Chapter 11: The Psychology of Egolessness
And do you know that Judas was the most cultured, educated person amongst Jesus’ disciples? Hence he must have had the most polished ego. He was an intellectual. The other followers were simple people: fishermen, carpenters, tax collectors, gamblers, drunkards, prostitutes - simple people. The only person who was not simple was Judas; he was complex. He could have been a professor in Oxford or Cambridge or Harvard and he would have done perfectly well as a professor - he was a good arguer. There are a few moments when he even argues with Jesus. And if you listen to the argument you will agree with Judas, you will not agree with Jesus.
One day Jesus is staying in Mary and Martha’s home and Mary brings very costly perfume and washes Jesus’ feet with that costly perfume. Judas immediately raises a question; he says, “This is stupid - unnecessarily wasting so much money!” And he gives a good argument - a socialistic argument. He says, “This much money could have been given to the poor. There are beggars outside the house. This money could have fed many beggars for many days. It was rare perfume; why waste it? The feet can be washed with water - there is no need!” And she had poured the whole big bottle of perfume!
Now, with whom are you going to agree? And do you know what Jesus said? Jesus said, “There will always be beggars. I will not always be here.”
This does not seem to be a very appealing argument. Jesus says, “Don’t disturb her. Don’t disturb her love, her faith, her trust. It’s perfectly all right. It is coming from her deep love for me. Let her do it. And there will always be beggars. Even if this money is given to them, nothing much is going to happen. Maybe for a few days they will be able to eat; then again.”
With whom are you going to agree? There is a ninety-nine percent possibility you will agree with Judas - and more so after Karl Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao; after so much socialistic Communist propaganda all over the world, who would not agree with Judas? He seems to be the forerunner of socialistic philosophy. And Jesus’ answer does not seem to be very appealing, convincing. It seems to be evading the question, evading the issue. But Judas betrayed Jesus for the simple reason that he was too much in his intellect, too egoistic, too proud.
The same happened again with Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Ouspensky was the most articulate disciple of Gurdjieff. In fact, it is because of Ouspensky that Gurdjieff became famous in the world. It is Ouspensky’s books that have made Gurdjieff’s name known to the world at large. But why did he betray him? In the last years of his life he was very antagonistic to his master. Even to mention Gurdjieff’s name in Ouspensky’s presence was an offense to him; he did not tolerate even a mention of Gurdjieff’s name. It has been completely dropped - even from his books which were written before he disconnected himself from Gurdjieff. He changed the name from Gurdjieff to just G; he would not write the whole name. He would simply mention, “G said.” - just like XYZ. And then - he was clever enough - whenever somebody asked, “You yourself mentioned G,” he said, “Those were the days when he was right. The later Gurdjieff has gone insane. I am against the later Gurdjieff.”
And why did he go against him? Gurdjieff was trying to totally destroy his ego and it was impossible for him to accept that. He was in London, Gurdjieff was in Russia, in Tiflis, and Gurdjieff sent a message, “Come immediately. Sell everything there. Don’t waste a single moment. Bring all the money and come.”