Meetings with Remarkable Men

Meetings with Remarkable Men

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Meetings with Remarkable Men is the second volume of the All and Everything
All and Everything
All and Everything is the name of a trilogy composed by ten books, all written by G. I. Gurdjieff. The ten books were further categorized into three series:# Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson.# Meetings with Remarkable Men....

trilogy written by the Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

-Armenian mystic
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 G. I. Gurdjieff
G. I. Gurdjieff
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff according to Gurdjieff's principles and instructions, or the "Fourth Way."At one point he described his teaching as "esoteric Christianity."...

. A book of autobiography, it was originally published in 1963 and tells the tale of the young Gurdjieff growing up in a world torn between his unexplainable experiences and the developing modern sciences.

The book takes the form of Gurdjieff's reminiscences about various "remarkable men" that he has met, beginning with his father. They include the Armenian
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 priest Pogossian; his friend Soloviev, Prince Lubovedsky, a Russian prince with metaphysical interests, and a couple of others.

In the course of describing these characters, Gurdjieff weaves their stories into the story of his own travels, and also into an overarching narrative which has them cooperate in locating spiritual texts and/or masters in various lands (mostly Central Asia). Gurdjieff calls this group the "Seekers of Truth".

Most of them do in fact find "truth" in the form of some suitable spiritual destiny. The underlying philosophy, especially as articulated in an appendix, amounts to the assertion that people generally live their lives asleep, are unconscious of themselves, and accordingly behave like machines, subject to outside causes and pressures. Also, one of the chief assessments of the novel is that the people of the past epochs lived in more suitable outer conditions and at higher inner levels than the people today. Many additional hidden harmonies are noted or alluded to.

These contradictory towards modern beliefs claims have inspired some to question the book's "autobiographical" character. For example, Gurdjieff claims to have first heard the Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literature. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the protagonist of the story, Gilgamesh king of Uruk, which were fashioned into a longer Akkadian epic much...

 as an oral epic sung from memory by his father; to have made contact with various ancient brotherhoods including the Sarmoung Brotherhood
Sarmoung Brotherhood
The Sarmoung Brotherhood was an alleged esoteric Sufi brotherhood based in Asia. The reputed existence of the brotherhood was brought to light in the writings of George Gurdjieff, a Greek-Armenian spiritual teacher...

; to have copied a map of "pre-sand Egypt", and to have witnessed a number of miracles and esoteric phenomena. There is currently in existence an esoteric group of loosely affiliated individuals who engage in what is called "The Work", which is the doing part of Gurdjieff's teachings.

In a way it can be claimed that many of the vignettes in Meetings are meant to be symbolic, or "teaching stories".