Chapter 14: The Greatest Surgery Possible
Gurdjieff was not trying to sacrifice anybody, but everybody could contribute a little bit of energy to his wife. And it was only a question of a few more days of good health, so she can continue the work. She had almost reached, just a step more and she would not be coming back.
But the Western group could not understand why he was so interested: a man who is enlightened should look equally towards everybody - whether one is his wife or not. But they were ignorant of the fact that he was not looking after his wife, he was looking after a human being who happened to be his wife, but who was in such a position that just a few days’ health would release her forever from every imprisonment. It was worth doing. And he managed it - his wife died enlightened.
This is possible in a school. If we see that somebody has developed so much that there is no harm if everybody else contributes a little energy.so that the person can continue more in the body and come to fulfillment. Alone it is not possible: it is not the way of the monk, it is the way of a mystery school.
And Gurdjieff himself had learned all his techniques, all his experiences, in Sufi schools. He was never a monk; that’s why no religious recognition has been given to him. And Sufi schools keep their techniques very secret. Gurdjieff was the first to bring them to light in the Western world.
Sufis were not happy, and the Western world was shocked because they were used to thinking of religion in a totally different way: “What he is talking about does not seem to be religion. He’s talking almost as if it is a science” - and he was right, it is a science.
Just because of religious persecution, many mystery schools have kept themselves underground and have worked without anybody’s knowledge. Even if the husband is part of a mystery school, his wife does not know about it - because the church, the orthodox religion, will immediately start persecuting him. So it is better to keep silent, and do what you want to do in a secret way.
Gurdjieff’s intention was to make all those secrets available to a wider number of people - in which he failed, not because of himself but because of the masses. They are deaf; they cannot listen to anything that is so new and goes against their well-trodden path.
Of this caring for the wife, trying to keep her alive, the ordinary mediocre mind will think, “This is attachment. He’s too much attached to his wife. And a man who is so much attached to his wife cannot be enlightened.” These are the mediocre minds’ logical standpoints; and other mediocre minds will agree perfectly all over the world. The wife has to be renounced! - but here it is something else. He’s trying to keep her in the body, not letting her die.