EFF · Beelzebub’s · Tales to His · Grandson FIRST SERIES Three books under the title of Beelzebub’s. Tales to His Grandson. An Objectively. Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson has ratings and 77 reviews. The teaching of G. I. Gurdjieff () has come to be recognized as one of the mos. With Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, G. I. Gurdjieff intended to “destroy, mercilessly the beliefs and views about everything existing in the world.
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This book is without doubt one of the most extraordinary books ever published.
Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson by G. I. Gurdjieff | : Books
It is a highly unusual mixture of entertainment and esotericism, humor and seriousness, obscurity and clarity. He was born in of Greek ancestry in Russian Armenia and died in Paris in As a young man he devoted his energies to searching for the fundamental truths of life.
He traveled extensively throughout the East, sometimes gaining entrance to esoteric schools that few, if any, Westerners had ever been admitted to. He became convinced that there was a way for man to become much more than what he is. He then set about putting what he had learned into a form that would be understandable and meaningful to the Western world.
He developed a method whereby a man could evolve through his own efforts. What was possibly most important and unique about Gurdjieff was that he was a living example of what his method could produce. It is fortunate that he put his ideas in writing, because throughout history we can see what has happened when wise men have entrusted the dissemination of their teachings solely to their disciples. Distortions, disagreements and even reversals are inevitably the final result.
This is not to say that many of the books written about the ideas and method of Gurdjieff are not quite good. But these are secondhand and consequently not as complete or as accurate as something coming directly from Gurdjieff himself. Because the book is so unique, the reading of it does present certain challenges. However, this does not mean that a tremendous amount cannot be gleaned from the first reading.
Here Gurdjieff steps out of his role as storyteller and talks to the reader directly. Gurdjieff sets out to destroy only in order to create. He believes that before man can proceed to uncover and develop his hidden possibilities, he must first question the condition in which he is, must feel dissatisfaction, must have an inkling that there is more to life than what the senses perceive.
The only possible solution is that enough men embark on a road leading to higher states of consciousness. Probably the biggest challenge in reading the book lies in its richness of content. What is said can be taken on so many different levels, and it is often hard to know how to go about deciphering it. The story opens aboard the space ship Karnak. Beelzebub is traveling to a conference where his sage advice is needed on matters of cosmic significance. He is accompanied by his grandson, Hassein, and his old and faithful servant Ahoon.
As they travel, Beelzebub regales Hassein with tales about the Earth, about events in the universe, and about cosmological and psychological law. Beelzebub tells Hassein how he happened to become interested in the planet Earth. There he builds a telescope in order to study the goings-on on Earth and to observe the strange customs of its inhabitants.
Beelzebub then relates an engrossing story about the early life of Earth, which is filled with psychological implications.
In order to maintain the balance of the universe, it was necessary to ensure that these two satellites remain orbiting around the Earth, and Earthmen were required to give off a certain substance that would facilitate that end. Fearing that if the Earthmen found out what their function was, they might find no reason for continuing to live, the higher powers implanted an organ gurdijeff them called Kundabuffer which prevented them from perceiving their true condition.
Later the organ was removed, but unfortunately its consequences remained and they remain to this day. The Kundabuffer was only intended to prevent man from seeing reality, but it also caused the additional qualities of self-love, vanity, swagger, pride, etc.
These qualities are psychological and emotional props which put a cloud over the true nature of man. Hence, man needs a vantage point beyond the cloud, as if from Mars, to see this real nature and gurdjieeff discover there the purpose of his life. Beelzebub also tells of his personal visits to Earth where he learns more about the nature of man after gaining preliminary knowledge through his telescope.
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These descents to Earth are narrated to his grandson for educational purposes, but they are always entertaining stories. In all, Beelzebub makes six trips to Earth, each possibly representing a specific portion of the body or psyche deserving study.
His prime interest is in electricity called Okidanokh which participates in the formation of all new arisings. Gornahoor Harharkh invents a machine which demonstrates and makes available for his use the properties hurdjieff Okidanokh.
Perhaps the most outstanding character in the book outside of Beelzebub is Ashiata Shiemash. We learn about him in a series of four chapters which are some of the most emotionally stimulating in the book. Ashiata Shiemash was sent to Earth as a messenger from above, a messiah figure of enormous nobility and beauty. His writings are unusually moving and have a scriptural tone and quality. An example are his three verses on what he calls the sacred being-impulses of Faith, Love and Hope:. Faith of consciousness is freedom Faith of feeling is weakness Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response Love of feeling evokes the opposite Love of body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength Hope of feeling is slavery Hope of body is disease. Ashiata Shiemash establishes the Being-Obligolnian Strivings, five rules of objective morality which lead to genuine conscience.
These five rules are: For instance, Beelzebub explains to his grandson that man is composed of three brains or centers. They are the instinctive or moving center, the emotional or feeling center, and the intellectual or thinking center. Perhaps Beelzebub and his party can be seen as a demonstration of the three centers functioning together as a unit, each having a definite role to fulfill. Beelzebub himself would correspond to the thinking center. He has all the information, is the maker of plans and decisions, and is the leader of the group.
Ahoon, the servant, represents the physical center. He is described as faithful. Hassein represents the emotional center. He is young, not fully developed, is in the process of being educated, has willingness and eagerness to grow up, and is often intensely moved by what Beelzebub tells him.
They each try to develop primarily through the means of one center: It is quite an unusual concept and rarely, if ever, appears in contemporary scientific knowledge. The Law of Three states that there are three rather than two forces always in operation. We generally, of course, know of only positive and negative.
To this, Gurdjieff adds the neutralizing force. Unfortunately, man in his present condition does not take in these substances and therefore does not fulfill his potentialities. Understanding can only result through the conscious verification of knowledge. Beelzebub decides that the Karnak should wait in outer space until the comet has gone by. He makes use of this time to explain to Hassein the dynamics of space ships, much as the contemporary father explains the workings of an automobile to his young son, and also in keeping with the best tradition in science-fiction.
Perhaps there are indications here of what kind of fuel could be used to keep oneself in perpetual effort to develop. Another exciting principle which Gurdjieff brings forth is the Law of Seven, to which he devotes a whole chapter. When the elements are lined up in tabular form, each series headed by an inert element, it can be seen that certain of their characteristics repeat in patterns of seven.
It is interesting to note here that the electrons of inert elements have closed orbits; they cannot combine with the other elements of this world easily. Sometimes there is digression upon digression, so that Gurdjieff appears rambling and disconnected. But actually each seeming digression adds a new dimension to that which is being discussed.
It is sometimes gurdjoeff to determine when Gurdjieff is being humorous and when serious. He will often discuss a most weighty problem in a tone which is light, sometimes facetious, often with beezebub. Bellybutton and on and on. This chapter is really spiced with pungent wit!
Often when considering a most serious question, he gurdieff with a quote from the legendary Arab philosopher, Mullah Nassr Eddin. These words are often an unusual assemblage of syllables with three of four consecutive vowels. It is not that Gurdjieff leaves the reader hanging, for he often goes to great length to define and illustrate these words. But an examination of their construction can no doubt shed even further light on them, and Gurdjieff offers quite an adventure in word exploration for those so inclined.
The book is certainly well worth the struggle. In the last chapter, Beelzebub, in an exultant experience, is graduated to a state of higher Reason, which he has earned through his efforts to develop. The ritual connected with this has the solemnity of a religious ceremony and is deeply moving and inspiring. But not before Hassein is invited to ask beelzwbub final question of his grandfather.
Hassein asks what hope there is for the salvation of people on Earth, and most aptly the story ends with the reply:. Summer Issue, Vol.