A great deal of mystery surrounds G.I. Gurdjieff and “The Work.” Today, many on the path of selfexploration find themselves drawn to the symbolism of the enneagram, and to Gurdjieff’s other teachings. Gurdjieff was undeniably charismatic many famous and influential people lived in his “shadow,” accepting his guidance while changing and transforming their lives. Shadows of Heaven focuses on the relationship between Gurdjieff and the poetnovelist Nathan Jean Toomer, from 1924 until Gurdjieff’s death in 1949, as well as each man’s relationship with Edith Annesley Taylor and her son Paul, the author of this book.
Caught in the middle of this tense triad of interests was the English criticpublisher A.R. Orage, who was close to all three parties, and whose wife, Jessie, was Edith’s best friend. Paul Taylor’s unique life experience has made it possible for him to combine his mother’s memoir’s conversations between Toomer and Gurdjieff, and entries from Jessie Orage’s diary into this fascinating book. It is probably the first to reveal something of Gurdjieff’s “love life” with the mothers of his children. Several new descriptions of Gurdjieff’s voyages with his pupils reveal aspects of Gurdjieff’s character not documented elsewhere. Excerpts from Jessie Orage’s diaries testify to the magnetic attraction Gurdjieff exercised over those he felt were viral to the dissemination of his ideas. With 16 pages of neverbefore published photographs, this book presents a fresh new picture of Gurdjieff and his teaching, adding to his legend a tangible humanity to which we can all relate.