Adaskin, a world-renowned musician and scholar. Born in Latvia and brought to Toronto at an early age, Adaskin founded the Hart House String Quartet in 1923, the first Canadian Quartet to attain an international reputation. The early biographical account comprises the first volume of memoirs (A Fiddler’s World, November House, 1977). The second begins with the musician’s decision to resign from the quartet in 1938 and to pursue a freelance career as a musician, broadcaster, and scholar. In 1946 he founded and became head of the music department at UBC and remained there as an academic until his retirement in 1973. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1974 and his wife, who is also a musician, was honoured in 1976.
Volume two relates Adaskin’s remembrances in the same belaboured style as the earlier title. Once again there is personal philosophizing and a variety of quotations from other writers. Seventeen chapters are used to organize events such as encounters with Frank Lloyd Wright, Aaron Copland, and Stravinsky. Also included are black-and-white photographs and newspaper clippings.
Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva (sometimes Stalina, later Lana Peters) (born February 28, 1926, Moscow, Soviet Union) (Russian: Светлана Иосифовна Аллилуева) is the youngest child and only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva (Stalin’s second wife). A writer and naturalized United States citizen.
In 1970, Alliluyeva answered an invitation from Frank Lloyd Wright’s widow,Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, to visit Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. Alliluyeva described the experience in her autobiographical book Distant Music. Olgivanna believed in mysticism and had become convinced that Alliluyeva was a spiritual replacement for her own daughter Svetlana, who had married Wright’s chief apprentice William Wesley Peters, and who had died in a car crash years before. Alliluyeva came to Arizona, and agreed to marry Peters within a matter of weeks. Peters was a member of the Taliesin Fellowship, a group of architects and designers who had been Wright’s apprentices and acolytes, and remained dedicated to his work. Alliluyeva became part of the Fellowship community, adopted the name Lana Peters, and migrated with them back and forth between the Scottsdale studio and Taliesin near Spring Green, Wisconsin. The couple had a daughter, Olga. By her own account Alliluyeva retained respect and affection for Wes Peters, but their marriage dissolved under the pressure of Mrs. Wright’s influence.
In 1982, she moved with her daughter to Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In 1984, she returned to the Soviet Union, where she and her daughter were granted citizenship, and settled in Tbilisi, Georgian SSR. In 1986, Alliluyeva returned to the U.S. In the 1990s she moved to Bristol, England. As of 2010, she is living in Richland Center, Wisconsin, United States.
In 2008, she was the subject of a short biographical film, Svetlana about Svetlana, written and directed by Lana Parshina
Robin Amis is the author of A Different Christianity, the translator of Hesychast Saint Gregory Palamas, and the editor of six major works by Saint Theophan the Recluse, P.D. Ouspensky, and Boris Mouravieff. He is now working on two books in co-operation with one of the great monasteries of Mount Athos. Robin vowed, more than thirty years ago, to become a full-time professional investigator of this forgotten teaching. He is now taking the process deeper, by direct participation, in contact with the centres of the Tradition on Mount Athos.
Amis offers an important introduction to the esoteric, experiential tradition of Christianity that is reputed to be a continuation of the original impulse that created the Christian community 2,000 years ago. Amis is the Director of the Praxis Research Institute that has published the esoteric writings of Mouravieff (GNOSIS: Books 1-3 Exoteric, Mesoteric, Esoteric Cycles) as well as a practitioner of the interior prayer of the heart as preserved on Mount Athos in Greece. This work is a full range practical and theoretical introduction to this interior style of prayer and contemplation as well as palatable examination of orthodox religious practice.
The book A Different Christianity, by Robin Amis, was published by State University of New York Press (SUNY) in 1995, and has since been reprinted many times.
Descendant of a well-read family, Dr. Hubert Benoit, who was born in Nancy on March 21, 1904, felt the need throughout his life to understand the human condition and to seek the path of timeless fulfillment of man. However, he first dedicated himself to medical studies, interned in Paris hospitals, and specialized in surgery. He practiced this art from 1935 until 1944.
He was a prize violinist at the Nancy Conservatory and practiced surgery for twelve years. During the crucial period of the Allied landing in Normandy during World War II, he was trapped in a house during a period of annihilation bombing at St.-Lo and was severely wounded. He spent years in a hospital bed but miraculously recovered. He then went into psychiatry, which he has been practicing for the last thirty-five years in Paris. He has written a number of books that have appeared in many editions in both Europe and the United States: Metaphysics and Psychoanalysis, The Supreme Doctrine, The Many Faces of Love, and Let Go! He also wrote the introduction to the French edition of D.T. Suzuki’s classic work, The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind. I might add that he personally feels that this work, The Interior Realization, is his best. It represents a distillation of his thought and research over the last thirty-five years.
It must be said that his work “The Supreme Doctrine according to Zen Thought” was greeted at the time of its publication as a major original work. In his beautiful preface to this work, Swami Siddheswarananda (who founded the Ramakrishna Vedantic Center near Paris) demonstrates his admiration for the man and the thinker. The Swami, who became influential in the years after the war, was a great thinker as well and his books are still used as references.
A well-read friend, Vince Lepidi testifies that Benoit was a student of G.I. Gurdjief. His source was James Moore’s “Gurdjieff: A Biography, The Anatomy of a Myth. Moore mentions Benoit along with René Daumal and Luc Dietrich as Gurdjieff pupils.Walter Driscoll, editor of the Gurdjieff International Review confirmed in correspondence that Benoit was a student of Gurdjieff.
John Davys Beresford was a restless and passionate seeker of truth whose quest led him to explore a range of ideas from materialism and realism to psychic research, psychoanalysis, Eastern mysticism, and Christian Science. An underlying idealism informs his writing in all of the genres that he experimented with, including the realistic, fantasy, psychological, and mystical novel; short stories of these types; and essays and reviews on literary, psychological, philosophical, and mystical topics. In a stream-of-consciousness passage from Writing Aloud (1928), he asserted that he had “but a single theme, the re-education of human beings.”
He found an audience for this concern in 1911 with his first two novels, one realistic and one fantasy, and reviewers quickly tagged him as one of the most promising of the younger generation of Georgian novelists. His Jacob Stahl trilogy (The Early History of Jacob Stahl , A Candidate for Truth , and The Invisible Event ) established his reputation as a solid realistic novelist.
In K.Mansfild’s letters from Priore she reminds the most interesting after-lunch talk at Beresford’s with Orage and Sullivan. John was among well-known people (Mr. Algernon Blackwood, Mr. J. D. Beresford, Mr. A. R. Orage, Mr. J. W. N. Sullivan, Mr. Middleton Murry, Dr. Maurice Nichol, and Lady Rothermere) who were deeply interested in Gurdjieff teaching and used to come to Priore. Some of them were thinking of coming over, but, of course, it means complete severance from their normal life.
(Lady Rothermere has also been here, but her interests are so wide that she found it impossible actually to become a student. Dr. Maurice Nicoll, the well-known psycho-analyst, has visited the settlement and at the present moment Dr. Young, a Harley-street specialist, is here. Among well-known people deeply interested in Gurdjieff teaching were Mr. Algernon Blackwood, Mr. J. D. Beresford, Mr. A. R. Orage, Mr. J. W. N. Sullivan, Mr. Middleton Murry, Dr. Maurice Nichol, and Lady Rothermere.)
René Barjavel who may have been the first to think of the grandfather paradox in time travel. He was born in Nyons, a town in the Drôme department in southeastern France. He is best known as a science fiction author, whose work often involved the fall of civilisation due to technocratic hubris and the madness of war, but who also favoured themes emphasising the durability of love.
René Barjavel wrote several novels with these themes, such as Ravage (translated as Ashes, ashes), Le Grand Secret, La Nuit des temps (translated as The Ice People), and Une rose au paradis. His writing is poetic, dreamy and sometimes philosophical. Some of his works have their roots in an empirical and poetic questioning of the existence of God (notably La Faim du tigre). He was also interested in the environmental heritage which we leave to future generations. Whilst his works are rarely taught in French schools, his books are very popular in France.
René Barjavel’s name is associated with the number of intellectuals whose names are linked to Gurdjieff: Katherine Mansfield, Aldous Huxley, Louis Pauwels, Rene Daumal, Peter Brook and to name a few.
Rene Barjavel series “the Man in Question”, Sunday August 7, 1977, 20. 30 on FR3. Anne Sinclair animates a debate where the author is questioned by Louis Pauwels his friend, Raymond Castans, Pierre Démeron and Jean-Louis Ezine.
In All Letters. Emission of January 08, 1969 on the 1st French televised chain, concerning the novel of Rene Barjavel “the Night of times”, with the participation of Louis Pauwels, Jacques Bergier, Jean Ferniot, Andre Cayatte, Roger Chaplain-Midy and Pierre Cardin.
Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)
English writer of ghost stories and supernatural fiction. Among his thirty-odd books, Blackwood wrote a series of stories and short novels published as John Silence, Physician Extraordinary (1908), which featured a “psychic detective” who combined the skills of a Sherlock Holmes and a psychic medium. Blackwood also wrote light fantasy and juvenile books.
The son of a preacher, Blackwood had a life-long interest in the supernatural, the occult, and spiritualism, and firmly believed that humans possess latent psychic powers. The autobiography Episodes Before Thirty (1923) tells of his lean years as a journalist in New York. In the late 1940s, Blackwood had a television program on the BBC on which he read . . . ghost stories!
At age 21 and then living in Toronto, Algernon Blackwood made application to become a Fellow of the Theosophical Society on February 2, 1891. During WWI, Algernon Blackwood took up spying while reporting to John Buchan, author of The Thirty Nine Steps. After the war, during the Roaring Twenties, Blackwood studied with Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Ouspensky set up a self-supporting community at Lyne Place, near London, which flourished for many years. Among the men and women who studied with him were J.D .Beresford, Algernon Blackwood, A.R.Orage, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley.
For Rochester-based Modernist architect, author, illustrator, and theater designer Claude Fayette Bragdon (1866-1946), his many occupations were an opportunity to explore and to live his belief system of harmony and balance in all things, whether they be nature, buildings, society, ornamentation, or music.
For the bulk of his multi-faceted career, Bragdon lived and worked in Rochester, and left behind his legacy as an artist and a thinker in the more than 100 remaining structures he designed; in 20 books on subjects ranging from Henry James to feminism to yoga to the fourth dimension; and in a massive collection of drawings and letters collected in The Bragdon Family Papers, now held at the University of Rochester.
He was impressed by Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum. Claude designed several decorations for the book and finally published it. Also he encouraged Ouspensky to give lectures in New York. The book had had a “stupefying success” owing to Bragdon’s efforts and he got letters from all over the world.
John Buchan (1875-1940) was a polymath who was born the son of a Calvinist presbyterian minister in eastern Scotland, and died Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor-General of Canada. He was a classicist at Oxford, read for the Bar but did not practice as a barrister, was a government administrator in South Africa after the end of the Boer War, was editor of The Spectator and war correspondent for The Times, was Member of Parliament for the Scottish Universities, a Director of Reuters, a director of Thomas Nelson’s, the publishing house, and was His Majesty’s High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, twice. He married into the minor aristocracy, had four children and was made a Baron (lowest rung of the British hereditary peerage) on receiving the appointment of Governor-General of Canada in 1935. He was very popular in his Canadian service, travelling all over the country to meet the people and see the land, Arctic to US border, east to west, and made important political links with President Roosevelt of the United States. He died of a brain haemorrhage while shaving, shortly after signing Canada’s entry into the Second World War.
The list of his published books is well over a hundred in number, and only about 40 of these are fiction. John Buchan is most famous for The Thirty-Nine Steps andGreenmantle, and his thrillers and short stories are all in print today. His historical novels are not quite so well known, although there are many cheap editions around, since Buchan came out of copyright briefly when British copyright law decreed a 50-year limit, and for a few glorious years you couldn’t move in a British bookshop without tripping over a Buchan novel. But nothing stands still in law, and Buchan is now back in copyright, until 2010.
Buchan’s historical novels deserve a far greater readership, as do his biographies and historical studies, still regarded as classics of scholarship. Buchan also wrote a textbook for accountants: The Law according to the Taxation of Foreign Income, possibly the only one of his works not to have a devoted readership (but see the Journal’s excellent and extremely readable discussion of this title and Buchan’s legal work by Michael and Isobel Haslett.
Confused echoes of New Model and even of the Warwick Gardens lectures were beginning to be heard from literary sources, and in July 1932 Ouspensky was nettled to find himself caricatured as ‘Professor August Moe’ in The Gap in the Curtain by John Buchan. Nevertheless this widening interest drew more members to the study groups, and ‘The Dell’ was relinquished as inadequate in the second week of September, when the Ouspenskys were lent ‘Little Gaddesden’, a large Victorian mansion in seven acres of land near Hayes in Kent. (http://www.ouspensky.org.uk/mainappreciation.htm)
Robert Earl Burton is the founding minister of the Fellowship of Friends, a religious movement based in California.
He was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1939 but the family soon moved to Berkeley, California. His father was a butcher and he had two sisters and a brother.
He graduated in 1963 from San Jose State University and became a fourth-grade public school teacher in Springhill Elementary in the Lafayette in the bay area.
At that time, he spent eighteen moths in a Gurdjieff group of the Fourth Way led by the spiritual teacher Alexander Francis Horn. He studied intensively the teachings of the Fourth Way, as presented to the West by George Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky. He focused on the practical side of this teaching, and quickly grasped that self-remembering was the basis of the system.
Soon he returned transformed to the school after a school break. He was dressed like a hippie, complete with headband.
Burton resigned his teaching job early in 1967 and six months later what he calls “Influence C” – 44 angels who include Walt Whitman, Buddha and Abraham Lincoln — revealed themselves to him.
“Life after death instantly became a fact,” he stated.
In 1970 he founded the Fellowship of Friends while living intermittently in a Volkswagen bus in Berkeley and doing housesitting. Within a decade he already had a blue Rolls Royce with the personalized license plate “Oracle.”
On March 19, 1976, a “crystallization” occurred, Burton declared.
I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby,” Burton wrote. “It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and 12 were there. It lasted for about 15 seconds. The smoke then vanished.
Originally, the Fellowship of Friends mainly followed Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way tradition, while currently it also emphasizes other spiritual schools and religions, such as the Egyptians, Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism. The Fellowship of Friends has 60 centers in more than 40 countries worldwide.
In 1991 his book, Self-Remembering was first published.
In some ways the life of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze was a paradox: he was born in Vienna, but is associated with Geneva, and his greatest popularity in his lifetime arose from his work in Hellerau, Germany; as a young man he worked as an actor and trained at the Comedie Francaise, but he is justifiably known as a composer and music teacher; and the name by which he is known was not the name given him at birth.
Dalcroze was born Emile Henri Jaques in Vienna on 6 July 1865. His father was a middle-class business man. Emile’s mother, Julie Jaques; had been a teacher in a Pestalozzi school. His mother’s work as a teacher provided a strong early influence on Emile’s ideas about teaching; his own teaching certainly agreed with Pestalozzi’s methods.
Emile’s introduction to music commenced with piano lessons at age six in 1871. The family moved to Geneva, Switzerland when he was ten. There he showed interest in composing as well, writing his first opera, “La Soubrette,” at age sixteen in 1881.
Dalcroze possessed an active sense of humor throughout his life.
Throughout his youth, Emile displayed an active interest in theatre. In school, Emile joined the Belles-Lettres, a student society. He regularly appeared as an actor in the club’s plays. As a nineteen-year-old in the summer of 1884, Emile joined a touring stock company run by his cousin. He then traveled to Paris to study acting at the Comedie Francaise with tragedian Denis-Stanislaws Talbot, comedian Francois St. Germain, and Francois Jules Edmond Got. Also while in Paris, Emile attended lectures given by Dalsarte (whom, incidentally, seems to have been the uncle of Georges Bizet).
During this period, Emile also pursued music studies with composer and teacher Mathis Lussy. Lussy had studied and written at length on the subject of musical rhythm. Many of the concepts taught by Dalcroze found their basis in the work of Lussy.
Emile had developed a system of movements called “eurythmics,” based on his research into the relationship between body movements and responses to music, especially rhythm. He claimed that the aim of eurythmics was to enable students at the end of their course to be able to say, not ‘I know,’ but “I have experienced.” Jessmin eventually gained her guardian’s permission to leave her violin studies and in 1912 registered at the Institute of Dalcroze Eurythmics as a full-time student thus beginning her lifelong involvement with movement, dance and body technique. At the Institute she met fellow student, the young Jeanne Allemand (just married to the painter and stage designer Herr von Salzmann) who was to become a lifelong friend and colleague.
In 1920 thanks to Alexandre Salzmann, Gurdjieff receives a letter from Jacques-Dalcroze in Geneva, inviting him to settle at Hellerau near Dresden which he accepted. In 1921 in Berlin Gurdjieff gives his inaugural lecture in Europe. Accompanied by the Salzmanns, Gurdjieff visits the Dalcroze Institute at Hellerau, and through Harald Dohrn seeks part possession; a legal case ensues.
1922 Gurdjieff brings his pupils from Germany to Paris, hires facilities at the Dalcroze Institute. http://www.gurdjieff.org.uk/gs9.htm#Chronology)
When Jaques-Dalcroze was forced out of Germany for protesting against the German bombing of Reims Cathedral the Salzmanns returned to Georgia (in the Caucusus) and Jessmin Howarth moved to Geneva where she shared an apartment with another Dalcroze pupil, Annette Ponce (who later married Jean Herter). Here she received notice from her guardians that nearly all the money held in trust for her and her brother (who was killed shortly after in the war) had been lost. She was confronted with what became a lifelong experience, the necessity of supporting herself by teaching, first music and later eurythmics and movement. While in Geneva she was introduced to Jacques Copeau (1878-1949) who invited her to work with him in Paris. Copeau had been working before the War with a group of actors and technicians gathered together under the name of the “Vieux Colombier” which was responsible for bringing French theatre into the modern age and he was looking to reform the group and adding “new blood.” Jessmin joined the group in Paris in 1917 and taught body technique, some eurythmics, beginnings of solfege, games, pantomine and dance to the actors, while also training in Copeau’s improvisation techniques. When the United States entered World War I an American group “Friends of the Vieux Colombier” invited Copeau to bring his company (including Jessmin) to New York for the two theatrical seasons, 1918-1919. In March 1918 she moved into the Dalcroze School at 9 East 59th Street where she also taught eurythmics. With the return of the Vieux Colombier to France Jessmin was encouraged to go to Paris and try her luck with theatrical activities. On arrival, the director of the Paris Opera, Jacques Rouche (1862-1950), who’s daughter was an ardent “rhythmicienne,” asked to see her. He was considering Operas with more modern music and felt that his dancers and extras were not capable of moving in the more natural way required and asked Jessmin to form a special “corps de ballet” and prepare them for eventual performance. She received permission to bring over two gifted American Dalcroze pupils and her own pianist.
Jessmin Howarth was another important woman in the Gurdjieff Movements scene and with a connection to Jaques-Dalcroze, Gurdjieff’s first English student. Jeanne de Salzmann taught in France, the American Rosemary Nott taught in England and the English Jessmin Howarth taught in America.(http://www.gurdjieff-heritage-society.org/excerptsbook.htm)
The strongest parallel with Gurdjieff’s Movements is to be found in Dalcroze’s approach, especially in his rhythmically orchestrated body movements that liberated his dancers from the constraints of classical ballet.
Tom Daly (born April 25, 1918) is a Canadian film director and producer, who was the head of Studio B at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in the 1950s and ’60s.
This biographical sketch of T.de Hartmann by Thomas C. Daly and Thomas A. G. Daly was originally published in Our Life with Mr Gurdjieff: Definitive Edition, London: Penguin Arkana, 1992.
Tom Daly read Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous on its publication in 1949, then had the good fortune to meet and befriend the de Hartmanns while they were living near Montreal in 1951. First published here, he describes the setting and impact of Thomas de Hartmann’s 1954 talk to the then fledgling Toronto group.
Three selections of piano music from the Triangle Editions Recordings, chosen with commentary by Tom Daly, were performed by Thomas de Hartmann and reproduced in audio (MP3) format. In addition to carrying the authority of being the composer’s recordings, these evocative performances from the 1950’s are unsurpassed in their own right.
Elan Sicroff – Journey To Inaccessible Places And Other Music
Recorded and Mixed at Arny’s Shack July 1985. Music recorded by kind permission of V.Anastasieff, for the heirs of Gurdjieff and Thomas Daly, for the Gurdjieff Foundation of Canada.
Lanza Del Vasto (1901-81), founder of the Community of the Ark, a pacifist group in France;
Lanza del Vasto, (Giuseppe Giovanni Luigi Enrico Lanza di Trabia), (September 29, 1901 –
January 5, 1981) was a philosopher, poet, artist, and nonviolent activist.
He was born in San Vito dei Normanni, Italy and died in Elche de la Sierra, Spain.
A western disciple of Mohandas K. Gandhi, he worked for inter-religious dialogue, spiritual renewal, ecological activism and nonviolence.
In December 1936, Lanza went to India, joining the movement for Indian independence led by Gandhi. He knew of Gandhi through a book by Romain Rolland. He spent six months with the Mahatma, then in June 1937, went to the source of the Ganges river in the Himalayas, a famous pilgrimage site.
There he saw a vision who told him “Go back and found!”
He left then India and went back to Europe. In 1938, he went to Palestine, then in the midst of civil war, to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, “between two lines of tanks”.
He come back to Paris at the time when the Second World War started. He wrote some poetry books and in 1943 he published the story of his trip to India, Return to the Source, which became a huge success.
He founded the Community of the Ark in 1948 which first met a lot of difficulties. In 1954, he went back to India to participate in nonviolent anti-feudal struggles with Vinoba Bhave.
In 1962 the Community of the Ark settled in Haut-Languedoc, in the south of France, at the Borie Noble, near Lodиve, in a deserted village. The community, once numbering over a hundred members, now suffers from an ageing population (under thirty members) and a lack of interest in its work and lifestyle.
Lanza del Vasto, a friend of Dietrich, who set himself in the role of witness to the meeting, by wanting to understand too much, did not understand a simple gesture, and reported they were shocked by the petty and insensitive attitude that that gesture expressed. In reality a gesture is a mirror: Gurdjieff had constructed his apostolate on mirrors (Meeting with a Remarkable Man: George Ivanovic Gurdjieff by Walter Catalano translated from Italian by Chuck Salvo)
He also had friendship relationships to Rene Daumal.“The highest art is created by the man who has attained to being and unity,” Daumal said to him in their Dialogue on Style (The Strait Gate La Porte Étroite by Basarab Nicolescu).
Sir Paul Dukes 1889 to 1967 British author, secret agent, and pioneer of yoga in Western countries, Dukes was born in 1889. He was educated at Caterham School, England, and Petrograd Conservative, Russia. Dukes was always seeking and affirming a higher purpose in life than everyday existence. His first marriage, in 1922, was to Margaret Rutherford; his second, in 1959, to Diana Fitzgerald.
As a young man he took a position as a language teacher in Riga, Latvia. He later moved to St. Petersburg, where he was a secret agent in prerevolutionary Russia. In 1913 he spent a season in the Russian province of Tula, acting as a tutor, and briefly claimed an ability for psychic healing.
In St Petersburg in 1913, while affecting the title “Prince Ozay”, Gurdjieff briefly engages with his first British pupil: the young musical student Paul [later Sir Paul] Dukes.
After World War I, in 1921 he became a special correspondent of The Times newspaper in Eastern Europe. Under the name “Paul Dukaine” he appeared on stage in a ballet act. Dukes also studied yoga, lectured, traveled widely, and wrote a number of books on a variety of topics. He was director of a company that manufactured components for the British Ministry of Aircraft Production. During his travels he met mystics and wonder workers, and also spent a night alone in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh in Egypt.
His book Red Dawn and the Morrow chronicles the rise and fall of Bolshevism and he toured the world extensively giving lectures pertaining to this subject.
He died on August 27, 1967 in Capetown, South Africa.
The Feldenkrais Method was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984).
Moshe Feldenkrais (Doctor of Science, Sorbonne) was an engineer, physicist, inventor, martial artist and student of human development. Born in eastern Europe, he emigrated to Palestine as a young man. Later he studied at the Sorbonne and worked in the Joliot Curie laboratory in Paris during the 1930s. His interest in Ju Jitsu brought him into contact with Professor Kano who developed the sport of Judo. Dr. Feldenkrais was a founder of the Ju Jitsu Club of Paris and was one of the first Europeans to earn a black belt in Judo.
Escaping the Nazi advance he went to Britain and worked on anti-submarine research for the Admiralty. It was there in the 1940s that he began to develop his Method and wrote his first book on the subject. A knee injury, and uncertain prospects for surgery, began Feldenkrais on what was to become a life long exploration of the relationship between movement and consciousness. In the 1950’s, Dr. Feldenkrais returned to Israel where he lived and worked until he died in 1984 in Tel Aviv.
In developing his work Moshe Feldenkrais studied, among other things, anatomy, physiology, child development, movement science, evolution, psychology, a number of Eastern awareness practices and other somatic approaches.
Dr. Feldenkrais authored a number of seminal books on movement, learning, human consciousness and somatic experience. He taught in Israel and many countries in Europe through the 1960s and 1970s and in North America through the 1970s and 1980s. He trained his first group of teachers in Tel Aviv in the early 1970s. This was followed by two groups in the USA – one group in San Francisco and another in Amherst NY.
In his life Dr. Feldenkrais worked with all kinds of people with an enormous range of learning needs -from many infants with Cerebral Palsy to leading performers such as the violinist, the late Yehudi Menuhin. He taught over a number of years for the dramatistPeter Brook and his Theatre Bouffes du Nord. He was a collaborator with thinkers such as anthropologist Margaret Mead, neuroscientist Karl Pribram and explorers of the psychophysical Jean Houston and Robert Masters.
The breadth, vitality and precision of Dr. Feldenkrais’ work has seen it applied in diverse fields including neurology, psychology, performing arts, sports and rehabilitation.
In an essay at Denis Leri’s Semiophysics site ( Moshe Feldenkrais and G.I.Gurdjieff,), he describes the relationship of Feldenkrais to Gurdjieff, how Feldenkrais is purported to have said that Gurdjieff is the strongest influence on what he was trying to do.
If we realize how much of Feldenkrais work is about undoing our slavery to our habitual ways of using ourselves poorly and inefficiently, and reconnecting to a way of being that can have an intention and explore and discover clear ways of achieving that intention, we can see how Feldenkrais is a natural extension of the Gurdjieff work.
I spend many years in the Gurdjieff work, and though I was thrilled to discover that carpentry and garden making and floor washing could be profound and useful meditations, the underlying push of the Gurdjieff work was a subtle or not so subtle: “Thou Shalt Remember Thyself.” Good advice, but if you can’t do it, is trying harder at something you can’t do the right path?
Janet Flanner 1892-1978
Janet Flanner was born on March 13, 1892, in Indianapolis. Flanner received an excellent education at both the local public school, which she attended until the sixth grade, and the new private school in Indianapolis, Tudor Hall. In this private school, Flanner developed her love of writing.
In 1922, Flanner moved to Paris, France, and began to focus more on her writing. Though she was primarily a newspaper journalist, she did write one novel, The Cubical City. This work spoke about landmarks and nature that are reflections of her early life in Indiana.
As the novel continues, Flanner mentions a fictional town, which she only refers to as a Middle Western town. Although she never states the town is Indianapolis, her only midwestern experience involved Indiana. There are references to this town in more than one part of the novel, which may indicate that she is writing about the midwestern town of her former home in Indianapolis.
Flanner continued to write frequently after the publication of The Cubical City, but it remained her only novel. She lived in Paris until 1975, when she returned to New York City and remained there until her death on November 7, 1978.
“No harem, no hysteria, no ogling,
just a very wise old man
in his rich pantry of food and thoughts.”
Janet Flanner on visiting G. I. Gurdjieff in Paris after WW II.
Her September 14, 1944 letter to Solano, however, describes a visit with Gurdjieff, whom she called “a very wise old man sitting in his rich pantry of foods and thoughts”.
Novelist, playwright, and short-story writer Zona Gale (1874-1938) successfully used her background and experiences in small-town Wisconsin to gain national acclaim. Gale was one of few fiction writers of her time to write contemporary stories emphasizing local color, customs and the depiction of ordinary people. No matter if she called it Friendship Village, Prospect or something else, Portage, Wisconsin, her hometown, was the setting and inspiration for nearly all of her work. Gale became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1921.
Zona Gale was born in Portage, Wisconsin, on August 26, 1874, and, with the exception of a brief time in Minnesota, lived there until she entered the University of Wisconsin. After college Gale spent six years as a journalist in Milwaukee and New York. A visit to Portage in 1903 proved a turning point in her literary life, as seeing the sights and sounds of town life led her to comment that her “old world was full of new possibilities.” Gale had found the material she needed for her writing, and returned to Portage in 1904 to concentrate full time on fiction.
Zola, a long-standing friend of Claude Bragdon, had been interested in things theosophical for most of her writing career. She had delved into Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum and as soon as she heard from Bragdon of Orage’s arrival in New York, she joined the army of those anticipating Gurdjieff.
Zola wrote a description for Times of the Institute and demonstrations it concluded: “The Asiatic dances presented are very beautiful, there these are only an introduction to the technique developed by Mr. Gurdjieff whose Institute, now established in the chief European cities, may in another year have be American branch”.
Gale continued writing and publishing until her death in December 1938.
A Canadian diplomat and environmental activist, George has long been influenced by Gurdjieff. He attempts to link Gurdjieff’s cosmological ideas with James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis and to document the crisis caused by human degradation of the environment, which he attributes to our alienation from a sense of spiritual presence and conscience.
James George was born in Toronto in 1918. A Rhodes Scholar for Ontario, he was educated at Upper Canada College, and Trinity College in the University of Toronto. When World War II began in Europe, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as an Ordinary Seaman, later becoming a Lt. Commander and acting as Naval Historian during the period preceding and following the invasion of Normandy. After the war, he joined the Canadian Foreign Service, and following assignments in Greece, NATO and the United Nations, he served as Ambassador to Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and finally Iran and the Gulf States.
In retirement, he has worked on various environmental and ethical issues, such as persuading the International Whaling Commission to adopt a moratorium on high seas whaling and to ban all whaling in the Indian and the Antarctic Oceans; acting as a member the Advisory Council of President Gorbachev’s State of the World Forum; assessing the post-Gulf war environmental damage from the Kuwait oil fires in 1991; and serving as President of No Weapons In Space, a coalition of Canadian peace groups that helped Canada to avoid any involvement in U.S. Missile Defense plans. He is the author of Asking for the Earth: Waking Up to the Spiritual/Ecological Crisis (1995).
In addition to his public life as a Canadian diplomat, environmental and political activist, lecturer and author, James George has been first and foremost a spiritual seeker. During his years in the diplomatic service, he and his first wife, Carol, met a number of remarkable men in remarkable circumstances, including Krishnamurti, Thomas Merton, Yogaswami of Sri Lanka, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. A longtime friend of the Dalai Lama and student of Tibetan Buddhism, he has also been a devoted practitioner of the Gurdjieff Work for almost sixty years and was a close disciple of the late Madame de Salzmann, G.I. Gurdjieff’s primary student.
His underlying interest in spirituality, which is apparent throughout his newest book, The Little Green Book on Awakening, shines through all of his activities and accomplishments, making him, in the words of Chogyam Trungpa, ” a wise and benevolent man, an ideal statesman.”
James George now lives in Toronto, with his second wife, Barbara.
Gurdjieff Heralds the Awakening of Consciousness Now by James George
Born in London on October 6, 1889, Henry FitzGerald “Gerald” Heard lived a life that would take many fascinating and fateful turns. Heard spent his university years at Cambridge University’s Gonville and Caius College. There, in 1911, he took a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in history.
Following Cambridge, Heard worked for Lord Robson of Jesmond, then Sir Horace Plunkett, founder of the influential Irish agricultural cooperative movement. Heard published his first book, Narcissus, in 1924, which advanced the revolutionary idea that fashion and architecture provide clues to the evolutionary stages of mankind. In 1929 he produced his second book, The Ascent of Humanity, a brilliant, groundbreaking essay on the philosophy of history that was awarded the British Academy’s prestigious Hertz Prize.
Heard began his career as a public speaker in 1926, lecturing for three years under the auspices of Oxford University. In 1929 he became literary editor of The Realist, a short-lived but significant monthly journal of scientific humanism. There he worked with a distinguished editorial board that included Aldous Huxley, Julian Huxley, and H.G. Wells. Pacifists Heard and Aldous Huxley, associated with the Peace Movement, gave lectures in England in support of their cause during the mid-1930s.
Gerald Heard arrived in New York City in April 1937 on the S.S. Normandie, accompanied by Aldous Huxley. He traveled throughout the United States, taught for a term at Duke University, and embarked on a lecture tour with Huxley before settling in southern California in early 1938. The next year he met Swami Prabhavananda, founder of the Vedanta Society of Southern California. Heard subsequently introduced the ecumenical Vedanta philosophy to Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, and other Western notables, which prompted mystery writer Ellery Queen to write, “Gerald Heard is the spiritual godfather of this Western movement.”
It is said that Aldous Huxley went to a few Ouspensky meetings in London. Eventually Huxley settled for Gerald Heard who draws heavily on Eastern philosophy. In Huxley we may find a symptom of a desperate tendency to turn in our crisis to ideas and teachings that stand outside the stream of Western culture. Orage, Ouspensky and Gurdjieff painted a crisis-picture – in one part as black as any school of Western pessimism, in another part so bright as early Christianity. In this balance-by-contrast of the dark and the light is a principal reason for their appeal to moderns.
In 1941 Heard put the larger part of his personal financial resources into building and endowing the pioneering Trabuco College, which advanced comparative-religious studies and practices. Directed by Heard, and 30 years ahead of its time, Trabuco College was discontinued in 1947 and later donated to the Vedanta Society of Southern California. In addition to writing essays, articles, and short stories, Heard published an astonishing 18 books during the 1940s.
In the 1950s, along with his friend Aldous Huxley, Heard also became one of the first to explore the spiritual potentials of LSD and for many years served as a spiritual guide to people who began experimenting with it. He introduced LSD to psychiatrist Oscar Janiger, who pioneered LSD research in the United States and introduced the drug into the Hollywood community. Heard was instrumental in introducing LSD to a number of intellectuals including philosopher William Ernest Hocking and Jesuit scholar John Courtney Murray.
Heard came to believe that consciousness interacted with reality to create our map of reality. LSD was a means of making us conscious of that process and then reconstructing the map (or maps) we used to put together our worldview, an idea later championed by Timothy Leary. Heard also came to identify the Greek god Pan as the symbol of the new world of consciousness into which humanity was entering.
Heard left behind a vast literature exploring his many interests. Many who have encountered his work on a single subject are quite unaware of the vast spectrum of his contributions.
Oscar Ichazo (1931-) was born in Bolivia. In early childhood he had significant spiritual experiences. He was educated in la Paz, Bolivia and in Lima, Peru and at universities in La Paz. He studed law and became a journalist. At nineteen he was appointed Director of the Library Congress in Bolivia, and also elected to Congress through he took up neither the post nor his seat. At twenty three he studied with a group of elderly mystics in Buenos Aires. Ichazo said the idea of these people coming together to share knowledge was “originated somehow by Gurdjieff”. He then travelled to the Middle East and to the Far east. Ha had an intuitive understanding of enneagon or enneagram, which he “found before reading Gurdjieff”. He began to teach in 1956 and in 1968 founded the Institute of Gnosiology in Santiago, Chile. He moved to Arica and subsequently (wih the Arica Institute) to New York.
Born in Allentown, PA on V-E day, (May 8, 1945) Jarrett’s prodigious musical talent was recognized early. Piano Lessons began at 3, and at 7 he performed his debut recital playing both traditional classical works and his own compositions. In his teens, in addition to composing and playing classical music, Jarrett began to play jazz and gigged locally around Pennsylvania on piano and drums. At 17, Fred Waring, the musical entrepreneur of the area, heard Jarrett and arranged for him to go to Paris and study composition with Nadia Boulanger. Instead, Jarrett decided to go to Boston’s Berklee College of Music (for a year) and then on to New York to pursue jazz.
At 21, Jarrett gained wide exposure touring the world with (saxophonist) Charles Lloyd’s Quartet. Noticed by Miles Davis, the trumpeter asked him to join the band in 1970. Jarrett spent almost two years with Davis and during this time he also recorded his first ground-breaking solo piano improvisation, “Facing You.” Throughout the ’70s, Jarrett’s busy musical life included playing solo concerts, touring with his American Quartet, (with bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Paul Motian, and saxophonist Dewey Redman) and touring with his Scandinavian Quartet (featuring saxophonist Jan Garbarek).
Always maintaining an active interest in classical music, Jarrett decided to record and play in public near the end of the 70s. He first performed contemporary works (Bartok, Barber, Stravinsky concertos) and then focused more on Baroque and Classical works. In 1983 Jarrett formed his “Standards” Trio with Gary Peacock on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. The group continues to perform the “Great American Songbook” with an open, improvisatory approach and no preconceived arrangements. Currently, Jarrett divides his time between classical music, the Standards Trio, and solo concerts. He maintains the only way he can work in diverse areas is to perform sparingly, one activity at a time, and allow for sufficient time between projects.
Jarrett is an uncompromising artist and not afraid to speak his mind. He will berate audiences for talking, cancel concerts when the piano is sub–standard, and respond to critics he feels are ignorant. Jarrett has also written articles about his dissatisfaction with today’s neo–conservative movement in jazz , and its mass marketing. His out–spokenness combined with unorthodox mannerisms at the piano and singing during his improvisations all contribute to his controversial status.
he lives with his wife, Rose Ann. We talked openly on many subjects and I found Jarrett to be hospitable and generous with his time.
The theory of octaves had a tremendous impact on pianist Keith Jarrett, who read about them in Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, Gurdjieff’s longest, most allegorical, and most difficult book.
Jarrett’s love of impressionistic études falls nicely in line with Gurdjieff’s own keyboard compositions, which he claimed were direct transcriptions of pieces from the spiritual masters that he had studied with. For Gurdjieff, music was a direct and immediate expression of the divine, assisting in focusing one’s inner sight to the subtle plains of vast spiritual dimensions.
Alexandro Jodorowsky was born in 1929 to Russian Jewish émigrés in the small coastal mining town of Iquique in the deserts of northern Chile. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a film, “The Severed Head” or “The Transposed Heads”, which is now lost. He also befriended the surrealists Roland Topor and Fernando Arrabal, and in 1962 these three created the “Panic Movement” in homage to the mythical god Pan. As part of this group Jodorowsky wrote several books and theatrical pieces. In the later 1960s he directed avant-garde theater in Paris and Mexico City, created the comic strip “Fabulas Panicas”, and made his first “real” film, the surrealist love story _Fando y Lis (1967)_ , based on a play by Arrabal. In 1971, El topo (1970) was released and became a cult classic, as did The Holy Mountain (1973).
In 1975 he returned to France to begin work on a film that was never made: a colossal adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune”, which was to star Orson Welles, Salvador Dali and others, was to be scored by Pink Floyd, and which brought together the visionary talents of H.R. Giger, Dan O’Bannon, and Jean “Moebius” Giraud (Giger and O’Bannon later collaborated on “Alien.”) The project’s financiers backed out, and “Dune” was eventually filmed by David Lynch. Jodorowsky’s next film was 1979’s _Tusk (1978)_ , a story of a young girl’s friendship with an elephant, which quickly faded into obscurity. In the early 1980s he began working with Moebius and other artists on various comic strips, graphic novels and cartoons, and wrote several more books. He returned to film with 1989’s Santa sangre (1989), which was critically acclaimed and widely distributed. In 1990 he directed Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole (I) in the fantasy film The Rainbow Thief (1990).
Throughout the 1990s he continued to produce cartoons with a variety of graphic artists and is reportedly to begin work on another film, the long-awaited “Sons Of El Topo”, sometime in 2002 or 2003. Jodorowsky’s wife Valerie and sons Brontis, Axel and Adan have all at times appeared in his films. The film is based on “Ascent of Mount Carmel” by St. John of the Cross and “Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing” by Rene Daumal, a student of G.I. Gurdjieff. In particular, much of Jodorowsky’s visually psychedelic story follows the metaphysical thrust of “Mount Analogue” such as the climb to the Alchemist, the assembly of individuals with specific skills, the discovery of the mountain that unites Heaven and Earth “that cannot not exist” and symbolic challenges along the mountain ascent. Daumal died before finishing his allegorical novel, and Jodorowsky’s improvised ending provides a clever way of completing the Work (symbolic and otherwise.)
John Kahn was born in Paris on May 4, 1916. Bachelor at sixteen, in 1932, he turned to studying philosophy. Right out of high school, he joined the Communist Party which he remained a member until 1952.
In 1937, he married and began working as a professor of literature and philosophy courses at Private Godéchoux Rene Daumal He attended, but also the group of George Gurdjieff. He regularly participate in the Gurdjieff groups for ten years, until 1961.
Mobilized in 1939, he chose the following year to join General de Gaulle to London via North Africa. Stopped at the moment of embarking, he was interned in the camp of Argelès. He escaped and it enters the resistance in the south-west France.
After the war he worked again in under his name Godéchoux resistant Dessertenne. He became progressively director. From 1950, he participated in the Study Groups and Research in Pedagogy and animated Dr. Lebovici wrote his essay, the understanding of the Reformation (1953).
The deep crisis of traditional models that demonstrate the events of May 1968 prompted him to push strongly in this direction. Course owners refuse to follow him. Subjected to major hostilities, embittered at having been unable to complete his project, he commits suicide, April 17, 1970.
Dr. David Bulkeley Langmuir died peacefully at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., alert and surrounded by his family, on Jan. 31. Dr. Langmuir was 94 years old. He was a longtime summer resident of the Vineyard, starting from his graduate student days in the 1930s when his father, Charles, and mother, Edith, bought property on East Chop and in Chilmark. His children and grandchildren have spent time every summer on the Vineyard with him and his wife, Marianna, and the family tradition continues at the family home on East Chop. The extended family had a reunion last June on the occasion of David and Nancy’s 60th anniversary.
Born in Los Angeles, Dr. Langmuir was graduated from Yale in 1931, and received a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. During World War II he worked closely with Vannevar Bush, serving as the radar representative of the United States in England, work that saved thousands of lives and for which he was decorated with the Medal of Freedom. After the war he was Secretary of the Guided Missile Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, representative to Canada of the Atomic Energy Commission, and then founder and director of the Electronics Research Laboratory at the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation, which eventually grew to be the Physical Research Center at TRW Inc. His group of several hundred scientists and engineers sought to apply basic science to the solution of practical problems in spacecraft propulsion, semiconductor electronics, lasers and holography, automotive emission controls and nuclear safety. A distinguishing attribute of Dr. Langmuir’s leadership was the enduring loyalty and esteem of those who worked for him, a reflection of the interest he took in them.
After retiring in 1973, Dr. Langmuir consulted and worked on science education for young people; he received a patent in 1999 for a DNA model that demonstrated DNA replication for teaching purposes. He worked tirelessly on translation, including The Biosphere by V. I. Vernadsky, published in 1998. He also explored deeply the ideas of G.I. Gurdjieff, Tibetan Buddhism and Panetics, which is devoted to the reduction of suffering in the world. He worked closely with teenagers for more than 30 years, and was beloved by all who experienced his listening, intelligence, compassion, humor and objectivity. His love of the outdoors was contagious and shared with others. He was able to have enlivening conversations with any person from any walk in life.
A memorial service took place on the Vineyard
next to his mother the weekend of June 21.
He is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Marianna (Nancy), daughters Diana Rosenthal and Jean Langmuir, son Charles Langmuir, and five grandchildren.
Dr. Langmuir strived in his final years to see his DNA teaching model placed in high school classrooms. Donations to help this occur can be sent to Marianna Langmuir, 350 21st street, Santa Monica, CA 90402. Or, donations may be made in Dr. Langmuir’s name to The Gurdjieff Foundation of California, the Shambala Center of Los Angeles and Panetics, mailed to the same ad
(May 4, 1907 – January 5, 1996)
A poet, novelist, historian, art collector and critic, the erudite Mr. Kirstein was an expert in many fields. But it was as a ballet director that he made his greatest contributions to American culture.
Mr. Kirstein was born on May 4, 1907, in Rochester, the son of Louis E. Kirstein and the former Rose Stein. But he was reared in Boston, where his father became the chief executive of Filene’s, the department store. His cultivated, affluent parents encouraged their son’s interest in the arts. But Mr. Kirstein never forgot that when he was 9 years old, Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes performed in Boston and despite his insistent requests, his parents forbade him to see the company because they thought him too young.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, and while there he was a founder of the prestigious literary magazine Hound and Horn. Despite coming from a respectable family, the young Mr. Kirstein was fascinated by the raffish and vaguely criminal world of Prohibition. Describing the habitues of 1920’s speak-easies, he recalled in 1986: “It was very much like the aristocratic world of Boston, only it was on a different level. It was traditional — except that these people were all disinherited.”
Mr. Kirstein also directed Ballet Caravan, an offshoot of the American Ballet established in 1936 to encourage young American choreographers. Among the notable productions it offered until it was disbanded along with the American Ballet were Lew Christensen’s “Filling Station” and Eugene Loring’s “Billy the Kid.”
The religious imagery was typical of Mr. Kirstein. A large, solemn man who often wore austere black suits, he reminded many people of a clergyman; he was a convert from Judaism to Roman Catholicism and was also deeply influenced by the metaphysical teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff. For Mr. Kirstein, the order of ballet was a secular microcosm of the divine order of creation itself. Thus, in “Ballet: Bias and Belief,” he proclaimed that “all order is a reflection of a superior order” and that “all important art is religious art.”
Kremski pays paramount attention to the inner movement of the energy that must sustain the interpretation of a work from beginning to end, and that movement is especially perceptible here.
Born in 1950, Laurent Petitgirard studied the piano with Serge Petitgirard and composition with Alain Kremski. An eclectic musician, his career as a composer of symphonic music (more than twenty works) and of film music (160 scores) is matched by his activity as a guest conductor the world over.
In 1989 he founded the Orchestre Symphonique Français which he conducted until 1996, also directing, from 1986 to 1997, the Festival and the Academy of Flaine (Haute-Savoie).
In December 2004 he was elected music director of the Orchestre Colonne in Paris and has been reelected in October 2009 till June 2014.
Alain Kremski’s journey is indeed a strange one… After brillant studies he abandoned a clearly lead-out path in order to explore the mystical universe of the sounds of temple bells, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, fascinated by Asian music and instruments as Debussy has been by Javanese orchestras and percussions before him.
Like Debussy, Kremksi won the first Prize of Rome in composition at twenty-two, entitling him to live in the Villa Medici for three years. There he made friends with the painter Balthus who infused him with his passion for painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and travel…
Alain Kremski writes extremely precise codified music for Tibetan singing bowls and gongs which can be played by two, three, five or more players depending on the score. However, the also composes for orchestra, for choirs, for the piano and chamber music.
As a pianist he tackles unusual repertoires: little-known works by Friedrich Nietzsche, sacred, enigmatic and touching music by G.Gurdijeff, unfamiliar pieces by the visionary Liszt or rarely heard works by Clara Schumann, Richard Strauss, Grieg, Dvorak, Alkan and transcriptions by Borodin.He often begins a Recital with Mahler, Nietzsche, Debussy and Gurdijeff, ending with his own music for Tibetan wood blocks and gongs. He has performed in the most varied circumstances and places: before Panchen Lama in Peing, at the celebration of the 40th birthday of the Sultan of Brunei, before Tibetan Lamas in the temple of Kagyu-Ling.
Alain Kremski has also worked for the theatre with Peter Brook.
Romauld (Rom) Landau was born in England, October 17, 1899. He was a sculptor, author, educator (including University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA), foreign service officer, and specialist on Arab and Islamic culture. His particular area of interest was Morocco, and he authored numerous works about Morocco, mainly in the 1950s and 1960s. He also was an art critic and book reviewer for several newspapers and periodicals, including The Spectator. Landau died in 1974.
Rom Landau attended and wrote an account of an Ouspensky lecture in London.
He describes interviews with Keyserling, Bo Yin Ra, Steiner, Krishnamurti, Heher Baba, George Jeffreys, Frank Buchman, and Ouspensky, who’s London meetings Landau attended several times. Landau visited Gurdjieff in his New York hotel-room one afternoon during the 1930s. Sepia photos are dipped in, of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky. These are the first extended interviews of Gurdjieff and of Ouspensky to be published in book form.
Rom Landau publishes his bestseller God is My Adventure, vilifying Gurdjieff and confusing him with Dordjieff.
The Rom Landau Papers contains the papers of the British author, artist, educator, and Arabist. Although Landau’s particular interest was Morocco, the collection also includes material on Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Palestine.
Recordings contains reel-to-reel tape audio recordings made by Landua of the songs, music and dance of various countries in the Middle East, and of some of his radio interviews, lectures and other speaking engagements.
Georgette Leblanc (1869-1941) was born in Rouen, France. She was an esteemed soprano, once Maurice Maeterlinck’s mistress and a close friend of Jean Cocteau. In 1924 M.Anderson interested her in Gurdjieff and they travelled to Priore to meet him.
She was also an accomplished writer, publishing two volumes of autobiography and several children’s books and travel accounts. Her prose and poetry both sing with a unique lyricism that teeters precariously between real feeling and sentimentality. The first volume of her autobiography was translated into English by Janet Flanner (one of the era’s most astute observers, writing the “Letter from Paris” as Genàt in The New Yorker); the second, La Machine à Courage, deals with her impressions of Gurdjieff and (quite powerfully) her long battle with cancer, to which she succumbed in 1941, being the first of the Rope to die.
Lewis was the only child of an unconventional Congregationalist minister. In 1915, at the age of 17, after schooling at Oundle, he had trained as a pilot and was commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps. On the eve of his 18th birthday he found himself in the air over the battlefields of France and, along with thousands of other youngsters, daily risking injury and life while improvising fighting tactics in an entirely experimental form of warfare. By some miracle, as he used to say, he survived, and after two mentions in dispatches came home to receive the Military Cross from his Sovereign.
Religious questions became an undercurrent through the latter half of his life. He briefly experimented in community living on a sheep and cattle farm in South Africa, following the doctrines of the Russian mystic Georgi Gurdjieff.
From time to time Lewis shared his thoughts and beliefs in broadcasts and interviews, some of these reproduced and expanded in his book A Way to Be (1977). A Wish to Be followed in 1994.
Between the wars Cecil Lewis created a beautiful retreat out of a rocky wilderness overlooking Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, which he said was always “waiting to restore me to sanity and peace”. For over 20 of the last years he and his third wife, Frances, lived happily on the island of Corfu.
He also fell under the influence of Bernard Shaw. With the advent of talking pictures Shaw saw an opportunity to give his plays a wider audience. He allowed Lewis to adapt his one-act play How He Lied To Her Husband.
After the war he became interested in the work of Gurdjieff, who he mistakenly thought was dead. In a bizarre sequence of events, Lewis bought a plane and flew to South Africa, a journey recalled in Gemini to Joburg (1984), to set up a community based on Gurdjieff’s ideas; only to find, once he was there, that Gurdjieff was alive and working in Paris. The experiment proved disastrous but he continued to study, and write and broadcast, about the teachings of Gurdjieff.
Lewis had an extraordinary vigour and curiosity for life. In his 94th year, he flew a Tiger Moth from a grass strip at Badminton and made a perfect landing in a 15-knot 90-degree cross-wind, much to the admiration of his co-pilot, who had been an instructor for 25 years.
Cecil Arthur Lewis, broadcaster, aviator and writer: born Birkenhead 29 March 1898; MC 1918; married three times (one son, one daughter); died London 27 January 1997.
Jean-Claude Lubtchansky – director and recognized documentary film-maker.
Georges Gurdjieff – a French language documentary film, narrated by Pierre Schaeffer, is interspersed with excerpts from interviews conducted by Henri de Turenne. Produced by Jean-Claude Lubtchansky with the participation of Philippe Cambessédès, Maurice Desselle, Philippe Lavastine, Dr. Michel de Salzmann, Henri Tracol, Dr. Jean Vaysse and René Zuber. Paris, 1976, 50 minutes. Broadcast on September 22, 1978 on TFI (Institute National de l’Audiovisuel). Transcript and translation by Jack Cain and Nicolas Lecerf.
Also Jean Claude Lubtchansky worked in Production on the movie Meetings With Remarkable Men together with Peter Brook.
Jean-Claude Lubtchansky’s film The Seekers of Truth, arguably the most compelling evocation of Gurdjieff.
“Here there are no leaders only pupils who share sincerely their experience. Presence is the Teacher. Otherwise, work becomes just talking about ideas and old forms of work. No transmission when it is not lived.
To build a community, visualize each other, caring for each other, never
speaking ill of another, not judging each other but wishing for the inner
welfare and growth of all. If I can see myself, I can see yours too, because both are of one Being.
This is a preparation for love’s triumph over fear in the world.“
Mable Dodge Luhan
Mabel Ganson was born in Buffalo on 26th February, 1879. She obtained the name Dodge when she married a wealthy businessman from New England.
Dodge moved to New York and her home at 23 Fifth Avenue became a place where left-wing intellectuals and activists met. This included John Reed, Louise Bryant, Lincoln Steffens, Max Eastman, Walter Lippmann, Margaret Sanger, Bill Haywood and Emma Goldman.
She was a woman of profound contradictions. She was generous. She was petty. Domineering and endearing. Mabel Gansen Evans Dodge Sterne Luhan – salon hostess, art patroness, writer and self-appointed savior of humanity.
While living in Europe, Mabel met the writer Gertrude Stein in Paris. Gertrude was quite taken with Mabel and visited her in Florence often, eventually writing Portrait of Mabel Dodge. But Gertrude’s jealous lover Alice B. Toklas managed to put an end to the mutual attraction of the two women.
A pacifist, Dodge contributed articles to the radical journal, The Masses, during the First World War. After the war Dodge married Tony Lujan, a Native American, and established an artist colony in Taos, New Mexico. In 1922 D. H. Lawrence stayed at Taos where he wrote The Plumed Serpent (1926). The main character in his short-story, The Woman Who Rode Away, was based on Dodge.
Like many other modern writers and artists, Toomer was invited to Taos, New Mexico for the first time by art patron, socialite, and memoirist Mabel Dodge Luhan, who encouraged Toomer to consider the town for a Gurdjieffian center for spiritual development. Although his work on behalf of Gurdjieff brought him to Taos, Toomer continued to visit New Mexico long after he severed ties with his mentor, believing, perhaps, that New Mexico could provide fulfillment that Gurdjieff could not. When Toomer arrived in the Southwest it was already a landscape crowded with artists and writers.
Dodge wrote several volumes of autobiography including Intimate Memories (1933), European Experiences (1936) and Edge of Taos Desert (1937). Mabel Dodge Lujan died in Taos, New Mexico, on 13th August, 1962.
Sergey Dmitrievich Merkurov (7 November 1881 – 8 June 1952) was a prominent Soviet sculptor-monumentalist of Greek-Armenian descent. He was a People’s Artist of the USSR, an academic at the Soviet Academy of Arts, and director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts from 1944 to 1949. Merkurov was considered the greatest Soviet master of post-mortem masks. He was the author of the three biggest monuments of Joseph Stalin.
He was the cousin of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, an Armenian-Greek mystic and spiritual teacher.
Sergey Merkurov was born in Alexandrapol (modern Gyumri, Armenia). He left the Kiev Polytechnic Institute after a political scandal and moved to Switzerland, where he became a student of Adolf Mayer.
He attended art college in Germany (1902-05) and then entered the Auguste Rodin studio in Paris.
Merkurov returned to the Russian Empire in 1907 as he was called by the Armenian Apostolic Church authorities to execute a post-mortem mask of Catholicos Mkrtich Khrimian. It was his first work of this kind. Then he lived in Tbilisi, Yalta, Moscow, and made post-mortem (death) masks of Leo Tolstoy, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Vladimir Lenin and his wife, Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Mayakovsky and other famous persons. The technique itself is not an easy process. The author pours plaster on the body’s face and puts a thread in the middle of it. Then, another material like bronze or plaster is poured inside the mask and this is how an actual-size face of the deceased results.
Merkurov was an outstanding representative of academic modern style, employing the themes of death and stone blocks. As a philosopher of the arts, Merkurov also used motifs of thought (Monument of Dostoevsky, 1911-1913; The figure-portrait of Thought, 1918).
During his Moscow lectures Ouspensky was approached by two men, Vladimir Pohl and Sergei Dmitrievich Mercourov. They told him of an occult group to which they belonged, and which, oddly enough, was led by the “certain Hindu”—actually a Caucasian Greek—responsible for the ballet scenario “The Struggle of the Magicians,” the notice for which Ouspensky had come across a few months earlier.
They spoke of the work the group was engaged in, and of “Gurdjieff’s”—the Greek’s—aims. To Ouspensky it seemed heady, confused, and extremely doubtful material. Mercourov, however, was persistent, and it was more than likely out of the desire to quiet his entreaties than out of any real interest that Ouspensky finally broke down and agreed to meet the mysterious Mr. Gurdjieff.
Merkurov was known as a free-thinker and an extraordinary person. He was a member of the Masonic “United Workers’ Brotherhood”, the Association of Painters of Revolutionary Russia and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
For Joseph Stalin’s 70th birthday, Merkurov made a special gift, a costly granite monument called “Death of the Leader”. Stalin refused to accept it and a difficult period in the sculptor’s life began.
Merkurov was honored with burial at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow. In 1953 hisNotes of a Sculptor was published.
Boris Mouravieff was an enigmatic ‘third man’, known to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, who found and learned to practice what he clearly believed to be the complete system of which only ‘fragments’ had been previously published in Ouspensky’s ‘In Search of the Miraculous’.
On this basis, he formed the ‘Centre d’Etudes chretiennes esoteriques‘ in Geneva — now closed.
Many of his discoveries are described in his book Gnosis, which contains in its three volumes the fundamental components of that Christian esoteric teaching revealed by Ouspensky in fragmentary form. This Gnosis is not a modern statement of the second century texts known as ‘Gnosticism’, but a previously unpublished ancient Christian knowledge tradition. Boris Mouravieff taught Eastern Esoterism at Geneva University for many years, and Gnosis is the result of his teaching.
First published in French in 1961, the three volumes of Mouravieff ‘s Gnosis have since been translated into Greek, and an Arabic text is in preparation. Now — after seven years of work — the translation into English is available.
A Russian refugee of the Bolshevik revolution, Boris Petrovitch Mouravieff was first introduced to Gurdjieff in 1920 in Constantinople by P. D. Ouspensky. Twelve years younger than Ouspensky, Mouravieff, fascinated with the teaching, attended lectures and movements demonstrations, but formed a strong animus toward Gurdjieff. An aristocrat, intellectual and moralist, Mouravieff no doubt had trouble with Gurdjieff’s unconventional behavior, his acting and trampling on people’s corns, and of course his heavy Caucasian accent, an accent, Ouspensky said, one associated with “anything apart from philosophical ideas.” And it was Gurdjieff’s way of teaching, whenever anyone reacted to these manifestations, to make them worse to show people their identification. Though Mouravieff was firm in his determination to stay “outside the zone of his [Gurdjieff’s] personal influence,” he had been “poisoned,” as Gurdjieff would say, and could never entirely break away. For even after both men left Constantinople and located in Paris, Mouravieff continued to seek out Gurdjieff at the Café de la Paix and in Fontainebleau.
And so when Ouspensky broke with Gurdjieff in 1923 and asked Mouravieff to help with the translation and editing of his book, then titled Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, he gladly agreed. Thereafter, Ouspensky and Mouravieff exchanged many letters on the teaching and whenever Ouspensky visited Paris the two often had dinner together. These letters and meetings, Mouravieff said, “gave me the opportunity to discuss all the elements of the system with him.”
Mouravieff first published an attack on Gurdjieff and Ouspensky in 1958 in a small magazine (interestingly enough given to the idea, fashionable in modern times, of synthesis), then published his 758-page, three-volume Gnosis, its central ideas lifted directly from Ouspensky’s book. First Mouravieff wrapped Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way teaching in a heavy Christian religious coating. Having dislodged and distorted the teaching, he then offered a fanciful updating of the courtly love of medieval days, calling it the “Fifth Way.”
Impressed by the ideas of Ichazo, Naranjo propaganda theories Bolivia (but different in some places and stretched to match the new method with the acquisitions of psychoanalysis of Freud) to Esalen then the center of the human potential movement, and convinces him scientist John Lilly (the real figure of this paradoxical character was modeled the fictional protagonist of the film Ken Russell Altered States) to attend a seminar with him ten months to Arica (Chile) held by that Oscar Ichazo. The two pioneers spent seven months in gymnastics, meditation, lectures and experiments described by Lilly in The Center of the Cyclone. After Arica Naranjo, who in turn knows the books of Ouspensky, reflects the material on the Enneagram and compulsions
psychological which is appropriate in the seminar. He sees a correspondence between the pattern of Ichazo, the seven deadly sins of Christianity, the zodiac and various psychological types: the following in preparing its bases Enneagram. As has vowed to Ichazo regard to confidentiality all information obtained in his institute, wrote to him asking permission to teach his version of the doctrine. ” Ichazo unresponsive and Naranjo concludes silence is consent and that those who form a school, the SAT (Seekers After Truth: Truth Seekers). Meet at a conference of Pamela Travers (the author Australian who invented Mary Poppins, and student of Gurdjieff) Speeth Kathleen Riordan, the daughter of two direct students of Gurdjieff and d’Orage, who literally grew up inside the Fourth Street from whom he learned his broad knowledge, esoteric level, techniques Gurdjieffian (Sacred Movements, etc.).
After 1975, Naranjo is detached gradually from the SAT to leave the United States continue its work first in South America and then to Spain Finally, in Italy. The Speeth continues to hold seminars for up to half 80s before making the difficult decision to cease teaching regretted because it disclosed.
Dr. Naranjo is the honorary president of two Gestalt Institutes, Fellow of the Institute of Cultural Research in London, and member of the U.S. Club of Rome. He is considered one of the pioneers of the Human Potential Movement, and his introduction of “Fourth Way” ideas to psychotherapy is an instance of his work as an integrator at the interface between psychotherapy and the spiritual traditions. At present he is primarily dedicated to an integrative and transpersonal education of psychotherapists in various European and South American countries. His approach to educational reform and innovation is based his development over decades of transformative training and educational technology for professionals all around the globe. A Festschrift volume is in preparation honoring Dr. Naranjo’s 70th birthday.
Claudio Naranjo’s published works include The One Quest (Viking Press, 1972), The Psychology of Meditation (Penguin, 1972), The Healing Journey (Pantheon Books, 1974),La Vieja y Novísima Gestalt: Actitud y Práctica (Editorial Cuatro Vientos, 1990), Ennea-type Structures (Gateways Books, 1991, 2004), Gestalt Therapy: The Attitude and Practice of an Atheoretical Experientialism (Gateways Books, 1993, and Crown House, U.K., 2000), Gestalt After Fritz (published by Era Naciente, 1993, as Gestalt sin Fronteras), The End of Patriarchy and the Dawning of a Tri-une Society (Dharma Enterprises, 1994, and Kairós, 1993, as La Agonía del Patriarcado), Character & Neurosis: An Integrative View (Gateways Books, 1994), Enneatypes in Psychotherapy (Hohm Press, 1994), Transformation Through Insight: Enneatypes in Life, Literature and Clinical Practice (HOHM Press, 1997), El Enneagrama de la Sociedad (Temas de Hoy, 1995, Ediciones La Llave, 2000), The Divine Child and the Hero (Gateways Books, 1999),The Enneagram of Society: Healing the Soul to Heal the World (Gateways Books, 2004),Cambiar La Educación Para Cambiar el Mundo (Ediciones La Llave, 2004).
An author and journalist and managing editor of Figaro Magazine and Figaro Madame. His controversial book “Monsieur Gurdjieff” (1954) influenced public attitudes towards Gurdjieff for a number of years.
Louis Pauwels is a French journalist and writer, born in Belgium 2 August 1920 and died January 28, 1997.
Born in Ghent, Belgium but raised in France by Gustave Bouju, his father-legged because of the remarriage of his mother French, Louis Pauwels pronounced his own name, Povel, and pointed to Jacques Chancel in one of his ” X-ray “that was how he had to decide, even if the exact pronunciation in Flanders had been ‘Pols’. Teacher at Athis-Mons from 1939 to 1945 (Letters license suspended early in the war), Louis Pauwels wrote in many literary magazines monthly French in 1946 (Spirit, Variety, etc..) And during the 1950s.
After the war, he helped found “Work and Culture” in 1946 (close to the PCF, for the mass culture, which he is the secretary), then enters Gurdjieff groups in 1948 for fifteen long months, after which he became editor of Combat in 1949 and columnist for the newspaper Paris-Presse. He will lead (among others) the Library World (forerunner of the “Pocket Book”), Carrefour, the monthly women’s magazine Marie Claire, and the magazine Arts and Culture in 1952. He published several novels during this period, including the highly acclaimed Love Monster, which are considered avant-garde novels, despite their more classical style. Love monster of votes received Prix Goncourt in 1955 and was cited by Serge Gainsbourg in his famous song “Initials BB”.
With Jacques Bergier (met in 1954 when he was literary editor of The Library World), he wrote in 1960 The Morning of the Magicians, in 1970 and subsequently suspended from the eternal Man. On November 25, 1960, he interviews Maurice Papon, Prefect of Paris police, making a portrait of him as a “humanist philosopher” Papon has just published The era of responsibility, a year before the massacre of 17 October 1961 .
The Morning of the Magicians and its extension periodic Planet Magazine, worth at Pauwels celebrity and create a craze in France for the paranormal, lost civilizations, and the mysteries of science.
An unusual convergence of literary merit and heartfelt experience, these essays by Pierre Schaeffer were first published in the anthology Gurdjieff, edited by Louis Pauwels in 1954. Pauwels mixes his notions of the occult and politics to brew conspiracy theories. He casts Gurdjieff as “scandalous”. His book Monsieur Gurdjieff first edition published in Paris France in 1954 by Editions du Seuil. He reconsidered and came to recognize that the Gurdjieff teaching was one of the most important and positive elements in his life.
Vladimir Ivanovich Pohl. Born 1875, died 1962. First educated in Kiev and later at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1904, he taught at a music school in Yalta, and from 1905 he served five years as director of the Moscow section of the Russian Music Society. In 1911 succeeded Rachmaninoff as the director of the Empress Maria Music Institute in Moscow. From 1918-19 he arranged with Makovsky a number of concerts and exhibitions at royal palaces across Yalta. After the revolution he fled Russia [circa. 1927] and settled in Paris where he was on the Council of The Belaïeff Editions, and a professor of composition at the Russian Conservatory in Paris.
In 1912 Gurdjieff launched his own system of psychophysical culture in Russia and Vladimir Pohl was among hist first early disciples.
Pohl showed much interest in occult and oriental literature coupled with a study of Sufi music.
John Boynton Priestley (1894-1984). British journalist, novelist, playwright, and essayist. Priestley’s output was vast and varied – he wrote over one hundred novels, plays, and essays, and is best known as the author of the novel The Good Companions (1929). A man of versatility, he was a patriot, cosmopolitan Yorkshireman, professional amateur, cultured Philistine, reactionary radical, and a common-sense spokesman for the ordinary man-in-the-street. Priestley refused both knighthood and peerage, but accepted in 1977 the prestigious Order of Merit.
A New Model of the Universe by Ouspensky produced a great impression on the novelist J.B. Priestley, who wrote one of his most enthusiastic essays about it “Evaluations of P.D
This thoughtful, well-illustrated examination reflects Priestley’s life-long fascination with the subject and draws on a wide variety of scientists, poets and philosophers to examine ideas about and experiences of time. He devotes an approving chapter titled “Esoteric School” and “Man and Time
Michel Random (1933-2008), is a writer, art critic, journalist, filmmaker, photographer and lecturer French.
Author of fifteen books, including essays on literature, art and the Far East, as well as books of poetry and philosophy, director of 25 hours of film for television, Michel Random was also a reporter, radio producer and editor, but also a photographer (her photographs were supplied, in addition to numerous exhibitions in France and abroad, his own books).
Random Michael has built his literary work around the major questions of being: The power within (1966) reveals the writer Luc Dietrich, and The Great Game (2 vols., 1970) –René Daumal and Roger Gilbert-Lecomte.
Passionate about quantum physics and life sciences, Michel Random published in 1987:Tradition and the living. He also devoted to Islamic thought a beautiful book illustrated with his photos: Mawlana, Sufism and Dance (1980).
Random Michael also participated in many international symposiums, including the Tsukuba (1984). Co-signer of the Declaration of Venice “(1985), he wrote the presentation in” Science and the Boundaries of Knowledge “(1987). There is also a signatory of the Declaration of Vancouver “on the survival of the planet (1989). The Men of Blame and the Fourth Way by Michel Random is a book about Gurdjieff and his teaching.
Through its many activities, Michel Random has always tried by the text or image, reach a larger audience, while demonstrating a vision that incorporates the values of being and art, science and knowledge, both contemporary and traditional.
Dr. Ida Rolf spent her life exploring the healing possibilities held within the human mind and body.
Dr Ida Pauline Rolf (1896 – 1979) was a native New Yorker who graduated from Barnard College in 1916. In 1920 she earned a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. For the next twelve years Ida Rolf worked at the Rockefeller Institute, first in the Department of Chemotherapy and later in the Department of Organic Chemistry. Eventually, she rose to the rank of Associate, no small achievement for a young woman in those days.
During the 1950’s, her reputation spread to England where she spent summers as a guest of John Bennett, a prominent mystic and student of Gurdjieff. She taught osteopaths in England, and also taught in Oslo, Norway.
Then, in the early 60’s, Dr Rolf was invited to Esalen Institute in California at the suggestion of Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt Therapy. There she found a group of people who, although they knew nearly nothing about anatomy and manipulation, understood both practically and intuitively what the professionals she had previously taught could not seem to get: a system-orientation to their clients, not a symptom-orientation.
The hippies at Esalen, not her natural kin (she was a Victorian woman and a scientist to boot), had been learning Gestalt therapy and studying Eastern thought. They were ready for her early exposition of holism: “Where you think it is, it ain’t,” and “If your symptoms get better, that’s your tough luck”. From this crowd, she began training practitioners and instructors of Structural Integration, and this led to the formation of the Rolf Institute and of “rolfing”.
The more Structural Integration classes Ida Rolf taught, the more students sought admission to training. Newspaper and magazine articles began featuring the person and work of Ida Rolf, and soon the necessity for a formal organization became apparent. As early as 1967, the first Guild for Structural Integration was loosely formed and eventually headquartered in a private home in Boulder, Colorado.
Until her death in 1979, Ida Rolf actively advanced training classes, giving direction to her organization, planning research projects, writing, publishing and public speaking. In 1977, she wrote Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structures (Harper and Row, Publishers). This book is the major written statement of Ida P. Rolf’s scholastic and experiential investigation into the direct intervention with the evolution of the human species. Another book compiled by Dr. Rolf’s close associate and companion, Rosemary Feitis, is Ida Rolf Talks About Rolfing and Physical Reality, which offers glimpses into a diverse and ever-inquiring mind. Ida Rolf Remembered gives many stories from early Rolf practitioners about difficult but rewarding encounters with Ida Rolf.
Vicountess Rothermere (1868 – 1937) born Maria Lilian Share, the future Lady Rothermere married into what would become one of the largest private fortune in England. When she wed Harold Sidney Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe was the publisher of the Daily Mail. Following American model of a small, cheap newspaper that provided brief and often lurid and scandalous stories.
In the summer 1921 she was already estranged from Lord Rothermere, nevertheless she was extremely prominent in London’s social and artistic circles.
Ouspensky was able to secure immigrant visas to the UK with the support of Lady Rothermere, and moved to London with his family. She provided an intellectual welcome for Ouspensky, the other the means for his journey. Orage and Lady Rothermere whipped up an audience for him, and we used to meet either in her studio, an appendage to her splendid house, or in a theosophical lecture room in Kensington, or in a doctor’s house in Harley Street. In the audience one saw doctors, psychologists, psychoanalysts, editors, writers, civil servants, theosophists of both sexes, clergymen, and a sprinkling of the men and women who are always attracted by the lure of the mysterious.
With funds provided by Lady Rothermere, Gurdjieff had acquired the historic Château du Prieuré, once the residence of Madame de Maintenon, the consort of Louis Quatorze, and in latter years the property of Labori, the attorney for the exonerated French officer, Dreyfus.
Lady Rotheremere had lost two of her sons in WWI died on March 16.1937 as Europe hovered on the brink of a second world war.
Rubbra left school at fourteen and worked briefly as an errand boy and then a railway clerk. He came to lessons with Cyril Scott, later he was taught by Gustav Holst and Reginald Owen Morris at the Royal College of Music. During his Army service in World War II he founded a Piano Trio, and this “Rubbra-Gruenberg-Pleth Trio” continued for some years after the war. He worked as a lecturer at Oxford University from 1947-1968. Brought up Congregationalist, he was attracted by gnosticism but received Catholic faith in 1948, although he also was influenced by Hindu and Buddhist teachings. His last years were tarnished by a stroke.
A strongly spiritual man, fascinated by Eastern religious thought, and an ardent Catholic besides, Rubbra wrote much fine choral and vocal music to texts of mystical significance of one sort or another. The soothing, meditative qualities of the harp, and its ability to suggest the figurations and sonorities of instruments of the east made it a natural choice for the composer to use in many different contexts, and this fine collection brings them all together, from his transcription of a traditional Japanese melody to his complete songs with harp, all of which are quite exquisite. A revealing glimpse of the great English symphonist as calligraphic miniaturist in music.
In search of some higher category Rubbra refers his interest to Ouspensky. Tertinum’s “key to the emigma of the world” was a “third mode of thinking”.
Denis Saurat (1890-June 7, 1958) was an Anglo-French scholar and writer, on a wide range of topics. His views on the connection in the early modern period between poetry, such as that of Edmund Spenser and John Milton, and the occult represented in particular by the Kabbalah, were ahead of their time: not surviving close scholarly analysis, they yet anticipated later studies such as that of Frances Yates.
After receiving a doctorate of the University of Bordeaux, and a lauréat des concours d’agrégation in 1919, he became associated with the Department of French at King’s College London from 1920. He was director for many years of the French Institute of London.
He had met Gurdjieff at the Prieuré at Orage’s suggestion and had been profoundly impressed. Saurat, a son of peasants, had a deep understanding of the rich current of life that, flowing under the glittering exterior, has almost nothing in common with this exterior—I mean the life of simple people, peasants and the middle classes who themselves are almost unconscious of it. He wrote about it in Gods of the People, The End of Fear, The Christ at Chartres; also, he had traced the influence of the occult tradition in English literature from Spenser to Milton and Blake. “A Visit to Gourdyev” by Denis Saurat was originally published in French as Visite à Gourdjieff. Denis Saurat visited the Prieuré for a weekend in February 1923. Saurat describes his contradictory impressions of Gurdjieff who appears alternately contemptuous, provocative, irritable then finally serious and “extraordinarily courteous.” This skeptical article became raw material for subsequent skepticism about Gurdjieff among French intellectuals and journalists. Saurat later revised his opinion of Gurdjieff and his teaching and came to recognize Beelzebub’s Tales as a major work. Beelzebub’s Tales Fifty Years Later Commentary by Denis Saurat were issued.
Pierre Schaeffer (1910 – 1995) was a man of varied and outstanding accomplishments – an engineer, theorist, researcher, telecommunications pioneer, critic, essayist, musician and composer who developed Concrete Music. His impressions of Gurdjieff offer an exceptional convergence of heartfeel experience and literary merit.
“The Old Man and His Movements”, A Session of “Movements” – Pierre Schaeffer provides an exceptionally intelligent and heartfelt glimpse of his experience in Gurdjieff’s movements class.
By that time, Schaeffer had founded the Jeune France group, which had interests in theatre and visual art as well as music. In 1942, he co-founded the Studio d’Essai (later known as the Club d’Essai), which played an role in the activities of the French resistance during World War II, and became a centre of musical activity afterwards.
In 1949, Schaeffer met Pierre Henry, and the two founded the Group de Recherche de Musique Concrète (GRMC) which received official recognition from ORTF in 1951. They gave him a new studio, which included a tape recorder. This was a significant development for Schaeffer, who had previously had to work with turntables to produce his music. His continued experimentation led him to publish A la recherche d’une musique concrète (The Search for a Concrete Music) in 1952, which was a summation of his working methods up to that point.
Schaeffer left the GRMC in 1953, but reformed it in 1958 with Luc Ferrari and François-Bernard Mâche as the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM).
Schaeffer took a number of teaching posts, including an associate professorship at the Paris Conservatoire from 1968 where he taught electronic composition.
Ernst Friedrich “Fritz” Schumacher (16 August 1911 – 4 September 1977) was an internationally influential economic thinker with a professional background as a statistician and economist in Britain.
He is best known for his critique of Western economies and his proposals for human-scale, decentralized and appropriate technologies. His bookSmall Is Beautiful (1973) was translated into many languages and brought him international fame. Schumacher’s basic development theories have been summed up in the catch-phrases Intermediate Size and Intermediate Technology.
His other notable work is the 1977 A Guide For The Perplexed, which is a critique of materialist scientism and an exploration of the nature and organization of knowledge.
Together with long-time friends and associates like Professor Mansur Hoda, Schumacher founded the Intermediate Technology Development Group (now Practical Action) in 1966.
Schumacher was influenced John Bennett, who attempted to integrate scientific research with the philosophic and esoteric ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff and his one-time pupil P. D. Ouspensky.
Idries Shah was born in Simla, India, in 1924, of an aristocratic Afghan family, the Saadat of Paghman.
A foremost authority on Sufism, Shah presented key Sufi concepts, stripped of cultural and religious accretions, to a Western audience. He maintained that much of the work of Western psychology was pioneered, centuries ago, by Sufis.
His books have sold more than fifteen million copies in twenty languages worldwide, and covered numerous genres, including psychology, Islamic thought, belles-lettres, humour and problem-solving.
A great many of Shah’s books use teaching stories to pass on ideas and information.
Some shared that the real writer of the book was Idries Shah who was an advanced Sufi spiritual teacher associated with the Naqsbandi Sufis and who had attained the level of a “Hadrat” (one who is established in the divine presence).
Idries Shah tried to reorient the groups of Gurdjieff followers and to include them in the system of influence created by him.
In one passage he said, that beyond a certain point, “self remembering” needed to be replaced by “God remembering” (solar self remembering) or it would start to produce some wrong results. This is something that I do align with from my own practice. This is because humans already have a “delusion of self” that the Buddha wanted to dispel and it is important that this delusion does not “crystallize” into a relatively permanent feature of our feeling of who we are. When efforts to self remember are made without the medicine of the Buddha’s teaching about “no self”, this is likely to happen.
To a large extent, Idries Shah claimed that Sufism incorporated Gurdjieff’s idea of the fourth way; but it is common to find explanations for the sources of Gurdjieff’s ideas from whatever tradition one upholds.
To answer why it was introduced at this time is not easy. There are suggestions that, in this time of rapid transition and exceeding turmoil, new impulses need to enter humanity and these cannot be transmitted through the traditional ways.
Idries Shah died in London in November 1996.
Psychophysiologist and parapsychologist. He was born on April 29, 1937, in Morrisville, Pennsylvania.
Tart’s research has ranged across the field of parapsychological concerns and been the subject of numerous papers, but he is possibly most respected for his studies of states of consciousness and transpersonal psychology. This research resulted in two classic volumes Altered States of Consciousness(1969) and Transpersonal Psychologies (1975).
“Waking Up” is Charles T.Tart’s exposition of Gurdieffian ideas in terms of contemporary cognitive sciences and plain-spoken common sense. Learning to pay attention, for example, is one of the first steps toward full awakening. Where Gurdjieff’s students performed esoteric exercises, Tart shows how you can exercise the same faculty by playing a game of ordinary solitaire with the right kind of mindfulness.
In his 1986 book Waking Up, he introduced the phrase “consensus trance” to the lexicon. Tart likened normal waking consciousness to hypnotic trance. He discussed how each of us is from birth inducted to the trance of the society around us. Tart noted both similarities and differences between hypnotic trance induction and consensus trance induction. He emphasized the enormous and pervasive power of parents, teachers, religious leaders, political figures, and others to compel induction. Referring to the work of Gurdjieff and others he outlines a path to awakening based upon self-observation.
James Charles Napier Webb (January 13, 1946 – May 9, 1980) was a Scottish historian and biographer. He was born in Edinburgh, was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. He is remembered primarily for two works The Occult Underground and The Occult Establishment. Occult Underground was originally titled Flight from Reason. He also wrote an important, and somewhat debated biography of G. I. Gurdjieff, The Harmonious Circle. His theories of Gurdjieff’s identity as a foreign agent, and theories on where he actually travelled before 1917, are the controversial points in this book. It is considered to be the most comprehensive Gurdjieff biography.
Webb’s work challenges theories of secularism, theories of decline in organised religion and spirituality. Webb argued that the 19th and 20th centuries had also been marked by a revolt against the Enlightenment, and that the rise of irrationalism was much more marked than the rise of rationalism, especially before, during and after the First World War and the Second World War. Webb traced the influence of occult and mystical groups and writers on literature, philosophy and politics.
Webb was generally ignored in his lifetime, but with the increasing rise of New Age spirituality in later years, his work now seems increasingly prescient. After increasing mental health difficulties, Webb committed suicide in 1980.
(1908-76) was one of the greatest American photographers of the period after the Second World War as well as one of the greatest teachers of the medium. One of the best-known names in photography until the end of the 1970s, his life and work has since then virtually dropped out of photographic discourse. Probably for many younger photographers his name means little or nothing.
White was a deeply religious man whose whole life was a spiritual journey. His photography arose out of this and was an inherent part of this pilgrimage. It isn’t an approach that has been fashionable in academic circles in recent years.
In 1952, White became editor of Aperture. When CSFA cut its photography programme, Beaumont Newhall invited him to the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, where he curated exhibitions 1953-6. In 1956, White joined the Rochester Institute of Technology, inaugurating his famous photography workshops, whose ethos of personal growth included exercises in awareness derived from G. I. Gurdjieff, and Jungian and Gestalt psychology. He expanded this work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1965, and in 1970 received a Guggenheim Fellowship for ‘Consciousness in Photography and the Creative Audience’, a manuscript on universalizing photographic expression. In 1970, the Philadelphia Museum of Art mounted a national tour of his photographs. White’s own exhibitions attracted controversy; he was accused of mystical obfuscation in Octave of Prayer (MIT, 1972), which suggested that photographs of the external world might correspond to spiritual inwardness. Ill health brought White’s retirement from MIT in 1974, and he gave up editing Aperture in 1975, though he continued to photograph until his death. His archives are at Princeton University, and his book.
Colin Wilson is a renowned authority on the paranormal and is the author of over fifty books, with subjects ranging from mysticism, to criminology. He has also written numerous articles and plays and contributed to several newspapers and journals. He regards himself primarily as a philosopher concerned with the meaning of human existence.
Aside from being a pretty decent introduction to Gurdjieff’s life and ideas, Wilson manages to present a novel take on Gurfjieff and the ‘Work.’ There are so many ways of looking at it all, from Ouspensky’s dense and logical essays, to Gurdjieff’s own oft-impenetrable tomes.
Wilson also sums up with a critical look at Gurdjieff’s ideas and his perpetually troubled relationship with P.D. Ouspensky.
Wright, Frank Lloyd (1867-1959), American architect, a pioneer in the modern style who is considered one of the greatest figures in 20th-century architecture. He was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin. In 1887 Wright went to Chicago, where he became a designer for the firm of Adler and Sullivan. In 1893 he established his own office in Chicago. Wright created the philosophy of “organic architecture,” which maintains that a building should develop out of its natural surroundings. His designs for both private and public structures were boldly original, and he rebelled against ornate neoclassic and Victorian styles. Wright believed that architectural form must be determined by the particular function of a building, its environment, and the type of materials used. His interiors emphasize spaciousness, which derives from open planning with one room flowing into another.
In 1928, Frank Lloyd Wright and his new, dynamic wife, Olgivanna, decided to repair the Hillside Home School buildings and reopen it as an institution devoted to architecture and the allied arts. Olgivanna Lloyd Wright encouraged and broadened her husband’s interest in education based on philosophy of spiritual development, which were stressed in Gurdjieff’s school hard work, self-discipline, sacrifices and suffering, self-awareness, and conscious effort, often through performance. Olgivanna excelled in music and dance, and she came to the United States ready to put her learning into practice.
In 1931 Frank and Olgivanna Lloyd Wright circulated a prospectus to an international group of distinguished scholars, artists, and friends, announcing their plan to form a school at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin to “Learn by Doing.”
In the winter of 1935 Frank and Olgivanna Lloyd Wright moved the entire Fellowship to Chandler, Arizona, where they constructed the model of Broadacre City, Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept of the integration of living and working in successfully planned communities. This first winter in Arizona inaugurated the tradition of moving the School between Wisconsin and Arizona that still continues. After the first two winters in temporary quarters, he purchased land in Scottsdale and, in 1937, with the apprentices, began the construction of a new kind of desert architecture at Taliesin West.
After Frank Lloyd Wright’s death, the Senior Fellows incorporated an architectural firm to continue the practice and to mentor the apprentices. These activities now took place under the umbrella of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation which Frank Lloyd Wright established in 1940 by deeding to it all of his personal and intellectual property. His will confirmed his gift to the Foundation, and after 1959 it became the governing entity for all of the activities at Taliesin with Olgivanna Lloyd Wright serving as its president until her death in 1985.
Gurdjeef at Taliesin by Frank Lloyd Wright – this newspaper article was published in the Capitol Times (Madison, Wisconsin) on Sunday, August 26, 1934. The relationship between Gurdjieff and Frank Lloyd Wright began when Olgivanna Hinzenberg, one of Gurdjieff’s pupils from 1919 to 1924, married Wright. Gurdjieff and Wright first met in June of 1934 at Taliesin in southern Wisconsin. Wright was never Gurdjieff’s pupil in any conventional sense.
Rene Zuber was originally intended to be an engineer. He became an engineer and the Arts and Manufactures in 1924, but soon he graduated, he moved to the National Academy of Graphic Arts and the Leipzig Book where he was a professor Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.
Back in Paris, he met Louis-Victor Emmanuel Sougez and worked with him to illustrate it. As evidenced by the recent release of Rene Zuber, New Objectivity, and the exhibition at the Museum Zuber-Nicephore Niepce, René Zuber earned a place of pioneering photographer in France between the wars.
He was part of Gurdjieff groups and published a book about his experience of this teaching: Who are you Mr. Gurdjieff? (The Courier Book, 1977; wind editions, 1997). On the issue that serves as the book, he also spoke with his camera, performing a series of films about famous movements Gurdjieff groups. Rene Zuber met Gurdjieff since 1943.
French language documentary film George Gurdjieff was produced by Jean-Claude Lubtchansky with the participation of René Zuber. Paris 1976.