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Meetings With Remarkable Men (All and Everything #2)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,289 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Meetings with Remarkable Men, G. I. Gurdjieff’s autobiographical account of his youth and early travels, has become something of a legend since it was first published in 1963. A compulsive “read” in the tradition of adventure narratives, but suffused with Gurdjieff’s unique perspective on life, it is organized around portraits of remarkable men and women who aided Gurdjief ...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published September 27th 1991 by Penguin Books (first published 1963)
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David Rauschenbach
Favorite quotes:

... Yelov had a very original view about mental work. He once said:

It's all the same. our thoughts work day and night. instead of allowing them to think about caps of invisibility or the riches of Aladdin, rather let them be occupied with something useful. In giving direction to thought, of course a certain amount of energy is spent, but no more is needed for this purpose in a while day than for the digestion of one meal. I therefore decided to study languages—not only to prevent
Manoj Chugh
Aug 28, 2015 Manoj Chugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book. I found this gem in my local library... they had stored this old book in a special section only to be taken out on request. I was privileged.

Gurdjieff is misunderstood by many to be a sham. His life has resonation felt by both knowledgeable and ignorant. He was an enlightened person without any doubt in my heart.

This book is special of all the books he has written because you can feel the love. All other books, you have to dig deep to find the beautiful. However this book, is fu
Austin the Yogi
Feb 08, 2014 Austin the Yogi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spirituality, adventure, wisdom, exotic places, grand ideas, wonderfully fresh worldviews... there are so many things I enjoyed about this book.
" [...] I had always and everywhere, in all conditions and circumstances, to "remember myself" and to remember the task I had set myself, by the fulfillment of which I wished and still wish to justify the sense and aim of my life." - pg 301

I relate to his need to wander, explore, learn, and overcome challenges. I don't think every human is born with thi
Parris Young
I am glad I read this book. I've always heard good things about Gurdjieff and it is enlightening to actually get to know the man a bit for myself.
GurdJieff is a bit of a con man. He had no compunctions about shaving a fool. I wonder, although he does not tell the reader so, if he hesitated to also fleece the innocent. From this point of view his later 'schools' might be considered flim-flam.
His redeeming quality, though, is the fact he concentrated on what he wanted... after thinking hard about
Jan 18, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look, I don't know much about Gurdjieff except that my library apparently subscribes to the newsletter, but this book was pretty good. I don't know if it was the eye-opening wisdom tome Greg may have subconsciously suggested it was, but there were some good stories in there. Even if they were inconveniently told. For instance, this is more or less how the "Pre-Sands Egypt" story goes:

Chapter 1. Oh man! We found this rockin' map. WE ARE EXCITED TO GO ADVENTURING.

Chapter 2. Here's a story about a
For me, this was a somewhat unremarkable book. The men encountered, are all Gurdjieff's close friends and so remarkable to him, but, their exploits and achievements noted here are rather ordinary, we are always left hanging, as the "real" story will be expanded upon in later writings! From what I can tell, Gurdjieff was a very good trader merchant/ businessman and enjoyed ripping off people he thought stupid, so, deserved to be ripped off! He may be "deep" but, he and the remarkable men here, ar ...more
David Guy
I read this book because Jacob Needleman is a follower of Gurdjieff, because I've always been curious about the man, and because I love books that have brief biographies of men, of friendships, whatever. Gurdjieff definitely had an adventurous and interesting life (if all this is true), and met some fascinating people. But whenever he got to the point of delivering their message, which to me was the whole point of the book, he would claim he was saving it for some other book, where he is finally ...more
Delia Parker-Bailey
I was reminded again about a book I read years ago in my teens. What a bloody remarkable man he was too!
Jun 16, 2008 Maureen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Gurdjieff
Recommended to Maureen by: Robert Fripp
Shelves: gurdjieff
The second series of Gurdjieff's writings, Meetings with Remarkable Men was written, in Gurdjieff's words, "to acquaint the reader with the material required for a new creation and to prove the soundness and good quality of it." On one level, it may be read as an account of one man's adventures. On another, it may be read as an allegory, a sort of Pilgrim's Progress for the 20th century. Either way, it is an engaging effort, and will be of use to anyone wishing to learn more about G.I. Gurdjieff ...more
Jun 13, 2016 Anttoni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
G.I. Gurdjieff’s book, ”Meetings with Remarkable Men” may just be the weirdest reading experience I’ve ever had. On surface, the book is boring, written in an off-putting manner and Gurdjieff seems to ramble on endlessly on subjects out of which the reader is unable to fathom their importance.
While this is the case to some extent, once you get inside Gurdjieff’s writing style, it’s hidden depth becomes clearer for the reader. After this shift in perspective, the book presents itself as captivat
Aug 12, 2008 Flowquietly rated it really liked it
Taught me to see how remarkable people are and to look for other remarkable men from the past and present
Oct 25, 2009 Robtee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wisdom is out there - seek it!
Dec 19, 2007 Justin rated it really liked it
Not quite as deep as Beelzebub's Tales, but more easily accessible. A big disappointment for me. Beelzebub's Tales was far more enlightening and engrossing. For more insight and wisdoms see the aforementioned Tales and also writings from one of Gurdjieff's closest associates, P.D. Ouspensky as detailed in A New Model of the Universe.

Some of my favorite excerpts:

On journalism
p.18-p.20 "This form of literature has become very widespread in recent times because, according to my unshakable convict
Apr 16, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In so many ways Gurdjieff is a trickster figure, and to read his autobiography slash travelogue slash philosophical primer is to follow a guide who is going to make you work for your insights. “Take the red pill,” Morpheus tells Neo, “and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Meetings with Remarkable Men is that rabbit hole, a hole that is deep and convoluted and, if you don’t mind a little intellectual claustrophobia, a lot of fun.
Joseph Voelbel
Jun 28, 2016 Joseph Voelbel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Journey with Gurdjieff as he travels the far east and ultimately comes upon a school for the adepts. From stiltz to traverse the Gobi desert to a personal history of his unique upbringing, pull back the curtain on the mystery...

"Soon afterwards we came to the foot of Mount Djadur, on the slopes of which the little church with the miraculous tomb of the saint is situated."
Apr 14, 2016 Jonas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For lack of energy to write a longer review: Pretty full of himself, isn't he? I wonder what one is supposed to get out of this book. Are we to be so impressed by Gurdjieff's zany writing and fantastic adventures that his other works are ordered immediately followed by a total devotion in his following?

Still, there were some interesting moments. As in it is always interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of the eccentric.

Silan Hun
Jan 24, 2016 Silan Hun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable book from Gurdjieff with strong stories from Mezopotamia, Middle East and Asia. While he was searching for the ' precious forgotten knowledge', he let us meet with remarkable characters and their journey to the truth...
Philip Lane
Nov 14, 2012 Philip Lane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this confusing and silly. I didn't feel any of the men given the title 'remarkable' were, they were Gurdjieff's friends. There were some remarkable people in the book but they didn't seem to qualify fot the title in Gurdjieff's opinion. His 'search for the truth' seemed rather futile as he spent an enourmous amount of effort and time travelling to remote places to seek the truth from people who led isolated existences. If the message was that the truth is to be found within ourselves the ...more
Jan 12, 2008 Adam rated it did not like it
Wikipedia: "George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (Георгий Иванович Гюрджиев, Georgiy Ivanovich Gyurdzhiev (or Gurdjiev); (January 13, 1866? – October 29, 1949), was an Armenian-Greek mystic, a teacher of sacred dances, and a spiritual teacher. He is most notable for introducing what some refer to as "The Work," connoting work on oneself according to Gurdjieff's principles and instructions, or as he first referred to it, the Fourth Way."

Pretty run of the mill early 20th century mystic. He was also, apparen
Feb 22, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gurdjieff was an Armenian mystic and spiritual leader whose foundations for teaching his beliefs are found around the world. This is his second book and does not deal with his mysticism but with what he feels were major influences on his life and beliefs. It is somewhat of an autobiography but you get the feeling that he is pulling your leg in some sections; the time frames just don't seem to match.

Regardless, it is an interesting book and an easy read. I don't really know how to describe it or
Chiefdonkey Bradey
A life of wild adventure and ancient wisdom, from the Tien Shan Mountains to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 56th Street - I remembered sultry nights in Winchester, Annick blowing dizzying smoke into my mouth
Tony Gleeson
Nov 21, 2008 Tony Gleeson rated it really liked it
Okay, when I was younger I read everything by and about Gurdjieff, and frankly, most of what he wrote was fairly unintelligible (though he and his followers are fascinating people). But this book is a wonderful description of his travels and adventures through central Asia, which was a crossroads for a wide variety of people and ideas. It made me want to drop everything and go travel to exotic locales, and it piqued my interest in a variety of ideas and beliefs. I never got to physically do the ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, gurdjieff
This is a book I will never be without. It is autobiographical and is about Gurdjieff's search for the meaning of life. A movie was made about this book and is one of my favourites!

The book is the second volume of the All and Everything trilogy written by Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff believed that most of us live our lives as though we are asleep - engaged in patterns that repeat like machines. He proposes that we shown often shake up the routine and do things in different or opposite ways.

I like that ki
Paul Kieniewicz
Mar 24, 2012 Paul Kieniewicz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mind-expanding
It's a book I read many years ago and return to every now and then. Made into a great movie too. Though it reads like non-fiction, presents purportedly real people, it has to be read with a grain of salt. There's no doubt in my mind that the author is toying with his audience, daring the reader to believe what is unashamedly nonsense. This is the most accessible of all of Gurdjieff's writings I have come across, a window into an extraordinary world. I've no doubt that it's real. But, entering it ...more
Aug 13, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very inspiring, even to those unfamiliar with Gurdjieff's other works. This man has had one remarkable life! In my view, his active pursuit of true spiritual knowledge puts to shame much of the commercial spirituality & beliefs people settle into nowadays. The various accounts mentioned in this book give a lot of food for thought and inspire reflection upon our upbringing, values, and the way to search for truth. Definitely worth reading (and re-reading).
Ryan Summers
Nov 12, 2009 Ryan Summers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was amazed at how much of a business man Gurdjeiff was throughout his life. I was also amazed that throughout the majority of his life he obtained money solely through his own labors as opposed to donations or inheritance. The last chapter on The Material Question describes some of his business dealings, but there are other anecdotes throughout the other chapters. It seemed that the way he approached money very much in line with his spiritual views on freedom.
Jan 08, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gurdjieff travels to the distant and exotic East in search of examples of mans excellence. His writing is brilliant and inspiring. His curiousity in the esoteric, human consciousness, and in mysticism, most specifically Sufism, paved the way for the Transpersonal Psychology movement, as well as, the Ennegram as a system to better understand and transform human personality.
Massimo Buongiorno
Purtroppo il libro è incompleto, e si sente: ci sono continui rimandi alla "terza parte" della trilogia, che Gurdjieff non ha mai finito di scrivere. La sensazione è quella di un libro di passaggio, totalmente differente dal precedente (I racconti di Belzebù, un vero capolavoro). Da leggere solo se già in qualche misura appassionati del pensiero di questo personaggio.
i found this to be much more engaging and informative than "beelzebub's tales to his grandson." i was on the fence about reading both this and "live is real only then, when 'i am'" after losing interest in "beelzebub" and having to struggle to finish it, but "meetings with remarkable men" was a breath of fresh air.
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Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff (Armenian: Գեորգի Իվանովիչ Գյուրջիև, Georgian: გიორგი გურჯიევი, Greek: Γεώργιος Γεωργιάδης, Russian: Георгий Иванович Гюрджиев, Georgiy Ivanovich Gyurdzhiev, or Gurdjiev) was an influential Greek-Armenian mystic, spiritual teacher of the early to mid-20th century, and a self-professed 'teacher of dancing'.

He taught that the vast majority of humanity lives their entire l
More about G.I. Gurdjieff...

Other Books in the Series

All and Everything (3 books)
  • Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson
  • Life is Real Only Then, When 'I Am'

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“You must learn not what people round you consider good or bad, but to act in life as your conscience bids you. An untrammelled conscience will always know more than all the books and teachers put together.” 2 likes
“I also very well remember that on another occasion the father dean said: ‘In order that at responsible age a man may be a real man and not a parasite, his education must without fail be based on the following ten principles. ‘From early childhood there should be instilled in the child: Belief in receiving punishment for disobedience. Hope of receiving reward only for merit. Love of God—but indiference to the saints. Remorse of conscience for the ill-treatment of animals. Fear of grieving parents and teachers. Fearlessness towards devils, snakes and mice. Joy in being content merely with what one has. Sorrow at the loss of the goodwill of others. Patient endurance of pain and hunger. The striving early to earn one’s bread.” 1 likes
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