1. Undoubtedly Gurdgieff’s knowledge was greater than that suggested by the rather defective system he taught due to a clumsy and inadequate terminology. However, even G’s knowledge had limits for when Hussein asks Beelzebub (towards the end of the Tales) what can liberate humanity from egoism, he replies: “”it will be with Time alone, thanks either to the guidance of a certain Being with very high Reason or to certain exceptional cosmic events “p 1118).
G’s powers were also limited. He displayed very uncommon powers when he induced telepathic communication into Ouspensky in Finland in 1916. But despite the praises of hundreds of followers and the magnetism they claimed he exerted on most students, there is no other case similar to that of O. So there is a very big question-mark here.
G also claimed, or often others claimed for him, that he had great healing powers. Perhaps he did. But we see no evidence of them. He did not heal Katherine Mansfield (of tuberculosis), nor his wife (of cancer) nor his mother (of liver malfunction) nor K. Hulme’s mother (of dementia). He may have alleviated their condition but we don’t really know.
2. G may well have studied with men of the Inner Circle, or men who had contact with, or had themselves studied with men of, the Inner Circle.
But G was not himself a man of the Inner Circle. The limits on his knowledge and on his powers make this quite clear. Also his inability to judge full well men like Ouspensky, Orage and Bennett. He spent considerable energy and time on such people, yet failed to train them adequately and so make them help him establish a proper Institute.
On the other hand, he drove away deliberately but inexplicably people like the Hartmanns who, especially Mrs. Olga, exhibited both devotion and notable talents.
The collapse of the Institute was another strong indication. No convincing reason is given. Very odd was again the deliberately, willfully uncouth style in the writings of Beelzebub. This was more of an obsession than a wise man’s precaution to safeguard the esoteric knowledge.
The Upanishads and Bhagavad Gītā, Lao Tse, Moses and Daniel, Plato and the Gnostic Gospels may not reveal all practices and ideas but they can be read comfortably by all who can read.
3. There was something erratic in G’s behavior, at the same time ostentatious and arrogant. Yet he exhibited great compassion and patience with all people but, on the other hand, he did not hesitate to lie and cheat when he thought it fit, whether as a young man (as he admits in Meetings…) or as a mature guru. He himself taught that truth and constancy was the hallmark of higher mind and higher being. How else would a teacher inspire his students who love to imitate? But he himself was hardly a good example of this.
He also led no measured day carrying carousals and conversation well after midnight.
Then, rumors have it that he fathered several illegitimate children on various females. And, it is quite clear, he constantly demanded money and more money …
Yes, G was a very gifted man but does not seem to have been of the Inner Circle.