Hi guys, found this extract from a book named THE FOURTH WAY. Hope it will
give you a new approach of spirituality....
“Schools are not all the same. For some kind of people one kind of school is
necessary, for another kind of people there is another kind of school. There is no
universal school for all kinds of people. This brings us to the subject of different
But before speaking about the ways it is necessary to realize that thousands of
years ago people came to the idea that man can change, that he can acquire
something he has not got. What he can acquire was expressed differently and
approached from different angles, but the general idea was always the same—
that man can develop, that he can acquire something new. So there were formed
three ways corresponding to the division of man into man No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3.
The first way is the way of the Fakir. It is a long, difficult and uncertain way.
A fakir works on the physical body, on conquering physical pain.
The second way is the way of the Monk. This way is shorter, more sure and
more definite. It requires certain conditions, but above all it requires faith, for if
there is no faith a man cannot be a true monk.
The third way is the way of the Yogi, the way of knowledge and consciousness.
When we speak about the three ways we speak about principles. In actual life
they are seldom met with in a pure form, for they are mostly mixed. But if you
know the principle, when you study school practices you can separate which
practice belongs to which way. When we speak of yogis we really take only
Jnana-Yoga and Raja-Yoga. Jnana-Yoga is the yoga of knowledge, of a new way
of thinking. It teaches to think in different categories, not in the categories of space
and time and of causality. And Raja-Yoga is work on being, on consciousness.
Although in many respects these ways are very efficient, the characteristic thing
about them is that the first step is the most difficult. From the very first moment
you have to give up everything and do what you are told. If you keep one little
thing, you cannot follow any of these ways. So, although the three ways are good
in many other respects, they are not sufficiently elastic. For instance, they do
not suit our present mode of life.
The Fakir is an exaggerated No. 1 man with a heavy predominance of
instinctive-moving centre. The Monk is an exaggerated No. 2 man with the
emotional centre developed and the others under-developed. The Yogi is an
exaggerated No. 3 man with the intellectual centre developed and the others
not sufficiently developed. If only these three traditional ways existed, there would
be nothing for us, for we are too over-educated for these ways.
But there is a Fourth Way which is a special way, not a combination of the other
three. It is different from others first of all in that there is no external giving up of
things, for all the work is inner. A man must begin work in the same conditions
in which he finds himself when he meets it, because these conditions are the best
for him. If he begins to work and study in these conditions, he can attain
something, and later, if it is necessary, he will be able to change them, but not
before he sees the necessity for it. So at first one continues to live the same life as
before, in the same circumstances as before. In many respects this way proves
more difficult than the others, for nothing is harder than to change oneself
internally without changing externally.
Then in the Fourth Way the first principle is that man must not believe anything;
he must learn; so faith does not enter into the Fourth Way. One must not
believe what one hears or what one is advised, one must find proofs for
everything. If one is convinced that something is true, then one can believe it, but
not before. This is a brief outline of the difference between the four ways.”