A Canadian diplomat and environmental activist, George has long been influenced by Gurdjieff. He attempts to link Gurdjieff’s cosmological ideas with James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis and to document the crisis caused by human degradation of the environment, which he attributes to our alienation from a sense of spiritual presence and conscience.
James George was born in Toronto in 1918. A Rhodes Scholar for Ontario, he was educated at Upper Canada College, and Trinity College in the University of Toronto. When World War II began in Europe, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as an Ordinary Seaman, later becoming a Lt. Commander and acting as Naval Historian during the period preceding and following the invasion of Normandy. After the war, he joined the Canadian Foreign Service, and following assignments in Greece, NATO and the United Nations, he served as Ambassador to Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and finally Iran and the Gulf States.
In retirement, he has worked on various environmental and ethical issues, such as persuading the International Whaling Commission to adopt a moratorium on high seas whaling and to ban all whaling in the Indian and the Antarctic Oceans; acting as a member the Advisory Council of President Gorbachev’s State of the World Forum; assessing the post-Gulf war environmental damage from the Kuwait oil fires in 1991; and serving as President of No Weapons In Space, a coalition of Canadian peace groups that helped Canada to avoid any involvement in U.S. Missile Defense plans. He is the author of Asking for the Earth: Waking Up to the Spiritual/Ecological Crisis (1995).
In addition to his public life as a Canadian diplomat, environmental and political activist, lecturer and author, James George has been first and foremost a spiritual seeker. During his years in the diplomatic service, he and his first wife, Carol, met a number of remarkable men in remarkable circumstances, including Krishnamurti, Thomas Merton, Yogaswami of Sri Lanka, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. A longtime friend of the Dalai Lama and student of Tibetan Buddhism, he has also been a devoted practitioner of the Gurdjieff Work for almost sixty years and was a close disciple of the late Madame de Salzmann, G.I. Gurdjieff’s primary student.
His underlying interest in spirituality, which is apparent throughout his newest book, The Little Green Book on Awakening, shines through all of his activities and accomplishments, making him, in the words of Chogyam Trungpa, ” a wise and benevolent man, an ideal statesman.”
James George now lives in Toronto, with his second wife, Barbara.
Gurdjieff Heralds the Awakening of Consciousness Now by James George
Interview with James George