Gurdjieff
International Review

Spring 2001 Issue, Vol. IV No. 2

Our twelfth issue offers—from several perspectives and points in time—illuminating glimpses of Gurdjieff and the spread of his teaching over the past eighty years. All back issues are available in their entirety as printed copies.

Georges Gurdjieff: A French Documentary Film
[Excerpt Only]

The first English text of a 1976 French language documentary film—produced by Jean-Claude Lubtchansky—on the life and teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff. Narrated by Pierre Schaeffer and interspersed with interviews of Michel de Salzmann, René Zuber, Philippe Lavastine, Maurice Desselle, Henri Tracol, and Jean Vaysse, each of whom knew Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff’s Self-Revelation
A review of Meetings with Remarkable Men

This review of Meetings with Remarkable Men by Manuel Rainoird was first published in French in Critique (Paris), No. XVI (162), November, 1960, at the same time as publication of Gurdjieff’s book in French. In this first English translation, Rainoird’s thoughtful observations include both Meetings with Remarkable Men and Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson.

Louise Welch — Essence Friend

David Young met Mrs. Welch in 1960 and studied with her until she died forty years later. In preparing this article, he drew on videotapes and an archive of unpublished notes as well as his many meetings with her. “It is clear now that we understood only part of what she said then. We were helped, and felt grateful, but we took in only what our little cups could hold—and they were filled to overflowing. But it was often only much later, when we had more experience, that we could understand what she was giving us. I am still learning from her.”

Louise Welch
A Poem by Martha Heyneman

Martha Heyneman worked with Louise Welch for several decades. Her poem provides a heartfelt eulogy and fitting conclusion to David Young’s tribute.

The Essence of the Work
An Interview with Jacob Needleman

[Excerpt Only]

Dr. Jacob Needleman is interviewed by Gnosis Magazine for inclusion in their first special issue on the topic of ‘Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way.’ Needleman speaks frankly about what he has found evidence for and personally verified in Gurdjieff’s teachings. He emphasizes Gurdjieff’s psychological ideas about the levels of consciousness and his aim “to awaken the power of conscience.”

A Passion for Understanding
Notes from an Orage Group, New York, 1927

[Excerpt Only]

This material is edited from the notes and letters of Frederick Schneider (1883–1933), who was a student of A. R. Orage in New York in the late 1920s, and spent time at the Prieuré. While the material overlaps some published sources, it offers a fresh contemporaneous report of Gurdjieff’s teaching as transmitted by Orage.

In Denikin’s Russia: A Journey Through Georgia

Carl Eric Bechhofer Roberts, a professional journalist who spoke Russian and had previously traveled to Russia and the Caucasus, was acquainted with Ouspensky when he undertook an assignment to report on conditions there in 1919. Roberts engagingly describes a series of meetings he had with “a curious individual named Georgiy Ivanovich Gourjiev” as well as an informed assessment of the volatile social and political situations he encountered throughout the Caucasus. His skeptical but admiring observations provide the first published account in English about Gurdjieff, who gave Roberts an insider’s tour of Tiflis. Excerpted from his In Denikin’s Russia and the Caucasus, 1919–1920, pp. 63–68, London: Collins, 1921; New York: Arno, 1971; Salem: Ayer, 1992.

Two Accounts of an Evening with Gurdjieff

Excerpts from Episodes with Gurdjieff by Edwin Wolfe and from Witchcraft: Its Power In the World Today by William Seabrook. Seabrook recalls his occasional meetings with Gurdjieff in New York between 1924 and 1931 and characterizes him as a white magician. “I’m not sure I’d care to be one of Gurdjieff’s disciples. The man had power.” Seabrook concludes his ten-page section on Gurdjieff with an account of a late night reading from Beelzebub’s Tales. Wolfe was a member of Gurdjieff’s close entourage, particularly in New York. The two accounts of the same evening stand in sharp mutual contrast.

ME — I AM

This incisive essay by Mrs. Staveley was published in 1984 by Two Rivers Press and is reprinted here with their kind permission. It was read on March 21st at the funeral of Michael Smyth—the proprietor of Abintra Books, a long time student of Mrs. Staveley, and founding member of Two Rivers Farm—who died on March 18, 2001.

Web Publication Only

Peter Brook and Traditional Thought

Nicolescu’s extended examination draws striking parallels between the immediacy of live theater in Brook’s productions, events in quantum mechanics, Gurdjieff’s laws of three and seven, and the development of a universal language based on an evolution of consciousness. Translated from the French by David Williams.

About This Publication

The Gurdjieff International Review is published by Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing. Any information or opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or editors.
G. I. Gurdjieff Gurdjieff’s passport photo from the 1930s.


With him, you had an extraordinary impression… It’s something that everyone, to some extent, has a taste of—this potential which is impossible to realize by oneself—it appeared when you saw that man, when you saw him in himself, complete, missing nothing that was happening, noticing even the tiniest details.

Maurice Desselle

He was a danger. A real threat. A threat for one’s self-calming, a threat for the little regard one had of oneself, a threat for the comfortable repertoire where we generally live. But at the moment when this threat appeared, like a ditch to cross, a threshold to step over, one was helped to cross it by his presence itself.

Michel de Salzmann

Meetings with Remarkable Men has exemplary value. We are presented with models to follow. It is the “how” that follows from Beelzebub’s Tales. But it may not seem that way at first.

Manuel Rainoird

Do not try to change. Study. When you work, something drops away of itself.

Louise Welch

Now we have a very dramatic moment in the Work, the third generation, older pupils who didn’t know Gurdjieff directly. This is the turning point. Time will tell whether we can continue to gather and be a channel for the forces that Gurdjieff set in motion.

Jacob Needleman

Here one could meet the most interesting people. One afternoon I sat at a table with … a curious individual named Georgiy Ivanovich Gourjiev.

C. E. Bechhofer Roberts


Copyright © 2001
Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing

April 1, 2001