s. had already met fitzgerald. he was the guy who helped bob tate with setting up his coffee shop. bob was the proprietor of "the cave" a real tourist trap on mcdougal street, in greenwich village.
"portrait of julie"
neither s. nor julie had ever really talked to him. besides, he was in the 'enemy' camp. but one day, when julie and s. dropped down to the corner cupboard for some bacon and eggs, s. spied the title of a slim blue book fitzgerald was toting around.
when they sat down, s. leaned over to julie and whispered, "he's reading "meetings with remarkable men". by this time s. knew that g. had written "all and everything", and this was the second series, after "beelzebub's tales to his grandson". julie said something like "small world. go over and talk to him."
"eh, i couldn't help noticing the title of the book you are reading. do you know anything about gurdjieff?" at that time, s. didn't really know that 'the work' had blossomed in major cities all over the globe. he suddenly suspected fitzgerald of being involved; mostly because of his coy secretiveness. fitzgerald was friendly though and offered to lend s. his copy.
"thanks anyway, but i haven't read the first series of g's writings and as you know he recommends reading them in order."
s. invited his new best friend to dinner in the studio. bob came, and after a simple meal of chili con carne with saffron rice and a gallon of hearty burgundy and espresso, he read until 2:00 a.m. from "all and everything, an objectively impartial criticism of the life of man".
from then on, whenever he was in town visiting his father, a retired railroad man, bob would read late into the night from that book. sue bertram joined the little group. we all asked bob all kinds of questions. he mostly didn't answer them. he said something about our not being a 'real' group per se, and left it at that.
in the dead of winter s. painted or drew most days. christmas came and went.
julie had ordered "all and everything" from mr. bland and had it nicely wrapped under the tree with a bookplate inscribed with the proverb, "happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding" proverbs 3:13
s. went into a kind of ascendant spiral of psuedo-mystical bliss which embued every painting except still lifes with a kind of sappy religiosity. years later, he was more than just embarassed by these paintings; although he had always had a penchant for allegorical content. bob anderson was trying to cure him of that tendency.
sitting by the potbellied stove late into the night, imagination inflamed with the tales of beelzebub to his grandson, s. was temporarily transformed into an active mystic. doors were opened into his unconscious. night dreaming became phantasmagorical.
on the other hand, he was experimental. some of the ideas in ouspensky's follow up to "in search of the miraculous", called "the fourth way" which was a collection of questions and answers regarding the cosmology and science of g's system.
in other words he began to verify that he was 'asleep'
he observed in himself the chaos and cacophany of multiple "i"s" and the lack of any proof that he had any willpower at all. (this was an illusion he had counted on in order to work). through self-study s. saw that he could never go from point "A" to point "B"; that everything just happened.
julie's wish was expressed by her one night as, "i just don't want to die like a dog." s. knew what she meant. sue was a natural philosopher-investigator. she was like a gold prospector. having found nuggets at the door of the cave, she was hot on the trail of a verifiable motherlode. she came up with rene daumal's book "mt. analogue" a clever analogy about his experiences with 'the work' and mr. gurdjieff himself.
plato's analogy for sleeping 'man' is in the 'cave'. he demonstrates that we are trapped in a lower realm of mechanicality ruled by the 'law of accident'. once realized one must never rest until one escapes from the oppression of 'sleep' into the higher realms of being by mastering one's self and beginning to see the world with skinned eyes. the illusions are not necessary; and certainly can't be said to be preferrable.
thank you john grigsby and bullhead entertainment.
the universal language is song. so i am including…