21 October 1922

La Prieuré, Fontainebleau, Avon

My dear darling Bogey,
I have been through a little revolution since my last letter. I suddenly made up my mind (for it was sudden, at the last) to try and learn to live by what I believed in, no less, and not as in all my life up till now to live one way and think another. I don't mean superficially of course, but in the deepest sense Ive always been disunited. And this, which has been my ‘secret sorrow' for years has become everything to me just now. I really cant go on pretending to be one person and being another any more, Boge. It is a living death. So I have decided to make a clean sweep of all that was ‘superficial' in my past life and start again to see if I can get into that real living simple truthful full life I dream of I have been through a horrible deadly time coming to this. You know the kind of time. It doesn't show much, outwardly, but one is simply chaos within!
So - my first Leap into the Dark was when I came here and decided to ask Mr Gurdjieff if he would let me stay for a time. ‘Here', is a very beautiful old chateau in glorious grounds. It was a Carmelite monastery then one of Madame de Maintenons ‘seats'. Now it is modernised inside I mean chauifage centrale, electric light and so on. But its a most wonderful old place in an amazing lovely park. About 40 people, chiefly Russians, are here working, at every possible kind of thing. I mean, outdoor work, looking after animals, gardening, indoor work, music, dancing - it seems a bit of everything. Here the philosophy of the ‘system' takes second place. Practice is first. [To J. M. Murry, 21 October 1922.]