If these changes are to come without major disruption it will be necessary for the true situation of the world to be revealed. We are kept in ignorance of the reality, not so much by deliberate suppression as by the inability to see and think upon a large enough scale. We observe recurrent crises followed by encouraging signs of progress and prosperity.
The overall trend towards disintegration which must be seen over a period of at least a century is disguised by the ebb and flow of political and economic activity. The need is for more people who can see how things are going and work for the future of the human race. The real situation is that man unaided is powerless to prevent catastrophe. The sole hope is in cooperation with the Higher Powers that are acting in their own way and their own time. This is the Great Work in which all are called to take part who are able to do so. For this they must be trained to perceive, to understand and to withstand the strains of the world process. The training must be directed to man himself and all his powers bodily, mental and spiritual. We need people who can make the conscious, stable decision to dedicate themselves to serve the future.
In 1970, I became aware that I must do what I could to show that this training is possible. Fifty years of search had convinced me that Gurdjieff’s method brought up to date and completed from other sources was the best available technique for giving just the training that the world needs. In October 1971, the International Academy for Continuous Education started its first course and now the second has been completed. The results show that the method works for those who can commit themselves to an all-out effort. I have described the enterprise in the last chapter.
All over the world people are aware of the need to prepare for the new age. Thousands of experimental communities, urban and rural, are searching for a new way of life. This search has in the 1970s replaced the political activism of the 1960s. Another feature of this decade is the proliferation of spiritual mass movements that offer some form of instant salvation. These trends sometimes combine in the form of spiritual communities that live with apocalyptic fervour awaiting the end of the world. There are also many realistic ‘this worldly’ settlements that aim only at survival.