Suddenly the house is on fire. You were tired and were falling to sleep, but now you feel that much energy is available. You are running and doing things and for hours you are in hard work. Not for a single moment do you remember that you are tired or that you would like to fall asleep. This is an emergency level available only in dangerous times. Gurdjieff used to create many situations for this purpose – just to bring this emergency level into functioning.
And then there is a third layer that comes only when you are touching the point of death; not only emergency, but a death situation. He himself did the last of his experiments, which was to go through a very dangerous car accident. It was managed, it was not an accident; he did it with everything planned. Even doctors could not believe how a man could survive after such a crash. It was impossible – but he survived. The whole body was broken, all the bones were broken, but he survived. The whole effort was to come to a point where death touches you; you were almost going to die – and then the third layer becomes available to you. If in that moment you can remain alert, then you have touched the very rock bottom of your being – call it godliness. So the first layer is only of the ego, the second layer is of the soul, and the third layer is that of godliness.
But the whole work of Gurdjieff is hard, work of the will, and I don’t see that you are the type. To you something more like Zen will be helpful. It moves from the very opposite pole: no effort, nothing to be done but relaxing and surrendering. It is not a question of work on your part. The only thing that you are expected to do is to accept non-doing and relax into it. That is totally different; not only different, but just the opposite polarity of the same thing.
And these are the two types – call them male and female, yin and yang, or whatsoever you like. But you are the feminine type, and this is the problem and has to be understood: that all feminine types are attracted to a male type. So if you were attracted towards Bennett or Gurdjieff or that type of work, it’s natural. The male type is attracted to the feminine paths of surrender. That’s where confusion arises – the opposite is always attractive.
So try Zen – something in which you have just to sit, just to walk, just to be, as if nothing is to be done. Gurdjieff says you have not soul, it has to be created. Zen says you have everything – just relax and enjoy it; it is there.
Man is standing just in the middle of these two polarities. Move to any extreme and realization is possible, because the jump is possible only from the extreme ends. You cannot jump from the middle of the road; you have to move to an extreme, and jump from there. So either move to the extreme of work, will – or move to the other extreme of surrender, no effort, passivity.
The whole of the East, particularly the Far East, has developed no-effort methods; and the Middle East, the Sufis particularly, have developed the path of will. So if you have been doing things just following the path of will, I will suggest to you that you move to the other extreme. Suddenly the key may fit….
We are doing here some Buddhist meditations – vipassana. It will be very good if you can do one ten day course and see. It is just sitting….