In Search of Being: The Fourth Way to Consciousness


  • By: G. I. Gurdjieff
  • 2021 | Paperback
  • ISBN is 9781611800821 / 161180082X
  • Publisher: Shambhala

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Over one hundred years ago in Russia, G. I. Gurdjieff introduced a spiritual teaching of conscious evolution—a way of gnosis or “knowledge of being” passed on from remote antiquity. Gurdjieff’s early talks in Europe were published in the form of chronological fragments preserved by his close followers P. D. Ouspensky and Jeanne de Salzmann. Now these teachings are presented as a comprehensive whole, covering a variety of subjects including states of consciousness, methods of self-study, spiritual work in groups, laws of the cosmos, and the universal symbol known as the Enneagram. Gurdjieff respected traditional religious practices, which he regarded as falling into three general categories or “ways”: the Way of the Fakir, related to mastery of the physical body; the Way of the Monk, based on faith and feeling; and the Way of the Yogi, which focuses on development of the mind. He presented his teaching as a “Fourth Way” that integrates these three aspects into a single path of self-knowledge. The principles are laid out as a way of knowing and experiencing an awakened level of being that must be verified for oneself.


About the Author:

G. I. Gurdjieff

George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. In his early years, he participated in expeditions that went in search of ancient teachings, partly documented in his book Meetings with Remarkable Men. His quest led him to a secret brotherhood, from which he seemed to have returned in possession of a unique system. In 1910, Gurdjieff imported that system to Russia. He translated his eastern knowledge and experience into a language palatable to twentieth century western man. He called his discipline the “Fourth Way,” a blend of the three traditional ways of the Fakir, the Monk and the Yogi (read more about the Fourth Way). However, the Bolshevik Revolution and the first World War forced Gurdjieff to migrate and eventually end up in France, where he opened his “Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man.” Gurdjieff’s influence extended throughout Europe and as far as America, but the declining social order and World War II prevented him from further formalizing his organization. He was forced to close the institute and spent the latter part of his life writing books: Life Is Real Only Then, When ‘I Am’, All and Everything, Meetings With Remarkable Men and Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson. He died in France on October 29, 1949.


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