An introduction to the Fourth Way

The Fourth Way is a philosophical and psychological system of ideas introduced to the West by G.I Gurdjieff, in the beginning of the 20st century. This system is used to attain what is called in the many traditions of the world, “Enlightenment”. It draws from many esoteric sources, but it is a complete system in itself and can be used to answer that ancient question that has been around as long as there are Human Beings; “Who am I?”, or “Why am I here?”

It is called the Fourth Way because the people that walk it are in the midst of life; they are “normal” people, they have jobs and families, as opposed to the 3 traditional ways that require special circumstances. These traditional 3 ways were always known, especially in the East, as the way of the “Fakir” the way of the “Monk” and the way of the “Yogi”. These names refer to the different functions of the “3-brained human being”; the “motor-instinctive”, the “emotional” and the “intellectual”, and each traditional way emphasized the use and development of that particular function to reach Enlightenment.

In this system of thought it is emphasized that human beings are “mechanical”. It means that we are creatures of habit. Most people tend to gravitate towards the least amount of resistance where they can be on autopilot, where they feel comfortable and under the least amount of pressure. There is nothing wrong with these tendencies, but if you want to do something Creative in your life like striving to reach your Abundance, you will see that many of -these tendencies are in your own way of reaching your Goals. It’s not easy to change old habits. But, we also have a free will. That means we can be proactive to redirect ourselves out of our psychological habits towards new experiences. However, in order to do this on a consistent base, we need to be clever because it is not something that our “autopilot” likes to do; we have a “higher” and a “lower” part within us.

At the Oracle of Delphi in old Greece was written “Know Thyself”. This saying advised in the first place to know your autopilot and your negative tendencies and to be proactive about them, but also that you have a part that you can call Source, or Higher Self. The 4th Way teaches how to understand the difference; in other words, it teaches who You really are, and that you can only learn to know your Source by knowing what it is not. For instance, one thing that is not Source is called Chief Feature.

Another thing the Fourth Way teaches is that we cannot "Do". The knowledge of the Law of Attraction shows the Way towards Doing.

The Fourth Way is sometimes also referred to as the way of Karma yoga.

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