In 1964, I read P.D. Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous, and it had a profound effect on me. The book is Ouspensky’s account of his quest to find direct evidence that the world is more than a material phenomenon — that some events take place outside the laws of physics as we understand them, that the world is ultimately a magical place.
After reading it, I began my own such quest, and it has been central to my life ever since.
One of Ouspensky’s most astonishing encounters with the miraculous came in his association with George Gurdjieff, the Armenian mystic, spiritual teacher, and self-admitted con-man. Gurdjieff’s fundamental belief was that we typically live in a “waking sleep,” functionally hypnotized, but that there are methods to awaken info full consciousness. His “Fourth Way” practices provided a means to attain this awakening.
After reading Ouspensky, I sought out Gurdjieff’s own book, Meetings With Remarkable Men, then only recently translated into English, and I devoured it.
I am fortunate to have had my own share of meetings with remarkable men and women, and I’ve long wanted to record my encounters. I hope to devote the next few posts to a few of these, with a double motive: not only to record the experiences and to paint portraits of these remarkable people, but also to explore just what it is that makes a person remarkable. What makes a life — someone else’s or one’s own — remarkable?
These examples may offer some indication, some inspiration.