Venture With Ideas

by Kenneth Walker. Pellegrini & Cudahy, $3.25
This account, of the impact of the teachings of Gurdjieff and his disciple Ouspensky — a system of mystical or ‘’esoteric” knowledge — is remarkable in that the author is an eminent man of science: a surgeon. well-known for his pioneer work in medicine, who developed one of the last war’s secret weapons. Back in 1923, a friend took Kenneth Walker to
one of Ouspensky’s meetings in London, and this was the beginning of the venture chronicled in his book — “a journey through the bewildering inner world of ideas . . . [which] has been the means of drawing together isolated parts ol my experience . . . so that they form a comprehensive whole.”The main ideas of the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky system of development are summarized as lucidly as such things can be, and the book is free of the fuzzy exaltation prevalent in works pertaining to the Higher Life. The most arresting part, perhaps, is the vivid and entertaining picture of Gurdjieff and of the mealtime rituals at his Paris establishment.