Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1866?-1949): “Gurdjieff was born in Armenia around 1870. Although his first tutor was a priest, he received a scientific education, but in surroundings and a way of life that had changed little for centuries. To his questions: Who am I? Why am I here? he found no answer either in religion or in science, but suspected that the truth lay hidden behind what had come down from the past in religious traditions and those strange myths and legends which he learned from his father, a traditional bard or ‘ashokh’. Inspiring like-minded companions, he set out to find in Asia and Africa the truth he sought, learning many languages, and acquiring many practical skills to earn the money for his journeys.
In 1912 he brought to Moscow an unknown teaching, a teaching that was not a religion, nor a philosophy, but a practical teaching to be lived. To follow the way he proposed, nothing is to be believed until verified by direct experience and life in the world is not to be renounced. It is a way in life, on which – gradually, for it cannot be done all at once – everything has to be questioned – one’s beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, one’s whole outlook on the life of man on this Earth.
Man is asleep, said Gurdjieff, he has no real consciousness or will. He is not free; to him, everything happens. He can become conscious and find his true place as a human being in the creation, but this requires a profound transformation.” -Quoted from gurdjieff.com
In my own words… G.I. Gurdjieff was an incredible teacher, mystic, visionary, and much more. He was an enigma, he was fundamentally free. He brought out ancient esoteric teachings and made them palpable for the western mind. He created a system, The Fourth Way, to help humans wake up, and become conscious and able to “do” in the world. The basic teaching is that man as he is is a machine, he is asleep and unable to “do” – to act freely and consciously – in the world. As he is, he thinks he is free and can “do”, but the truth is quite the opposite, and only when man realizes this and observes this elemental slavery in action does she have the ability/option of becoming free.
Click below for descriptions of Gurdjieff’s life and his work from several of his pupils:
Gurdjieff Teaching’s link: