Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and the Fourth Way

In 1915 a mysterious figure appeared in Moscow and soon gathered a core of devoted followers, students of his strange system of esoteric doctrine and psychological development. This remarkable man Gurdjieff had travelled in the east in search of ancient wisdom, and by his own account had found it. When the journalist and theosophist P.D. Ouspensky came into Gurdjieff’s orbit, one of the most compelling and dramatic narratives of spiritual adventure began, played out against the backdrop of WWI, the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian Civil War. When Ouspensky arrived in London in 1922, he was feted by literary lights such as T.S. Eliot and Aldous Huxley, and when Gurdjieff opened his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Fontainebleau, France, much of the cultural crème de la crème crossed the Channel to be put through his particularly strenuous mill. What is the Fourth Way and is it true that we are, as Gurdjieff, said, really nothing but machines? Make a super-effort to attend and see

Book: In Search of P.D. Ouspensky


Gary Lachman is the author of many books about consciousness, culture, and the Western esoteric tradition, including The Return of Holy Russia, Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump, Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, and Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson. He writes for several journals in the US, UK, and Europe, lectures around the world and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. In a former life he was a founding member of the pop group Blondie and in 2006 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Before moving to London in 1996 and becoming a full time writer, Lachman studied philosophy, managed a metaphysical book shop, taught English literature, and was Science Writer for UCLA. He is an adjunct professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He can be reached at, and

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