Gurdjieff was not ready to agree on only discovering, because discovery means it already exists – you have just to pull back the curtains. Gurdjieff used a word never before used in spiritual experience, and that was ‘crystallization’. You have this small life and this small consciousness. You can make it so concentrated, so hard, like a diamond, that it can pass through fire without being burned. But unless you do it, don’t hope.
Have you ever observed that coal has the same chemical elements as a diamond? There is no chemical difference between diamonds and coal, but coal has no value. What has happened to the diamond? How has it become the diamond? A piece of coal, for millions of years, under tremendous pressure, becomes crystallized, and because the heat has been tremendous, now no fire can burn it. It is the hardest thing in the world. Crystallization means a coal becoming a diamond.
I am prefacing Bukko’s statement with Gurdjieff. Perhaps Gurdjieff was not aware of Bukko at all. He traveled in India, he traveled up to Tibet, but he never went to Japan or China. He gathered from Mohammedan mystics, Hindu mystics and Tibetan mystics many secrets of crystallization. I don’t think he even heard the name of Bukko; otherwise he would have found at least one person who agrees with him. Bukko’s idea is also the same. The terminology is almost similar but being in a Buddhist world he uses different words. But the sense and the fragrance can be caught by anyone who is acquainted with Gurdjieff.
I would like you to understand Bukko as a predecessor of George Gurdjieff; George Gurdjieff is not alone. And they have a point. I don’t agree with either of them but I certainly appreciate their idea – their idea is a device. To say to you that, “You are just empty, without any soul, unless you earn it,” is very necessary for sleeping people, for unconscious people, for their awakening. Even if you are fast asleep and the idea suddenly occurs to you that “I am empty,” you will jump out of the bed and try to look: What is the meaning of my life? Who am I?
I have told you Mulla Nasruddin’s famous anecdote…. He had come to Kaaba for a great fair that happens every year – millions of Mohammedans go to the stone of Kaaba to worship it. There was so much crowd; every caravanserai, every hotel, every possible place was completely filled. He went around…finally he collapsed before a hotel manager.
He said, “I will die. The whole day I have been searching for somewhere to stay and I have not been able to find a place. You have to help me; otherwise my death will be on your head.”
The manager said, “It is very difficult. Every room is full, just…I am a little concerned but I will tell you one thing. One room has two beds, and one bed is unoccupied. The other fellow is fast asleep, so if you can silently go to sleep without disturbing the other fellow – because it is against the laws of the hotel – I can allow you. And in the early morning you will have to leave.”
He said, “I am absolutely willing.” Feeling a great relief, he went into the room. But Mulla was Mulla – his nature…He could not resist to say at least good night to the other fellow.