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JANE HEAP

1887-1964
A Monograph

also
TH E

APHORISMS

Sayings used in Jane Heaps Teaching


as remembered by some o f those she taught.

Printed and Published by Richard Edmonds at the Phene Press,


Haslemere, Surrey, England.

1987

I bring you the teaching exactly as Gurdjieff gave it


to me Jane Heap often told her people in St.Johns Wood,
where she spent the last active years of her active life. She
died in London in the summer of 1964, having devoted
forty years to presenting the work to groups, first in New
York, then in Paris, and finally in London, where she was
sent by Gurdjieff, leaving behind a memory that, to those
who knew her, is crystal clear to this day.
After the funeral service in the Armenian Church in St.
Johns Wood, Jane Heap was buried in a green plot in the
cemetery at East Finchley, where later a rough-hewn block
of Cumberland stone was set up, bearing just her signature.
On the day of the funeral, before her people stood in
turn beside the grave, one of her group recited the lines
which are quoted in Meetings With Remarkable Men.
I AM THO U
T H O U A R T I,
H E IS O U R S ,
W E B O T H A R E HIS.
SO M A Y A L L B E
F O R O U R N E IG H B O U R .

Jane Heaps constant aim was to plant in the minds of


those who worked with her some understanding of the true
essence of the teaching; like Gurdjieffhimself she illuminated
the scale of possibility for man; she offered the key to his
inner world which is the birthright of all.
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Fuller commentary on Janes life could only be attempted


by those who lived and worked with her over many years,
but some account of her early days, in which she travelled
so far from unstimulating surroundings, can be an aid to
appreciation of this remarkable human being who influenced
so many people of her time to their lasting gratitude. Her
legacy lies in the response she evoked.
Jane Heap was born on November 1,1887, in Shawnee
County between Kansas City and Topeka, Kansas, in the
very heart of the United States. Her father came from
Cheshire and her mother from Norway. Her grandmother
was a Lapp, whose family had lived a three days journey
beyond the Arctic Circle. Jane Heaps upbringing in Kansas
was lonely and spiritually isolated. Her father was warden
of a State Asylum for the Insane. There were no books to
read in this place except the great volumes in the patients
library, Jane wrote in an article touching on her early life
in The Little Review. I had read them all. There was no
one to ask about anything. There was no way to make a
connection with life. Out there in the world they were
working and thinking; here we were still. Very early I had
given up everyone except the insane.
There was little challenge for Janes fertile brain. How
ever, she made something out of everything, and even used
to listen to the walk and tread of mental patients to try
and relate them to their illnesses.
?

In this strange and unreal environment one particular


thought sustained her; who had made the pictures, the
books, the music in the world? . . . And how could you
tell the makers from just people? Did they have a light
around their heads?
It was when Sarah Bernhardt came to St. Louis that Jane
saw her performance from the balcony of the theatre, the
price of that seat in the gods taxing her slender resources.
Even when they spoke the great actresss name, said Jane,
it had a light around it. It was then that she resolved some
day I would go to Paris. Other people had got that far. I
would go on living for that.
Jane did get to Europe, but first she was to carve out
for herself in America a career as writer and editor that
was to bring her wide recognition, a certain notoriety, and
eventually a sense of direction in what she saw was a
chaotic world of false values.
This brief account passes over Janes early years of edu
cation, little or nothing being known about them. There
is a big gap in our knowledge over a long period, but it
is known that she graduated from the Chicago Institute of
Art in 1905, when she was eighteen, and studied costume
jewelry design at Chicagos Lewis Institute.
It was in 1916 Jane met Margaret Anderson in Chicago,
and there was at once a meeting of minds. Margaret was
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the editor of The Little Review, an avant-garde publication


exalting the role of the artist, initially based on Chicago
and then on New York. Jane became a contributor, later
co-editor and finally sole editor.
The Little Review under their joint guidance went from
strength to strength in esteem, despite its fluctuations in
financial well-being. It attracted some of the great writers
of the day, among them W .B. Yeats and James Joyce. It
was the publication of Joyces Ulysses that brought notor
iety and the threat of imprisonment to the editors.
Because of Janes awareness of the art movements of the
period The Little Review acquired an international stature,
and its striking layout, style and typography, which Jane
introduced as co-editor, helped to consolidate its position,
although it was noticeable that she deliberately and contin
uously took second place to Margaret Anderson as far as the
magazine was concerned.
What was significant at this period was the change of
emphasis that took place in The Little Review, which had
become more European in outlook, partly because of the
influence of Yeats, and was tending to look more deeply
into esoteric themes influenced by Georgette Leblanc, the
singer and lifelong friend of Maeterlinck.
This new direction led the editors in due course to the
work of Ouspensky, the brilliant author of Tertium
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Orgdtium, and then to Gurdjieffa natural progression.

It was at that point that Alfred Orage, Gurdjieffs rep


resentative, came to New York. Orage, described by
Margaret Anderson as the most persuasive man I have ever
known, made an immediate impact upon the writing
fraternity of New York, but most of all on the editors of
The Little Review.
When Gurdjieff himself arrived in New York in 1924
the impact was no less remarkable, and, although it did not
last from a public point of view, it led to the formation of
groups for the study of his ideas. One such group began
to meet in Jane Heaps home on East 9th. Street, and from
that time on to the end of her life she was engaged in the
teaching, although she did not immediately follow Gurdjieff
to Fontainebleau, as some did, and maintained her interest
in writing and the world of art. Fritz and Tom Peters,
whom Jane had adopted after the break-up of their parents
marriage, did go to the Prieure, however1.
Jane visited Fontainebleau in 1925 in company with
Orage, but she continued her work with The Little Review
until 1929, for the most part without Margaret Anderson,
who had become disenchanted with the themes of art. In
that year this celebrated journal was published for the
last time. Margaret Anderson returned to write a final
editorial, and Jane, in her own last contribution, declared
that art today is not a very important or adult concern. Art
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is not the highest aim of man; it is interesting only as a pro


nounced symptom of an ailing and aimless society.
So Jane Heap broke with her past. We have gone on
running The Little Review she wrote, or I thought I had
until I found it was running me. She was no longer prepared
to be a victim. From then on her life centred on Gurdjieffs
teaching, and the road was to take her to France and even
tually to England to promote those ideas among those who
had a wish to know. It would be wrong to say the effort
was self-eftacing, but she was no longer in the limelight of
the world of literature and art.
Janes years in Paris extended from 1927, when she first
established a group, for the most part of expatriates, until
she went to London in 1936. Her influence was extraord
inary. She was able to introduce and make known the
teaching in a unique way. In a sense she was Gurdjieffs
intermediary, certainly his interpreter. With her personal
magnetism and powerful energies she became the focus of
her group which had a significant impact on the Paris of
her day. The group met in Janes flat in Montparnasse, and
included Gertrude Stein, Georgette Leblanc, Soli*a Solano,
Kathryn Hulme, and, whenever she was in Paris, Margaret
Anderson.
In London, where Jane was sent at the express wishes of
Gurdjieff, on purpose to follow Orage in extending the
field of activity, the group met in Hamilton Terrace, and
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the craft shop, The Rocking Horse, was in nearby St.Johns


Wood High Street. The Rocking Horse evoked skills that
reflected Janes ability with her hands - the hands have a life
of their own, she used to say and the days were enriched
by her example and her penetrating wit.
During the 1939-45 war Jane prepared her people to
take them to Paris to meet Gurdjicff, and this she brought
about when peace came, and right up to the time of
Gurdjieffs death in 1949.
It is typical of Janes approach to life that she immed
iately and totally accepted Jeanne dc Salzmann as the leader
and inheritor of Gurdjieffs teaching. The tradition was
carried on in St. Johns Wood for another fifteen years
until Jane died on June 17, 1964.
Throughout the period of her life devoted to furthering
the ideas of Gurdjicff Jane was supported by the devotion
of Florence Reynolds and Elspcth Champcommunal, who
was latterly chief designer at Worths in London. From
about 1926 Jane was a sufferer from diabetes, living daily
with serious inconveniences, because she was partially
insulin immune. So this support by her friends helped her
to carry on when others would have abandoned the struggle.
When Jane Heap died in 1964 the remarkable set of
notebooks, which she left behind in her home at Hamilton
Terrace2, bore testimony to her approach to the teaching at
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differing levels of awareness, and the aphorisms and sayings


she used in her work reveal likewise her illumination of
thought.
A London evening newspaper, which recorded her death,
recalled the celebrated New York case over the publication
of Ulysses, and then concluded with a graceful paragraph
saying that Miss Heap had passed her last years in quiet
retirement in St. Johns Wood, conjuring up a picture of
gracious living and elegant conversation over the teacups!
The circle, which had gathered round Jane in London,
continued in the work at Addison Crescent and at Bray.
She had left them an inner strength and a sense of the
grandeur of an incomparable tradition with all its possibil
ities for mankind.

N O T E S .
I. Margaret Anderson adopted her sister Loiss two children, Fritz and
T oni; and Jane was a partner in the adoption, assuming responsibility
for their care and education.2

2. The Notes of Jane Heap: This limited edition, consisting o f a short


selection o f the notes made by her pupils, was published in 1983 for
private distribution.

THE APHORISMS

SIGNPOSTS
Shortly after Jane Heap died in 1964 some of those who
worked with her in the two groups in St. Johns Wood
brought together from memory a number of the sayings
she used in the course of her work,
Many of these sayings Jane used repeatedly in emphasis
as a directive towards inner work, towards a transforming
into understanding and knowledge. She made it clear that
they were only important to others to the extent that they
discover them for themselves. They had to be lived through
and verified, and above all held in question.
Wording of these aphorisms differed from time to time as
it was bound to do, and differing also was the recollection
by her hearers of what was said. Whether they were orig
inal, or quoted from Mr. Gurdjieff or some other source,
these sayings have their own resonance belonging to the
time and place in which they were spoken. They were
signposts along the way.
R. C.E

INJUNCTIONS
Come into the method with silence and zeal.
Start on the outside and work towards the centre.
Never oppose someone with the same centre, always
offer another one.
Do not sit too long
in the same place.
Do not sit where yon
should not sit.
Fill your lungs and
float; enlarge your
territory.
Re-value your values.
See a job finished from the beginning, and do not bring
the middle over to the end.
Never complain, never explain.
You cannot stop the stream of thought, but cut through
like the prow of a ship ploughing through the waves.
You must always remember to be thankful when
good chance happens.

Do not work against the resisting force, but with it.


You are responsible for what you have understood.
As soon as you see it you have accepted the responsibility.
You must be able to disengage from the past.
Try every possibility
in a situation.
Little steps for little feet.
Make yourself available.
Leave the bride at the altar,
the dead disinterred.
Go on until you drop.
Roll your triangle.
Dont do anything that empties or wears down your Centres.
We are identified all the time. Choose your identification.
The time goes out of it, (said if one does not find
a thing in a certain time).
Growth of understanding becomes hunger for being.

S T A T E M E N T S : MAN.
Am I creating the values I was created to create.
If you are present you cannot lose anything.
We cannot lose anything that belongs to us,
neither can we have anything that does not.
Repair the past,
prepare the future.
Blessed are they
that feel intensely.
Something in us can
never be deceived.
Freedom is absence
of choice of wishes.
If you look out you see a planet. If you look in you
see a universe.
I am a planet walking on a planet, but I belong
to light and air.
God has tried five times to people the earth.
To see yourself as you are would be like looking on
the Gorgons head. You would be turned to stone.

If you get to know yourself I think you will know God.


The strong help the weak, the weak help the strong.
We are not here for the first time.
Happiness gives nothing. It is only a relaxing of tensions.
The hand has a life
of its own.
Listening is a science.
Man eats like a dog.
What do yon want to he,
to do, to know?
Psyche is made oj appetites.
Stretch, you must have stretch.
We go into the objective world with objective luggage,
which must be eliminated.
Our ordinary presence and psyche is all that is
contained in that bit of skin and blood.
The eye is the only organ of the body to be used for
the same process by all three bodies.

The capacity to endure is no less than the allotted burden.


The worse the pain the better the opportunity to work.
When anything seems awful, think what it would be
to be on a raft in mid-Atlantic.
Suppress natural reaction and pay for it later.
The dump heap
of the universe.
Do you want to die
like a dog?
In one ear, and out
dead at the other.
Five minutes is the
classic time of relaxing.
The feeling of expectancy that we have is the
expectancy of being.
Few of us need what we want; few want what we need.
Every stick has two ends. Look for the other.
(Wherever you find sentimentality you find brutality.)
The state of your room is a reflection of the
state of your mind.

RELATIONSHIPS
If you consider, you ruin a person.
We have to bless those who despilefully use us.
What you do to people is your concern. What they do
to you is not your concern.
A relationship needs feeding.
Only the boring are bored.
You cannot be a leader
if you consider.
We can see only our own faults
and virtues in others.
It is harder to receive
than to give.
Why shouldnt you be hurt?
To make a relationship with someone is to make a
relationship with oneself.
People think that to make a relationship with someone
means to get on with them.
A relationship cannot be based on sex, although most
people try to do this.

EFFORT
Time is wearing down the place of my existence.
Everything is difficult, nothing is impossible.
Man has every possibility, but must earn his way back.
Unconscious we are tools of nature. Conscious we
become Sons of God, instead of slaves of nature.
He who can he, can do.
Hope without effort
is a curse.
Attention is equal to God.
A being is in life to
encounter difficulties.
Think of death as a
spur. It is a
potentiality.
Shoulder it and it is the lightest thing in the world.
We never refuse in the work.
Only super efforts count.
After a while we have the right to hope, and this is
the hope of consciousness.

The body is the soil in which a soul can grow.


The work is the preparation of a soil in which
a soul may grow.
Your body is only a tool. It is all you have.
The T does not care.
T is in the essence,
hut not of it.
Emotions are a mystery.
In the womb one experiences
the life of the species.
After birth one experiences
the life of the planet.
The body is innocent and can never be blamed.
All possible structural principles are to be found
in the spine.
Use your body in the spirit of love for the purpose
of reason.
The cathedral and the spine are to be compared.

NATURE
The look of a lion is one of waiting for men to move on.
Animals are natures experiments and embody all
the emotions.
Animals and nature take their orders from above.
If man develops he will bring the animals up with him.
A cat is all essence.
Essence remembers.
A cat has a completely
emotional body.
A cat never considers.
The horse is the evolved
note of the dog.
The horse is spirited. What
does he wish to become?
The aesthetic emotion is the only one not provided
by nature.
Bread is one of the few foods that feeds all three centres.
Nature abhors a straight line.
If man kills off wild animals where does their essence go?
(e.g. ferocity.)

ART
All arts should be an expression towards being.
The public has no taste.
Taste cannot be taught. It can be developed.
As an artist your Triad is Life, Matter, Form.
A line is the path of an emotion.
There are 1500 shades between grey and white.
The movements are a manifestation of living art.
If you can draw you can do anything.
(quoting Michael Angelo.)
SEX A N D M O N E Y
Sex and money are the chief motivating forces of Society.
Money is a physical centre thing.
Never get emotional about money.
Money is power.
Wit is only a manifestation of sex.
Emotional sex is no different to going to the lavatory.
People in love can think only of themselves.

FURTHER STATEMENTS
All that falls from the waggon is lost.
The bible has the key, but we have lost it.
Purgatory is to understand more than we can do.
The whole earth is soaked in blood a mile deep.
Water is the blood
of the planet.
Nothing dies quicker
than water.
Facts without emotions
are nothing.
To pour from the empty
into the void.
What is all this probing into space? We should know
the earth is our Mother.
Three ways of teaching - Competition, Example,
Magnetism.
Time is the unique subjective. If you believe this to be
true, then its conquest by yourself is certain.
There is no death, only loss.