Fourth Way – Analysis of A. R. Orage [7w6]

 

Introduction

A.R. Orage was an English intellectual who was one of Gurdjieff’s more prominent pupils, having first met Ouspensky. Just happening to read a compilation of meeting notes taken of Orage by students, his ‘type’ was fairly apparent within the first hundred pages or so. For interest’s sake (given the enneagram’s early Fourth Way connections) I thought I would detail this.
For a copy of original data see here:
https://archive.org/stream/OrageGurdjieffMeetingNotes/OrageGurdjieffMeetingNotes_djvu.txt

In other reading I’ve done, Orage appears in C.S. Notts’ ‘Teachings of Gurdjieff’ – Nott being quite impressed by O.’s intellectual capabilities (Nott describing himself as instinctive and emotional). Mentions are made of how the Prieure’s intense physical regimen is nearly breaking Orage; he appears slightly roguish in how he’s able to describe/explain things although Nott is more influenced by ‘sacred dances’. Nott describes a conversation between Orage and Aleister Crowley where Orage makes up a number to describe his occult capabilities (numerological, not enneagram)(“twelve?). At this stage I was interested to figure out his etype ‘number’, but had no idea; its apparent he would identify as ‘man number three’ – generally, 567 but with this aggregate level being vague enough it doesn’t map infallibly.

Notes on the Commentaries as to Orage’s interpretations

(His commentaries are interesting in that he’s very slightly proud of or prejudiced toward ‘man number three’ e.g. noting they could at least imagine higher levels intellectually, whereas Ouspensky. puts all three on exactly the same level). References are made to ‘man being mechanical because he lives only in his instinctive centre’ – somewhat different to Ouspensky’s transmission of Gurdjieff’s view the problem is with ‘mechanical thinking’ and ‘mechanical feeling’, which are equally as mechanized as instinctive; a remark is also made that the emotional centre controls the body – referring the diagram where the emotional centre is the ‘horse’ and the body the ‘cart’ – whereas Ouspensky makes fairly clear that the ‘moving centre’ mind is quite distinct from the ’emotional centre’ mind
Note that Ouspensky’s book ISM was I believe not available until after his death, however – so I am not exactly sure how notes or ideas were normally transmitted in meetings prior to this. Orage does a lot of reflecting about “Beelzebub’s Tales” by Gurdjieff in the notes; the commentary here is a very good source for attempting to interpret these, although its unclear sometimes where he’s drawing a correct inference (or using a comment by G.) and where he’s perhaps speculating. A couple of things to note would be e.g. Atlantis being ‘sunken conscience’ or the Earth being split into three chunks (Moon, Anulios) being a metaphor for splitting apart of three centres (G. would take psychological ideas to also have a real-world equivalence because of the idea that humans are ‘Tetartocosmoses’ which reflect the real world).
Some of Orage’s comments are also interesting in giving more context to ISM’s ideas in places e.g. more background on how G. may have been familiar with ‘monks’.

Orage – some quotes from the commentaries

Below are some quotes, e.g. that particularly struck me as having a 7 ‘vibe’ about them.
Themes include planning for the future, work as a higher ideal or the aim of existence, desiring happiness, gluttony – for example its interesting that he’s taken the idea of the “food octave” where there are physical food, air, and “impressions” as food for the three centres, so describing each centre as a ‘stomach’ [2nd quote].

 

“The greatest delight for the mind of man is the employment of “cunning”, with a good conscience, to a successful practical conclusion.”

“each centre is a ‘stomach’ with its own state of working well, its oral joy in being alive and functioning. “We are aware of this in our habit of sizing up the state in which we get up in the morning; we say we are feeling a little low, or full of zest.”

“Among our possibilities there are some which, from our own point of view, are more desirable than others. A desirable future is one that we would find, in the deeper sense, of the word, agreeable to pursue, and which we would close with satisfaction.”

“It may be that we are all drugged on this planet, that its fumes are uncongenial to man, and breathing them in we dream. But there are times, in grief, etc., when we have moments of self-realization.”
[represents a normal 4th way idea, but cf. Palmer’s concept of ‘Sobriety’ as the virtue of 7]

“You are concerned with the maximum satisfaction. We don’t care two pence about cosmic consciousness, or divinity, or God; but in our own maximum satisfaction : perhaps this is
your objective duty.” [?]

“If death should overtake a million people, only two or three would have any reason for continuing life. We live from day to day, for nothing other than to meet the happenings
of the day. No one ever asks what he is living for; what keeps him alive; what he is hoping for.”

“The three higher notes (sol – consciousness; la – individuality; si – will) are “I” (the state of being “I”).”
[this doesn’t significantly deviate from teachings here, but equating “Will” as the highest level of man – ‘man number seven’  – is interesting since almost equally love or true reason or individuality could’ve been emphasized]

“Give yourself your name and imagine you see that person and ask;
Can she be trusted? Is she a liar? Is she capable of loyalty? Is she serious about anything? Has she intelligence? Is she where she wishes to be? Is she lazy? Is she self-indulgent? Is she selfish? Is there any one she loves? Is there anyone for whom she would put herself to real trouble? Could she take a vow to do any work? la she a snob? Has she any idea of why she is alive? Could she tell if at the point of death what she would do if she were given another ten years to live? Has she ever wished to excel in anything? to be of service? Or has she been in pursuit of pleasures? Do the words “conscience”, “responsibility”, “religion”, womanliness” , mean anything to her? Is she complaining?
Does she think the world owes her anything? What does she do for society? How does she spend her day? Before going to sleep does she review the day or pass into oblivion? In waking does she have a purpose for the day?
Does she ever make effort against inclination? What character did she have as school girl? How does she appear today? Could she write on a piece of paper what others say of her? Has she a pleasant temper, or morose? Has she ever had the strength to apologize? Has she used words as a snake uses its sting, to throw at someone whom she hates? Has it occured to her at night to recall her remarks during the day and ask what kind of a
person was this who said these things?”

“The educators are all so prejudiced they cannot help imparting their prejudices to pupils whther they are good for the pupils or not. The subjective element is so great that no one can be .trusted to help others.
A psychoanalyst will begin to attribute to patients the very complex he himself has. If this is the case with trained minds imagine how wrong it would be for the untrained to attempt help. They would give the worst advice that could possibly be given.
This subjectivity – self ignorance – is the beam with which we try to cast out the mote which is in our neighbor’s eye. The beam is self ignorance; we cast it out by Self Observation.”
[=Projection; wing]

“We may call ourselves the arch-dodger. Has any one with this passion
ever admitted in moments of candor the tricks he has employed for
keeping his organism at work when it wanted to stop? “
[continues with how Orage persuaded his organism for fifteen years to keep on
editing “The New Age” paper]

“They say that the universe is running down. — only by decay. Impossible
that this should be true…”
[=positive outlook]

(From his essay on ‘conscious love’, which I can’t find currently, I can also recall quotes around polyamorousness that could be slightly Seven-ish]

 

Orage – enneatype analysis

Overall quotes often go around a continuum of happy/unhappy, with a focus on planning for the future – explaining some of the appeal of the ‘Fourth Way’. Volume of material suggests O. likes talking, although notes are repeated from different students in the volume here. Its interesting that a type [7w6] comes through quite evidently even though he hasn’t really altered the teachings themselves at all; it is apparent through a particular focus or emphasis on points – for instance, he focusses heavily on the idea of ‘being-duty’ in Beelzebub’s Tales – and he also has a particular style of explaining by metaphor, that matches somewhat Palmer’s description of Seven’s as understanding “fit between remote associations”, or knowing how to do something, by comparison with other things you know. Metaphors appear of a man climbing a tree to get a coconut as it pertains to effort, will as representing steam in a steamboat, a straw drifting on the water, people as eggs who don’t want to peck their way out of their shells to become chickens, the 3 centres as stomachs, etc. etc.
Orage himself is more an intellectual than a generalist, but is definitely more 7ish based on data here (e.g. not a 5 for example) – he’s a generalist at least in intellectual areas than interest him, and somewhat self-taught in something of a 7-ish way [autodidactic]. Overall the heavy intellectual focus would suggest a mix of Seven plus Six – two head types – or in MBTI an ENTP structure [secondary Ti]. A number of 7w6s have extraordinarily high overall intellect (cf. Robert L. Forward and A.E. Van Vogt, for example, as listed on the author’s page earlier in the blog).

Six is perhaps directly expressed in his note on ‘projection’; his discussion of Beelzebub’s Tales is also perhaps a use of Six-ish cognitive strategies, in tapping into their intuitive focus on ‘hidden intentions’ to deconstruct what Gurdjieff is meaning or implying. His spiritual interests are themselves also somewhat suggestive of a 6-wing. Particular attitudes of skepticism around religion are apparent.

The commencement of his notes talk much about ‘self-image’ which is interesting – this being something more evident in 3s perhaps, but which I’ve seen to some occasionally or to some extent in Sevens, in literature analysis, and which is also part of the Fourth Way system in any case. Checking e.g. Wikipedia, his general bio seems in support Seven reasonably well.

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