Gurdjieff International Review

Meetings with Remarkable Men

by G. I. Gurdjieff

A Conversation on the book by Professor Roy Finch of Sarah Lawrence College, Lord Pentland, and Lawrence Morris

Roy Finch: We are discussing today a book which has been read for more than thirty years by people in different parts of the world, but is only now being published for the first time in English. This book is entitled Meetings with Remarkable Men, and it is by one of the most fascinating and remarkable men of our century, G. I. Gurdjieff.

The general public has heard little of Gurdjieff—perhaps has not even heard his name, but his ideas and teachings have had a profound influence. He was born in 1877 in the Armenian city of Alexandropol, near the Turkish-Russian border. His life was spent in Asia, Russia, and France, although he traveled everywhere. He visited the United States several times. He died in 1949.

To discuss this long-awaited book, we have with us two men who have had a long familiarity with these ideas: Lord Pentland, who is connected with a New York engineering firm, and Lawrence Morris, a former foreign service officer in Washington. I wonder, Lord Pentland, if you would begin the discussion by telling us what the nature of this book is? Could you describe it to us?

Lord Pentland: By birth Gurdjieff was a Greek from Asia Minor. In his youth, about which nothing is known except what he himself wrote down in this book, he engaged himself on this series of journeys into the remotest regions of central Asia, where so many of the most ancient civilizations have had their source. In later years he lived chiefly in Paris, where he had immense influence as a teacher and writer about the ideas which he found there in Asia and which he had put together into a system intelligible to the West. It is a system of knowledge about man, and man’s search for a real understanding of his situation on this planet. This is his second book, published fourteen years after his first. The form of the book, as Gurdjieff says in the Introduction, is from questions which were frequently put to him about his own personal life and these travels that he made, and particularly the question, What remarkable men have you met?” To this, the book responds in a series of stories, each bearing as its title the name of one of the men he knew, and whose influence had left its mark on his whole life.…

[The complete text is available in the printed copy of this issue.]
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Featured: Fall 2000 Issue, Vol. IV (1)
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