The Society for Arts and Ideas is a diverse collection of people from all walks of life interested in the pursuit of self-discovery through the practice and study of the ideas first brought to the west at the beginning of the 20th century by G.I. Gurdjieff. Originating in eastern spiritual traditions, these ideas were fine-tuned by Gurdjieff to suit a western life-style.
Gurdjieff taught that human beings could realize their potential of self development through a carefully designed system of transformation. His teaching, referred to as "the Work", is specifically designed for modern day living and involves practical work in one's daily life, as well as exchange with fellow seekers, work with ideas and in a special form of movement. Over time, one comes to the understanding that by a gradual process of establishing new internal connections and relationships, transformation occurs; leading to a state of presence characterized by a relaxed attention and inner stability.
The aim of the Work integrates the need for people to be able to evolve according to their individuality, to participate intelligently in community and to serve a larger purpose that is common to all spiritual traditions.
Through the study of music, art, dance, meditation, craft, theatre, writing, and by practising the act of being "present" in everyday activities such as cooking, gardening and building, the mystery of "being" begins to unfold.
A sense of participating more fully in one's life is the direct aim and result of searching for oneself through this practice.
As a branch of the Gurdjieff Foundation of Toronto founded in 1956, the Society for Arts & Ideas is an affiliate of Gurdjieff Foundations worldwide.