Guide & Index
Pronunciation (CD)
Beelzebub's Tales (CD)
Record of a Search
Beelzebub's Tales (RU)
A Journal of Our Time
Mt Analogue (CD)
Art in a Craft
Preface to the First Edition of the
Guide and Index to Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson

There has been a demand on the part of many people trying to understand the First Series of G. I. Gurdjieff's All and Everything, namely Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, for some help in approaching a book that more and more is taking its place in the world as the vehicle of a true teaching. Though irresistibly drawn to the ideas, they feel disconcerted. It may be because Gurdjieff speaks to the whole of a man at once, and we are unaccustomed to that call.

This guide and index to Beelzebub's Tales is the effort of a small group of people to move towards meeting this demand. We have not tried to produce a concordance that would make every reference available or a lexicon that would explain all the unusual words. What we have tried to produce is a guide and index that would be useful to the serious student of Beelzebub's Tales.

We began with the realization that the meaning of Gurdjieff's book will not open to conceptual attack, but requires thought and feeling of quite another kind. We are concerned not with making the book easier, but more approachable. The truth may well be that our primary reason for undertaking a guide and index at all was our own desire to get closer to the heart of Beelzebub's Tales. And to our surprise and delight, we found that there were ways of doing so.

For instance, as we divided the words alphabetically among us for individual study, we discovered that one word would become a thread to the entire teaching as it wove through explanations, parables and humorous anecdotes attaching to itself more and more clusters of meaning. One of us would declare that the clue to the book was the word being; another pursued conscience and a third, Mullah Nassr Eddin, who sometimes appeared to all of us as the key to the character of Beelzebub himself. In the end we agreed that all the words were a necessary study and that our work could not possibly take the place of the reader's own search.

We shall be happy if any student finds our guide and index useful, but we had in mind primarily those interested not only in understanding Beelzebub's Tales, but also in practicing the spiritual discipline Gurdjieff believed his work to be. Perhaps the best summary of our effort is that we were trying to carry out the third instruction Gurdjieff gave in his “Friendly Advice”:

Read each of my written expositions thrice:

Firstly: at least as you have already become mechanized to read all your contemporary books and newspapers.

Secondly: as if you were reading aloud to another person.

And only thirdly: try and fathom the gist of my writings.

Only then will you be able to count upon forming your own impartial judgment, proper to yourself alone, on my writings. And only then can my hope be actualized that according to your understanding you will obtain the specific benefit for yourself which I anticipate, and which I wish for you with all my being.

The Editors