George Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff perhaps was the first man from the East who penetrated into the Western consciousness. He was a very strange man, and he passed through strange experiences and learned on his own, without any master. He moved in many monasteries, in many groups, and never belonged to any one, but collected fragments of forgotten teachings. And he was of tremendous intelligence, to join all those fragments and make a system out of them which can certainly transform man.
– Hari Om Tat Sat, Chapter #25

George Gurdjieff is one of the most significant masters of this age.
He is unique in many ways — nobody has said things in the contemporary world the way Gurdjieff has said them. He is almost like another Bodhidharma or Chuang Tzu, apparently absurd but in reality giving great indications towards the liberation of human consciousness.
– The Invitation, Chapter #4

According to George Gurdjieff, only a few people live eternally, most people are just experimental. They are born, they do all kinds of stupid things, and the final stupidity — they die. But they don’t leave even a trace in the world of eternity. Only very few people, like Gautam Buddha, achieve to the eternal. And because of these few people, the fallacy has come into being that everybody has an eternal being: Buddha achieved it, Mahavira achieved it, Bukko achieved it. Gurdjieff’s logic was, because these few have achieved it, people think everybody else has it — just he has not discovered it.
Gurdjieff was not ready to agree on only discovering, because discovery means it already exists — you have just to pull back the curtains. Gurdjieff used a word never before used in spiritual experience, and that was `crystallization’. You have this small life and this small consciousness. You can make it so concentrated, so hard, like a diamond, that it can pass through fire without being burned. But unless you do it, don’t hope.
– The Language of Existence, Chapter #4

I forgot to say something about Gurdjieff and his book ALL AND EVERYTHING — perhaps because it is a very strange book, not even readable. I don’t think there are any living individuals except me who have read from the first page to the last. I have come across many Gurdjieff followers, but none of them had been able to read ALL AND EVERYTHING in its totality.

It is a big book — just the opposite of the ISA UPANISHAD — one thousand pages. And Gurdjieff is such a rascal saint — please allow me this expression, rascal saint — he writes in such a way that it becomes impossible to read. One sentence may go running on for pages. By the time you come to the end of the sentence you have forgotten its beginning. And he uses words he made up himself, just like me. Strange words… for example when he was writing about kundalini, he called it kundabuffer; that was his word for kundalini. This book is of immense value, but the diamonds are hidden among ordinary stones. One has to seek and search.

I have read this book not once but many times. The more I went into it the more I loved it, because the more I could see the rascal; the more I could see what it was that he was hiding from those who should not know. Knowledge is not for those who are not yet capable of absorbing it. Knowledge has to be hidden from the unwary, and is only for those who can digest it. It has to be given only to those who are ready. That’s the whole purpose of writing in such a strange way. There is no other book stranger than Gurdjieff’s ALL AND EVERYTHING, and it certainly is all and everything.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #2

Gurdjieff wrote this book MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN as a memoir. It is a tremendously respectful memory to all those strange people he had met in his life — Sufis, Indian mystics, Tibetan lamas, Japanese Zen monks. I must mention to you that he did not write of them all; he left many out of the account for the simple reason that the book was going to be in the marketplace and it had to fulfill the demands of the market.

I don’t have to fulfill anybody’s demands. I am not a man who worries at all about the market, hence I can say that he left out the really most remarkably significant people from his account. But whatsoever he wrote is still beautiful. It still brings tears to my eyes. Whenever something is beautiful my eyes fill with tears; there is no other way to pay homage.

MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN is a real book. A few of the people Gurdjieff mentions are still alive; I have met a few of them myself. I am a witness to the fact those people are not fictitious, although I cannot forgive even Gurdjieff for leaving out the most remarkable people he met.

There is no need to compromise with the marketplace; there is no need to compromise at all. He was such a strong man, I wonder why he compromised, why he omitted the really important people. I have met a few people that he omitted from the book, who themselves told me that Gurdjieff had been there. They are very old now. But still the book is good — half, incomplete, but valuable.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #12