Toward Awakening: An Approach to the Teaching Brought by Gurdjieff (Hardcover) Review

Toward Awakening: An Approach to the Teaching Brought by GurdjieffThe teachings of twentieth century mystic/philosopher GI Gurdjieff are a difficult but rewarding journey. Central to his ideas is the concepts that we are all asleep, we are all machines, incapable of Will or free choice. Also that we are predominantly false personality and have forgotten our Essential nature. Those who doubt these words have only to look at the world around them (and by extension, themselves). G himself wrote "Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson, All and Everything" but this work is unbelieveably difficult to read with G's constant use of run-on sentences and foot-long, made-up words to express his difficult to understand ideas.

The most well known text of Gurdjieff's ideas was written not by G himself, but by his student PD Ouspensky, "In Search of the Miraculous". Ouspensky recounts, in chronological order, what he learned at the master's feet. This book is brilliant and reading it (with proper understanding with practice exercises from a Work group) is a life changing experience. Gurdjieff's ideas are nothing less than the central, common points behind all mysticism and the esoteric traditions of major religions.

Now back in print is a new translation of Frenchman Jean Vaysse's book "Toward Awakening" where another Gurdjeiff directly-taught student further renders down the psychological aspects of G's teaching in a clearer form with words more readers will understand. Vaysse does not discuss to cosmological ideas and thus narrows his focas. Vaysse discusses how to awaken. Topics include indentification, self-remembering, centers and their functioning, essence and personality, and more.

As with "In Search", and other G books, it is said the student will get NOWHERE without being part of an authentic Work group and getting study exercises. This will only lead to misunderstanding and speculation. But Vaysse has done us a great service to provide these G Work psychological ideas in the clearest terms available, to date.

This book has been out of print for years. Serious Gurdjeiff students will get it while they can.

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Product Description:
Toward Awakening provides a clear, chapter-by-chapter summation of the major points of Gurdjieff's teachings. In accessible language, author Jean Vaysse first expresses the meaning and possibility of an inner life, then follows a logical exposition of the path to be traveled in order to move in that direction. That process, he explains, begins with an exposition of the key ideas of the structure of humans, the practices of "self-observation" and "self-remembering," the concept of presence, and the dual roles of essence and personality in determining the overall nature of each individual. The author outlines the obstacles to awakening, as well as the first steps toward awakening. Missing in most books about the Gurdjieff teaching is the key role played by sensation, a topic that Vaysse covers with a clarity based on his personal experience.

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