Chapter 3: Home Is Not Far Away
Buddha said, “You were not; that’s why you could do it. You were not - so don’t feel worried. You were absolutely unconscious, so you are not responsible. So don’t repent! That was some other person who had come and spat on me, you are somebody totally different. That man was in a rage, he was mad. You are sane, you are touching my feet. No, no, you are both so different, I cannot make a connection.”
Man is a crowd in the state of the jungle. Many people live in you, disconnected, fragmentary; you don’t have a soul. That’s why Gurdjieff used to say a very meaningful thing - that man is not born with a soul. Man is born with many selves, but not with a soul. When all these selves melt into one, integrate into one; when all these selves are changed chemically and become one unity, then you have a soul. When all these selves drop into the ocean and their separateness has disappeared and oneness arises, then you have a soul. All persons don’t have souls; by your birth you have not got a soul. Very significant, very meaningful. One has to become a soul, one has to integrate this crowd inside you, these selves fighting with each other.
At this stage, the stage of the jungle, people are more interested in answers than in questioning. They are immediately satisfied with any stupid answer given to them. In fact, they have never asked the question. Even before asking, they have taken the answer. That’s how somebody has become a Hindu and somebody a Mohammedan and somebody a Christian: before you had ever asked the question the answer was given to you, and you have been clinging to the answer. What do you mean when you say, “I am a Jew” - or a Mohammedan or a Hindu or a Jaina? What do you mean? Have you asked the question, or have you just borrowed the answers? Without asking the question you have believed in Christ, in Buddha, in Krishna, in Mohammed? This is sheer stupidity. How can you get to the answer when you have not even asked, you have not inquired?
In the state of the jungle, people believe in answers without asking. Questioning is arduous, questioning is difficult. Just to believe in borrowed answers is comfortable, convenient. To question one has to suffer, to question one has to travel, to question one has to go within oneself. You just take the answer, just borrow it.
At this stage people are very knowledgeable: the pundits, the priests. They themselves live in a dark, dense forest, and they go on leading others also toward more dense, dark jungles. In this state, the jungle, people are very worldly, although they pretend to be religious. They pretend: they go to the church, they go to the temple, the mosque, the gurudwara, but it is all formal, they don’t mean it. They pay lip-service to God, but they don’t mean it. It is more of a security measure - maybe God is; it is a “perhaps,” and more of a social formality. It is good to appear to be religious.