William Patrick Patterson is a teacher of The Fourth Way, an ancient, esoteric teaching of self-development brought to the West by G. I. Gurdjieff, which predates not only Christianity but the Egyptian, Judaic, Persian, Buddhist and Islamic religions. He is the author of 8 books on The Fourth Way and is the director-writer-narrator of the documentary DVD trilogy The Life & Significance of G.I. Gurdjieff. Patterson was a longtime student of Lord John Pentland, who was appointed by Gurdjieff to be the leader of the Work in America and William is the founder/director of The Gurdjieff Studies Program. For many years he has led groups, as well as given seminars and talks throughout the United States. We'll discuss the esoteric teaching of The Fourth Way, including the concept that humans are not born with a soul but must create and develop a soul through the course of life. William elaborates on Gurdjieff's claim that people cannot perceive reality in their current states because they do not possess consciousness but rather live in a state of a hypnotic waking sleep. "Man lives his life in sleep, and in sleep he dies." As a result of this condition, each person perceives things from a completely subjective perspective. People in their typical state function as unconscious automatons, but that one can wake up and become a different sort of human being altogether. We'll also discuss the many I's, from selves to individual to the self. Later, William explains how humanity is in danger of losing our freedom to machines as we are giving more power to our mechanical side. William presents a different perspective on life, one that defies most teachings you've heard.
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