Chapter 8: The Head and the Heart
The first question:
How is it possible that Gurdjieff needed another head, an Ouspensky, to work on a third psychology, the psychology of the buddhas, while you work by yourself and you can be both in the state of mind and no-mind?
There have been two kinds of masters in the world. One kind, the first, has always needed somebody else to express, to interpret, to philosophize, to communicate what the master has experienced. Gurdjieff is not alone in that; he needed P.D. Ouspensky. Without Ouspensky he would not have been known at all. Ramakrishna comes in the same category; he needed a Vivekananda. Without Vivekananda Ramakrishna would have remained absolutely unheard of.
So has been the case with many masters, for the simple reason that their whole work concerned the heart center. They became crystallized in the heart center - so much so that it was impossible for them to move to the head and to use their own head. It appeared far easier for them to use somebody else’s head rather than their own.
But there was a difficulty in it. One thing was good about it: the master himself was not constantly moving between two extremes from mind to no-mind, from no-mind to mind. There was no movement in his being; he was absolutely crystallized. But another kind of trouble was there: the man who was being used as a medium - Ouspensky, Vivekananda, or others - was himself not an enlightened person. Gurdjieff could use Ouspensky’s head, but not exactly the way he would have liked to. Ouspensky’s own mind was bound to color Gurdjieff’s experience; he was bound to bring his own prejudices, his own philosophy, his own understanding to it. He had no experience of his own, he was simply a medium. But the medium is not just an empty vehicle. He has his own mind, and anything passing through his mind is going to be changed a little bit here, a little bit there.
Ouspensky introduced Gurdjieff to the world, but he introduced Gurdjieff in his own way. One cannot blame Ouspensky. What could he do? He tried his best. I think he was one of the best interpreters that any master has ever been able to find; but still an interpreter is an interpreter. It can’t be the same; it is impossible to be the same. Hence sooner or later they had to part from each other.
In the last days of Ouspensky’s life he became almost an enemy to Gurdjieff. He started saying, “Now Gurdjieff has gone mad. At first he was moving in the right direction, but the later Gurdjieff has gone astray.” He could not say that the whole of Gurdjieff’s teaching was wrong because his own teaching was based on Gurdjieff’s teaching, but he divided Gurdjieff in two: the first part of Gurdjieff - when Ouspensky was with him - was right and the later part was wrong. In fact, the later part was the culmination of the first part.