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The Harmonious Circle: The Lives and Work of G. I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, and Their Followers Paperback – September 12, 1987


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1St Edition edition (September 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877734275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877734277
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,722,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book avoids the devoutly worshipful attitude of Moore, Patterson, Bennett and thier moon-mad ilk, and likewise doesn't fall into the pit occupied by the kinds of outright misrepresentations of fact found in so many other books, like those fairly recent things written by some well-known Brits (a psychologist, a lit professor and a famous occult writer). This is a complete presentation of the lives of G. and O., drawing the only conclusion possible: G's ideas are a brilliant but derivative hash made out of a random assortment of old occult documents and a little bit of hearsay. But the book says all this with a remarkable grace, depth and style; this man knows what he is talking about and knows how to say it. Rare in this genre.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By david_jones@bssc.edu.au on July 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
Anyone who is at this site has the very exciting prospect of finding the actual TRUTH. A huge claim you may say but one that was made by Gurdjieff. Questions such as is there life after death can be answered. The question more importantly is can you accept the answers. Having read much in this line I was enthralled when I found such an excellent book in my favourite second hand bookshop. Whilst it didn't fall of the shelves it was THERE. Webb has touched the very essence of the work and he is to be congratulated on the presentation of the work. There are times when we know that we have finally got it right. Knowing is a solid element. I strongly recommend the book to searchers of the Truth.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I taught a class on Gurdjieff. This book was a great help. I would recommend it highly for anyone interested.
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13 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
Don't get the wrong idea. This book IS an entertaining read, but that is about it. There are many books in the "Gurdjieff field". Most are fairly shallow because they are "about" events and personalities of people involved in the "work". Other books are first hand accounts and though subjective too, reading of the difficulties that "veterans" encounter as well as the insights they experience can be useful to those seeking the same path. Only a handful of books are truly essential (as far as reading goes). This book belongs to the first category mentioned above. Full of many interesting stories and conjecture, this is not a book for those looking at gaining a deeper understanding of what is ultimately important. However, water does indeed seek it's own level and for those wanting a good fix of the superficial, this book is for you. I'd be careful about buying this book as a gift.
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7 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Don't get the wrong idea. This book IS an entertaining read, but that is about it. There are many books in the "Gurdjieff field." Several are vitally important and many are useful to varying degrees, but there are quite a few that are a mere litany of second hand accounts, innuendo and gossup. Such is The Harmonious Circle.
There are a few authors that do the subject justice: De Hartmann, Anderson, Peters, however, James Webb is NOT one of them. Other books are first hand accounts and though subjective too, reading of the difficulties that those students encountered, as well as the insights they experienced, can be useful to those seeking a path. On the other hand, this book is written by an author who is unfortunately not qualified to write about Gurdjieff (or his "followers"). This book is far from being "the best" (maybe the "best" of the worst).
Full of a few interesting stories and much conjecture, this is not a book for those looking at gaining a deeper understanding of the significance of Gurdjieff's ideas or an accurate picture of the man. However, water does indeed seek it's own level and for those wanting a good fix of the superficial, this book is for you - an easy read especially if you like reading rambling opinions. I'd be careful about buying this book as a gift. Try James Moore's Anatomy of a Myth, instead. I give The Harmonious Circle 2 stars because it might be of some use - like lining the cage of your American canary.
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