Gurdjieff Quotes

G. I. Gurdjieff

Centers and Parts of Centers by Maurice Nicoll

Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, volume 1

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Diagrams are from Psychological Commentaries, Vol 1, pages 76-79. Text is written below each image. The pdfs are available here: Maurice Nicoll section. The letter is titled "Birdlip, November 9, 1941, Wrong Work of Centers" and begins on page 74.

Intellectual Center

Intellectual Center

FIGURE ONE

Intellectual Centre is represented by a circle.

Positive Part of Intellectual Centre

The top half of the circle is divided left to right into 3 arcs as follows:

  • I. Moving Part
    • 1. Moving Part: [Moving part of moving part of Intellectual Centre]
      Repetition of words and phrases, mechanical talking
    • 2. Emotional Part: [Emotional part of moving part]
      Curiosity, inquisitiveness, a certain sort of imagination about others
    • 3. Intellectual Part: [Intellectual part of moving part]
      Shrewdness, craftiness, cautiousness, small plans
  • II. Emotional Part
    Desire to know and understand, search for knowledge, imagination of a higher kind
  • III. Intellectual Part
    Intellectual construction, "creative" thought, and discovery
Negative Part of Intellectual Centre

The bottom half of the circle is labeled Negative Part of Intellectual Centre. No details are given other than dotted lines dividing the half into 3 arcs. [see figure 1]

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Emotional Center

Emotional Center

FIGURE TWO

Emotional Centre is represented by a circle.

Positive Part of Emotional Centre

The top half of the circle is divided left to right into 3 arcs as follows:

  • I. Moving Part
    • 1. Moving Part: [Moving part of moving part]
      Mechanical expression of the emotions
    • 2. Emotional Part: [Emotional part of moving part]
      All emotions relating to one's own likes and dislikes. Personal emotions
    • 3. Intellectual Part: [Intellectual part of moving part]
      Resultant of small desires, little daily "wills"
  • II. Emotional Part
    Religious emotions, aesthetic emotions, moral emotions, may lead to Conscience
  • III. Intellectual Part
    Artistic creation. (Chief seat of Magnetic Centre)
Negative Part of Emotional Centre

The bottom half of the circle is simply labeled Negative Part of Emotional Centre with no details.


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Moving Center

Moving Center

FIGURE THREE

Moving Centre is represented by a circle. Unlike the other three figures, this circle is Not divided into an upper half (positive) and lower half (negative). I.e., there is no negative part. Ref: PD Ouspensky: "In the moving centre the division into two parts, positive and negative, has only a logical meaning: that is, movement as opposed to rest. It has no meaning for practical observation." Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution, Lecture 4.

Positive Part of Moving Centre

The entire circle is divided into thirds, clockwise from the left as follows:

  • I. Moving Part
    • 1. Moving Part: [Moving part of moving part of Moving Centre]
      Automatic reflexes and movements
    • 2. Emotional Part: [Emotional part of moving part]
      Imitation on small scale
    • 3. Intellectual Part: [Intellectual part of moving part]
      Limited adaptability to learning new movements
  • II. Emotional Part
    Pleasure in Movement – normal love of games – higher imitation – i.e., acting of a certain kind
  • III. Intellectual Part
    Inventing things, machines, making adaptations ("Inventor's") mind
Negative Part of Moving Centre – Does not exist

n/a

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Instinctive Center

Instinctive Center

FIGURE FOUR

Instinctive Centre is represented by a circle.

Positive Part of Instinctive Centre

The top half of the circle is labeled Positive Part. It is divided left to right into 3 arcs as follows:

  • I. Moving Part
    • 1. Instinctive-Moving Part [instinctive-moving part of moving part]  [blank]
    • 2. Emotional Part: [emotional part of moving part]
      Pleasant sensations
    • 3. Intellectual Part [intellectual part of moving part]
      [blank]
  • II. Emotional Part
    Blind animal love (mother) – "instinctive" love – animal jealousy
  • III. Intellectual Part
    Many so-called intuitions belong here and are the work of the Intellectual Part of Instinctive Centre
Negative Part of Instinctive Centre

The bottom half of the circle is labeled Negative Emotional Part. It is divided left to right into 3 arcs as follows:

  • I. Negative Moving Part
    • 1. Instinctive-Moving Part [instinctive-moving part of negative moving part] [blank]
    • 2. Emotional Part [emotional part of negative moving part] Unpleasant sensations
    • 3. Intellectual Part [intellectual part of negative moving part] [blank]
  • II. Negative Emotional Part
    Animal RAGE, desire to kill
  • III. Negative Intellectual Part
  • [blank]
[ end ]

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