Chapter 10: Begin with Simple Things
I also say to you: Why not? You pay for everything in life, why not for your meditation? You pay for everything in your life, why not for God? Why do you want God for free?
In fact, you don’t want God. You are ready to pay for whatsoever you want. You know that you have to pay. Meditation you don’t want. If it is given free, and even with a prasad, then you will think about it. You are ready to go to the movie and pay for it; why should you not pay for your meditation and the lecture if you want to hear it?
The question comes, naturally, from an Indian and a non-sannyasin who does not understand me at all, who must be a newcomer. The Indians think they are the most religious people in the world; all bullshit. They are the most irreligious people in the world - they just have an egoistic idea that they are very religious. If you are really religious, you will be ready to pay for your meditation with everything, even with your life.
What is money? If you pay five rupees for something, and if you earn ten rupees a day, then you have paid with half the day. Money is just a symbol that you have devoted half your day’s labor for it. You go to the movie and you pay ten rupees for a ticket; you earn ten rupees per day. You are saying that this movie is worth it - “I can stake one day’s labor for it.” But you are not ready to stake anything for your meditation, prayer, for religion. In fact, religion is the last thing on your list. You want it free; basically you don’t want it. If there is a price to it you start feeling uneasy.
You ask why you have to pay here? The price that is asked is nothing; it is just the beginning of learning a certain lesson: that one has to pay for everything, and certainly for prayer, certainly for meditation - because it is the highest thing in life. Those few rupees that you have to pay are very symbolic, just symbolic, just token - they indicate something. If you are ready to pay something, then I know you will be persuaded to pay more. By and by, one day you will be able to stake your whole life for it. If you are not ready to even pay five rupees, it is impossible for you to stake your whole life.
Gurdjieff used to ask much money for his lectures; and not only money, he would create all sorts of obstacles. For example: no lecture would be declared beforehand. If the lecture was going to be this morning at eight o’clock, early - in the wee hours, at five o’clock - you would receive a phone call: “At eight o’clock reach a certain place” - and the place would be twenty miles or thirty miles or fifty miles away - “and Gurdjieff is going to talk, and we have paid for it.”