Orage’s Commentary on Gurdjieff’s “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson”: New York Talks 1926–1930

Orage's Commentary on Gurdjieff's Beelzebub Orage’s Commentary on Gurdjieff’s “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson”
New York Talks 1926–1930

Authors: A. R. Orage, Lawrence Morris, Sherman Manchester
ISBN: 978-0-9572481-0-6
Binding: Hardback
Publisher: Book Studio
Publish Date: 2013
Pages: 388
Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″

A student asked:

I have heard the phrase “listening to the book in all three centers” and I am not clear on how it can be done.


It isn’t a matter of how it can be done, but of understanding what it means and then wishing to hear the book that way. Remember how you listened to stories you heard when you were a child, so that you participated, your hair stood on end and your eyes shone or you wept? That is reading with all three centers, and Gurdjieff would hope the book reading could be of that order.

A. R. Orage’s commentaries on Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson are an essential part of the Fourth Way literature. They demonstrate a way of approaching and understanding a work that Orage considered to be literature of the highest kind. As the figures in Beelzebub are mythological and their language, parabolical, the book may not be easily comprehensible by the average reader or Fourth Way beginner. Orage’s commentaries help to clarify and simplify the important lessons in the book by serving as keys to understanding Beelzebub which, as Gurdjieff once said, are all in the book, but not near their locks. Available to the reader for the first time in its entirety, this present volume promises a multifaceted illumination of Beezlebub.

A book review by Joseph Azize

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Orage's Commentary on G.I. Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson

Valuable addition to the Gurdjieff universe of literature

Darren June 30, 2021

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Read Gurdjieff Without It

Who could possibly distribute accurate information about Gurdjieff's masterpiece better than the coworker and editor who gave the world the original edition, the 1950 English edition. Every page surprises with depth and breadth of understanding and many of those shock by bringing insights that would almost be impossible to discover from reading Beelzebub's Tales itself or any of the many other commentaries. This edition is more and better in many ways than anything previous available.

J. W. Bean November 13, 2019

5.0 out of 5 stars No doubt Orage was Gurdjieffs most brilliant student.

Very brilliant explanation of the book in many frames of reference. Gets one to think in ways that expound the levels of parable in the book.

Rodney Morgan July 29, 2019

5.0 out of 5 stars great book

great book

Mary Anne Cauley December 8, 2016

Sehr hilfreiches Buch beim Studium von Gurdjieff's "Beelzebub's Erzählungen für seinen Enkel"

Eines meiner ersten wirklichen hilfreichen Bücher von Schülern von Herrn Gurdjieff war "Teachings of Gurdjiefff - The Journal of a Pupil" von C.S. Nott. Im zweiten Teil seines Buches waren "Orage's commentary on "Beelzebub" veröffentlicht. Ich fand diese einfachen Hinweise, Reflektionen, Stichworte sehr hilfreich und ermutigend. Später fand ich die umfangreichen getippten Aufzeichnungen von A.R. Orage, Lawrence Morris, Sherman Manchester als "wilde" pdf's irgendwo im Internet. Diese waren optisch von sehr schlechter Qualität und alles etwas zusammen gemischt. Umso mehr freute es mich, dass da ein paar beherzte Menschen sich an die Arbeit gemacht hatten und das ganze Material schön und klar editiert und zusammen gestellt haben. ... und als Sahnehäubchen gibt es einen prima Index am Ende des Buches dazu. Vielen Dank.

Frauenfarn August 22, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars

A welcome addition to fathoming All and Everything First Series.

Amazon Customer March 17, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars Read!

Very nice and good book, must read for every who wants to know more from Belzebub Tales and the system...

Denis August 12, 2015

Four Stars

A bright star Mr.Orage

P. Kelly March 7, 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars A.R. Orage's completely brilliant talks given from 1926 – 30, when he was editing the very selfsame book. Absolutely mandatory.

This book is simply a marvel. Where C.S. Nott's first book, "Teachings of Gurdjeiff– A pupils Journal" contained about 100 pages of Orage's commentaries on Beelzebub's tales, George Gurdjieff's magnus opus, This new book is 378 pages fully packed in typescript of garages talks from 1926 – 1930, while he was editing for Mister Gurdjeff (Orage is one of the premier editors of the twentieth century). This book shows the absolute brilliance of Orage without being pedantic. Some of it is duplicate because they are from the notes of 2 people who both went to some of the same meetings but also separate, but the fact is that there is no better, right to Beelzebub on earth than Mister Orage's very close hand view. There are an increasing number of new and valuable books due to the expiration of copyrights and or of release of secret documents after the 50 year holding period so it is a very exciting time among the people who follow the teachings of Mister Gurdjeff seriously. I would say that this book is mandatory.

Ziprgun5 December 19, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally available.

Very interesting and recommended for any reader of Beelzebub's tale. This is a considerable expansion of the excerpt found in Nott's book (and published as a (short) standalone book). This appears to be the complete set of talks given by Orage.

xmarc999 October 11, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars A Tool for Digging Deeper

When reading C. S. Nott’s book “Teachings of Gurdjieff” for the first time, many years ago, I was fascinated by Orage’s Commentary on Beelzebub, which is a part of the book. Nott called this commentary only a small portion of the whole material. Since this time I have been waiting for the publication of the remaining stuff. Now here it is. Whoever wants to dig deeper in Beelzebub’s Tales can’t avoid to read it. But, as another reviewer already told us, first you have to read Beelzebub Tales by yourself, otherwise you put the cart before the horse and your journey will never begin.

MBG October 13, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Tidbits from the Great Table

Intriguing comments, very different from originally published Orage Commentaries. Definitely worth having both. Orage was very close to the source making his remarks valuable.

Charles Siegfried September 12, 2013

Essential reading, but......

This book of over 360 pages comprises apparently complete and unabridged notes of Orages talks in New York, though edited for readability. (A small part of the notes were edited by and included in C.S Nott's Teachings of Gurdjieff, The Journal of a Pupil: An Account of Some Years With G. I. Gurdjieff and A. R. Orage in New York and at Fontainebleau-Avon.) I would say that these commentaries are essential reading for the serious student of G.I. Gurdjieff's magnum opus and are replete with hints as to the layers of meanings therein. Orage was instrumental in editing Gurdjieff's book into English and these talks clearly demonstrate his deep grasp of the scope of Gurdjieff's allegory, in a way I have found nowhere else, in such detail. It is very important that Gurdjieff's "Friendly Advice", which can be found at the beginning of Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, is read and acted on, namely to read Beelzebub's Tales three times in the manner prescribed by the author. I cannot stress enough that this should be done before reading Orage's commentaries. To ignore the above advice could greatly reduce the impact and benefit which can be accrued by reading these books in the recommended order and manner.

Allopen September 11, 2013