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A Protest Made In Sorrow on the Revision

of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson
Subject: A Protest – Part 1
“Two Rivers Farm”, Aurora, Oregon, February 1993
A Protest Made In Sorrow on the Revision of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson
The following is a response to the recent publication of a revised version of All and
Everything, First Series, or Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, by G.I.Gurdjieff. This is
made by a number of students of Gurdjieff’s teaching, and is addressed to those believed to
be responsible for the revised publication, but who remain unidentified. While this response
presents many questions about the revision that arise in the minds of serious students of
Gurdjieff’s teaching, it is in actuality a protest, reflecting the dissent and dismay of those
presented in the authentic text of his remarkable book. As such, this is written more in
sorrow than in anger. Appended hereto are the signatures of a few of the students who
support this response, and join in expressing their objection to the adulteration of
Gurdjieff’s work.
For more than 20 years now, we have applied a considerable amount of time, attention, and
energy to the reading and study of “Beelzebub’s Tales To His Grandson (Beelzebub’s Tales)
and listening to it being read aloud. Time and time again, we have drawn on Gurdjieff’s
writings for answers to questions regarding the Work, our own Work, and how to live a life
in the Work. This Book, Beelzebub’s Tales, especially has becomes for us a hearth of
understanding and inspiration, and no matter how many times we have read it, always
presents us with new insights.
I hope very much that you will be kind enough to answer this letter or cause it to be
answered.
A.L.Staveley
cc: Mr. William Caryl
Dr. Bernard Courtenay-Mayers
Mr. Thomas C. Daly
Mrs.Margaret Flinsch
Mrs. Norma Flynn
Dr. Jacob Needleman
Lady Pentland
Mr. Paul Reynard
Mrs. H.B.Ripman
Mr. William Siegel
Dr. William J. Welch
Sincerely, 7 February 1999. Please take the time to read this.-justin

While this response presents many questions about the revision that arise in the minds of serious students of Gurdjieff’s teaching. Time and time again. our own Work. A.Margaret Flinsch Mrs. this is written more in sorrow than in anger. Daly Mrs. and energy to the reading and study of “Beelzebub’s Tales To His Grandson (Beelzebub’s Tales) and listening to it being read aloud. William Siegel Dr.Gurdjieff. Bernard Courtenay-Mayers Mr. H. Beelzebub’s Tales. I hope very much that you will be kind enough to answer this letter or cause it to be answered. Appended hereto are the signatures of a few of the students who support this response. it is in actuality a protest.Some corrections are made in blue Subject: A Protest – Part 1 “Two Rivers Farm”. First Series. but who remain unidentified. Oregon. This Book.L.I. we have drawn on Gurdjieff’s writings for answers to questions regarding the Work. For more than 20 years now. and no matter how many times we have read it. William Caryl Dr. and is addressed to those believed to be responsible for the revised publication. Thomas C. always presents us with new insights.Ripman Mr. reflecting the dissent and dismay of those presented in the authentic text of his remarkable book. Norma Flynn Dr. As such. and how to live a life in the Work.Staveley cc: Mr. Aurora. we have applied a considerable amount of time. Jacob Needleman Lady Pentland Mr. Welch ——————————————————————– . This is made by a number of students of Gurdjieff’s teaching. and join in expressing their objection to the adulteration of Gurdjieff’s work. February 1993 A Protest Made In Sorrow on the Revision of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson The following is a response to the recent publication of a revised version of All and Everything. especially has becomes for us a hearth of understanding and inspiration. or Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson.B. Paul Reynard Mrs. by G. William J. attention.

5 rue de Commandant Mar Paris 75016 France Dear Dr. It is exact and precise. a revised version of Gurdjieff’s written legacy of Work. we wish to share our questions and thoughts regarding this with you. If this is a misunderstanding on my part. or names of such responsible ones on the published edition. Oregon 97002 February 5. nothing omitted. officially. Copies of this letter will be sent to senior persons I know by name in various centers such as London. I am led to believe that this revision has been prepared and published as it were. We have read the dust jacket and enough of the text to realize that changes have been made to virtually every sentence in the Book. the legacy of his teaching. In many places alterations are made which even change the meaning of Gurdjieff’s own writing. Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. there is no name. as Mullah Nassr Eddin says. and under the auspices of responsible representatives of the way Gurdjieff’s teaching goes into the world. as we try to fathom its purpose. have initiated the actual publication of this revision. nameless ones who published the revision really wish to give those new to Gurdjieff’s teaching a fair opportunity of comparing the revised with the authentic edition. Meridian Road. 165). 1993 Dr. However. Aurora. Michel de Salzmann S. therefore. Frankly. this publication has left us baffled and confused and even a bit ‘floundering’. New York and San Francisco. All and Everything.” . ‘like-a-puppy-who-hasfallen-into-a-deep-pond’ (pg. We invite your response. Enclosed with this letter is a protest compiled by some of the students of Gurdjieff’s teaching in Oregon who have been working with the authentic original. This letter is a question and conveys a protest about the appearance in bookstores of a revised version of Gurdjieff’s Book.H. For these reasons. cannot. approved by Gurdjieff himself. being deceased. for the first time since its original publication in 1950. If the faceless.R.Subject: A Protest – Part II “Two Rivers Farm “ 28066 S. de Salzmann: I am sending this letter to you as I understand you are the titular head of the teachings of Gurdjieff in Europe and America – possibly for the whole planet. with the exception of Madame de Salzmann who. many concerns and questions come to mind when we now see in the book stores.E. Naturally. please forgive me. and the text has been shortened by more than a hundred pages. Nothing should be changed. I am quite certain that there are many others who are shocked and outraged at the appearance of this book. they should immediately authorize a reprint of the original authentic one – perhaps reducing the price somewhat to make up for the new students having to buy two books.A. containing as claimed “All and Everything”. They have found it a scripture specially prepared for this time.C. or.

which you have formulated as: ‘to clarify the verbal surface while respecting the author’s thought and style.————————————————————————Subject: A Protest – Part III “To begin with the comment on the dust jacket that the authentic edition was approached with ‘apprehension’ by readers. how is it that readers could question the translation without access to an original Russian ‘text’? The original authentic text of Beelzebub’s Tales.’ While we who have immersed ourselves in Gurdjieff’s Beelzebub’s Tales may now have the option of choosing whether or not to invest in this ‘new experience. they may well feel a reluctance to venture into new territory on their own. It has been more like ‘awe’.’ Isn’t it true. “We (and there are a large number of us) have pondered the aim of this revision. that the ‘Russian original’ could only be the handwritten notes of Gurdjieff and of those who took down his original dictation. It is really accurate to state that ‘apprehension’ is what beginning readers have felt? Ofcourse. then why does the copyright page state that the revision was made by a group of ‘translators’? What was being translated?” ————————————————————————– Subject: A Protest – IV “The revised edition states that the ‘translators’ were under the direction of Jeanne de Salzmann.’ and states that ‘readers have recognized the need for a revised translation. which have never been published and made available to readers? So. Your revised publication will in time become the only version of Beelzebub’s Tales available and the ‘new experience’ will become the ‘only experience’ (until such time as it may again be revised to conform to the assumed inadequacies of future readers). but certainly not apprehension. In what way can you possibly see it as deficient?” “Your jacket text refers to the ‘Russian original of Beelzebub’s Tales. If this is true. or perhaps a feeling akin to ‘fear’ as in ‘the fear of God’. the one Gurdjieff labored so long to create. The publisher of the revised version has informed us that the revised edition was prepared from a revision of the original English text only.’ people from now on who are new to the Gurdjieff Work will not have this choice. our experience is a feeling of joy in knowing that Gurdjieff’s teaching is alive in that Book. What do you imagine this ‘new experience’ could be? The promise of a ‘new experience’ implies that the ‘old experience’ is somehow lacking. you should know that our experience in approaching Beelzebub’s Tales has not at all been one of apprehension or anxiety. is the English text first published in 1950. The authentic edition has not been published in hard bound copy for several years and even the paperback editions have become increasingly difficult to obtain. French was her .e. Although Madame de Salzmann was a truly remarkable person. in its meaning of suspicion. i. however. in his ‘style’? Is not Gurdjieff’s style inseparable from what you call the ‘verbal surface’?” “You refer to a ‘new experience of Gurdjieff’s masterpiece for a generation of readers. without a competent guide who has the faith needed for the journey”. On the contrary.’ What is meant by ‘verbal surface’? What could the ‘verbal surface’ be but words chosen by the author and arranged in the manner he selected. or fear of future evil.

with the authentic text. (pg. It is difficult for us to understand how one could expect the new team of revisers to be an improvement over the team of Gurdjieff. a little. so that the English translation will have a quality of its own. 1)…His (Gurdjieff’s) task is to write the book. ours to make the effort to understand. 154) As Orage labored to put Gurdjieff’s manuscript into English. (pg.” ————————————————————————— Subject: A Protest – V . Even when we turn to Gurdjieff’s first words in the Book. we find that his ‘experimental elucidations concerning the productivity of the perception by contemporary people of new impressions. When I Am. Orage’s answer has always been helpful and illuminating to us as we struggle with our own understanding of parts of the Book. it is possible to play with words. in conformity with the text to be translated and in relation to the philological particularities of each language. this being a more flexible language than French. 2)…Gurdjieff will not use the language of the intelligentsia – ideas in the book will not be presented in our habitual thought patterns. but as he is struggling. the authentic original text was prepared …under the personal direction of the author. Edited by C. and in many cases the understanding as well. As stated in the Book itself.’ have become in the revised version. the reader might also be asking himself ‘what is an “experimental elucidation”?’ or wondering at the thought of perceptions being ‘productive’. in ‘Friendly Advice’. substituting the familiar for the challenging. of course. his ‘research concerning the profit contemporary people can obtain from new impressions’. Perhaps the reader does struggle.mother tongue. The surprising thing is that. Orage held a special. And so it seems to go throughout the text. (copyright page) Orage.S. from the chapter titles to the last sentence of the book.R. pp. Our associations are mechanical. (pg. he was asked why he did not do something about its grammar and punctuation (perhaps ‘clarify the verbal surface’?). 1-3). pg. in spite of the difficulties of translation the sense and style come through so well. It seems to us that many of the revisions do change the reader’s mood.Orage’s Commentaries on All and Everything. and is the only person known to be referred to as his ‘close friend’.Nott. and she was not as expert as Orage in the use of the English language. if not uniquely high position in Gurdjieff’s regard. a whole mood can be destroyed by the use of one word which has a different group of associations. It can be said that in English. Only when these are broken up can we begin to think freely. not requiring any questioning whatsoever. and the others chosen by Gurdjieff for this task.Gurdjieff is constantly re-writing and revising. 3) (A. Orage. The new renderings of ‘research’ and ‘profit’ already have very well established groups of associations and are easily passed along by the reader’s habitual thought process. He says: Some of you still criticize the faulty grammar and punctuation and ask why I do not do something about it…. had the primary responsibility for putting Beelzebub’s Tales into the English prose that corresponded to Gurdjieff’s design. The style and sense are Gurdjieff’s. (Life Is Real Only Then. Our intellectual life is based on chance associations which have become more or less fixed. by a group of translators chosen by (Gurdjieff) and specially trained according to their defined individualities.

: ‘my dear Captain’ —’grandfather’ is wrong here (pg.: ‘the trouble with you is’ (pg.V.: ‘convince’ (with regard to unconscious parts – pg. 78) R. 74) A.: ‘noticed’ (pg. nuances of meaning that have given Gurdjieff’s writing a magical quality have been spoiled by the revisions.“While we may not be certain just what the ‘language of the intelligentsia’ actually is. Gurdjieff says this in Chapter I. 74) A.V. is it not likely to be found in the nature of the revisions you have made? Isn’t Orage saying that the use of such language supports habitual thought patterns and gets in the way of the reader’s ability to take in new ideas? Of course.: ‘dear grandfather’ (pg. 596) R. 1093) Throughout the text.V. (Pg.: ‘fulfill the good’ (pg.V): ‘any prayer may be heard by the Higher Powers and a corresponding answered obtained’ (Friendly Advice) Revised Version (R.: ‘indispensable when the sun rises’ (pg.V. 545) A.V.V.V. 78) R.V. at sunrise’ (pg.: ‘constated’ (pg. 6) A. .: ‘enjoy the good’ (pg. 546) A.V. 74) A.): “any prayer may be heard and granted by the Higher Powers’ (Friendly Advice) A.6) R.V.V.V. 75) R. which we believe change the reader’s mood or alter the ‘author’s thought and style’.: ‘human mentation’ (pg.: ‘indispensably necessary that every day. 1193) R.: ‘human thought’ (pg. instead of clarifying the ‘verbal surface’: Authentic Version (A. 6) Here are just a very few examples of the alterations we have noticed in our encounter with the new text.: ‘think and convince’ (pg. 78) R.: ‘sympathetic’ (pg.: ‘amiable’ (pg. 594) R.V.: ‘what will be troublesome for you’ (pg.V.V.V. in explaining his refusal to employ the ‘bon ton literary language’ used by ‘patentedwriters’. 72) A.V.

so as to find the exact words and mode of expression that would direct his message to the deepest. so to say. most essential part of his readers. without giving way to constant verbal associations and unrelated imagery? …Much of the narrative was addressed to different levels of perception in people (Gurdjieff had said seven). little by little. This was all before the days of the computer. 47)”" ———————————————————————— Subject: A Protest VI “Isn’t it probable that Gurdjieff worked so diligently on the text. that the essence of certain real notions may of themselves automatically. attentive. trying it out on all kinds of people. and open like a child – ‘something’ real is definitely received. We have experienced a broadening of our understanding. rewriting time and time again. Again and again. but that is not to say it was readily grasped. when we simply listen to it being read – relaxed. but his description of the conclusions of the formatory apparatus bears a close resemblance to computerized thought. rather than just to the head brain? Consider what Gurdjieff himself tells the reader in Chapter I: ‘…I wish to bring to the knowledge of what is called your ‘pure waking consciousness’ the fact that in the writing following this chapter of warning I shall expound my thoughts intentionally in such sequence and with such ‘logical confrontation’. putting them into pigeon holes. This experience is reflected by Louise Welch in ‘Orage With Gurdjieff In America’: “Beelzebub’s Tales produced a powerful effect. go from this ‘waking consciousness’ – which most people in their ignorance mistake for real consciousness. and thereafter returning mechanically to them as statements of truth. this can be seen whenever people obstinately go on trying to ‘figure it out’ upon encountering the unfamiliar word or locution. The task was to respond with the whole of one’s mind. but which I affirm and experimentally prove is the fictitious one – into what you call the .We have come to understand for ourselves that a very real aspect of Beelzebub’s Tales is not readily accessible to the formatory apparatus of the head-brain. to encompass a knowing that is found in feeling as well as in thought. that part of the brain which was busy classifying ideas and objects. (pg. but could not in any way formulate…Could one listen. On the other hand. There were layers of meaning that people were touched by. as Orage advised. and not just with what Gurdjieff called the ‘formatory apparatus’.

How can anyone not agree with J.” and presumably easier and more comfortable to read. For knowledge to be rightly transmitted.subconscious. since the way in which knowledge entered the psyche was of primary importance. 25).G. what you call your subconscious. Was it your intention to facilitate the reader’s understanding of Gurdjieff’s teaching? However. and thereby themselves mechanically bring about that transformation which should in general proceed in the entirety of a man and give him. then perhaps one would see there is no need to change a single word and ANY change could prevent the very result Gurdjieff intended. when an idea appeared to be too easily grasped. Gurdjieff’s instructions to him were to bury the bone deeper. should fully justify its purpose. in my opinion. a special effort was required to read and inwardly digest. (Talks on Beelzebub’s Tales. both intellectually and emotionally’. This is especially so in light of Gurdjieff’s statement that our “fictitious consciousness” is formed from mechanical impressions. as Orage discovered. it was necessary for him to write so that the very structure of the material would refuse to allow the reader easy possession of its substance…The “digging” that the reader must undertake to reach any understanding was essential. had Gurdjieff so wished. and properly received. pg. was food and had to be properly ingested and absorbed. including the “consonances of various words” which are indeed empty (pg. like all else on this planet. And. which ought to be in my opinion the real human consciousness. and allowed Gurdjieff’s words to penetrate to a deeper part of oneself. but also your real consciousness. was material. who says: ‘GURDJIEFF’S METHODS ARE DIRECTLY OPPOSED to all our comfortable habits… he never made anything easy…On the contrary. if one really wished to understand what is being said here. 10) Don’t you think Gurdjieff had good reason to present his ideas in just the manner of expression he chose? The revisions appear to have been made for the purpose of creating a text that is more grammatical.’ (Pages 24-25) Now. he made the approach to his ideas difficult. ‘I decided to do this without fail so that this initial chapter of mine.Bennett in his “Talks on Beelzebub’s Tales” that “This is not the work of an amateur first trying his hand at literary composition…It is written as. the results he ought to have. Certainly Gurdjieff and Orage and the others who stewarded the Book to publication could have prepared a text much in the manner of this revision. and reaching not only your. Gurdjieff held that knowledge. Pages 44-45) . as yet only fictitious ‘consciousness’. might. predetermined as I have already said to awaken your consciousness. for the first time. he wished it to be written.’ (Orage with Gurdjieff in America. after long deliberation. which are proper to man and not merely to single. from his own conscious mentation. In fact. compel you to reflect actively.”? (pg. “up to date. 9) Or as Louise Welch states: ‘Gurdjieff made a vital distinction between “knowledge” and “information”. that is to say.or double-brained animals. isn’t this contrary to Gurdjieff’s way as expressed by Bennett.

It also produces a very different mood and emotional response in the reader. goodness knows! .’ (G. Now that she’s turned up her toes. in spite of making the ideas less accessible to the unprepared reader. He says: ‘Why should Gurdjieff have made a chapter that was already difficult even harder. goodness knows!’ (pg. it is said. 27) certainly presents a more orthodox and less outrageous picture of the young Gurdjieff. people who follow his ideas will tend to become organized in a kind of orthodox establishment. it has been found difficult and left untried.Chesterton) Is it to be the same with Gurdjieff’s teaching in Beelzebub’s Tales? Gurdjieff has been quoted as saying that after he dies. constantly writing and rewriting. Gurdjieff tells the reader that he chose not to write as others do because (for one reason) the reader is not accustomed to ‘making any individual effort whatsoever’.In Chapter I. sparing himself neither day nor night. without confronting the reader with any linguistic problems. and try to forget or at least ignore his outrageous side. Oi! Oi! Oi! Let her with the saints repose. pages 176-177) ‘The Christian ideal’. we must assume that the writing of Beelzebub was in the form which he intended.’ (Gurdjieff: Making a New World.K.’ (pg. and prepared to devote a lot of time and hard study to the chapter could make anything of it. publish ‘authorized’ editions of his words. Gurdjieff has shown in his Meetings with Remarkable Men that he could tell stories in simple language. One of our favorite bits of Gurdjieff’s masterful and unforgettable use of the unexpected is his youthful dancing around his grandmother’s grave and singing: ‘Let her with the saints repose. Now that’s she’s turned up her toes. become conservative. ‘Let her with the saints repose She was a rare one. if indeed the intention was that Beelzebub’s Tales should be a means of bringing the ideas to the notice of the general public? Only someone familiar with his ideas. (pages 6-7)” ————————————————————————– Subject: A Protest VII “Consider also the observations of Bennett regarding changes Gurdjieff made in the manuscript edition of Beelzebub’s Tales. ‘has not been tried and found wanting. 29) The revision of the verse to. Therefore. and that the alterations were deliberate. We also know that he spent no fewer than seven years in the writing of Beelzebub – as he himself says.

you don’t need to stuff’? (pg. that there is also the risk of altering the subtle impact of this remarkable opening. (pg. Through Saint Buddha. 41) This is one of the more shocking changes made in Chapter I. 30) changed to ‘enough is enough. ‘little did we tipple’ (pg. as it does. ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. 27). ‘”The Arousing of Thought” is not an isolated phenomenon. boys’? (pg. he says that owing to the ‘maleficent particularity’ of our psyche called ‘Wiseacring’. For example. whose dying words to him were ‘never do as others do’. According to Bennett. we ‘gradually’ change the teaching of Sacred Individuals until the whole of it is ‘finally completely destroyed’. by the end of the first chapter of revised text. or the famous Georgian song. every canon of literary and personal taste…’ (Talks on Beelzebub’s Tales. but many other revisions in this chapter are just as bewildering. Amen. why was it felt necessary to change ever so slightly the opening prayer from ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost. but a characteristic specimen of Gurdjieff’s teaching. to chance acquaintances and even to complete strangers. Amen’? (pg. offending. that Gurdjieff’s grandmother.’ to. Gurdjieff describes how easily a teaching can be lost. 46) We cannot help but wonder whether this new injunction may be addressed to the revisers themselves as they attempt the reformulation of Gurdjieff’s thoughts. 50) has been altered. 42) Even the author’s exclamation near the end of the chapter. and its consequent results in the reader for the whole of the Book. do not eat until you bust’ (pg. 3) Why was the chant of ‘so and so and so you must. now. Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff: ‘…gave more time and care to the composition of “The Arousing of Thought” than to anything else he wrote. 238) Saint Buddha’s teaching itself . might learn of her eldest grandson’s revised verse and fulfill his fears by turning in her grave like an ‘Irish weathercock’? (pg. ‘The Arousing of Thought’.Aren’t you worried. 46) to ‘Drink up again. makes masterful use of his precise and unique style of expression to instill gradually and subtly ‘sympathetic’ feelings in the reader. Gurdjieff could be in no doubt about the hostility it would provoke. ‘Stop! Misunderstanding Formation!’ (pg. feelings that serve to open the readers heart and mind to all that follows in that magnificent Book. pages 9-10) Have you fully considered that for every word or phrase that is changed or ‘improved upon’. even a little.” ————————————————————————— Subject: A Protest VIII “Throughout the whole of Chapter I. As Bennett adds.’ Does not the potential risk to the reader therefore extend beyond this writing to the whole of Gurdjieff’s Teaching and Work? In ‘The First Visit of Beelzebub to India’. and read in his presence innumerable times to old and new pupils and friends. His translators assert that it was completely rewritten at least seven times. in the authentic text. the revisers have Gurdjieff exclaiming ‘Stop! Misconceived formulation!’ (pg.

refers to ‘…the fact that today. had never before written for publication and was to receive neither fame nor riches for his efforts. so to speak. As Gurdjieff himself said. he did not have the slightest wish to write. Beelzebub’s Tales took on its form and content. 240) (Emphasis added. action taken with the apparent intent to propagate the Teaching. perhaps is instead actually the beginning of its deterioration. it is nevertheless an ‘irrefutable fact’ that can be ‘demonstrated at will’. (pg. 174) While this appears to be ‘absurd. CAUSE is enough to bring about a change for the worse or even the complete destruction of…[objective good]. 175) Is it not possible. 1086) Gurdjieff literally put all and everything into this Book. but according to lawful scientific principles.’ he explains.’ (pg. ‘The more someone has direct relations with me. that even action taken by those who have felt closest and most intimately connected to Gurdjieff could manifest in a way that is ‘diametrically opposed’ to Gurdjieff’s aim?” ——————————————————————— Subject: A Protest IX “Gurdjieff is not saying that these ‘enemies’ act consciously against him.’ (pg. SOMETIMES AN ALMOST TRIFLING. enemies with an unusual inner attitude toward me are multiplying in great numbers…’ He explains this ‘unusual inner attitude’ as follows: ‘There is not. would not be ready to “sell his soul for me”. the more strength he shows later in the diametrically opposed actions that he manifests towards me. or by a stroke of the beautiful wings of divine angels?’ (pg. He would not be able to even suspect that these indications and counsels were made by Him Himself… This already long established practice there consists in this. but he also. Yet he began writing only a few months after his near fatal automobile crash. He had already been ‘not only through the mill but through all the grindstones’ as well. a single one of my sworn enemies who. How well one knows that actions can produce the opposite of the results intended. therefore. For a period of twenty-five years.’ (pages 239-240) He states further: ‘LITTLE BY LITTLE they so changed these indications and counsels of His that if their Saintly Author Himself should chance to appear there and for some reason or other should wish to make Himself acquainted with them. but circumstances quite independent of him constrained him to do so. He says. He was in his last stages of life. Gurdjieff may have been giving us a warning about his own teaching when Beelzebub tells us. says: ‘Isn’t it all one to the poor flies how they are killed? By the kick of the hooves of horned devils. in ‘Life Is Real Only Then. When I Am’ (Third Series). even when carried out with the best of intentions. that a SMALL. in one or another of his ordinary states. Mullah Nassr Eddin. As Beelzebub’s highly esteemed teacher.did not escape this fate. which he survived against all medical expectations. until the printer’s proofs set for publication were at last .’ (pg. In this case. 18) He began writing when he realized there no longer was time to disseminate his teaching by way of direct contact alone. ‘…the first succeeding generation of the contemporaries of this genuine Messenger from Above…also began… to wiseacre with all His indications and counsels…’ until nothing was left but ‘Only-information-about-its-specific-smell.) Not only did Gurdjieff predict that his followers would sanitize his writings.

and which I wish for you with all my being. Having received confirmation that his life’s work was to endure in at least this written form. for he advises that it be read thrice. and whether we make use of the teaching as he presented it. ‘any prayer may be heard by Higher Powers and a corresponding answer obtained only if it is uttered thrice’. because. and an ‘objective work of art’. In writing Beelzebub’s Tales as he did. like prayer. the divine glorification of his life’s work. Gurdjieff left us a living legacy of hope. in his words. Gurdjieff perhaps saw the entire Book as one magnificent prayer. for the benefit of the reader and those to come after. Gurdjieff died eight days later. a hope ‘that according to your understanding you will obtain the specific benefit for yourself which I anticipate. first for one’s parents.delivered to Gurdjieff. His Book has been referred to as his ‘Magnum Opus’. It is a ‘book’ only in the sense the Bible is a book – a scripture. the readers. Gurdjieff expressed a very strong hope and wish for the reader of Beelzebub’s Tales. Gurdjieff has sown the seeds of an authentic teaching of immeasurable welfare for mankind. Beelzebub’s Tales is written to and for the Grandson. then for one’s neighbor. Whether or not Gurdjieff’s labors will grow to harvest now depends on us. In this Book. can be received only with complete humility and the recognition that the fulfillment of Gurdjieff’s wish must come through the understanding and efforts of the reader. a wish made with all his being. which is strength. Our wish is that it continue to be a real source of strength to learners and strivers everywhere. is to be invoked for the benefit of others.’ Such a powerful wish from Gurdjieff. a ‘flying cathedral’ of a book. and lastly for oneself.” (End) Beelzebub’sTales To His Grandson: original english version earlier transcript version revised de Salzmann version . Gurdjieff’s writing of this Book is a demonstration of the truth that real Work. the Hope of Consciousness.