George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
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was born in Armenia sometime between 1866 -1877. Although his first tutor was a priest, he received a scientific education, but in surroundings and a way of life that had changed little for centuries. To his questions: who am l? Why am I here? He found no real answer either in religion or in science, but suspected that the truth lay hidden behind what had come down from the past in religious traditions and in myths and legends which he learned from his father, a traditional bard or 'ashokh'. Along with like-minded companions, he set out to find in Asia and Africa the truth that he sought, learning several languages, and acquiring many practical skills to earn the money for his journeys.

G. I. Gurdjieff

In 1912 he brought to Moscow an unknown teaching, a teaching that was not a religion, nor a philosophy, but a practical teaching to be lived. To follow the way he proposed, nothing is to be believed, and life in the world is not to be renounced. It is a way in life, on which - gradually for it cannot be done all at once - everything has to be questioned - one's beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, one's whole outlook on the life of humanity on this Earth.

Man is asleep, said Gurdjieff, he has no real consciousness or will, he is not free; to him, everything happens. He can become conscious and find his true place as a human being in the creation, but this requires a profound transformation.

After the Russian revolution and the First World War, Gurdjieff set up an institute in France, and later taught in Paris. His book All and Everything, Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson is "an Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man", man within the scale of the universe. From a very old tradition which he rediscovered, he brought exercises and Sacred Dances based on universal laws, to stretch the pupil to the utmost in the search for harmony and awakening.

After his death in Paris in 1949 his closest pupils, led by Mme de Salzmann, continued the oral transmission of his practical teaching through activities touching all sides of a man, and this tradition continues today. The Society in London (to which the group in Ireland is affiliated) was established at that time and has remained in close touch with the other main locations of Gurdjieff's teaching in Paris and New York, always adapting to new conditions whilst remaining true to its source. There are associated groups in many other countries and elsewhere in the British Isles.

© The Gurdjieff Society, Ireland