“I was able to study thoroughly a fundamental characteristic of his teaching, namely, that while the truth sought for was always the same, the forms through which he helped his pupils approach it served only for a limited time. As soon as a new understanding had been reached, the form would change. … As Gurdjieff himself used to say: 'All the parts which constitute the human being must be informed-informed in the only way which is appropriate for each of them-otherwise the development will be lopsided and unable to go further.' … The ideas are a summons, a summons towards another world, a call from one who knows and who is able to show us the way. But the transformation of the human being requires something more. It can only be achieved if there is a real meeting between the conscious force which descends and the total commitment that answers it. This brings about a fusion.
A new life can then appear in a new set of conditions which only someone with an objective consciousness can create and develop.
But to understand this one must have passed through all the stages of this development oneself.
Without such experience and understanding the work will lose its effectiveness and the conditions will be wrongly interpreted; they will not be brought at the right moment and one will see situations and efforts remaining on the level of ordinary life and uselessly repeating themselves.”
|Jeanne de Salzmann (from the Foreword to “Views From the Real World”)
In 1953 the Gurdjieff Foundation was incorporated in New York, in accordance with the wish expressed by Gurdjieff himself and under the guidance of Jeanne de Salzmann. From that date most of the activities of his pupils in America, which had been carried on in private since the 1920's, came under the general direction of the Foundation.
The Gurdjieff Foundation of California established a Los Angeles branch in 1959 under the guidance of John Pentland, then President of the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York, and other students of Gurdjieff. The Foundation functions within the forms of work created and directly communicated by Gurdjieff to his pupils including regular group meetings, Movements classes, and various practical activities. The Los Angeles group maintains close ties to the Gurdjieff Foundations in San Francisco, New York, and Paris.