Friday, December 25, 2020

a christian is a man who is able to fulfill the commandments (redux)

A man who is able to do all that is demanded of a Christian, both with his mind and his essence, is called a Christian without quotation marks. A man who, in his mind, wishes to do all that is demanded of a Christian, but can do so only with his mind and not with his essence, is called pre-Christian. And a man who can do nothing, even with his mind, is called a non- Christian.”
G.I.Gurdjieff /Views from the Real World / Separation of Oneself from oneself

"If instead of religion in general we take Christianity, then again there exists a “Christianity number one, that is to say, paganism in the guise of Christianity.  Christianity number two is an emotional religion, sometimes very pure but without  force, sometimes full of bloodshed and horror leading to the Inquisition, to religious wars. Christianity number three, instances of which are afforded by various forms of  Protestantism, is based upon dialectic, argument, theories, and so forth. Then there is Christianity number four, of which men number one, number two, and number three have no conception whatever.  "In actual fact Christianity number one, number two, and number three is simply  external imitation. Only man number four strives to be a Christian and only man  number five can actually be a Christian. For to be a Christian means to have the being  of a Christian, that is, to live in accordance with Christ's precepts.  "Man number one, number two, and number three cannot live in accordance with  Christ's precepts because with them everything 'happens.' Today it is one thing and  tomorrow it is quite another thing. Today they are ready to give away their last shirt  and tomorrow to tear a man to pieces because he refuses to give up his shirt to them.  They are swayed by every chance event. They are not masters of themselves and  therefore they cannot decide to be Christians and really be Christians.”
G.I.Gurdjieff/ In search for the Miraculous / Chapter 4 

"First of all it is necessary to understand that a Christian is not a man who calls himself a Christian or whom others call a Christian. A Christian is one who lives in accordance with Christ's precepts. Such as we are we cannot be Christians. In order to be Christians we must be able 'to do.' We cannot do; with us everything 'happens.' Christ says: 'Love your enemies,' but how can we love our enemies when we cannot even love our friends? Sometimes 'it loves' and sometimes 'it does not love.' Such as we are we cannot even really desire to be Christians because, again, sometimes 'it desires' and sometimes 'it does not desire.' And one and the same thing cannot be desired for long, because suddenly, instead of desiring to be a Christian, a man remembers a very good but very expensive carpet that he has seen in a shop. And instead of wishing to be a Christian he begins to think how he can manage to buy this carpet, forgetting all about Christianity. Or if somebody else does not believe what a wonderful Christian he is, he will be ready to eat him alive or to roast him on hot coals. In order to be a good Christian one must be. To be means to be master of oneself. If a man is not his own master he has nothing and can have nothing. And he cannot be a Christian. He is simply a machine, an automaton. A machine cannot be a Christian. Think for yourselves, is it possible for a motorcar or a typewriter or a gramophone to be Christian? They are simply things which are controlled by chance. They are not responsible. They are machines. To be a Christian means to be responsible. Responsibility comes later when a man even partially ceases to be a machine, and begins in fact, and not only in words, to desire to be a Christian."
G.I.Gurdjieff/ In search for the Miraculous / Chapter 6