EnneagramFourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School Education Concerning the Work Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and their students.
fourthwayschool/ Principles/ Requirements and Circumstances for Doing the Work
1994 Navigation

Requirements and Circumstances for Doing the Work

People are not all in exactly the same position in relation to their individual possibilities of doing the Work and changing their being. These vary according to their degree of reliability, what they value, their nearness to a state of Good Householder and the relative control they have over the Tramp and Lunatic in themselves.

There are people for whom the possibility of changing their being exists; there are many people for whom it is practically impossible, because they have brought their being to such a state that there is no starting point in them; and there are people who have destroyed all possibility of changing their being.

Belonging to one of the categories of Good Householder, Tramp, or Lunatic is not permanent and can be changed, but one can come to the Work only from Good Householder. So, though people may be born with the same possibilities, they can lose their possibilities very easily. You must realize the enormous number of people who, by the state of their being, are incapable of appreciating any real ideas.

We each have features of Tramp and Lunatic. When we become connected with school it does not mean that we are already free from these features. They play a certain part in us, and in studying being we must detect them; we must know in which way they prevent our work, and we must struggle with them. This is difficult or impossible without school.

A certain attitude to life, to people, and certain possibilities determines which category one belongs to.

In the Work we must have the capacity for practical thinking and practical attitude, and we must have sufficient self-discipline to accept and work with school discipline. Ability to orientate yourself in life is a very useful quality from the viewpoint of the Work.

Practical thinking is the capacity to calculate things in different circumstances. This same capacity can be applied to ideas of the Work, school principles, rules, everything.

Try to find your own words and examples of what is meant by Good Householder, what is meant by Tramp, what is meant by Lunatic. These words are not a description, they are only a hint at certain possibilities.

Overcoming weaknesses is often a painful process because one sees one's own illusions; therefore one must want inner change very much. It is possible to change.

Remember that work cannot begin and cannot proceed on a level lower than that of the Good Householder, that is, on a level higher than ordinary life. This is a very important principle which is very easily forgotten.

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1996 Title