Changing oneself

Changing oneself is the central idea of this work but is often not understood. Abdullah has met many young people in groups throughout the world who believe one should do nothing but observe oneself; this is the attitude Gurdjieff saw when he played merry hell with the Orage groups in the USA. Gurdjieff loved Orage but wanted to jog the people in his groups out of the complacency and narrow line of work they had adopted when left to themselves, so gave them seven exercises intended to create a modicum of balance, to show them what he had in mind. For a few months it is necessary to observe oneself and assemble as much data as possible, then it becomes vital to start the long and weary job of destroying everything that keeps one asleep and nurturing that which keeps one awake. Those people who do nothing against themselves, but wait for the Work to change them, are only justifying, squaring one part of themselves against another, which is a sure way of keeping asleep. If they persist with this for any length of time it will become impossible to observe impartially, since one part will be completely subjected to the other. Eventually the magnetic centre will be killed, and although the work may be carried on in an outer way, all inner work will cease. Such people suffer from lack of faith in themselves. It is said that one cannot change human nature, but Abdullah contends that any human being can change his own nature. The whim, wish, desire or aim to do so must come from the person himself, and the means of changing are contained within him.