Chapter 5: In Deep Patience
One old woman came from England to see Gurdjieff. She had heard Ouspensky, Gurdjieff’s disciple, and Ouspensky was a mathematician, a logician. He was not a master, he was not enlightened, but he was a perfect rationalist and he could explain Gurdjieff better than Gurdjieff himself. Gurdjieff would have remained unknown to the world if there had been no Ouspensky. He was nowhere near Gurdjieff, but he could think in a logical way, express in a logical way. He was professionally a mathematician. Many people were attracted to Ouspensky, and when they were attracted to Ouspensky they would start thinking about going to Gurdjieff - and then they would return frustrated, disappointed.
One old woman became very much impressed by Ouspensky, and then she went to see Gurdjieff. Within just a week she was back, and she told Ouspensky, “I can feel that Gurdjieff is great, but I am not certain whether he is good or bad, whether he is evil, devilish, or a saint. I am not certain about that. He is great - that much is certain. But he may be a great devil, or a great saint - that is not certain.” And Gurdjieff behaved in such a way that he would create this impression.
Alan Watts has written about Gurdjieff and has called him a rascal saint - because sometimes he would behave like a rascal, but it was all acting and was done knowingly to avoid all those who would take unnecessary time and energy. It was done to send back those who could only work when they were certain. Only those would be allowed who could work even when they were not certain about the master, but who were certain about themselves.
And to surrender to a Gurdjieff will transform you more than surrendering to Ramana Maharshi, because Ramana Maharshi is so saintly, so simple, that surrender doesn’t mean anything. You cannot do otherwise. He is so open - just like a small child - so pure, that surrender will happen. But that surrender is happening because of Ramana Maharshi, not because of you. It is nothing as far as you are concerned. If surrender happens with Gurdjieff, then it has happened because of you, because Gurdjieff is in no way going to support it. Rather, he will create all types of hindrances. If still you surrender, that transforms you. So there is no need to be absolutely sure about him - and that is impossible - but you have to be sure about yourself.
Just today one friend came to me and said about himself, “I am just fifty-fifty: fifty percent with you and fifty percent with Subud” - a very good Indonesian technique of meditation. So, “I am fifty-fifty, divided.”
I asked him, “What do you mean by fifty-fifty?” and told him one anecdote.
It happened once that Mulla Nasruddin owned a hotel. Then he was arrested and brought to the court of the town, because he was caught mixing horsemeat in chicken cutlets. But he confessed and he said, “I have been committing this crime,” and he pleaded guilty.
The magistrate asked, “Nasruddin, will you tell me what the proportion was? How much horsemeat were you mixing into how many chicken cutlets?”
Nasruddin said, very truthfully, “Fifty-fifty.”
But the magistrate was not convinced so he asked, “What do you mean by fifty-fifty, Nasruddin?”
Nasruddin said, “It is so obvious. Fifty-fifty means fifty-fifty - one horse to one chicken.”