To Fathom The Gist, Vol 3: The Arousing of Thought
The third book in this series was created to serve as an example of how to make practical use of the author’s ideas, expounded in detail in the previous two books of the series. To that end it provides a thorough examination of the text of the first half of the long first chapter of The Tales, which is titled The Arousing of Thought. In private groups, the author became aware that, while some of his pupils were capable of applying the techniques he had explained and written about, others still found Gurdjieff’s masterpiece difficult if not impossible.
He, therefore, decided to take 25 pages of the first chapter (and the preface too) and provide an analysis on almost a word-by-word basis.
In this volume he demonstrates all of the techniques he advocates: philological work, awareness of typography, factual research, Gurdjieff’s use of Christian symbols, allegory, and a precise examination of the literal meaning where it is warranted.
Among the questions this book addresses are:
– Why does The Tales have two titles?
– Why is the “ALL” on the original cover of the book capitalized?
– Who were the Ancient Toulousites?
– Exactly what is that crazy lame goat, or the midwife’s lozenge of cocaine for that matter.
The suggested answers this book provides to such questions are intriguing. But perhaps of greater value to the reader is the author’s explanation of Gurdjieff’s grammar of associations—the grammar he employed to write the book in his “ignorance” of the “bon ton literary language of the intelligentsia.” What, indeed, is the difference between mentation by form and mentation by thought?