Don’t judge a man by the tales of others.
This is a saying by Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff, who is referred to as Gurdjieff. He was a Greek-Armenian mystic and spiritual teacher. He coined many sayings recorded in his numerous books.
The following are culled from his “Aphorisms” that I think have some merit.
1. Socratesâ€™ words, â€œKnow thyselfâ€ remain for all those who seek true knowledge and being.
2. RELIGION IS DOING; a man does not merely think his religion or feel it, he lives his religion as much as he is able, otherwise it is not religion but fantasy or philosophy. Whether he likes it or not he shows his attitude towards religion by his actions and he can show his attitude only by his actions. Therefore if his actions are opposed to those which are demanded by a given religion he cannot assert that he belongs to that religion.
3. A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.
4. Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
5. Remember your self always and everywhere.
6. By teaching others you will learn yourself.
7. Conscious faith is freedom. Emotional faith is slavery. Mechanical faith is foolishness.
8. A “sin” is something which is not necessary.
9. In properly organized groups no faith is required; what is required is simply a little trust and even that only for a little while, for the sooner a man begins to verify all he hears the better it is for him.
10. Patience is the mother of will.
11. Take the “wisdom” of the East and the ‘”energy” of the West and then seek.
12. Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not know where to go.
in P. D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous , 1949