Chapter 6: A Lot - and Nothing
For the first time in thirty-five years, I pretended to be angry. I could not succeed because inside I was giggling! But I told that man, “Shut up! And stand by the side where you belong. And don’t come close to me.” I shouted, “Shut up!” so loudly, that he really became silent and went back and stood in the crowd. Later on I saw the reports: they thought I was ferocious, very angry - I was nothing! But that is the only language those people will understand. And when you are talking to somebody, you have to use the language he understands.
But I enjoyed it. Anger can be acted - you can remain absolutely silent within and you can be ferocious outside. And there is no contradiction, because that ferociousness is only acting.
On the airplane I remembered George Gurdjieff, who was trained in many Sufi schools in different kinds of methods. In a certain school one method was used, and that was acting: when you are not feeling angry, act angry; when you are feeling very happy, act miserable.
The method has a tremendous implication. It means that when you are miserable you will be capable of acting happy; when you are angry you will be able to act peaceful. Not only that, it implies that you are neither misery nor happiness, these are faces you can make: you are different, your being is not involved in it. And Gurdjieff became so proficient in it. The school was training him for this particular method.. Strange methods have been used for meditation, to discover your being, to detach it from your emotions, sentiments, actions.
Gurdjieff became so capable that if he was sitting between two persons, to one person he would appear immensely peaceful and silent - half of his face, one side profile; to the other he will appear to be murderous, dangerous, criminal - the other profile, the other side. And when both persons would talk about Gurdjieff, how could they agree? They were bound to disagree. According to one, they have met a very silent, peaceful person, and according to the other, a very murderous, dangerous, criminal type.
When asked, Gurdjieff would say, “They are both right. I can manage not only to divide my being and my action, I can manage to divide even my face into two parts.”
I was presented a statue of Buddha from Japan - a very beautiful statue, but very strange. In one hand he is holding a naked sword, and in the other hand he is holding a small lamp. In the East they use mud lamps, which are just small cups of mud filled with oil. They are almost like candles with a flame, so the flame was there. The flame was shining on one part of his face; it was lighted, silent, peaceful. And the sword was reflected on the other side of his face - a warrior, a fighter, a born rebel, a revolutionary.
At the airport in Athens, I saw those forty police officers.they must have been the topmost people - except the chief, because he could not gather courage to come. I would have asked him, “On what grounds has the visa issued by you been canceled by your assistant?” - only he was not there.