George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (Russian: 31 March 1866/14 January 1872/28 November 1877 – 29 October 1949) was a Russian philosopher, mystic, spiritual teacher, and composer of Armenian and Greek descent, born in Alexandropol, Russian Empire (now Gyumri, Armenia). Gurdjieff taught that most humans do not possess a unified consciousness and thus live their lives in a state of hypnotic “waking sleep”, but that it is possible to awaken to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. Gurdjieff described a method attempting to do so, calling the discipline “The Work” (connoting “work on oneself”) or “the System”. According to his principles and instructions, Gurdjieff’s method for awakening one’s consciousness unites the methods of the fakir, monk and yogi, and thus he referred to it as the “Fourth Way”.
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