Right around the turn of the 20th century, G.I. Gurdjieff initiated a group of spiritual adventurers called the "Seekers of Truth". These intrepid intellectuals of every stripe criss-crossed Africa and Asia in search of the hidden mysteries of antiquity. In Meetings with Remarkable Men
, Gurdjieff narrates their exploits while drawing portraits of these extraordinary figures (including one woman and a dog). Half travel journal, half autobiography, Meetings with Remarkable Men
begins with Gurdieff's childhood, when he finds his book learning at odds with paranormal events that were self-evidently real but inexplicable through modern science. Later he discovers a map of "pre-sands Egypt" and evidence of the Sarmound Brotherhood, alleged keepers of ancient wisdom dating back four-and-a-half millennia. He climbs the Himalayas, follows the Nile, and is led blindfolded to a mysterious monastery. In his encounters with dervishes, monks and fakirs, Gurdjieff recovers the wisdom he seeks, by comparison with which European understanding, he says, is backwards and barbaric. A controversial figure in his time, Gurdjieff inspired deep love and loyalty in his pupils and ridicule from sceptics. At the bookends of Meetings with Remarkable Men
, Gurdjieff suggests the value of blurring the line between allegory and straight reporting. But then what exactly is Meetings with Remarkable Men
? You be the judge. --Brian Bruya
About the Author
Gurdjieff was born in Alexanderpol in 1877 and trained both as a priest and physician. For some twenty years he travelled in the remotest regions of Central Asia and the Middle East, moulding his thought. On his return he began to gather pupils in Moscow, and from this base his ideas began to spread worldwide.