You can't see the difference between the hidden world and this one, between happiness and suffering. Verily, on this way you are not a man but only a child.

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George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff was born in 1869 in Alexandropol (Russian Armenia) and is perhaps the only recognised great western Master.

 

After spending his youth travelling and studying different cultures unknown at that time, he committed himself completely to the work on consciousness, which is understood as a means to awaken man from his daily automatisms, allowing his hidden potential to arise within him.
His knowledge ranged from music (he composed several pieces) to mathematics; he also used dance as a means of harmonisation: he wrote many books, which are still very important for those wishing to begin to walk on the path of inner awakening.

 

Gurdjieff had the opportunity to meet remarkable men from whom he acquired the conviction that something of vital importance was missing in the view that European science and literature had of man and the world. He set out to study medicine and theology but was frustrated by the limits of that kind of education, so he was moved to find something else on his own. With a group of people, “The Seekers of Truth” he travelled for several years through Africa, Asia, the Far East, reaching places whose existence was beyond the intuition of the most careful explorers. It is impossible to say where he really managed to arrive, even what Gurdjieff himself reveals in his book “Meeting with Remarkable men” is so veiled by metaphors that the vague geographic co-ordinates are impenetrable.

 

In 1922 he founded The Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at Château de Prieuré in Fontainebleu, near Paris. At the Castle the “work on ourselves” he proposed became established and drew the attention, amongst others, of many European artists and intellectuals.

 

He organised a real independent community with crops, animals, various activities and special classes for the “transformation of energies” which consisted in the famous “movements taken from the sacred dances” and in lectures about the theoretical part of the work.

In 1924 he organized another branch of the Institute in America; for the event he gave a demonstration of his “movements”, accompanied by the Russian pianist Thomas De Hartmann, who also elaborated the sacred music together with him.

He found new followers among writers such as Margaret Anderson, philosophers like Alfred Orage who had founded in those years the literary magazine “The New Age”, and architects such as Frank Lloyd-Wright. When he came back to France he was seriously injured (but, although it seemed a miracle, alive!) in a terrible car accident that forced him to interrupt his practical work at the Prieuré to begin the written transmission of his ideas, that would take shape in books such as “Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson", the already mentioned “Meetings with Remarkable Men”, and “The Real Life”.

 

During World War Two he continued to teach, with serious difficulties, receiving groups of pupils in his flat in Rue des Colonels Rénard; then suddenly in 1948 he decided to restart his activity more extensively: Unfortunately a year later he died, putting a stop to his work.

 

 

Meditations

  Being on the Way in

the third millennium

Basic

 Introduction

To the Fourth Way

Neurosciences

 Gurdjieff's psychology

and neurosciences

Articles

 Gurdjieff and

The teaching