Gurdjieff International Review
Willem A. Nyland
Mr. Nyland was known for his clarity and seriousness as an early student of Gurdjieff in America. He applied Gurdjieffs teaching in his life and reached a level of development recognized by all who met him. He always placed the emphasis on Gurdjieffs own teachings and books, with little reliance on secondary material. In particular, he stressed the importance of making efforts to understand All and Everything, Beelzebubs Tales to His Grandson, and insisted that the book be read three times exactly as Gurdjieff indicated. He also taught the specific methods for Working on oneself which he had learned from A. R. Orage and later Gurdjieff, and that it was necessary to actually apply Gurdjieffs methods of Work in daily life rather than merely thinking and feeling about the ideas.
One of Mr. Nylands pupils describes how she incorporates work into her daily life? Work in life is a way of life, a practice of the constancy of being in the midst of activity. My day-to-day life is filled with doing things, thinking about everyday affairs, being critical and going through varied and often conflicting emotions. How do I remember work when I am so engaged?
After more than a half century since its conception, the very first Index to All and Everything: Beelzebubs Tales to His Grandson is at last emerging from obscurity and making its well-deserved entrée into the literature relating to the Gurdjieff Work... Few people know about the first Index. Begun over 50 years ago, and published in mimeographed format, it was developed by Willem Nyland and his groups. For those who have had access to it, it has proven to be an invaluable help for studying Gurdjieffs teaching.
Willem Nyland describes Gurdjieff playing the harmonium. “It goes up and down and there is a little melody and there is a repetition. And it is Gurdjieff.”
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Revision: May 28, 2012