Gurdjieff Mechnical Fourth Way
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Make Up “Your” Mind

by A Friend

As Dr. Bob explores in Lesson 1 of the Science of Man series, the first step on the path to freedom is recognizing the absence of choice in our state of being and how suggestion and circumstance dictate our emotions and behavior.

For many, pride strongly opposes this idea when first presented.The notion of being mechanically manipulated by external circumstances is a tough pill for the ego to swallow.

For others, there may be confusion between the topic of ‘choice of inner state’ and ‘choice of behavior.’ Most new students arrive at The Work with the belief they have free agency and choice of their actions. After all, “I make decisions every day.” Or so it seems that way.

If you have worked with Lesson 1’s experiment for while and have not thoroughly witnessed the mechanical nature of your inner experience, try the following as an additional exercise.

Make a conscious decision to be continuously happy for the next three days. Make up your mind that nothing or no one can push your buttons.

And as a tip, consider drawing a smiley face on the back of your hand or tying a string on your finger as a reminder. Remaining presently aware of one’s inner state and remembering “conscious decisions” are often quite challenging early in The Work.

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