George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was a mystic and spiritual teacher. He described his teaching as "Esoteric Christianity". Gurdjieff's teaching mainly addresses the question of people's place in Universe and their possibilities for inner development. He also emphasized that people live their lives in a state he referred to as "waking sleep," but that higher levels of consciousness, higher bodies, and various inner abilities are possible. He claimed that the teachings he brought to the West from his own experiences and early travels expressed the truth found in ancient mystery religions.
Although he called his discipline "The Work" (ie: work on oneself)… in his early lectures, Gurdjieff described his approach to self-development as a "Fourth Way". In contrast to the three eastern teachings that emphasize the development of the body, mind, or the emotions separately, Gurdjieff's exercises worked on all three at the same time to promote comprehensive and balanced inner development.
The Enneagram is a figure published in 1947 in In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky, and an integral part of the so-called Fourth Way esoteric system associated with Gurdjieff. The term "enneagram" derives from two Greek words, ennea (nine) and grammos (something written or drawn). These six points together with the point numbered 9 are said to represent the main stages of any complete process, and can be related to the notes of a musical octave, 9 being equivalent to "Do" and 1 to "Re" etc. The points numbered 3 and 6 are said to represent "shock points" which affect the way a process develops.
Ouspensky claimed in In Search of the Miraculous that the enneagram was part of the teachings originally presented by G.I. Gurdjieff in Russia during the First World War. Gurdjieff is quoted by Ouspensky as claiming that this form of enneagram was an ancient secret and was now only being partly revealed for the first time.
According to Gurdjieff, the figure can be used to describe any natural whole phenomenon, cosmos, process in life or any other piece of knowledge. The figure is the central organizing glyph of the Fourth Way's view of the material world which Gurdjieff is quoted by Ouspensky as relating to alchemy.
The creation of universe is also described in In Search of the Miraculous in terms of an octave, the Ray of Creation and therefore implicitly in terms of an enneagram. This concept most closley resembles the Eight Brain Model of Consciousness utilized in Tekgnostics.
Gurdjieff presented his teachings in a book trilogy entitled "All and Everything". Book one being written as a science fiction epic… “Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson”.
The plot of Beelzebub's Tales primarily revolves around the ruminations of an extraterrestrial known as "Beelzebub" to his grandson Hassein, as they travel through space towards Beelzebub's home planet "Karatas" on the spaceship Karnak. It mainly recounts the adventures and travails of Beelzebub amongst the 'three-brained beings' (humans) of the planet Earth. Beelzebub covers the entire history of the strange behaviors and customs of these beings.
Opinions on Gurdjieff's writings and activities are divided. Sympathizers regard him as a charismatic master who brought new knowledge into Western culture, a psychology and cosmology that enable insights beyond those provided by established science. Critics assert he was simply a charlatan with a large ego and a constant need for self-glorification.
- taken in part from wikpedia
A global database of Fourth Way contacts can be found here.