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The Fourth Way
Esoteric Christianity

Symbols of Esoteric Christianity, The Fourth Way, Gurdjieff, Egypt

Gurdjieff was asked what was the origin of The Fourth Way, he said, "I don't know what you know about Christianity [he emphasized the word.] "It would be necessary to talk a great deal and to talk for a long time in order to make clear what you understand by this term. But for the benefit of those who know already, I will say that, if you like, this is esoteric Christianity."

What is at issue, obviously, is the meaning of the term "Christianity." Gurdjieff is not referring to contemporary Christianity. The Christianity he is referring to is the Christianity before Christ. As he said, "Prehistoric Egypt was Christian many thousands of years before the birth of Christ, that is to say, that its religion was composed of the same principles and ideas that constitute true Christianity. [Emphasis added.] He went on to say that every real religion consists of two parts—an exoteric and an esoteric. The exoteric teaches "what is to be done. The esoteric teaches how to do what the first part teaches. This part is preserved in special schools and with its help it is always possible to rectify what has been distorted in the first part or to restore what has been forgotten."