But why did this happen? It was almost bound to happen because sooner or later Ouspensky’s own mind was going to become a barrier. When he first came to Gurdjieff he was absolutely surrendered to him – surrendered in the sense that he was fascinated by his personality, fascinated intellectually – because he was a great intellectual. …Absolutely surrendered in the intellectual sense, not in the existential sense. If he had been existentially surrendered he would have been of no use because Gurdjieff needed a head, he was in search of a head. He had many other followers who were devoted to him from their very innermost core, but they were not going to become his interpreters to the world.
When Ouspensky came to Gurdjieff he was already a world-famous mathematician, a philosopher. His own book, Tertium Organum, had already been translated into almost all the great languages of the world. And that book, Tertium Organum, is really something tremendous; coming out of a man who was unenlightened, it is almost a miracle. Intellectually he managed something which nobody has ever been able to manage. He knew nothing, he had not experienced anything, but his intellectual grasp…his intellect was really sharp. He belongs to the topmost intellectuals of the whole history of humanity. There are very few competitors to rival him. Only once in a while…
Socrates had such a man, Plato. Socrates was the heart of the teaching, Plato was the head. Exactly the same was repeated in the case of Gurdjieff: Gurdjieff was the heart, Ouspensky became the head. And if I have to choose between the two my choice will be Ouspensky, not Plato. Ouspensky is simply unbelievable; his insight, without any self-realization, is so accurate that anybody who has not experienced will think that Ouspensky was a Buddha, was a Christ. Only a Buddha will be able to detect the flaws, otherwise not. The flaws are there but ordinarily undetectable.
He started writing books on Gurdjieff. He wrote one of his greatest contributions, In Search of the Miraculous, then he wrote The Fourth Way. And these two books introduced Gurdjieff to the world; otherwise, he would have remained an absolutely unknown master. Maybe a few people would have come in personal contact with him and would have been benefited, but Ouspensky made him available to millions.
But as those books spread all over the world and thousands of people started moving toward Gurdjieff, Ouspensky also became very egoistic – naturally – because he was the cause of the whole thing. In fact, he started thinking, “Without me, what is Gurdjieff? Who is Gurdjieff without me? Who was he? When I met him he was just a refugee living in a refugee camp in Constantinople, almost starving. Nobody had ever heard about him. I have made him world famous; the whole credit goes to me.” This idea went to his head – it became too much for him. He started, in subtle ways, to dominate the movement. And you cannot dominate a man like Gurdjieff, you cannot dictate to a man like Gurdjieff. They had to part.