G. I. Gurdjieff
G.I. Gurdjieff

GEORGE IVANOVITCH GURDJIEFF, of Greek-Armenian heritage, was born in the Caucasus in 1872. At an early age he awakened to a profound experience of the "whole sensation" of himself, a deep, dimensional self-remembering that became the foundation of his Being.

Seeing that people were asleep to their self and so living in needless confusion and misery, the question burned in him:

What is the sense and significance of life on Earth
and human life in particular?

Feeling "an irrepressible striving" to discover the answer, he studied the religion and science of his time but found no adequate answer. He came to intuit that the wisdom societies of ancient civilizations held the key. And so he set out to discover the origin of esoteric knowledge.

His search took him to many remote and dangerous places before he finally discovered the "true principles and ideas" of a seminal, ancient teaching in prehistoric Egypt and Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia). Having discovered the principles and ideas, Gurdjieff realized that over time elements of the teaching had migrated from Egypt northward and he renewed his search.

This second search led him to Babylon, the Hindu Kush, Siberia and the Gobi desert, where he gathered the dispersed elements of the ancient teaching. Gurdjieff then reassembled the teaching and reformulated it for the demands of modern times. He called the teaching The Fourth Way.
G.I. Gurdjieff

Seeing how the degeneration of human life into gross materialism and personality was accelerating, he realized the West needed an essential shock and accepted the mission of introducing and establishing the teaching of The Fourth Way in the West. He formed the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man to train "helper-instructors" who would help disseminate the teaching. However, when events showed the time was not right for this approach, he decided to hurl the teaching into the future—into our time—by creating a Legominism. This is a means by which high initiates pass esoteric knowledge down through time in a form that is essentially undistorted. Chess and tarot are examples. Gurdjieff chose to create an initiatory esoteric text consisting of three series of books which he entitled All and Everything. This is his great legacy to us.


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