Our independent efforts, each by ourselves, are insufficient. A group is the beginning of everything, a group of people seeking to live in a more conscious way. A group can succeed better to maintain the effort. Some of us are more vigilant, more responsible. We help one another. But the appearance of this form has to be recognized, not imposed. We have to feel the need for coming together, to be present with others to share a relation of reciprocal attention. To have a basis for a conscious relation, each member must know and accept himself. Each must feel the need for the group, for a world traversed by a certain current of thought and feeling. He has to know that he needs it, and must not forget that he needs it.
We are, of course, speaking of a group formed for work on oneself that is not on the level of ordinary life.
We are in a group because we need help to find a quality in ourselves, a state in which we can experience something real. We need higher influences that are inaccessible when we work alone with our ordinary means. Without the group we cannot come to the necessary intensity. The group is thus a special condition for exchange and a kind of conduit for higher influences, ideas from a higher level of life. But we must be wholly present. We receive these ideas in the exact measure that we are present.
Excerpted from The Reality of Being – The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff by Jeanne de Salzmann