Osho on Gurdjieff and Gurdjieff Disciple Nicoll

Dec 21, 2013

QUESTION: Beloved Osho, You have been critical of most of the masters, but i don’t recall hearing Your criticism of Gurdjieff. Is that significant? He talked about the sly man Who stole his Enlightenment from the Master. I’m puzzled about how to do It. How can I steal your silence, your bliss, your grace?


GurdjieffOSHO : Gurdjieff was really a remarkable Mystic, one of the most remarkable who has ever walked on the earth. But to understand him is more difficult than to understand anybody else. With Gurdjieff it was true – he was very secretive. If anybody wanted to get anything from him, it was not an easy job. Even if you read his book, you cannot read more than ten pages. It is a one-thousand-page book. All And Everything is the name of the book, but you cannot go on more than ten pages, for the simple reason that he writes in such a way that to find out what he is saying is difficult. One sentence goes on running over the whole page.


By the time you end the sentence you have forgotten the beginning. And what happened in the middle, nobody knows. He was inventing words of his own, so you cannot consult any dictionary. Those words belonged to no language, he simply invented them. And they are long words – sometimes half the sentence is only one word. Even to read it is difficult, to pronounce it is difficult. In that book of one thousand pages, perhaps there are ten sentences at the most which are really profound.


Gurdjieff could have printed them on a postcard, but that man was a category in himself. He wants you to find those ten sentences in that one-thousand-page book, which he has made as difficult as possible. No book has been written the way Gurdjieff’s book was written. People go to silent places, holiday homes, beaches, mountains, to write books. Gurdjieff used to go to restaurants, pubs. And sitting in the middle of the restaurant where everything was going on – hundreds of people coming in and going out, all kinds of talk – he was writing his book, his masterpiece.


Every day, in the evening, his disciples would gather in his house, and one disciple would read what he had written that day. Gurdjieff would watch the faces of the other disciples, to see whether they were understanding it or not. If they understood it, he would have to change it the next day. If nobody understood it, it remained. It took ten years for him to write that book, and he has hidden the secrets in those one thousand pages. He is right: you have to steal. It is almost like stealing.


You enter a house you have never been in. In the darkness of the night – when even the people who live in the house cannot move, in case they stumble upon some table or some chair – the man who has come to steal has a tremendous artfulness. In the darkness, in a strange house, he manages not to stumble, not to make any noise. And miraculously, he finds the place where the treasure is. He has no map, he has no way to find out where the treasure is. But the master thieves have an insight.


220px-MNicollGurdjieff’s sly man is the man who has a knack for finding the right door when there are thousands of similar doors all around. It is true that Gurdjieff was a difficult man, almost impossible to cope with. One of his disciples, Nicoll, was traveling with Gurdjieff in America. In the middle of the night, they went aboard a train, and Gurdjieff, although not drunk, started behaving like a drunkard, utterly drunk.


The disciple said, “What are you doing, Master?”
Gurdjieff hit Nicoll, and he said, “Who are you? I have never seen you before.”
He woke up the whole train, because he was stumbling from one compartment to another compartment, shouting obscenities, waking people who were asleep, throwing their bags out of the train. Finally the train was stopped; the driver and the conductor came in. But Gurdjieff was a very strong man, solid rock, and nobody dared to catch hold of him; he might throw the man out of the window!


And Nicoll, poor man, was trying to tell the people that he is a great master! The people started looking at Nicoll and they thought, “You are mad. He is a drunkard and you are mad. He is a great master? – in the middle of the night waking strangers, throwing their things around, shouting obscenities, speaking strange languages!”


Somehow Nicoll persuaded the conductor and the driver, “He is a famous master, but what to do? This is his way.” They agreed to let him stay on board only if Gurdjieff and Nicoll went into the compartment and they locked it from the outside. Then whatsoever they wanted to do inside they could do – the great master and the great follower – “But don’t disturb the whole train.” As the door was locked, Gurdjieff relaxed, laughed, and he asked Nicoll, “How was the scene?” Nicoll was perspiring in the air-conditioned compartment.


He said, “The scene? You almost killed me. They thought I was mad, and I knew perfectly well you were not drunk, because up to then you were absolutely alright. And suddenly…?”


Gurdjieff said, “It was a test for you, whether you can stay with me if I behave in such a manner. Can you still see the master in me?” Nicoll said, “I am ready to go to hell with you. Whatever you do, there is a deep trust in me that it must be for something good. I knew it all the way, but what to do with the passengers, the conductor, with the driver? The whole crowd was against me, and I am not so strong a man as you are.”


Gurdjieff was Caucasian, and the Caucasus is famous for producing really strong men. Another Caucasian was Joseph Stalin. The word ‘stalin‘ in Russian means man of steel. But Gurdjieff was far ahead of Joseph Stalin. This was a test for the follower. Just think of yourself – you would have escaped. Seeing the situation, that he is going to be caught and thrown into a jail…. That’s what the driver and the conductor and the engineer were all saying: “If you don’t stop, we are going to throw your master into jail. At the next station the police will be there, we have already informed them.”


But to trust a man like me is very simple. I will not put you in any such situation. You need not steal anything from me, because I am putting everything on the table before you. So Gurdjieff’s statement is relevant only to him and to his disciples. It is absolutely irrelevant to me and you. I am not your master, I am not hiding anything from you. You need not steal. I am trying to give you the gift and you go on running!


I am trying to present you the truth, as a gift. But truth – even to accept it as a gift – is a difficult phenomenon, because if you accept the truth, then all the lies that you have been living up to now have to be dropped. Gurdjieff was his type. I am my type. And I know there is no need for me to hide anything, because you are hiding from me, and I am trying to push truth, love, compassion, meditation – everything – into your pockets. And you go on running away from me because you know that I am a lazy man and I will not run after you.


You have simply to receive with grace. There is no need to steal here. Why should you be reduced to thieves? Why should you be made the sly man? I want you to be the innocent child, who is ready and open and vulnerable. And I am so full of my ecstasy that I want to rain on anybody without asking his qualifications, his characteristics. But you are so afraid seeing the rain cloud coming up, you rush into your homes just to save your clothes, afraid that they will get wet. Yes, it is true you are dry, and if you allow me to shower on you, you are going to become juicy.



Maurice Nicoll as Disciple on the Right


People have asked, “We see the women here in the commune are becoming juicier and juicier, and the men are becoming more and more tight, straight, afraid.” The reason is simple: the woman is always ready to open her heart. The man thinks a thousand times before opening his heart. He takes all precautions, because “Who knows what a man is going to do when you open your heart?” But the woman is more trusting, more loving, more feeling. That’s why they are becoming juicier and juicier. Soon they will all be rain clouds ready to shower.


Now, it is up to you, a great challenge to man. Are you going to save your clothes? Then you will remain dry bones, straight, tight, but with no juice. I am available. You just drink out of me. The well cannot run after you, you have to come to the well. But there is no need to steal, because the well is available, waiting for you. This is one of the fundamental laws of spiritual life, that the more you give, the more you have. And I can say from my own experience that the law is one hundred percent true. The more I have given, suddenly I have found, from unknown sources of existence, more juices have flowed towards me.


Source : “From Death to Deathlessness” – Osho