Post 666 –by Gautam Shah
The relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Gurdjeef began when FLW married Olgivanna Hinzenberg (3rd wife). She was one of the students and dancers (from 1919 to 1924) of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, and followed on his long journey from Tiflis to Paris. When Olgivanna came to Taliesin, she brought her daughter from an earlier marriage, Svetlana. Wright, though was never a pupil of Gurdjeef, in any conventional sense. Olgivanna and Wright married in August 1928, shortly after the birth of their daughter, Iovanna. In 1932, at Taliesin in Wisconsin, they established the Taliesin Fellowship, a renowned and some would say infamous school of architecture and allied arts.
Wright became the model of Ayn Rand, the architect-hero Howard Roark, in her novel, ‘The Fountainhead.’ Rand, though never met Wright before the publication of novel in 1943. She met him, two years later. She has said of Wright’s fellowship – ‘It was like a feudal establishment…. The apprentices] were like medieval serfs….
It is said ‘Falling water, the Johnson Wax Administration Building and the Guggenheim Museum’ as great architectural icons could not have come into being without the emotional and financial support of the Fellowship and the Gurdjeef philosophy that came to the architect through Olgivanna. Through Olgivanna, Wright was indirectly but inextricably linked to the ideas of extraordinary man, G. I. Gurdjieff.
An article by By Frank Lloyd Wright (1934) “Gurdjeef at Taliesin” Link 1 > http://www.gurdjieff.org/wright1.htm
FLW writes > ‘Gurdjeef, declaring all mankind idiots, divides them into three classes—those who take what they can get; those who get what they can take; those who get what they get’. A man able to reject most of the so called culture of our period and set up more simple and organic standards of personal worth and courageously, if outrageously, live up to them. He affected us strangely as though some oriental Buddha had come alive in our midst.
A similar Topic > Link 2 > https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/f-l-wright-vs-g-i-gurdjieff/
‘Wright had recently announced, in a spurious attempt to appease his creditors, that he intended to leave Taliesin and make his home in Chicago. Taliesin would presumably be vacant, and Gurdjieff was looking for just such an estate in America to which he could move the Institute. It is not likely that Olgivanna would have been thrown in Frank’s way without the concurrence of the ‘master.’ Moreover, she, herself, felt she had been commissioned by Gurdjieff to obtain a suitable property in the United States. But the whole effort went for naught when Taliesin once again caught fire and burned to the ground. The estate was useless to Gurdjieff’.
In 1932, economic depression there was no architectural work to be had anywhere by anyone including Wright. Wright offered ‘to-pay’ apprenticeship (called fellowship) in an architectural School at Taliesin. Gurdjieff seems to have been an incomprehensible mixture of self-appointed messiah, visionary genius and mystical seer. Olgivanna Hinzenberg, had a selfish mission to use the estate at Taliesin for her mentor Gurdjieff. But as the fate would have it the estate was destroyed in fire, and it was up to Wright to reestablish the structure in the hard times. Students were ‘used’ in construction and operation of the institute.
Olgivanna, incorporated Gurdjieffism into the school. Students studied and performed the Gurdjieff dance ‘movements’ taught by Olgivanna, and participated in the outings, theatrics and music that were an important part of life at Taliesin. The concept was the spiritual transformation of the individual. It was very unusual mix.
Frank Lloyd Wright was inspired by Olgivanna to write his ‘Organic Commandments’: Love is the Virtue of the Heart. Sincerity the Virtue of the Mind. Courage the Virtue of the Spirit. Decision the Virtue of the Will. His writings and statements indicate that he was a spiritual person but not a religious man. He often stated that his religion was Nature, and often chided those who spoke of the idea of religious doctrine.
We are all asleep, he taught, lost in the mechanical repetition of response patterns of behavior. Freedom is to be found in awakening, in becoming aware of who we are, and what we are. This may be achieved through “the Work,” a system of constant mental and physical challenges whereby a student may be shaken into a state of higher awareness. (https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/f-l-wright-vs-g-i-gurdjieff/)