The Gurdjieff Heritage Society Mission
The mission of the Gurdjieff Heritage Society (GHS) is to honor, preserve and disseminate materials, ideas and practices derived directly from the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff as collected and interpreted by his pupils. In particular we take responsibility for the archival materials donated to the Gurdjieff Heritage Society with the specific aim of protecting and facilitating their use in the honest practice of the Work put forth by Mr. Gurdjieff.
About George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
George Ivanovitch (G. I.) Gurdjieff was a spiritual leader who advocated for achieving a higher state of consciousness through what he called “The Work”, a form of internal work on oneself. Born in Russia in the late 19th century to parents of Greek and Armenian origin, Gurdjieff taught in Russia, Georgia, Turkey, France, and eventually the United States.
Gurdjieff taught that the way to experience “The Work” began with physical labor. He emphasized strenuous labor combined with lectures, music, and sacred dance (Movements). His focus was to increase mindfulness and minimize daydreaming. Gurdjieff’s sacred dances, called “Movements,” was one method he used to help followers focus their minds. The Movements were not intended for performance, but as a form of spiritual development.
His followers included composer Thomas de Hartmann and his wife Olga, who became Gurdjieff’s secretary; Jeanne de Salzmann (who founded the Gurdjieff Foundation in 1949); Alfred Orage (who would eventually supervise The Work in New York); P. D. Ouspensky (one of Gurdjieff’s earliest followers) and many others. Among his early pupils was Jessmin Howarth, who became an expert on Gurdjieff’s Movements and how they should be performed. Other prominent Movement students included Alfred Etievan and Marthe de Gaigneron.