The Gurdjieff Legacy

The legacy Gurdjieff handed down to us has multiple pillars. One pillar is the Gurdjieff Movements—remarkable dances whose virtue becomes obvious if and only if you participate in them. These may be objective dances. Another pillar is the music Gurdjieff composed with Thomas De Hartmann. Part, but not all of it, was created for the movements. You can assess its value by listening to live performances. It is less easy to assess whether this music is “objective” in its own right, but when combined with the movements, experience suggests that it is.

The third pillar of Gurdjieff’s legacy is group activities—the days Gurdjieff groups spend working together. The form of these activities was inherited, at least in part, from Gurdjieff’s organized work activities at The Prieuré. Participants in such events can decide for themselves whether their impact is objective.

And then there are Gurdjieff’s written works. Readers who have made an effort to read them in the ways Gurdjieff advised tend to conclude that they are indeed objective literature.
The fifth and final pillar of Gurdjieff’s legacy is his articulation of objective science. Objective science is the foundation of the psychological techniques and methods that Gurdjieff taught. It may be that it is the foundation of everything he taught, but he never said that.

The only direct source for objective science are Gurdjieff’s books and lectures including P D Ouspensky’s account of Gurdjieff’s teaching in In Search of the Miraculous. Aside from that, useful details can be gleaned from the writings of some of his pupils. We provide a bibliography of what we regard to be useful sources in the Appendix to this book. Gurdjieff never claimed to have invented any of it.