Gurdjieff Studies

Gurdjieff Studies Ltd, Registered Charity No. 1098600





Who was Gurdjieff?


Who was Gurdjieff?
What did he teach?
Some Testimony
Gurdjieff's Music
Dances and Movements
The Man and the Literature
Chronology of Gurdjieff's Life
Contact Us
James Moore's Memoir
Links to Related Sites

GEORGE IVANOVITCH GURDJIEFF was born to poor Greco-Armenian parents in Alexandropol near the Russo-Turkish frontier in 1866 and died in Neuilly, Paris, on 29 October 1949.  According to Meetings with Remarkable Men, his richly textured but uncorroborated autobiography, the youthful Gurdjieff was, for twenty years, a fervent seeker after esoteric knowledge.  He travelled on many passports and in many realms.  Three times he survived near-fatal bullet wounds.  In remote fastnesses and inaccessible monasteries in Central Asia, he encountered profound traditional sources and even authentic sages.

The unchallengeably historical Gurdjieff dates from 1912, when he arrived in Moscow from Tashkent; attracted a select circle of pupils (including P.  D.  Ouspensky); and, in conditions of strict secrecy, began to teach, by precept and example, an unknown doctrine.  This role of spiritual Master he pursued with formidable energy to his life's end, surmounting revolution, Civil War, penury, exile, journalistic derision, and mandarin hostility.  In 1922 he settled in France, situating his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at the Prieuré, Fontainebleau-Avon.  He attracted - and often quixotically repulsed - many gifted disciples: English, American and French.

Today, Gurdjieff dominates some fifty memoirs and studies; he is cited in the Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism; and claims modest but increasing attention in university departments.  His work comprises one ballet, some two hundred and fifty sacred dances or Movements, two hundred piano pieces composed in collaboration with his pupil Thomas Alexandrovitch de Hartmann (1886-1956), and four books, of which the magnum opus is Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson.


Click here for a more detailed résumé of Gurdjieff's life and teaching

(from the Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism).

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