Resources

Resources

The Gurdjieff Foundation

The most comprehensive directory of websites and contact information for the Gurdjieff Foundations throughout the world may, at present, be accessed on the website of The Gurdjieff International Review, at www.gurdjieff.org/foundation.htm.

Books, Music and Film

Note: first publication of all books is cited, followed, in parentheses, by most recent or more readily available editions.

Books by Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff, G. I. All and Everything: Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1950 (New York: Penguin Arkana, 1999); and New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin (revised), 2006 Tarcher/Penguin (second revision), 2008.

Long read and respected, and perennially in print, the 1950 edition was edited by A. R. Orage on the basis of a literal English text prepared from Gurdjieff ’s original Russian and Armenian by pupils at the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. This version may become the reader’s preference. However, the revised translation, initially published in 1992 and republished with corrections in 2006, should also be read. This edition reflects, to some extent, the greater ease of expression of the French edition of 1956 and also benefited from direct access to the original Russian text, published in 2000 by Traditional Studies Press (Toronto). Both versions of the book can be trusted.

———. Meetings with Remarkable Men. New York: Dutton, 1963 (New York: Penguin Arkana, 1985).

Gurdjieff ’s account of his youth and early search for hidden knowledge was written as an autobiographical narrative. It possesses an uncommon inner calm and presence which offers a taste of the path that he brought to the modern world.

———. Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am.” New York: Dutton, 1982 (New York: Penguin Arkana, 1991).

Here Gurdjieff speaks on many levels and with great precision and candor of the discoveries and difficulties in his personal struggle to bring the Work to birth.

———. Views from the Real World. New York: Dutton, 1973 (New York: Penguin Compass, 1984).

A collection of Gurdjieff ’s lectures from the years 1917 to 1933. “That any record of these lectures exists at all is due to a few pupils who, with astonishing powers of memory . . . managed to write down what they heard afterwards” during the turbulence of revolutionary Russia, at the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, and during Gurdjieff ’s visits to American pupils in New York and elsewhere. The book offers a rare opening to the vast scale of the Gurdjieff ideas expressed in the human resonance of his own “voice.”

Accounts by Direct Pupils

Ouspensky, P. D. In Search of the Miraculous. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949 (New York: Harcourt, 2001).

This book may be given a special significance in this list of reliable recommended works. Since its first publication in 1949, Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous has served as the most artful, electrifying and profound account written by a pupil. Ouspensky’s book retains a remarkable strength and freshness to this day and continues to help readers at all levels of their preparation and acquaintance with the Gurdjieff teaching. For many, it remains the book of choice for those approaching the teaching for the first time.

de Hartmann, Thomas and Olga. Our Life with Mr. Gurdjieff. New York: Cooper Square, 1962. Several revised and enlarged editions have been published over the years. The most recent and definitive: Sandpoint: Sandpoint Press, 2008.

This book describes the dangerous flight by Gurdjieff and a handful of pupils out of war-torn revolutionary Russia, ending with the establishment of the Prieuré community in France. One of the most faithful portraits of Gurdjieff the man.

Lannes, Henriette. This Fundamental Quest. San Francisco: Far West Institute, 2007.

A direct pupil of Gurdjieff, Henriette Lannes was responsible in later years for the practical study of the Gurdjieff teaching in Lyon (France) and in London. Many of the brief chapters in this record of her work in Lyon are deceptively simple, recording a kind of higher common sense based on few but fundamental assumptions: the need for self-knowledge, the necessity of challenging ourselves, the revelatory power of attention, the imperative of honesty with oneself and of clarified relations with others.

Pentland, John. Exchanges Within. New York: Continuum, 1997 (New York: Tarcher Penguin, 2004).

John Pentland was immensely influential in the transmission of the Gurdjieff teaching in America. A faithful and dynamic record of both the energy and the thought exchanged in a Gurdjieff group as led by one of its most powerful and creative leaders.

de Salzmann, Michel. “Man’s Ever New and Eternal Challenge.” In On the Way to Self Knowledge, pp 54-83, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976. Also “Seeing: The Endless Source of Inner Freedom” in Material for Thought, #14, 12-30.

Michel de Salzmann was both a trained psychiatrist and one of the most respected leaders of the Work throughout the world. These two magisterial essays show the place of psychotherapy in the process of inner development while at the same time offering a far-reaching vision of the several levels of the Gurdjieff work.

Segal, William. A Voice at the Borders of Silence. New York: The Overlook Press, 2003.

A highly successful businessman, an important American artist and a devoted practitioner of Zen, William Segal was for many years a leading figure in the development of the Gurdjieff Work in America. This book generously offers a window into all sides of this remarkable “Gurdjieff man.”

———. Opening. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company, 1998.

Tracol, Henri. The Taste For Things That Are True. Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books, Ltd., 1994. (Expanded and revised edition forthcoming, entitled The Real Question Remains by Sandpoint Press, Sandpoint).

Henri Tracol was a pupil of Gurdjieff for over ten years and worked as a leader of the Work closely alongside Jeanne de Salzmann in the years following Gurdjieff ’s death. The essays, talks and interviews in this book reveal an approach to the Gurdjieff teaching unsurpassed in its subtlety, depth and purity.

The following books are among the most honest attempts by pupils of Gurdjieff to depict the personal impact of the man and his way of teaching:

Anderson, Margaret. The Unknowable Gurdjieff. New York: Weiser, 1962 (London and New York: Penguin Arkana, 1991).

Hulme, Kathryn. Undiscovered Country. Boston: Little Brown, 1966.

Hands, Rina. Diary of Madame Egout Pour Sweet. Aurora, Oregon: Two Rivers Press, 1991.

Nott, C. S. Teachings of Gurdjieff: The Journal of a Pupil. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961 (London and New York: Penguin Arkana, 1991).

Tchekhovitch, Tcheslaw. Gurdjieff: A Master in Life. Toronto: Dolmen Meadow Editions, 2006.

Zuber, René. Who Are You, Monsieur Gurdjieff? London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.

Accounts by Other Pupils of the Gurdjieff Work

Ravindra, Ravi. Heart Without Measure. Halifax: Shaila Press, 1999. (Sandpoint: Morning Light Press, 1999).

The first published account of the teaching of Jeanne de Salzmann, Gurdjieff ’s greatest pupil, who was responsible for the Work after his death.

Vaysse, Jean. Toward Awakening: An Approach to the Teaching Left by Gurdjieff. San Francisco: Far West Undertakings, 1978. (London and New York: Penguin Arkana, 1988); (Sandpoint: Morning Light Press, 2009).

Written by a long-time pupil of Jeanne de Salzmann, this concise exposition clarifies much that has seemed obscure in the Gurdjieff teaching.

Also recommended:

Material for Thought, a journal published occasionally in San Francisco by the Gurdjieff Foundation of

California under the imprint of Far West Editions. See: http://www.farwesteditions.com.

Gurdjieff International Review: see http://www.gurdjieff.org.

Guide and Index to Beelzebub’s Tales. Toronto: Traditional Studies Press, 2003. Second edition, referencing all editions of Beelzebub’s Tales.

Needleman, Jacob and George Baker, eds., Gurdjieff: Essays and Reflections on the Man and His Teaching. New York: Continuum, 2004.

Needleman, Jacob, ed., The Inner Journey: Views from the Gurdjieff Work. Sandpoint: Morning Light Press, 2008.

The first major collection of essays and interviews by the first and second generation of Gurdjieff pupils. The present essay has been drawn, with minor changes, from the introduction to this book.

Music

The Music of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann. Thomas de Hartmann, piano. 3-disc set. Triangle Records, a division of Triangle Editions.

In these essential recordings one feels immediately the authority of the composer’s interpretation of his own music, although de Hartmann was not always aware that his performances were being recorded. Thus certain pieces contain spontaneous departures from the printed text.

The original recordings were made largely on an early, somewhat primitive, wire recorder. Many years later the transfer to LP, and eventually to CD, included an electronic process designed to clarify the sound and eliminate extraneous noises and background hiss. Nevertheless, the spiritual authenticity of these recordings make this a definitive rendition of one of the central forms of the teaching.

Gurdjieff/de Hartmann: Music for the Piano, Volumes 1-4. Linda Daniel-Spitz, Charles Ketcham,

Laurence Rosenthal, pianists. Wergo (Schott Wergo Music Media, Mainz, Germany).

These performances were recorded by the three editors of the published complete works. This edition was produced under the guidance of Jeanne de Salzmann. A major feature of these four sets of CDs is that they comprise a complete recording of the four volumes of the published music, presented in the same order. Thus it is possible for the listener to follow in sequence the printed scores.

Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, Volumes 1-10 (Various titles: Meditations, Music of the Sayyids and Dervishes, Hymn for Christmas Day, First Dervish Prayer, Circles, etc.). Alain Kremski, piano. Fano, Italy: Naïve Recording Studio.

Alain Kremski’s interpretations are often imaginative and unusual, and always there is great

authority in his playing and technique. Although the music for the Gurdjieff Movements is generally not designed to be heard separately from the sacred dances themselves, Kremski has elected to include many of de Hartmann’s compositions for the Movements in these collections.

Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, Volumes 1, 2and 3. Laurence Rosenthal, piano. Windemere.

These recent recordings, part of a series still in progress, were made by a composer and pianist with a long association with the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann music. Rosenthal arranged and orchestrated many of these pieces for inclusion in the musical score of Peter Brook’s film Meetings with Remarkable Men. The CD of the score for the film is available on Citadel records.

Film

Meetings with Remarkable Men, directed by Peter Brook, produced by Remar Production, Inc., 1978, distributed by Gurdjieff Books and Music.

Filmed on location in Afghanistan, and based on the book by Gurdjieff, this deeply evocative film includes what is currently the only publicly available performance of the Gurdjieff Movements.

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