George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (January 14, 1866? – October 29, 1949) was an influential spiritual teacher of the early twentieth century. He called his discipline the Fourth Way. He described his teaching as “esoteric Christianity.” Gurdjieff brought to the West from his own experiences and early travels, the truth found in ancient religions and wisdom teachings relating to self-awareness in people’s daily lives and humanity’s place in the universe. Among the books he wrote are Life Is Real Only Then, When ‘I Am’, All and Everything, Meetings With Remarkable Men and Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson.
Gurdjieff on As Above so Below
Gurdjieff admitted his presentation had deep roots stemming as far back as Hermetic Egypt. He quoted from the Hermetic Tablets and pointed out the absolute of looking outside in order to see within:
George Gurdjieff reiterated the Hermetic message as above so below in the twentieth century, as documented by his pupil Peter Ouspensky. His approach criticized modern scientific studies, the delved deep into many areas of the world while neglecting the cosmos of man. The macro-cosmos, the world that surrounded man, was only to be studied in so far as it shed light onto the micro-cosmos, the human being.
As within so without: certain phenomena could more readily be observed in man, while others in the world around him. To gain complete knowledge, one therefore had to pursue both lines of investigation. Failure to do so would result in purely theoretical knowledge, as the scientist who knows the galaxies but remains ignorant of himself, or the physician who cannot heal himself.