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In Search of the Miraculous (Harvest Book) Paperback – September 28, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


Fascinating and provocative."-The New York Times Book Review
A very provocative book that can lead to a complete reassessment of what a reader takes to be his knowledge."-Saturday Review

About the Author

P. D. Ouspensky was born in Moscow in 1878 and died in 1947. A highly respected intellectual and former student of G. I. Gurdjieff, he authored such critically acclaimed books as The Fourth Dimension, Tertium Organum, A New Model of the Universe, and In Search of the Miraculous, which was published posthumously.

Marianne Williamson is a philosopher, speaker, teacher, and author who lectures regularly about the application of spiritual principles to daily living. Her highly acclaimed and bestselling books include A Return to Love, A Woman's Worth, and Illuminata. She lives in Michigan.


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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Book
  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Revised edition (September 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156007460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156007467
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

247 of 272 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Having read just about everything written by or about Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Collin, Orage, Nicoll, and countless disciples, spin-offs, Sufis, etc., etc., and having been drawn by them into spending years in a Gurdjieff "school," and being familiar with the traditions on which the Gurdjieff approach was based, I take a lot of the "fourth way" material with a large grain of salt. The core of the "work" is a powerful methodology, but no more so than, say, vipassana, zen, dzogchen or other solid, meditation-based tradition. There is nothing about the fourth way that is any more "esoteric" than these other traditions (that's right, nothing). The biggest difference is that Gurdjieff left behind a legacy of fraudulent teachers and cults, whereas there are many Buddhist and other groups that are reliable. (Certainly, Buddhist and other groups, being made up of people, have their flaws, and there are things to be learned in some (not all!) Gurdjieff groups, but decades of hard-won experience allows me to say that the Gurdjieff tradition is peculiar in attracting power-hungry charlatans who exploit the "rascal sage" idea to gather suckers around themselves. It happens in other traditions, but there, it tends to end in disgrace. In fourth way groups, duping people seems to be a point of pride.) Even groups that are not necessarily exploitative or fraudulent tend to attract people who especially like the idea of being "esoteric," to use a term Ouspensky used, but which was far more appropriate eighty years ago than it is today. That is, they like to imagine they've contacted the "real" inner work--as opposed to those fools who imagine any other traditions can lead to awakening.Read more ›
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Aeneas on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
The only regret I have is that I didn't read this book 20 years ago. It is a powerful description of the spiritual journey with deep insights into the human psyche. Ouspensky in this book outlines in probably one of the clearest ways the Fourth Way teachings of Gurdjieff. He outlines what the problem is for modern man and then procedes to show the way out. In the words of Gurdjieff man is just a machine, that acts mechanically to everything. In other words things just happen:

"He cannot stop the flow of his thoughts, he cannot control his imagination, his emotions, his attention. He lives in a subjective world of 'I love,' 'I do not love,' 'I like,' 'I do not like,' 'I want,' 'I do not want,' that is, of what he thinks he likes, of what he thinks he does not like, of what he thinks he wants, of what he thinks he does not want. He does not see the real world. The real world is hidden from him by the wall of imagination. He lives in sleep. He is asleep. What is called 'clear consciousness' is sleep and a far more dangerous sleep than sleep at night in bed.
"Let us take some event in the life of humanity. For instance, war. There is a war going on at the present moment. What does it signify? It signifies that several millions of sleeping people are trying to destroy several millions of other sleeping people. They would not do this, of course, if they were to wake up. Everything that takes place is owing to this sleep."

It is a book that is filled with information and things to reflect on and therefore needless to say a book that I will go back to and reread again and again.

If you are really interested in getting out of the matrix and wonder how, then buy this book as the first thing you do.
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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I discovered this amazing gem in a used book store and interestingly read it at the same time I read Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolutions". I couldn't possibly heap too much praise on either of these books. Both are life-transforming for those of a scientific bent, and for others too. I opened Ouspensky at random and started reading about the distribution of knowledge among people. He cured me of untold anxiety concerning why so few people have a clue when he said that knowledge has power only to the extent it is concentrated in a few people, how the mass of humanity freely discards what little knowledge is allotted them, and particularly how at certain times humanity discards vast amounts of knowledge in favor of mass insanity. He was of course thinking of the Great War but the parallels to today are beyond scary as we face the potential of World War in the Balkans, at the same time that vast amounts of truth concerning for example the importance of nutrition in human disease is being discarded in favor of the "disease" of genetic determinism. This distribution of knowledge observation is both a depressing (since it's totally observably true) and an exhilerating discovery (I no longer feel personally responsible for illuminating anyone since I know the mass of humanity doesn't want knowledge, only answers; an immediate present need associated with their own pleasure principle gratification.)
And that was just opening it at random! The stuff on the fourth way also was incredible, especially since I had been grappeling with that for some. Though I know that illumination may never come except for brief glimpses, I now know at least by using the fourth way (working on your body, mind, and faith simultaneously), I am on the only truly practical path to illumination.
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