Chapter 3: The Marvel of Marvels
The third saying:
I took my stand in the midst of the world and in flesh I appeared to them.
I found them all drunk, I found none of them athirst.
And my soul was afflicted for the sons of men, because they are blind in their heart and they do not see that empty they have come into the world, and empty they seek to go out of the world again.
But now they are drunk. When they have shaken off their wine, then they will repent.
Jesus said: If the flesh has come into existence because of the spirit, it is a marvel; but if the spirit has come into existence because of the body, it is a marvel of marvels. But I marvel at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty.
Jesus, or Buddha, or anybody who is awakened, will find you all drunk. The drunkenness is of many types, but the drunkenness is there. You are not alert, you are not awake: you simply think that you are awake and alert. Your sleep continues from birth to death.
Gurdjieff used to tell a small story:
There was a man who owned thousands of sheep, and he was always in trouble because the sheep would go astray and they would become the victims of wild animals. So he asked a wise man, and the wise man suggested, “Keep watchdogs.” So he had a hundred dogs to keep watch on the sheep. They would not allow the sheep to go out, and if any sheep tried to go out they would kill it.
By and by, they became so addicted to killing that they started to murder the sheep; they became a danger. So again the man came to the wise man and said, “It has become dangerous, the protectors have become murderers.”
It always happens: look at your politicians, they are the protectors, the watchdogs, but once they are powerful they start killing.
The wise man said, “Then there is only one way. I will come.” So he came, and he hypnotized all the sheep and told them, “You are awake, alert, completely free. Nobody is your owner.” Then those sheep remained in that hypnotic state, and they would not go anywhere. They would not escape because this was not a prison, and they all believed that they were the owners, masters of their own selves. Even if a sheep was killed by the master, they would think, “This is her fate, not mine. Nobody can kill me. I have an immortal self and I am totally free, so there is no need to escape.” Then there was no need for watchdogs, and the master was at ease because the sheep were hypnotized, they lived in a semi-sleep.