Gurus and creativity
Comment:The ‘calmswan’ G group
It is not clear quite at which dates the author served time in ‘calmswan’, but internal evidence and some clues suggest that it was a Gurdjieff Foundation group.
And…to me what stuck out was that the author’s own initiative and creativity as a musician were sidelined, vampirized for the service of the leaders of the group.
This repeats what to me is the chief feature of G work itself–that people with genuine original talent but who do not have the confidence and self knowledge to protect their own treasure, are easily persuaded to consider thier genuine and original talent as sleep or mere egotism and to let some G work leader vampirize the recruit’s creativity to keep the fossilized system going.
Gary Lachman made a persuasive case that Ouspenksy had a more original talent than Gurdjieff did and made the tragic mistake of subordinating his own insights and his own personality to Gurdjieff’s.
My take is that the best way to describe Gurdjieff and anything that spins off from him is that all this stuff is parasitic–it can keep going only by filching vitality and creativity from others–and often by conning persons with genuine talent into believing that their genuine talent is an impediment to their spiritual development–and, when a person disowns his or her talent–co-opting their energy to serve whatever Fourth Way entity has lied to them.
IMO, Gurdjieff was incurably ego driven. He had no creativity of his own, but envied originality in others. All he could do was steal from others richer than he.
His sytem was just a gimmick he created from bits and pieces of traditions that were distorted the instant Gurdy touched em, and glued together with fat gobs of disinformation and cognitive double binds. The closest thing Gurdy came to art was to live his own life as a performance artist, using bits of ancient truth to conceal a life of deceit and confusion mongering.
Gurdy had not talent of his own, and it may be that he got a kick out of conning genuinely talented people into devaluing what Gurdy himself longed to possess but did not possess–creativity.
Thomas de Hartmann had real promise as a composer, had already published compositions that showed originality, yet he sacrificed his own creativity to take dictation for Gurdjieff’s own nutty music.
The vampirizing is still going on.
Take home lesson is—Artists and creatives–beware. No matter what your own self doubt, be aware there are persons who prey on creativity, and who get off on trying to get creative people to doubt themselves.
Safeguard your talent from all creativity-envying vampires, Fourth Way or otherwise, who have no life force of their own and who want to trick you into disowning your own treasure.
They can keep alive only by conning you into jettisoning your creativity–so that they can steal it after they’ve tricked you into disloyalty to yourself.
Your own unanswered question is better than someone elses’ Answer.
Even if you dont understand your own riddle, honor it and dont let anyone
trick you into devaluing it.
So what if you cant explain this in a sound bite, or give someone a satisfactory answer at a party.
And what’s terrible about dying like a dog?
Dogs are playful, and they are more capable of love and loyalty than Gurdy ever was.
Good points. I will let it stand without comment (for the moment).
But you are righter than you know. Over at Darwiniana, a long while back when SK was still around, we had several discussions hinting at all this. I learned my own version of this as I wandered in the wake of the New Age movement writing poetry, stumbling on the strange game going on here in sufi circles.