- Paperback: 394 pages
- Publisher: Arete Communications; Revised & enlarged edition (February 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 187951477X
- ISBN-13: 978-1879514775
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eating the I: A Direct Account of the Fourth Way- The Way of Using Ordinary Life to Come to Real Life (In Search of the Self), Revised & Expanded Edition Revised & enlarged Edition
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From Library Journal
This is an intimate account of one man's spiritual search through The Work, an esoteric Gurdjieff movement. The narrative focuses on "the collision that occurs between the teaching and the 'I,' the conditioned self-identity." Patterson's account is gripping as he struggles to be accepted into The Work, as he struggles with himself in the process of The Work, as he flirts with teachers and ideas from other traditions, and as he officially leaves The Work and shortly thereafter attends his mentor's funeral. The Work philosophy and Patterson's attempt at self-transformation in the midst of ordinary experience is quite revealing. Recommended for large libraries of all types.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Eating The 'I' gives as full a picture of the Work as it may be possible to get without joining it. It comes from a great depth and carries much conviction. Readers will taste this teaching in action and will also get an extraordinary glimpse of an extraordinary teacher - Lord John Pentland." --Richard Smoley, Editor, Gnosis Magazine
"Patterson has two fine Irish gifts: a vivid memory and a storyteller's ear. Paced like a novel, this spiritual autobiography is certain to appeal to those who want a rare and engaging inside glimpse of the Gurdjieff Work." --Stephen Bodian, Editor, Yoga Journal
"Eating the 'I' is a delightful gem of a read. I cannot recommend it enough. Few spiritual books have captured my interest and attention with such force. Even for those who have little interest in the teachings of the Fourth Way, it is bound to entertain and enlighten." --New Dawn Magazine, November/December 2010
"I am sure Eating The 'I' will be one of the more important writings on the Gurdjieff Work, after Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous." --Miguel Serrano, author, C.G. Jung and Hermann Hesse and The Serpent in Paradise
Top customer reviews
It starts out in New York when Patterson encounters the teacher John Pentland, who was a personal follower and intimate of first Ouspenky and then Gurdjieff himself.
It ends up in the Marin County, where today the author and his wife live and from which they conduct seminars all over the country.
Patterson has written about 10 books, assisted by the editorial talents of his wife, and most directly about the Gurdjieff work.
All are fairly wide ranging and meticulously researched and written with great clarity.
Patterson has written one of the few analyses of Carlos Castenada as well.
It has an objectivity and an absence of dogma that is characteristic of all of his work.
He also publishes the Gurdjieff Journal, which includes excerpts from writings pertaining to the Gurdjieff school and interesting observations on films, various "spiritual" fads and movements and other contemporary matters.
His most recent book pertains to technology and its hidden cognitive impact.
In fact, I found Eating the I to be downright depressing because it illustrated how those involved in a 4th Way school could be going through the motions, believing that evolution was taking place, yet substantial and beneficial changes did not come... a warning to us all. At least that was my impression. Mind you, I think I probably skimmed the last 20% of the book because the first 80% left me numb.
Although, the reflections on his life were interesting in their own way. But the kind of transformation that most of us are looking for in The Work? Unfortunately, I don't think so.
Venger As'nas Satanis
Cult of Cthulhu
Mr. Patterson is a true storyteller, and in this book, a "spiritual autobiography", he reveals his awakening and development in Gurdjieff's Fourth Way Teaching - The Work, as it's called, a teaching of self transformation for modern day man, a work in ordinary life - not in the temple or the ashram, but in every day living.
I was very impressed with the honesty and depth that he reveals here. I've read a fair number of these kinds of books by others (or their ghost writers) and have always found them to "sugar coat" the lives of their subjects to make them look good. Patterson peels away the layers of the onion - the good, the bad AND the ugly. Not many will admit to their very human desires and the subconscious urges that govern and rule our lives so deeply.
I found that he writes on several different levels. The book can be read as an interesting account of one person's story caught up in the whirlwind of life, searching for something higher and more meaningful. On another level, he portrays a more universal quest, that of the perennial seeker, the human being searching for understanding and the meaning of life. The thing that really distinguishes Patterson from many others is that he makes this quest accessible to anyone who is interested. We understand him, feel his struggle and travel with him on his path. We can do this because his brutal self-honesty doesn't paint him as a saint, rather as an honest man trying to understand and find his place in this vast universe in these very crazy times.
I have read this book twice now and I shall do so again - I keep finding new connections and levels of understanding. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading his other books...serious writing for those who seek understanding in the modern world.
Unfortunately, Patterson, for reasons that don't seem very pure to me, leaves the Foundation at the end of this book, to pursue another spiritual path, and when he returned to the Work some ten years later, decides to set himself up as an independent teacher. I find his teaching material to shallow and deficient compared to the material available in Foundation groups, and compared to the voice of Lord Pentland in this book and elsewhere.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a "core" book for anyone interested in the ideas of G. I.Read more