"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"
Is it possible to know that I am a machine?
To know that I am just a machine? This is the big question!
Maybe that is like asking a computer to have self knowledge
and to actually know that it is really just hardware and some
electronics and programs that function when some buttons
are clicked. Or an automobile to be able to see itself from
outside itself and to also know and be aware that it only works
when there is a driver
who turns a key and makes it go and stop and turn, etc.
Or a TV that somehow knows it works and shows programs
that are decided by a person clicking a gadget from across the room.
It would take some doing to make this knowledge possible
for this equipment. But then if they had the knowledge, what possible good
would it do them? The programs built into the machines would not
change, they would not be able to do anything on their own. They
would not be able to make any independent decisions or change
course or do anything that was not programed into them and
chosen by a man or woman
So if Gurdjieff knew the truth of our condition and we are machines,
actual machines then it seems that it would be just as impossible for me
to know that I am only a mechanical devise (a stimulous-response machine)
as it would for a computer
to know it is just a machine. Well, for sure, I am a much more complex
devise than a computer. I have many more features and programs and
possibilities than a computer.
According to the Fourth Way, men have more than one brain. There is
the emotional center, the instinctive center, the moving center,
the intellectual center, etc.
Unfortunately all of these different brains built into us function independently
of each other and often cause lots of problems for us because they
often malfunction by trying to do the work of the other centers.
Thus, we are machines but not even well functioning ones!
I can write all the descriptions of our machines that Gurdjieff
and Ouspenski wrote and described. Actually these have been written and
rewritten so many times by so many people since Gurdjieff and Ouspenski
have gone that even if I read every word ever written about the Fourth Way,
I still would not actually know what I am other than knowing a lot of words that
describe me as a machine with no independent moving parts without
the ability to do! To be independent of all the forces driving me without
my ability to see them.