GI Gurdjieff and his influence

GI Gurdjieff was a controversial 5th plane mystic who lived in the west during the first half of the 20th century.

He had extraordinary psychic abilities and taught a complex system of thought, exercises and self-development which is followed to this day by many people. However, the 5th plane, which he himself admitted to having attained (in his book “Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson”) is not the ultimate plane of consciousness, and he knew this.

That is why he wrote his book “The Herald of Coming Good”; he knew others would eventually come after him who could contextualise his activities and take his work beyond the fifth plane.

The Western Sufis under the Shah brothers tried this and failed, becoming another example of over-enthusiastic, unrealized people selling a creed stuck in its own limitations. In the end, Gurdjieff proved to be further along the path than they were, despite his predating their activities by a number of decades.

No, the only way to help Gurdjieffians now involves something most people seem to forget: one needs to be either on the sixth plane of consciousness, possessing a contextualising karma with Gurdjieff, or on the seventh plane, which is to say realised or enlightened, and thus able to offer universal help regardless of the teaching one is following.

Someone like Sri Aurobindo was on the sixth plane but he was contemporaneous with Gurdjieff, and also had no particular karma with him, so is of little use. Someone like the Indian Saint Chatti Baba was on the seventh plane but lived on a street in rags, hardly ever speaking to anyone, so was in no position to explain Western seekers to themselves, despite his rank.

People more recently like Alan Watts and Sadhguru can seem useful, but are usually only well-meaning intellectuals with some insight. They are really just seekers themselves, whatever they might think. They do not have the advanced stage required to help people on a deep level. In fact they are often not even on the first plane of consciousness yet, let alone beyond the fifth plane Gurdjieff had attained to.

However, in 2007 an English mystic, Alan Wrightson, who had studied Gurdjieff and undergone an Uwaysi-style discipleship under both Shah brothers, the Naqshbandi Sufis trying to claim ownership of Gurdjieff’s teaching, underwent Fana Fillah, a complete annihilation into the seventh plane, something neither of his Sufi masters (or Gurdjieff) had achieved. He then spent the next decade and more undergoing the extremely painful process of Bakka Billah, or coming down from God, involving a difficult relationship with the fifth plane Saint Mother Meera, his writing a number of books, and finally giving out talks that brought explanations of the very highest realities down to anyone with an hour to spare. But not in theory, or from over-enthusiasm. From experience.

Because he studied (and liked) Gurdjieff, his books can be very useful to G.’s students, as he shares a number of their ways of looking at the world. He doesn’t claim to be his successor and so on, as that is a misreading of the situation.  He has his own way of understanding things and explaining them. But those are often in harmony with Gurdjieff and his teaching, even if his presentation is informal and lacks the mysteriousness and strained motives of most people implying they have a spiritual rank. Why would he need to focus on maintaining such states when he has the stage?

His book Master Disaster is recommended for students of Gurdjieff and Sufism as a thorough explanation of the real, deep context for both of these teachings, grounded in the seventh plane. However, students might want to read accounts of how he came into that knowledge and rank by reading the prequel autobiography, “Confessions of a Daoist Heaven”.

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Scott Baber
Scott Baber
Senior Managing editor

Manages incoming enquiries and advertising. Based in London and very sporty. Worked news and sports desks in local paper after graduating.


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