International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol 6, No 2 (2015)

Gurdjieffian Overtones in Leon MacLaren’s School of Economic Science

Johanna J.M. Petsche
Issued Date: 20 Jan 2016

Abstract


After the death of G. I. Gurdjieff in 1949, Gurdjieff-based groups began to emerge, including a colourful assortment of fringe groups. Fringe groups are established by individuals who never met Gurdjieff but who, in some or other way, assimilate elements of his teaching into new religio-spiritual systems. One noteworthy yet little understood Gurdjieff fringe group is the School of Economic Science (SES), founded by Leon MacLaren (1910-1994) in London in 1937. The SES was initially inspired by the work of nineteenth century American economist Henry George. However, in the early 1950s when MacLaren studied with Dr Francis Roles, who was P. D. Ouspensky’s personal physician and one of his earliest pupils, he gradually integrated into SES teachings concepts and practices of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff. This paper will examine the substantial influence of the work of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky on the SES, particularly in regards to MacLaren’s emphasis on residential living and working, the significance of the Laws of Three and Seven in his cosmology, and his use of the ‘natural octave’ in his large-scale musical compositions. This paper draws on firsthand accounts, original materials and unpublished music manuscripts.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.v6i2.28443

References


Barrett, David.


2001. The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions. London: Cassell.


2006. “The School of Economic Science.” In Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements, edited by Peter B. Clarke, 509–511, Abingdon New York: RoutledgeCurzon.


Beckwith, Gerald de Symons.


2015. Ouspensky’s Fourth Way: The Story of the Further Development and Completion of P. D. Ouspensky’s Work by Dr Francis Roles. UK: Starnine Media & Publishing.


Beekman Taylor, Paul.


2008. G. I. Gurdjieff: A New Life. Utrecht: Eureka Editions.


Bennett, J. G.


1973. Gurdjieff: Making a New World. New York: Harper and Row.


Bhadury, Manjulika and Santosh Chatterjee.


1945. The Art of Hindu Dance. Calcutta: S. K. Chatterjee.


Bowyer, E. C.


2006. “The New Cult: An Interview with the Master.” In Oriental Suite: The Complete Orchestral Music 1923–1924, edited by Gert-Jan Blom, 68–69, Netherlands: Basta Audio Visuals.


Chryssides, George.


1999. Exploring New Religions. London: Cassell.


Collin, Rodney.


c.1947. Last Remembrances. Unpublished work.


Collin-Smith, Joyce.


1988. Call No Man Master. Bath: Gateway Books.


de Hartmann, Thomas and Olga de Hartmann.


1992 [1964]. Our Life with Mr. Gurdjieff. London: Arkana Penguin Books.


Dodson, Edward J.


2002. The Discovery of First Principles, Vol. 2. Nebraska: Writers Club Press.


David B. Doty.


1994. The Just Intonation Primer, San Francisco: The Just Intonation Network.


George, Henry .


1976 [1879]. Progress and Poverty. London: Dent.


Goffin, Peter.


1946. The Realm of Art, London, L. Drummond.


Gurdjieff, G. I.


1964 [1950]. All and Everything First Series: Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, New York: E. P. Dutton and Co.


1976. Views From the Real World. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.


1998 [1933]. The Herald of Coming Good, Edmonds, Washington: Sure Fire Press.


2002 [1963]. Meetings With Remarkable Men, New York: Penguin Compass.


Hodgkinson, Brian.


2010. In Search of Trueh: The Story of the School of Economic Science, London: Shepheard-Walwyn.


Hounam, Peter and Andrew Hogg.


1985 [1984]. Secret Cult, Herts, England: Lion Publishing.


Howarth, Dushka and Jessmin Howarth.


2009. It’s Up To Ourselves: A Mother, A Daughter, and Gurdjieff, New York: Gurdjieff Heritage Society.


Knight, Kathryn.


2012. “The Cult That Stole My Childhood,” MailOnline: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2149044/The-cult-stole-childhood-She-grew-outwardly-normal-suburban-home-But-closed-doors-Lauras-life-ruled-tyrannical-guru.html#ixzz3drIhmZ9M


MacLaren, Leon.


1943. Nature of Society, London: School of Economic Science, private publication.


1971. Music Part One, London: School of Economic Science, private publication.


Miller, M. H.


2011. “Poster Children of New York’s Happiness Academy – The School of Practical Philosophy,” Observer: http://observer.com/2011/05/poster-children-of-new-yorks-happiness-academy-the-school-of-practical-philosophy-2/


Mondozilla.


2013. “Miss Frankenstein R.I.P. – Short Glamour Film”, Horrorpedia: http://horrorpedia.com/2013/05/05/miss-frankenstein-r-i-p-8mm-short-film-review/


Moore, James.


1991. Gurdjieff The Anatomy of a Myth A Biography. Shaftsbury, Dorset: Element.


Ouspensky, P. D.


1938 [1917]. A New Model of the Universe. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.


1977 [1949]. In Search of the Miraculous: The Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff. San Diego, California: Harcourt Inc.


1991 [1950]. The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution. London: Arkana.


1998 [1912]. Tertium Organum. Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger.


Partridge, Christopher H.


1999. “Truth Authority and Epistemological Individualism in New Age Thought.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 14 (1): 87–88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13537909908580853


Peters, Fritz.


1976. Boyhood with Gurdjieff and Gurdjieff Remembered. London: Wildwood House.


Petsche, Johanna J. M.


2011. “Gurdjieff and Blavatsky: Western Esoteric Teachers in Parallel.” Literature & Aesthetics 21(1): 98–115.


2012. “G. I. Gurdjieff’s piano music and its application in and outside “The Work” today.” In Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production, edited by Carole M. Cusack and Alex Norman, 271–295, Leiden: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004226487_013


2013. “A Gurdjieff Genealogy: Tracing the Manifold Ways the Gurdjieff Teaching has Travelled.” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 4(1): 49–79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/ijsnr.v4i1.49


2014a. “Gurdjieff on Sex: Subtle Bodies, Si 12, and the Sex Life of a Sage.” In Sexuality and New Religious Movements, edited by James R. Lewis and Henrik Bogdan, 127–148, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


2014b. “The Value of E. J. Gold: Unearthing the Real Mr. G.” Journal for the Academic Study of Religion 27 (3): 346–366. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/jasr.v27i3.24170


2015. Music for Remembering: The Gurdjieff/de Hartmann Piano Music and its Esoteric Significance. Leiden: Brill.


Rawlinson, Andrew.


1997. The Book of Enlightened Masters: Western teachers in eastern traditions. Illinois: Open Court.


Roles, Francis.


2000. A Record of Audiences & Correspondence With His Holiness Shantananda Saraswati Shankaracharya of Jyotish Peeth. Volume 1, 1960–1965. Private Publication.


Salaman, Clara.


2009. Shame on You. Camberwell, Vic: Viking.


School of Economic Science.


School of Economic Science Website: http://www.schooleconomicscience.org/


Shaw, William.


1994. Spying in Guru Land. London: Fourth Estate.


Stewart, John.


2001. Standing for Justice: A Biography of Andrew MacLaren MP. London: Shepherd Walwyn.


Tolley, Dorine.


2008. The Power Within: Leon MacLaren a Memoir of his Life and Work. Sydney:


2015. Personal Communication.


Townend QC, James.


2011. “Report of a Private Independent Inquiry Commissioned by the Governors of St James Independent Schools and Held in London Between 20 June – 06 October 2005.” http://reference.ses-forums.org/wp-content/uploads/townend-report.pdf/


Webb, James.


1980. The Harmonious Circle: The Lives and Work of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky and Their Followers. London: Thames and Hudson.


Wellbeloved, Sophia.


2003. Gurdjieff: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge.


Zigrosser, Carl.


2010. “Gurdjieff.” In Gurdjieff in the Public Eye: Newspaper Articles, Magazines and Books 1914–1949, edited by Paul Beekman Taylor, 177–184. Utrecht: Eureka Editions.







Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy