SOTT FOCUS: MindMatters: Interview with Joseph Azize Pt. 2: The Usefulness of Gurdjieff’s Teachings For Our Times

gurdjieff azize

Delving deeper into some of G.I. Gurdjieff’s ideas and practices, we continue our discussion with Father Joseph Azize, author of the recently published book Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, & Exercises. Among a broad range of related topics covered, Fr. Azize describes the esoteric dynamics of prayer as it relates to the “Four Ideals” exercises and the types of impressions that we may access and ‘digest’ as a result. The detrimental effects of ‘negative emotions’ are also examined – as they relate to the growing irrationality that surrounds us, and the necessary work of growing one’s consciousness and conscience to counter these manifestations for one’s self, and for others. Further to this is an increased awareness of one’s own thinking and feeling centers and how strengthening these ‘bodies’ plays such a large part in the growth of an individual.

On today’s MindMatters we look back to the remaining fragments of G.I. Gurdjieff’s teachings and exercises so that they may not be lost to obscurity, and forward, because this time we’re living in necessitates their use. In addition to these issues, Fr. Azize speaks of his own synthesis of these ideas regarding his work in the priesthood and the Christian tradition. Finally, a brief but informed survey of some other important Gurdjieff books. In these times of accelerated change, what if anything can Gurdjieff’s work do to assist us in our response to it, and our working on ourselves?

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Running Time: 01:04:53

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Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, & Exercises Also check out Fr. Azize’s previous book, George Adie: A Gurdjieff Pupil in Australia.

Suggestions for a Basic Gurdjieff Bibliography (courtesy of Fr. Azize)

Gurdjieff (essential):

  • Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson
  • Meetings with Remarkable Men
  • Life Is Real Only Then, When “I Am”
  • Gurdjieff’s Early Talks, 1914-1931
  • Transcripts of Gurdjieff’s Meetings 1941-1946, 2nd ed.
  • Paris Meetings 1943


  • In Search of the Miraculous (essential)
  • The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
  • The Fourth Way
  • A Record of Meetings
  • A Further Record

Biographical Records:

  • John G. Bennett, Witness: The Story of a Search
  • Solange Claustres, Becoming Conscious with Mr Gurdjieff
  • Thomas and Olga de Hartmann, Our Life with Mr Gurdjieff
  • Kathryn C. Hulme, Undiscovered Country
  • Dorothy Philpotts, Discovering Gurdjieff
  • Irmis P. Popoff, Gurdjieff: His Work on myself … with others … for the Work
  • Tcheslaw Tchekhovitch, Gurdjieff: A Master in Life
  • Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope

Approaches to the Teaching:

  • John G. Bennett, Gurdjieff: Making a New World
  • John G. Bennett, A Spiritual Psychology
  • Jane Heap, Notes
  • Maurice Nicoll, Notes Taken at Meetings January 18, 1934 to April 28, 1934
  • Maurice Nicoll, Selections from Meetings in 1953
  • Maurice Nicoll, Simple Explanation of Work Ideas
  • Jeanne de Salzmann, Reality of Being
  • A.L. Staveley, Themes I, II, and III
  • Jean Vaysse, Toward Awakening
  • Gurdjieff’s Emissary in New York, Talks and Lectures with A.R. Orage 1924-1931

Aside from Amazon, Fourth Way books can be purchased at By The Way Books. Book Studio has published numerous important volumes, including original manuscript versions of Gurdjieff’s works, and previously unpublished talks and notes.


Harrison Koehli (Profile)

Harrison Koehli co-hosts SOTT Radio Network’s MindMatters, and is an editor for Red Pill Press. He has been interviewed on several North American radio shows about his writings on the study of ponerology. In addition to music and books, Harrison enjoys tobacco and bacon (often at the same time) and dislikes cell phones, vegetables, and fascists (commies too).


Elan Martin (Profile)

Born and raised in New York City, Elan has been an editor for since 2014 and is a co-host for MindMatters. He enjoys seeing and sharing what’s true about our profoundly and rapidly changing world.