The first question:
Would you please speak more about the new phase of your work? Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Raman, and even J. Krishnamurti, appear one-dimensional. Did Gurdjieff attempt a multidimensional approach? Was it the cause of his being so greatly misunderstood?
It is but natural to be misunderstood if you really want to help people. If you don’t want to help them, you will never be misunderstood – they will worship you, they will praise you. If you only talk, if you only philosophize, then they are not afraid of you. Then you don’t touch their lives.
And it is beautiful to know complex theories, systems of thought. It helps their egos, it nourishes their egos – they become more knowledgeable. And everybody likes to be more knowledgeable. It is the subtlest nourishment for the ego.
But if you really want to help them, then the problem arises. Then you start changing their lives, then you start trespassing on their egos; then you start interfering with their centuries and centuries old habits and mechanisms. Then you create antagonism: they are afraid of you, they are inimical towards you. And they will try in every possible way to misunderstand you, to misrepresent you.
One-dimensional people are beautiful flowers, but not of much use. Krishnamurti has been talking for forty or more years, and people listen. The same people have been listening to him for forty years…and not an iota of change in their consciousness. Certainly they have become very knowledgeable, argumentative, logical. If you discuss with them – they are the best people to discuss anything with – they go into the most subtle, delicate worlds of thought. They can analyze everything: awareness, meditation, consciousness…. They have become very efficient, very clever, but they remain as mediocre as ever, as stupid as ever, with only one difference: now their stupidity is garbed behind their so-called knowledge that they have gathered from J. Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti has remained just an intellectual phenomenon, because he never took the trouble to enter into people’s lives. It is dangerous to enter into people’s lives – you are playing with fire.
Sri Raman is perfectly okay: sitting silently in his temple, people can come, offer flowers, worship, and he will simply watch. And of course he has a beauty and a grace, but it is one-dimensional, it does not affect life in its totality. At the most, people can be moved by it emotionally. Just as J. Krishnamurti moves people intellectually, Sri Raman moves people emotionally.
And the same was the case with Ramakrishna. Many people’s emotions were touched, and they would cry tears of joy. But it is not going to transform you. Those tears of joy are momentary; back home you will be the same.