The introduction provides the necessary background and definitions to study our questions: When and why did Gurdjieff introduce his contemplation-like exercises, and why? It defines “meditation,” “contemplation,” “mysticism,” “Western Esotericism,” and four terms to be used for Gurdjieff’s internal exercises: “task,” “discipline,” “Aiëssirittoorassnian-contemplation,” and “Transformed-contemplation.” It sketches the thesis that Gurdjieff’s method as a whole tends towards mysticism, and that while it was not Christian, some of its sources were. However, Gurdjieff did not accept the conventional distinction between the active and the contemplative life, and had not initially intended to introduce contemplation-like exercises; and when eventually he did, some of them were to be practiced in daily life, and all exercises were placed them within a system which would bring the influence of these exercises into other activities.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.