Who am I?

practical |ˈpraktikəl|
adjective. Of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.

Gurdjieff’s teaching is a practical philosophy for becoming whole while struggling to awaken to who we are. It is a living hologram whose three dimensions of body, mind, and heart which, when enlightened by active attention, become unique doorways into remembering “where we are” (sensing), “what we are” (knowing), and “how we are” (feeling).

Why do we need such a teaching? Is it not enough, as Sri Ramana Maharshi taught, to simply ask deeply and persistently “who am I?”

Maybe it is. But for those of us conditioned in Western ways, perhaps it is not “enough.”

Helping us to withdraw from identification with self, Gurdjieff’s teaching invites us to become impartial to the dark side as well as to the light side of our individual nature and to experience without judgment what is happening here and now.

Each aspect of Gurdjieff’s teaching — the music, the ideas, the dances, the exercises, the writings, the transmission of practices — is a fractal of the whole teaching. When each fiber is spun by our own effort into a personal silk thread it becomes “ariadne’s thread” for our unique journey through the needle’s eye to nothingness.

Sensing, seeing, and feeling is the threefold work that enriches this journey.
Then, no longer passive, no longer responsive, no longer reflective, there is now the possibility of … Who am I?

Happy new year. May it be a good one.

James Tomarelli, for Bennett Books