EnneagramFourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School Education Concerning the Work Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and their students.
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Many I's

This is a picture of the general condition of the human machine.

Diagram of the Many I's

It is a representation of the cage of the Many I's, part of the prison we are in.

It shows that we are not unified beings, that we are actually a collection of `I's, each of which comes to the surface depending on the situation we are in, or the emotions or sensations we find ourselves having.

The human machine is not a unified whole. The illusion of unity comes from having one physical planetary body, and usually one name, throughout our life. What we consider to be `I' (`I' am saying, `I' am doing) is actually one `I' or a group of perhaps thousands of I's. Each `I' or group of `I's takes control temporarily to meet a circumstance of life; we have no control over them whatsoever. The illusion of control comes from our identification with whichever `I' happens to be present at the moment. For example, one `I' may make a promise that another `I' has no intention of keeping, or doesn't even know about.

How can this be so? Buffers exist between the I's, walls which enable most to operate without the knowledge of the others. An example of this: make an inventory of your `likes' you will probably find that some are in complete opposition to each other. `I' like getting up early, yet `I' like sleeping in.

These I's form what is called `personality'. These are learned behaviours that fill and surround our essence; essence is that which truly belongs to us, from which our real `I', higher emotional centre and higher intellectual centre, can grow. Through work on oneself it is possible to form a group of Work I's that can have control over the others, to promote the growth of essence, and allow the growth of Real I, to eventually break out of the prison we are in.

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1996 Title