Winter workshops by Alan FrancisJanuary-February, 2018
Annie Lou Staveley (1906-1996) lived in England for over thirty years, and there she made the acquaintance with P.D. Ouspensky . She was introduced to the Work by Jane Heap from whom she began studying the ideas of Gurdjieff. After World War II in 1946 Ms. Staveley and her pupils had the opportunity of going to Paris to study directly with Gurdjieff. Subsequently she moved into the countryside in Oregon, USA, where she established her community, the “Two Rivers Farm”. Annie Lou Staveley published a number of books in the publishing house created by her, the “Two Rivers Farm.” One of them, dedicated to London period of her interaction with Jane Heap and titled Jane Heap: As Remembered by Some of Those She Taught, contains a certain quantity of vivid impressions which Ms. Staveley carried out from her communication with Jane Heap and considered to be possible to publish. Among her publications are commentaries on “Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson,” Gurdjieff’s famous book, about which Ms. Staveley writes: “This Book is a guide for becoming a real human being. Gurdjieff advised us to read, to reread and then to try to grasp the meaning of this book, doing it many times. Read it out loud to other people and to yourselves. Even if you reread it thirty or even fifty times, you will always find something which you had missed earlier – a suggestion which would give with great precision answers to the question which worried you for years.” Among her published works it is impossible to avoid mentioning Ms. Staveley’s critical essay “Me – I Am,” published in 1984 and reprinted once more with her permission. This essay was read on March 21 at the funeral of Michael Smyth, the owner of the “Albintra Books” publishing house and one of the founders of “Two Rivers Farm, who had studied with Ms. Staveley for a lengthy period of time.”
“What I do and the farther products and results of what I do are always in life—whether on the mountain top or in the market place it is all the same.” Is what Annie Lou Staveley writes in her book “Again – the Work in Life.”
Gurdjieff’s work, his teaching, is not meant for everyone—neither is his Book for everyone. Both the teaching and the Book are meant for those who can and will use them.
Jane [Heap] seldom if ever said, “Go here—go there. Do this—do that.” Her method of transmitting the teaching was to create learning situations, and from these you learned.Or did not learn, as the case might be.