The Merriam Webster dictionary’s definition of “objective,” as it applies to human activity, is as follows:
“expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.”
Gurdjieff’s use of the word “objective” and the meaning he gives it does not agree with that definition. In In Search of the Miraculous, when discussing subjective and objective art, he insists that objective art is mathematical. The artist plans and calculates his work to have the impression he wants to convey on everyone who observes it—according to their level of understanding. So, in respect of people on the same level, they will receive the same impression, with mathematical certainty. It is as exact as a car manual might be. All readers who can understand will understand the same thing. [In Search of The Miraculous by P D Ouspensky, p296]
Objective science is objective in the same way. People understand according to level, to their ability to understand. Some of the scientific concepts of objective science are difficult to understand. Transforming those words into knowledge and understanding requires personal effort—a distinctly different personal effort than is required in any area of subjective science. None of it can be understood by rote learning, and the ability to describe it does not prove any understanding.
To make matters a little more complicated, Gurdjieff only provides fragments rather than a complete corpus, and deliberately so. It has the character of a jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces missing. You are required to create those pieces yourself.
How To Use This Resource
This text roughly follows the pages of the book Gurdjieff’s Hydrogens, but is varied to make it easier to use as a web resource. Ideally, users of this resource will have read In Search of the Miraculous by Peter Ouspensky. Gurdjieff’s Hydrogens directly complements that book, focusing primarily on three ideas: the Ray of Creation, the Hydrogens, and the Diagram of Everything Living.
This set of information can be read right through page by page, but users of this resource may well find it more productive to make heavy use of The Index. Please note that the page numbers used here do not correspond to the page numbers in the book Gurdjieff’s Hydrogens.
Our hope is that this information resource will prove easy to navigate.
We have implemented terminological and typographical standards (click to read). This proved necessary because of the many possibilities of word confusion that emerges from the terminology used in In Search of the Miraculous by Peter Ouspensky.