to say that this is basic: the sense of myself as present and real is the first step, the last step, and all in-between)

L.V. thanked Gurdjieff, who said that it was a simple thing. L.V. said that it might be simple but it was not easy. Gurdjieff replied:

That is another question. That is a matter of your life. If you value this, you must sacrifice something for it. If it is important for you, send other matters to the devil. My advice to you is to put your attention on that for the future.

Prepare yourself like that. That will save you. Without it, you will remain as you have been, and as you now are, and will be until you burst. If you really wish to die like a man, send the rest to the devil. Fix in yourself “I am.” Make it a steady idea (idée fixe, or “obsession”), not only with your head but with your three centres, even with your four centres, even with your five centres. (53-54)

I will here update the table of contents index, so that the next post from the Paris Groups can begin a new meeting:


Table of Contents


Untitled Introduction                                       9

A Caution from one who Participated in

these Groups, Henri Tracol                 13

Remarks from the Editing Team                      15


Thursday 6 January                                         17

Tuesday 11 January                                        23

Thursday 13 January                                       25

Friday 14 January                                           33

Sunday 16 January                                          36

Tuesday 18 January                                        40

Thursday 20 January                                       46

Sunday 23 January                                          55





age of preparation 24-25

aim 35, 52, distinguished from a means 43,

All and Everything 10

atmosphere 42

Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson 10, 13, 20

centres 53-54

children 51-52

crow and stork (story) 49

de Hartmann, Thomas 9

de Salzmann, Jeanne 9, 13, 15, 42

de Salzmann, Michel 15

desalting 33, 42, 49

director 23-24

disharmony, 52

egoist 37

exercises 40, 43, 44

counting 31-32

“I Am” 53-54

prayer with three centres 42

substances for one’s face 36

feeling 31

God 51

groups 33

Gurdjieff, G.I. 9-10, 13, 15

his groups 19-21

his writing 20

his languages 50-51

Gurdjieff Institute of Paris 15

honesty 37

“I Am” 29, 53-54

Idiots 17

keeping one’s word 37-39

Meetings with Remarkable Men 9, 20

mother 51-52

movements 10

nature 24, 45

prayer 42

preparing the future 24-25

relations with others 26-28

remorse of conscience 28-30, 47-48

repairing the past 24-25

role 37, 41

sacrifice 37, 54

satisfaction 25

sincerity 45

small things 39

spontaneity 45

spirits 38

sympathies 27-28

thinking 26

time 34-35

Tracol, Henri 13


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