by Jean Vaysse
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Hardcover with Dust Jacket • 170 pages •
Back In Print After 20 Years!
The return to print of a classic text is a joyous event for those whose lives
were forever changed from having read it. Toward Awakening, humbly
subtitled "an approach to the teaching brought by Gurdjieff," was "one of
the first accounts to hint at the practical approach to work through giving
attention to the sensation of the body, a study of which was central in
Gurdjieff's method." Today "sensing" is openly recognized as the
foundation-stone for self-remembering and the action-of-attention by
which transformation begins.
Toward Awakening, provides a clear chapter by
chapter summation of the major points of the teaching
brought by Gurdjieff. Vaysse says about the ideas:
"whoever approaches them for the first time without
prejudice feels touched to the core by a truth which he
cannot deny and called upon to put into question all the
values his life has been based on until then. "Following
a logical progression, Vaysse first expresses the meaning
of an inner life, and what the possibility for that might
be, then follows a logical exposition of the path to be
traveled in order to move in that direction, beginning
with an exposition of the key ideas of the structure of
humans, the practices of 'self-observation' and
'Self-remembering', the concept of Presence, and the dual
roles of essence and personality in determining the
overall nature of each individual. The author outlines
the obstacles to awakening, as well as the first steps
towards awakening, hence the title of the book itself.
Missing in many other books about the Gurdjieff teaching
is the key role played by sensation, a topic that Vaysse
covers with a clarity based on his own actual experience.
John Pentland, a leader of the work in North America for
many years, has this to say about Toward Awakening:
"Jean Vaysse softens the rather terrifying impact of
Gurdjieff's teaching as it is transmitted by Ouspensky.
He gives substance to the ideas, several of which have
become popular in modern psychology, and--without
detracting too much from what the pupil has to do for
himself--begins to show how they are related together.
His book is one of the first accounts to hint at the
practical approach to work through giving attention to
the sensation of the body, a study of which was central
in Gurdjieff's method and which has been carefully
transmitted by Madame Jeanne de Salzmann."