What is it that distinguishes a real master or a real Work opportunity?

Real masters don't often look like anything we recognize. Perhaps that is because their job is to startle, awaken, prod, prickle and challenge our carefully maintained beliefs, to provide opportunities for us to release our tenacious grip on the floorboards and peek out the window.

One might think that were Gurdjieff alive today, his Salon would be full of eager disciples, ourselves among them, savouring his abrasive onslaughts and remaining centered in the face of his confounding and bewildering behavior.

But would we really react in this manner?

It isn't any easier today than it was back in Gurdjieff's time to see the truth about ourselves. And yet we wish to work. What can be done about this difficult problem? Will we be able to say, at the end of our lives, that we did all we could to awaken - to fulfill our real function as human beings?

Here's what people are saying about EJ Gold:

Sarlo's Guru rating service:


Eclecticity and humourous approach to everything make him impossible to categorize or summarize. Does jewelry, comedy, set design, illustration, SciFi, many different kinds of books, all over the place. Sufi/Zen/wild man/shaman, etc. Gurdjieff's heir, at least figuratively, but difficult to rate. -- 3 stars.

(ed. note: a very good rating on this site, comparatively)


Turtle Hill.org


"One of the truest tests of any scientific proposition is whether different experimenters come up with the same results. Standing outside the realm of formal Buddhadharma, E.J. Gold and his brave little band of spiritual revolutionaries are just such an independent lab in the science of mind. Buddhism should only have such a lama as he!

I understand that Gold is involved in the Gurdjieffian lineage, although I have never found any references to this in his work -- other than the tendency to refer to himself as 'G,' the initial used by Ouspensky to refer to Gurdjieff. Anyway, these are just as much books of instruction as the books written by "real" lamas that are reviewed elsewhere in this electronic soup. Gold's method, however, lacks the level of formal invocation (and potential spiritual materialism) that characterizes Tibetan practice, and is more akin to Da Avabhasa's program of self- observation. Gold, like Gurdjieff, sees little value in mantra and other devotional-invocatory practices. The teacher works to drive the student back onto his own inner guidance and listen to it. Gold is not interested in becoming the center of a movement. He operates in a small town in the Sierra foothills, does not tour or advertise, and has no 'centres' elsewhere. It seems that he would rather inspire people to do what he does than to follow him, and that is what we as a group are attempting to do. In many ways we found his teaching more in tune with our cultural tendencies than the Vajrayana; the two are certainly not incompatible. If you already live near him, or are willing to move, he might be your man; if you're just looking for great reading, hey -- all his books are pure Gold."


The Book of Enlightened Masters by Andrew Rawlinson - Open Court Press

" . . .yet he (E.J. Gold) can perhaps claim to be Gurdjieff's true heir, not in the sense that he was appointed (he certainly wasn't) or recognized by any of Gurdjieff's followers (they have ignored him completely), but in the opposite sense: That he just appeared, as Gurdjieff did, having been through the same sort of trials that Gurdjieff went through, and is now teaching in the same way that Gurdjieff did -- by suggestion, allusion and masquerade.


All That Glitters . . . Is not Gold - Crazy wisdom and Entrepreneurialism in the Spiritual Schools of E. J. Gold.

Susan Palmer -- Department of Religious Studies, Dawson College, Montreal, Quebec.

"Gold plays the role of charlatan or quick-change artist in public appearances. When this researcher attended an IDHHB "Sufi Dance", Gold bounded into the room clad only in a loose dhoti and a turban decorated with a sequined dollar sign. When Gold visited the Montreal Shakti center in August 1973, he appeared for his lecture in an orange sari, his eyes ringed with kohl and spoke for several minutes on samadhi, with a thick Indian accent. Then he turned around, whipped off the sari, wiped his face clean and donned a fez and moustache. Suddenly he was Mr. Gurdjieff, talking to the sophisticated Muscovites in his rustic Russian accent. Next, he proceeded to mime a Kentucky farmer humping his mule, while declaring in a southern drawl that any activity could become a path to spiritual awakening. He concluded this performance by asking his audience what criteria they would use to distinguish between a 'real' and a 'fake' master?"


Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Naropa University, author of The First Step; From Age-ing to Sage-ing, and The Dream Assembly.

"E.J. Gold is not just an armchair guru. Each of his teachings on the path is the result of his empirical work with himself and his associates. This prolific upaya master deserves our attention."

We are here to aid you in any way possible with your efforts not to succumb to the sleep of ordinary life as well as with your aspirations to participate in the Great Work.

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