Chapter 3: The Play
He is right that it is difficult to change streams after thirty years of Gurdjieff. It is difficult. But if you see the point it is so simple; it is a flash. You have been working and working and what has happened? Has anything really happened? It is difficult to realize that too, that nothing has happened because that goes against the ego. Thirty years of work, and if nothing has happened people will think of you as a fool. Then what were you doing for thirty years? One or two years are okay - then you should have got out of it. What were you doing for thirty years, wasting your whole life? That looks very difficult to accept, so one goes on thinking, “Yes, something is happening, something has happened.” Something has to happen - thirty years? One goes on convincing oneself and defending oneself and one thinks that now it is too late to change.
It is never too late! I am not saying change. I am not saying change masters, I am not saying change schools. I am saying change from sleep to awakening. And remember, it cannot be a development from sleep to awakening. Either you are asleep or you are awake. There are no mid-stations between awakening and sleep, either this or that. They are two gestalts, they can’t exist together, so there cannot be degrees - you cannot say, “This man is ten degrees awake and this man is twenty degrees awake and this man is thirty degrees awake.” One is awake or one is asleep, one knows or one does not know.
So I am not saying to change - I am not interested in changing your schools, because they will be new dreams. That’s why I say it is never too late. If you had gone at the age of eighty-two to Gurdjieff, he would have certainly said it is too late: “Now you go and vegetate and finish yourself, nothing can be done.” Not only that you have missed this life - because Gurdjieff used to say you don’t have any soul, so not only this life, you have missed forever! “Now get lost! Vegetate a few years more and be finished. You don’t have any soul and it is too late.”
With me it is never too late because it can happen in a single split moment. It can happen on the deathbed - a man is dying and in the last breath it can happen, and he can be completely transformed. Development cannot happen, development needs time, remember, evolution needs time. Transformation is possible, because transformation needs no time. That which happens in time is part of time and that which happens in no time is part of eternity.
That’s what I mean when I say it happens in a flash: enlightenment is like lightning, it can happen any moment, at the very last breath. The last breath is leaving you, it will not come again.and it can happen. There is no need for time, because you are already that - so what is the point of time? Time is needed if you are not that and you have to become that. Then naturally: great effort, planning, training, search.
He is right that there is much emphasis here on the heart, as opposed to the three-centered harmonious development of man. The heart simply means harmony, at least that is what I want it to mean - heart simply means harmony. When you are harmonious you are in the heart, when you are not harmonious you are not in the heart, you are somewhere else. The heart is not a center here - we are not really talking about centers: the heart is a state of being harmonious, the heart is a state of maturity.