Lee van Laer: Intentional Suffering in Beelzebub’s Tales and Meister Eckhart’s Book of Divine Consolation
An investigation of the question of intentional suffering from Gurdjieff’s point of view; Meister Eckhart’s perspectives on suffering from the Book of Divine Consolation; a comparative discourse on the two sources, with a further examination of Buddhist and Islamic concepts, as well as Swedenborg’s teachings.
The presentation contends that Gurdjieff’s views on suffering address esoteric, or inner, questions, and not outer ones; that they are canonical in the sense of being traditional and well in keeping with established ideas within the great traditions; and that the idea of intentional suffering has practical aspects whose hidden depths are best revealed by comparisons to other teachings.
—Lee van Laer was born in Yonkers, NY. He spent his childhood in Hamburg, Germany, and now lives in Sparkill, NY. Mr. van Laer has a BFA from St. Lawrence University (‘77) and is a global sourcing professional in the textile business. He is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine and the publisher of the Zen, Yoga, Gurdjieff blog, and the author of several books about the enneagram and the Gurdjieff work, as well as a book on esoteric meaning in the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch.
Paul Taylor: Centrigravital Love in Gurdjieff’s Rhetoric of Time
The goal of this study is to fathom the gist of the scene in the “Prologue” to Life Is Real Only Then, When “I Am,” in which Gurdjieff inserts the word “centrigravital” (p. 39) to generate multiple senses within its narrative context and throughout the entire book. The scene has a threefold coded chronology in its recollection in 1935 of a moment in 1927 when Gurdjieff recalls an evening in early 1925 when he sits between his wife and mother on a bench, attended by two peacocks, a cat and a dog. His recollection of this scene in 1927 and 1935 is given a moral slant by the neologism “centrigravital” that he uses for the form of love he bears toward his mother and wife at a moment when he anticipates their deaths. The allegorical, teleological and anagogic meanings of the scene and its imagery are codes that my paper suggests ways to decipher.
—Prof. Taylor lived for some years with Jean Toomer in New York and Pennsylvania as a young boy and studied with Gurdjieff in Paris after World War 2, before turning to a teaching career in Medieval Germanic languages and literature, first in Iceland and for the past thirty years in Geneva, where he lives with his wife and two teenage children.
Ocke de Boer: “Two Souls”
In the original chapter “The Holy Planet ‘Purgatory’” (1931 edition) Gurdjieff speaks about two kinds of souls. In the 1950 edition he also does this, but he hides it. Ocke’s presentation is about two kinds of souls. He will speak about the Kesdjan body and relate it to Mme de Salzmann’s excellent book “Reality of Being”. There is emphasis on applying Work ideas on one’s being without which one will not be able to make these ideas one’s own.
—Ocke de Boer is the engine of a Work-group in Holland. This group has existed since 1990. He studied Esotericism in Amsterdam for 4 years at a Raja Yoga school for Universal Thinking, which is non-dualistic thinking. He gained a general education on philosophy, religion and esoteric systems at that school, without getting lost in any of them. His center of gravity is in the Fourth Way, our Work, which he refuses to call the Gurdjieff work. He is the author of Higher Being Bodies.
Avrom Surath’s musical studies began in his youth in Midland, Michigan thanks to the guidance of his mother and grandmother. His musical work experienced a renais- sance in his adulthood because of the encouragement and support of Cesareo Pelaez and Michel De Salzmann. His studies in Cuban music over several decades were directed by Cesareo and his sister, Elisa Pedraza, who had been the director of the National Academy of Music in Santa Clara, Cuba before going into exile.
He lives in Beverly, Massachusetts with his wife Ann.
Tony Blake: Understanding Cosmic Laws
Treatments of Gurdjieff’s cosmic laws often tend to render them as formulae revealing the mind of God. They are better approached as ways of understanding which require creativity and amplification. Taking them as point of departure, John Bennett developed ‘systematics’ as a discipline of understanding. This relates to Gurdjieff’s distinction between knowledge and understanding. The paper will expand on the idea of ‘Djartklom’ as key to how experience is transformed into understanding. It will introduce material from mathematics showing why 3 and 7 are intrinsically linked and notions from Bohm on implicate and explicate order.
—Anthony Blake has a background in physics and philosophy. He studied with the systems thinker and mystic, John Bennett, as well as with the physicist, David Bohm, and other innovators and pioneers. He has followed the principle of integration without rejection, proposed by Bennett, and focuses on how to make this possible in real life. He is the author of several books – on the enneagram symbol of Gurdjieff, the meaning of time, intelligence, dialogue, globalization, systematics, etc.. As Director of Studies and co-founder of DuVersity, Anthony facilitates seminars and lectures on new methods.
Robin Bloor: “The Diagram of Everything Living”
Few people have made much effort to understand the scientific foundation Gurdjieff provided directly in his lectures to his Moscow Groups and indirectly through his descriptions in The Tales. The purpose of this presentation is to begin that task. This presentation and paper will thus consider: The Ray of Creation, The Hydrogens, The Side Octave from The Sun and The Diagram of Everything Living.
—Robin Bloor is the author of two books about The Tales entitled To Fathom The Gist Volumes 1 and 2. He has previously presented once at A&E. Bloor has been associated with the Work since the mid 1980s and became a pupil of Rina Hands in 1988. Rina was a one-time associate of J. G. Bennett, a student of Peter Ouspensky’s, and later, a pupil of George Gurdjieff. She ran groups in London and in Bradford in the North of England.
Darlene is a freelance oboist, music educator, singer, and chant composer residing in Seattle, Washington. Her love of the human voice as an expressive and spiritual instrument comes from her father’s early lullabies, her Mennonite musical heritage, and many rich experiences singing with early music groups and Episcopal church choirs. She is grateful to count among her influences such musical luminaries as Paul Hillier, Margriet Tindemanns, Iegor Reznikoff, Bobby McFerrin, and Bronislawa Falinska.
—Darlene holds a doctorate of musical arts in oboe performance from the University of Washington. Her doctoral dissertation was on interrelationships among Brahms’ early and late organ music and his vocal music.
Since 2006, Darlene has been writing chants and teaching music and attention throughout the US and Canada, and in New Zealand. Darlene’s work with groups cultivates the expansion of attention and presence, deepening of embodied awareness, and freeing of personal and collective energies blocked by habit and conditioning. Singers and especially “non-singers” experience an integration of mind, body, and feelings through meditative practices using sacred chant drawn from the music of Taizé, the ancient tradition of psalm antiphons, and a growing body of newly-composed Christian inter-spiritual chant.