It is a tremendous experience. In that gap, when all movement has stopped, you simply feel your existence, your isness. But when he said to de Hartmann to stop…the dancers were moving in a certain round and they were so close to the edge of the stage that, with the sudden stop, one dancer fell from the stage and because there was no way, you could not do anything – whatever happened, happened, you had to stop. Another dancer fell on top of him. A whole line of dancers went on falling from the stage, as if they were dead bodies.
The people who had seen that show could not believe the silence of the disciples, their becoming centered created a new vibration. Even the people in the audience who had no idea of any meditation certainly felt a new breeze, a silence surrounding them, and peacefulness.
For years, the intelligentsia of New York talked about the dance. They could not believe what had happened; it was simply sheer magic. But nothing happened to de Hartmann. He was just a technician, he played the music – he was an expert – when the indication was given he stopped it.
But he remained in close proximity to Gurdjieff for forty years, and people naturally thought that he was a disciple, and a very close disciple. And when he left Gurdjieff he maintained the illusion – perhaps he himself was in the illusion – that he was a disciple, that he had learned everything that Gurdjieff knows…forty years is enough. That’s why he went to America to open his own school.
A desire to become a master is a simple ego number. His statement when he said to people, “You are more important to me than Mr. Gurdjieff,” is simply shameful – but this is the category of the Judas.
In every master’s life there are bound to be Judases. It seems to be the law of nature that the people who come to a master don’t come with the same motivation. A few come to seek the truth, a few come to learn how to be a master.
In the life of Basho, one of the great mystics of Japan, there is a beautiful incident.
He was sitting with his disciples and a man came and he said, “I also want to join.”
Basho said, “There is no barrier; the doors are open, you can join. But let me tell you: disciplehood is an arduous thing. Are you ready for it, or is it just curiosity? If it is just curiosity then don’t waste your time, because soon you will have to leave. If it is a sincere search, that you are ready to stake everything, life included, only then can you be a disciple.”
The man said, “I am not prepared. I never thought that to be a disciple costs so much.” Then he said, “Then what about the master? – I can become the master. If it is easier, then I can drop the idea of being a disciple; I can become the master.”
Basho said, “We will not prevent you from being a master, but unless one has passed through the arduous path of disciplehood one cannot be a master – although it is very easy. If there was some back door, I would have allowed you in. But there is no back door; you will have to come through the right channel of being a disciple.”
The man said, “Then I will think it over, and I will come again,” and he never came again.