Chapter 29: Come a Little Closer
Gurdjieff had much hope that Ouspensky would carry on his work. Rather than carrying on, he simply opened his own school against Gurdjieff - teaching everything, because it is impossible to add to it; the system is complete and perfect. You cannot take anything out, you cannot put anything in. He was a great teacher, Ouspensky, but he was not a master. He influenced many people around the world; millions of people came to know of Gurdjieff only through Ouspensky. What a strange fate! And he was consistently trying to oppose him.
It was very difficult, because his whole teaching was borrowed from the man, but it was a logical necessity. He had to oppose Gurdjieff so nobody would think that he had borrowed all this teaching from Gurdjieff. It is an existential necessity that any disciple who betrays and wants to use the master’s teaching to become himself a master, is bound to oppose the master, to create lies about the master. And naturally it was hurting Gurdjieff - and it was not only Ouspensky, there were many others who were doing the same. For years Gurdjieff would work on them, and then one day they turned into his enemies. And to justify why they have left Gurdjieff they had to invent lies, they had to create a false image of Gurdjieff.
Ouspensky had a strategy. He said, “While I was with Gurdjieff he was right, and when I saw that he was going astray, I left him” - Gurdjieff had gone astray, that’s why the disciple had left. Up to that point Gurdjieff was right, and he could use his teachings without any difficulty. But beyond that point, for him Gurdjieff did not exist at all.
This was being done by many disciples, and if Gurdjieff was working with great expectations, naturally he was getting wounded, hurt. He could not believe that these were the people for whom he had lived and he had died; his whole life he had sacrificed, and these were the people.. That’s why he said, “The institution is closed, is dead.”
He was afraid that after his death his institution will also be used in the same way. “The institution is dead because I am dead.” And these were all the wounds of his life saying it together. This statement is the statement of his whole life: “Man is cunning, cowardly, deceptive, hypocritical - you cannot trust anybody.”
This was his whole life’s experience: You cannot trust anybody. He trusted many and he gave everything that he had, and still what had they returned? Not even gratitude - and he was not asking for anything else; no reverence, no gratitude, no respect - on the contrary, great antagonism, opposition, all kinds of fictions condemning him.. Naturally he was disappointed.
But my approach is totally different. I trust you, not because of your trustworthiness; otherwise the same will be my experience. I do not have to wait for my death to come; already I have worked with people for years and they have repaid me very well. I trust you because I cannot distrust; so there is no burden on you - you can betray me, but you cannot hurt me. I have trusted you, not because of you, but because of me. And I am still there, the same.
See the difference. To trust a person is possible in two ways: either because of his trustworthiness - then there is danger, there is risk - or because you enjoy trusting. The trustworthiness or unworthiness have no relevance.