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  • Writer's pictureJeric Te

Liberation Leads to Liberation: Unpacking G. I. Gurdjieff's Profound Wisdom

“LIBERATION LEADS TO LIBERATION.” These words from G. I. Gurdjieff encapsulate a profound truth, a truth not shrouded in theoretical abstraction but grounded in practical realization. Let’s delve into the layers of meaning within this statement and explore how it can transform our approach to life and spiritual growth.


The Quest for Great Liberation

The concept of liberation, as Gurdjieff presents it, is a universal aspiration. It transcends cultural, religious, and temporal boundaries, embodying the ultimate goal of freedom from all external influences. This “great liberation” is the pinnacle of human endeavor, the state of absolute freedom that all spiritual traditions and philosophical schools aim to achieve. It’s the freedom from the external forces that bind us, the societal norms, the cultural expectations, and the material desires that dictate our actions and thoughts.


The Necessity of Lesser Liberation

However, Gurdjieff emphasizes that this great liberation is unattainable without first achieving a "lesser liberation." This foundational step involves freeing ourselves from the internal influences that hinder our spiritual growth. These internal influences include our fears, prejudices, ingrained habits, and emotional reactions. They are the unseen chains that bind us, often more restrictive than any external force.

By focusing on this lesser liberation, we begin the process of self-discovery and self-mastery. It requires a rigorous examination of our inner world, an acknowledgment of our limitations, and a deliberate effort to transcend them. Only by conquering these internal constraints can we prepare ourselves for the broader liberation from external influences.


Practical Steps Towards Lesser Liberation

  1. Self-Observation:

  • Begin with keen self-observation. Notice your thoughts, emotions, and reactions without judgment. This awareness is the first step towards understanding and eventually overcoming internal influences.

  1. Mindfulness and Meditation:

  • Practice mindfulness and meditation to cultivate inner peace and clarity. These practices help quiet the mind and reveal the underlying patterns that govern our behavior.

  1. Emotional Regulation:

  • Learn to regulate your emotions. Instead of reacting impulsively, practice responding thoughtfully. Techniques such as deep breathing, journaling, or speaking with a trusted friend can help manage intense emotions.

  1. Challenging Beliefs:

  • Question and challenge your ingrained beliefs and assumptions. Are they truly yours, or are they imposed by external influences? Seek the truth within yourself.

  1. Healthy Habits:

  • Develop healthy physical and mental habits. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep lay a strong foundation for mental resilience and clarity.


The Interdependence of Liberations

The journey towards great liberation is deeply interwoven with the achievement of lesser liberation. Each step we take to free ourselves from internal constraints brings us closer to the ultimate goal of complete freedom. It is a continuous process, where each small victory over our inner limitations reinforces our ability to withstand and ultimately transcend external influences.


Conclusion: The Path to True Freedom

Gurdjieff's insight, “LIBERATION LEADS TO LIBERATION,” serves as a guiding light on the path to true freedom. It reminds us that the journey towards liberation is not a distant dream but a practical reality that begins within us. By striving for lesser liberation, we set the foundation for the great liberation, ultimately achieving a state of being where we are no longer bound by internal or external forces. This is the essence of true freedom, a state of harmony and peace that resonates with the deepest truths of our existence. Join Us for Deeper Exploration

If you're inspired by Gurdjieff's teachings and eager to explore these concepts further, consider joining our community at Gurdjieff Central. Under the guidance of Antonio, an experienced teacher in Gurdjieff's philosophy, we hold free weekly virtual meetings every Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:00 PM PDT. These sessions provide a supportive environment for deeper learning, discussion, and practice.


Visit Gurdjieff Central to learn more and to sign up for our next meeting. Together, we can embark on this transformative journey towards liberation.



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