Chapter 7: A Dry Soul Is Wisest and Best
So this is not helping in any way, pleasure doesn’t help. You have to come back again and again - and then it becomes a vicious circle. When you come back and you find the anguish is waiting, the anxiety, all the problems - rather, they have increased - you become afraid, you become nervous. Your whole being trembles and becomes fear; then you have to escape again and again. The more you escape, the more problems increase. The more problems you face, the more alcohol is needed. And then the quantity of the intoxicant has to be increased continuously because you become attuned to it. You take a certain quantity of a drug: the first day you feel unconscious. After a few days you are not unconscious; you are still conscious, worries are still there knocking at the door, you can hear - you need a greater quantity. The greater quantity will also become less. You can move to a point.. In India they have tried; there are a few sects which have been working through alcohol, drugs, things like marijuana, mescaline. In the West it is a new phenomenon; that’s why the West is so worried about it. In the East it is one of the oldest things.
A particular sect of Tantrikas have been working through drugs, finding a way to attain consciousness through drugs, and they have found that, by and by, you become so attuned that nothing can make you unconscious. Then they have poisonous snakes - just a bite and an ordinary men will die. When no drug affects them, then they take the snake to their tongue so the tongue is bitten by the snake. Ordinarily a man will die immediately. They do it just to seek unconsciousness through the most poisonous thing - but even that doesn’t affect them. A time comes when the man is completely beyond the world of drugs; you cannot make him unconscious, nothing helps. And this man, if he bites you, you will die immediately. His whole body is poisonous.
In old, ancient Indian history, there is reference to a particular detective woman. Every king had beautiful girls to be trained from their very childhood in such a way that their whole body became poisonous. They were known as vishkanya, as poisonous girls - very beautiful. And then the king could send those girls to the enemies, to the enemy king, and they were so beautiful that he was bound to be attracted. Once they kissed the king, the king was dead. They were absolutely poisonous. Even their kiss was enough - no need to bite.
A moment comes when no drug helps. These Tantrikas have been working through drugs towards awareness. When no drug affects you, you are already integrated, and now you can move towards the height without any fear of falling - because you cannot be made unconscious, you have crystallized your consciousness. But ordinarily one is not working through drugs for consciousness, and the path is very dangerous. Ordinarily one is seeking unconsciousness, a little forgetfulness in this world of worries, anguish, anxiety, this world which looks like a hell. One wants to forget. All your pleasures are just forgetfulness.
Heraclitus says this is a moist state of consciousness. The word is beautiful - he calls these souls, moist souls. And he says souls enjoy pleasure. Why? - because pleasure is a downward drift. No effort is needed: you don’t have to do anything, you simply sink downwards. It is down the hill; you can run easily. No effort is needed, the very pull of gravity helps you come down. Moving upwards is difficult; that’s why you seek pleasure, you never seek bliss.
Bliss is upward, pleasure is downward.
Pleasure is forgetfulness, bliss is remembrance.
Gurdjieff says that the only technique to become integrated is self-remembrance, and all the masters of the world have been insisting on being more and more conscious. The more conscious you become, the more a certain dryness happens inside. Literally, you become more and more dry, more and more aware, more and more conscious and alert. Because awareness is fire, that’s why you become more and more dry.