Boris Mouravieff

Boris Mouravieff

Russian­born philosopher and writer

Boris Mouravieff was an enigmatic 'third man', known to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, who found and learned to practice what he clearly believed to be the complete system of which only 'fragments' had been previously published in Ouspensky's 'In Search of the Miraculous'.

On this basis, he formed the 'Centre d'Etudes chretiennes esoteriques' in Geneva — now closed.

Many of his discoveries are described in his book Gnosis, which contains in its three volumes the fundamental components of that
Christian esoteric teaching revealed by Ouspensky in fragmentary form. ThisGnosis is not a modern statement of the second century
texts known as 'Gnosticism', but a previously unpublished ancient Christian knowledge tradition. Boris Mouravieff taught Eastern Esoterism at Geneva University for many years, and Gnosis is the result of his teaching.

First published in French in 1961, the three volumes of Mouravieff 's Gnosis have since been translated into Greek, and an Arabic text is in preparation. Now — after seven years of work — the translation into English is available.

A Russian refugee of the Bolshevik revolution, Boris Petrovitch Mouravieff was first introduced to Gurdjieff in 1920 in Constantinople by P. D. Ouspensky. Twelve years younger than Ouspensky, Mouravieff, fascinated with the teaching, attended lectures and movements demonstrations, but formed a strong animus toward Gurdjieff. An aristocrat, intellectual and moralist, Mouravieff no doubt had trouble with Gurdjieff's unconventional behavior, his acting and trampling on people's corns, and of course his heavy Caucasian accent, an accent, Ouspensky said, one associated with "anything apart from philosophical ideas." And it was Gurdjieff's way of teaching, whenever anyone reacted to these manifestations, to make them worse to show people their identification. Though Mouravieff was firm in his determination to stay "outside the zone of his [Gurdjieff's] personal influence," he had been "poisoned," as Gurdjieff would say, and could never entirely break away. For even after both men left Constantinople and located in Paris, Mouravieff continued to seek out Gurdjieff at the Café de la Paix and in Fontainebleau.

And so when Ouspensky broke with Gurdjieff in 1923 and asked Mouravieff to help with the translation and editing of his book, then titled Fragments of an Unknown Teaching,he gladly agreed. Thereafter, Ouspensky and Mouravieff exchanged many letters on the teaching and whenever Ouspensky visited Paris the two often had dinner together. These letters and meetings, Mouravieff said, "gave me the opportunity to discuss all the elements of the system with him."

Mouravieff first published an attack on Gurdjieff and Ouspensky in 1958 in a small magazine (interestingly enough given to the idea, fashionable in modern times, of synthesis), then published his 758-page, three-volume Gnosis, its central ideas lifted directly from Ouspensky's book. First Mouravieff wrapped Gurdjieff's Fourth Way teaching in a heavy Christian religious coating. Having dislodged and distorted the teaching, he then offered a fanciful updating of the courtly love of medieval days, calling it the "Fifth Way."