Crossing the First Threshold

The moment when the man who is looking for the way meets a man who knows the way is called the first threshold or the first step. From this first threshold the stairway begins. Between ‘life’ and the ‘way’ lies the ‘stairway.’ Only by passing along this ‘stairway’ can a man enter the ‘way.’

G I Gurdjieff

This quote invites some questions:

  • What is the way?
  • Is ‘the way’ a spiritual search?
  • If so, can this spiritual search be a search in life?

A search in life is one in which my ordinary life continues but I strive to find meaning and a more fine attention during my everyday routine.

Also it seems that we are unable to search alone.

We need others and, in particular, we need someone who has gone before – someone older with more experience to act as a guide – to the first threshold.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.

Alexander Pope

I’m skilled at lying to myself. To know myself I need a guide. This is certain. Working or seeking alone is just self-deception.

It takes the friction of working with others – a feeling of discomfort in myself – in unaccustomed situations to see those aspects of myself that I would rather remained hidden.

This is my search but am I on the way?

The way will not be easy and it will not have a route because I search from where I am.

But I do need to see my habitual behaviour and give up my comfortable view of myself in order to open.

A guide will demand; a group of honest people – who can open, share and trust their vulnerability in a common aim to wake up – will bring something more.

What is the first threshold for you?

The next Café Gurdjieff event in Central London on the theme of “Crossing the First Threshold” will take place at 11am on Saturday 10 December. For more details email cafe@gurdjieffstudies.eu or visit our Meetup Group.

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