Baker & Taylor
Gurdjieff and Hypnosis : A Hermeneutic Study
Human enlightenment and liberation, mystics have long advised, require spiritual awakening from the hypnotic sleep of everyday life. This book explores the life and ideas of the enigmatic twentieth century philosopher, mystic, and teacher of esoteric dances George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1872-1949), performing a hermeneutic textual analysis of all his published writings to illuminate the place of hypnosis in his teaching. The hermeneutic approach captures both the aim for an in-depth textual analysis, and the notion that the intent is to interpret the text using its own symbolic and meaning structures. Systematically explored for the first time is Gurdjieff's "objective art" of literary hypnotism intended as a major conduit for the transmission of his teachings on the philosophy, theory, and practice of personal self-knowledge and harmonious human development. In the process, the nature and function of the 'mystical' shell hiding the rational kernel of Gurdjieff's teaching are explained - shedding new light on why his mysticism is "mystical," and Gurdjieff so "enigmatic," in the first place. The book includes a Foreword by J. Walter Driscoll, a major bibliographer and scholar of Gurdjieff studies.