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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Cosmic Origins of Religion and Death

written October 2014 and published in DuVersity Magazine

In order to think about the cosmic world one has to recognize that it is more than the world of life found on the earth and the living world, or biosphere, is most probably a result of how the cosmic world organised evolution on the earth.

Threefold Manifestation: The light triangle of the Trinity represents God, who remains ‘beyond all things’, entering the black hole of matter (hyle). As a result, three worlds arise: the angelic (empyrean), stellar (ethereal), and elemental. From Robert Fludd by Joscelyn Godwin, Thames & Hudson (Shambhala: Boulder, 1979, page 52)
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Search for Intelligence within the Biosphere

Published in DuVersity Online Magazine “Views” May 2014

John G. Bennett received a very unusual teaching from G.I. Gurdjieff, his early teacher, and from an early student of these ideas, P.D. Ouspensky, who acted as mentor during Bennett’s early development of the ideas then seen in his Dramatic Universe and other books.

The classic form of Gurdjieff’s ideas (c.1916-8) were fortunately reconstructed from student notes from lectures and eventually piblished in Ouspensky’s 1950 book In Search of the Miraculous. What emerged was a vision of everything that existed and how this Whole structure we call the Universe was layered into systems of differing size and how each of these scales of structure had its own type of operation including an intelligence which enables it to do things within its own world and organise its environment.

The commonly held idea of the universe, defined by our scientists, corresponds with structures of distinctive scale, such as galaxies, stars, planets, the Earth’s biosphere and planetary moons. In contrast, human kind used to attribute intelligence and being to celestial objects yet today, there is almost no scientific tolerance for large scale structures having an innate intelligence or being.

Yet it is hard not to attribute an intelligence within large cosmic structures when confronted with the fortuitous structure of the universe in producing life, and life with a degree of intelligence such as ourselves. Also, one has to ask: Why do these structures exist if not to create the conditions within which, at least, human beings can live in such a beautiful and benign environment as our biosphere?

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