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Ouspensky Foundation
updated till: 19-dec-01

read this first

(and some biographies)


This page will give a brief history of the work of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and the biographies of the leading figures in the discovery and further development of the teaching.


Three exponents of the esoteric teaching in the twentieth century
G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, L. MacLaren
By Dorine van Oyen

It has been said that the 20th century has produced more gurus, sages and messiahs than the previous five centuries put together, mainly due to the collapse of organised religion. The three men, G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky and L. MacLaren all lived within the span of a hundred years. For three years, Gurdjieff was the teacher of Ouspensky, who started a school of his own after a gap of ten years. L. MacLaren, who never met either of them, but who was a pupil of Ouspensky's successor, Dr. Roles, founded his own school based on the esoteric teaching of the other two. Although the three men operated independently from each other, their work was basically the same and consisted in rediscovering and reformulating the ancient esoteric teaching - 'eso' means 'inner' -, which like a subterranean stream disappears and reappears from time to time.

Gurdjieff and Ouspensky called their teaching "The Fourth Way", for it was not the way of the fakir, the monk, or the yogi, but of the ordinary householder, meaning that a man can continue to live an ordinary life, but, by working on three levels, physical, emotional and intellectual, he can develop himself to his full potential, provided he does so under the guidance of a teacher or a school. By means of the links below, you can see how at a certain point the Eastern stream very naturally flowed together with the Western, from which we can now reap the benefits.

From reading their biographies, the general conclusion could be that Gurdjieff struck a well, that the stream that welled up was channelled by Ouspensky and that MacLaren turned this stream into a waterway accessible to whomever is looking for it. Now it is up to the followers they left to navigate this waterway.

How Gurdjieff dug the well

How Ouspensky channelled the stream

How MacLaren turned this stream into an accessible waterway