Reading Gurdjieff’s book is generally a waste of time. I wince at your statement that this effort is ‘intentional suffering’, that phrase of the ‘work’. Don’t get started with all that. It is a very ill-considered thesis with many pitfalls, to sabotage your life.
You can read J. G. Bennett’s Making A New World for a rough estimate of what the book is about. And at that point I would say don’t trust Bennett, either.
To conceal in this way suggests the author has something to hide. He does!
As to ‘intentional suffering’ the idea is that humanity is asleep, a bunch of couch potatoes, Nature doesn’t like couch potatoes, so the ‘Work’ with a capital ‘W’ should be to track down these couch potatoes and torture them to death as a sacrifice to Gaian energy balance.
Real fruitcake this fellow. It doesn’t follow. Nature loves the hippopotamus, so I guess couch potatoes can’t be much worse.
Moral: masochism suggested by the ‘Work’ is a very dangerous tactic, life has enough rude shocks, and the question of creating more is not so clear, especially if the later followers of Gurdjieff turn out to be a bunch of sadists, like the notorious E. J. Gold, who has tried a take over bid of the G situation, and seems to enjoy ‘intentional sufferings’ a lot, his intentions, your suffering.
The whole thing is already corrupt, so don’t let any principles it proposes linger in your mind without examination, e.g. ‘intentional suffering’.