The Arousing of Thought—p3 notes


common (adj.) c. 1300, “belonging to all, owned or used jointly, general, of a public nature or character,” from Old French comun “common, general, free, open, public” (9c., Modern French commun), from Latin communis “in common, public, shared by all or many; general, not specific; familiar, not pretentious.” rally “shared by all.”

The mun is the source of Latin munia “duties, public duties, functions,” those related to munia “office.”
common presence

This term is used repeatedly through The Tales—352 times in total. This, most likely,  indicates the importance to Gurdjieff of the notion it conveys. Man, irrespective of whether he has achieved unity, can be thought of as having a “common presence”—of being a multitude.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Gurdjieff ’s formulation “In the name of the Father and of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost. Amen” is not, as he suggests, how this is usually formulated. The traditional Christian formulation comes from The New Testament where it is written:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
In more recent English versions of The New Testament “Holy Spirit” is preferred to Gurdjieff’s “Holy Ghost.” The inexactitude is in Gurdjieff’s insertion of “and in the name of.” Google this and you will not find Gurdjieff ’s formulation anywhere in English except in the text of The Tales. He is clearly emphasizing the Holy Ghost.


Amen: Old English, from Late Latin amen, from Ecclesiastical Greek amen, from Hebrew amen “truth,” used adverbially as an expression of agreement (as in Deuteronomy xxvii.26, I Kings i.36), from Semitic root a- m-n “to be trustworthy, confirm, support.” Used in Old English only at the end of Gospels, as an expression of concurrence after prayers, it is recorded from early 13c.

ancient Toulousites (A)

(There is little record of Toulouse prior to 118 BCE when that area became Roman. That lasted until 418 CE, when Visigoths ruled Toulouse, followed by Merovingian Franks, then Carolinian Franks. All were Christian in some form, as was the Cathar religion, which dominated Toulouse for a while in the 13th century.

However, some of the Cathars’ views were regarded as heretical by Catholic Rome, and were the subject of a dispute involving St. Dominic.

Ultimately Catharism was destroyed in the Albigensian crusade which began in July 1209. (A crusade is a military expedition under the banner of the cross.)

The Cathars chanted famously. As their castle walls were torn down by the “Catholic crusaders,” they chanted hymns. After their defeat, condemned to death by fire, they chanted hymns as they threw themselves into the flames.

If “as the ancient Toulousites defined it” refers to these extraordinary acts of faith by the Cathars. The meaning of “wholly manifested intonation” is clear.

ancient Toulousites (B)

Toulouse is the capital of Occitania, formerly of Languedoc, land of the Holy Grail – it is believed that M. Magdalene with at least her unborn child (if not more), the mother of Jesus  and Joseph of Arimathea (possibly Jesus as well, if he survived the crucifixion—as some insist?).

In the Middle Ages Troubadours with their “Minnesang” were cultivated at this royal court, which later spilled over to other courts in Europe.

Minnesang: to minne, the worship of a woman, usually of high rank; from middlehigh German minne “loving remembrance,” is the name given to the written, highly ritualized form of sung love poetry practiced by the Western European nobility from about the middle of the 12th to the middle of the 13th century.

Chrétien de Troyes 12 century, known for his writing on Arthurian subjects, and for first writing of LancelotPercival and the Holy Grail. Chrétien’s works, including Erec and EnideLancelotPerceval and Yvain, represent some of the best-regarded medieval literature. His use of structure, particularly in Yvain, has been seen as a step towards the modern novel.

Johannes de Grocheio, a Parisian musical theorist of the early 14th century, believed that trouvère songs inspired kings and noblemen to do great things and to be great: “This kind of song is customarily composed by kings and nobles and sung in the presence of kings and princes of the land so that it may move their minds to boldness and fortitude, magnanimity and liberality…”

as is said

This almost invisible little phrase is used 88 times throughout The Tales, usually followed by a word or two wrapped. The use of quotes is simply proper punctuation following such a phrase. A variant of this phrase is “as is said there,” where “there” refers to the planet Earth.

like a pianola

pianola: c. 1896, is the trademark name (1901) of a player piano, (a piano which plays a tune automatically) from “piano,” the ending perhaps abstracted from “viola” and meant as a diminutive suffix (i.e. little piano). The pianola’s popularity in America led to a rash of product names ending in -ola, especially Victrola and slang words such as payola.