Gurdjieff International Review


A Well-Prepared Tradition

In her essay contained in this issue, “G. Gurdjieff: A Call for Attention to his Life and Work,” Louise March indicates that Mr. Gurdjieff “left the world a fourfold legacy:

  1. His writings,
  2. His music,
  3. His movements and sacred dances, and
  4. A well-prepared tradition through his older students.”
Today, 50 years after Gurdjieff’s death, there is an increasing risk of being misled into believing that Gurdjieff’s writings, music, and movements stand alone as an expression of his teaching. The call for “harmonious development” demands an integration of these forms, and one clear integrating factor is the well-prepared tradition that Gurdjieff passed on through his pupils.

But what is this tradition? It is composed primarily of the undocumented body of methods, practices, and exercises handed down orally from Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff had many more pupils than is commonly known. In this issue we focus on several of them: Hugh Ripman, Paul E. Anderson, Helen Adie, Edwin Wolfe, William Welch, and Louise March. For the most part, they chose to remain out of the public spotlight.

As direct witnesses of Gurdjieff’s teachings, these pupils—like many others—realized that they owed a debt to Gurdjieff and that they could never repay him directly. But they did attempt to do so by starting their own groups and passing on to others what they themselves had received. Their own well-prepared traditions continue to live today in their on-going groups.

This issue is dedicated to J. Walter Driscoll, whose contributions to the Gurdjieff International Review have been invaluable.

Greg Loy

Copyright © 2003 Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing
Featured: Spring 2003 Issue, Vol. VI (1)
Revision: April 1, 2003