If Mr. Gurdjieff were alive today, he would probably be very surprised to know that people who follow his teaching describe themselves as followers of the Fourth Way. I am sure that he would have immediately set out to find where this expression came from because he did use the term fourth way, and only one time, but in very specific terms and not as a Way. If that had been the case, he would have determined that the expression refers to those who do not follow the way of the fakir, the monk, and the yogi. Following my train of speculative thoughts here, I think that Mr. Gurdjieff would have said that he indeed spoke about the ways of the fakir, the monk, and the yogi at one time during the giving of his teaching in Russia and faithfully recorded by Ouspensky in his book In Search of the Miraculous, but that later he corrected himself and spoke of three other ways : The Ways of Faith, Love, and Hope.
And then he would have probably added:
“The Fourth Way is the Way of Conscience and that the Way of Conscience exists in the fakir, the monk, and the yogi, and in all of us because ‘Conscience in three-centered beings is sometimes called the REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CREATOR.’
In the shortest chapter of Beelzebub’s Tales with the title “A Change in the Appointed Course of the Falling of the Transpace Ship Karnak,” located precisely between Russian and France, Mr. Gurdjieff is telling us, in allegorical language, that after Russia and while in France he changed and completed his Teaching to make it more accessible to humanity and not for the people accustomed to his way of thinking (read the Prologue to Life is real only then, when “I am.”).
And the change, and this is really the heart of the matter, is not only in content but in form as well: “sequence and form. “
In this respect, and no long ago, I received a private mail from a friend who read about all this in another list where I used to participate. Here is the exact content on one part of his mail:
Gurdjieff A Master in Life – Tcheslaw Tchekhovitch
P46 (Gurdjieff is talking)
“There also exists a ‘fourth way’, based on the sacred impulse emanating from conscience, of which a germ is deposited in each human being. This leads to another specific form of teaching, a new approach to religion’’
I must confess that when I read this statement I experienced genuine inner satisfaction. This is the quote I had been searching for in a long time. For me this also means that I do not have to read books and that reading the Legominism contained in Beelzebub’s Tales is all I need. Somehow the information I need from other sources will come to me one way or another. According to my friend who read Tchekhovitch’s book, this was said by Mr. Gurdjieff when they were in Constantinople on their way from Russia to France. It was already there that Mr. Gurdjieff was thinking of another “fourth way” that has nothing to do with the Fourth Way Ouspensky and others have made so popular.
Yes, what Mr. Gurdjieff brought to us is a new approach to religion and in this sense his teaching is not founded on Buddhism, Christianity, or Islam, as so many people have claimed. The teaching he brought is founded on the whim of his life:
“To bring a new conception of God.”
What Mr. Gurdjieff brought to us is a merciless compassion for the human condition and a heartfelt call to awaken a dormant Conscience.
This is the true Fourth Way that has nothing to do with the Fourth Way that others have popularized.