Truth and fiction
It was rumored that Stalin officially changed his date of birth precisely by the instruction of his former classmate - the latter saw some kind of sacred need for this. However, the rumors remained rumors. There is no evidence of the stories that Stalin and Hitler really were the spiritual disciples of Gurdjieff.
It should be noted that the biography of a mystic is in itself one big legend. There are almost a dozen options for the dates of his birth, and Gurdjieff’s childhood and youth are only known from his words: he described his early years in the book “Meetings with Remarkable People”, which many historians consider to be not a very reliable historical source. One thing is certain: the son of a Greek and Armenian, a native of Alexandropol (present-day Gyumri) left his homeland early and began to travel the world in search of hidden truths.
On the way to the answers
Gurdjieff visited many countries in Asia and Africa - he visited cities belonging to modern Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Afghanistan and other states. Everywhere he studied local traditions and customs, therefore his spiritual practices became a kind of symbiosis of several religious teachings, as well as national dances and songs. By the way, it was to sacral dances that Gurdjieff paid particular attention. One day he, along with his students, even presented his program, announced as dervish dances, in a theater on the Champs Elysées.
George Gurdjieff in fez. Source: Library of Congress
Abroad, Gurdjieff earned everything he could. According to the stories of the mystic himself, he managed to work on the Turkish railway, led trips to the holy places of Jerusalem, sold carpets and gave painted sparrows to canaries. He spent the money exclusively on tickets to the following destinations.
Gurdjieff and Uspensky
One of the most famous followers of George Gurdjieff was Peter Ouspensky, who later became a no less significant figure: Thomas Eliot and Aldous Huxley attended lectures of the philosopher in the UK. "He made a strange, unexpected and almost frightening impression of a poorly dressed person, whose appearance embarrassed you, because you understand that he is not the one for whom he pretends to be, but in the meantime you have to communicate with him and behave as if you would not notice it, ”Ouspensky told about the first impression of Gurdjieff.
Peter Assumption. Source: wikipedia.org
At the same time, it is interesting that for the first time about Gurdjieff Ouspensky read long before their personal meeting. In the newspaper he saw a note about the ballet “The Battle of the Magi”, directed by a certain Hindu. The Hindu turned out to be from the Caucasus, and the article, as it turned out, Gurdjieff ordered about himself - to attract attention to his modest person.
Soon after the October Revolution, Gurdjieff moved to Europe. He firmly settled in France, where he acquired an estate of the XVII century in the vicinity of Fontainebleau. There, the mystic realized his old idea and organized the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. “Do the impossible, then do it twice or do two incompatible occupations at once,” Gurdjieff called. That is why the estate was always full of work: the students surpassed themselves day and night, for example, digging holes in the ground and digging them back, so that they could dig again.
Gurdjieff’s students included New Zealand writer Catherine Mansfield, French novelist Rene Domal, creator of the image of Mary Poppins Pamela Travers.
In recent years, Gurdjieff was more involved in writing than in spiritual practices. He died in 1949 in a hospital in the suburbs of Paris. George Gurdjieff was buried near his French estate.
Davydov G. "Gurdjieff: a dancing provocateur"
Aleksakhin V. "Biography of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff"
Photo for the announcement on the main page: psychologies.ru
Photos for the lead: barev. today