Now the publication of Gurdjieff and Orage
: Brothers in Elysium by Paul Beekman Taylor, a friend of the Orage family and the first to be given access to Orage's and Gurdjieff's letters and the diaries of Orage's wife Jessie
, provides important new perspectives.
Jessie Dwight Orage
, Fourth Way, Ouspensky, Jean Toomer
If anything, Jessie
was certainly "all or nothing.
meant to have Orage
at any cost.
to share his
life in the Work, but Jessie
had no real interest.
understood that the way to Orage
was through the teaching.
Her ambivalence can be seen when she and Orage
went to the docks to see Gurdjieff
off on his way back to France.
September I come with Orage
And then when the Prophet had sailed from the land of his Abundance or from the land which Orage
had made abundant for him, I found that I in truth must go.
said so—he did not wish it—he said it had to be done.
At the Prieuré, Jessie
almost immediately attracted attention.
wore trousers and smoked in public.
One day, after Gurdjieff
recovered from his
car crash, he
asked if she
had heard from Orage
The next day a notice was posted stipulating that all outgoing letters must be put in a special box and all incoming letters must be signed for and names of correspondents given.
"All my Americanism rose," wrote Jessie
Instead of understanding that Gurdjieff was working with her, and her identification with Orage, Jessie began what would be an all or nothing battle with Gurdjieff for Orage's attention.
tried to make her
In response to her
first letter to him, a long list of complaints, he
wrote: "The theory is quite simple: to change effectively, one's old moulds of habits must be broken up.
The next August when Orage
visited the Prieuré Gurdjieff gave Orage
the bulk of the First Series with instructions to put it into publishable English.
This comment of Gurdjieff's
apparently leads Taylor to consider that Gurdjieff and Orage
, like Ouspensky, Bennett and Nicoll, or any other of Gurdjieff
's students, ever saw themselves as equal in being and knowledge, that is, in understanding, to Gurdjieff is not supported by anything any of the men wrote or said.
This is likely a code word for Orage's
Intellectually, of course, Orage
was aware of it.
wrote in the New Age: "Long after the liability to complete subjection to female illusion is over, men sometimes continue to experience perturbations of their equilibrium in the presence of women.
In few instances are these perturbations violent enough to overthrow the mind entirely, but for the moment they undoubtedly do cause the judgment to reel and stagger and the resulting conversation and actions to become distorted.
These residual phenomena, however, are to be distinguished from the similar phenomena of adolescence by the fact that they no longer inspire hope but disgust or, at least, annoyance.
See William Patrick Patterson, Struggle of the Magicians (Fairfax, CA: Arete
, 1996), p. 106.
12. 'Lord,' I say.
See Louise Welch, Orage with Gurdjieff in America (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.,1982), pp.