Gurdjieff the Man

Another fragment, an extract from the vast well of Gurdjieffian literature. From the feedback, everyone is enjoying these fragments. But remember, there is a whole world of knowledge on this man alone. Not to mention other great men of history.

This tale, again comes from Tcheslaw Tchekhovitch’s book about Gurdjieff. This time it is being told by Mr. Gurdjieff’s sister Sophia.

You will notice that in this recollection Sophia refers to her brother as Gyorgi Ivanovitch. This is because of the part of the world they are from. I know him as George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, because i am from England.

Philip in English, translates to Felipe in Spanish. Lewis in English, to Lajos in Hungarian. But this information is secondary! Now on to the story of this Great Man:

This is a story that Sophia, Mr. Gurdjieffs sister, told me one day. “Gyorgi Ivanovitch,” she began, “had a deep affection and respect for our father. In his youth he returned to Alexandropol as often as he could to take care of the family. It was during this period that we began to experience hard times. The years of prosperity had passed and a series of misfortunes were about to overtake us. Once, after a long absence, he found our parents in a desperate financial situation. He soon managed to open a cinema in the town, and before long its substantial income relieved our family’s predicament.
“One day our father said to him, ‘once we have paid off our debts, I am going to give the next money we get to our Neighbours, who have so often helped us.’
“Gyorgi Ivanovitch listened attentively, and then asked several questions about these neighbours. They had always shown great respect for our parents and had helped them so much in difficult times that our parents were very grateful to them. In their turn, this family was now stricken with misfortune,” Sophia went on. “The son, abandoned by a women he adored, fell into despair, drowning his grief in alchahol. He dishonoured his worthy family to such an extent that the mere mention of his name caused them great suffering.
“When our father finished telling us this story, there was a heavy silence. We felt helpless in the face of this painful situation. Gyorgi Ivanovitch had listened without saying a word. The next morning he was gone for a long time, and over the next few days his absences continued. He went out reglarly either in the afternoon or in the evening and would return very late at night. He explained his absences by saying he was out on business.
“One day, the father of this unfortunate drunkard came to visit us and said, ‘Do you know our sons are very fond of each other; they are getting along very well. They seem to enjoy each other’s company and go out a lot. Gyorgi Ivanovitch has even suggested that they set up a business together.’
“Now our father knew very well,” Sophia continued, “that his son would never let himself fall under the infuence of a drunkard. In any case, owing to the apparently unforseen departure of Gyorgi Ivanovitch, The business didn’t in fact get off the ground.
“several week later, the pretext for this famous business venture became very clear. The neighbours’ son had stopped drinking and was very upset that he and his ‘best friend’ had failed to get their enterprise going. Because of this, shortly after Gyorgi had left, this young man was moved to set up a business of his own. Turning his mechanical skills to profit, he opened a repair shop, which was soon a great success. A year later he married and had his first child. He gradually won back his parents’ complete confidence and even began to manage their affairs.”
I understood that, in this case, the distressed neighbours had fulfilled the necessary conditions and therefore deserved Mr. gurdjieff’s help.


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