Born in 1866, G. I. Gurdjieff brought The Work to the West in the first quarter of the 20th century. During his youth and early adulthood, Gurdjieff sought the meaning of life in Asia, Tibet, Egypt, and other areas of the Earth. Gurdjieff found secret and esoteric schools where he learned various spiritual traditions, in particular one ancient oral tradition called The Work which has been handed down from teacher to pupil for thousands of years. After this long search, Gurdjieff went to Moscow and St. Petersburg in Tsarist Russia about 1913, just before the Russian Revolution.
Here Gurdjieff began his lifelong work of teaching the Work in the West, and during this phase he met his most prominent pupil and friend, P. D. Ouspensky, who later placed the Work in a form suitable for the Western mind.
At the outbreak of the Revolution in 1917, Gurdjieff went to the city of Essentuki in the Caucasus, then in 1919 he established The Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia.
Later Gurdjieff attempted to re-establish his Institute in Hampstead in London, England, but was unable to obtain a visa from the British government to do so. He then went to France and rented a house in Paris Auteil in 1922. Gurdjieff finally settled near Paris at the Chateau du Prieuré near Fontainebleau in October 1922, and stayed there until 1933. He then went to Paris, where he lived in a flat in 6 Rue de Colonels Renard, met with pupils and wrote his books in the Café de la Paix, and taught the Work until his death on 1949.10.29.
G. I. Gurdjieff' wrote All & Everything, three series of books to transmit the Work in written form to future generations.
- First Series: Three books under the title of An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man, or Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson.
- Second Series: Three books under the common title of Meetings With Remarkable Men (published posthumously).
- Third Series: Four books under the common title of Life is Real, Only Then, When 'I Am' (published posthumously).