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Chapter 3: Paths Are Many, the Travelers Are Few

But people thought that Gurdjieff loved money because he would not reply without receiving a payment. As I see it, in the West where he lived, where people could only value money, only such a teacher could be effective. He knew that when you have shown a readiness to pay for every word, then you have known its value. You will only take home what you have paid for, not something that is received free.

Gurdjieff would do things the likes of which you would not approve. His disciples would be embarrassed. They would tell him that if he would refrain from such actions it would be better. But Gurdjieff would do them knowingly and intentionally. He would be sitting, and if you went to see him he would make faces as if he were a villain. He would not look like a saint at all. Having experimented for a long time on Sufi methods, he could suddenly make his eyes squint and change into cunning expressions.

His whole appearance changed with the change in the angle of his eyes. Between a saint and a villain there is not much difference in appearance except in the angles of their eyes. As soon as this is changed, a saint can look like a villain and vice versa.

Gurdjieff’s eyes were very shifty and quick-changing. Even the person who was sitting beside him would not know that he had frightened the newcomer. The newcomer would be so much frightened that he might feel like running away. When Gurdjieff’s friends came to know of this, they asked him why he was behaving in this way. Even before they came to know anything about that newcomer, the newcomer would be frightened off. Why?

Gurdjieff would then explain that the newcomer would have found a villain in him even if he were a saint; it would have taken him some time though. But Gurdjieff did not want him to waste his time, so he showed him what he had come to look for and indicated that he may now go away, because he would have unnecessarily wasted his three or four visits only to find the same thing.

But if a newcomer would remain unmoved in spite of such behavior, only then would Gurdjieff have tried to do some work on him. Thus, if he had really come to know truth, he would wait patiently and not come to hasty conclusions.

So it depends upon the teacher how he wants to teach. Sometimes even for his whole life, it is not possible for you to know his purpose. The teacher utilizes every moment of his life from birth to death. He doesn’t even waste a single moment. His every moment is deeply meaningful, and it is part of a grand purpose and a great destiny.