Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Nicoll

The Gospels speak mainly of a possible inner evolution called "re-birth". This is their central idea. ... The Gospels are from beginning to end all about this possible self-evolution. They are psychological documents. They are about the psychology of this possible inner development --that is, about what a man must think, feel, and do in order to reach a new level of understanding. ... Everyone has an outer side that has been developed by his contact with life and an inner side which remains vague, uncertain, undeveloped. ... For that reason the teaching of inner evolution must be so formed that it does not fall solely on the outer side of man. It must fall there first, but be capable of penetrating more deeply and awakening the man himself --the inner, unorganized man. A man evolves internally through his deeper reflection, not through his outer life-controlled side. He evolves through the spirit of his understanding and by inner consent to what he sees as truth. The psychological meanings of the relatively fragmentary teaching recorded in the Gospels refers to this deeper, inner side of everyone.

- Maurice Nicoll; The New Man

I found that the chief difficulty for most people was to realize that they had really heard 'new things': that is, things that they had never heard before. They kept translating what they heard into their habitual language. They had ceased to hope and believe there might be anything new.

- Ouspensky; In Search of the Miraculous

All existing and generally known ways can be divided into three categories:

1. The way of the fakir.
2. The way of the monk.
3. The way of the yogi.

The way of the fakir is the way of struggle with the physical body, the way of work on the first room. This is a long, difficult, and uncertain way. The fakir strives to develop physical will, power over the body. ... The whole way of the fakir consists of various incredibly difficult physical exercises. ... If he does not fall ill and die before what may be called physical will is developed in him, then he attains the fourth room or the possibility of forming the fourth body. But his other functions --emotional, intellectual, and so forth --remain undeveloped. He has acquired will but he has nothing to which he can apply it, he cannot make use of it for gaining knowledge or for self-perfection. ...

The second way is the way of monk. This is the way of faith, the way of religious feeling, religious sacrifice. Only a man with very strong religious emotions and a very strong religious imagination can become a 'monk' in the true sense of the word. The way of the monk also is very long and hard. A monk spends years and tens of years struggling with himself, but all his work is concentrated on the second room, on the second body, that is, on feelings. Subjecting all his other emotions to one emotion, that is, to faith, he develops unity in himself, will over the emotions and in this way reaches the fourth room. But his physical body and his thinking capacities may remain undeveloped. In order to be able to make use of what he has attained, he must develop his body and his capacity to think. ...

The third way is the way of the yogi. This is the way of knowledge, the way of mind. The way of the yogi consists in working on the third room and in striving to enter the fourth room by means of knowledge. The yogi reaches the fourth room by developing his mind, but his body and emotions remain undeveloped and, like the fakir and the monk, he is unable to make use of the results of his attainment. He knows everything but can do nothing. ...

And the position would indeed be hopeless if the possibility of yet a fourth way did not exist. ...

- Gurdjieff; in Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous