The Teaching For Our Time

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William Patrick Patterson
Direct Student of Lord John Pentland

Lord John Pentland, teacher of Gurdjieff's Fourth Way

Lord John Pentland, the remarkable man Gurdjieff chose to lead the Work in America, was Mr. Patterson's primary teacher.

Born June 6, 1907, near London into an aristocratic family with roots in Scotland. Henry John Sinclair lived in India for seven years, from the time he was five until he was twelve as his father served as Governor General of Madras. At 18 he inherited the title of Lord Pentland and studied engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in 1929. After traveling widely, he entered the worlds of politics and business. In 1937 he met P.D. Ouspensky and quickly rose to a responsible position within Ouspensky's groups sometimes deputizing for him. He studied with Ouspensky and Mme Ouspensky, who became his primary teacher, directed him in 1948 to go to Paris to meet and work with G. I. Gurdjieff. He became his chauffeur and later accompanied Gurdjieff when he sailed from France to New York in December 1948.

In 1948 he went to Paris to meet G. I. Gurdjieff, who appointed him to lead the work in America. He played an instrumental part in the founding of the Gurdjieff Foundation, which opened in New York in 1953. Lord Pentland became its first president, a post he held until his death February 14, 1984. He established groups in many cities in America and had hundreds of students. A number of Lord Pentland's meetings have been gathered together in the book Exchanges Within.

Mr. Patterson's book Eating The "I" gives a multi-leveled account of Lord Pentland and how he taught. Also see his book Spiritual Survival in a Radically Changing World-Time for the essay, "Lord John Pentland: In Tribute."