Maureen's Reviews > Is There "Life" on Earth?: An Introduction to Gurdjieff

Is There "Life" on Earth? by John Godolphin Bennett
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Jun 12, 08

bookshelves: gurdjieff
Recommended to Maureen by: Robert Fripp
Recommended for: anyone interested in Gurdjieff
Read in January, 1974

G.I. Gurdjieff blended the mysticism of the East with the scientific methods of the West to produce a system for human transformation. His pupils included eminent scientists, writers, artists and musicians. This book is a collection of four lectures that John Godolphin Bennett, British mathematician and a leader in the Gurdjieff movement, delivered in 1948 and 1949. I

In the first chapter, The Needs of a New Epoch, Bennett states that the old world is dying, and a new one must be born. Gurdjieff believed that man exists to serve two purposes: one is to serve, along with every other plant, animal and mineral, in the transformation of energy. In this respect, our bodies are like a chemical factory. We take in air, food and water and transform them into building our bodies. We can also transform our thoughts into energy that can be used to build up our inner lives.

Gurdjieff - The Man and His Work, chapter two, details the history and influences that shaped Gurdjieff and led to the formation of his ideas. The third chapter, Work on Oneself, Bennett gives an overview of some of the basic work ideas, including attention, the idea of man as a three-brained being (thought, feeling, sensation), and will. Bennett ends with a chapter on the philosophical, theoretical, and practical writings of Gurdjieff

Although the language takes some getting used to, this is a good place to start for anyone interested in learning more about the Gurdjieff ideas. The inner transformation that Gurdjieff advocated has never been more sorely needed than in the world today.
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