by George I.Gurdijeff

There is also the possibility of being awakened by mechanical means. A man may be awakened by an alarm clock. But the trouble is that a man gets accustomed to the alarm clock far too quickly, he ceases to hear it.

Many alarm clocks are necessary and always new ones. Otherwise a man must surround himself with alarm clocks which will prevent him sleeping.

But here again there are certain difficulties. Alarm clocks must be wound up. In order to wind them up one must remember about them.

In order to remember about them one must wake up often. But what is still worse, man gets used to all these alarm clocks and after a certain time he only sleeps better for them. Therefore alarm clocks must be constantly changed, new ones must be continually invented.

In the course of time this may help a man to awaken. But there is very little chance of a man doing all the work of winding up, inventing, and changing clocks all by himself, without outside help.

It is much more likely that he will begin his work and that it will afterwards unnoticeably pass into sleep, and in sleep he will dream of inventing alarm clocks, of winding them up and changing them, and simply sleep all the sounder for it.

Therefore, in order to awaken, a combination of efforts is needed. It is necessary that somebody wakes the man up. It is necessary that somebody looks after the man who wakes him. It is necessary to have alarm clocks and it is also necessary continually to invent new alarm clocks.

But in order to achieve all this and to obtain results a certain number of people must work together. One man alone can do nothing.

Before anything else, he needs help. But help cannot come to one man alone. Those who are able to help put a great value to their time.

And, of course, they would prefer to help, say, twenty or thirty people who want to awake rather that only one man.

Moreover, one man can easily deceive himself about his awakening and make awakening simply a new dream. If several people decide to struggle together against sleep, they will wake each other.

Therefore a man who wants to awake must look for other people who also want to awake and work together with them. This, however, is easier said that done because to start such a work and to organize it requires a knowledge which a sleeping man cannot possess.

The work must be organized and have an awakened leader. Only then can it produce the results expected from it. Without these conditions no efforts can result in anything whatever. Men may torture themselves, but those tortures will not make them awake.

This is most difficult of all for certain people to understand. By themselves and by their own initiative they may be capable of great efforts and great sacrifices. But because their first effort and their first sacrifice ought to be obedience, nothing on Earth will induce them to obey another.

They do not want anybody to tell them what to do. And they do not want to reconcile themselves to the thought that all their efforts and all their sacrifices are thus useless.

Work must be organized. And it can be organized only by a man who knows its problems and its aims, who knows its methods; by a man who has in his time passed through such organized work himself.

Artwork courtesy of and copyright by Daniel B. Holeman at Awaken Visions Galleries.