Vin and Jack: Mechanicality

The concept of mechanicality, that all people are machines reacting to external forces, is a central idea in the Gurdjieff teaching. It is vividly described in the early chapters of In Search of the Miraculous, P.D. Ouspensky’s lucid account of his talks and experiences with Gurdjieff from 1915 to 1923. Two members of our New York group, Vin and Jack, picked up the thread in a lively conversation recorded at a Chardavogne Barn Work day late last year.

Image: “The Waiting Room,” a painting by the Philadelphia-based artist Robert Zurer.


  1. Great talk, and the use of “Automaton” (a Gurdjieff Movement) is perfect to open and close their conversation.

    I was just reading Gurdjieff (in the 3rd Series) talking about the necessity of being intentional instead of just reacting to people and events. We often value spontaneity, but it’s really just reacting.

  2. The beauty about these teachings is that I can rise above my mechanicality and see it for what it is. These teachings are relief that I’m closer to reality instead of imagination.

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