Four States of Human Consciousness In the ‘Work’

The 4 States of Human Consciousness  — Building A Soul


Gurdjieff’s description Characteristics of 4 States of Human Consciousness — Sy Ginsburg GURDJIEFF UNVEILED 

The 1st State of Human Consciousness
 We are in ‘sleep’, ordinary night sleep in which we spend 1/4  to 1/3 of our lives in a profound state of unconsciousness.
The 2nd State of Human Consciousness
It is relative to our ordinary “waking” state in which we walk the streets, write books, make love, and kill one another.  We identify with (waking sleep) everything that takes our attention. In this state, we are an ‘automaton’, machine-like.
The third state of Human Consciousness
Self-consciousness We include ourselves in our attention. (We divide our (self-awareness) attention). We
are aware of being aware of ourselves.  This is the Work. Most of the Work is the effort to move from state #2 to state #3. The “how to” taught by
Gurdjieff is described by Ouspensky, as a double-headed arrow (page 19), along with examining the
identifications that keep us from self-consciousness.
The Fourth State of Human Consciousness
Objective consciousness We experience the unitive vision and know we are the one (enlightenment)
life. This is called “enlightenment.” It can be experienced but it cannot be described in words.
The Work here begins The rest of the Work is to move from state #3 to state #4. to come about naturally.
Key elements of the “how to” are described as “Only he or through an effort from being she may enter (this state) who puts himself in the position in the state of self- of the other results of my labors,” and “conscious labors and consciousness. intentional suffering” (being-partkdolg-duty).

States of Consciousness

By Maurice Nicoll in Commentaries


Darkness 1st State Sleep with Dreams. Man Dreaming.  Body quiescent.  Man as passive machine passive to dreams.
No Help Possible

Man Asleep

2nd State So-called clear Consciousness or Waking State.  Body-active-Man as walking and talking machine, not properly conscious.  Man as sleep-walker.  Man active to his dreams.
Light 3rd State Self-consciousness, awareness of ‘I’, Self-Remembering.
Help Possible-Man Awake 4th State Objective Consciousness, Man can see things as they really are. Man is awake.


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