René Daumal, Letters on the Search for Awakening, 1930–1944
Translated by Gabriela Ansari and Roger Lipsey.
With an introduction by Roger Lipsey.
Cover of Daumal Book René Daumal was a born seeker, but even born seekers need sources, inspiration and method, all of which he found in the teaching of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, first through his contact with Alexandre de Salzmann, later through sustained work with Jeanne de Salzmann and Gurdjieff himself.

     George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1866?–1949) is now well known. Many elements of his practical Way toward self-knowledge and self-realization have been published. The music of the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann collaboration has appeared in a four-volume edition and numerous recordings, and staged examples of Gurdjieff’s Sacred Dances, or Movements, which he taught for the development of integrated awareness, have been shown in the film version of his autobiography, Meetings with Remarkable Men.

     In Daumal’s day, little more than rumour was known of Gurdjieff in the public arena. There were no published books, and Gurdjieff did nothing to cultivate a pleasant reputation. Living in Paris and periodically travelling to the United States to meet with his students, he and his circle practised with discretion a teaching that leads toward what Roger Lipsey in his introduction calls “a quality of awareness and sheer being that is wider, deeper, wiser, not given at birth but sought for a lifetime.”

     In the autumn of 1930, Daumal met and recognized this teaching. The 1930s were kind to him. Increasingly celebrated as a writer, he pursued his spiritual search, found gifted friends and colleagues, met his future wife, Vera Milanova – and set aside time to climb in the Alps. The 1940s were unkind. Impoverished, recently diagnosed with tuberculosis and suffering from the scarcities imposed by the Nazi occupation of France, he continued to write with still more depth and warmth – and continued his correspondence with friends and teachers near and far.

     René Daumal has come to be recognized since his death in 1944 as an incandescent example of self-realization. Rather than fading with the passage of time, his words today are even more resonant: the culture of our time, the questions of our time, have caught up with him. These are letters to us.

ISBN: 978-0-9780661-3-0
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