Reading and Further Inquiry

Anyone who has done even a cursory search for written works about Gurdjieff's ideas is immediately confronted with a bewildering array of choices.  Listed below are a few works specifically recommended for the seeker new to the study of Gurdjieff's teaching.  The list includes Gurdjieff's own published works, however be advised that for the new seeker studying without the support of an organized group, Mr. Gurdjieff's writings may not seem to be immediately approachable.  The other writings on this list can serve as an introduction to his work.

Books on Gurdjieff's Teaching:

Jean Vaysse
•  Toward Awakening: An Approach to the Teaching Left by Gurdjieff (1980) San Francisco: Far West Press Considered by many to be the most accessible overview of Gurdjieff's teaching.  Written by a long time pupil of Gurdjieff, this is a good place to start one's inquiry into Gurdjieff's system.  This book is out of print but widely available used.
P. D. Ouspensky
•  The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution (1st ed., 1950; 2nd ed. 1974, enlarged) New York: Vintage Press A series of five lectures written by one of Gurdjieff's most prominent students.  At only 114 pages it is an excellent introduction to Gurdjieff's ideas.
•  In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching (1949) New York: Harcourt Inc. One of the indispensable reference works in the library of Gurdjieff's teaching.  This book provides a comprehensive overview of Gurdjieff's system, but as the subtitle indicates, it is still a fragmentary representation of Gurdjieff's ideas.
John Pentland
•  Exchanges Within: Questions from Everyday Life Selected from Gurdjieff Group Meetings with John Pentland in California 1955-1984 (1997) New York: Continuum Press A compilation of transcripts of meetings with Lord Pentland from 1955 to 1984.  There are 217 indexed topics written in a question and answer format which taken as a whole, constitute an in-depth exploration of Gurdjieff's teachings.
G. I. Gurdjieff
•  Views from the Real World: Early Talks of G.I.Gurdjieff (1973) New York: E. P. Dutton Gurdjieff's lectures from 1917 through 1933 as recollected by his pupils as well as an account of a converstion with Gurdjieff in 1913.  Foreword by Jeanne de Salzmann.
•  All and Everything: Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson (1950 ed.) New York: E. P. Dutton Widely considered to be Gurdjieff's masterpiece, but intentionally written in a less than accessible style. Note that the 1950 edition is highly preferred over the 1992 Triangle Editions revision.
•  Meetings with Remarkable Men (1963) New York: E.P. Dutton The second book in Gurdjeff's "All and Everything" series.  Outwardly, written in a more accessible style than "Beelzebub's Tales", but as with "Beelzebub", the most important content is not accessible through the intellect alone.
•  Life is Real Only Then, When "I Am" (1975) New York: Triangle Editions The third book and the culmination of Gurdjieff's "All and Everything" series.

A real understanding of Gurdjieff's ideas can only come through direct experience and verification, something that reading cannot provide.  Mr. Gurdjieff established an oral tradition for the transmission of his teaching. For the seeker, work with a group is essential.