This book fills a
void in studies of Gurdjieff by focusing exclusively on his written philosophy,whereas
previous books have emphasized his oral teaching and pedagogical psychology.
It is also the first
reading of the three series of Gurdjieff’s All and Everything as
an organic whole, tracing the work’s progressive exposition of an essential relationship between
time, word and being.
As such, Gurdjieff’s
exposition of the dynamic interplayof these concepts address major concerns
throughout the process of Western Philosophy. While Gurdjieff is said
to have brought Eastern Wisdom to Western technological energy, he proves
himself conversant with the major scientific and philosophical issues
in both West and East cultural history.
This study covers
Gurdjieff’s concepts of subjective and objective time, time as energy
and time as space. It exposes his exposition of the universality of semiotic
expressions in the arts—dance, theatre, weaving, and writing—opposing
a general devolution of man’s linguistic capacities in mundane social
contexts such as advertising, journalism and business.
His ontology, or science
of being, is revealed as issue of the economy of time and use of languages.
The three series of his work—exoteric, mesoteric and esoteric—develop
these ideas incrementally not only in the context of Western thought but also in the light of Near and Far Eastern
How his ideas survive
today is the book’s final consideration.
Paul Beekman Taylor,
born in London, lived with Gurdjieff as an infant at the Prieuré
and worked with him in 1948 and 1949. He studied in the United States
and Norway before assuming the post of Professor of Medieval English languages
and literatures in Geneva where he now lives.