Paris Groups: Thursday 17 August 1944, Pt IV (final)

Mme de Salzmann: Who still wishes to speak?

Dr Blano:   I have tried to change all that I have been doing when I work: and the circumstances have by themselves destroyed all that was old in me. Today, I find myself before an emptiness, like at the beginning, but so difficult, that it gives me very strong negative emotions, and that makes it hard for me to remember myself.

Mme de S:   It has caused a revolt in you?

Dr Blano: Yes, and that disarms me, it hinders me from struggling. I know that I am going to go through a difficult period, probably without contact with this group, and I would like to know if I can do something in particular to struggle against that, and to find again some stability which enables me to work.

Gurdjieff: If you succeed in struggling against that, you will have (laid) the corner-stone, the stone on which you will be able to build. If you cannot struggle, then all will remain as before, and you will die having been to your last sigh that which you have always been: a piece of living meat. For you, it is a bridge to be crossed. (256)

Dr Blano:  What can I do, particular against these negative emotions which overwhelm me?

Gurdjieff: These emotions are in the body. You have a reason (logique). You have understood certain things with your reason. Struggle by means of this reason, and thus you will change your body.

Dr Blano:  What is terrible is how my emotions build up and overwhelm my head.

Gurdjieff: It is a law that when one thing grows, the contrary force also grows. Give yourself your word; seated, relaxed, make a programme, for example, for a week. Do it once, tranquilly, clearly seeing all the (different) things.

You decide then, you establish a programme, that for more certainty you can even write out if you like. In a moment of tranquillity and relaxation, you decide seriously what you choose to do, and you write down your decision. Afterwards, for one week, or for two, you must have more faith in the state of that moment, for your states are always changing. You have faith in your paper and in your talisman. This talisman, it is you in a quiet moment, an active moment, an impartial one. Hold yourself to this decision. Any (other) suggestions, everything which is inimical to this (decision), you reject. It is not you. But this paper, it is you in your active state.

In general, in ordinary life, except when you are in this state, devils, dogs, are at work in you. Life is thus. It is the result of your education, of the conditions of life. It is your animal. You do not have the possibility of making a decision in a special state where you are able to be impartial. Then, you do not believe yourself, you cannot have will in your ordinary life Will only exists in this special state. Struggle in this way. If you struggle like that several times, it will lead you little by little to will, and one day you will be able to direct (yourself), and to make decisions even without a special preparation. (257)

Dr Blano:  In this state of negative emotion, in which I am for three quarters of the day, I cannot believe that anything of my emptiness can leave me.

Gurdjieff: Do what I tell you. You will have an aim, and that will change. Other things will appear. Do not put it off. Take your decision, and put it in train as soon as possible.

M.D.   Mr Gurdjieff, three weeks ago you gave me the exercise of putting my arms in a cross and counting, 1,2; 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3, 4, up to fifty. Well, I was not able to. After thirty, I could no more.

Gurdjieff: What were you unable to do?

M.D. I did not that the will to hold to it. I added one number to it each day. I went on like that up to 43. I stopped at 43 for three days and I have not been able to continue. Then I tell myself that I have no will, I tell myself that it is like that for everyone, and that in these conditions there is no need to continue.

Gurdjieff: You have will: you would not (otherwise) be able to go up to thirty, but you went up to 43! Continue like that up to 50. It is all going very well. After, go down! Above all, above all, do not forget: together with that, cold water!

M.D. That is rather more unpleasant for me.

Gurdjieff: Very good. Do these two things and we will speak later.

Mme T. At the moment I am going through a period when there are many dramas around me. The only exercise that I can do, is the exercise of the seven breaths, and that of relaxation, but not the others. (258)

Gurdjieff   If you can only do that, then do nothing at all. You risk turning that into an obsession. If it is too difficult, then do nothing. Wait for a more propitious occasion. If you always do the same thing without a rest, you can fall into psychopathy. You will become a candidate for a madhouse. It is necessary to do all or nothing, because when I give the exercises I always combine everything together, and one thing without the rest gives nothing.

Mme T.   Though, the exercise of relaxation works well for me.

Gurdjieff   Do it no more.

A.D.   Mr Gurdjieff, I would like to share an observation which I made on the meal exercise. I have realised in the first part, in the mouth, the importance and the role of mastication, something which I had never seen before. This has shown me the quality of food. I have made contact with new substances. And now, even if I am eating mechanically, the impression remains. In the second part, I have obtained no result. After the throat, I can no longer follow the food into the oesophagus. This makes be dissatisfied. I would like to know if there is a possibility of better doing the end of this exercise, for I understand it is all important.

Gurdjieff   Yes, it is possible. But I cannot explain it to you before everyone. I can do it one on one. It is not necessary for everyone to understand this. It may even be dangerous. There is an exercise to awaken this sensation. Make an appointment through Mme de Salzmann. We will speak one on one, and your dissatisfaction will be transformed into satisfaction.

A.D.   I see that the other part of this exercise is, for me, the beginning of a new era in my life. (259)

Gurdjieff   It is for that that it is given. It must not be for yourself alone, but for all those who are on this list.

Mr Gurdjieff speaks in Russian with Mme de Salzmann.

Continue this exercise, and make an appointment to see me. Without butter!

S.R.   Since you gave me this nourishment exercise, I have again begun the other nourishment exercise., the one you gave a long time ago, and I would like to know if I can do it.

Gurdjieff   Why? It is useless to mix. It is quite independent. I did not give it to you, so then do not do it. If you are not on the list, then do not do it.

S.R.    But it is not the same.

Gurdjieff   (Do) that one no longer. You will do it when the time comes. You are not yet a good dancer.

J.K.    Monsieur, I was on holiday, when you gave me this exercise. Should I consider myself as being on the list?

Gurdjieff   No, when the time comes, I will tell you.

Mr Gurdjieff then speaks with S.R. He points out how much stronger she has become since the advice he gave her. He remarks to the doctor that, without medicine or injections, thanks to one piece of advice, she who could have been blown over, could today kill two people like him.

Dr A.    Monsieur, I would like such advice for myself.

They laugh. Mr Gurdjieff asks S.R., since she has become so strong, to select a day when, with some others, she will take down the Christmas tree. He gives them leave to go.


(end of meeting)


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