“One needs fire. Without fire, there will never be anything. This fire is suffering, intentional suffering, without which it is impossible to create anything. One must prepare, must know what will make one suffer and when it is there, make use of it. Only you can prepare, only you know what makes you suffer, makes the fire which cooks, cements, crystallizes.. Suffer by your defects, in your pride, in your egoism. Remind yourself of the aim.’

Gurdjieff, Lectures, 1941

The Fire that is God – Christian Tradition

Dante, Divine Comedy Holy souls, you cannot move ahead unless the fire’s stung you first… Enter the flames and don’t be deaf to song you’ll hear beyond. Meister Eckhart If you do not die before you die, you die when you die. By aligning itself with God’s will, a soul takes on the taste of […]

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Suffering in the Context of the Work

What is the purpose of suffering within the context of the work? As many teachings suggest, suffering is inevitable in human life. Maurice Nicoll wrote “this life is a pain-factory.” Negative emotions are one kind of suffering. To work with them, we create new attitudes based on the work and encapsulate them in Work “I’s”. […]

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The flax was in full bloom. It had such pretty blue blossoms, as soft as the wings of a moth, and even more delicate. And the sun shone down on the flax, and the rain clouds watered it, and that was as good for it as it is for little children to be bathed and […]

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Understanding the Symbol

How do we understand the magical role of this bird, for those of us in the Fourth Way?  Voluntary and intentional suffering constitute a form of fire we can recognize, use, and transform.

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In classical and modern Persian literature the Simorḡ is frequently mentioned, particularly as a metaphor for God in Sufi mysticism. In the 12th century Conference of the Birds, Iranian Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar wrote of a band of pilgrim birds in search of the Simurgh. In the poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to […]

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From the stories of the Desert Fathers: Abba Lot came to Abba Joseph and said: Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence; and, according as I am able, I strive to cleanse my heart of thoughts: now what more should I do? The elder rose up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire.
He said: You must become entirely flame.