The Fourth Way is a teaching of spiritual development that leads to the realization of one's Higher Self. Its origins draw upon ancient esoteric traditions that were brought to the West in the early part of twentieth century by George Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky, who reinterpreted them in language suitable for modern-day man.

The Fourth Way is a practical system, based on self knowledge, individual verification, and the transformation of suffering. The teaching revolves around the principles of control of the worldly lower self, the cultivation of a spiritual path, and awakening to the realization of the Divine Present—themes that are at the root of all esoteric traditions. To reach Divine, Wordless Presence is the greatest miracle in the universe; every esoteric tradition offers its own expression of this Ultimate Truth.

The quotes and images herein touch upon the interrelationship of spirituality across cultural traditions and throughout history and show that the Fourth Way is based on all esoteric traditions. If you would like to discover more, please enjoy the website.

According to the Fourth way, men live their lives in a state of sleep.

Gurdjieff: Man lives his life in sleep, and in sleep he dies.

Shakespeare, The Tempest: This is a strange repose, to be asleep with eyes wide open; standing, speaking, moving, and yet so fast asleep.

The Fourth way says that man can awaken from this sleep through Self- remembering.

Gurdjieff: Remember yourself always and everywhere.

The Sufi tradition -- Gujduvani (12th c. Sufi master) : Be present at every breath. Do not let your attention wander for the duration of a single breath. Remember yourself always and everywhere.

The sly man`s pill is a symbol for the effort of Self-remembering.

Gurdjieff: Instead of spending a whole day in exercises like the yogi, a week in prayer like the monk, or a month in self-torture like the fakir, the sly man simply prepares and swallows a little pill which contains all the substances he wants and, in this way, without loss of time, he obtains the required results.

The Taoist tradition -- Liu Yiming (18th c. Taoist master): Ancient immortals used the term Golden Pill (Elixir) as a metaphor of the essence of true consciousness, which is fundamentally complete and illumined. Growing from one yang to gradually reach the pure wholeness of six yangs, going from vague to clear, the Gold Elixir develops naturally.

The Fourth Way speaks about creating moon in oneself.

Ouspensky: There is an expression in the system, to create moon in oneself. It is a symbolical expression, and symbols in the form of diagrams or symbolical expressions are used for very definite purposes.

The Taoist tradition -- Yu Yan (13th c. Taoist master): The inner development of the elixir and the timing of it`s firing are no different at all from the ebbing and the flowing of the phases of the moon.

The Fourth way states that man has no unity.

Gurdjieff: Man has no individual I. But there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small I's, very often entirely unknown to one another.

The Sufi tradition -- Darqawi (17th c. Moroccan Sufi) There exist ten thousand worlds, and all these are contained in man, without his being conscious of it.

Another way the Fourth Way expresses that man has no unity is by comparing him to a house with many servants.

Gurdjieff: Man is compared to a house in which there is a multitude of servants but no master and no steward. The house can be got ready for the arrival of the steward who will, in his turn, prepare it for the arrival of the master.

The Taoist tradition -- The Secret of the Golden Flower: The celestial mind is like a house; the light is the master of the house. When the master is astute, men-servants and maids obey his orders of their own accord, and each does his work.

The Fourth way compares man to a carriage, horse and driver.

Gurdjieff: Man is a complex organization, consisting of four parts which may be connected or unconnected, or badly connected. The carriage is connected with the horse by shafts, the horse is connected with the driver by reins, and the driver is connected with the master by the master's voice. But the driver must hear and understand the master's voice. He must know how to drive and the horse must be trained to obey the reins.

The Hindu tradition -- Katha Upanishads: Know the Self as lord of the chariot, the body as the chariot itself, the discriminating intellect as charioteer, and the mind as reins. The senses, say the wise, are the horses; selfish desires are the roads they travel.

According to the Fourth way, imagination is an obstacle to Self-remembering.

Ouspensky: What prevents self-remembering is this constant turning of thoughts. Stop this turning and perhaps you will have a taste of it.

Buddhaghosa, Visuddha magga VIII (Buddhist sutra): Strictly speaking, the duration of the life of a living being is exceeding brief, lasting only while a thought last. Just as a chariot-wheel in rolling, rolls only at one point of the tire and in resting only rests at one point ; exactly in the same way, the life of an living being last only for the period of one thought.

The Fourth way mentions that one needs outside help to awaken.

Ouspensky: You need instruction; you need to be shown the way. You cannot find the way yourselves, nobody can; it is the state of a human being that he has to be shown the way, that he cannot find it himself.

Christian tradition -- St. John Chrysostom, Philokalia: A man's readiness and commitment are not enough if he does not enjoy help from above as well; equally help from above is no benefit to us unless there is also commitment and readiness on our part. Thus I entreat you neither to entrust everything to God and then fall asleep, nor to think, when you are striving diligently, that you will achieve everything by your own efforts.

Ka statue of King Hor
(ca. 1750 BC, Dahshur Egypt)

The monk Kuya, repeating Amida Buddha`s name six times
(by Unkei, 13th C. Japan)

Li Tie Guai, one of the eight immortals
and the Chinese God of Healing
with the pill of immortality.

The six trigrams associated with the 30-day moon cycle according to the 2nd c. Taoist text Triplex Unity. (click to enlarge)

Anatomical head by Philip Balbi

Horus with the sun disc of Ra.
(1298-1235 BCE, the Tomb of Nefertari, Valley of the Queens, Thebes, Egypt)

Krishna advising Arjuna in
the Bhagavad Gita

A wheel turning inside a person`s head
(Dutch painting)

An angel leading St. Peter out of prison.
(17th C, by Salvator Rosa)