Author Gary Lachman recently announced he will write a new biographical book on Fourth Way teacher Maurice Nicoll, whose work I’ve been discussing here at my blog. This is welcome news.

Lachman is one of today’s foremost writers on the history of western esotericism/mysticism and its influence upon, and relevance to, our culture and consciousness. He has published a number of books in this area. He is also very familiar with Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way; these are discussed, for example, in The Secret Teachers of the Western World.

Previously, Lachman has released a dedicated biography on Ouspensky—who introduced Nicoll to the Fourth Way and eventually instructed him to go and teach it himself. And he’s already written a short but insightful biographical article on Nicoll that appeared in Quest magazine in 2018. (I cited this in my  first article here about Maurice Nicoll, which was my own attempt at providing an overview of Nicoll’s life and the importance of his work.)

In addition, Lachman has written biographies on Carl Jung, Nicoll’s “first psychological teacher,” and Emanuel Swedenborg, another of Nicoll’s prominent influences.  His prior familiarity with this subject area, skill as a writer and sympathetic and genuine interest and appreciation for esotericism, make Lachman ideally placed to write a new book about Nicoll. That is no doubt why he was asked to take on this project. I’m glad this is happening, as I don’t believe Nicoll has received the attention he deserves, and I’m happy not to be alone in thinking that.

A GoFundMe page has been setup to support the project. It’s been organised by Swedenborgian and Nicollian scholar Jeffrey Adams, who wrote the essay, The Swedenborgian Tree Gracing Maurice Nicoll’s Garden of Esoterica (which I also referenced previously). In it he explores the influence of Emanuel Swedenborg on Maurice Nicoll’s work, and certain parallels between their lives. This is a topic he intends to write much more about going forward.

Two biographical books have already been written on Nicoll by his pupils, but there is much more to explore, including new material that has since emerged, as Lachman points out on his website:

Nicoll was also keenly interested in the latest developments in science, in the work of Erwin Schrodinger, and the early findings in split-brain psychology, which was just beginning to get started toward the end of Nicoll’s life. Gurdjieff had entrusted Nicoll with the task of bringing the science of the west and the wisdom of the east into some creative union and in his last days he began to do just that.

Nicoll has been served well by his earlier biographers, Beryl Pogson and Sam Copley, but they were students and understandably biased toward their teacher. A recent discovery of a 1000+ page set of Nicoll’s diaries, covering crucial times in his life, also makes a new, non-partisan study of his life and work timely.

If I understand correctly the book is to be called Maurice Nicoll: The forgotten teacher of the Fourth Way or something to that effect. More information and updates can be found on the project’s GoFundMe page.

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