“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”
Now you say I am a machine? What the?
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.