Gurdjieff International Review
of this Site, by Author
Detailed accounts of Anderson's experiences with Mr. Gurdjieff and his teaching.
"In this book I shall write of what he [Gurdjieff] said when I was there to hear him say it; of what he taught us, how he taught it, and what effect it had not only upon me but upon my friends."from the Introduction
"This volume of essays, interviews, and reminiscences, originally published in France in 1992, offers new perspectives on a unique figure whose influence as a teacher and spiritual master has continued to grow throughout the twentieth century." from the Introduction
Three lectures delivered during the summer of 1963. The first lecture acquaints the reader with the incredible environment of Gurdjieff's boyhood. The second is devoted to the sources of Gurdjieff's ideas. The third lecture deals with Gurdjieff's teachings and methods.
The diaries of John and Elizabeth Bennett reflecting their meetings with Gurdjieff in 1949.
"There are signs today that a new current is beginning to appear, here and there, in the thinking of humanity at large. Shocked by an unavoidable seeing of the condition that the world has been brought to, the complacency of some of us has cracked. It is no longer possible to go on passively 'hoping for the best' while remaining as we are. Still, what could guide us to real change in values and attitudes? What is the required change in our thinking and feeling, even in our very nature?" from the Foreword by A. L. Staveley
In this quite personal account, the author reveals her struggles with, and great regard for, "Mr. Gurdjieff."
The unfinished masterpiece of the French writer and the apotheosis of his lifetime search. Allegorically describes a group of men and women searching out and ascending the sacred mountain together. A richly poetical statement of Daumal's experience of Gurdjieff's teaching.
Contains an essay on the Gurdjieff literature by Michel de Salzmann, descriptive entries on all of Gurdjieff's published writings and music, descriptive entries followed by succinct annotations for 1108 English and 597 French items (mostly books, essays and articles) about Gurdjieff, and ends with a 40 page title index. Out of print since 1994, this comprehensive and definitive work offers exhaustive bibliographies on several of Gurdjieff's prominent pupils; J. G. Bennett, Maurice Nicoll, A. R. Orage, P. D. Ouspensky and others. J. Walter Driscoll has been at work on the second edition of the Gurdjieff bibliography since 1994. An interim selective bibliography containing descriptions of 82 key books, supplemented by a bibliographic essay and descriptions of Gurdjieff's writings is available as Gurdjieff: a Reading Guide. The second comprehensive edition will follow in a few years.
"Here is an intimate glimpse of this fascinating householdpatriarchal, charming, demanding, and enlightening all at once. At the Prieuré, Luba also learned the secrets of the kitchen for which she was adored in the years to come. As owner of Luba's Bistro, a landmark on London's social scene for over three decades, she served everyone from starving artists to royalty with her generous heart and hearty fare." from the Cover
"When Jeanne de Salzmann, Gurdjieff's successor, asked some of the older people who had worked with Gurdieff to write about the work, Fremantle began to dictate notes on the aspects he had explored. These notes were read aloud at meetings of his groups, and are reproduced in this volume." from the Cover
A retired Canadian diplomat and noted environmental activist, George has been a life-long student of Gurdjieffs teaching. He attempts to link Gurdjieffs cosmological ideas with James Lovelocks Gaia hypothesis and documents the crisis caused by human degradation of the environment; attributing it to our alienation from a sense of spiritual presence and conscience.
Guillon lucidly describes moments of work with Conge in the 1960's. There are many records of direct exchanges which give glimpses into Conge's character.
The de Hartmann's were devoted to Gurdjieff. Their poignant, account of the years 1915 to 1930 has become a classic of the Gurdjieff literature and gone through three editions. It vividly describes their discoveries as students in Gurdjieff's early St Petersburg group, their perilous escape with him from the Russian revolution and their struggle with Gurdjieff and his teaching in Europe. An accomplished composer, Thomas de Hartmann notated several hundred of Gurdjieff's musical compositions between 1925 and 1927. He later arranged and recorded several dozen of these on piano. Olga de Hartmann was Gurdjieff's personal assistant for many of these years; she managed daily life at his Institute in Fontainbleau. As his secretary, she recorded the earliest drafts of his writings. The de Hartmann's left Gurdjieff in 1929 but remained dedicated to his teaching and became major figures in its transmission.
"These notes were for Jane's own use. She left no instructions for their future. We, under leadership of Michael Currer-Briggs, assembled them and have now made this short selection." from the Introduction
"[These notes] contain a great volume of material, a small selection of which is now presented for study, in the way it was given, for the practical direction of those wishing to follow the search for knowledge, understanding and development." from the Introduction by Michael Currer-Briggs
"Martha Heyneman invites us to join her in an exploration of a multitude of far-reaching ideas including the question of humankind's place in the universe, the function of quarks and photons, and the nature of evolution and transformation." from the Cover by Ellen Dooling Draper
This essay is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author and of the publisher. An inspiring essay by Martha Heyneman that links the symbolic structures of the Arthurian legend cycle and mythic elements underlying Beelzebub's Tales to reveal the necessity of transforming rather than slaying the Dragon.
"Kathryn Hulme's Undiscovered Country is the classic account of a group of women who put their careers on hold to study privately with the spiritual teacher G. I. Gurdjieff. Known as 'the Rope,' this group included three writer/editors, a wealthy San Francisco milliner, a legendary French soprano, an actress/theatrical manager, and a prim British spinster. Hulme's lively account of their relationship with each other and to the unconventional guide who led them into an 'undiscovered country' of self-observation has long been considered one of the finest documents ever published about the enigmatic and elusive individual who was Gurdjieff." from the Cover
With an Introduction by Terry Winter Owens. "Inspired by the Gurdjieff ideas, this long-lost treasure predates Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous by over two decades this remarkable book is one of the earliest about the Gurdjieff ideas. Its historic significance is unique among the now-abundant writings about Gurdjieff." from the Cover
Convinced that A. R. Orage's presentation was an undistorted version of an ancient teaching that would be irretrievably lost after Orage's death, King presents a rigorous and detailed formulation of material he gathered over several years of close study with Orage. Pages 257 to 269 contain King's rendering of 118 aphorisms by Orage.
Examines the levels of consciousness potentially available to man. In his introduction, "The Origins of the Investigation," King describes his relationship to Orage and Gurdjieff, whom he calls "one of the hundred, perhaps one of the fifty, most remarkable men known to us in our history."
King argues that consciousness is not an accidental by-product, but the chief goal of living. The first half of the book attempts to deduce the theoretical nature of consciousness and the second half introduces techniques to reach higher states of consciousness.
The author was under Gurdjieff's direct influence and later worked closely with Madame de Salzmann. She led groups in London for many years. Her book contains many short pieces on aspects of inner work. They are deceptively approachable and are much deeper in content than may initially appear. While not ideal material for someone who has just discovered the Work, they bear rereading, many times. Question-and-answer sessions and other materials from her years of leading groups are included.
The daughter of Louise Welch, Patty de Llosa provides an introduction to five disciplines that have impressed her with their integrity and ability to turn us toward an inner dimension of ourselves that is lacking in ordinary life. In addition to Gurdjieff's teaching (she had met him in the 1940's), these include T'ai Chi and Taoism, Jung and Individuation, Prayer and Meditation, and F. M. Alexander's Mind-Body Integration.
Mairet furnishes a discerning account of his friend's life as an influential literary and social figure. He recounts a significant anecdote about a discussion between Gurdjieff and Orage about having an aim. When asked about his "whim" or true desire, Gurdjieff responded that "it was to live and teach so that there should be a new conception of God in the world, a change in the very meaning of the word."
"In this first major biography of Gurdjieff, James Moore draws on published and unpublished sources, and on a lifetime's personal contact with his subject's senior pupils. The sheer drive of the narrative line imparts to the book its best qualities of a novel. Through the humanity and dry humour of his writing and through a scholarship evidenced in an unprecedented note section, Moore offers the reader an entertaining and reliable introduction to one of the most remarkable men on this century." from the Cover
A professional writer, Munson lived in New York's Greenwich Village when it truly was a new bohemia. This account of several major literary figures of the period includes an enthusiastic chapter on "Orage in America" and a description of Munson's month at Fontainebleau with Gurdjieff.
"This volume of essays, interviews, and reminiscences, originally published in France in 1992, offers new perspectives on a unique figure whose influence as a teacher and spiritual master has continued to grow throughout the twentieth century." from the Introduction
Here are the voices of men and women who have sought to live this teaching, most of whom were directly guided by Gurdjieff. These individuals also lived and are living amid the forces and challenges of modern life. It is in fact this "Work in life" that is among the highest aims of the Gurdjieff teachingthe struggle, whatever the conditions of our lives, to awaken to the gift that descends from above.
A revolutionary exploration of the esoteric meaning and psychological power of Christ's parables. Nicoll demonstrates that the language of scripture is precisely designed to awaken man from sleep. The central ideas of temptation, righteousness, wisdom, and prayer are recast in this light.
A great introduction to the work and teaching of Gurdjieff. "These simple explanations of work ideas by Dr. Maurice Nicoll will be helpful to others who may be wondering what "The Work" is about." from Beryl Pogson's papers based on the teachings of G.I Gurdjieff & P. D. Ouspensky
Based on diary notes, this personal account of the author's early years with Gurdjieff and Orage in France and New York includes an edited version of Nott's notes of Orage's commentaries on Beelzebub's Tales.
At the Prieuré, Nott experienced sustained and intense periods on inner work under Gurdjieff's direction. He chronicles his difficult re-entry into the world of business, and his experience at Putney School, Vermont, and at the Taliesin Fellowship in Wisconsin.
After more than a half century since its conception, the very first Index to All and Everything: Beelzebubís Tales to His Grandson is at last emerging from obscurity and making its well-deserved entrťe into the literature relating to the Gurdjieff Work...
Mr. Nyland's personal statement about Work after forty years of association with Gurdjieff. Currently unavailable outside of Mr. Nyland's groups.
Orage was editor of thirty volumes of the enormously influential journal the New Age between 1907 until 1922. Under the title of "Readers and Writers", he contributed a wealth of essays, articles and editorial comment of which this anthology reproduces 78 items.
About one hundred thirty psychological exercises to focus mental, vocal and visual acuity. These are complimented by fifteen essays on such topics as "The control of temper," "How to read men," "On dying daily," "Economizing our energy," and "Are we awake?"
The four essays in this collection reflect the depth of Gurdjieff's influence on Orage. C. S. Nott edited the aphorisms from his personal notes on Orage's talks to Gurdjieff groups between 1924 and 1930.
Both the previous titles, separately paged in one paperback volume.
Orage was largely responsible, under Gurdjieff's close direction, for rendering Beelzebub's Tales into articulate English. Nott's personal notes, compiled over several years, provide a detailed record of Orage's illuminating commentaries.
Tertium Organum: The Third Canon of Thought, a Key to the Enigmas of the World. Translated from the Russian by Nicholas Bessaraboff and Claude Bragdon. Rochester, N.Y.: Manas Press, 1920, 344p.; New York: Knopf, 1922; London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1923, 1934; 3rd American edition, New York: Knopf, 1945, 306p. A revised English translation by Eugenic Kadloubovsky under Ouspenskys supervision, limited edition of 21 copies, Cape Town: Stourton Press, 1950, 192p. An Abridgement of P. D. Ouspenskys Tertium Organum, by Fairfax Hall, Cape Town: Stourton Press, 1961, 276p.; revised translation by E. Kadloubovsky and the author, New York: Knopf, 1981, 298p., index.
Ouspenskys experimental efforts to enter higher states of consciousness proved to him that an entirely new mode of thought was needed by modern man, qualitatively different from the two modes (classical and positivistic) that have dominated Western civilization for 2000 years. Tertium Organum is a clarion call for such thought, ranging brilliantly over the teachings of Eastern and Western mysticism, sacred art and the theories of modern science. With the publication of Tertium Organum in Russian, in 1911, Ouspensky became a widely respected author and lecturer on metaphysical questions. The American translation of Tertium Organum in 1920, won him widespread recognition in England and America, where he lived from 1921.
A New Model of the Universe: Principles of the Psychological Method in Its Application to Problems of Science, Religion and Art. Translated from the Russian by R. R. Merton, under the supervision of the author. New York: Knopf, 1931; London: Routledge, 1931, 544p.; 2nd revised edition, London: Routledge, 1934; New York: Knopf; 1934; reprinted 1943, 1961, (Knopf) and 1971 (Random House), 476p.; London: Routledge, 1949, 534p.
A collection of twelve wide-ranging and penetrating essays dealing with esotericism, symbolism, science, religion, higher dimensions, evolution, superman, eternal recurrence and other topics that anticipate many of the most significant psycho-spiritual questions of the twentieth-century. Most of these extended essays were published separately in Russian before Ouspensky translated them to English and published this anthology in London in 1931 for the general purpose of attracting those interested in such questions.
Psychological Lectures: 19341940. Privately printed and distributed. London , 90p., limited edition of 125 copies. Six introductory lectures, issued by Ouspenskys Historico-Psychological Society at 46 Colet Gardens in London. Posthumously published in five lectures as The Psychology of Mans Possible Evolution. New York: Hedgehog Press, 1950, 98p.; London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1951, 95p., index; New York: Knopf, 1954, 114p.; 2nd edition enlarged [with a preface by John Pentland], New York: Knopf, 1974, 128p. (This edition contains a reprint of the article Notes on the Decision to Work and a previously unpublished autobiographical note.) London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978, 95p.(Contains Ouspenskys 1945 introduction.) 3rd edition, New York: Random House, 1981, 128p. (This edition contains a publishers note in place of the introductory note written for the 2nd edition. The two selections added to the 2nd edition are replaced by a lecture of Sept. 23, 1937.)
These private introductory lectures were written, not for publication, but to provide Ouspenskys students with an account of the direction his work had taken since the publication of Tertium Organum and A New Model of the Universe. Ouspensky indicates in his 1945 introduction to these lectures, that they are an invitation to follow the advice and indications given which referred chiefly to self-observation and a certain self-discipline. Not simply a synopsis of the knowledge Ouspensky had learned from Gurdjieff, these deeply considered lectures present the authors struggle to transmit a living system in the hope of attracting the supportive attention of the same higher sources from whom Ouspensky believed Gurdjieff had received his teaching.
Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. Limited edition of 356 copies. London: Stourton, 1947, 179p.; New York and London: Holme, 1947, 166p.; London: Faber & Faber, 1948; New York, Hermitage House, 1955, 166p.; London: Faber & Faber, 1971, 204p.; Baltimore: Penguin, 1971 ("The Penguin Metaphysical Library;" reprinted with a foreword by J[ohn] P[entland]), 1973, 204p.New York: Arkana/Methuen, 1988, 162p.
Written in Russian in 1905 as a cinema-drama, and first published as Kinemadrama (St. Petersburg, 1915), Ouspenskys novel is base on the theme of "eternal recurrence." It tells the story of how the young Ivan Osokin is unable to correct his past mistakes, even when given the chance to relive his life. The last chapter powerfully portrays a mans shock at the realization of his utter mechanicality and characterizes both the promise and the demand of an esoteric school.
In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949, 399p.; London: Routledge, 1949, 399p. Paperback edition, New York: Harcourt, Brace, no date [196?].
Ouspensky met Gurdjieff in Moscow in 1915. Undertaken in 1925, with Gurdjieffs approval and in progress for many years, parts of the manuscript were read to Ouspenskys groups in the 1930s but it remained unpublished at his death in 1947. It was brought to Gurdjieffs attention by Mme Ouspensky and with his encouragement, published in the Fall of 1949 as a precursor to Beelzebubs Tales. This book is the precise, clear result of Ouspenskys long work in recording in an honest and impersonal form these Fragments of an Unknown Teaching which he received from Gurdjieff. Remains unparalleled as a lucid and systematic account of Gurdjieffs early formulation of his ideas.
These three posthumous collections, The Fourth Way , Conscience and A Further Record, offer selections of Ouspenskys talks and answers to questions, transcribed at private meetings in England and the United States, from 1931 to 1946. These are edited and arranged to elucidate the ideas Ouspensky was transmitting on the system.
Autobiographical Fragment. Written in 1935, this brief sketch was first published in the second enlarged edition of his The Psychology of Mans Possible Evolution (1974) Knopf, then in Remembering Pytor Demianovich Ouspensky 1978) a brochure compiled and edited by Merrily E. Taylor for Yale University Library. It was subsequently issued as an appendage to A Further Record: Extracts from Meetings, 19281945 Q.V. (1986) Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Ouspensky sketches his childhood, family, early studies, travel, the development of his philosophy and his relationship with Gurdjieff.
A significant contribution "to the small number of genuinely valuable modern works of spiritual direction and guidance. [It] concentrates on one main question: finding within ourselves what we have (this time almost irretrievably) lost: our reality, wholeness and significance as the human kind of being in the universe." from the foreword by Roy Finch
Presentations, questions and answers at the third Far West Institute lecture series held in San Francisco in 1978. Ten speakers examine the role of increasing technology in their personal and professional lives as they struggle with how to live according to conscience in a rapidly changing world. Jacob Needleman and Richard Baker-Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Center in San Francisco, lead the first discussion.
The fifth set of lectures sponsored by Far West Institute in San Francisco. These six lectures, delivered in the Spring of 1982, featured a publisher, a painter, an Indian medicine woman, a poet and storyteller, a Cistercian monk, a drama and voice teacher and Jacob Needleman, professor of philosophy. Each speaker offers a candid examination of the search for meaning in their private and their professional lives, then fields questions at a colloqium the next day. John Pentland is a frequent participant in five of the discussions.
This anthology of programs from the early days of public sponsored radio includes the transcript of a very informed roundtable discussion about Gurdjieff's then recently published Meetings with Remarkable Men. Participants are John Pentland, Roy Finch and Larry (L.S.) Morris, all senior Gurdjieff students. Pentland points out that what is quite original about the book is that it presents "the complete organic picture of a man's possible growth, particularly man's emotional growth. A new way of living for the sake of understanding life."
John Pentland speaks candidly about how he worked with Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, as well as his role in the transmission of Gurdjieff's teaching in America and the challenge of establishing stable groups of people with committment, organizational intelligence and an intense seriousness about their inner search.
John Pentland was uniquely qualified to write about his longtime teacher. He offers an informed, original synopsis of Ouspensky's important contributions as an independent thinker, writer and leading disseminator of Gurdjieff's teaching.
"This is a highly delectable book, and by delectable I do not mean a book to be taken lightly. Indeed, a more appropriate adjective to describe it would be glorious. Not only is it full of amazing anecdotes, it is also full of wisdom. The wisdom of life." from the cover by Henry Miller
This book chronicles the author's direct experiences with Madame de Salzmann from 1980-1990, focusing on her own remarks. While this does not constitute "introductory" literature, its sincerity and precision make it an extraordinary document.
An encyclopedic guide to Eastern influenced psycho-spiritual traditions and trends. It provides an informed thirty-page synopsis of major leaders in Gurdjieff's legacy.
A biography constructed from Segal's writings and interviews, revealing a full life: the painter, the seeker in the East and West, the husband and businessman. Includes dialogues with Michel de Salzmann, Peter Brook, the Dalai Lama, Paul Reynard, and others.
A general, introductory book in which the author denies expertise in Gurdjieff's ideas, claiming only that he is a student. Shirley reveals an attitude of questioning what one knows or understands that is itself a touchstone of his subject matter. He makes a case for how our contemporary situation is illuminated by the teachings of Mr. Gurdjieff.
As a young man, Frank Sinclair looked for, and found, the teaching of G. I. Gurdjieff in Cape Town, South Africa. In this brief memoir, he describes experiences at Mendham and his subsequent work under the influence of Madame de Salzmann and others. He recounts his relations with several unusual people"seekers all"and concludes with unusually candid "random inferences" about the place of the Work in the world today.
Warm vignettes of Mrs. Staveley's visits to Gurdjieff in Paris from 19481949, following her apprenticeship with Jane Heap in London.
Themes for inner work developed by A. L. Staveley and her pupils at Two Rivers Farm in Aurora, Oregon.
This book will soon find a prominent place on a small shelf of volumes by authors who had prolonged personal contacts with Gurdjieff in his roles as teacher, benefactor, and friend. Among the Russians who followed Gurdjieff from Istanbul to Germany, and then to France, Tchekhovitch continued to follow the teaching, as well as Gurdjieff the man. After Gurdjieff's death, he worked closely with Jeanne de Salzmann. Before his own death in 1958, Tchekhovitch wrote many notes about his experiences. Here they are, leaving us many glimpses of a side of Gurdjieff that has not been fully reported. A kindness is suddenly revealed, of a sort that we might have guessed was there, but did not see so clearly until now. Tchekhovitch reveals how far Gurdjieff would go to help a student see some truth about himself, his habitual nature, even if it might take that student decades to more fully understand.
"This collection of illuminating essays, articles and interviews is essential reading for all who seek to lead a more spiritual and purposeful life They offer an accessible introduction to Gurdjieff's thought, and bring valuable new insights into the life and personality of this enigmatic and increasingly influential figure." from the Cover
"For the growing number of people seeking to approach the ideas of Gurdjieff, Toward Awakening by Jean Vaysse offers reliable guidance, as well as evidence of the continuing vitality of this remarkable teaching. It may be counted as among the small handful of books that communicate something of what Gurdjieff brought." Jacob Needleman
Based on a lecture given in 1966 at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris, this book presents an accurate and sympathetic introduction to Gurdjieff's ideas and teaching.
"He expounds in outline the ideas themselves. He does it very well, quietly and unassumingly, not setting out the 'system' in abstract terms but realizing how he gradually came to know it and how it influenced him." a review from the Observer
Written to show the impact of Gurdjieff's system "on a man who had received an orthodox scientific education." This book is an autobiograhical account of Walker's long association with Ouspensky's groups and Walker's brief encounters with Gurdjieff.
Louise Welch studied with A. R. Orage during his eight years in New York. She went on to become a senior leader in the study of Gurdjieff's teaching. Welch provides a vividly personal account of Orage's background and his continuing influence as a writer and editor as well as his pivotal role as Gurdjieff's representative in America.
Welch compactly describes his life both as a physician and as a student of Gurdjieff. Provides a sardonic account of The Fruits of Bureaucracy in describing American political expediency and the resulting dehumanization of medical practice and treatment. Welch came into contact with Gurdjieffs ideas through C. Daly King in 1934 and gives a vivid account of Gurdjieffs visits to New York in the late 1940s. He attended Gurdjieff at his deaththe death of a man not in quotation marks. And I have seen many men die. Dr. Welch succeeded John Pentland as President of the New York Gurdjieff Foundation from 1984 until his own death in 1997.
Quite valuable, anecdotal recollections of encounters with Mr. Gurdjieff at the Prieure and in America. New. An attractive, hand-bound pamphlet.
The account of a French pupil who met Gurdjieff in Paris during the German occupation of World War II.
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Revision: August 4, 2010