Gurdjieff certainly is a pioneer. With Gurdjieff begins a totally new concept of spiritual life. He has actually called his way “the fourth way” – just as I call my way “the fourth way” he also calls his way “the fourth way.” He was immensely misunderstood, because he was not interested in imparting knowledge to you, he was not interested in consoling you. He was not interested in giving you beautiful theories, visions, hallucinations. He was not interested in your tears, in your emotions and sentiments. He was not interested in being worshipped by you, he was interested in transforming you.
And to transform a person means you have to take a hammer in your hands, because many chunks of that person’s being have to be cut. The person is so topsy-turvy that everything is wrong as it is, and it has to be put right. And he has invested so much in his wrong way of life that anybody who wants to change his style of life – not only the circumference but the center too – he becomes afraid of, he is scared of. Only a few courageous people can enter into the world of a man like Gurdjieff. Tremendous courage is needed, a courage to die, because only then is one reborn.
Gurdjieff was a midwife. He was not a teacher, he was a master. Krishnamurti remained a teacher. Raman remained a beautiful individual – enlightened, but just a faraway, distant star. You could watch and you could appreciate and you could write poetry about it, but that’s all. It remained a distant phenomenon. You could never hope to reach him, the distance was vast. And there was no effort from his side to bridge it. And what could you do? How could you bridge it? If you had been capable of bridging yourself with a man like Raman, there would have been no need to make the bridge. A man of that capacity would be able to transform himself on his own; he would not need a master. Unless Raman tried to make the bridge, the bridge was not possible.
And he was aloof, distant, cool. He was not involved. He knew all misery is false. And, certainly, it is so – but not for those who are in misery. The man who is awake knows that the person who is crying and weeping in his sleep is seeing a dream, true. As far as the man who is awake is concerned, it’s perfectly true. But even though it is a dream, a nightmare, for the person who is fast asleep it is a truth. And the man who is fast asleep cannot make any effort to connect himself with the awakened man. Obviously, it is impossible. He cannot even be aware that somebody is awake; he is so much engrossed in his nightmare. Only the awakened can make the effort. But to disturb somebody’s sleep, even though he is in a nightmare, is dangerous. Nobody wants to be disturbed, nobody wants to be interfered with.
People have strange ideas – sleepy people, idiotic people, but they have strange ideas of freedom. They have no freedom; they can’t have. They can’t afford it in their sleep. How can a sleepy man have any freedom? But they have ideas, great ideas of freedom, and a man like Gurdjieff interferes. His compassion is far greater than the compassion of J. Krishnamurti, Raman, and Ramakrishna.