the philological particularities of each language

This often unnoticed first paragraph of the book declares unambiguously that the book has been written philologically.

This is important for two reasons;

  1. Because Gurdjieff chose to insert it so that careful readers would notice and consider the implications
  2. It is necessary for the book to be written philologically so that the actual meanings of words stay relatively stable over time. The reader must thus consult the etymological meaning of many words Gurdjieff chooses to use.