Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson
We generally include a study of Gurdjieff's extraordinary 'book', Beelzebub's Tales To His Grandson, as a central part of our work together. We've made a PDF copy of the 1950 edition of the Tales available through the link below. Use the comment section of this page to share your thoughts on BBT.
For those who have taken on the task of reading the whole of Beelzebub's Tales the menu on the left gives three different approaches: daily, weekly and over a period of two years. This breakdown comes from http://www.gurdjieff.org/syllabus.htm
The link above is for the 1950 Edition of the Tales. There have been several editions of the Tales with minor corrections and other editions with more substantial changes, along with the inevitable controversy arising from those changes. A history of BBT publications is available through this link.
Paul Beekman Taylor provided some interesting information and commentary on the controversy surrounding the 1992 Arkana edition in his article:
The Making of All and Everything: 1924 to 1950
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I can't even figure out how to start a new paragraph - don't know how Tim and John work this magic. Tim, do you still want excerpt from 1950 edition?
Real Work in Unexpected Places
I’ve always been amazed at one peculiar tendency that I’ve often seen in myself and others who profess to be using the 4th Way approach to self-development. Specifically, the 4th Way is a way in life, a way that uses the opportunities and challenges of life as the means for this development. And yet I often find myself saying something like, “This is an actual real-world practical situation, so I don’t have the time, energy and attention to make it into a Work situation.” I then usually ‘reason’ with myself that once I have the ‘extra’ time, energy and attention needed to work on myself, I’ll certainly do just that.
This statement from Florence may not have anything to do with what I’ve described above, but it did trigger a reminder that we need to discuss and be clear about just this aspect of work on oneself.
Hidden in Plain Sight - Hints on the Workings of the tales
Idries Shah was well known for extolling the value of Sufi teaching stories. Here are a couple of commentaries on certain aspects of how these stories 'work' on us. These are taken from the Wikipedia article on Shah. Undoubtedly Beelzebub's Tales have a similar effect on readers... and more besides.
Speaking of Shah's book, "The Sufis"...
all and everything
Let's talk about Beelzebub's tales some more.
Studying the Tales
Your suggestion, Florence, is a good one, and it's been much on my mind lately. One possibility is that we might set ourselves the task of reading the whole of the Tales together and sharing what we understand of that experience. The picture that arises is to create a special 'group' for this, available to all online participants who have the time and interest.
That sounds like a good idea to me.
I'm interested too
I'm interested too
I've been slowly re-reading Beelzebub (first reading was 36 years ago!) and am amazed at how differently I am receiving it in this go-around. It would be great to do it with a group so please count me in.
I read Idris Shaw and Robert Graves years before I ever heard of Gurdjieff. Their works, I believe, cleared a pathway for me to be open to the Work..... And the works of the Work cleared a pathway of meaning for all that followed. I didn't even realize it at the time.
arousing of thought
While I do have much appreciation for this chapter, I am most eager to move on to why B. was in our solar system.
I may not make the Sunday session, however, I have had a death in the family.
Will be there if possible.
A note on the dog Gurdjieff buried
glorifying the works of our Lord Creator
What jumped out at me this fourth week of reading BT was "that not only must one not oppose higher forces but submit and receive all their results with reverence while glorifying the works of our Lord Creator."
My power went off during the second reading at our Feb.7 meeting. I immediately became enraged and downhearted because I was afraid I would miss the rest of the reading.
Realizing that, in the words of Mullah Nassr Eddin, you can't jump over your knees and it is absurd to try to kiss your own elbow, I waited, hoping my computer would be fast.
I was comforted by remembering that the reading was still going on so I continued to read also.
The session was almost over when I got back on - but I can watch the recording.
Submitting is hard but doable. The same with receiving with reverence. I failed miserably, however, at glorifying the works of our Lord Creator in the midst of it all. Maybe next time.
Lord have mercy.