Chapter 1: Polishing the Mirror of the Heart
He was available only to the chosen few because only very few people can rise to such a height where he lived. He lived on Everest, the Everest of consciousness, beyond the clouds. Only those who were fortunate enough and courageous enough to climb the mountain were able to understand what he was saying. To the common masses he was a madman. To the knowers he was just a vehicle of existence, and all that was coming through him was pure truth - truth and only truth.
He had made himself deliberately notorious. That was his way of becoming invisible to the masses. Sufis do that; they have a very strange method of becoming invisible. They remain visible, they remain in the world, they don’t escape from it, but deliberately they create a certain milieu around them so that people stop coming to them. Crowds, curious people, stupid people, simply stop coming to them. The Sufis don’t exist for them, they forget all about them. This has been an ancient method of the Sufis so that they can work with their disciples.
You can see it happening here - you are my Sufis. I am almost invisible to the people who live in Pune. I am here and not here. I am not here for them; I am here only for you. I am invisible even to the neighbors here. They see and yet they don’t see, they hear and yet they don’t hear.
Lai-Khur had made himself deliberately notorious. Now, can you find a more notorious man than me? And it is so good: it keeps the foolish away. He was now visible only to the perceptive. A master, if he really wants to work, if he means business, has to become invisible to those who are not authentic seekers.
That is what Gurdjieff used to do. Gurdjieff must have learned a few things from Lai-Khur. Gurdjieff lived with Sufi masters for many years before he became a master in his own right. And when I have finished this story you will see many similarities between Gurdjieff and Lai-Khur.
Lai-Khur called for wine and proposed a toast, “To the blindness of the Sultan Bahramshah.”
Now, first the great mystic called for wine. Religious people are not supposed to drink wine. It is one of the greatest sins for a Muslim to drink wine; it is against the Koran, it is against the religious idea of how a saint should be. Lai-Khur called for wine and proposed a toast, “To the blindness of the Sultan Bahramshah.”
The sultan must have got mad. He was furious - calling him blind? But he was under the great ecstatic impact of Lai-Khur. So although he was boiling within, he didn’t say a thing. Still, those beautiful sounds and the music and the dance were haunting him, it was still there in his heart. He was transported to another world. But others objected, his generals and his courtiers objected.
When objections were raised, Lai-Khur laughed madly and insisted that the sultan deserved blindness for embarking on such a foolish journey. “What can you conquer in the world? All will be left behind. The idea of conquering is stupid, utterly stupid. Where are you going? You are blind, because the treasure is within you,” he said, “and you are going to India. Wasting time, wasting other people’s time. What more is needed for a man to be called blind?”