Chapter 4: The Cataract at Luliang
Gurdjieff had a sentence written in his room where he used to see the people. It is simply unbelievable that a man like Gurdjieff should write such a simple sentence on the wall. The sentence was this: If you are not yet at ease with your father and mother, then go away. I cannot help you. Why? Because the problem has arisen there and it has to be solved there. That’s why all the old Eastern traditions say love your father, respect your father as deeply as possible, because the ego arises there, that is the soil. Solve it there, otherwise it will haunt you everywhere.
Now psycho-analysts have also stumbled upon the fact; all that psycho-analysis does is it brings you back to the problems that existed between you and your parents and tries to solve them somehow. If you can solve your conflict with your parents, many other conflicts will simply disappear because they are based on the basic conflict. For example, a man who is not at ease with his father cannot believe in God, because God is a father-figure - the father of the whole. A man who is not at ease with his father cannot be at ease with the boss in the office - never, because he is the father-figure. A man who is not at ease with his father cannot be at ease with his master or guru, because he is a father-figure. That small conflict with your parents continues to be reflected in all your relationships.
If you are not at ease with your mother, you cannot be at ease with your wife because she will be the representative woman; and you cannot be at ease with women as such, because your mother is the first woman, she is the first model of a woman. If you hate your mother, or, if you have a certain conflict in your mind, if you cannot be with your mother for a long time, you feel bored and you want to escape, you will not feel at ease with any woman in the world. Because wherever a woman is, your mother is, and a subtle relationship continues.
In India, in the ancient days, in the days of Upanishads, whenever a newly married couple came to an enlightened man the enlightened man would bless them with the blessing that they would become father and mother of ten children. And to the woman he would say: Let it be remembered that unless your husband becomes your eleventh child the marriage is not complete.
Why? Why should the husband become the eleventh child - otherwise the marriage is not complete? This is the reason: if the man has come to terms with his mother, he will finally find the mother again in his wife. A man remains a child, and a woman is a born mother. So the ultimate flowering of a woman is to become a mother of the whole. That’s why I call my sannyasins “Ma” - mothers. And the ultimate peak of a man is to become child-like, innocent again like a child, then the whole world and existence becomes the mother. This is the intrinsic potentiality - but one has to come to terms with the father and mother.