P.D. Ouspensky, before he betrayed Gurdjieff, wrote one book on Gurdjieff’s teachings, In Search of the Miraculous. He dedicated it to “the man who disturbed my sleep.”
But nobody likes to be disturbed in sleep, and spiritual sleep is so deep that to be disturbed…there is anger. Gurdjieff knew exactly what happened with Socrates, what happened with Jesus, what happened with al-Hillaj Mansoor, what happened with Sarmad – and thousands more who tried to liberate humanity. Humanity rewarded them with death.
He was a totally different kind of man, a very practical and pragmatic man. He said, “Why bother about these people and waste my time? I should just choose those who are ready to go all the way along with me.”
It is because of this that there was no world-wide antagonism against him. Very few people in America, a few people in France, a few people from Russia, a few people from England – not more than two hundred – were working on his principles. Now, if only two hundred people are working on the principles, and those principles are not against any orthodox system, any religion, any tradition, any past, the society will ignore it.
They thought that he is a slightly eccentric person and those who are of the same type go to him. But he could not disturb the whole world, he could not create a stir; he was not interested. And even if he was interested, he could not do it; he was not articulate.
He never delivered a single lecture in his life; he never talked, even to his own disciples. He will write; somebody else will read it, and he will watch the faces of his disciples to see what impression the reading of the article is creating. And according to that impression he will change again the article, and it will be read again. The same article may be read for the whole year, until he was satisfied that it was creating the right impression on everyone.
This kind of person cannot stir the whole world. To write one lecture, if it needs one year…. He has written only three books – in this way. It seems that he wrote those books more for himself than for anybody else, because he wrote them in a strange place. He was a strange man.
People go to a silent place in the mountains to write something. He will go to a restaurant in Paris and just sit there in the restaurant, in the middle of hundreds of people coming and going…and all kinds of talk and everything happening…waiters bringing things and plates being broken, and he will be writing there. That was his place to write.
His disciples said, “You have a beautiful silent place near Paris. Why don’t you write there?”
He never agreed. He said, “I want to write in a place where every kind of disturbance is there – the road is there, the traffic is there, and a restaurant…. I want to write there and remain undisturbed. I don’t want any outer silence to help me. My inner silence has to write it.”