Peter Demianovich Ouspensky was born in Moscow in 1878. At the University of Moscow he studied natural science and psychology, and his first book, ‘The Fourth Dimension’, earned him immediate respect as a mathematical theorist. Ouspensky decided, however, to become a journalist and writer, contributing to the principal Russian newspapers, writing books and traveling widely between 1908 and 1915. The Revolution drove him from his home in St. Petersburg to the safety of Constantinople, where friends discovered him living in poverty. Lady Rothermere came across an edition of Ouspensky’s second book, ‘Tertium Organum’, and through her intervention he was able to come to England.
Ouspensky’s life had been changed in 1915 by his meeting with the Caucasian teacher G.I. Gurdjieff and he became a disciple of his. Ouspensky set up a self-supporting community at Lyne Place, near London, which flourished for many years. Among the men and women who studied with him were J.D .Beresford, Algernon Blackwood, A.R.Orage, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley. In 1940 he settled in America and formed a colony patterned after his earlier community. He died at Lyne Place in 1947.
In Search of the Miraculous, Fragments of an Unknown Teaching
P.D.Ouspensky was born in Moscow in 1878. His first book The Fourth Dimension (1909) offered a contribution to mathematical theory; it was Tertium Organum (1912) and a New Model of the Universe (written 1914) which revealed his stature as a thinker and his deep preoccupation with the problems of man’s existence.
Ouspensky’s search for truth brought him in 1915 to his meeting in Moscow with George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff who revealed to him his system of knowledge which Ouspensky recognised as a vital need for mankind at the present time.
This record of Ouspensky’s eight years of work as G.I. Gurdjieff’s pupil is to be compared with Plato’s presentation of the life and teaching of Socrates. Written with direct simplicity this book cannot fail to convey the impression that not only did he discover a real knowledge about Man and the Universe, but that a practical teaching for the conduct of life is even now in existence. These are no theories of philosophy or psychology, but a complete understanding of the problems of life and the most direct instructions for the betterment of man’s existence.
Ouspensky describes the conversations between Gurdjieff and his pupils with an exactness which conveys a vivid picture of two of the most extraordinary men of our generation and dramatically relates the story of the preservation of this teaching by Gurdjieff and his small circle through the period when Tsarist Russia was destroyed.
Times Literary Supplement: “In Search of the Miraculous is undoubtedly a tour de force. To put an entirely new and very complex cosmology and psychology into fewer than 400 pages, and to do this with a book accessible to any educated reader is in itself an achievement.”
Sunday Times: “The chaos within man, resulting from his lack of a permanent controlling self, and the chaos without, run as two complementary themes throughout the whole of this absorbingly interesting book. Ouspensky writes with the greatest clarity and the reader could not have been provided with a better introduction to the far from easy work of his teacher Gurdjieff”
Extract from the Fifth Impression, 1964 (Published by Routledge
Printed in England by Percy Lund, Humphries and Co. Ltd
London and Bradford)
Published by Harcourt Publishers,U.S., United States (2001) ISBN 10: 0156007460 ISBN 13: 9780156007467
The Fourth Way
This book is the most complete statement of the ideas which P.D.Ouspensky taught. It gives a lucid explanation of the practical side of Gurdjieff’s teaching and shows how a Way of inner development can be followed in ordinary life. Gurdjieff gave his teaching in the form of raw material which it was Ouspensky’s specific task to put together into a systematic whole. When he came to London Ouspensky made it his work to transmit these ideas by means of lectures and talks.
Published by Random House USA Inc, United States (2000) ISBN 10: 0394716728 ISBN 13: 9780394716725