Gurdjieff’s Diagram of Everything Living

first created: 28 October 2017

Gurdjieff first presented his ideas to groups in pre-revolutionary Russia. Amongst his carefully chosen students it was the habit to reconstruct talks and diagrams as much as possible, an endeavour that gave us a textbook of Gurdjieff’s ideas called In Search of the Miraculous (P.D. Ouspensky, 1950). This early form of the teaching was radically revised and extended by Gurdjieff, now as an author, during the 1920s, producing All and Everything whose part one was Beelzebub’sTales to his Grandson (G.I. Gurdjieff, 1950). Prior to drawing this diagram just after February 1917, Gurdjieff had been presenting ideas about transformation of energies, human and cosmic, using the musical theory surrounding the octave of eight notes. The Diagram of Everything Living was “still another system of classification… in an altogether different ratio of octaves… [that] leads us beyond the limits of what we call ‘living beings’ both higher [and lower] than living beings. It deals not with individuals but with classes in a very wide sense.”


Figure 1 The Diagram of Everything Living
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Extremely Ancient knowledge of Precession of the Equinoxes

The above is part of the title of an 2018 paper  on the Athens Journal of History website, by Martin B. Sweatman and Alistair Coombs currently available here: 

Decoding European Palaeolithic Art: Extremely Ancient knowledge of Precession of the Equinoxes

This work concerns our understanding of the astronomical knowledge of ancient people. This knowledge, it seems, enabled them to record dates, using animal symbols to represent star constellations, in terms of precession of the equinoxes. Conventionally, Hipparchus of Ancient Greece is credited with discovering this astronomical phenomenon. We show here that this level of astronomical sophistication was known already within the last ice- age, and very likely by the time Homo sapiens entered western Europe around 40,000 years ago.

They go on to say “The evidence used to verify our hypothesis is accumulated from many of the most famous Palaeolithic cave art sites across Europe, representing dates up to 38,000 BC including;• Hohlenstein-Stadel cave, southern Germany circa 38,000 BC• Chauvet, northern Spain circa 33,000 BC• Lascaux, southern France circa 15,000 BC• Altamira, northern Spain circa 15,000 BC. Moreover, this system of representing dates is fully consistent with our interpretation of Neolithic sites in Anatolia, namely;• Göbekli Tepe, southern Turkey circa 10,000 BC• Çatalhöyük, southern Turkey circa 7,000 BC”

The question of ancient origins and precession was brought up well by de Santillana and von Deschend in Hamlet’s Mill (1969) and in Tilak’s The Orion (1893,) based largely upon mythic texts. A number of authors have previously found for star maps in stone age art, but this work appears to have crossed some scientific Rubicon and may find itself in Rome. There is a direct descendent of Hamlet’s Mill in The Spiritual Science of the Stars by Peter Stewart (who wrote it after decades of follow-up to that book).

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