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The Sarmoung Society

Welcome to The Sarmoung Society, the original Fourth Way school that unveils the long-hidden origins of this transformative spiritual path. With a legacy steeped in wisdom, The Sarmoung Society offers a unique opportunity to explore the complete teachings of The Fourth Way. Founded on ancient principles and guided by a lineage spanning millennia, our school provides a comprehensive approach to self-realization and inner development.

About the Word Sarmoung

You may have discovered this site because you've encountered the phrase 'Sarmoung Brotherhood' in your Fourth Way studies and wish to know who or what they are.

Unraveling this mystical tapestry, one discovers that the Sarmoung Brotherhood is not a historical name but a neologism coined by the visionary Armenian/Greek mystic Gurdjieff. The word 'Sarmoung,' is nothing more than a fusion of the Armenian 'Sar' (սար), translating to 'Mountain' and the Greek word 'Mouni' (Μονή), meaning 'Monastery." Thus, the word 'Sarmoung' simply means 'Mountain Monastery,' a clue guiding earnest seekers to the origins of the Work. 

It is well known, that Gurdjieff often referred to The Work as 'esoteric Christianity,' saving, "I don't know what you know about Christianity... But for the benefit of those who know already, I will say that, if you like, this is esoteric Christianity." but with the caveat that, "Prehistoric Egypt was Christian many thousands of years before the birth of Christ, that is to say, that its religion was composed of the same principles and ideas that constitute true Christianity." 

In this intricate dance between language and legacy, the Sarmoung Brotherhood becomes a cipher, an invitation to explore the esoteric science on the 'Mountain Monastery,' where the whispers of ancient wisdom have withstood the sands of time. Moreover, in an atypically transparent moment, on his deathbed, Gurdjieff urged his closest students to "Make contact with the Inner Tradition on Mt. Athos."

This is precisely what we have done; what we have found is nothing short of extraordinary. Within the confines of a particular monastery on Mt. Athos has been preserved, the ancient mysteries of Egypt and Greece, known by some under the term hermetic alchemy.


The Teachings of the Fourth Way

The teachings of The Fourth Way are not from a single source but are a syncretism of Egyptian and Greek mystery school teachings.

From the School of Pythagoras, Plato, and the Neoplatonists, the Fourth Way inherited the teachings of:

  • Conscious Labor and Intentional Suffering

  • The Law of Seven

  • The Law of Three

  • Non-Expression of Negative Emotions

  • The Metaphor of the Horse, Carriage, Driver, and Master

  • The Three Foods

  • The Trogoautoegocrat (self-feeding, conscious universe)

  • The Higher Centers and Higher Being-Bodies

From Heraclitus, the notion that Man is Asleep; from the Cynics, the practice of Non-Identification.

But perhaps the most esoteric influences are those of hermetic alchemy, from which the Fourth Way inherited the unique methods of self-transformation and the core of the Great Work.

How these teachings came to be preserved in the Eastern Orthodox tradition on Mt. Athos is beyond the scope of this introduction. However, extraordinary claims such as this require extraordinary proof - which we have in abundance and make available to genuine seekers through the course of their studies.

Outside the monastic confines of Mt. Athos, we are the only esoteric school offering the complete and unadulterated wisdom teachings that became known in the West as the Fourth Way.

What is a Fourth Way School?

In the realms of spiritual development, there are three common approaches:

  1. The Way of the Mind

  2. The Way of the Emotions

  3. The Way of the Body

The Way of the Mind incorporates techniques designed to enhance mental focus and discipline; examples include spiritual disciplines that utilize meditation, visualization, and memorization. 

The Way of the Emotions emphasizes faith and devotion as a transformation method. 

The Way of the Body strongly encourages physical disciplines, like fasting, sacred dance, martial arts, and yoga.

Finally, the Fourth Way utilizes special techniques to directly transmute the energy of consciousness by simultaneously working on the mind, emotions, and body.

A Fourth Way school has no fixed form but can be recognized by specific features, such as the seven-step process that directly conforms to the seven stages of alchemical transformation. In general terms, these are:

  1. Calcination - Man #1 Based in Moving Center. 'Burning away' all that is false in oneself, including the acquired aspects of personality. Work against the habitual nature of the Moving Center.

  2. - Dissolution - Man #2 Based in Emotional Center. The purification of one's essence through the transformation of negative emotions.

  3. - Separation - Man #3 Based in Thinking Center. The separation of course and fine and the storage of finer energies for later use. The use of assessment over judgment.

  4. - Conjunction - Man #4 Based in Higher Emotional Center. The recombination of finer substances results in a new kind of being (astral body).

  5. - Fermentation - Man #5 Based in Higher Thinking Center. The allowance of something higher (yeist) to act upon oneself and the infusion of a new kind of force in one's common presence.

  6. - Distillation - Man #6 Based in the Higer Sexual Center. Increasing potency of the finer substances collected in #5.

  7. Coagulation - Man #7 Complete development by fixing the aspects of #4-#6. 

Study and reflection on the seven levels of development and the seven processes of alchemy shed light on the secret teachings of the Fourth Way and demonstrate an undeniable connection to the esoteric wisdom tradition of hermetic alchemy.


Want to Learn More?

As a traditional esoteric school, we don't actively recruit new members; however, we don't turn away sincere seekers looking for more than what can be found in books and other Fourth Way groups.


If you find yourself drawn to this work, please contact us using the chat feature at the lower right corner of your screen, and we will discuss options for engaging in the work.

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