One day, during one of their sessions,tells Peters to look out the window and describe what he sees. 'An oak tree' the child answers. 'And what do you see on the oak tree?' 'Acorns' Peters replies. 'How many of these acorns do you suppose will become trees?' Fritz Peters is stumped, [-] 'Maybe five or six?' 'No' retorts Gurdjieff. 'Only one will become a tree, perhaps, none! Nature is always very giving, but it only gives possibility. It takes hard work and great effort to become a tree or a genuine man.' .
andwere very good friends, drinking buddies. One day they attend a funeral. They're walking behind the hearse in a procession, and they're having a great time conversing with one another. They are completely engrossed when suddenly one asks the other, 'Say, don't you smell something funny?' They look up and they're walking behind a garbage truck! They'd lost the hearse in the middle of their enthusiastic conversation. .
There was one artist who wrote as beautifully as he painted. That was- He speaks for all artists, whether they are painters or not. [He wrote]: " I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six. I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all. At seventy three I have at last caught every aspect of nature-birds,fish,animals,insects,trees,grasses, all. When I am eighty I shall have developed still further. And I will really master the secrets of art at ninety. When I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime, and my final goal will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life." .
Theare one of the most cultured peoples on the face of the earth. They live a wonderful life, a life of purity. Not only are they busy and productive, they're happy and healthy as well. If we puny Americans had to live under their conditions, we'd perish in a day. Modern man has much to learn from the people he calls 'savages'. Before we are down to the last blade of grass it would be wise to study the life of the Pygmies. The secret of our own survival rests with them, the people who know how to make the most out of very little and find complete happiness with the bare essentials. .
I've spoken many times about the Japanese woman. I've praised her again and again. But I have to tell you that I think the Japanese man is the worst. The women are such delicate creatures and they're treated abominably by the men. The Japanese men are pigs - even worse than American men. .
More than anything the French have a profound knowledge of the ways of life. They possess a tolerance and an acceptance of the way things are. Problems are faced with intelligence, patience, and a sense of humanity. I have more respect for them than any other nationality on the face of the earth. .
Through it all I learned the value of being humble to the dust, reduced to ashes. Everyone should experience that. Before you can recognize you're somebody, you have to know you're nobody. [-] The butterfly was just a lowly worm in its beginning. The worm didn't live with the moment-to-moment expectation of sprouting wings and taking flight. He lived a useful and productive life, the life of a worm. And he had to die a worm in order to be born as an angel! The spinning of the cocoon is, in and of itself, remarkable. It is as wondrous as the emergence and first flight of the butterfly. .
I tell you, struggle is what is missing in the lives of most young people today. If they think I'm going to support them while they create great works of art, then they've missed the point of my work, of my life! In the process of becoming a writer or an artist one has to be willing to starve. Struggle is the most invaluable experience of all. Suffering seems to be the inevitable fate of the creative sensitive types. Poverty, disease, death, unrequited love affairs, and disappointments of every sort fan the flame of the artistic spirit. The greatest works of art were not created by spoiled brats. They were born for the most part out of a sense of despair, and if not despair then just plain hard work. Somewhere along the line the artist learns the art of transformation. .
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