- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Shambhala (December 6, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590309286
- ISBN-13: 978-1590309285
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff Paperback – December 6, 2011
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“A work that offers a long-needed clarification and exploration of what G. I. Gurdjieff called the Fourth Way. Madame de Salzmann’s writing style will strike outsiders as having the clarity of reporting and the concentration of poetry. The light she shines is a watershed event in the development of the teaching, and in spiritual search in the West. With the publication of her book, she joins Gurdjieff and other great masters from other times and traditions who have dedicated their lives to bringing the incomparable gift of true consciousness, true love, and true being to the world.”—Tracy Cochran, Parabola magazine
About the Author
Jeanne de Salzmann (1889–1990) was born in France and pursued a career in music, dance, and theater. She met Gurdjieff in 1919 and became his closest pupil. Before his death in 1949, Gurdjieff directed de Salzmann to continue his work worldwide. She founded centers in New York, Paris, London, and Caracas, Venezuela. Madame, as she was called with respect, was an esteemed teacher in her own right, transmitting the Gurdjieff Work and especially his “Movements,” or sacred dances.
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Top customer reviews
It is easy to skip over this Work foundation and move on to exercises and esoteric ideas of energies and transformation, but throughout the book it becomes clear how often de Salzmann herself went back to this notion of her lack, and staying on front of that lack without looking away. The book is permeated with a palpable force that seems to radiate off the pages.
Jeanne de Salzmann was a tireless, uncompromising seeker after Truth, and her writings transmit some of this intense dedication to living a conscious Life. A true example of the Gurdjieff Work as it is practiced today, she not only preserved it as a Path towards embodying such a Life more and more fully, she also personally demonstrated its efficacy through her living and in this book.
An excellent accompanying book to this one is Ravi Ravindra's Heart without Measure, in which the author describes in a most touching way his personal interactions with Jeanne de Salzmann in her role as teacher of the Gurdjief Work during the last years of her life.
I was introduced to the Gudjieff Work as a teenager forty some years ago and have read all of the most important published books. My favorites have always been "In Search of the Miraculous" by P.D. Ouspensky and "Beelzebub's Tales" and "Meetings with Remarkable Men" by Gurdjieff. A few months ago I read "Heart without Measure" by Ravi Ravindra about his several-years work with Madame de Salzmann. I found it especially profound and moving.
So when I heard about the publication of "The Reality of Being" I ordered it immediately. I am almost finished reading it (the first time). I notice that I am reading rather quickly so I can get a gist of the content but plan to start re-reading it again much more slowly to let in sink in deeper. I expect this is will be a book I'll be re-reading for the rest of my life.
The essence of the book is actually very similar to Ekhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." It is about presence, being in the now, seeing one's "ordinary I" from a higher perspective and tapping into higher energies. Tolle's book is excellent. However, "The Reality of Being" goes ten times deeper. Every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter is permeated with profound substance. The Power of Now is a good primer. This is the the advanced course.
Of course, no book can, by itself, give you the depth of experience and understanding that working directly with "a teacher who knows" can. But in every single part of the book Madame de Salzmann calls on us to do the inner work necessary to awaken. And her instructions are in no way vague or ambiguous. However they are so deep that it may take a good degree of attention and focus to grasp their meaning.
This book is quite like any other I've read in my life. It has more transformative power packed into a single page than the average library of self-help or spiritual books.
If you are a follower of the Fourth Way or seriously interested in personal transformation, this book is a must.
Over time and practice the aforementioned tools have become disused or even abandoned entirely, and these books have become more accessible. The main problem now seems to be that while I’m perfectly willing to pay for the books, I’m rather less eager to pay for the understanding they describe. However, other difficulties are helped by working with others -- a resource perhaps too often overlooked by many who are readers.
Most recent customer reviews
De-Salzmann elaborates where Gurdjieff was overly brief, providing...Read more