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Nondual Perspectives

GURDJIEFF'S TOAST TO THE IDIOTS

Marcia Paul contributes:

"Gurdjieff introduced his toast to the Idiots in 1922, and
from 1940 gave it increasing emphasis.

Although not divesting 'idiot' of its pejorative sense, he re-invested
it with the meaning of individuality (from a Greek root
meaning 'I make my own').

Though idiocy was universal - God
himself being the Unique idiot (No.21) - a subsidiary
differentiation afforded a human typology at once 'poetic'
and profound.

Each pupil, relying simply on intuition, was
initially required to choose his own idiot from among the
first twelve (1 ordinary; 2 super; 3 arch; 4 hopeless; 5
compassionate; 6 squirming; 7 square; 8 round; 9 zigzag; 10
enlightened; 11 doubting; 12 swaggering).......

The subsequent order of idiots (nowhere reliably published) is
believed to be: 13 born; 14 patented; 15 psychopathic; 16
polyhedral. Although idiots 1-16 might seem to occupy a
plateau of being, only differentiate behaviourally, there
are hints of a desirable evolution to the proximate
type......

Idiots 17-21 constituted a spiritual hierarhy,
reflecting progressive gradations of objective reason' .
Idiot 18 presented the highest development which a human
being could reach, but in order to attain it, he had first
voluntarily to decent again from 17 to 1, the ordinary
idiot. Idiots 19 and 21 were reserved for the sons of
God.......

The Toast to the Idiots was discontinued
immediately on Gurdjieff's death in 1949, it being felt
that, without his decisive presence, it stood in dangerof
becoming a mere form without content."

Source: Moore, J.B. 1991. Gurdjieff - A biography. Element
Books Limited, Shaftesbury, Dorset.

David Hodges contributes:

Herewith the most complete list possible of Gurdjieff's
Order of Idiots, with thanks to Marcia Paul.

1 ordinary idiot
2 super idiot
3 arch idiot
4 hopeless idiot
5 compassionate idiot
6 squirming idiot
7 square idiot
8 round idiot
9 zigzag idiot
10 enlightened idiot
11 doubting idiot
12 swaggering idiot
13 born idiot
14 patented idiot
15 psychopathic idiot
16 polyhedral idiot

Idiots 17-21 constituted a spiritual hierarchy, reflecting
progressive gradations of objective reason

Idiot 18 presented the highest development which a human
being could reach, but in order to attain it, he had first
voluntarily to descend again from 17 to 1, the ordinary
idiot.

Idiots 19 and 21 were reserved for the sons of God.

21 - Unique Idiot (God himself being the Unique idiot)

Source: Moore, J.B. 1991. Gurdjieff - A biography. Element
Books Limited, Shaftesbury, Dorset.

 
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