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Book by P.D. Ouspensky putting forward his experiences of being Gurdjieff's pupil from 1915. The book has been called hard reading, it is an honest account of a search for a spiritual dimension to life and its partial answer given in the form of Gurdjieff's teaching and methods. There are some good descriptions of interesting mental states and of how Gurdjieff's school found themselves in the midst of the madness of WW1, surrounded by "sleeping people". Also contains a lot of ideas about spiritual matters.

Some of the descriptions are of things like the stop exercises (where on a command from the teacher you have to freeze motionless - said to help you see your self and physical habits clearly). Also includes discussions of "influence C" - the forces outside ordinary life which attract you to a school; "the magnetic centre" which is the beginnings of a real consciousness in the seeker and the complex cosmology where all spiritual processes are explained as being material, involving subtle elements with names like the higher Hydrogens, or the "food" received from absorbing "impressions" from life.

At the time of writing Ouspensky was still a pupil of Gurdjieff (referred to in the book as "G"), but later he broke with this unpredictable man and pursued his research independently.

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