Who is G.I. Gurdjieff?
"It is necessary to do everything today. Forget tomorrow.
With today, you repair yesterday and you give tomorrow the possibility
of what it should" - G.I. Gurdjieff
There is a wealth of information available on this question.
What follows is a brief summary:
Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff was born in eastern Turkey around 1866.
The primary source about his early life was written
by Gurdjieff himself in his book , "Meetings with Remarkable Men,"
as well as from comments made to his students.
His life becomes much clearer after 1913, or so, when he appeared as
a teacher in Moscow. What seems evident however, was that
he was a gifted child with an incredible thirst for knowledge.
Considering the time period and area where Gurdjieff came of age,
lends greater appreciation to his early and unique influences.
After his formal education, he left home as a teenager
seeking answers to the questions that had rooted in him.
During his travels, he met up with other like-minded "seekers" and continued
to journey to areas where he believed answers could be found.
It is evident that he traveled throughout many countries in Asia,
the middle east and Africa, including Egypt, India, Tibet, Afghanistan
and Iran. Upon reaching Moscow, he had acquired a formidable body
of knowledge and a "science of transformation" formulated, organized,
and ready to be presented through oral tradition to the western world.
Gurdjieff was in his mid to late 40's and clearly had a mission.
Intense conditions in Europe followed Gurdjieff.
The Russian revolution forced him and his students to leave Russia in 1918.
Political unrest in eastern Europe forced him westward and
eventually Gurdjieff and his students settled in France in 1922.
This period of time was well documented in P.D. Ouspensky's book
"In Search of the Miraculous." Two years after opening his
"Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man," Gurdjieff suffered
a near fatal car accident. This greatly effected his future plans.
He eventually closed the school and began to formulate
his teaching into writing. However, he also continued working with
smaller groups which now had been established in America and England.
After having first visited America in 1924, Gurdjieff continued
to travel to New York numerous times. It was well known that he
developed a special affinity towards America,
visiting, among other places, Boston, Chicago, and California.
In 1935, he stopped writing, but continued teaching under great risks
during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Indeed, students literally
risk their lives to continue to study with him.
After the war, his students could now safely travel and a great influx
returned to him from all over Europe and America.
His most important book, "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson"
had been written and was the touchstone of his teaching, which by then,
had evolved and developed further. He visited America again
in December 1948 and had planned another in October 1949,
but after struggling with fluctuating health, he finally admitted himself
to the American Hospital in Paris.
He died three days later on the 29th of October and left behind
a legacy of written works, movements (including sacred dances),
and about 300 music compositions. He was 83.
Gurdjieff's remaining students (often referred to as
first generation students) are now few in number, but they continue
to pass on his practical work, offering their guidance
to a new generation throughout the world.
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