When I met Gurdjieff I'd been quite a few years with Mr. Ouspensky and Mme. Ouspensky both attending talks and lectures and also living in Mme. Ouspensky's house, in their houses in England in the west of London and in New Jersey. And it was after Ouspensky died and I went out to India, and on the way back, actually, it became clear to me that even all those years with Ouspensky, I hadn't arrived at anything; I came to nothing. And it was then that through Mme. Ouspensky's introduction, I went to Paris and met Gurdjieff. I was with him in Paris and then I came to New York. And it was a short period, only about nine months, but a couple of months after that he died. And the way he left things, it made it perfectly easy for me to have to really enter into a position of responsibility as such. So it made it essentially easy for me to try to understand more deeply what he'd shown me.Maybe I'm not tuned in to the subtleties of this whole thing. I mean, the guy who wrote that -- J. Walter Driscoll; you knew he'd have an initial for a first name, didn't you? -- called out that quote as if it were going to, you know, say something. And here I sit, scratching my earthbound unspiritual ass, trying to understand more deeply what he's shown me.
But I meant to tell you about the album cover up there. See jolly old Gurdjieff doffing his Karakul hat in front of the subtle ENEAGRAM? I had meant to quote from a couple of Amazon reader reviews. See if you can spot the similarity in these two 5-star assessments...
- these short piano pieces are simple, but absolutely not boring.
- Truly an exposition of beautiful "objective" listening. This music will not put you to sleep.
For the swifter among you, that should help explain the title slug I selected for this post.
But another thing: what exactly is it with the word "objective"? Ayn Rand called her (if you'll forgive the expression) philosophy Objectivism. Jung toyed with calling the collective unconscious the Objective unconscious. It's almost like some kind of signal that says "I am about to tell you something that, if you had a lick of sense, would make you very very angry, as it telegraphs the fact you're being lied to. But look, being a compassionate person, I am going to Capitalize it so you won't have to indulge in such a negative emotional response." Well, I hope one of those Work assholes comes over here and sees that I've stuck in this graphic of some guy looks like he stepped right out of ZZ Top but is actually on the cover of something called The Counterculture Reader. If you happen to be into "The Work" yourself, listen up: that's here to make fun of your ass. That's what your posturing bullshit sounds like to me, dimestore shades and all. Jesus! I wish I could shake their imperturbable self satisfaction. But no, they just can't dig themselves. It's hopeless.
Nonetheless, I'm going to try to take another run at this. The picture you see to the left is taken from a web page titled (here we go again) Threads of Time - Recollections of Jeanne de Salzmann. In fact, that's Jeanne herself you're looking at, though -- as she was no doubt hoping you'd notice -- she's not looking at you. She is more probably contemplating, so we are given to infer, the deeper mysteries of Life and Time and shit like that. There's a whole page of Gurdjieff's like Major Pupils, and if you go there one thing will eventually strike you. I've been there all goddam day and it only just struck me now: there's no color. Some of the bastards are smiling, but damn few. Most of them look like the guy below, or look like they wish they did...
And his bio says -- because it has to say something, right? -- "When Alexandre de Salzmann and his wife Jeanne first met Gurdjieff in 1919, he was already a well known stage lighting artist..." So what this actually tells you is that he's trying as hard as possible not to look like plain old Jeanne "Threads of Time" de Salzmann's old man. Which is of course, all he is.
I know, I know, these are just disgruntled ad hominem potshots. But after all that surfing though these numinous self-important navel-gazing narcissists, I am disgruntled, dammit! And I have a cold. So I don't care if people come here with deep Gurdjieffian convictions and are offended by this. They can kiss my ass. How's that? And oh, how I wish it could end there. But it won't, of course. There are any number of web pages bookmarked and actual books on the way. There will be more about these people. Mark my words.