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 wars and mass violence according to Gurdjieff

What did Gurdjieff say about wars and mass violence?

Gurdjieff had a unique perspective on wars and mass violence. Here’s a concise summary of his main ideas on this subject:

  • Mechanical state: Gurdjieff considered that most people lived in a “mechanical” or unconscious state, acting out of habit and conditioning rather than conscious choice.
  • External influences: He thought that the masses were easily influenced by external forces, including propaganda and collective emotions.
  • Lack of awareness: For Gurdjieff, wars and mass violence were the result of a general lack of awareness and spiritual awakening in society.
  • Evolution of consciousness: He believed that the evolution of individual and collective consciousness was necessary to prevent these conflicts.
  • Work on oneself: Gurdjieff taught that “work on oneself” – a process of personal and spiritual development – was essential to overcome these destructive tendencies.

Would you like me to elaborate on one of these points or address another aspect of Gurdjieff’s thinking on this subject?

Yes.

I will therefore further develop these ideas of Gurdjieff on wars and mass violence:

  • Mechanical state: Gurdjieff asserted that most people lived in a state of “waking sleep.” In this state, individuals react automatically to external stimuli without real awareness or reflection. This “mechanicity” makes the masses easily manipulable and prone to destructive behaviors.
  • External influences: He emphasized that human beings are constantly subject to external influences. Media, propaganda, political ideologies, and collective emotions can easily push the masses towards violence. Gurdjieff insisted on the importance of recognizing these influences to free oneself from them.
  • Lack of awareness: For Gurdjieff, most people were not fully aware of themselves or their environment. This lack of awareness prevents individuals from seeing the consequences of their actions and facilitates their participation in acts of collective violence.
  • Evolution of consciousness: Gurdjieff believed in the possibility of an evolution of human consciousness. He taught that this evolution, both at the individual and collective level, was the key to preventing large-scale conflicts and violence.
  • Work on oneself: “Work on oneself” was central to Gurdjieff’s teaching. This process involves rigorous self-observation, awareness of one’s automatisms, and a constant effort to develop a conscious presence. Gurdjieff saw this work as essential to free oneself from negative influences and contribute to a more peaceful society.

What attitude should one have when such scenarios arise? What did he recommend to his students?

Gurdjieff advocated a specific approach for his students when faced with scenarios of conflict or collective violence. Here are the main attitudes and practices he recommended:

  • Self-observation: Gurdjieff insisted on the importance of constant self-observation. He encouraged his students to monitor their emotional reactions, thoughts, and impulses in the face of conflict situations.
  • Non-identification: He taught not to identify with collective emotions or bellicose ideologies. The goal was to maintain an inner distance from external influences.
  • Awareness of the “multiple I”: Gurdjieff emphasized that we have several inner “I’s”. He advised being vigilant about the parts of oneself that might be attracted to violence or confrontation.
  • Inner work: Rather than seeking to change the external world, Gurdjieff encouraged his students to focus on their inner transformation.
  • Conscious presence: He advocated cultivating a state of conscious presence, allowing one to react thoughtfully rather than automatically to conflict situations.
  • Self-remembering: The practice of “self-remembering” was central. It involves constantly bringing oneself back to a state of heightened awareness, especially in moments of tension.
  • Understanding universal laws: Gurdjieff taught that understanding the laws that govern the universe can help maintain a broader perspective on conflicts.