Back to Schedule of Presentations, 2020
The purpose of this paper is to give a first hand account of how I came to see Meetings with Remarkable Men as an allegorical work rather than an autobiography. I will first discuss my initial readings, the questions provoked, and how that led me to see a structure in the book. Then, I will focus exclusively on exploring the stories of the characters to demonstrate that by seeing that their very names are puns that resemble the story Gurdjieff tells about them, that these are not people Gurdjieff literally encountered but are meant as material to use to gain an understand of the psychological interplay between the world we are born into, the influences that shape our understanding of the world, and the choices we make as a result. My hope is that this paper will inspire the reader reach a deeper psychological understanding of Meetingsthemselves by seeing the characters as constructs rather than actual people.
Short biographical note
Born in 1960, Richard Miller has lived most of his life in Victoria Canada and began his search when he realized as a child that “grown ups” didn’t know. Perhaps through the sub-conscious influence of his long dead Swedenborg grandmother, he immediately sensed the truth in the writings of P.D. Ouspensky which he discovered through asking a patron of Woolworth’s coffee shop who was reading “A New Model of the Universe” what a book with such a grandiose title could possibly be about! Along with many of his friends, he met an original student of Ouspensky in the late 70’s and was an active group member for a decade. In the late 90’s he began reading Gurdjieff for the first time and though enjoying contact with all and sundry, has continued to cultivate a peripheral association with formal groupings.