Gurdjieff and shampoo

We have a friend who was in a cult for several years. Cult leaders like to keep the delusional bubble intact, so they usually don’t let their members talk to the outside world; but from what I could tell, “The Work,” as it was called, was based on the Work of Gurdjieff.

For example: our friend had his watch set to go off at random intervals: Waking Up. He was also careful not to speak about himself as one unified whole. He’d name the various Selves as they came and went in the course of conversation: not Multiple Personality Disorder, but Self Remembering.

Our friend had a party for the guru and his followers, who were all showing off by pointing out everyone else’s Selves. Then the guru himself announced a giant Point-Out. Everyone sat down and listened raptly as he, the guru, took apart and criticized, one by one, all the Selves of my friend. This was the Work. I left the room.

My friend thanked the guru.

About a year later, after he had moved 300 miles to live in the guru’s compound, my friend had a heart attack, recovered, and left the group. He’s a pretty normal guy now, though he still spends a lot of time trying to figure out the meaning of life.

I write all this because it gave me great pleasure, yesterday, to write about Waking Up and a shampoo bottle in the same post.

This entry was posted in Dreams, consciousness, and weird things like that, Life's purpose and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gurdjieff and shampoo

  1. Curtis says:

    The friend in question thinks the story of his brush with gurudom is kind of inaccurate, and also that thinking about life’s purpose for 60 years has made him a happier person.

  2. Pingback: Philosophy, that frigid space « Celebrating Time

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