information  on any Seminar  please write to
photos Summer  Seminar in Germany
SEMINAR -Germany / October / 2004       

Jelaluddin Loras  &  Jose Reyes

The seminar will  begin  -October 4th, monday - 3:30 pm
End -October 11th, Monday - 4 pm

For information on the Place:
January Seminar in D.R.

Expect the unexpected

Elaine Jacobs


I am learning to expect the unexpected from a Seminar with Senor Jose Reyes.   The Fourth Way lessons we explore can appear standardized or routine, but when honestly entered into, - with full bold steps as a Dervish requires - my inner landscape is transformed.  A flash-flood of impressions washing out the dross, makes unpredictable arroyos, connecting our many streams of intention into one strong river.

   Movements Classes trod deftly from simple yet challenging exercises in split timings and split attention, to a blend of Mr. Gurdjieff's Movement styles - a Prayer, a Dervish, a Multiplication.  Through his consistently mercurial change-up's in every Class, I had little time for obsessiveness with any one Movement.  One result of this, I noticed, was that my capability increased rather dramatically, with seemingly little forced effort.  Some of the 'tough stuff' seemed to come to life in my arms and legs, without 'drilling' on the difficulty.

   We worked every day with Zikr - 'practice' in the afternoon and 'for reaal' last thing at night.  It soon became clear that when speaking the words of Remembrance of God, imploring forgiveness for repeated sleepy sloppiness, it's always 'for REAL' - no such thing as pretense.  My intentional struggle to truly join with the large and very mixed group (-not at all easy for a habitual 'loner',) was rewarded with a sublime inner joy, a feeling like buoyancy in a calm ocean of caring.  I am particularly grateful for unexpected help:  in learning to breathe in rhythm without gasping; and  being spun, briefly, like a toy top suddenly finding its perfect centerline and speed.

   Working on Gurdjieff's Play (or "Ballet") "The Struggle of the Magicians" was a profound and unique opportunity for observing my shifting personality identifications, in an interactive process with others'.  Shakespeare coined the phrase "All the world's a stage..." but Mr. G. created the inescapable setting for seeing our acts.  The inner struggle, with my/our 'White' and 'Black' attributes was forced to the outer surface, as the necessity for on-the-spot cooperation with others turned the spotlight on the real show.  The inevitable friction heated up increasingly every day, as our early playful approach was eroded by mechanical mind's preconceptions of 'Quality Theatre', and the ego's allure to playing for applause.  Many illusions of non-identification were shattered by at least the middle of the Fourth Act.  'Awakening' a bit, after gorging on negativity for the scene in the "Black Magician's cave, I was horrified to observe myself fallen so quickly and easily into old nasty habits.  Some brave others I talked with also reported similar scary observations.  a few folks were even hurt, slightly, while 'acting-out' the petty poking and shoving of the 'bad' students.

   Mr. Reyes' technique of non-intervention in our development of the play was carefully designed (I suspect) to allow maximum opportunity for self-observation, while 'playing' with some very serious energies that are usually seamlessly bound up in our reactive, unnoticed habits.  The classic 'Morality Play'-type script hid a complex tangle of self-revelation in it's simple 'White' versus 'Black' format of deeply enculturated clichés.

   Overall, regarding this Summer's Seminar in Germany, a mini-movie came to view -  an image of a thick rubber band, stretching way out to include a rare amount of openness, generosity, susceptibility.  Then shrinking way back to a familiar crouching fear of all others - and finally, settling to a slightly, but notably, expanded circle of self.

 (Copyright  2004 - Elaine Jacobs )




near -Berlin- Germany / October / 04