Gurdjieff International Review
René Daumals prose-poem that heralds a fiery call to inner warfare is translated by D. M. Dooling from La Guerre Sainte, in Daumals collection, Poésie Noire, Poésie Blanche.
First published in Poésie 99 (78) Paris, June 1999, this essay by Basarab Nicolescu is translated from the French La Porte Étroite by Martha Heyneman for its first English publication here. Nicolescu points out that It is high time to undertake a serious inquiry into the relation between Daumals own work and the influence Gurdjieffs teaching had upon him, and calls for the undertaking of such a detailed study conducted in conformity with all the rules of scholarship. We propose Kathleen Rosenblatts recent René Daumal: The Life of a Mystic Guide as a candidate for this position.
The first part of Chapter 9 from Kathleen Rosenblatts recent book René Daumal: The Life and Work of a Mystic Guide, (1999) New York: SUNY Press, is reproduced by permission of the State University of New York Press and the author.
Daumal invites the reader to participate in a movements class lead by Jeanne de Salzmann in the 1930s.
“You cannot always stay on the summits. You have to come down again . . . So what’s the point? Only this: what is above knows what is below, what is below does not know what is above.”
Daumal writes to his teacher of subtle changes in attitude that have appeared in him as a result of their relationship: “Yes, I do the exercises, and I shall try to do them better and better, in the spirit you ask: ‘as a service’ and ‘as one learns a trade.’”
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