You were speaking last night about Gurdjieff’s work, and the individual’s chief characteristic. How does one find out what one’s chief characteristic is?
It is very simple. Just watch your mind for a few days and see what is the thing that takes most of your energy: jealousy? lust for power? ego? Just watch whatever takes most of your energy, and you will find what is your chief characteristic, and that it is your number one enemy; and you have always thought that that is your number one friend.
Somebody may find greed, somebody may find anger, somebody may find repressed sexuality, somebody may find an inferiority complex or a superiority complex – it does not matter what it is. Finding it is almost half the victory. And only you can find it out.
Gurdjieff had his own ways to find it. He will force his disciples to drink as much wine as possible. He will go on forcing them. And by midnight everybody was flat on the floor, and then he will go and listen to what each is saying.
And this will continue for days, and then he will figure it out, what is the chief characteristic of that man, because in his unconscious that chief characteristic will surface. It was easier than psychoanalysis, because that takes years – ten years, twelve years. Gurdjieff manages to do it within three or four days.
The psychoanalyst finds out what is your chief characteristic by examining your dreams and finding through your dreams what are the dreams that you dream continually…again and again. And then too, his finding is just guesswork, because he has to interpret it, and his interpretation is his interpretation.
Another psychoanalyst interprets the same dream in a different way, for him something else is the chief characteristic. For Sigmund Freud whatever dream you bring, he reduces it to repressed sexuality. A few people have even tried to create bogus dreams, but Freud will not change. They have made such dreams that nobody can find any sexuality in them, but not Freud. He will find sexuality in them.
Anything – it doesn’t matter, his interpretation is fixed, and he was right about most people, because in a Christian Jewish society sex is repressed. It would have been really worth seeing if he had come to the East to interpret the dreams of a different culture, different traditions, where sex is not repressed, and he would have been at a loss, or he would have had to force his interpretation even on them.
The same dream you take to Adler, and it is always will-for-power. Go to Jung, and it is always some ancient mythology being repeated in your dream – the same dream.