So he wrote those three books for two reasons. Basically it was his own continuous testing, that if you are writing in such a disturbing situation and you remain undisturbed and calm and quiet – as if you are in the hills in a silent cabin writing by yourself…. So first it was for himself; and second, whatever he would write would be read before the students.
He was not certain that the impression he wanted to create would be created by what he had written. So there were continuous changes in his script. He took his whole life to write three books. And still they are of no use to the common people. You cannot understand what he is writing. He was not a writer. He was not a speaker.
He had learned a few techniques, and he had worked hard and achieved a crystallization in himself; but he was not articulate enough to express it to others. In fact, he had learned from people who were less concerned with verbal communication, than with actual exercises. He had been through monasteries. He went up to Tibet. And he moved in many hidden Sufi monasteries – but they were all interested in exercises.
But the modern man first wants to be convinced intelligently that something is worth doing; otherwise, he is not going to waste his life doing something, about which he has no conviction. That conviction Gurdjieff could not create.
He had a charismatic personality so that those who came close to him became almost convinced of the fact that whatever the man says has to be true. But only a few people – he was not a world-famous name. But those who came to him certainly gained much – although the exercises were outrageous – because in the Western tradition that kind of exercise has never existed. But in the Sufi tradition they are common exercises. They look outrageous because they are out of the Sufi context.
And he was not basically interested in creating a revolution in the world, creating a new man, a new humanity. His concern was very limited; to create a few people – because that’s how Sufis have worked for centuries – just to create a few people, because this has been their understanding: the more you become known the more there is danger.
Many Sufis who became known have been killed. Then Sufis went completely underground. Now to find a Sufi master may take months or years for you. Unless you happen to meet a disciple of the master, and he is convinced of your real search for the truth – that you are not just a curiosity-monger, not just a tourist who by the way wants to see what a Sufi school is like, what Sufi exercises are like – then only through a personal introduction will you enter into a school, on the responsibility of that person who is bringing you to the master. It was sheer necessity because Islam was very cruel.
Jews have killed only one Jesus.
Islam has killed many Jesuses.
And unfortunately, Gurdjieff learned everything from the Islamic Sufi schools, so he always remained secretive; it became part and parcel of his being – just a few students and he was satisfied.