The Fourth Way

The Fourth Way is a way of attaining spiritual evolution. It focuses on harmonious development of Man, that is, simultaneous development of intellect, emotion, action and divinity within, through (1) observing and understanding within oneself the Intellect, Emotion, Sensation, Physical impulse, and the spark of divinity within (moments of self-remembering); (2)  balancing their functionings; (3) learning to apply them all simultaneously in unified way in day-to-day activities with intentional effort of Self-remembering, and (4) thereby eventually transcending inner-slavery, and attaining spiritual purity and higher states of consciousness. 

The beauty of the Fourth Way is that it occurs in life, where one is, with no need to change one’s situation. Rather, it becomes more effective when one applies it in one’s day-to-day life activities: doing one’s usual business, profession, job, household work or any other usual calling one happens to be doing for making a living. Over a period, it would add an element of inner richness in one’s day-to-day living.

The understanding of Scale & Relativity is one of the most fundamental, significant and scientific contributions of the Fourth Way (Gurdjieff system) in the spiritual arena. Without the right sense of scale & relativity, seekers often take manifestations or phenomena of different orders on the same level, or rather, are not able to distinguish manifestations or phenomena of different levels.

In 20th Century G. I. Gurdjieff expounded the Fourth Way in his teachings and writings, major part of which has been presented in organized and refined way in writings of P. D. Ouspensky. Its roots are in Sufism and in Hindu Samkhya philosophy, or rather, the Fourth Way has drawn much material from Sufism and Hindu Samkhya philosophy.

In the context of Hindu Spirituality the Fourth Way may be understood as a way of spiritual evolution through the unwavering devotion (
Ekantiki-Bhakti) towards ParamBrahm, The Almighty, interwoven with the self-realized objective knowledge (Atma-Parmatma-Gyan), non-identification (Vairagya) and willing righteous self-discipline (Dharma).

© Mohan Vaishnav 

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