By Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff
First sequence: Objectively neutral feedback of the lifetime of guy; or, Beelzebub's stories to his grandson. -- 2d sequence: conferences with amazing males. -- third ser. existence is genuine purely then, while "I am."
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Additional resources for Beelzebub's tales to his grandson : an objectively impartial criticism of the life of man
Oh the devil! Even in a case like this, one of the aspects of my peculiar psyche, unusual for a normal man, has already begun to torment the whole of me. And the “torment” I feel at this moment, at my almost too mellow age, is derived from a property implanted in childhood in my peculiar psyche, with a lot of rubbish unnecessary for contemporary life, that automatically compels the whole of me always and in everything to act only according to popular wisdom. ” In trying to understand the underlying thought and real meaning hidden in this strange formulation, any more or less sane-thinking man will, in my opinion, soon come to the conclusion that all the ideas contained in this saying are based on the truth, recognized by people for centuries, that every phenomenon in the life of man is due to two causes of opposite character, and divides into two exactly opposite results, which in their turn become the cause of new phenomena.
The English version was first published in 1950, just a few months after Gurdjieff died. He had overruled objections that the translation needed more work, insisting that the time had come to launch his ideas into the mainstream of Western thinking. As the English text was the initial publication of the book in any language, it was assumed by many readers to have been written or specifically approved by Gurdjieff. Although a prefatory note stated that the original was written in Russian and Armenian, the significance of this was easily disregarded in the absence of a published edition of the original Russian text.
Professional writers usually begin such introductions with an address to the reader full of all kinds of bombastic, mag niloquent, and so to say “honeyed” and inflated phrases. In this alone I shall follow their example and also begin with an “address to the reader,” but I shall try not to make it as sugary as they usually do with their evil wiseacring, by which they titillate the sensibilities of the more or less normal reader. Thus ... My dear, highly honored, strong-willed, and of course very patient Sirs, and my very dear, charming, and impartial Ladies—forgive me, I have omitted the most important—my in no wise hysterical Ladies!