This Fundamental Quest

Discipline

Can we try to feel and understand what it would mean to follow an inner discipline? It would mean to accept, for a certain length of time, to return to what we have recognized as most authentic and most serious, and to submit to it. It would also mean accepting a discipline from which we could not escape. To help us in this, we need at times to establish a link with something outside of ourselves that serves as a reminding factor.

Inner discipline is not so much imposing an exercise on ourselves as it is listening to a demand that arises within us. Everything required of us, be it something simple or something altogether fundamental, should be approached with a constructive attitude.

Every time we work with a positive attitude, an energy descends deeply into us and our intelligence awakens. Our functions become freer, imagination loosens its hold on us. Submitting to an inner discipline, our “no” is led toward recognizing the reality of our “yes.” But when we do not work on ourselves, we justify our refusal.

Little by little we learn to know the conditions of inner work and discover how an inner discipline engages us in a new responsibility toward ourselves. This is what Mr. Gurdjieff tried to make us feel when he asked us to give our word to ourselves. He also said: “The concepts of responsibility and freedom both have their sources in C influences.”

– From This Fundamental Quest by Henriette Lannes

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