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Chapter 4: When Grapes Are Sour

Gurdjieff used to say, and very rightly, that man is not born with a soul. All other religions say that man is born with a soul, but Gurdjieff’s saying is tremendously significant - man is not born with a soul. And unless you create it you will not have any soul, you will exist empty and you will die empty. You will have to create it, that’s why I say great intelligence is needed.

This statement must have been made by someone who was very unhappy and yet so egoistic that he could not or would not recognize the fact that it is he who is creating his unhappiness. So he says, “Happiness is not being smart enough to know what to worry about.” He is saying that to be happy one has to be ignorant, to be happy one has to be stupid. Then a Buddha is stupid, then a Jesus is stupid, then people who are in madhouses are the only intelligent people in the world.

But this man is trying to save his ego. To be intelligent is arduous, it will need tremendous effort on your part. You will have to destroy much that is rubbish within you, you will have to create almost a fire of consciousness so that what is useless is burned and only that which is pure gold is saved. Very few people are ready to go through that hardship, through that discipline which creates intelligence. People want short-cuts.

A man went to see his psychiatrist and said that every night he was visited by a ten-foot monster with two heads and he was suffering tremendously, sleep was not possible, he was becoming more and more miserable and any day he could collapse. He had even thought about committing suicide.

“Well, I think I might be able to cure you,” said the psychiatrist, “but I am afraid it will be a lengthy process and it will cost you about three hundred dollars.”

“Three hundred dollars?” said the man. “Forget it! I will just go home and make friends with it.”

That’s how to be intelligent is so difficult and it costs so much. You have to put at stake whatsoever you have. It is a cross. In fact, you have to die to be intelligent because only when you are reborn will you be intelligent, not before it. And the cross has to be carried on one’s own shoulders, nobody else can carry your cross. You will have to carry your cross to your own Golgotha, there is no other way. Many times you will stumble on the road, many times you will be so tired and exhausted that you will have to rest. Many times you will think that people who have never desired intelligence, awareness, are blessed. “What have I chosen?” Many times doubt and suspicion will arise in your mind. “Is there any goal, or am I simply carrying a cross and wasting my life?” Many times you would like to go back to the world, many will be the temptations. But if you can stick it, if you can remain on the path against all odds, one day intelligence flowers.

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