The Fellowship of Friends is a worldwide
philosophical community and school, founded in 1970
by Burton and following the tradition of Gurdjieff
and Ouspensky that is called the “Fourth Way.”
Burton has a brilliant and stimulating vision that
evokes all kinds of experimenting with the
“machine,” with one’s ego structure: “The soul,
like any pearl, must be created by transforming
irritation. Voluntary suffering can serve this
purpose.” Try sitting in an uncomfortable way - for
example, on a cassette - for fifteen minutes; then
try something else. Turn your heater down. Create
friction. Avoid self-pity. Hide your suffering.
Burton stresses educating and disciplining the
emotions and being permanently alert - i.e.,
self-remembering. “What one gains, all gain,” he
says as he explains personal transformation for his
group of pupils. In an equally compelling way, he
describes “Influence C” - conscious, immaterial
beings who assist man. An extensive glossary
describes the specific terminology of the Fourth
Peter den Haring
© Copyright Fellowship of
Friends 2001 - All rights reserved.
Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1995.
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