In Search of the Miraculous, Pyotr Ouspensky

1. People do not value a thing if they do not pay for it.

2. All the people you know, all the people you see, all the people you may get to know, are machines, actual machines working under the power of external influences.

3. It is possible to stop being a machine, but for that it is necessary first of all to know the machine.

4. Man's chief delusion is his conviction that he can do. Actually nobody does anything and nobody can do anything. Everything happens.

5. To speak the truth one must first know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. And nobody wants to know.

6. People do not value what is easily come by.

7. Sacrifice is necessary. If nothing is sacrificed, nothing is obtained. But still, not forever. Sacrifice is necessary only while the process of crystallization is going on.

8. The results of work are in proportion to the consciousness of the work.

9. The method of the Fourth Way consist in doing something in one room and simultaneously doing something correspondingly to it in the two other rooms.

10. People believe in progress and culture. There is no progress whatsoever. Everything is just the same as it was thousands and tens of thousands years ago. The outward form changes. The essence does not change.

11. Everything happens. No one does anything. Progress and civilization in the real meaning of these words can appear only as the results of conscious efforts.

12. The evolution of man can be taken as the development in him of those powers and possibilities which never develop by themselves (mechanically).

13. There are two lines along which man's development proceeds. The line of knowledge and the line of being. In the right evolution they develop simultaneously.

14. Understanding is the resultant of knowledge and being.

15. When people realize that they do not understand a thing, they try to find a name for what they do not 'understand' and when they find a name they say they understand.

16. Man is an image of the world. He was created by the same laws which created the whole of the world. By knowing himself and understanding himself he will know and understand the whole world, all that create and govern the world and vice versa.

17. In the Absolute, as well as in everything else, three forces are active: the active, the passive, and the neutralizing.

18. The study of oneself must go side by side with the study of the fundamental laws of the universe.

19. If a man develops in himself a permanent I that can survive a change in external conditions, it can survive the death of the physical body.

20. In order to help others, one must first learn to be an egoist, a conscious egoist. Only a conscious egoist can help people.

21. In order to become free, man must gain inner freedom (Know Thyself).

22. A man must begin to observe himself as though he did not know himself at all, as though he had never observed himself.

23. Whatever work a man may be doing, it is enough for him to try to do each action deliberately, with his mind, following every movement, and he will see that the quality of his work will change immediately.

24. Observation of the activity of imagination and daydreaming forms a very important part of self-study.

25. A man can never know himself until he has studied all his habits.

26. In order to observe and study habits one must try to struggle against them.

27. In order to observe himself a man must try to walk not in his habitual way, he must sit in unaccustomed attitudes, he must stand when he is accustomed to sit, he must sit when he is accustomed to stand and he must make with his left hand the movements he is accustomed to make with his right hand. All this will enable him to observe himself and study the habits and associations of the moving center.

28. Self-observation and self-study must from the first be accompanied by the struggle against the expression of unpleasant emotions.

29. In order to observe oneself one must first of all remember oneself. If a man really know that he cannot remember himself, he is really already near to the understanding of his being.

30. Having mastered the principles of any one law we must look for its manifestation in the world and in man simultaneously.

31. The construction of octaves can be compared with the construction of a tree. From the straight basic trunk there come out boughs on all sides which divide in their turn and pass into branches becoming smaller and smaller, and finally are covered with leaves. The same process goes on in the formation of the veins, the serrations and so on.

32. Identifying is the chief obstacle to self-remembering. Freedom is first of all freedom from identification.

33. Awakening is only possible for those who seek it and want it for those who are ready to struggle with themselves. For this it is necessary to destroy 'buffers', to go out to meet all those inner sufferings which are connected with the sensations of contradictions.

34. Morality is merely self-suggestion. What is necessary is conscience.

35. Man consists of two parts: essence and personality. Essence in man is what is his own. Personality in man is what is not his own.

36. Everything must be paid for and it must be paid for in proportion to what is received. But usually a man thinks to the contrary.

37. Learn to separate the fine from the coarse.

38. The human organism receives three kinds of foods: ordinary food we eat, air we breathe, our impressions.

39. The air inhaled by different people is exactly the same, the air exhaled is quite different.

40. In order to make gold it is first of all necessary to have a certain amount of real gold.

41. A permanent idea of good and evil can be formed in man only in connection with a permanent aim and a permanent understanding. If a man understands that he is asleep and if he wishes to awake, then everything that helps him to awake will be good, and everything that hinders him, everything that prolongs his sleep, will be evil.

42. Learn to economize the energy produced by your organism.

43. Man lives under the law of accident and under two kinds of influences governed by accident: 1. influences created in life and by life; 2. influences created outside this life, influences from the inner circle/esoteric influences

44. If the magnetic center works rightly and if a man really searches or feels rightly, he may meet another man who knows the way.

45. A man cannot ascend to a higher step until he places another man upon his own step.

46. Knowledge begins with the teachings of the cosmoses.

47. As above, so below.

48. In the work of self-study, man begins to accumulate material resulting from self-observation. Twenty people will have twenty times as much material. And every one of them will be able to use the whole of this material because the exchange of observations is one of the purpose of the group's existence.

49. It is very difficult for a man to keep silent about things that interest him. This is the most mechanical of all desires and it will constitute for him the best exercise possible for self-remembering and development of will. Only a man who can be silent when it is necessary can be master of himself.

50. Every man's personal work must consist in struggling against his chief fault/feature.

51. Everyone always does everything on the interests of good as he understands it.

52. It is better to die making efforts to awaken than to live in sleep.

53. If anyone desires to know and to understand more then he actually knows and understands, he must remember that this new knowledge and understanding will come through the emotional center and not through the intellectual center.

54. We must learn how to draw energy straight from the large accumulator.

55. One general rule for everybody: in order to approach "Work" seriously, people must be disappointed first of all in themselves, in the powers, and secondly in all the old ways.

56. It is necessary to know where one or another of your characteristics has come from.

57. Right work on oneself begins with the creation of a permanent center of gravity: only a man's attitude to the work, to school, his valuation of the work, and his realization of the mechanicalness and aimlessness of everything else can create in himself a permanent center of gravity.

58. Nicknames sometimes define chief features very well.

59. People fear silence more than anything else, that our tendency to talk arises from self-defense and is always based upon a reluctance to see something, a reluctance to confess something to one self.

60. "Sacrifice" is necessary. In fact you have to sacrifice only what you imagine you have and which in reality you do not have. You must sacrifice your fantasies. Another thing you must sacrifice is your suffering.

61. You must be cunning, you must pretend, lead up to things in conversation. Sometimes things are learned from jokes, from stories. And you want things to be very simple. This never happens. You must know how to take when it is not given, to steal if necessary, but not to wait for somebody to come and give it to you.

62. When you pronounce the word "I" aloud, notice where this word sounds in you.

63. Theories do not take into account the subordinate part which humanity and organic life play in the world process. Intellectual theories put man in the center of everything: everything exists for him, the sun, the stars, the moon, the earth. They even forget man's relative size, his nothingness, his transient existence. They assent that a man if he wishes to is able to change his own life, to organize his life on rational principles.

64. Life of humanity is governed by forces proceeding from two different sources: planetary influences and influences proceeding from inner circles of humanity.

65. The inner circle is called the esoteric. This circles consists of people who have attained the highest development possible for man, each one of whom possesses individuality to the fullest degree. They cannot perform actions opposed to their understanding or have an understanding which is not expressed by actions.

66. Truth can only come to people in the form of a lie.

67. If one masters the art of plastics one could completely alter one's appearance.

68. Develop the capacity for adapting yourself to any kind of work, to any kind of business.

69. In work only super-efforts are counted, that is beyond the normal, beyond the necessary, ordinary efforts are not counted. Super-effort is an effort beyond the effort that is necessary to achieve a given purpose - or carrying out any kind of work at a faster rate than is called for by the nature of the work.

70. Often the sole possibility of making the other center work in a new way is to begin with the moving center, the body because the body interferes at the first step, interferes by its automatism, its attachment to habits, and chiefly by its wrong functioning. When a man decides to struggle for freedom he hast first to struggle with his own body.

71. Relaxing the muscles of the body should begin with the muscles of the face.

72. Every nation, every epoch, every country, every class, every profession, has its own definite number of postures and movements. The character of these movements and postures is indissolubly connected with definite forms of thinking and feeling.

73. A sin is something which is not necessary.

74. Work consists in subjecting oneself voluntarily to temporary suffering in order to be free from external suffering.

75. Only by an increase of work, an increase of perspiration can fasting be beneficial.

76. A man begins any exercise with his mind; only when the last stage of fatigue is reached can the control pass to the moving center.

77. There can be only one thing that is serious for man - to escape, the general law, to be free.

78. A man who is capable of attaining anything comes sooner or later to the conclusion that his freedom is illusion and he agrees to sacrifice this illusion. He is not

afraid of losing anything because he knows that he has nothing. And in this way he acquires everything.

79. Astrology deals with only one part of man, with his type, his essence - it does not deal with personality, with acquired qualities.

80. A man who knows the movement which will produce in himself one or another kind of breathing is already able to control his organism and is able at any moment

he likes to set in motion one or another center or cause that part which is working to stop.

81. Only what a man is able to put into the enneagram does he actually understand. In order to understand the enneagram it must be thought of as in motion, moving. A motionless enneagram is a dead symbol; the living symbol is in motion.