In Search of Being

In Search of Being 
The Fourth Way to Consciousness 

G. I. Gurdjieff 

One hundred years ago in Russia, G.I. Gurdjieff began introducing a spiritual teaching of man’s conscious evolution—a way of gnosis or “knowledge of Being” passed on from remote antiquity. Gurdjieff’s early talks in Europe were published in the form of chronological fragments preserved by his close followers P. D. Ouspensky and Jeanne de Salzmann. Now these teachings are presented as a comprehensive whole in Gurdjieff’s own direct words.

Gurdjieff respected traditional religious practices, which he regarded as falling into three general categories or “ways:” the Way of the Fakir, related to mastery of the physical body; the Way of the Monk, based on faith and feeling; and the Way of the Yogi, which focuses on development of the mind.

He presented his teaching as a “Fourth Way” that integrates these three aspects into a single path of self-knowledge. The principles are laid out as a way of knowing and experiencing an awakened level of Being to be verified for oneself.

Browse inside

See: Shambhala Publications


Every so often there comes along a book for which I find myself completely unprepared. One such book was In Search of the Miraculous which asked questions I could not answer and which still asks questions I cannot answer, and that was half a century ago. Another such book is The Reality of Being, subtitled “The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff,” based on notes and annotations of Jeanne de Salzmann. That book appeared only two years ago and it has already acquired something of a following. Its appearance too was unheralded.

The present book is yet another surprise. It is called In Search of Being, the subtitle is “The Fourth Way to Consciousness,” and the author is given as G.I. Gurdjieff. Another book by Gurdjieff? (I recall with relish the clever cartoon that shows a hand-written notice posted on the signboard on the lawn of a parish church. Here are the words on that notice: “Important, If True.”) Later in this review I will look into the question of authenticity of this publication and its text. Right now I want to describe the volume that is resting on my desk, for it is an uncommonly handsome piece of bookmanship, as well as something of a surprise!

Read more