Ladies of the Rope by William Patrick Patterson
Gurdjieff's Special Left Bank Women's Group

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Synopsis

This is the first book to examine the Rope, the special ladies-only group of spiritual seekers that G. I. Gurdjieff formed on Paris' Left Bank. All lesbians, except one, the group included such people as Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, co-editors of the Little Review, the archetype of all avant garde literary magazines; Kathryn Hulme, author of The Nuns's Story and Undiscovered Country; Solita Solano, author, editor and companion of Janet Flanner who wrote for The New Yorker as Genet; and Georgette Leblanc, diva, actress and mistress of Maurice Maeterlinck, the Belgian playwright best known for The Blue Bird.

During his thirty-seven years of work in the West, Gurdjieff's creation of the Rope remains his most enigmatic. Recognizing, at the turn of the century, that the world would destroy itself unless there was an awakening in the West, he understood that a fundamental shock had to be applied. Although the Fourth Way was rooted in Tradition, nevertheless, he intentionally introduced this ancient esoteric teaching to the uninitiated.

Breaking vows of secrecy, in the hope that the originality, scale and practicality of the teaching would arouse enough people to undergo the rigors of self-awakening, he understood that he would be castigated by initiates and the uninitiated alike. That he took an even further risk and introduced the teaching to the ladies of the Rope is a subject which until now has never been examined. The conclusions reached by the author about why Gurdjieff created the Rope are as original as they are surprising and will be of serious interest to those involved with feminine spirituality in all its many forms.

 

About William Patrick Patterson

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Published November 1, 1998 by Arete Pubns. 302 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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Patterson (Eating the ""I"") is fascinated by Gurdjieff's mysterious decision to teach these women directly, since by that time Gurdjieff had virtually abandoned teaching to focus on writing.

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