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Views from the Real World: Early Talks Moscow Essentuki Tiflis Berlin London Paris NY Chicago as Recollecte (Compass) Paperback – July 19, 1991


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Text: English, Russian (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Compass
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (July 19, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140190643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140190649
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was assembled by Gurdjieff's primary students in the years following his death, from their memories and notes of his talks. While it provides neither the brilliant structure and narrative of "In Search of the Miraculous," nor the transcendent genius of "Beelzebub's Tales," this book is one of the fundamental cornerstones of Fourth Way teachings. Reading the negative review that appears alongside this one is informative. This book does not provide a "new-age" easy-answer view of our situation. It instead puts forth an honest critique of who and how we are -- but more important, it points the way to the possibility of change. I personally rank this book next in importance behind Gurdjieff's "All and Everything" (Tales, Meetings, and Life is Real) and Ouspensky's "In Search." Of course, what is important is that one applies the ideas to ones life. Otherwise there are millions of volumes that are more fun or at least less of a challenge.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Laura LeLievre on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
True account of 40 talks by Gurdjieff from his pupils and Jeanne de Salzmann. These talks provide a vital record of the fluid, 'search-demanding,' approach inherent in the oral tradition of his works. These supplement his writings and provide a glimpse of a teaching to be PRACTICED instead of 'grasped' as information.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you already have an inkling that life is all about acquiring a substance (for want of another word) that will last - here's a book that will outline the thought further and will prompt you to question your intentions and self-awareness in a very powerful way. It states the HOW as clearly as you could wish for.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Reijo Oksanen on May 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
There is no doubt that "In Search of the Miraculous" by Ouspensky is presenting Gurdjieff's ideas very much like they were delivered mainly in Russia in 1915-1918. However, the talks in "Views from the Real World" have for me even a more authentic tone, although the presentation is not systematic.
Many of the talks in the "Views" are delivered in du Prieuré, Paris or New York in 1922-1924 and only one after his accident in 1924 (1930 in New York). The book has also over 30 pages of the article called "Glimpses of Truth" that Ouspensky was listening to when he was first introduced to Gurdjieff and the aphorisms that decorated the Study House in du Prieuré.
A sample of what I mean by 'even a more authentic tone' is the way Gurdjieff explains in a talk called "Now I am sitting here..." the process of self-remembering, the technique used to access the state of consciousness, which he defines as 'self-consciousness', in which we are more awake than in our normal 'waking state'.
He explains first how we can differenciate between sensations and feelings giving examples of sensations of the body, like warmth, posture and eating and the feelings resulting from memory of his mother and other similar feelings.
On p. 239 he says:
"For primary exercises in self-remembering the participation of all three centers is necessary, and we began to speak of the difference between feelings and sensations because it is necessary to have simultaneously both feeling and sensation.
We can come to this exercise only with the participation of thought. The first thing is thought.... At the beginning all three need to be evoked aritificially.... I repeat: artificial things are necessary only in the beginning."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Swakie on March 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a transliteration of G. speaking to an audience and answering their various questions. Moving, succinct, and of course, different from his other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Zadius Sky on April 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Views from the Real World" is a collection of early talks produced by G.I. Gurdjieff himself during the early 1920s. Since this book is not organized in a right order but composed of different subjects, it is nevertheless one of the gems and most insightful read.

This book is little over 280 pages, and consisted of roughly 40 subjects. I personally felt these talks were essential and well worth reading and be put into practice. This inspiring book, along with In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, is well worth read and re-read. When reading this book with one perspective, you will find re-reading it with new perspective and discover a new shock of insight.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kieran Fox on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm hardly a 'Fourth Way' aficionado, but I've read through a fair number of books relating to Gurdjieff's life and thought, and I wish I'd come across this one first. Like many people, my introduction to Gurdjieff was via P.D. Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous," which is fairly dense and long, despite being a good introduction - furthermore, it is Gurdjieff as presented by Ouspensky, not Gurdjieff himself.

But if you try to get at the man's own words, you will usually run up against the relatively serious impenetrability of his main works (e.g., Beelzebub).

'Views from the Real World' gives you the best of both worlds: it is written in an accessible and clear way, yet it gives a very nice overview of many of Gurdjieff's key ideas and opinions, and in his own words. Well, almost - it is actually the quasi-transcripts of many of his early talks given in Russia, Europe and the United States, but as G. forbid his students from writing things down as he spoke, we can't be sure how accurate it is. All of it was taken down after the fact from memory and in consultation with others present at the talks.

Interestingly, the style is (for me) extremely reminiscent of Ouspensky's - which suggests either that Ouspensky had a very strong hand in putting this book together (I have no idea), or perhaps that Gurdjieff's style was indeed very similar to the way in which Ouspensky conveyed it in his books, and Gurdjieff's made his own later works deliberately obscure and wild, for his own reasons.

In short, I think this is the best introduction if you're looking to get into Gurdjieff's 'System' or the 'Fourth Way' material. It is almost certainly very close to his own words, it is a fairly easy-to-understand book, and it covers a wide array of important topics that you'll see again and again if you read and study more in this school/group. Very much recommended.
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