BOYHOOD WITH GURDJIEFF, by Fritz Peters

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: BOYHOOD WITH GURDJIEFF, by Fritz Peters

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:54 am

Chapter 40

IN SPITE OF my first beginning interest in the "theoretical" aspect of the Gurdjieff work at the Prieure, this interest was cut short by two letters which I received shortly before Christmas in the year 1928. One was from Jane, who had arranged that Tom and I would spend Christmas with her in Paris, and I gathered that it was to be in the nature of a reconciliation between Jane and myself.

The second letter was from my mother in Chicago, who had been able to convince my stepfather that it was time for me to come back to the United States; there was even an enclosure from my stepfather asking me to come back and assuring me that I would be supported, educated, and welcome. My decision was instantaneous, and did not involve any inner conflicts. I wanted to return to America. Because my mother's letter indicated that Jane would not be either consulted or notified until they had heard from me, I decided not to mention the possibility of my leaving France until after Christmas.

We did go to Paris for Christmas, and Jane and I were reconciled. Since our relationship had always been characterized by its explosive quality, once we had, very emotionally, buried the past, I could not keep to my resolve, since I did not feel that I should disguise my intentions and wishes once we were on good terms again. I told Jane, honestly, and because of my new found goodwill towards her, that I wanted to return to the United States.

But I had forgotten that, as a minor, I could not leave Jane's custody, and that I should have to stay at the Prieure, at least until I was of age.

It would be uninteresting and boring to even attempt to describe the nine months that followed. As far as any willing participation on my part was concerned, I might as well have left the Prieure that very day, Although I continued to perform, in a desultory way, whatever work was assigned to me, my memory of that entire time is nothing more than a blur, punctuated only by letters from America and from Paris, visits by Jane to the Prieure for the purpose of further argu ment, plus lectures and advice from many of the older students who had been brought into the argument by Jane, all of which, as was usual with me, only served to increase my determination to leave at any cost. I was particularly surprised, during the summer of that year, that Gurdjieff had not been brought actively into the question of my departure. He was finally brought into it in the early fall, presumably because of the influence and persistence of my mother and stepfather who had by this time even bought me a ticket, and had probably even gone so far -- although I have no personal knowledge of this -- as to threaten some sort of legal action. In any event, something had happened to cause Jane to consider agreeing to my departure. Her arguments now took the form of appeals to my good sense, rather than simple, straightforward threats.

Instead of seeing Gurdjieff at the Prieure, I was taken to Paris to see him, in the company of Jane, at the Cafe de la Pa ix, which was his usual "writing cafe" when he was in Paris. We went there in the evening and Jane proceeded to talk for a very long time, advancing all of her arguments, deploring my resistance and the fact that I did not understand or realize that I was probably giving up the greatest opportunity for knowledge, and education, that I would ever have; she also went into the legal position at some length.

As always, Gurdjieff listened carefully and thoughtfully, but when she had finished he did not have very much to say. He asked me if I had listened to everything that she had said and if I had considered the whole situation. I said that I had and that my decision remained unchanged. He then told Jane that while he did not feel that there was much use for her to continue to argue with me about my decision, he would consider the whole situation and would talk to me, personally, in the near future.

When we had left him, Jane told me that, for me to leave at all, it would be necessary to break the adoption in so far as I was concerned -- none of this related to Tom in any way -- and that this could only be done through the American Consul in Paris; that it was very difficult and might even be impossible, and also that I was causing nothing but a great deal of trouble for everyone else in addition to giving up the opportunity of a lifetime. All I could do was listen and wonder if she would ever stop raging at me, and I took recourse in total silence.

Gurdjieff did talk to me, but only very briefly, when we were both back at the Prieure. He said that he wanted to know if I had considered and evaluated my relationships to my mother, to Jane, and to himself and the school conscientiously and if, having done so, I still wanted to go back to America. I said that I thought I had, to the best of my ability, that I had been unhappy with Jane for several years now; as to himself and the Prieure, I had no particular desire to leave the school or to part from him, but that I did want to be with my own family; that I was an American and would not, in any case, stay in France for the rest of my life. I felt that I belonged in America.

Gurdjieff did not object to any of this, and said that he would not oppose my leaving and that when Jane consulted him about it, he would tell her so.

The effect of Gurdjieff's decision not to oppose me was remarkable. Not only did Jane capitulate, but came to the Prieure and announced that all the details -- tickets, passport, legal papers, etc. -- had been arranged. I was to leave in a few days and she, accompanied by Tom and a friend of hers, would drive me to Cherbourg to take the boat. I felt, instinctively, that this was an unnecessary journey and protested that I could just as well go on the train, but she was insistent about making the trip with me and putting me on the boat.

I said goodbye to Gurdjieff early in the afternoon of the same day that I was to leave. He was going to Paris and would not be there when we departed. The usual crowd was assembled at the entrance to the main building around his car, and he said goodbye to everyone. I hung back, feeling depressed and uncertain now that the moment was upon me, and he beckoned to me as he was about to get into his car. I went over to him, and first he shook my hand, looked at me with a smile on his face, and said, rather sadly I thought : "So you decide to go?"

I was only able to nod my head at him. Then he put his arm around me, leaned over and kissed my cheek, and said : "Must not be sad. Sometime maybe you will come back; remember that in life anything can happen."

At that moment, for the only time in many months, I regretted my decision. Whatever had taken place at the Prieure, whatever I had or had not experienced or learned, my affection for Gurdjieff had remained essentially undi minished. I realized, although not immediately, that if he had at any time put the question of my departure on a personal, emotional level -- the end of my personal association with him -- I probably would not have left. He did not; as I have said, he always seemed to me to play fair.
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Re: BOYHOOD WITH GURDJIEFF, by Fritz Peters

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:54 am

EPILOGUE

Chapter 41


WHAT WAS THE effect upon me of my years with Gurdjieff as a child, and what did I learn at the Prieure?

I am tempted to answer that question with another question: How is it possible to evaluate such an experience? There was no training or education available at the Prieure which would serve to prepare any individual for success in the ordinary sense of the word; I had not learned enough to enter a college, I could not even pass a final high school examination. I did not become a benevolent, wise, or even a more competent individual in any visible sense. I did not become a happier, more peaceful, or less troubled person. A few of the things I did learn -- that life is lived today -- right now -- and that the fact of death is inevitable; that man is a perplexing, confusing and inexplicable, unimportant cog in the universe -- are perhaps things that I might have learned anywhere.

However, I might well go back to the year 1924, and repeat that whatever else existence is or may seem to be, it is a gift. And like all gifts ... anything is possible ... there might be a miracle inside the box.
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