The Enneagram in the Writings of Gurdjieff

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Dog Ear Publishing, LLC, 2011 - 268 pages
G. I. Gurdjieff was a spiritual teacher in the first half of the twentieth century who offered an unusually penetrating analysis of the human condition together with practical methods for the development of being and consciousness. The Enneagram in the Writings of Gurdjieff presents a unified solution to a number of mysteries connected with his writings and with the emblem of his teaching, a geometric figure known as the enneagram.

Gurdjieff called the enneagram the philosopher's stone of the alchemists and a source of great power, yet he never explained it satisfactorily to his pupils. This book shows that Gurdjieff transmitted through his writings an understanding of the symbol that he chose not to divulge in his talks. It also shows that the emblem of his teaching can be seen in the large-scale structure of his writings if one knows how to look below the surface.

Richard J. Defouw became fascinated with astronomy as a youngster and went on to earn degrees in this field at Harvard and Caltech. His main interest subsequently shifted to the ideas of Gurdjieff. For two years he participated in a study group associated with the Institute for Religious Development headed by W. A. Nyland, a direct student of Gurdjieff. Later he spent ten years as a pupil in the Gurdjieff Foundation of Colorado. In The Enneagram in the Writings of Gurdjieff, Dr. Defouw presents an analysis of the literary world created by Gurdjieff that one might expect from someone whose first interest was the search for order in the natural world. The surprise is that such an analysis is possible.

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I too attended the Institute for Religious Development headed by W. A. Nyland and when I asked Mr. Nyland in a private session why there was a missing substance after Piandjoehary, he asked me if I had read Beelzebub's Tales and I replied I had read it five times. Then he asked if I had followed the reading instructions at the beginning. I replied no and he suggested that I do so! I guess he did not know the answer. Richard is the only person that I have met who has agreed to the missing gap, but actually explained it! It is a must read for any Gurdjieff follower.
by Dylan Stephens (

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