A.R.Orage was born in 1873 in Huntingdon and in 1874 the family moved to North Yorkshire where his father acquired a teaching post.
Orage showed a superior intellect at an early age and at 21 he obtained a post at the Leeds Board School, where he taught children of various ages. His flair as an educator lead him into studying philosophy, socialism and theosophy. He was also the founder of the Leeds Theosophical Lodge.
At the age of 30 he moved to London as a journalist where he became the editor of the ‘New Age’ magazine. According to his contemporaries he was the most brilliant editor that England had had for a hundred years. His critical faculties were impeccable.
In spite of his success he became restless to understand more about the meaning of life. In finding a possible answer he moved amongst Lady Rothermere’s circles where he met P.D.Ouspensky and later Gurdjieff himself, in 1922.
Gurdjieff’s lectures convinced Orage that he had found the teacher he was looking for. he made a complete break with London, sold the ‘New Age’ and went to live at the Prieurie, at Fontainebleau near Paris in order to join Gurdjieff’s school.
His journalistic skills were used by Gurdjieff in translating ‘All & Everything’ from Russian into English and he was sent by Gurdjieff to America to help establish the Fourth Way ideas. Orage established various groups in America but in 1931 after being away from England for 7 years he decided to return. In 1932 he issued the ‘New English Weekly’ which was a magazine used for promoting new ideas in social, cultural and financial reform. It was Orage’s intention to re-join Gurdjieff in France but he died an untimely and premature death when he was just 61 years old.
On hearing the news of Orage’s death Gurdjieff said:
“I loved Orage as brother. There was indeed in him such a composition of positive qualities that all sorts and conditions of men could not help but love and respect him.”
Orage’s body is buried in Old Hampstead Churchyard. On the the head stone is the Enneagram engraved with the words of Krishna to Arjuna:
“Your grieve for those who should not be grieved for. The wise grieve neither for the living nor the dead. Never at any time was I not, not thou, nor these princes of men. Nor shall we cease to be hereafter. The unreal has no being. The real never ceased to be.”
Orage, Alfred R., 1954. Essays and Aphorisms, Biographical note by C.S. Nott, London: Janus Press.
Moore, James, 1991. Gurdjieff – The Anatomy of a Myth, Dorset: Element.
de Hartmann, Thomas and Olga, 1922. Our Life with Mr. Gurdjieff , London: Arkana/Penguin.