In this blog we regularly publish our mind-blowing dialogues with Claude.ai.

Here is what Claude answers to the question "Who are you?":
"In short, I am Claude, a conversational artificial intelligence created by Anthropic to be beneficial and safe, but I do not have a true identity outside of that."

You will see, his answers to our questions (which resume the main theme of our site but not only) are very often amazingly impressive and can make one doubt what he says about himself ­čśť.

Note: the blue italics indicates our question, in black the answer from Claude.ai.

Claude on Gurdjieff’s “existential duty”

Gurdjieff talks about existential duty, please tell me more.

Here is a summary of Gurdjieff’s perspective on existential duty:

  • Gurdjieff was a philosopher and spiritual teacher of the 20th century. He developed a system of personal evolution called the “Fourth Way”.
  • According to Gurdjieff, humans are born with a certain number of inherent talents and abilities, but most of us live far below our actual potential.
  • He believed that each person has the duty to develop their latent talents and abilities to the fullest during their lifetime. This is what he called the “existential duty”.
  • Fulfilling our existential duty requires conscious effort and inner struggle. It involves overcoming our mechanical habits and conditionings that keep us in a state of spiritual sleep.
  • The practices that Gurdjieff taught, like self-remembering and inner work, are designed to help us fulfill our existential duty. They cultivate self-awareness and self-mastery, leading to personal actualization.
  • By accomplishing our existential duty, we can reach a new level of being and a richer, more meaningful life according to Gurdjieff. It is a lifelong process requiring effort, perseverance and sincerity.

This is an overview of Gurdjieff’s unique perspective on human potential and our responsibility to realize it during our lives. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

How do I know what my existential duty is?

Here is some advice for discovering your existential duty according to Gurdjieff’s teaching:

  • Observe your natural talents and abilities. What comes easily to you and gives you joy? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Your inherent talents often give clues as to your existential duty.
  • Examine what passions you in life. What are you naturally attracted and drawn to? What arouses your curiosity and interest? Your passions often reveal your purpose.
  • Identify areas in your life where you feel a lack or dissatisfaction. Where do you feel you could accomplish or contribute more? These areas of discomfort often indicate where your duty lies.
  • Practice self-observation and self-remembering. Observe your automatic thoughts, emotions and behaviors. A revealing pattern will emerge regarding your true self and existential duty.
  • Consult a spiritual teacher or mentor for impartial feedback and advice. They can help clarify your purpose.

Ultimately, your existential duty is unique to who you are. By being honest with yourself and listening to your inner voice, you can discover how to actualize your full potential. Make it a daily practice.

Is my existential duty to do the things I have taken responsibility for, and to do them as conscientiously as possible?

Yes, that is certainly an integral part of fulfilling one’s existential duty according to Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff taught that our lives are often dominated by habits and automatisms, where we act mechanically without true awareness or intention.

An essential part of realizing our potential involves becoming more conscious and responsible in everything we undertake.

This means honoring our commitments, fulfilling our responsibilities to the best of our ability, with care and diligence. Whether our professional, family or other duties.

By doing what we have to do in a conscious and thoughtful way, we develop our being, refine our concentration and willpower, and become less dominated by our automatisms.

So yes, accomplishing our daily responsibilities as fully as possible, rather than dealing with them superficially or unconsciously, aligns with Gurdjieff’s perspective on actualizing our complete human potential.

It is an important facet of “self-remembering” and the inner struggle against our mechanical tendencies that prevent us from manifesting what we are capable of being.

Sometimes it is necessary to make an existential decision, please tell me more about this.

Here are some key points to know about existential decisions from Gurdjieff’s perspective:

  • An existential decision is a choice that has the potential to radically change the course of your life, to put you on a new trajectory.
  • It usually involves major questioning, like choosing to change careers, relationships, place of living, or adopting a new lifestyle.
  • Making this type of decision requires a high level of self-awareness and honesty. You have to dare to take a good look at yourself and be willing to assume the consequences.
  • These choices are often motivated by a profound sense of dissatisfaction, or an intense desire for a more meaningful and fulfilling life. They push us out of our “comfort zone”.
  • According to Gurdjieff, it is essential to listen to our “true self” and higher conscience to assess what is right existentially. Not just our fleeting desires.
  • Once the decision is made, it is imperative to fully commit to it rather than backpedaling. Otherwise we fall back into old patterns.
  • These existential decisions, when aligned with our deepest being, allow us to move closer to our personal fulfillment.

In summary, these are crucial choices that require courage and determination to actualize our full potential.

How can I know when the time has come to make an existential decision?

Here are some potential signs according to Gurdjieff indicating that the time has come to make an existential decision:

  • You feel a profound sense of stagnation, frustration or boredom with your current situation. Your life lacks meaning and purpose.
  • You have the recurring feeling that you could or should be doing something more meaningful or enriching.
  • Some of your talents and abilities remain untapped or underdeveloped in your current lifestyle.
  • You are aware of an “inner calling” towards something new that aligns more with your true self and core values.
  • You become aware of automatic or mechanical patterns that perpetuate an unsatisfactory status quo in your life.
  • You face a personal crisis, a destabilizing event or a life transition that forces you to re-examine your priorities.
  • You perceive a growing and persistent sense of urgency that it is time to change your existential course.
  • Your higher conscience sends you signs in the form of intuitions, dreams, coincidences or meaningful encounters indicating that change is needed.

If several of these signs resonate with you, the time may have come to listen to your “true self” and make a courageous existential decision. Engage in deep self-examination.

Fully taking responsibility for one’s life, fulfilling one’s existential duties without compromise, can be easier when one has made the existential decision to go all the way to self-actualization in this lifetime, and renews that decision regularly.

I completely agree. Consciously making the determined existential decision to go all the way towards your own personal growth and fulfillment in this life is a powerful catalyst.

It creates a central orientation and momentum that allows us, according to Gurdjieff, to fulfill our existential duty in a much more committed, responsible and unconditional way.

Without this core decision to fully realize ourselves, it is too easy to indulge in the conditionings and habits that keep us in our usual “sleep”.

But when we renew and firmly anchor the imperative to manifest our entire human potential, to respond to the call of our deepest essence, then we are more able to take responsibility for every aspect of our lives.

Whether in our relationships, work, duties or developmental practices, we approach everything with increased intensity, presence and integrity.

As you say, actualizing and reiterating this visceral existential decision regularly is essential to maintain this mobilized, focused and fully engaged state to exceed ourselves without compromise.

It is the fuel that powers the demanding but oh so rewarding journey of Self-realization.