Thursday 20 July 1944, pp.202
A.D. I have not dared to do this exercise of the reversed cross because I have not yet felt myself worthy to do a religious exercise. But at the same time, when I remember, I feel the need to pray. What must I do?
Vera Daumal When I do this exercise, I remember very strongly, and at the same time I feel an emotion of humility which comes to me, and I remember the phrase “have pity on me.”
Gurdjieff: Pay no attention to this phrase. The results of this exercise will come little by little. (202)
Vera Daumal It comes of itself, I do not seek it.
Gurdjieff: Send all that to the devil.
(Addressing himself to A.D.) I am not answering you on purpose. I will respond to you later. You are making significant (grands) progress. At the same time, there are significant risks. You are at risk (vous avez des chances) of becoming a candidate for a mad-house.
She is progressing very quickly. There is a Russian proverb which says: “When one hurries, one makes others laugh.” One should not do too much.
A.D. I do not see how I am doing too much.
Gurdjieff: It is necessary to work slowly, consciously, and to then forget the work. You work with your subconscious. The rest of the time, you (just) continue to handle things as usual. Work only once a day. I am warning you. Pay attention. Only increase little by little. Work only at those moments when you can remember yourself. If you continue as you are now, you will lose your appetite, your sleep, your good things. Learn to be consciously active for a short time. It is not quantity but quality one must seek.
S.R. I have realised for some time that my (self) remembering has changed, and that this roughly coincides with the new exercise of filling. I have the sensation of a part of me which, until now, was held outside of the work, but is now disposed to participate. This has given me a fuller taste for the work.
Gurdjieff: Now your work begins seriously. I am at peace with your case. Take all measures to make this develop within you. To it as a task to lead up to that. That will be your principal exercise. (203)
G.F. I have an entirely new impression, of a dignity which I have never known. That came about through the exercise of the seven breaths. I have succeeded in having a vivid enough picture of the face of Christ. (It was as) if it transmitted to me a feeling of greatness which I had never felt. It seemed to me to be tied to the work I have done on remorse, and that this impression came from that.
Gurdjieff: Why Christ?
G.F. Because I had this image.
Gurdjieff: This is almost psychopathic. Today you cannot value such things, (or) know whether they are good or bad. I have repeated a thousand times: never philosophise, never (engage in) manipulations. All this is exterior to you, and is your foe. It cannot help you.
G.F. All the same, it has helped me.
Gurdjieff: It has satisfied you, but that has not helped you. Self-calming is not work (lit. “When one tranquillizes oneself, the work is not done.”) You should believe uniquely in your interior. Outside of that everything is your enemy.
G.F. Then I must uproot this impression?
Gurdjieff: Yes, kill it. Pay attention. Believe nothing. Have confidence in nothing. I have spoken of an ideal, but one should not expect a help. It is an exercise given solely to enable concentration on a point outside oneself. Man should fear every agreeable result.