Chapter 9: Session 9
Om mani padme hum.
The jewel in the lotus.
I know you find it difficult to follow the word chawal. It should be properly pronounced, but I’m not a proper man. It should be pronounced “jew-el,” but I pronounce it “cha-wal.” I pronounce it phonetically. English is illogical; it is written in one way and spoken in another. My difficulty is that I have lived and been brought up using languages which are phonetic, which are written and spoken exactly the same. English is a little bit crazy. If Jesus could have read his words in the modern English version he would have beaten his head, he would have wept. He had said on the cross, “Father, forgive these people” - the people who were crucifying him - “because they know not what they are doing.”
But I know perfectly well that seeing the English version he would not have said this. Impossible. Jesus spoke Aramaic, which is still spoken by a few people in the East. Gurdjieff had come in contact with those few people, and whatsoever Gurdjieff had said about Jesus is not from the modern English version of the New Testament, it is from those few people. He had heard the stories from those people. Those stories have been passed by word of mouth.
Aramaic is a primitive language; hence it has the poignancy, the beauty, which only a forest can have and never a Victorian English garden. It is impossible for a Victorian English garden. It is a pity to see trees pruned and cut according to measurement.
Jesus never knew what was going to happen to him, that he would be translated. No master can be translated. From Aramaic he was translated into Hebrew. Much was lost because he was fighting against those Jews, and when they translated him into Hebrew, in that very translation Jesus was lost.
Then he was translated into Greek. Perversion from perversion! Aramaic to Hebrew, Hebrew into Greek. Then he was translated into Roman. The very perversity - because the Jews and the Romans were the people who had killed him. And from Latin, that is Roman, he was translated into English. Still, the old English translation is far more beautiful, far more significant. The more modern it becomes, the less it contains; the more ugly it becomes.
Fortunately I was born to primitive people, in a village, uneducated. For nine years I remained uneducated. What a blessing! No modern child can afford it. It is against the law. You have to go to school. For nine years I was absolutely free from all education. It is because of that that I could penetrate the ultimate, that I could come into contact with the unknown. Those nine years were beautiful, immensely beautiful. No education, no discipline, no morality.