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Seymour B. Ginsburg
Seymour B. Ginsburg was born in Chicago, IL, in 1934, and graduated from Northwestern University with degrees in accountancy and law. A founder of the predecessor business and the first president of Toys R Us, he was for many years involved in commodities trading. He met Sri Madhava Ashish while on a private visit to India in 1978. He was a co-founder of the Gurdjieff Institute of Florida, and currently divides his time between South Florida and Chicago.
Sri Madhava Ashish was born Alexander Phipps, in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1920, graduating from Chelsea’s College of Aeronautical Engineering. He served in India during World War Two as a Spitfire engine repairman, meeting the guru Krishna Prem during a visit to Almora in 1946. He immediately adopted Sri Krishna Prem as his teacher, and, at the death of the guru in 1965, took over the direction of the Mirtola ashram. At his death in 1997, he had written extensively on spiritual subjects and on farming reforms in northern India.
In Search of the Unitive Vision: Letters of Sri Madhava Ashish to an American Businessman, 1978-1997
Author/Artist: Seymour B. Ginsburg
Publisher: New Paradigm Books
First published: 2001
“If you want to pursue in a Western way the path that we follow here at Mirtola, you need to study and work with the Gurdjieffian teaching.” Thus did the guru Madhava Ashish, at their first meeting, invite American businessman Sy Ginsburg on a spiritual journey that would last 19 years (until the guru’s death) and include a lengthy correspondence and annual visits to Sri Madhava Ashish’s Mirtola ashram, near Almora, in India’s Himalayan foothills. Along the way, the entrepreneur/author would not only be caught up in the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, but also in the search for the elusive unitive vision—the world viewed from the perspective of the greater Self and not the personality.
In this remarkable spiritual document, the reader shares the search, increasingly catching glimpses of the unitive vision as the book draws toward a close that is also an opening out, into the vaster dimensions of the human mind.
A review by professor Tilo Ulbricht can be found here.
In search of the unitive vision
the book is marvellous. I have decided to visit The Mirtola Ashrma. but unable to find the address. Would you please send me the auther Seymour B. Ginsburg 's Email. Or is there any way I can contect him.
, United States
East becomes West
Sy Ginsburg went East in his search and found a teacher who came from West. Sy quotes Ashish from his letters and lectures, which have a remarkable clearity, both in vision and expression. Ashish has the ability to put deep thoughts in a simple and understandable form and he does it with authority.
The book is certainly of interest for those who study Gurdjieff's ideas. The picture that Sy Ginsburg paints of himself is that of a rebel, who does not always agree with the Work authorities, but will pursue his way. He has a good solution to the problem - he builds his own Work activity. To put it in business terms: he makes the product to satisfy the demand, which in his case is his own.
Reijo Oksanen, Switzerland
A Piece of Truth
During the past decade a host of books that concern man's spiritual quest have appeared. Unfortunately, most of them focus the readers attention on conclusions, convictions and pronouncements on 'the' way to come to spirtiual fulfillment. Not so, thankfully, with Sy Ginsburg's "In Search of the Unitive Vision - Letters of Sri Madhava Ashish to an American Businessman 1978-1997". In this compact [280 pages], highly readable collection lie innumerable pearls of practical and critical advise, focusing throughout on the uniqueness of man's capacity to stand in the 'awareness that he is aware'. Refreshingly, Ginsburg does not spare himself in his selection of answers given by Ashish to his [Sy's] questions. When an author is able and willing to expose his own superficialities and recurrant inabliity to stay on track a taste of reality and the wish for truth in the spiritual pursuit is evident. Ginsburg intersperses his lively coorespondance with a selection of of four essays by Ashish that highlight his ablility to be succinct and practical in his exploration of spiritual questions.
This book is a significant contribution to the reconciliation of the inner and outer life of man. Ginsburgs growth in Being, growth in his own pursuit of this inner-outer reconcilliation, is ably reflected in the consistancy of his search and in the perseptive help given him by this quite remarkable 'englishman-become-guide'. The book is a gift worth sharing with all of your co-searchers.
Keith A. Buzzell, United States
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