So purification is a deeper meditation than preparation. Preparation was very simple, but purification is going deeper into meditation – the deepest possible – so everything that is not worthy of human beings is transformed. Everything has energy in it – hate, jealousy, greed – and when these things change, their energy becomes available to you in its purified form. And they can turn: greed can turn into compassion, sharing; hate can turn into love. Everything will turn into something which makes your heart a garden.
And when the purification is complete, utterly complete, not a corner of your being remains in the dark, everything is light and fragrant, fresh…. What we have called the awakened man, the enlightened man, Pythagoras calls perfection. It is simply a different name: the perfect man.
The first two you have to do; the third is the ultimate outcome of it. In these three simple words he has condensed the whole alchemy of human transformation.
Pythagoras is one of the most important people that Greece has given to the world. But strangely enough, nothing much is said about all the best geniuses that Greece has given to the world. Pythagoras, Socrates, Heraclitus, Epicurus – these are the ones who should be talked about. But instead of them, in the universities Plato is studied, Aristotle is studied.
Plato is simply a record-keeper – he has not a single idea of his own! He is a devoted lover of Socrates, and whatever Socrates says, he goes on recording it, writing it. Socrates has not written anything – just as no great master has ever written anything. And Plato is certainly a great writer; perhaps Socrates may not have been able to write so beautifully. Plato has made Socrates’ teachings as beautiful as possible, but he himself is no one. Now the same work can be done by a tape recorder. Aristotle is merely an intellectual, with no understanding of being, or even a desire to search for it. These people are taught in the universities.
I was constantly in a fight with my professors. When they started teaching Plato, I said, “This is absolute nonsense, because Plato has nothing to say of his own. It is better to teach about Socrates. Plato can be referred to – he has compiled it all.”
But Socrates’ name has become almost a fiction, and Plato has become the reality – just the way I was saying to you last night that Ouspensky has become the master, because he has written the books, beautiful books. One day Gurdjieff will be forgotten – he is already forgotten – and Ouspensky will be remembered for centuries. Sooner or later what he has written will be thought to be his own ideas. None of it is his own ideas.
Pythagoras is not at all bothered about any university in the world, for the simple reason that he is not a routine scholar; he is an original seeker, and he is ready to go anywhere. He traveled all his life to find people who may have had a little glimpse and may be able to impart something to him. He was collecting pieces, and he managed beautifully.