Chapter 30: Be Thoroughgoing
This evening the sutra is, Be Thoroughgoing. Ordinarily people are never thoroughgoing. They are always lukewarm, just so-so, wishy-washy, half-hearted, always thinking with a divided being: To be or not to be? A person who is divided takes one step forward and immediately takes another step backward. He remains in almost the same place as he has always been, although he is making every effort to move
I have heard about a small child.it must have been a rainy day like today. The child was always a latecomer to the school, and he was always ready with some excuse. That day the excuse was absolutely clear - it was raining hard.
The child said to the teacher, “Before you ask, I can answer the question today. At least today the excuse is absolutely clear. The muddy road to the school is so slippery that you will not believe me, teacher: I would take one step forward, and I would slip two steps back!”
The teacher said, “If this is true, then how did you manage to reach here?”
The boy said, “I started walking towards my home, then finally I managed to reach the school.”
Every man is in search. It may be better to say that every man is a search, a longing for something; he does not understand exactly what, but something is missing, something is incomplete, something is not entire. There is a gap, and that gap allows no one to remain at rest; it asks to be filled, and unless it is filled, you will never feel that you really are.
George Gurdjieff wrote a book, Meetings With Remarkable Men. One of his disciples asked him, “What is the definition of a remarkable man?”
He said, “A remarkable man is. An ordinary man is still trying to find where he is, whether he is or not. A remarkable man is one who has found.”
Everybody is a search, a hunger, an appetite, a thirst, a longing - a longing to know oneself and a longing to know through oneself the whole beautiful universe. Certainly one of the most important things should be, Be Thoroughgoing. Don’t run in all directions; remain one-pointed, remain crystallized.
Life is small and time is moving fast. If you go on only thinking and never taking a solid step towards transformation, towards awareness, towards crystallization, it is not going to happen on its own accord. It cannot happen in a confused mind. Even at the last moment when a person is dying, if you ask him, “Are you certain, can you tell us what you wanted to be in your life?”, ninety-nine point nine percent of people will not be able to answer it.
Gertrude Stein, a woman of tremendous genius, one of the greatest women in the whole of history was dying. Her very close, intimate friends were sitting in silence when suddenly she opened her eyes and said, “What is the answer?” The friends were shocked because the question had not been asked, so how can you say what is the answer? But to a dying woman they could not be hard. A great silence fell over them, but somebody managed to ask her, “You are asking what is the answer - but you have not asked, What is the question?”