EnneagramFourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School Education Concerning the Work Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and their students.
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Minor Players

A number of minor groups exist throughout the world, more or less connected with the Work. This information is presented so that you may make informed decisions. We can not and do not make recommendations as to which groups to join.

Caveat emptor! Buyer beware!

England

A group in South London

Founded by the late Sydney V. Fisher, a pupil of Kenneth Walker, MD, this group met from about 1966 until the founder died in the early 1990s. Although the founder's wife tried to maintain the group's work despite severe personal illness, unfortunately the group now appears to continue by inertia. Members are characterised by not knowing about the most basic ideas, such as the lower centres, responding to questions about that with statements such as, `We can't really know about that at our present level of being, can we?'

Sydney V. Fisher's written work.

Survivors of P. D. Ouspensky's school in London, England

A few elderly survivors still meet from time to time.

They were very kindly old ladies and offered me tea. I became so comfortable in their soft well-worn armchairs I had difficulty staying awake.

Groups run by pupils, and pupils of pupils, of J. G. Bennett

These groups met formally and informally in England, Australia, and the United States from the 1970s; some have disbanded; some have survived to the present day, but many `on a tangent mostly unconnected with the Work'.

Several groups in the Midlands and North of England

Research being conducted presently. Several of these appear to be spinoff degenerate groups.

Several groups in London, England

Research being conducted presently. Some of these appear to be spinoff degenerate groups.

Europe and Scandinavia

Several groups in Italy

I want to congratulate you on your gurdjieffian pages: really the best on the net.

Since 2 years I'm in a small group in Florence, Italy. The oldest and largest groups are in Rome and Milan. Both these groups have been founded by Monsieur Henri Thomasson. Especially the Milan group is an important centre. It counts in the ranks of its pupils or ex-pupils, persons like Franco Battiato or Alice, very famous composers and singers, who made, with their music and performances, a remarkable work on the third line. The group of Florence, in which I study, is a smaller and younger one. The lady who conducts the group is also French and her teacher, an old lady from Paris, has been for 8 years (1941/1949) a direct pupil of M. Gurdjieff. She was acquainted with René Daumal and, in more recent years, with Peter Brook. Being on this line, we are in friendly relation but absolutly indipendent from M. Thomasson's groups.

1) About the groups: I don't think they have a website. Italian web is not yet so esteemed to entertain such initiatives (it's mostly good for porno promotions, political quarrels and other amenities). Anyway it is daily growing and maybe some italian group will sooner or later have one.

2) Franco Battiato (born near Catania, Sicily, in 1945) is the most important italian avantguarde-rock composer and singer. He started in the early 70', collaborated with Karleinz Stockhausen and in the 80' turned from electronic experimentation to more audience-oriented works, inspired to arabian music and european classical tradition. In the summer of '81 one of his hits was `Centro di gravità permanente' (Permanent Centre of Gravity): thousands of teen-agers started to sing about `centre of gravity' or `associative thinking' without even asking themselves about the meaning of those words… but somebody did (is this called a B influence?). Gurdjieff and sufi inspired all of his works. You can find an english adaptation-traslation of his selected songs called Echoes of sufi dances (Emi, 1985) and a compilation of this year, in Emi classics, including Messa Arcaica (a mass) and other religious hymns. He also produced three operas: Genesi (1987); Gilgamesh (1991); Il cavaliere dell'intelletto (1995). His best productions are La voce del padrone (Emi, 1981) and Fisiognomica (Emi, 1988).

Alice (real name Carla Bissi, born in Forlì, in 1954) is a wonderful lady and singer. Not really popular but well esteemed. In the '80 she gave very intense and passionate versions of Battiato's songs. She collaborated with many British musicians as Peter Hammill (ex-Van Der Graaf Generator), Danny Thompson (ex-Pentangle), Steve Jansen (ex-Japan) and others. You can listen to her last record Charade (Wea, 1996) or to Il sole nella pioggia (Emi, 1989) or to Gioielli rubati (Emi, 1985-Anthology of Battiato's songs)). References to the Work are subtle but constant in her lyrics.

3) About the physical work: our teacher says that practising yoga or tai-chi may be of some help if you can't have the rhythmic movements. Anybody in the group makes something (or nothing) at pleasure. I studied yoga but I stopped one year ago for lack of time and money. As soon as possible and with a good yoga teacher, I want to take up again.

4) About the exercises: Every morning the `rappel' (like our French teachers call it): sitting and sensing all of your body and your body as a whole; conscious breathing; stopping the inner rumours; sensing and feeling `I am'. At every weekly meeting a collective `rappel'; reading and discussing about Beelzebub or others M. Gurdjieff, M. De Salzmann, M. Nicoll's (and others) writings; talking about our experiences with the weekly exercise; receiving the new weekly exercise. It's sounds very `routine'… The weekly exercise is a task: something to do or not to do. For example, to leave a spoonful of your food in your dish, or to remember yourself or feeling a limb when you're answering to the telephone, etc. Sometimes are more complicated: to make some usual activity as we were actors playing a role, etc. Sometimes (rarely) we made some manual labour in silence (gathering firewood in the forest).

5) About my connections with the Work and the group: I have always been interested in spirituality, philosophy and metaphisics (from an intellectual point of view). In 1992, after the `ritual' journey through northern India, I started practicing meditation (tibetan Mahayana tradition) and yoga. In the meantime I read Ouspensky's In Search of the Miracolous and then Gurdjieff's Meetings with R. M.. It seemed the perfect teaching for me: balance of east and west; lack of religious sentimentality; harsh and not consolatory approach. I wanted to overcome my tendency to simple theory, so I was looking for a group. A friend of mine introduced me to a girl who was in a group; we talked; she talked to her teacher; I had a date with the teacher and, after a brief `interview', I was allowed to get in.

6) About your website: I simply made a thematic research about `Gurdjieff' and then I explored all the mentioned sites. I found that your site was the most useful and complete.

I hope that my answers have been satisfactory. I beg your pardon for my broken english.

Several groups in Sweden

Research being conducted presently. Some of these appear to be spinoff degenerate groups.

Australasia

A group in New Zealand

Founded by the late Abdullah (Neil) Dougan, these groups have mixed work knowledge with practices such as fortune-telling with a pendulum, and Islamic beliefs. Abdullah (Neil) Dougan's written works.

Several groups in Australia

Apparently most groups flourished during the 1970s, and are now disbanded. Further research being conducted presently.

A group in Sydney

Apparently this group flourished during the 1970s and is now disbanded. Further research being conducted presently.

United States and Canada

A group in Birmingham, Alabama

There were only four of us. The teacher was about 93 years old and the others close behind. In just three meetings we planted a garden and I got some real insight into what a real school would be like. I have never met anyone like these men, strong and manly for sure but the kindest, most sensitive and caring people I have ever met. The few little exercises I was given to do about self-remembering, really started me on the way to being able to work.

A group in San Anselmo, California

Founded by the late Robert Gibson aka `Rhondell', this group has now apparently disbanded.

Several groups in Washington, DC

A group run by the late Hugh Ripmann is apparently now conducted by his wife.

They all had these serious faces and spoke in low voices, as though they were afraid of showing any emotion whatsoever. They were all very stiff.

A group connected with Robert Gibson. This group has apparently disbanded.

A group in Hawaii

This group is allegedly run by pupils of Kenneth Walker, MD aka `Thane'.

A group in the Midwest USA (Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan)

Further research being conducted presently. This appears to be a spinoff degenerate group.

A group in Vermont

Replete with a `hermitage' for the leaders to live in, this group exercises close control over member's behaviour, especially their sex life. Further research being conducted presently. This appears to be a spinoff degenerate group.

A group in Charles Town, West Virginia

Remnants of J. G. Bennett's American experiment, this group appear now to concentrate their efforts on selling books and tapes, and giving weekend courses.

A group in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Further research being conducted presently. This appears to be a degenerate cult `center'.

A group in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Further research being conducted presently. This appears to be a degenerate cult `center'.

South America and Mexico

Several groups in Brazil

Further research being conducted presently. There are a number of groups in Brazil loosely connected with each other. There are yet other groups in Brazil that appear to be spinoff degenerate groups.

Several groups in Mexico

Further research being conducted presently. At least one of these appears to be a spinoff degenerate group.

Other Contemporaries and Descendants

Other contemporaries and descendants of G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky also played roles in this tradition. Some of them authored works of literature, established groups of their own, or inherited groups. Here is a short alphabetical list of some of them: Elizabeth Bennett, Peter Brook, Christopher Fremantle, Pauline De Gampierre, Marthe De Gaigneron, Thomas De Hartmann, Robert S. De Ropp, Jeanne De Salzmann, Michel De Salzmann, Maurice Desselle, Malcolm Gibson, Peter Gloster, Jane Heap, Kathryn Hulme, Antony Juer, Rowland Kenney, Mme Henriette Lannes, James Moore (a student of Mme Henriette Lannes, after writing a mildly critical article of the Gurdjieff Society, the `official' disapproval of their hierarchy forced him to leave, and he started his own group in England), C. S. Nott, Willem Nyland, Madame Ouspensky, Paul Reynard, William Segal, Henri Thomasson (established groups in Italy), Basil Tilley, Henri Tracol.

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