My effort is to leave you alone with meditation, with no mediator between you and existence. When you are not in meditation you are separated from existence and that is your suffering. Meditation is nothing but withdrawing all the barriers, thoughts, emotions, sentiments, which create a wall between you and existence. The moment they drop you suddenly find yourself in tune with the whole; not only in tune, you really find you are the whole.
When a dewdrop slips from a lotus leaf into the ocean it does not find that it is part of the ocean, it finds it is the ocean. And to find it is the ultimate goal, the ultimate realization. There is nothing beyond it.
My methods can be used in a group, but the group is not necessary; you can use it alone. Any group can become a dependence – so that you can work only in the group. Out of the group, you are back to your usual self. When you are in the group you are a certain person; when you leave the group you are a different person.
I don't want my people to be dependent. It is perfectly good to have small groups, but the methods I have given to you are individual; you can work alone. You don't need anybody to watch you, because my method is that you have to be the watcher.
Under somebody's watching eye, out of fear of somebody – and of course when Gurdjieff himself [a master who used only group methods] is watching you, you cannot escape, but it is something like slavery. Although he is taking you towards deeper layers of your energy, there is some kind of violence, some kind of enforcement, enslavement. It is possible for you to do almost the impossible in such a situation. But once Gurdjieff is not there, you will become an ordinary person as you have been before.
That has happened to almost all his disciples. Even though they have small groups, they are all mediocre, the same. Rather than helping each other to be awake, they help each other to fall asleep. When one starts snoring, rather than being an alarm clock, he helps you to snore too.
It can function both ways. The group can be a space where you can become more alert; it can be a space where you can become more asleep. And because people started becoming more asleep in Gurdjieff's groups after Gurdjieff's death, those groups have disappeared. People have moved alone. But alone you cannot do those methods. This is a very spiritual kind of slavery.
The master cannot guarantee to be with you forever; some time he will be leaving. Then you should not be left in a space where you cannot function without him. For that, a preparation is needed: from the very beginning you work alone. Even if you are working in a group you are not dependent on the group; your work, your method, is basically individual.
So my approach is individual. I am not giving you school methods: I am giving you individual methods, which can be done together with friends, which can be done alone. So you have freedom. What I have been telling you is something that cannot be misused in any way by you. And witnessing is a purely individual phenomenon.