Fall 2004 Issue, Vol. VIII No. 1
Welcome to the Gurdjieff International Reviewa source of informed essays and commentary on the life, writings, and teachings of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff. Mr. Gurdjieff was an extraordinary man, a master in the truest sense. His teachings speak to our most essential questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of life, and of human life in particular? As a young man, Gurdjieff relentlessly pursued these questions and became convinced that practical answers lay within ancient traditions. Through many years of searching and practice he discovered answers and then set about putting what he had learned into a form understandable to the Western world. Gurdjieff maintained that, owing to the abnormal conditions of modern life, we no longer function in a harmonious way. He taught that in order to become harmonious, we must develop new facultiesor actualize latent potentialitiesthrough work on oneself. He presented his teachings and ideas in three forms: writings, music, and movements which correspond to our intellect, emotions, and physical body.
Pupil & Teacher
In this, our sixteenth issue, we provide some observations on the relationship of pupil and teacher within the context of the Gurdjieff teaching. A complete printed copy of this issue can be ordered from our store.
In this moving essay, Dorothea Dooling, the founder of Parabola Magazine, shares her insights on how to approach a teaching. “With Gurdjieff, we knew ourselves to be potentially different beings; we felt in ourselves the beating of great wings. And Gurdjieff loved and trusted, not us, but that possibility in us.”
Working under Lord (John) Pentlands guidance for almost 30 years, Don Hoyt shares some of his experiences with Pentland, “not only in the context of group exchanges with him, but also in what can only be described as teaching moments.”
A French physician and pupil of Gurdjieff, Michel Conge led groups in Paris for many years until his death in 1984. These excerpts from group meetings are taken from Ricardo Guillons recently published book, Record of a Search: Working with Michel Conge in France.
A long time student of the Gurdjieff teaching, Jeffrey Werbock is also a performer of the Azerbaijani art music known as mugham. For many years he studied under the musician Zevulon Avshalomov, engaging in the tradition of student and teacher, disciple and master.
Gurdjieffs physician, Dr. William Welch recounts Gurdjieffs last few days before his death on October 29, 1949. “What can one learn from the death of a man who was indeed a man? He had lived with the inevitability of his death a daily reality to him, yet he lived, if ever a man did, to the full.”
“Born and raised in the work,” Paul Beekman Taylor shares some of his memories of Gurdjieff. “Knowing Gurdjieff in the skin, has made an impression upon me far beyond the records of his systematic teachings and writings.”
In this rigorous study to the Gurdjieff literature, Paul Taylor demonstrates how much of it is “false, misleading and speculative,” and in so doing, presents us with an opportunity to reexamine our own knowledge and beliefs.
Carl Zigrosser was the director of the Weyhe Gallery in New York from 1919-1940 and the first curator of prints and drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1940-1963. In this 1929 article, “Zigrosser makes no attempt to explain the Gurdjieff philosophy, but gives a vivid picture of a visit to the Gurdjieff Institute and a personal sketch of its head.”
This excerpt from the authors 1971 autobiography, My Own Shall Come to Me: A Personal Memoir and Picture Chronicle, tells the story of Zigrossers interactions with Gurdjieff, Orage, and especially Alexandre de Salzmann.
By his early twenties, Thomas de Hartmann was one of the best-known living composers in all of Russia. This informative biography of de Hartmann by John Mangan, the Dean of Jonathan Edwards College at Yale University, is reprinted from Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, by permission of the Music Library Association.
This newspaper article written by Frank Lloyd Wright was published in the Capitol Times (Madison, Wisconsin) in August of 1934, a few months after Gurdjieff and Wright first met at Taliesin in southern Wisconsin.
Taken from the authors book, A Gallery of Mirrors: Memories of Childhood, Boyhood and Early Youth, this story describes a remarkable encounter between the author and a fortune teller in Paris in 1928.
The Gurdjieff International Review is published by Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing. Any information or opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or editors.
“The Americans are good people, not nasty rotten, but good. But that not enough. They [are] sheep, good sheep, responding obediently to anything suggested, but not take course by themselves. Questionwhich is better: good sheep or bad dog? They must show more initiative in daily lifeall for exercise of Will”
G. I. Gurdjieff
“We dont understand the importance of our attitude. My attitude at any point is like the sunken part of the iceberg. I start out from the conscious affirmative part which is like the tip. Im quite surprisedand unpreparedto meet resistance from this unconscious part. Yet my attitude is largely governed by this resistance. You have to see the resistance. You have to be more aware of the wish to not workat the same time as you are holding the wish to work.”
“Our situation is not outside, where a man is moved by surface events, nor is it inside, where a man is taken by emotion and tyrannized by his functions. It is a precise balance, an equidistant position that allows me to appreciate and understand that I am these two lives.”
“For the key to a teaching, for oneself, is always in oneself; the Teacher, through the teaching, only reveals the way to it. This is why, even after the death of a Master, there is hope for those who come to his teaching never having known him.”
“We all manage to gather a certain number of pearls of insight as we stumble along, but to find a string to lace them on is extravagant good luck.”
Copyright © 2004
October 1, 2004
October 1, 2004