“To be an altruist, you must first be an egoist.”
In 1919 Armenian George Gurdjieff founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Tbilisi, Georgia, in order to serve men in peace. Yet Mr. Gurdjieff’s commitment to helping others began with himself. It was about complete self awareness; absorption in meditation; and pushing oneself to a higher attunement to the Spirit. In so doing, we are then able to be conscious of our own spirituality as foremost in thought.
From that standpoint, we can then go on to help others. We see everyone connected in spirit. We wish the best for others as we strive for peace and perfect alignment for spirit for ourselves. So we focus first on our own spiritual commitment, before we focus on helping other’s spirit, in this wonderful journey of life.
George Gurdjieff was an Armenian mystic and philosopher. He traveled in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia as a young man.
He was born to a Caucasus Greek father, and an Armenian mother in Alexandropol (now Gyumri). Early influences on him included his father, a carpenter and amateur ashik or bardic poet. The young Gurdjieff avidly read Russian-language scientific literature. Influenced by these writings, and having witnessed a number of phenomena that he could not explain, he formed the conviction that there is a hidden truth not to be found in science or in mainstream religion.
He taught in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and in 1919 he founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia. In 1922 he reestablished the institute at Fontainebleau, France, gathering a group of followers who lived communally, engaging in philosophical dialogue, ritual exercises, and dance. His basic assertion was that ordinary living was akin to sleep and that through spiritual discipline it was possible to achieve heightened levels of vitality and awareness. The Fontainebleau centre closed in 1933, but Gurdjieff continued to teach in Paris until his death.
Bio Source: Wikipedia Fig¹. Paola Chaaya on Unsplash Fig². Josh Appel on Unsplash