Note: the blue italics indicate the teacher, in black others participants.


I’d like to talk about seizing opportunities in the sense that it can remove a large package at once, whole sections of superfluous identity mecanisms.

How does one recognize such an opportunity?

Have there been times when you have seized such opportunities? Conversely, there may be other times when you may have missed opportunities. Does anyone have an example of a missed opportunity?
It is very important to seize opportunities when they arise, not to miss them. It’s like a jackpot. Sometimes there are things we would like to get rid of, bits of identity, but it is not done, because it is not yet ripe, or simply waiting for an opportunity to arise. Our assembly is a resource for such opportunities, but there are also some elsewhere in daily life. Simply here, there may be a supportive context, a background that makes it easier to seize opportunities, or more difficult to miss them. When you seize an opportunity, there has to be something to give up, a sacrifice to make. You sacrifice a part of yourself.

Gurdjieff said about opportunities that if you don’t seize them, they become rarer and rarer and harder to cross.

Yes, if we miss an opportunity, when the next one appears (if it does) the price to pay is more important, what there is to sacrifice is more difficult. It always takes courage to jump into the unknown, to give up comfort.

For years, I’ve dreamed that my life would change, and frankly there hasn’t been an opportunity that has gone by! I even tried to create some. Can we create opportunities?

No, we have to wait.

But when we talk about opportunity, is it necessarily something big?

It’s still generally substantial. The first time is relatively easy. The second time, in principle, it’s already harder. Even if you realize that you have missed an opportunity and are waiting for the next one, it may not come. Or if it comes, you can get stuck with the same problem as the first time “it’s too much for me…” It’s always a little too much, otherwise it wouldn’t be an opportunity.
For example, for those who have left the teaching, coming back would be much harder, much more expensive. So far, no one ever came back. There would be much more to sacrifice by coming back than there would have been to sacrifice by staying. When you seize an opportunity, it’s a really big package that goes off in one fell swoop.
Are there testimonies?

Earlier this year, I was invited to participate in a very big tango festival and to host the last evening. As it was falling at the time of one of our meetings, I refused. It was an opportunity for me not to give up, and it made me be really clear. I had to verbalize my refusal to the organizers several times. Our teacher had told me that the clearer the decision, the less it would be challenged. At first, I felt that this decision provoked rather aggressive reactions, then it gave out. I then observed a kind of respect, because I had held, totally, until the end. For me it was really a very important opportunity. I think missing that one would have been pretty violent.

For me, taking over our administrative management was a real opportunity. It allowed me to confront myself exactly where it stumbles for me, between doubt and momentum. It took courage, because I was making a mountain out of this unknown, and finally it went well and it’s been going on for five years. Another thing I’ve seen is how taking one opportunity generates others. For example, this summer, I had a big awareness about the persistence of a technical question concerning the administration and currently with my bank, it is of the same order, I must insist without respite to obtain something. This relentlessness came because I took over the management. It’s interesting to see how a door opens to other doors.

Other examples of missed or seized opportunities?

One opportunity I didn’t seize was the storage of my garage.

Is it a procrastination problem?

Seemed too big, I didn’t know where to start.

And so you’ve been paying every month for over 7 years for a garage where there’s only stuff to throw away?

Yes, there is something about attachment. I recognized it some time ago and I thought that was enough. And so, I started clearing.
I also remember an opportunity I took when youqq asked me to let my hair grow. For forty years I had short hair and I could not imagine changing my look. I had strong ideas about which style should or should not suit me, I was identified with the image I gave of myself to others. So, I followed the injunction at the risk of no longer meeting my own aesthetic criteria. During hair growth, I learned to accept this change, and now this part of identity no longer concerns me as before.

A few years ago, I owned an apartment that represented a kind of security. When I sold it so I could participate in the meetings, I thought it would be difficult. Well, not at all, on the contrary, it lightened me up a lot! And now I have nothing at all, and I feel better that way. I also shared with my two children, so the inheritance is liquidated. I found it very pleasant, and it really surprised me, because I expected it to be difficult.

Yes, that’s a very good example.