Gurdjeff often told his disciples that:

Man such as we know him

is a machine.


He cannot stop nor focus the flow of his thoughts, cannot control his imagination, his emotions, his attention.

He lives in a subjective world of “I love”, “I do not love”, I like”, “I do not like”,

“I want”, “I do not want”…


The real world is hidden from him by a thick wall of uncontrolled

imagination. He lives in waking-sleep.



The main characteristic of the being of modern man, which explains

all that he lacks, is sleep. Modern man lives in sleep,

is born in sleep, dies in sleep.




It is naturally difficult, of course, to convince ourselves that we are asleep.


A sleeping person, in the midst of a dream,

cannot usually wake himself up.


The dream may be so unpleasant that it wakes him; or he awakes naturally; or he may be shaken into waking.


Very seldom can one voluntarily wake oneself.


It is even more difficult to wake voluntarily from hypnotic sleep.

And if from these relatively light states of sleep it is hard for us to wake of our own accord, we can imagine the difficulty of waking voluntarily from the profounder sleep and dream of our waking state.


But how can we convince ourselves that we are really

in a form of sleep when, as it appears to us,

we are really awake?


By comparing the two chief states of consciousness known to us

and observing their strikingly common features.


What, for instance, are the outstanding features of our ordinary sleep as known to us through our recollected dreams?

The dream happens, that is to say, we neither deliberately initiate it nor do we create its figures and events.

And in this respect it resembles waking life, in that


we do not predetermine our experiences, nor do we create or invent

the figures and events we meet from day to day.


What about YOU?

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