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Meetings With Remarkable Men

(All and Everything #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,993 ratings  ·  106 reviews
'You must learn not what people round you consider good or bad, but to act in life as your conscience bids you'

For twenty years, the spiritual teacher Gurdjieff journeyed through Central Asia and the Middle East. Part travelogue, part adventure, part spiritual guide, Meetings with Remarkable Men vividly describes his encounters with the people who aided his search for kno
Paperback, Reprint of 1971 Edition, 303 pages
Published 1979 by Routledge & Kegan Paul (first published 1963)
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Alana Beelzebub. This is the second book in a series of three books.

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Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I fall asleep, I fall into delusion. Maybe you’re the same.

And I don’t mean physically falling asleep - I mean, as Gurdjeff says, forgetting to remember myself.

The conflicting paranoias, allegiances, and neuroses of people you meet in your daily routine can gall and hurt you if you’re not careful.

That happens when we leave the door to our selves ajar.

How’s that?

Because most of us tend to work on automatic pilot. We don’t pay attention. And thus we lose the thread that can take us bac
Manoj Chugh
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
David Rauschenbach
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
P.D. Maior
Gurdjieff is a monolith peering up in these odd times; an anachronism and a relief. This book shows a person how to live: fill your life with adventure and discovery; or die trying. What a sweeping story. It all is very different from modern life; many colors and missing pieces coming together in quite unmodal fashion like octaves of an ancient (oglalic) past being completed in one’s subconscious presence; yet in near times to us once again - as he re collected his re markable way through this l ...more
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
I feel Gurdjieff said a lot in this book but left even more unsaid: this book is rather a lengthy adventure novel slash travel guide than a book on his philosophy or spiritual teaching. It can also be seen as an ode to these remarkable men (and one woman and dog) Gurdjieff met and shaped his ideas during the course of his life - even though it is not sure whether these people and one dog truly existed or were made up by Gurdjieff. The reason for calling the book lengthy is because it is very des ...more
Umang Rohani
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: enlightenment
no wonder gurdjieff himself was quite remarkable
Loved reading this 1974 paperback edition ;) Excellent stories of spirituality and adventure travel. Could've earned 4 stars but for this: "In my opinion in employing contemporary maps it would be ideally useful to put into practice the sense of a judicious saying which declares: 'If you wish to succeed in anything then ask a woman for advice and do the opposite.' "

And also this: "In general, during the last two or three years, my inability to control the automatic manifestations of my subconsc
Austin the Yogi
Sep 08, 2010 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
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own
if you've been looking for a book about feeding sand to livestock, this is your lucky day! you may also learn how to escape sandstorms using stilts.
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
wisdom is out there - seek it!
Delia Parker-Bailey
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was reminded again about a book I read years ago in my teens. What a bloody remarkable man he was too!
George K. Ilsley
An extraordinary memoir told through the vehicle of encounters with influential mentors and teachers. At one point in my life I was very drawn to Gurdjieff and reading widely of his life, work and influence (Montreal remains the home of many of his students and their descendants). If I wrote a book such as this, Gurdjieff would certainly merit his own chapter. But I would never be able to write such a sweeping, insightful, and ultimately educational and inspirational autobiography.

I love this c
Bülent Ahmet TURAN
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gurdjieff is a very good companion on a long journey that extends to what systematic he should pursue in his striving to become a real person from the unconsciousness of human mechanical efforts: hate, anger, passion, or whatever done unconsciously.
Lina Slavova
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow.
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
David Guy
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
So well, this book I took with me a lot during my daily walks around town. Thats not uncommon or anything, except by walking with this in my hand, anytime I ran into a familiar human being, and they'd be interested enough to ask me what I was reading. I'd just show em the book so they could read the title, i'd watch them read it, to put my hand up and say "HELLO". Once that happened, there always started some conversation about what it means to be remarkable as a human being in this world, that ...more
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
NC Weil
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it
If I had read this book 40 years ago, I’m sure its significance would have loomed much larger in my life. As it is, I found some parts insightful, and others frankly absurd.

In the section recounting his journey across the Gobi Desert, he talks about how the expedition, being concerned about not being able to carry enough provisions for their livestock, trained the animals to eat sand – to prefer it even. Then Gurdjieff goes on about how the men constructed 20 to 30 foot stilts so they could wal
Dimitris Tselios
Bla bla bla
only 10 pages all-in-all of some substance

Most intriguing fact the continuous demonstration of unethical means used, to gain money from 'idiots', in order to fulfil a thirst to find the highest (ethical) teachers ... !!
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taught me to see how remarkable people are and to look for other remarkable men from the past and present
had some interesting travel stories, but the author has a way of using a lot of words to say a whole lot of nothing.
I get the sense that Gurdjieff today would be part Van Lifer, part credulous person who posts on Facebook about pyramids lining up with stars and other photoshopped spiritual/vibrational nonsense, and part MLM guy or self-described entrepreneur. And certainly he would also be an ardent follower of the success cult, and a hustle culture buffoon to boot. I know a few people that fit the precisely this concept of a skeptical, gullible contrarian with mystical interests, which is more or less how I ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: know-thyself
I started this book as I finally found a chance to have it and read it. My expectation were completely different from what came out. Gurdjieff's writing style is like reading a historian's notes on trips. Moreover, it's astonishing to see so much detail in each "remarkable man"'s life, beautifully narrated by Gurdjieff. It was a pleasure to read the account of his life in different parts of Asia and Europe. Particularly, I didn't know that there was a mystic club or that he bought some Edison ph ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3.5 stars. I had heard a lot about Gurdjieff but this was first his book that I read. Preface was quite a struggle to read and I was afraid that the whole book was going to be a like that. But no the book itself was light-hearted and adventurous which was fun to read as an adventure book but hard to believe that it was even close to authentic description of his life story. Spiritual matters were amazingly absent as always when the moment of truth had arrived Gurdjieff did as people sometimes do: ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Basically, you follow a story of a young Gurdjieff, not listening to opinions of educated persons on pseudo-scientific wonders of a young mind, but instead dismissing them as not wide/deep enough and then finding some drunk guys who share the same views and call them remarkable.
For example how it's possible that after a long drought period some folks made a religious ceremony and suddenly heavy rain. Coincidence? Young/old Gurdjieff don't think so.
Why should you trust him? Because he said arou
Aditya Nigudkar
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
At the onset , i do not know much about Gurdjieff. Reason to pick this book was to get to know him and the ideas he represent. On the first part the book does well where one gets to know him as an individual and his journey(although all characters mentioned are not as impactfull). But about his ideas this book talks very less and in parts scattered all over. The story is inspiring to an extent where it pushes for an invard journey no matter what are ones' external circumstances. Still i was look ...more
Stephen Coates
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this volume, Gurdjieff recounts men he’s met throughout his life that he regards as remarkable. Although some of the accounts sound a little exaggerated, if even only half of each such tale was true, the adjective remarkable would not be. And when he described, having heard a tale passed by generations of storytellers to and including his father was the same as the subsequently uncovered and translated Epic of Gilgamesh, it gives one cause to reflect on the ability of mankind, in the pre-lite ...more
James M
This was my first reading of Gurdjieff after hearing so much about him from different sources, and I didn't get much out of it. Rather dry and not particularly interesting read. Perhaps Gurdjieff isn't my cup of tea, or maybe this wasn't the best of his books to start with. I've read widely on occult & spiritual topics, including a lot of dense material. This one just didn't contain much insight as I was expecting after seeing so much praise for the man. ...more
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Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff (Armenian: Գեորգի Իվանովիչ Գյուրջիև, Georgian: გიორგი გურჯიევი, Greek: Γεώργιος Γεωργιάδης, Russian: Гео́ргий Ива́нович Гюрджи́ев, 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 entir

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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