In the midst of perhaps the richest, most materially advanced culture the earth has ever known, more and more people are awakening to a sense of the emptiness of a life without a spiritual dimension. However it is expressed, this awakening is ultimately felt as a deep dissatisfaction with the pursuit of success in its usual forms, and leaves in its wake unanswered questions: What is my life for? Is there a purpose beyond the ordinary? Do I sense, perhaps even from some experiences in my life, that answers to these questions require a new kind of consciousness? If so, how is that consciousness to be reached without itself becoming yet another dead end achievement.
In the early part of the twentieth century, after decades spent studying ancient teachings and methods throughout Asia, Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff returned from the East to Western Europe with a unique and powerful response to these fundamental human questions.
Gurdjieff taught that human beings live in a state of waking sleep in which the real possibility of different levels of consciousness and the potential for a change of being are unrealized and mostly unknown. He explained that, as we are, human beings are incomplete and that a fully developed human being has many possibilities unknown to us in our current condition. Gurdjieff demonstrated that the realization of humanity's hidden capacities could be achieved, under appropriate conditions and with conscious guidance, through a very specific work of transformation.
To begin this work of awakening, man needs the help of a special knowledge - the knowledge of his own structure and the structure of the universe itself - and also the knowledge of how to work on himself, what to do first, what to look for, how to conduct his life so that it contributes to his inner development.
The continuing purpose of the Del Mar, California, branch of the Gurdjieff Foundation, originally established under the direct guidance of students of Gurdjieff, is to assimilate and pass on this way of inner search through the methods, techniques, ideas, music, sacred dances, and exercises that Gurdjieff brought to the world.