Chapter 10: Begin with Simple Things
People used to ask, “Why do you create trouble? Why can’t you say beforehand so we can manage?” And Gurdjieff would say, “If you can manage, then it is not of worth.” If you could come suddenly, dropping all that you were going to do.. Maybe you were going to see the Prime Minister at eight o’clock, and suddenly now there is an alternative: either you go to Gurdjieff or to the Prime Minister - and you go to Gurdjieff. Then something is going to happen. You have staked for it, you have taken trouble. And then too it was not certain that Gurdjieff would speak. He might come and he would look around, and he would say, “Not now. No, not today. I will inform you later on.”
Once it happened in Paris that for eight days he called people, and for eight days he canceled. The first day there were near about four hundred people; the last day near about five or six people. When he looked at them he said, “Now, only the right ones are left. The crowd is gone, now I can say whatsoever I want to say to you.”
I am also not interested in the mob, in the crowd. I am not interested in casual visitors, I am interested only in the few sincere seekers. They have to show their mettle.
And, the money that you have to pay is just the beginning. It is just the alpha; by and by I will persuade you to pay with your life. Unless you have that much courage, nothing is going to happen. Religion is not cheap, certainly not free.
But the Indian mind is very money-minded: they talk about being religious, but they are very money-minded people. Their whole outlook about things is money. No Westerner has ever asked this; they understand: the ashram has to be maintained, the place has to be ready for you, some musician has to prepare for the music, somebody has to conduct the meditation, the gardens have to be looked after, the buildings have to be built. All needs money - from where is it going to come? And you know well that I don’t do any miracles.
There are only two ways. One is: somebody else should donate for you. But why should somebody else donate for you? You will meditate and somebody else will donate for you? Why? If you want to meditate, you pay for it. And if you really want to meditate you will be ready to pay for it; there should be no hitch about it. If you don’t have money, go and earn it. If it is absolutely impossible, then come and work in the ashram and pay that way, workwise. But don’t ask to come for free.
This idea of getting religion for free has entered so deep in the mind that people think they have a claim. People come to the office and they say, “Why are we not allowed?” But why should you be allowed? You have to earn it to be allowed. Just because you want to come in does not mean much.
You have to show that you are sincere, you have to show that you are not just here out of curiosity. What is the way to check a person? The easiest way is money.because the greatest greed is for money.