EnneagramFourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School Education Concerning the Work Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and their students.
fourthwayschool/ Principles

Principles and Practices

Principles and Practices

How do I have a full human life and be all I can be?

These are the main principles and practices of the Work.

[G. I. Gurdjieff]G. I. Gurdjieff brought the Work to the West at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Work knowledge was placed into a form suitable for the Western mind by [P. D. Ouspensky]P. D. Ouspensky.


The first principle of the Work is to verify everything for yourself; never accept anything on faith, and never accept anything you are told.

Danger: Work in Progress

To undertake to follow the path of the Work involves many dangers. It is dangerous because you are risking what you are, to have the chance of becoming more than what you are at the moment.

Necessity of Aim

Everyone must have an aim. Without aims, one will go nowhere. Aim is necessary in the work, but it cannot be an arbitrary or invented aim. There can be only one aim-to awake-and it can only come when you realize that you are asleep, otherwise there is no necessity for it. All other aims, however one may formulate them, must be in line with that.


One of the fundamental practices of the Work is observing oneself impartially without changing anything one sees.


One of the fundamental practices of the work is remembering oneself and resisting one's own mechanics. There are thousands of ways to self-remember.

External Considering

Putting oneself into another's shoes is an antidote to internal considering.

Three Lines of School Work

One must work on three lines of work in order to achieve anything in a school.

Requirements and Circumstances

Certain factors in one's life must be in place before one can work on oneself. There are also characteristic inner obstacles to one's work.


Valuation of something is your estimation of its worth, or the price you would put on it. Actions speak louder than words.


We must be sincere with ourselves, with the teacher, with the members of the school, and we must try and avoid useless insincerity in life. It is not possible to work with people who are insincere.


We need three kinds of food to survive. The first food is physical food, the second is the air we breathe, and the third is the external and internal impressions that flood into our organs of perception every second.

Alarm Clocks

One technique to help you see when you are being mechanical, and remind you to make efforts to be less mechanical and more awake.


The Work says that one is willing to give up anything but suffering; it is the last thing one wants to lose. But we must give up our unnecessary suffering. There is some suffering that it is necessary to endure, voluntary suffering.

Physical Work

The lower centres are connected in a particular way and energies are distributed between them in a certain specific way. When people are lazy, centres try to do one another's work and use one another's energy. Physical work is a reliable method of making them work better.

School as a Cosmos

A school is a certain influence, originating in a higher world, which acts upon Mankind to assist the general evolutionary process and counterbalance the involutionary flow in the Ray of Creation.

To read more, order the book Fourth Way Work ISBN 978-15455-29386Fourth Way Work ISBN 978-15455-29386 from amazon.com

You can help support this site. (With thanks to Granny's Kitchen.)
Thank you!