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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The Cult of Seven Days

Published in Nexus Magazine in 2004

When understanding the origins of human knowledge, we tend not to look into the everyday aspects of life such as the calendar, our numbering systems and how these could have developed. However, these components of everyday life hold surprising clues to the past.

An example is the seven day week which we all slavishly follow today. It has been said that seven makes a good number of days for a week and this convenience argument often given for the existence of weeks.

Having a week allows one to know what day of the week it is for the purposes of markets and religious observances. It is an informal method of counting based on names rather than numbers. Beyond this however, a useful week length should fit well with the organisation of the year (i.e. the Sun), or the month (i.e. the Moon) or other significant celestial or seasonal cycle. But the seven day week does not fit in with the Sun and the Moon.

The Week and the Year

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Planetary Resonances with the Moon

Readers of my article "Megalithic application of numeric time differences" will be familiar with the finding that in 32 lunar months there are almost exactly 945 days, leading to the incredibly accurate approximation (one part in 45000!) for the lunar month of 945/32 = 29.53125 days.

In the previous article on Seascale I noticed that 36 lunar months (three solar years) divided by 32 lunar months is the Pythagorean tone of 9/8. This led me to important thoughts regarding the tuning matrix of the Moon within the periods of the three outer planets, since the synod of Jupiter divided by the lunar year of 12 lunar months is the same tone, the tone that on “holy mountains” of Ernest G. McClain’s ancient tuning theory. Such tones are only found between two tonal numbers separated by two perfect fifths of 3/2, since 3/2 x 3/2 = 2.25 which, normalised to the octave of 1 to 2, is 1.125 or 9/8.


Figure 1 If the matrix unit is one tenth of the lunar month, then three lunar years becomes 360 units which, taken to be high do or D” = the harmonic limiting number, presents the matrix above, in the style proposed as indicative of Ancient Tuning Theory by Ernest McClain (see his The Myth of Invariance).  This Harmonic Matrix for 360 = 36 months shows that the 32 lunar month period starts row 2 as 320.
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