Gurdjieff International Review
Jessmin Howarth was one of the accomplished women who contributed to the transmission of Gurdjieff’s Movements.
Jessmin Howarth reviews the history of movements in Gurdjieff’s groups and hints at some discoveries that the practice of the movements can provide.
After having studied with Dalcroze and served as choreographer for the Paris Opera, Jessmin Howarth (1893–1984) met Gurdjieff in 1922 and accompanied him to New York for the 1924 Movements demonstration. She then oversaw the Movements in New York for many years.
These excerpts are taken from the book, It’s Up to Ourselves: A Mother, a Daughter, and Gurdjieff, A Joint Memoir, by Jessmin and Dushka Howarth. “As the years pass, I become increasingly, and painfully, aware of how few of us are still around who actually knew Mr. Gurdjieff, spent time with him, shared meals, or traveled with him. Simple, human aspects of his life are being forgotten, misconstrued, or blown up out of all proportion.”
Jessmin Howarth, one of the accomplished women who contributed to the transmission of Gurdjieff’s practical teaching, known as the Movements, rarely talked about herself and her own personal life, and as her daughter Dushka Howarth recalls in this book, particularly not to her. It is therefore fortunate that in the later part of her life she began to write down some of her reminiscences and inner thoughts as neatly typed hand-bound essays that she gave to her daughter on birthdays and other special occasions. From these essays, private letters, family scrapbook fragments and the accounts of others Dushka has assembled the story of her mother’s life (in Jessmin’s words) and expanded it with comments, historical background and her own recollections of later events. To this she has added an account of her own life, including her experiences with Gurdjieff in his last years and her meetings and work with his senior pupils from the 1950’s to the present day.
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Revision: March 1, 2020