Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson by GI Gurdjieff.pdf

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Tales to His
An Objectively Impartial
Criticism of the Life of Man
Ten Books in Three Series
FIRST SERIES Three books under the title of Beelzebub's
Tales to His Grandson. An Objectively Impartial Criticism
of the Life of Man.
SECOND SERIES Two books under the common title of
Meetings with Remarkable Men.
THIRD SERIES Five books under the title of Life Is Real Only
Then, When "I Am. "
All written according to entirely new principles of logical
reasoning and directed toward the accomplishment of the
following three fundamental tasks:
FIRST SERIES To destroy, mercilessly and without any
compromise whatever, in the mentation and feelings of the
reader, the beliefs and views, by centuries rooted in him,
about everything existing in the world.
SECOND SERIES To acquaint the reader with the material
required for a new creation and to prove the soundness and
good quality of it.
THIRD SERIES To assist the arising, in the mentation and in
the feelings of the reader, of a veritable, nonfantastic
representation not of that illusory world which he now
perceives, but of the world existing in reality.
(Written impromptu by the author on delivering this
book, already prepared for publication, to the
According to the numerous deductions and conclusions resulting from my
research concerning the profit contemporary people can obtain from new
impressions coming from what they read or hear, and also according to the
thought of one of the sayings of popular wisdom I have just remembered,
handed down to our days from very ancient times,
"Any prayer may be heard and granted by the Higher Powers only if it is
uttered thrice:
First—for the welfare or the peace of the souls of one's parents,
Second—for the welfare of one's neighbor, And only third—for oneself
personally," I find it necessary on the first page of this book, now ready for
publication, to give the following advice "Read each of my written
expositions thrice First—at least as you have already become mechanized to
read all your contemporary books and newspapers,
Second—as if you were reading aloud to another person, And only third—try
to fathom the gist of my writings Only then will you be able to count upon
forming your own impartial judgment, proper to yourself alone, on my
writings And only then can my hope be actualized that according to your
understanding you will obtain the specific benefit for yourself which I
anticipate, and which I wish for you with all my being.
The arousing of thought
AMONG ALL the convictions formed in my "common presence" during my
responsible, peculiarly composed life, there is one unshakable conviction that
people—whatever the degree of development of their understanding and
whatever the form taken by the factors present in their individuality for
engendering all kinds of ideals—always and everywhere on the Earth feel the
imperative need, on beginning anything new, to pronounce aloud, or if not
aloud at least mentally, that particular invocation understandable to even the
most ignorant person, which has been formulated in different ways in different
epochs, and in our day is expressed in the following words "In the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost Amen."
That is why I now also, in setting forth on this venture quite new for me,
namely authorship, begin by pronouncing this invocation, and pronounce it
not only aloud but even very distinctly and, as the ancient Toulousites used to
say, with a "fully manifested intonation"—of course only to the extent
permitted by data already formed in my whole presence and thoroughly rooted
in it for such a manifestation, data, by the way, which are generally formed in
man's nature during his preparatory years, and which later, during his
responsible life, determine the character and vivifyingness of such an
Having begun thus, I can now be quite at ease and should even, according
to contemporary notions of "religious morality," be completely assured that
from now on everything in this new venture of mine will proceed, as is said,
"like a pianola."
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