For me, this was perhaps one of the most important books I have read in the last ten years. P D Ouspensky was a Russian mathamatician/Philosopher of astounding intellect, who spent most of his years trying to answer those questions that have plagued mankind since our ancestors began to comprehend their existence. Why are we here, what should we be doing, and how can we improve, amongst others. With his scientific background he is not led nor blinded by the ideas of the fantastic, as so many 'new age' authors are, but by the determined resolve to find the truth in things. Although more famous for his time spent with Gurdjieff and subsequent works on his 'system' his earlier books still stand out like breaths of fresh air, still shining new light on old problems unafraid to look from different angles and dispute that which is unfounded of defies common sense. This book is more of a diary of his time with 'G' from the moment they meet to the moment they depart, and the fatastic accounts of in between. Ouspensky is no fool, and is instantly likeable for his honest,unshakeably grounded approach to all the ideas of 'the master'. What happens is a fantastic account of a 'no holes barred' system, that isn't afraid to tell poeple that which they dont wish to hear, whilst at the same time giving us a glimpse of the light at the end of our tunnels. This book inspired me to go on and read his other works, and those of gurdjieff - which together have given me a new direction for understanding some of the most difficult areas of philosophy and religion. I am not saying I agree with all the ideas, but if you want a book to make you really think about your life. This is about the best start you can get.