Mlle D. Monsieur, I told you last week that I am the slave of my (feelings of) pity. You gave me an exercise of remembering myself (with) my arms in a cross for five minutes, and adding a minute each day. Thanks to this exercise, I succeeded in calming myself more. I have a sensation of sadness at the same time and organic sensation of (217) remembering myself, yet all the same not very deeply. I do not coordinate it: I sense one or the other. Should I continue?
Gurdjieff: Yes, continue. After just one week, I cannot say anything. Sometimes it needs one or two years to be able to say something.
M.P. Mr Gurdjieff, my (self-)remembering in my exterior life, in the form of my task, has not changed. But when I am alone and remembering, I constate the same thing as Mme F, it is for me as for her, I sleep. By body escapes, it is impossible to hold myself.
Gurdjieff: It is necessary to struggle with yourself. On top of your exercise time, spend ten minutes of the arms in a cross.
M.P. I do it. When I try the exercises anew, sleep takes me again.
Gurdjieff: Rub yourself well with cold water after these ten minutes (i.e. with your arms out). If that does not suffice, tell me, and I will give you “bird’s tongue.”
(Mr Gurdjieff explains to G.M. that “bird’s tongue” is a red dwarf pepper.)
When one has tasted it, one can never again forget it. It wakes you at night. I will (also) give you two or three peppercorns in reserve. But before you try that, first try rubbing down with cold water.
(Conversation in Russian between Gurdjieff and Mme de Salzmann)
Mme de Salzmann: If you can correctly divide your attention – one part going to relaxing yourself, and the other part concentrated on yourself – you will no longer be able to go to sleep. One only sleeps when your attention does not also go onto concentrating. (218)
Gurdjieff: For her (G.F.), the work makes her sleep, while for him (M.P.) it is because he divides (his attention) badly. In this way, he gives his associations the liberty to stir. These are two different things. He said: “For me as for her,” but the reason is not the same. She really works but loses her force, while you work badly, in the wrong manner.
[The following exchange is not in the English lf transcript.]
L.L. Mr Gurdjieff, after the exercise, I come (to a state) where by body is electrified. More and more, I am crossed as if by waves or ripples, and this prevents any thought of entering (into myself.) I have a powerful sensation, but (it is) exterior. I have the impression that these waves, this electricity, hinders the thought of entering, any concentration on doing it. Before, I had pain in the legs, they were as if full, (but) now it is all the body, even the head.
Gurdjieff: The circulation of your blood does not correspond to the tempo which has been established in you. You should have some very thorough massage, especially with respect to your back. You see, the explanation is simple here. Do you have an expert at hand? I am going to give you a machine. Massage twice a day: once in the morning, once in the evening.
L.L. Perhaps I can do it for myself?
Gurdjieff: It is not easy, it is principally the back you need to massage. No, I will give you a machine, that will allow a different form of massage.
(Mr Gurdjieff leaves and brings back an apparatus called “Point Roller”, a rubber roller with suction cups, rotating around an axle fixed by two handles, Mr Gurdjieff calls A. and gives a demonstration, vigorously running the apparatus over his back. He asks him if it is hard for him, but says that there is no need to be soft [lit. to have pity.) (219)
Gurdjieff: On the other hand, I am happy for her on account of this constatation. It is a very obvious symptom for a person of a certain age. It always begins like that. Continue all that you are doing in your work. And do not pity yourself during this massage! Do not fear that you will hurt yourself.
L.L. At any particular time?
Gurdjieff: Morning or evening, or in the (public) baths. You should go to the baths: there are some very good masseurs there.
(A rather long conversation about broken sticks on the baths, and their hours of opening.)
Mme de Salzmann: Mr Gurdjieff has asked that people speak with him about (self-) remembering. It is the most important thing. Does you do it, or do you forget … Does anyone have anything to say about remembering?
[That ends the passage which was not in the English transcription.]