Arkady Rovner

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"Arkady Rovner was born in 1940 in Odessa, USSR and spent his youth in Tbilisi, Georgia. He studied at Moscow State University and Columbia University, New York. He taught numerous courses on world religions and contemporary mysticism at the New York University, the State University of New York, the New School for Social Research and the Moscow State Humanitarian University.

"He was introduced to Gurdjieff’s ideas and practices in Moscow, Russia in 1965 and has been an adherent of the Gurdjieff Work ever since then. During the years 1975-1984 he was in constant communication with Lord Pentland, the head of the American branch of Gurdjieff Foundation. In the summer of 1980, with a letter of reference from Lord Pentland, he travelled to London and Paris where he met and interviewed a number of Ouspensky’s and Gurdjieff’s former disciples, including Mr. Tilley and P.L. Travers, as well as Michael de Salzmann.

"In 2001 Arkady Rovner became a founder and curator of the Institute for Cultivation of Inner States (ICIS), Moscow, Russia that set for itself an objective to contribute in a systematic way to the preservation and elaboration of Gurdjieff’s teaching.

"Arkady Rovner is the author of seventeen books of poetry, prose and nonfiction, among them The Third Culture (1998), The School of Inner States (1999), Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (2001, 2006), and others. He is an editor and an author of two Encyclopedias Mystics of the XX century and Encyclopedia of Symbols, Signs and Emblems as well as the editor of a series of works by the early Christian writers such as Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Nemesius of Emesa, Ambrosius of Mediolan and others.

"Presently he lives in Moscow, Russia, where he leads groups devoted to the Work since 1994." [1]

"Arkady Rovner, who met Stepanov in 1964, explained (interview, Berlin, March 12, 2007) that Stepanov’s interests during the 1960s and early 1970s were principally in Gurdjieff, whose Fourth Way he had encountered in the Lenin Library via a book by Peter D. Ouspensky. Stepanov, Golovin, Haydar Jamal, Yuri Mamleyev and Rovner were among those who for a few years "almost lived" in the Lenin Library, not only reading but also eating and–above all–talking there. They formed a small and very close Gurdjieff group–or, Rovner insists, a "company," as its members were "too individualist" to form a group. They tried hard to do Gurdjieff’s Work, and were in contact with John G. Bennett (and hence, later, with Idries Shah and Robert Graves)...Rovner is, since 2001, director of the Institute for Cultivation of Inner States (ICIS) in Moscow, the activities of which are inspired not only by Gurdjieff but also by Traditionalism." [1]

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  1. :gurdjieffclub Arkady Rovner, organizational web page, accessed March 25, 2018.