confluence-01sFrom:  Cassiopaea Glossary

Moravieff uses the term confluence to designate a peculiar hypnotic state in man where he is identified with the mental currents that flow through him and mistaking the thoughts that are engendered from this current as his own thoughts.

Man's submersion into this mental current is what Gurdjieff calls  'waking sleep' or 'relative consciousness' and it is this level of consciousness that an ordinary man is born into, lives his everyday life, and then dies, without ever waking up into more objective states of awareness.

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Each human being is born with a dominant lower centre, called the dominant brain.

In ordinary life, we meet only the three lower categories (man number 1, 2, and 3).

Higher categories (man number 4, 5, 6, and 7) can be reached only through work on oneself.

gurdjieff club home-smFrom: Gurdjieff Club

First and last: self-observation and non-identification.

1. The effort to realize: I have a body.

2. The effort to realize that I descended into and become attached to this organism (this animal) for the purpose of developing it.

3. The attempt to realize the organism's mechanicity:

(a) Its habitual reaction to recurrent situations

(b) The magnetic relationship of the centres

system analysis-310From: colinblundell

You find something very complex.  We often do.  An explanation, a theory, the drift of an argument…  No doubt underneath it all there’s something very simple going on.  There usually is, but when somebody finds the simplicity of it and makes an attempt to reduce things to some kind of careful order they are often described as being ‘reductionist’ which suggests they should be ignored by ‘all intelligent people’.

But three-brained beings who describe an interlocutor gamely making such an effort as ‘reductionist’ rarely have much to offer in the way of an alternative explanation of all & everything related thereto.

man sleepingFrom:

Are you asleep or awake?  What about people you interact with daily?  Most will answer that they are awake, and that those around them are awake as well.  It’s a simple question with an easily determined answer, or so it seems.

Not all is as it seems.  Rather than two states of being, there are at least four.  The mind and body can be asleep or awake independently of each other.

breathe deep-1On this page are collections of Suggested Reminders for dividing attention and self-observation

A few of my favorites include:

From: fourth way® gurdjieff ouspensky school


  • Human machine born with an essence: the structure of the lower centres, innate capacities, talents, and tendencies, the planetary body.
  • Structure, capacities, strengths, and defects of lower centres belong to essence.
  • Born with centres empty.
  • Some aspects of essence might survive death of the planetary body, at least temporarily.


  • Personality is like a garment surrounding essence.
  • Personality is acquired through exposure to impressions, education, experiences; fills centres.
  • Contents of centres belong to personality (rolls, records, tapes, diskettes, RAM, ROM).
  • Personality contains the Many I's
  • Usually die with centres full.
  • Personality dies with the death of the planetary body.


Identification – One of the characteristics of our psychology is that we lose ourselves by becoming absorbed into events, thoughts, and emotions.

Negative Emotions – One of the chief obstacles to awakening is losing energy through the expression of negative and unpleasant emotions.

Lying – Our tendency to talk about things we do not know, or can not know, as though we do know.

Imagination – Our imagining that we already possess qualities and abilities that we do not have, and that can only be developed through long efforts.

human_machine1From: fourth way® gurdjieff ouspensky school

The human machine has seven different functions.
Five ordinarily and two potential.

  four lower functions  (also known as:  centers = brains = minds)

•  sex centre

  potential connection with two higher centers (soul & spirit).

This page is under construction

In the Work, it is taught that man's machine actually needs three kinds of food to survive. The first `being food' is physical food, the second is the air we breathe, and the third kind is the external and internal impressions that flood into our organs of perception every second. But while we may be comfortable in our minds with the idea of the first two forms of food, we may not understand or have encountered before the idea of impressions being food.

Now since the Work is based on our personally verifying the truth of its ideas, we must not accept these statements as `facts'. What is required is for us to investigate these ideas for ourselves. If the idea of impressions being food for us has evoked interest and curiosity in your mind, hopefully the following discussion will give you the force to `try it on for size'.

This page is under construction

In life we make aims which give us direction and without them we are aimless and going nowhere. For example we may want a certain job or to get certain qualifications or live in a certain place. In order to attain these aims it is necessary to make sacrifices as well as efforts to attain it.

In some ways aim in the Work is similar to life aims in that effort and sacrifice are needed, but in other ways it is not the same because a work aim is in a different direction from life and in a way is against life. For example, as a life aim we may want a particular job because we think it will bring us the success and recognition we've wanted all our lives. This kind of aim feeds personality which is turned towards life, whereas aim in the Work is about making personality passive, a servant rather than a master.

One of the aims of this work is to change our level of being and in order to do this the first aim in this work is self-knowledge. Without self-knowledge you cannot make aims about yourself in relation to changing your being. Real self-knowledge is different from imaginary ideas and pictures of the kind of people we are and what we think we are able to do and can only come from a lot of personal self-observation.

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Attention and Parts of Centers

This system teaches that we don't have just one brain but at least three, namely the intellectual brain (centre), the emotional brain, the instinctive brain and moving brain.

Each centre is further divided into parts, i.e. each centre has a mechanical part, an emotional part and an intellectual part. We are told that we can know which part of centre we are using by studying attention.

With no or very little attention we are in mechanical parts, for example when something becomes effortless. When our attention is held by the subject, i.e. when we are interested or excited about something we are in emotional parts. When we hold and direct our attention with effort and will on what we are doing, thinking about or feeling, we are in intellectual parts.

On the whole we operate mainly from mechanical parts of centers, and for some functions like driving that's appropriate. However, because we use mechanical parts with little or no attention for most daily tasks, we often make mistakes in what we're doing. For example we forget an important ingredient in the cake mixture, or muddle up the photocopying and staple the wrong sheets together. Consequently, we often expend more energy than necessary trying to correct our mistakes or becoming negative at the extra work we have created for ourselves, which with more attention we could avoid.

many-iFrom: fourth way® gurdjieff ouspensky school

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

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.

This page is under construction

Man's inner development is dependent on the growth of both knowledge and being simultaneously; knowledge assists development of being and vice versa. If one outgrows the other, inner development sooner or later stops.

Knowledge and Levels of Knowledge

Knowledge is the function of one centre, the intellectual centre, and involves the study of one or various subjects. The knowledge that people have can vary, in that they can know more or less about a given subject. On the whole, knowledge in the West is greatly respected, and someone who has an in-depth knowledge of a subject, or who has made scientific discoveries, is often admired and respected, even if his or her being is weak, that is, he or she is forgetful, moody and so on.

The work says there can be ordinary knowledge or real knowledge. Ordinary knowledge is knowing about details without understanding how they relate to the whole. For example, enormous amounts of detailed information on many branches of knowledge are available nowadays, and information is continually being added to it. However, this growing body of knowledge is not united by principles, and it is hard to see how the fragments of knowledge relate to the whole. Even knowledge that is united by principles, for example this Work, can degenerate into ordinary knowledge when certain ideas are only viewed from one side and others are omitted.

Real knowledge, on the other hand, is knowledge of the details or parts in relation to the whole, for example, looking at our daily experiences in relation to principles of the Work, consciousness, cosmic laws, processes, and so on.