Home

Endless Search  A spiritual discipline for the monastery of everyday life

Northeon Forest - Work Philosophy - Work Exercises - Gurdjieff's Legacy - Objective Science

The energy spent on active inner work is then and there transformed into a fresh supply,
but that spent on passive work is lost for ever.

The Time for Work

How much time should we spend Working on ourselves each day? Mr. Beidler recommended one third of the day.

Gurdjieff: Do as I have already told you. One must work only the third part of one's waking state. Make a special time for the work. Don't mix things; fix a time: tomorrow between 10 and 11 o'clock, ordinary life. The other ideas, the work, send them to the devil. (Meeting Notes, Paris, Thursday, July 1, 1943)

***

Gurdjieff: ...You must set aside a special time each day for the work. Not all the time, the Work is a serious thing. You cannot work interiorly all day. You must make a special time and increase it little by little. To this work you give a half hour of the 24 hours. During this half hour forget all the rest, put all the rest aside. It's a little thing. You sacrifice to this time all your occupations, all the work of your exterior functions. Sacrifice everything for your interior work and afterward you can put it aside for the things of ordinary life. You cannot do this work all day.
Q: I think so. That becomes mechanical: I am, I wish to be.
Gurdjieff: You mix, you must not. Don't mix this work with ordinary work. We have two kinds of waking state. For this work, you should have one active waking state. But a half hour of this waking state is enough for the rest of the day, which you live as you have the habit of doing. You can do this? And if you can't do a half hour, even ten minutes is rich for him who work ten minutes. You must give and sacrifice to this work a special time. You cannot give all your time. Life is one thing, the work another. The substantiality of each one is different: for this work you must be more active. I've said this many times. When you begin your work, your task, it is your work. You should, even before beginning relax yourself, prepare yourself, collecting yourself. Afterward, with all your being, you accomplish your task. It is a very complicated thing. You cannot do it for a long time. You are soon tired. It takes all your strength; if you do it five minutes too much, you are drained of all strength. It's for that reason that I say you must increase the time little by little, until you are used to it: five minutes, six minutes, ten minutes. Only this system will always give you a good beginning to prepare you for acquiring the state that is becoming to a real man. And if you work a long time, that proves that you do not work with all your being - you are working only with your mind. But as to that, you can do it for a thousand years without gaining anything; it is worth nothing. Work a short time, but work well. Here it isn't the quantity but the quality that counts. Life is one thing. Do not mix it with other things. Five minutes of good work is worth more than 24 hours of another kind. If you haven't much time, work 5 minutes. Let ordinary life continue automatically according to habit the rest of the time. What you say does not concern the work. Our life is one thing, the work another thing. Otherwise you will become a psychopath. You remember yourself with your mind - it is worthless; remember yourself with all your being. You can't do it for long, you drain yourself. Do it for 5 minutes, but forget everything else. Be an absolute egoist, forget everything, your God, your husband, your children, money - remember only the work. Short, but substantial.

***

Daily Heptachord Exercise

Divide the day into seven segments with an exercise for each.

Come up with an Affirmation for each day from Monday to Saturday that you can say when you have been annoyed.

The Endless Search 2004 - 2017 Ian C. MacFarlane