About Us

The Gnostic Society, composed of members from a variety of backgrounds, aims to foster a spirit of unity and brotherhood in our common quest for the Truth. In following the teachings of Abdullah Dougan we aim to work in the fourth way, as delineated by George Gurdjieff and described by Abdullah in his book Probings:

Gurdjieff’s way, the fourth way, aims specifically to balance the centres, and like the Sufi way must be accomplished in life, though for a time a person may go to a school or monastery or special teacher to get the benefit of someone else’s experience in order to complete a part of what he happens to be working on in himself. In ordinary life he can belong to a group of people who are also working on themselves, and combine the study of esoteric knowledge with a busy career and normal family life. The fourth way endeavours to emphasise an attitude of common sense towards the esoteric search. [pp. 36-37]


In acknowledgement that the Truth is contained in all teachings, we draw on the resources of many spiritual works. The term Gnostic comes from the Greek ‘gnosis’, which means knowledge. As Gnostics, Abdullah taught that the aim should be to ‘know thyself’, and the method he gave out aims to make the body obedient to the name part, the name passive to the spirit, and to eventually destroy the ego – recognising that we are not our bodies and that there is a higher potential we can aspire to in terms of our spirit.


Abdullah died in 1987, leaving a significant body of work explaining his teachings, including books, paintings and music. Published works are available through the Gnostic Press website and are used as a point of reference for group members in their work on themselves. There is also a brief biography of Abdullah on the Gnostic Press website and a fuller account of his search for the Truth is given in his book, 40 days: An Account of a Discipline.


Group activities include weekly meetings and a Sufi church service every second Sunday. We also undertake the Muslim fast of Ramadan each year, and support each other in our everyday work on ourselves. Newcomers and interested people are welcome to attend our meetings and find out more about our group.