Without Benefit of Clergy:
Without Benefit of Clergy:
Some Personal Footnotes to the Gurdjieff Teaching
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As a young man, Frank Sinclair looked for, and found, the teaching of G.I.Gurdjieff in Cape Town, South Africa, some seven years after Gurdjieff’s death. Moved by his first encounter with Gurdjieff’s chief pupil, Madame Jeanne de Salzmann, at Franklin Farms, the old Ouspensky estate at Mendham, New Jersey, he extended his original two-month visit to the United States into a stay that has lasted more than 45 years. In this brief memoir, he describes some unusual events surrounding the last days of Madame Ouspensky, his own extraordinary experiences at Mendham, and his subsequent work under the direct influence of Madame de Salzmann. He gives an intimate account of his lifelong search for meaning, his relations with some unusual people—“seekers all”—and concludes with some “random inferences” about the state of the Work in the world today.
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Frank Sinclair grew up in the shadow of Table Mountain, in Cape Town, South Africa, at “the fairest cape in all the circumference of the world,” as the circumnavigator Sir Francis Drake described it. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town, he joined the editorial staff of the Cape Times in 1950. During his eight years at the Cape Times, he was a witness to many of the momentous changes taking place under the apartheid regime. In his late 20s, he settled in the United States to pursue his interest in the teaching of G.I. Gurdjieff. While becoming increasingly engaged in the activities of the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York—he was named co-president in 2000 and president in 2005—he also had a successful career in the business world. He has made his home on the waterfront in Grand View on Hudson, some 20 miles north of Manhattan, since 1967.

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