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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 1999
Gurdjieff's "Beelzebub Tales to His Grandson" is not your everyday type book. Its intentions are not to entertain, but to shock the reader into conscious awareness of the many mechanisms that control his/her own life. Ions after his fall from heaven we find Beelzebub completely transformed through experience into the wisest of beings. In a interplanetary mission to keep our galaxy in order, Beelzebub makes use of a delay to teach his grandson about many things of importance, and especially about those strange beings on the planet earth. The funny thing is that the reader becomes the grandson, and it is Gurdjieff whom teaches us about the reality of our unconscious "living". It is a book not intended to be an easy read, the book demands us to make great conscious efforts to understand the content and to keep alert. However, any effort put into the book is petty in comparison to the gain. "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson" gives us a choice to remain the automatons we are, or to take a step into realizing our potential as conscious beings. It is one of the most important books...ever.
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on 10 December 2001
There are many books that have made me think 'Wow, I'll never be the same again after this'; that have, while reading them, inspired and excited me. But unfortunately, this feeling so soon fades, and the books are so often soon forgotten. Beelzebub's tales will remain with me. They are an effort to read, but they are very wise and very important for us in the state we are in as human beings. If you've been searching for an answer to explain the nagging feeling of something been wrong in the world, this book, I wager, holds it. It's quite funny too!
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on 26 December 2005
Great to those who are able to see beyond the words written. Total nonsence to those who can't. If you look for an easy read without having to do any inward work well maybe this isn't the book for you. Those working on inner discovery, well here is a challenge.
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on 29 April 2016
i love it ,m i have only read teh first few pages and realised i wasnt quite ready for it at this point in my life with all teh studies i was doing, this is like philisophical mental arithmetic, not for the faint hearted reader.
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on 18 June 2007
This philosophical expose` covers ancient history, many truths about man, and what our planet looks like from the perspective of a higher life form. Wars, Diet, the Creation and Maintainence of the Universe are but a few samples of topics covered by G in his 1200 page tome.

The writing style presents a unique challenge to the reader, forcing him to hold consciously the idea presented in his mind, and further to think about it in a way the author had intended. It also minimizes incorrect interpretation, and gives you the pure intent of what the author was trying to say.

A fictituous novel - it holds more truth then any non-fiction book I've yet to read. Granted, much is hidden in allegory, but overall his message is clear and obvious, assuming you can hold you attention on the work and not give up on it.

Overall it forces your mind to work harder, and thus improve itself throughout the course of the work. Highly reccomended reading for anyone who has mental agility, patience and enjoys the challenge of a truly unique read.
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on 2 June 2012
Gurdjieff's 'Way' may be a genuine path of self-development, similar to Sri Aurobindo's 'Integral Yoga', but I'm not sure his vision was as complete. This may be reflected by his Enneagram symbol - an incomplete star with no zero point.

On the other hand, he may be the charlatan & nutcase many have claimed.

I read this triology to try to get the measure of him, but it's not shed much light. I'm not sure that his own books are the best way in to his teachings, apparently you need to read the accounts of his pupils Oupensky et al to get a true picture of his work.

Gurdjieff seems to embody the 'Trickster' archetype. As I like rebels this might appeal, but his egotism, (pseudo?) bombast, endless practical jokes, among other things, render him somewhat tiresome. A bit like hanging out with Mr Toad.

'Meetings with Remarkable Men' is interesting - an allegorical as much as a biographical work. However 'Beelzebub's Tales' is verbose, self-glorifying, rambling & altogether tedious. He may be challenging my 'waking sleep' & the joke's on me, but I was too bored to care.

While he's an interesting figure, his 'Way' isn't for me.
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on 16 January 2009
This book had a very deep impact on me, and continues to do so many years later. Having read the other reviews - and I would echo them in the main - there is one particular point that I feel should be added to what others have said. The book has a difficult style (as everyone feels compelled to mention), but we tend to make it far more difficult for ourselves in the way we approach it. To try to understand it in an intellectual way, as we would most books we read, is very difficult (I would argue deliberately impossible), and if we try that way we will be dismayed and frustrated, or think the book nonsensical or absurd. From my years of efforts I would say that one of the most helpful ways of trying is to read the book as if I am reading it to myself, fully but without a certain kind of concern for how much I understand; to let it go in, to trust that if I read as attentively as I can then some part of me will receive something from it. Often it won't be my intellect that receives. I have received so much from my efforts in this direction that I cannot begin to convey it ... and my best wishes go to all who make an attempt.
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on 17 September 2008
I have reached the realization, pertaining to the oft-repeated decision-making process of the universal constant and constabulary, that humanity shan't be made approachable by any meaningful and straightforward means, making it pertinent, indeed inevitable, to communicate mentally what truths may be deemed appropriate by a process known as Honkatonkabuffagrabba, and thereby increase the mentational potential, perchance giving rise to something akin to a less conditioned existence in the foreseeable time-sequence known as "future perfect" of this race of thinking meat beings.

My dear Saddam Hussein, I have visisted this world seven times, and the first time I encountered a wise being named Kundaleenee Lantoo, who was sent to this system by a renegade named Pasha Ashta Astichka, and also his servant, Mr. Bon-Bon. They invented the process known as Honkatonkabuffagrabba, and clearing it with His Universal Eminency, got a blank cheque to investigate its manifold possibilities in the system Meherbabababushkakatebushka, under the influence of a certain organ, the name of which is impossible to pronounce for thinking meat beings.

I also visited Paris in France, my dear Adso. There I made the stunning and perforce highly awkward discovery, related to the mentational processes as previously described by Kundaleenee Lanto and Pasha, that most Frenchmen are more interested in their girlfriends and cheap sleezy erotic arousal through Rococo interiors, than the higher truths preached by His Universal Eminency. This is due to a fourth-wayed, whirling process known as Hamasjihadajumhuryiababa, and in consequence thereof, the thinking meat beings have forgot their true processual thinking, forcing me to come the most unpalatable conclusion, that the great commission of the good lord Amatoconda Cantahiria must thereby be relocated to the planet Willywonka, thereby easing the transition for the great plurality, indeed majority, of these conditioned thinking meat beings, under the sway of the Honkatonkabuffagrabba.

Got it?

:P
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on 17 June 2007
The depth and scope of Gurdjieff's Magnum Opus is truly astounding. Although he is very capable of expressing himself in simple and straightforward terms, as can be seen in his book 'Meetings With remarkable Men,' it is evident that he wrote this book for those of us who sincerely strive to see the unseen. This book forces us to exercise our critical thinking faculties and train our minds to "think like a hammer" on what we are reading so as to give us a true taste of what it really means to think beyond our sacred cow belief systems and assumptions based on years of mental conditioning and lethargy. The only other book that I have read that can compare in its sheer scope, depth and interrelatedness is Laura Knight's book "Secret History Of The World And How To Get Out Alive." Only a handful of books have cut through the maze of disinformation that is out there. Beelzebub's Tales is certainly one of them.
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on 27 August 2011
Who is the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him? Having read this book cover to cover i have to accept that it is thus i who is the more foolish. However if i can dissuade at least two people from suffering this self-aggrandising babble it will not have been in vain.

GIG appears to believe that the length of sentences that you use is the measure of your worth and, having not read Marks of Identity, that he is second in worth only to "our UNI-BEING ALL-EMBRACING ENDLESSNESS". (For rather plausible mimicry of his writing style see Ashtar Command "Mental seeker"'s 1-star review).

Furthermore his attitude to truth and reality are aptly demonstrated by this excerpt:
"Many experiments have been made , and it has been established with indubitable exactitude, that every man in definite states, as for example in the state of a certain stage of hypnotism, can remember to the most minute particular everything that has ever happened to him; he can remember all the details of the surroundings and the faces and voices of the people around him, even those of the first days of his life, when he was still, according to people's notions, an unconscious being."

The book is littered with declarations and assertions of this nature and innumerable contradictions and inconsistencies (which is even less forgivable given the substance and manner of GIG's preaching in this book).

I read this book having been aware only of quotes and short excerpts of GIG all of which seemed to contain significant wisdom, the value of which are now called into question.

Why 2-stars? Well there are some nuggets of wisdom in there, amongst the garbage, and he does on occasion manage some light humour. Also, reading this book must be good for one's concentration. All in all though there are far better ways to spend your time and effort.
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