THE BODY AND ITS USES – THE GURDJIEFF SYSTEM
THE JOURNAL OF THE INSTITUTE FOR THE COMPARATIVE STUDY
OF HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY AND THE SCIENCES
VOL. 3 No 2 SEPTEMBER, 1965
The Body and its Uses - A Gurdjieff System
"In the present paper, I shall attempt to describe the theories and methods of G. I.
Gurdjieff in the domain of the human body and its most effective use.
The starting point we shall adopt is that the body is to be regarded as an instrument to be
used for a great variety of purposes and in nearly all circumstances, and not merely as a
set of specialized organs of affection and effection. This total instrument can be used to
that advantage only if its operations are understood by the user himself and if he knows
how to develop its powers to their highest efficiency and maintain them in good order.
To illustrate the total significance of the body, Gurdjieff proposes various experiments
capable of being performed and verified by anyone interested. The postures and gestures
of the body are linked to the states of the nervous system including the cerebral cortex.
Our thoughts affect our postures and conversely our postures influence our thoughts. We
think differently if we sit, stand walk, or recline. Set yourself four problems requiring
equal mental concentration and measure the time taken to solve them under the four
conditions: the four times will disclose a pattern of psycho-somatic correspondence that
is characteristic of the individual. The experiment must, of course, be repeated many
times to give reproducible mean values; but even a few trials are sufficient to demonstrate
the dependence of thought processes on bodily posture."
“Systematics” Papers: Articles from the journal Systematics
The above article can be found in the recently published book:
"Systematics" Papers: Articles from the journal Systematics (The Collected Works of J.G. Bennett) (Volume 22)A series of 26 articles originally published in "Systematics" the Journal of the Institute for the Comparative Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences, from 1963 - 1972. Bennett demonstrates the technique of Systematics laid out in his "The Dramatic Universe". Topics covered include History, Psychology, Education, Religion, Macrosociology, the nature of time. Also included are two translations of Sufi texts, and two book reviews.