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The exhilarating, life-affirming call to spiritual arms from world-renowned spiritual teacher G. I. Gurdjieff 'Gurdjieff's voice is heard as a call. He calls because he suffers from the inner chaos in which we live. He calls to us to open our eyes. He asks us why we are here, what we wish for, what forces we obey. He asks us, above all, if we understand what we are . . .' Part adventure narrative, part travelogue, part spiritual guide, Meetings with Remarkable Men is suffused with Gurdjieff's unique perspective on life. With vivacity and charm, he organizes his account around portraits of the remarkable men and women who accompanied him through remote parts of the Near East and Central Asia, and who aided his search for hidden knowledge. Among them are Gurdjieff's own father (a traditional bard), a Russian prince dedicated to the search for Truth, a Christian missionary who entered a World Brotherhood deep in Asia, and a woman who escaped slavery to become a trusted member of Gurdjieff's group of fellow seekers. Meetings with Remarkable Men conveys a haunting sense of what it means to live fully - with conscience, with purpose and with heart.
Osho uses the lives and teachings of religious leaders andenlightened thinkers to involve the reader in a profound journey of spiritual discovery and wisdom. When you hear about a Buddha or Mahavira or a Zarathustra they look like mythological figures, not historic. It appears they only existed in the dreams of man.' Osho describes how their reality is in human consciousness and their effect is profound. When you read Osho's words, you feel as if he is speaking to you. His conversational style is fluid and engaging, and while his acute perception often comes as a delight and a surprise, hisshrewd insights will stay with you always. Whether he is discussing a complex philosophy, or the teachings of a great mystic, Osho always brings a unique perspective and imbues the subject with his own distinctive irreverent, thought-provoking and inspirational insight.
Beyond Meetings with Remarkable Men into the truth behind the self-crafted mythology of Gurdjieff’s life • Reveals evidence that Gurdjieff was a secret Freemason, relying on hypnotism, psychic research and spiritualism • Explores the profound influence of the Yezidis, esoteric Christianity, and the “gnostics” of Islam, the Sufis, on Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way teachings and the “Work” • Uncovers the truth behind Gurdjieff’s relations with Aleister Crowley • Accurately dates Gurdjieff’s real activities, particularly his enigmatic early life In November 1949, architect Frank Lloyd Wright announced the death of “the greatest man in the world,” yet few knew who he was talking about. Enigmatic, misunderstood, declared a charlatan, and recently dubbed “the Rasputin who inspired Mary Poppins,” Gurdjieff’s life has become a legend. But who really was George Ivanovich Gurdjieff? Employing the latest research and discoveries, including previously unpublished reminiscences of the real man, Tobias Churton investigates the truth beneath the self-crafted mythology of Gurdjieff’s life recounted in Meetings with Remarkable Men. He examines his controversial birthdate, his father’s background, and his relationship with his private tutor Dean Borshch, revealing a perilous childhood in a Pontic Greek family, persecuted by Turks, forced to migrate to Georgia and Armenia, only to grow up amid more war, persecution, genocide, and revolt. Placing Gurdjieff in the true context of his times, Churton explores Gurdjieff’s roles in esoteric movements taking root in the Russian Empire and in epic imperial construction projects in the Kars Oblast, Transcaucasia, and central Asia. He reveals Gurdjieff’s sources for his transformative philosophy, his early interest in hypnosis, magic, Theosophy, and spiritualism, and the profound influence of the Yezidis and the Sufis, the “gnostics” of Islam, on Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way teachings and the “Work.” Churton also explores Gurdjieff’s ties to Freemasonry and his relationships with other spiritual teachers and philosophers of the age, such as Madame Blavatsky, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Aleister Crowley, dispelling the myth that Gurdjieff forcibly expelled the “Great Beast” from his Institute. Showing how Gurdjieff deliberately re-shaped elements of his life as parables of his system, Churton explains how he didn’t want people to follow his footsteps but to find their own, to wake up from the hypnosis that drives us blindly through life. Offering a vital understanding of the man who asked “How many of you are really alive?” the author reveals the continuing importance of Gurdjieff’s philosophy for the awakening of man.
G.I. Gurdjieff (d. 1949) remains an important, if controversial, figure in early 20th-century Western Esoteric thought. Born in the culturally diverse region of the Caucasus, Gurdjieff traveled in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere in search of practical spiritual knowledge. Though oftentimes allusive, references to Sufi teachings and characters take a prominent position in Gurdjieff's work and writings. Since his death, a discourse on Gurdjieff and Sufism has developed through the contributions as well as critiques of his students and interlocutors. J.G. Bennett began an experimental 'Fourth Way' school in England in the 1970s which included the introduction of Sufi practices and teachings. In America this discourse has further expanded through the collaboration and engagement of contemporary Sufi teachers. This work does not simply demonstrate the influence of Gurdjieff and his ideas, but approaches the specific discourse on and about Gurdjieff and Sufism in the context of contemporary religious and spiritual teachings, particularly in the United States, and highlights some of the adaptive, boundary-crossing, and hybrid features that have led to the continuing influence of Sufism.

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