George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (; Russian: Гео́ргий Ива́нович Гурджи́ев, tr. Geórgy Ivánovich Gurdzhíev, IPA: [ɡʲɪˈorɡʲɪj ɪˈvanəvʲɪd͡ʑ ɡʊrd͡ʐˈʐɨ(j)ɪf]; c. 1866–1877 – 29 October 1949) was a philosopher, mystic, spiritual teacher, and composer of Armenian and Greek descent, born in Gyumri, Armenia (then Alexandropol, Russian Empire). Gurdjieff taught that most humans do not possess a unified consciousness and thus live their lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep", but that it is possible to awaken to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. Gurdjieff described a method attempting to do so, calling the discipline "The Work" (connoting "work on oneself") or "the System". According to his principles and instructions, Gurdjieff's method for awakening one's consciousness unites the methods of the fakir, monk and yogi, and thus his student P. D. Ouspensky referred to it as the "Fourth Way".Gurdjieff's teaching and practice inspired the formation of many groups organized as Foundations, Institutes, and Societies many of which are now connected by the International Association of the Gurdjieff Foundations (IAGF). After his death in 1949, the Gurdjieff Foundation Paris was organized and led by Jeanne de Salzmann from the early 1950s, in cooperation with other direct pupils, until her death in 1990; and until his death in 2001 by Michel de Salzmann.
George Gurdjieff is sometimes cited as:
- G.I. Gurdjieff