Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Jung : Do we know how to read? Understand what we write? What we say?

( version en français : ici )

” If you understood everything you have written in your own book.. “

” .. you might already know a great deal if you knew how to read. “

George Gurdjieff

” every word we speak has a tremendous history.. “

Carl Jung

First, Gurdjieff, then Jung.

In the following excerpt, the narrator is P. D. Ouspensky. The man who’s talking to him is George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff  (“G.”). This is an excerpt from In Search of the Miraculous, Fragments of an unknown teaching, 1949, by P. D. Ouspensky :

“What, in your opinion, is the best preparation for the study of your method? For instance, is it useful to study what is called ‘occult’ or ‘mystical’ literature?”

In saying this I had in mind more particularly the “Tarot” and the literature on the “Tarot.”

“Yes,” said G. “A great deal can be found by reading. For instance, take yourself: you might already know a great deal if you knew how to read. I mean that, if you understood everything you have read in your life, you would already know what you are looking for now. If you understood everything you have written in your own book, what is it called?”—he made something altogether impossible out of the words “Tertium Organum” [ P. D. Ouspensky, Tertium_Organum, 1920-1922, pdf ] —”I should come and bow down to you and beg you to teach me. But you do not understand either what you read or what you write. You do not even understand what the word ‘understand’ means. Yet understanding is essential, and reading can be useful only if you understand what you read. But, of course, no book can give real preparation. So it is impossible to say which is better. What a man knows well” (he emphasized the word “well”)—”that is his preparation. If a man knows how to make coffee well or how to make boots well, then it is already possible to talk to him. The trouble is that nobody knows anything well. Everything is known just anyhow, superficially.”

— P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, Fragments of an unknown teaching, 1949 ; George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (“G.”) talking to Ouspensky, Chapter One. The entire book is available here in English as a pdf file :  P. D. Ouspensky : In Search of the Miraculous, Fragments of an unknown teaching (pdf)

And Carl G. Jung :

“There is a long history in every sentence, every word we speak has a tremendous history, every metaphor is full of historical symbolism; they would not carry at all if that were not true. Our words carry the totality of that history which was once so alive and still exists in every human being. With every word we touch upon a historical fibre, as it were, in our fellow-beings; and therefore every word we speak strikes that chord in every other living being whenever we speak the same language.”

 — Carl G. Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst; Dream Analysis, 1958. English translation is from German, but I don’t know by whom ; I know that R.F.C Hull has translated works by Jung into English (Mysterious coniunctionis, for instance, and other works for the Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press.)\

© Copyright 2012 Hamilton-Lucas Sinclair (Loup Kibiloki, Jacques Renaud, Le Scribe), cliquer

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