Perhaps the one point of universal agreement about the Greek-Armenian spiritual teacher George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1877?-1949) is that he was one of history’s truly enigmatic figures.  Born in Alexandropol in southern Transcaucasia, he was tutored for both the Orthodox priesthood and medicine in an environment teaming with religious diversity.  Unsatisfied with the answers he received to ultimate questions from science and religion, the young Gurdjieff embarked on a twenty-year search with a band of fellow seekers calling themselves “The Seekers After Truth”, traveling in Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia.  Gurdjieff writes of these travels in his autobiographical work, Meetings with Remarkable Men.
     In 1913 Gurdjieff appeared in Moscow and began to work with groups interested in his ideas.  From this point we have accounts left by pupils.  P. D. Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous, Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, chronicles this period and remains the most accessible introduction to Gurdjieff’s teaching.  At the onset of the Russian Revolution, Gurdjieff and followers emigrated westward, first to the Caucasus, then to Constantinople, before finally settling at Fontainebleau, outside Paris.  There he established the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in 1922.  After a nearly fatal automobile accident in 1924, Gurdjieff scaled back his work with pupils and began to focus on writing.  His first book,  Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson is an allegorical narrative of the life of our species as related objectively by beings from another world.
     Gurdjieff’s teaching is also preserved in the form of the “movements”- sacred dances and gymnastic exercises that work on the mind, body, and feelings simultaneously.  Gurdjieff collaborated with the composer Thomas de Hartmann in composing the music for the “movements”.  Today his writings have been translated into a number of languages and work continues through various foundations in major cities throughout the world
The Gurdjieff Foundation Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point Eastern North Carolina