“Here there are neither Russians nor English, Jews nor Christians, but only those who pursue one aim—to be able to be.”

This aphorism, one of thirty-eight inscribed on the walls of the Study House at the Prieure, describes the heart of the Gurdjieff work in a nutshell: to be able to be.

The early talks of Gurdjieff which are included in this book may serve as yet another door through which one may enter a study of the Gurdjieff ideas. These essays focus on topics as diverse as self-observation, the education of children, essence and personality, and the two rivers. No examination of the Gurdjieff work is complete without the inclusion of this volume.