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Meetings with Remarkable Men: All and Everything, 2nd Series Paperback – September 27, 1991
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
There is a deeper intention.
That is to inculcate into the reader the need to search for the meaning of life.
Along the way, he tells of many entertaining adventures in cultures and regions not familiar to the West and conveys the fascinating diversity and antiquity of this crossroads of religions, beliefs and ways of life.
Predictably there are those who find one objection or another to this book, and have come to conclusions without much basis.
It is a given that some will approach a book like this with skepticism and perhaps disapproval. Some of this is due to hearsay, concerning G.'s reputation as a "mystic" in the Rasputin/Crowley mold or some such nonsense.
One of G.'s methods was in fact to APPEAR as a charlatan, in order to put off just those people who form opinions too quickly and fail to doubt the limitations of their own perspective.
Those with a more open mind will be more receptive to more subtle intentions and sense a profound and urgent underlying teaching.
For those people - those who sense a meaning behind the entertaining anecdotes and storyline - the next step is to read the book IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS by P.D. Ouspensky, which gives the best account of the man G. and his manner of teaching in the first half of the 20th c.
But most of all, it is the best explication of the teachings themselves, and a book that to many people is the profoundest and most meaningful book they have ever read.
As mentioned by other reviewers, Gurdjieff is a master of "coyote wisdom." In the American Indian tradition, the coyote, as totem guide of a Shaman, is a trickster and there was none better than Gurdjieff. My most vivid recollection is a story about his teaching center in France where he was adulated by an obsequious woman. He picked up an iron bowl from the fire and told the woman, "Here, hold this." Her shock and pain may or may not have awakened her consciousness, but the technique is vintage Gurdjieff. I have met a number of serious students of Gurdjieff in my 60 short years and they stand out as having significantly more depth than most students of non-traditional paths. Recommended.
Interestingly enough, neither of Gurdjieff’s two signature texts – this one and “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson” (see my one-star review) -- contains any substantive information about his teachings, which reflects negatively on them. Instead, one must turn to a secondary source, “In Search of the Miraculous” by P.D. Ouspensky (see my two-star review), in order to get a comprehensive presentation of them.
To those who have “cracked the cosmic code” and truly grok “the Master Game,” it couldn’t be clearer that Gurdjieff was not a great spiritual master teeming with demystifying insights, like, say, Ramana Maharshi, J. Krishnamurti, or Adi Da. Rather, he was charlatan of sorts who cobbled together byzantine Sufi teachings chock-full of cosmological crap, and cleverly packaged them into a mystery school still alive today in the form of Fourth Way schools that will gladly take your money, but offer you little Enlightenment in return.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For the spiritual traveler walking the path of The Fourth Way. Written by Mr. Gurdjieff.Published 5 days ago by Mike Casey
If you are interested in the Gurdjieff work, you must read this book.Published 11 months ago by Thomas M. Mcgovern
Loads of big words, flowery language, and making things sound unbelievably important, but very little content. I threw my copy away, because it wasn't worth giving away.Published 14 months ago by Stephen Hughes
The introduction was one of the worst I've ever read, but after that the book was fairly decent. Not bad.Published 16 months ago by Jim Kelley