Chapter 3: Home Is Not Far Away
Gurdjieff used to say that man is like a chariot: the driver is drunk, the master is fast asleep inside the chariot, the horses are unruly and wherever they want they go, and all four horses are going in four directions. Any passerby can just jump on the chariot, take hold of the chariot, lead the chariot; the driver is drunk and the master is fast asleep.
And this is the state of your life: your innermost core is fast asleep and your awareness is drunk. Your body is a chariot, and any whim, any desire that enters you, drives you for the time being, takes you somewhere, leaves you there, and then another whim, another desire.. And in this way you go on, zigzag, stumbling into this rock, stumbling into that tree. In darkness, you go on hurting yourself, wounding yourself. Your whole life is nothing but a deep nightmare.
Try to understand other characteristics of this state. First, it corresponds to what Carl Gustav Jung calls the collective unconscious, and also to what Sigmund Freud calls the unconscious. It is the lowest state of consciousness. In this state no search is possible. Because you never take hold of your life in your hands, you remain at the mercy of accidents.
There are a few people who have come to me not searching, just accidentally; a friend was coming and they thought, “Okay, let us go and see what is there.” They were looking in a bookstore and they came across one of my books and my picture attracted them; or they liked the title of the book and they became curious, and they have come here. But this search is very, very unconscious. You are not thinking, meditating about your life, about how it should be, what it should be, where it should go.
And each desire, when it takes possession of you, becomes your master. When you are angry, anger becomes your master, takes complete possession of you. It is not that you are angry; you become anger, and you will do something in your anger for which you will repent. And this is the irony: another “I” will repent for the act of some other “I’; the anger did something, harmed somebody, and then the anger is gone. Now you know you have done something wrong. This is another “I,” another desire, another state, another mood. Now you will suffer, and you will go and you would like to ask to be forgiven. This is somebody else; it is not the same person. Where are those red eyes, that violent face, that readiness to kill or be killed? They are all gone.
Once a man spat on Buddha. He was very angry - he must have been; otherwise it is very difficult to spit on a Buddha, it looks almost impossible. How could he do it? But he must have been very angry, in a rage.
Buddha wiped it with his shawl and asked the man, “Have you anything more to say to me?”
The man was embarrassed, he could not say a single word. He went away. The whole night he could not sleep. In the morning he came; he fell at Buddha’s feet and he said, “Please forgive me. It was sheer stupidity, I was mad.”