Right around the turn of the 20th century, G.I. Gurdjieff initiated a group of spiritual adventurers called the "Seekers of Truth." These intrepid intellectuals of every stripe crisscrossed Africa and Asia in search of the hidden mysteries of antiquity. In Meetings with Remarkable Men
, Gurdjieff narrates their exploits while drawing portraits of these extraordinary figures (including one woman and a dog). Half travel journal, half autobiography, Meetings with Remarkable Men
begins with Gurdieff's childhood, when he finds his book learning at odds with paranormal events that were self-evident but inexplicable through modern science. Later he discovers a map of "pre-sands Egypt" and evidence of the Sarmound Brotherhood, alleged keepers of ancient wisdom dating back four and a half millennia. He climbs the Himalayas, follows the Nile, and is led blindfolded to a mysterious monastery. In his encounters with dervishes, monks, and fakirs, Gurdjieff recovers the wisdom he seeks; by comparison, European understanding, he says, is backwards and barbaric. A controversial figure in his time, Gurdjieff inspired deep love and loyalty in his pupils and ridicule from skeptics. At the bookends of Meetings with Remarkable Men
, Gurdjieff suggests the value of blurring the line between allegory and straight reporting. But then what exactly is Meetings with Remarkable Men
? You be the judge. --Brian Bruya
About the Author
G. I. Gurdjieff
was born in 1887 in Alexandropol. After studying with spiritual masters in the Near East and Asia, he founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in France.