THE FOURTH WAY is
a rich and practical teaching of great scale that shows seekers
how to use their ordinary life to come to real life.
An ancient and seminal teaching, The Fourth Way is whole
and complete in itself. It was discovered, reassembled and
reformulated for modern times by George
Said Mr. Gurdjieff, "The Fourth Way is completely self-supporting
and independent of other [spiritual] lines, and it has been
completely unknown up to the
Unlike the three classical ways—the way of the body,
hatha yoga; the way of the heart, the monk; and the way of
the mind, jnana yoga—The Fourth Way works with all three
centers at once. Thus, there is a harmonious development of
The Fourth Way is not a retreat from life but instead teaches
students how to consciously experience and engage ordinary
life to come to real life. In doing so, each seeker verifies
for himself or herself the truth and applicability of the
practices and ideas in their own lives.
There are a number
of faux Fourth Way groups led by people who have never had any
contact with an authentic teacher, or very little. Because of
their coercive measures, including financial and sexual exploitation,
the reputation of The Fourth Way has been tarnished. The arrogation
of many of its ideas by so-called "New
Age Teachings"—self-styled inventions which take elements
from a number of teachings—has also served to cast the
teaching as outdated. This is profoundly not true, as any direct
contact with the teaching will show.
There is also a confusion among those who would like to
merge the teaching with Theosophy and Western occultism. On
this point Mr. Gurdjieff was very specific. He said they "have
resulted from a mixture of the fundamental [spiritual] lines.
Both lines bear in themselves grains of truth, but neither
possess full knowledge and therefore attempts to bring them
to practical realization give only negative results."
A genuine teaching of self-transformation cannot be an "invention,"
something put together by taking a little from this teaching,
a little from that, and giving it a new name. So much of what
purports to be a spiritual teaching is in reality simply spiritual