The scientific endeavor is risking your mind for reality, putting your mind aside for reality. Reality counts, not what you think about it. Your thinking may be right or may be wrong, but the reality will decide it. Your mind is not going to decide what is right and what is wrong.
The same is the situation of an authentic religion, a scientific religion.
If I am allowed, I would like to describe science as two dimensions, the outer and the inner. The word religion can be dropped. You have two sciences: one, objective science; the other, subjective science.
And that’s what is going to happen; whether you call it a religion or science does not matter – names don’t matter, but the methodology is exactly the same: you should not go in with a belief. No believer is ever going to know the truth. To believe is to miss.
You have to put aside your ideology. Howsoever beautiful it looks, howsoever systematic it looks, howsoever philosophical you have made and decorated it, you have to put it aside and see within. That’s the whole method of meditation, awareness, watchfulness.
Meditation, in short, is putting your mind aside. So the people who say that meditation is a discipline of the mind are absolutely wrong. It is not a discipline of the mind, because if you discipline the mind, it is going to become stronger. It is better to put it aside when it is weaker, undisciplined. Once it is disciplined it is going to give you a tough fight.
So it is more difficult for somebody who has been practicing concentration, because concentration is a mind phenomenon. Yes, it gives you a better mind, a disciplined mind, more penetrating. But to put aside this mind will be very difficult. First, you have given it strength, you have given it a certain crystallization. That’s what happened to Gurdjieff and his whole school. It was a discipline of the mind. He called it crystallization, a very right word.
The ordinary mind is a mess, a chaos. Gurdjieff’s discipline gives you a crystallized mind, together, centered. And he was thinking that the more your mind is crystallized, the more you are coming closer to home. There he was wrong. A crystallized mind starts having certain powers. For example, it can read somebody’s thoughts, which the ordinary mind cannot do. It cannot read its own thought – how to read somebody else’s thoughts!
But the crystallized mind…crystallization is not easy. It is a difficult and long process – years of work, work which will look absolutely unnecessary to you, but you have to do it because the teacher says so. For example, Gurdjieff’s disciples will be told to dig a trench one mile long, and all the disciples are digging the trench the whole day, and by the evening, Gurdjieff comes to look at it and he says, “Fill it up. Only then will you get food. I should not find it there when I come for my morning walk.”