Bob Hunter/Beryl Pogson

We all imagine that when awake we are fully conscious of ourselves and the world around us. This book suggests that a flash of objective consciousness, or even of the less potent energy of self-consciousness, would fill us with wonder at the real nature of life.

More practically, it shows how people who recognise the limitations of ordinary thinking and feeling can overcome this disadvantage and work to actualise the remarkable potential of human beings.

To this end, this book presents the words of the leading teachers of the Fourth Way in our era, including George Gurdjieff, Peter Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, Rodney Collin and a number of their disciples. It reports especially the teaching of one of those disciples, Beryl Pogson, chiefly because of her skill at divining her students’ needs and setting them tasks in the Work, as the modern Fourth Way practice is known, that would enable them to expand their being.

The book’s title relates to one such task, doing the next thing, that is, the very next thing that needs attention, regardless of whether it promises to be pleasant or disagreeable. This simple yet effective discipline stimulates the key Work practices of self-observation and self-remembering. Together with other exercises, it can lead to a raised level of consciousness, a connection with real conscience, and the application of genuine will.

Bob Hunter, who was a member of one of Mrs Pogson’s groups in England in the 1960s, is the author of a handful of books on the Fourth Way.