Notes on the 1992 Revision of The Tales
The Revision of The Tales
[An Excerpt from To Fathom The Gist, Vol 2 – The Arch Absurd]
In written English, initial capitalization is normally applied to proper nouns (nationalities, planets, countries, towns, titles, people’s names, etc.) and also common nouns when they are used to denote an entire class of things as in: “What a piece of work is Man.” Gurdjieff abides by this rule.
Aside from that, Gurdjieff chose also to apply initial capitalization to almost all the neologisms he introduced, whether they were proper nouns (such as “Akhaldan”) or not. He also chose to vary the initial capitalization of some words that convey important (sacred) meaning, but he appears to have made the choice by context. So when he refers to Reason in any context that implies some position on the higher scale of Reason it has a capital letter, but when he refers to the “bobtailed reason” of normal man, it does not. The same applies to his use of many key words, such as Being, Objective, Nature, Active, World, Pure, Wise and so on.
The Revision applies a different policy. Aside from applying initial capitalization where Gurdjieff chose full capitalization, it only confers initial capitalization on Gurdjieff’s neologisms when they are used as proper nouns. Otherwise it does not capitalize the neologisms. Most of the time it follows Gurdjieff ’s choices in capitalizing the important words, but sometimes it makes a different choice.
For example, Gurdjieff writes:
“Just in this is the point, that the beings having this three- brained system can, by the conscious and intentional fulfilling of being-Partkdolg-duty, utilize from this process of Djartklom in the Omnipresent-Okidanokh, its three holy forces for their own presences and bring their presences to what is called the ‘Sekronoolanzaknian-state’; that is to say, they can become such individuals as have their own sacred law of Triamazikamno and thereby the possibility of consciously taking in and coating in their common presence all that ‘Holy’ which, incidentally, also aids the actualizing of the functioning in these cosmic units of Objective or Divine Reason.
The same passage in the revised version is as follows:
“The point is that beings having this three-brained system can, by the conscious and intentional fulfilling of being-partkdolgduty, utilize for their own presence the three holy forces liberated from the Omnipresent Okidanokh by the process of ‘djartklom,’ and so bring their presence to what is called the ‘sakronoolantsaknian’ state, that is to say, they can become Individuals who have their own sacred law of Triamazikamno, and thereby the possibility of consciously taking in and coating in their common presence that ‘All-Holy’ which, among other things, helps to actualize the functioning in cosmic units of objective or divine Reason.
“Reason” has an initial capital, but neither “objective” nor “divine” does. “Individuals” has a capital letter that Gurdjieff did not confer, and “djartklom” without a capital letter has nevertheless been wrapped in quotes that Gurdjieff clearly thought unnecessary. And there are, of course, other differences.