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In This Issue
The Gnosis of
Boris Mouravieff

"What is this 'I' which he feels within himself, and to which he tries so hard to give at least a semblance of rational continuity?"

Boris Mouravieff
Missing the Mark

"The self that we must remember is the invisible self that comes down from a star.

It is our essence that makes us unique individuals. It is what relates us to the spiritual world and to the cosmos."

Maurice Nicoll
Fourth Way Books
Quick Links
Esoteric Talks

An esoteric system is a way of guiding man to a right relationship to himself, others and the Universe of which he is a part.

After we've accurately located ourselves in the big scheme of things we are ready to move forward to what we came here to do, and becoming what we are destined to be.

Spiritual Journey

Spiritual messages by Ted Nottingham are based on in-depth study of the Scriptures and leading guides of the spiritual life down through the centuries.

These messages provide practical methods for applying wisdom in living one's daily life.

Fourth Way

This Inner Work is a developmental path of practical psychological instruction intended to help you know yourself more objectively.

Purifying our behavior results in increased consciousness, compassion and wisdom.
Journey to Essence Newsletter
Inner Peace

"When mortals are alive, they worry about death. When they're full, they worry about hunger.

Theirs is the Great Uncertainty. But sages don't consider the past. And they don't worry about the future. Nor do they cling to the present.

From moment to moment they follow the Way."


This Presence Within Us

"As for the consciousness of the real 'I', we can know form a certain idea ... we know it as the only permanent point which exists within us.

This permanent point is the impartial Referee within us who judges our own acts; the Referee whose soft voice is often obscured by the inward uproar or by events.

Although weak and passive, this evanescent form of the consciousness of the real 'I' is always just and objective.

The doctrine of sin and of our responsibility for our acts would have no meaning if, when we come face to face with temptation, the consciousness of the real 'I' did not give us a warning of danger.

On the other hand, it is this presence within us which makes it possible for us to evolve esoterically in the deepest sense which, as we have already seen, is evolution towards Consciousness.

Because the real 'I' does not manifest itself in man as he is born except in passive form, this inner Judge does not pronounce his verdict except where the personality itself submits its acts for his evaluation."

Boris Mouravieff

The Message

"That which is 'I', will I keep within the shadow of the beautiful temple of modesty, but my doings will I send forth into the light that all may see; therefore, must my doings be true."

Walter Russell

The Human Condition

The outer events of the world are a reflection of the inner condition of humanity. Change must come from within, not from without.

"Are we able to say that life is governed by a group of conscious people? Where are they? Who are they? We see exactly the opposite: that life is governed by those who are the least conscious, by those who are most asleep."

Provocative ideas such as these have attracted generations of thoughtful people to the methods of self-study and inner work devised by Gurdjieff, one of the most radical spiritual teachers of modern times.

According to Gurdjieff, the wars raging at this very moment are nothing more than millions of sleeping people trying to annihilate millions of other sleeping people. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such as thing as progress and evolution as long as humanity remains asleep.

"Two hundred conscious people could change the whole of life on the earth. If we want to become those conscious people, we must learn how to change ourselves. With the help of self-knowledge and an understanding of our relation to the universe, we can awaken to a higher level of being-if we wish to change ourselves."

G. I. Gurdjieff

"As long as people are bent on dividing and separating, as long as they are selfish and aggressive, such things will happen. If you want peace and harmony in the world, you must have peace and harmony in your hearts and minds.

Such change cannot be imposed; it must come from within. Those who abhor war must get war out of their own system. Without peaceful people, how can you have peace in the world? As long as people are as they are, the world must be as it is."

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Read The Human Condition

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The Gnosis of
Boris Mouravieff
December 2012

The Gnosis of Boris Mouravieff

In Western civilization the interior life of the individual, with all its richness, finds itself relegated to a minor role in existence. Man is so caught up in the toils of mechanical life that he has neither time to stop nor the power of attention needed to turn his mental vision upon himself.

Man thus passes his days absorbed by external circumstances. The great machine drags him along around his axis without stopping, and forbids him to stop under penalty of being crushed. Today like yesterday and tomorrow like today, he quickly exhausts himself in the frantic race, impelled in a direction which in the end leads nowhere. Life passes away from him almost unseen, swift as a ray of light, and man falls engulfed and still absent from himself.

When we ask someone who lives under this constant pressure of contemporary life to turn his mental vision towards himself, he generally answers that he sees nothing: life is a fog in obscurity; the observer reports that he perceives something which he cannot define because it changes all the time. Everything is continually changing within us. A minor external shock, agreeable or disagreeable, happy or unhappy, is sufficient to give our inner content a quite different appearance.

He will progress toward the unknown at the mercy of chance. This state of things, named in the Tradition "The Law of Chance", or "The Law of Accident", isfor man as he isthe principal law under whose authority he leads his illusory existence.

Esoteric science (Gnosis) indicates the possibilities and the means of freeing oneself from this law. It helps us to begin a new and purposeful life; first to become logical with ourselves, and finally, to become our own master. But to begin effectively on this way, one must first clearly see the situation as it is.

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Spirituality for The 21st Century

"Our experience of goodness, forgiveness, healing and transformation into the radiant persons we are meant to be
is the heart and soul of a true spirituality."

– Theodore J. Nottingham –

The next century is nearly upon us, bringing the human family together as never before. One of the things that could make or break humanity's opportunities for evolution and even survival is the gatekeeper of spirituality-religion. Will it unify us or split us further apart? There are plenty of spiritual groups in the world, but most of them reveal their exclusivity inasmuch as their members identify themselves by the motto: "I'm in the group and you're not."

Religion in the new millennium must either link us together or become obsolete. The answer to this problem is not another round of interfaith dialogue among representatives sitting in an ivory tower. What is needed is a widespread recognition of the common ground that unites all true experiences of the sacred. At the heart of nearly every spiritual teaching-from Christian Centering Prayer and Hesychia (inner tranquility) to the Sufi Zhikr (remembrance of God) to Buddhist mindfulness and Hindu Advaita (non-duality)-there are the same elements of self-knowledge, inner struggle, inner silence, and inner transformation.

These experiences cannot be captured in words with our fragmented and limited intellects. Therefore no word can be final. We can, however, use words to express our feelings of liberation from the anxieties of the ego, for the peace that transcends external circumstances, and for our devotion to something greater than ourselves. Call it Brahma, Allah, Nirvana, the God of Abraham, or the Christ, there is a Divine Presence that, when encountered, may alter the fabric of our lives. Evidence of this fact can be clearly witnessed in every age.

In this day and age, we are discarding the rationalism of an arrogant, male-driven nineteenth century and are breaking into a new appreciation of intuitive sensitivities. Sensing the invisible in the visible, recognizing the sacred in the ordinary, and discovering the oneness of humanity is possible for us on an unprecedented scale. Now that every corner of the globe can be seen at the switch of a channel or the tap of a keyboard, we face a horizon without the boundaries of the past. We know in our bones that, with a little responsibility, starving children can be fed in all parts of the world. We know now that we are so connected that if the ship goes down, we all go down.

In such a world, there is no more room for the antiquated prejudice and dogmas that were shaped in the narrow confines of another age. Certainly, there are good things to inherit from the past.

But everything must be measured against the most holistic and universal spiritual criteria we can perceive in our day. Such a viable spirituality for the new millennium might be described in the following way:

• Enlightenment must lead to unification.

• Intolerance of any kind is unacceptable.

• Cultural diversity must be fully embraced.

• True spiritual leaders must radiate compassion and self-transcendence.

• Scripture can be considered divinely inspired only if it genuinely reflects unconditional love.

• Ritual is valuable insofar as it enables authentic inner experience, not merely because it has always been done that way.

• The truth of different paths converge at the deepest levels of our being.

• All of life is seen as a sacrament of the Mystery that generates existence.

These fundamentals provide us with a compass for a viable spirituality. Anything less cannot be considered unifying, sacred, or even humane. The world has suffered long enough from restrictive religions. It is time to strip them all of their forms that separate us. If there is no compassionate light beneath them, then let them become dust in the wind.

In this new age, we can approach this formidable and all-encompassing inner work with the help of transpersonal psychology, intellectual study, emotional liberation and purification. This is the holistic development available to all of us who know that there is a special work to be done at the dawn of the new millennium.

It begins in the intimacy of our own psyche, as we undertake to find the "undiscovered country" of our deeper selves. In this highly individual search, we will encounter the universal aspect of our being that will enable us to bring to the world the kind of commitment and compassion that it so desperately needs.

Our experience of goodness, forgiveness, healing and transformation into the radiant persons we are meant to be is the heart and soul of a true spirituality. When individuals who are undergoing these inner experiences and yearning for more come together, a new community will be born-one that will be open, loving and real.

Self-Observation and Inner Talking
"The idea of the Work is to change oneself. The idea of self-observation is to separate from what one was by not going with what one observes. In this way self-observation is a means of self-change."

– Rebecca Nottingham –

There are many things that can be said about self-observation and what it is and what it is not. The whole of the Work starts from a man beginning to observe himself. Self-observation is a means of self-change. Serious and continuous self-observation, if done aright, leads to definite inner changes in a man.

Let us, first of all, consider self-observation in connection with a mistake often made about it. The mistake is the confusing of self-observation with knowing. To know and to observe are not the same thing. Speaking superficially, you may know you are sitting in a chair in your room, but can you say that you are actually observing it? Speaking more deeply, you may know you are in a negative state, but that does not mean that you are observing it.

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The Terror of the Situation
9-11 Evidence & Investigation

Empire of Illusion: Chris Hedges

World Trade Center Nuclear Demolition by Dimitri Khalezov

9-11 Explosive Evidence Experts Speak Out

CIA Asset Susan Lindauer Censored 9-11 Evidence

Click Here to Watch the Videos

Missing the Mark
"The self that we must remember is the invisible self that comes down from a star. It is our essence that makes us unique individuals. It is what relates us to the spiritual world and to the cosmos."

– Maurice Nicoll –
Maurice Nicoll was a psychologist and a student of Jung, Gurdjieff, and Ouspensky. He started his own Fourth Way Group in England. He wrote a five volume set called Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky in which he discusses the teachings from a practical standpoint. He maintains that Gurdjieff looked at the Fourth Way as an aspect of Esoteric Christianity. In many of his Commentaries, Nicoll shows the relationship between the Work and Esoteric Christianity. His books The Mark and The New Man give a detailed explanation of how Esoteric Christianity can be applied to man today.

Nicoll states: "The central idea of the Work is self-change, and the central teaching of the Work is that man is an unfinished creation, a self-developing organism, one whose only task is to complete itself." He maintains that Jesus did not come to preach morality, but to instruct man on what he needed to do to complete himself.

In order to complete yourself, you must have an aim that you are working toward. It must be a Work aim, not a life aim. A life aim like earning lots of money, or becoming a famous author reinforces self-love and vanity. Life aims will not help in self-completion. There are small aims like cooking an excellent Thanksgiving dinner for the family. Though this seems like a practical aim not connected with the Work, it can be a Work aim if you practice non-identifying and external considering as you try to reach the aim. There are larger aims like Self-Remembering. An aim like Self-Remembering is one that you must work on for your whole life.

Nicoll maintains that the only sin in life is missing the mark. If you have no aim in life, then you cannot sin. He illustrates this with a practical example. Suppose you are to meet someone for coffee at eight. If you have to walk five blocks to keep your appointment, it would be a sin to stop at the newspaper stand and glance over the paper. Stopping at the stand would make you late for your appointment. There is no sin in reading over the newspaper unless it interferes with your aim.

As a psychologist, Nicoll naturally applies concepts of psychology to the Work. He maintains that to understand the Work, we must think in a new way. You have to go beyond sensual thinking. Nicoll calls this new way of thinking psychological thinking. We have to admit that it is the "Unknown" that stands behind and supports the visible world. You cannot Remember yourself if you think that you are just your body and your senses. The self that we must remember is the invisible self that comes down from a star. It is our essence that makes us unique individuals. It is what relates us to the spiritual world and to the cosmos.

He maintains that the word repent that is used in the Bible many times is misinterpreted. It comes from the Greek work metanoia. Most biblical scholars interpret this to mean to be sorry, or ask forgiveness for your sins. Nicoll holds that metanoia means to go beyond the physical. It means to think in a new way. In order to understand our selves we have to think in a new way, we have to go beyond sensual thought and think at a higher level.

In his Commentaries, Nicoll stresses that you must apply the teachings of the Work to yourself in order to reach a higher level in yourself. It is not enough to learn Work terms like Self-Observation and Self-Remembering. You must observe your daily actions. You have to catch yourself when you are doing things that drain force. You have to remember yourself at least two or three times a day. Without practice you will remain at the second level of consciousness.

He stresses that one of the main reasons for our sleep is that we lose all of our energy through the expression of negative emotions. According to Nicoll, it is the not sex instinct or the urge for power that dominates man's life, but it is negative emotions. We are always negative. He maintains that we have the right not to express negative emotions. It is not that we must not express them, that we are commanded to non-expression. But, it is our right as human beings not to express negative emotions and eventually be free of the negative feelings altogether.

Under certain conditions we can control the expression of negative emotions if it serves our self-interest. You may feel intense anger at your boss for his critique of a project that you finished. However you will not express this anger for fear of losing your job. You may be angry with the driver who just cut you off, but you will not express this anger because doing so might cause an auto accident. You may want to punch a stranger in the face because he insulted your wife, but you restrain yourself out of fear of being arrested.

Negative emotions arise, but if we are conscious of them we can control our expression of them with concerted effort. The next step is to discover the reason for or the source of negative emotions. Once we begin to practice self-observation we can see that many of our negative feelings come from habitual reactions to situations that are unflattering to our self-love. Others come because of conditioned fear of situations. Once we learn to curb our self-love, and become aware of our conditioning we will cease to feel negative so much of the time.

In his book, The Mark, Nicoll maintains that Jesus came to instruct man in how he could complete himself. He came to bear witness to the Truth. The Truth is that man is asleep, but can awaken with sustained effort. The purpose of life is to reach the level of life that was intended for completed man or woman. Man is in part a material being, but this is only a minor part of the totality of man. The inner self, the soul or essence is the real man and it is this aspect that man must grow in order to complete himself. Jesus asked, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

One of the most interesting parts of The Mark is a section called The Parable of the Sower. Nicoll explains that man is a seed sown on the earth. At the same time, the Work is sown on the earth as seeds. And, some seeds fall along the wayside. These are the people who are too involved in the way of the world to even hear the Work. These are men who are totally governed by their senses, sensual man. Other seeds fall among the rocky places. These are men who have knowledge of the Work, but it doesn't penetrate into their being. This is theoretical man. The third category is those who fall upon the thorns. They understand the Work, but their emotional center is tied to life. This is man governed by negative emotions. Then, there are other seeds that are sown upon good ground. These are men who are born again in spirit.

If we don't awaken, we cannot die. And if we don't die, we cannot be born again. And the whole meaning of Man's life on this earth comes with his rebirth. And, this rebirth is into a higher level of consciousness.

If we take our body as our self, and feel that the material needs of life is all that we must strive for, we are missing the mark. If we miss the mark our life will be meaningless. Read The Mark by Maurice Nicoll.

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"As he gradually acquires mastery and control of his Personality, man, with the aid of this complex instrument, succeeds in knowing the Universe in all its partsand in establishing conscious and organic links with it."

— Boris Mouravieff —–

"To put yourself in another person's situation calls upon your whole understanding. It requires a directed effort of the mind and feeling, and not merely once but time and time again."

– Maurice Nicoll –

"The way to perfection is the way to consciousness."

— St. Theophan the Recluse —

"To destroy the armies of darkness within ourselves, we need to see our animal nature and accept our responsibility for our actions and the impact those actions have on all of Creation. As long as I lie to myself or ignore my habit state, the more I perpetuate suffering."

– Theodore J. Nottingham –

"Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening."

– G. I. Gurdjieff –