Line of Sight

Work with Lord Pentland

By Barbara Probst

Subjects: Spirituality, Mysticism
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9781949933147, 98 pages, April 2022

A unique, firsthand account of working with a spiritual master in the midst of "ordinary" life.


Chosen by G. I. Gurdjieff to lead his teaching in America, Lord John Pentland founded the Gurdjieff Foundation in New York City in 1953 and served as its president until his death in 1984. In this unique collection of anecdotes and vignettes, Barbara Probst draws on her experiences as Lord Pentland's personal secretary in the last five years of his life to offer a vivid portrait of a man who embodied Gurdjieff's call to awaken to oneself, "always and everywhere," and who sought to awaken that call—in deft, subtle, and unexpected ways—in those who were near him. As Probst notes in her introduction, not only was Lord Pentland head of the Gurdjieff Foundation and instrumental in spreading Gurdjieff's ideas throughout North America, he was also a successful businessman, keenly involved in a range of endeavors. With a penetrating vision that could encompass ideas on a vast scale along with the smallest details of the individual in front of him, he left indelible impressions on those who knew him. Thanks to this memoir, those who did not know him are offered a glimpse of a truly remarkable teacher for whom the inner and outer worlds were always related.

Barbara Probst is a writer of fiction and nonfiction living on an historic dirt road in the lower Hudson Valley. Her previous work includes a book for parents of out-of-the-box children, a textbook on clinical assessment and diagnosis, and two award-winning novels, published as Barbara Linn Probst; a third novel will release in October 2022. Barbara served as Lord Pentland's secretary from November 1978 until his death in February 1984. She holds a PhD in clinical social work from Fordham University.


"Lord John Pentland cared above all else about the Gurdjieff work. The material in this book shows the many ways in which he followed this in everything he did. These reflections from Barbara Probst's years as Lord Pentland's secretary are a unique and valuable example of how Lord Pentland brought alive many, many subtleties of the Gurdjieff teaching into daily life." — Mary S. Rothenberg