Just Like That 08

Eighth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Just Like That by Osho.
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Three men made their way to the circle of a Sufi, seeking admission to his teachings. Almost at once one of them detached himself from the group, angered by the erratic behavior of the master.
On the master’s instructions, the second was told by a disciple that the sage was a fraud.
The third was allowed to stay, but he was offered no teaching for so long that he lost interest and left the circle.

When they had all gone away the teacher instructed his circle thus:
The first man was an illustration of the principle: Do not judge fundamental things by sight.
The second was an illustration of the injunction: Do not judge things of deep importance by hearing.
The third was an example of the dictum: Never judge by speech, or the lack of it.

When asked by a disciple why the applicants could not have been instructed in this matter, the sage retorted: “I am here to give higher knowledge, not to teach what people pretend that they already know at their mother’s knees.”
I am talking to you, not about something, I am talking that very something. And whether I am talking or not talking, I am that very something. You may call it God, you may call it X.
The unknown cannot be taught, the unknown has to be learned. And even when you have learned it, it remains unknown – that’s the beauty of it. It never becomes the known. God never becomes knowledge. On the contrary, the more you know, the more he becomes mysterious. The more you penetrate him, the more he is elusive. As you come nearer to the center you start feeling lost – all certainty gone, all clinging disappeared. In fact you are disappearing.
And when you have really reached the center, God is there in his absolute grandeur. But you are not there; the seeker has disappeared, the knower has disappeared. And when there is no knower, how can you reduce the unknown to knowledge? The unknown becomes knowledge through the knower. If the knower has disappeared, there is no possibility of knowledge. The abyss remains, the mystery remains. But, in a very paradoxical way, the mystery is also revealed to you. You know it, you feel it, because you are it.
A master is not there to impart knowledge, a master is there to impart himself. A master is not communicating something about God, he is communicating God himself. The about does not interest a master; the about is lower knowledge. If you have come to me to know about God, you have come to a wrong person because I am not interested in about. If you have come to know God, you have come to the right person. But then, you have to be ready, ready to die for it – nothing less will do. It is the greatest risk that one can take.
Unless you lose yourself you will not gain anything here. And if you have come to gain something, and you are not ready to lose yourself, then you are wasting your time – and a master will not allow that wastage, he will push you away. Subtle will be his ways. He will not push you away in such a way that you feel that you have been pushed; rather, he will give you the impression that you yourself have left him: he was not worth it, there was nothing to be got there. The master, even in rejecting you, will not give you the feeling of being rejected. That is his compassion. On the contrary, he will give you the impression that you have rejected the master.
Sufis have the essential religion with them. This story is a very fundamental one. Before we enter the story a few things have to be understood.
First, when you come to a master decide well that you will not judge him, because if you judge you cannot trust. It is better to leave. If you trust, you cannot judge. A disciple has to decide whether he is still continuing judging, or he has started trusting.
Trust is a totally different dimension from judgment. In judgment you remain the center, and from your center and from your mind, you judge. You remain the criterion, the touchstone. In trust, you are no more. You have no center to judge from, no values to judge by.
When you surrender to a master you surrender your valuation. You say to him, “Now, I will not be a judge. From now onward I will be a shadow to you, a surrendered soul. Whatsoever you do, it is none of my business to judge.”
It happened: A king wanted to become a disciple of one Sufi master, Bayazid, Bayazid of Bistun, one of the greatest names among the Sufis. When the king approached it was difficult for Bayazid to say no – and the king was not ready at all. He was not worthy to become a disciple and to be accepted.
Bayazid asked, “Why have you chosen me? There are other masters better than me. Why have you chosen me? I am nothing, just an ordinary master.”
The king said, “I have chosen you because of your character, your behavior, your morality. You are a good man. About others I am not so certain; their behavior is a little erratic, and they confuse me. About you I am certain. You are a good man, a saintly man, that’s why.”
Bayazid said, “Then wait a little. Postpone a little, because you don’t know me and my character. You wait a little and watch.”
One day the king had gone for some hunting in the forest. Suddenly he saw, near a lake, Bayazid sitting on the other shore – it was a small lake and the king could see to the other shore – and he was not alone, he was with a woman. What was he doing in the forest with a woman, with no disciples around? Whenever he had gone to see Bayazid in the town he was always surrounded by hundreds of disciples. What had happened? What was he doing with the woman? Suspicion arose: in this privacy with a woman…?
And not only that, as he watched, hiding himself behind a tree, the woman poured something into a glass. Maybe it was wine? The flask seemed to be of wine. Now he was absolutely certain that it was good he didn’t surrender to this man. He seemed to be a debauchee.
He started moving from the shore but Bayazid called out loudly, “Don’t go. Come nearer, because a judgment from that far can be wrong.” And judgments are always from a distance. In fact if you judge, the distance cannot disappear. Just to remain a judge you have to be at a certain distance. If you move closer you will lose the capacity to judge, you will become so intimate you will get involved, you will be committed. You will lose the clarity of judgment.
Seeing that Bayazid had seen him the king felt a little awkward and embarrassed, but when he had seen him and was calling him, it was difficult to go away. And there was also a lingering curiosity inside: What was happening here?
He came nearer. Bayazid said, “Now what do you decide? The right moment has come for me to accept you. What do you say?”
The king laughed, and said, “You are not even worthy to be my servant, so how can you pretend to be my master?”
Bayazid said, “So you take back your idea of being initiated by me? If you take it back, then the reality can be revealed to you.” He threw back the screen under which the woman was hiding, the burqa, the cover, the veil Mohammedans use. The king could not believe his eyes: the woman was Bayazid’s mother. And then Bayazid gave the flask of “wine” to him and said, “Taste it. It is nothing but pure, colored water.”
The king fell at the feet of Bayazid and said, “Accept me.”
Bayazid said, “You have missed. If you judge, you cannot trust – and you can judge from that faraway distance? No, we are not made for each other.”
This situation Bayazid created so that he could show the king that judgment can never be trusting.
Trust is a blind leap.
It is not that you judge that the jump is worth it. No, if you have taken the jump with judgment you have not yet taken it. If you have taken it by your own values, mind, you have not taken it, because the jump is possible only when you drop judging.
Through judgment you can never be intimate with a master. Judgment creates barriers. Only through trust an intimacy arises, and that intimacy is deeper than any love; hence it is blind. But to see the other world you have to be blind in this world, because when these eyes are closed, your other eyes open. Blindness in spirituality is the capacity to see. Your eyes stop looking at the outside and you start a new journey inward.
Remember, judgment can never lead you to trust, and if judgment has led you to trust, that trust is false, not rightly grounded. Underneath there is nothing but sand and foam. Your house is going to fall any moment. It is better to abandon it before it falls and destroys you.
The second thing to remember is: You may be inquiring but that doesn’t mean you are ready to receive. There are curious people who go on inquiring about higher things, but they never mean it because they are not ready to take any risk. They are not ready to put themselves at stake. They are curious people, in a way childish, inquiring about each and every thing as if just by inquiry you can attain to truth.
Curiosity is not enough. You have to be ready. Sufis say that a master accepts you not because of your inquiry, he accepts you because of your preparation – and that is a totally different thing.
Just a few days ago a young man came and he said he would like to be initiated by me. I asked him, “Have you really decided?”
He said, “Fifty-fifty. Sometimes I feel like taking sannyas, and sometimes I don’t feel like entering into it, and I am at a loss. So I leave it to you, whatsoever you say.”
I told him, “You had better wait three days more. There is no hurry. Just wait for three days more, and let your mind come to a decision. But the decision must be a hundred percent.”
He came to a decision, and the decision must have been a hundred percent, because the next day he simply disappeared. He never came back, and I don’t think that he is going to come back again.
He was ready to be initiated – he was thinking that he was ready to commit himself, to enter the path – and just a three days’ postponement…. As I feel it, it is postponed for at least thirty lives. The man was not ready at all, not even a ray of light in him, not even a seed ever sown in his past lives, and he was ready to cut the crop, and he has never sown a single seed. But people remain in absolute unawareness. They don’t know that you cannot cut the crop if you have not sown the seed.
But a master has to see within you whether the possibility exists. When I accept anybody I have to see whether the possibility exists in this life, because I am not going to come back again, and it is better not to start work on you if you don’t have the potentiality to attain in this life.
You may not attain, you may miss, but I must be certain about the potentiality, the very possibility, because if I start a certain type of work in you, and I am no more there, it will be difficult for you to be adjusted with any other master. You will have a certain structure given by me, and that will create trouble. It is better not to start so that you are completely available for somebody else to work upon. When I am certain that this man can attain in this life, in this very life, only then I initiate. The man may not be aware of his possibilities. He may be completely oblivious of the type of work he has done in past lives.
You are very ancient ones, you are not new ones here. You have trodden the same Earth thousands of times. The Earth is new in comparison to you because you have been to other planets also. You have been eternally here. You have been millions of things. You are not a clean slate, much is written there. Many incomplete systems are alive there. I have to look: Is something possible in this life? – otherwise it will be more compassionate not to start the work, so that you remain open. Otherwise I can create trouble.
So when a master rejects somebody it is because of compassion. If he accepts, it is because of compassion. Nothing else is possible because a master is nothing else; he is compassion.
I know well that I cannot be here very long. In fact my ship has arrived, and has been waiting for almost two decades. I have to leave the shore any moment. Somehow I go on postponing. A little longer I can be here, and a little more I can help you.
Of course, I cannot accept people at random. Even when you think I am accepting people at random I am not accepting at random. You may not be aware – because you don’t know who you are, what you are, what is possible with you. When I reject a certain person I reject because he has no possibility in this life, and he cannot take the risk. He is not prepared. He is asking for things which he is not ready to receive.
And the spiritual, the occult, is not like something that can be given to you whether you are ready or not. You can inherit riches from your father, but you cannot inherit spirituality from your master. It is not a simple inheritance. It cannot be transferred. You have to be absolutely ready for it; otherwise it can be given and it will never reach you. You will forget it somewhere or other.
Sufis say a master starts working only when he feels the potentiality exists, that the man is ready in many ways; a few strokes here and there and the painting will be complete. Otherwise he will not waste his time and your time. And a master is not there to teach you ordinary things. For that many teachers exist; you can go to them. A master is to give you something of the higher, of the extraordinary, of the invisible. You have to be very refined, very delicately prepared, because only then can the music of the unknown descend on you. A master cannot teach you if you already think that you know.
Many knowers come to me: pundits, scholars…. One old man I know has been coming to me for at least ten years. After every few months he comes again, and he talks about his knowledge, the Vedas, the Upanishads, and he talks about his yoga and what he has been doing, and what type of experiences he has attained. If he is right, he need not come to me. But he persists in coming. Whatsoever he says is just pretension, imagination. He thinks he has attained. And I can see that he has not attained anything, he has just learned from the scriptures. He has been moving in the spiritual circles, so he knows many rumors about kundalini and about chakras and about light and this and that, and every time he comes he wants me to say something to him, he wants my help. But he himself prohibits it. If he wants my help he has to stop pretending that he knows. He has to stop all this nonsense that he thinks is knowledge. And he goes on repeating that these things are not sayings from the scriptures, he has experienced them.
So I say, “It is very beautiful that you have experienced – this is what I am here to help happen. But you have attained, so no need…. Why do you bother to come to me?” But then I see that his face becomes sad. He has not known anything. But he cannot drop the pretension either, he cannot say, “I don’t know.” Such a simple thing seems to be impossible for him. And unless he realizes that, nothing is possible.
If you think that you know without knowing, your doors are closed. You have to feel the ignorance, and feel it profoundly, feel deeply in the very depths of your being that you don’t know. In that knowledge of ignorance, the door opens. You become available to a master, and then he can work.
Sufis are very choosy. Every master is, has to be, by necessity, otherwise the wrong people will surround him. I had to get rid of wrong people, in subtle ways. I was surrounded in the beginning by Jainas. Of course, because I am a born Jaina they were the first to come to me. But they were around me not because of me, they were around me for a wrong reason – that I am a Jaina. And I am not a Jaina. I am not a Christian, not a Hindu, not a Mohammedan…or I am all. I am nobody in particular.
They surrounded me by the thousands all over the country. They were not seekers. They were not in any way interested in any transformation. They wanted me to strengthen their beliefs that Jainism is right, that whatsoever Mahavira says is true. They were not interested in me, they were interested in Mahavira. They already knew that Mahavira is true; they simply wanted my support also.
I had to get rid of them. But how to get rid of them? I started talking about sex. They disappeared, because brahmacharya, celibacy, absolute celibacy, remains their foundational doctrine, and when I talked about sex, and I said that from sex you can go toward super-consciousness, that samadhi is possible through sex, they simply disappeared. Nothing else was needed. Then those who were left were the seekers. There was one left in a thousand. That crowd has never turned up again.
Then I found another group around me – of Gandhians. They had been in search of a mahatma. When Gandhi died, they had been left without a guru. I had to do simple things. I used to wear khadi. I loved it: it is so cool, and handmade – so aesthetic. But I had to stop using it, because there was a link: I was using khadi and Gandhians were thinking that I was a Gandhian. I had to suffer. Now I am using terri-cotton. It is a suffering – but that was necessary, they made it necessary. The moment I stopped wearing khadi many of them left me. And then I criticized Gandhi – since then I have not seen those faces again. They were not seekers. Only one in a thousand has been left behind.
To the seeker – the real seeker who is really in inquiry, who does not bother whether I am for Gandhi or against Gandhi, or for Mahavira or against Mahavira, who is directly related to me and who is not in any way judging me, who trusts me – whatsoever I say does not make any difference.
A master has to be very very choosy; otherwise work becomes impossible. You can talk to the crowds, but you cannot convert them. They exist on a very low level of being. Only a man who is finished with this world, completely frustrated, has become hopeless, and has been able to feel that all this is not more than a dream – at the most a good dream, at the worst a nightmare – who is really frustrated and is in a situation where he starts thinking of committing suicide, is ready for a master.…Because a man who starts thinking about suicide, finishing his life because life seems so meaningless, is ready to be transformed. He is ready to die in front of a master. And then the master can resurrect him.
When you are near a master you don’t just listen to his words, you listen to him, his being, the symphony of his being, the subtle music of his being. You try to listen to that, not to what he says, because whatsoever he is cannot be said in words. Even in silence only a part of him is expressed. In words almost nothing is expressed, in silence only a part. You have to listen to his being. Whatsoever he is doing – talking, in silence, walking, sitting, not doing anything – you have to watch, and you have to be alert, and you have to become receptive to the subtle music that surrounds him, the subtle vibrations. It is there.
One has to be in an absolutely feminine mood to be near a master and to be profited by him. The male attitude won’t help.
Just the other day one sannyasin, one woman sannyasin, told me that this is rare: Why is it happening that many male sannyasins have started leaning more toward the feminine side of their being? They have become feminine.
That’s right, it happens, because to be a disciple is to be feminine. It is to be receptive, not aggressive. You cannot snatch, you cannot steal; you have to be receptive. A master has to be eaten, chewed, absorbed, so that he becomes your blood, your bones, your marrow.
The other night a sannyasin came and said that it is just unbelievable what is happening to him. He said, “I start feeling, while I am doing meditation, I start feeling like a dog, and I bark – and not only that, sometimes I feel that I am eating your toe!”
Yes, a master has to be eaten, chewed, absorbed, digested. I told the sannyasin, “Don’t take it literally” – because once it happened, one sannyasin did exactly that. He jumped on me like a dog, and he started eating my toe. Blood came out, he hurt the toe very much. He took the vision in a literal way.
That vision is right. One of the American seekers – he is dead now – has written a beautiful book; I love the title. The name of the man was Rudi, and he has written a book the title of which is Spiritual Cannibalism. The title is good, the book not so much, but the title is really wonderful. One has to eat the master, one has to become a cannibal.
But don’t take it literally. It is an inner vision, and an inner phenomenon. By and by you are replaced completely by the master. You no more exist, the master exists in you. Saint Paul has said, “I don’t exist. Christ exists in me.”
The master by and by replaces you. When you go in, you don’t find yourself, you find the master there. When this has happened, the knowledge – knowledge that cannot be known – has been transferred. The master transfers himself.
It is a very subtle phenomenon. So people who have come just as curious people, childish inquirers, have to be rejected; they cannot be allowed. They exist in millions. If they are allowed, then the seekers will never be able to reach near the master.
I have heard: Mulla Nasruddin’s father was dying, on his deathbed, and he wanted to give some advice to his son who was going in many ways astray. He had become the Don Juan of the town, and was chasing every woman. The old man said, “Nasruddin, remember one thing: beauty is only skin-deep, and don’t be mad for it – and this is my whole life’s experience I am telling you. I have chased women, but this is how I feel now, at the end of my life, that beauty is nothing but a skin-deep phenomenon, an appearance.”
Nasruddin brooded over it and said, “Dad, that much will do – because I am no cannibal, I am not going to eat women. Skin-deep is enough for me. Who wants the inside of a woman?”
But if you are related to a master in a skin-deep way, with only the skin of the master, you are not related at all. With a master you have to be a cannibal. You have to eat him all, whole and all, all of him, in his totality. But that is possible only if you drop totally. You create the vacuum, you create the emptiness, and suddenly that emptiness sucks the master in. It is a transfer of being to being. It is not a transfer of knowledge but a transfer of life itself – just as if you bring an unlighted lamp near a lighted lamp and the flame jumps.
The master loses nothing, and you gain everything, because from the lamp that is already lighted nothing is lost. Another lamp is lit – it gains everything, and from the first lamp nothing is lost, it loses nothing. And you can light thousands of lamps from one lighted lamp, and the lighted lamp remains the same. Nothing is lost. Just the flame jumps.
A master is a lighted lamp. Come to him, be close to him.
Judgment won’t allow you to be close, and then the flame cannot jump because the flame can jump only when both lamps have become so intimate that no distance exists.
Now, this beautiful story.
Three men made their way to the circle of a Sufi, seeking admission to his teachings. Almost at once one of them detached himself from the group, angered by the erratic behavior of the master.
Masters are difficult people. Never take them at their face value, never take them by their appearance; their appearance can be deceptive.
It is said about Gurdjieff that whenever a new disciple would come who would like to enter into the inner circle, he would start behaving erratically, suddenly he would start being crazy. And the old disciples would know that again he was playing his old trick, but the new one would escape, looking at this madman, what he was doing.
Once it happened, a journalist came. He wanted an interview, and he was showing much interest in Gurdjieff’s teachings. Gurdjieff looked around, saw an old disciple and asked, “What day is it today?”
The disciple said, “Today is Saturday.”
Gurdjieff said, “How is it possible? Yesterday it was Friday, how is it possible that it is Saturday today? That is just mad – yesterday was Friday, how is it possible then that today is Saturday?”
The journalist stood up and he said, “I am not in search of mad people. What’s going on here?”
And Gurdjieff looked at him in such an angry way, such a penetrating way, that the journalist started perspiring with fear, feeling that this man can be dangerous. And Gurdjieff was a very strong man. If he jumped, he could kill you. The journalist simply escaped, never came back again. And Gurdjieff had a belly laugh.
Some disciple asked, “But why did you behave in such a way? He could have been helpful. He could have written an article. And he has contacts, he is a very well known man. Why…?”
Gurdjieff said, “It is better to finish from the very beginning, because once he starts coming he will be coming more and more, and he cannot understand; he is a superficial man. He just took the appearance, how can he understand deeper things?”
Almost at once one of them detached himself from the group, angered by the erratic behavior of the master.
On the master’s instructions, the second was told by a disciple that the sage was a fraud.
On the master’s instructions the second was told by a disciple, “Don’t be deceived by this man, he is a fraud.” And the second disappeared.
Man is really something! If somebody says that the master is a fraud, it is enough. You never see that maybe this man is a fraud, or this man is playing some game, or this man has some motive for saying it.
To believe in the master is difficult, but to believe in this man is so easy. You never ask about his credentials, his bona fides you never ask about – you simply believe. It seems that whenever somebody says that something is wrong you are always ready to trust. Whenever somebody says that something is good you are reluctant to. In the bad you trust, in the Devil you believe. In God you have doubt.
In English we have the expression: Too good to be true. This shows the mind. You never say: Too bad to be true. No, there exists no expression like that. Too bad is never too bad, and it is almost always true. But too good cannot be believed. You distrust humanity so deeply that you are always ready to believe if something wrong is said about something or somebody.
If somebody comes and says, “This man has attained to buddhahood,” you laugh, you say this is not possible; this is all fiction, it has never happened, and it will never happen. How can it happen that somebody else can become a buddha and you have not become a buddha yet? Impossible. If ever buddhahood is going to happen to anybody, it is you to whom it is going to happen. Nietzsche says somewhere: I cannot believe in God, because if he is already the God then what are the chances for me? I don’t believe that there is any God. If there was, I would have been him.
You always believe negative things about people, you never believe the positive. Even if you don’t show the doubt, the doubt is there. How foolish! Somebody says that this man is a fraud and immediately you accept. You don’t go into it, you don’t inquire. You don’t say, “I will postpone and I will inquire, and then I will decide.” Immediately trust comes to you. But even if a buddha comes to say to you, “I have attained to perfect bliss,” you look at him with suspicion. How is this possible? It is too good to believe.
You believe in the Devil. God may be dead, the Devil is never dead. And I have seen people who are absolutely atheistic – they don’t believe in God – but I have not seen a single person who does not believe in the Devil. Everybody believes in the Devil, even the atheist. Atheists have never brought any arguments against the Devil. Against God they have thousands of arguments, but against the Devil, no argument. Everybody seems to be the disciple of the Devil! He seems worth believing.
When you come nearer to a master it is very difficult to judge. The master had instructed the disciple to say, “This sage is a fraud.” This was under the instructions of the master. He was creating a situation.
Can you believe the Devil easily? Then you are not for spiritual growth. Do you resist belief in the wrong? the negative? Then you have taken one step toward the right, the good, the divine. How can you trust a master if you trust so much what any ordinary man says?
There are thousands of people who have never reached me because somebody, just a taxi driver, or a pan wallah, or a coolie on the station, a porter, said, “Where are you going? It is all fraud.” And they have stopped many reaching me. They may be my disciples under instruction! You never know.
The second man left.
The third was allowed to stay but he was offered no teaching for so long that he lost interest and left the circle.
The third was allowed to stay, but was offered no teaching for so long that he lost all interest and left the circle. A master knows well how to instruct you. You need not advise the master how he should instruct you. He knows well. One has to trust and wait. When the right moment comes he will say something.
The first man was an absolutely third-rate possibility. Nothing was possible. The master immediately disposed of him by his erratic behavior. The second must have had a little possibility. The master gave him a chance, but he failed. The third must have had the most potential of all three. The master allowed him to remain but wouldn’t instruct him, wouldn’t say anything – not that he was not saying, because a master is a constant message. Even while he is talking to others, he may be talking to you.
This has been my observation. Many times when I am talking to somebody else I am talking to you, because I feel that is the most appropriate way. When I am talking directly to you, you may miss, because your ego becomes too prominent. When I pay attention to you, your ego comes up to the surface, and the ego won’t allow…. No, you are just sitting by the side, I am talking to somebody else; then you are listening more properly. Then the ego is not involved.
If I am telling somebody else how to drop anger, you are listening, and because you are not concerned you are a little detached, and when you are detached you listen better. When you are concerned, when it is your problem, you are so worried about it that there is a barrier. When I am talking to somebody else and talking on his problem, I may not be talking to him at all, I may be talking to somebody else really. And when I start talking to you I may be talking now to the other person, not to you.
That has to be decided by the master: what to do, how to do it. I had to stop personal interviews because of this, because I felt it took a longer time for the thing to reach you. If you are alone with me you become so nervous – and it is your problem, you cannot be detached, you cannot be an observer. And you are burdened so much by the problem that whatsoever I say, when I am saying it you know well it is impossible, because you think you have tried everything, and nothing happens.
I had to stop personal interviews completely. Now it is better: ten, twelve people are there in the interview. I talk to A, and I may be talking to B; I talk to C, and I may be hinting to A. Now it is simple. When I hit somebody else, the hit may be for you. And you can take it easily, because it seems not to be meant for you. But it works. It finds you unaware. It penetrates deeper in you. It moves into the subtle layers of your unconscious without any effort because you are sitting relaxed. It is somebody else’s problem.
You may have observed that whenever somebody else is in difficulty you can be a wise counselor, a good adviser – everybody is a good adviser, I have never seen anybody who is not a good adviser when others are in difficulty. Everybody is a good adviser. You can give such wise counsel that even Lao Tzu will feel jealous. Such a great wise man! But when the problem is yours, suddenly you become childish. Suddenly you lose your bearings, you lose balance.
Why does it happen? – because now it is too close a problem. You are already disturbed and you are expecting a miracle. You cannot give the same advice to yourself that you have given to others in the same situation. A detached feeling helps.
The third was allowed, but no particular instruction was given to him directly. Then he became uninterested. It seemed the master was not interested in him. And the master was interested; otherwise he would have disposed of him already, as he had disposed of the other two. He was interested, but he was waiting for the man to become a little more patient, become a little more settled. He may have been giving instructions, but the man was foolish. He was thinking that instruction is only instruction when it is given directly to you.
Subtle are the ways of masters. They know better how to give an instruction. Sometimes when they don’t give you a message, that is the message: Wait. Wait a little more; you are not yet ready and ripe. But the man lost interest – he left the circle.
It may have been an interest, but it was not a thirst. An interest can be lost, but never a thirst. If you come to me through your intellectual interest, or even a bit of your spiritual interest, if it is only interest, sooner or later you will have to leave me because interest cannot be sustained for long. One gets fed up with one’s own interest, it becomes heavy.
But if it is a thirst, a hunger, then the more you wait the more the hunger grows. The more you have to wait the more fiery becomes the thirst. In the beginning it was just a slight sensation. The master waits until the thirst becomes the totality of the man, because only then will the meeting be possible, only then can he be instructed. When the thirst is so much that the man is ready to stake anything for it, when for just one glass of water he is ready to pay with his life, when the thirst is so great that he is ready even to lose life for it, only then positive instruction, direct instruction, becomes possible – never before. Otherwise the master has to look at somebody else and talk to somebody else; as yet the thirst is not enough, it is just an interest.
If you are forced to wait, thirst will grow. A moment comes when your whole being is thirsty, every cell of it. It is not only in the throat – the whole body is burning with it. Only then the cool breeze from the heart of the master can penetrate you. And in deep thirst and hunger your trust is tested, whether you really trust.
It happened to Bayazid, with his master. For twelve years, the tradition has it, Bayazid had to wait. For twelve years the master didn’t say anything to him. One day the master said, “You go into the hall” – the hall that Bayazid had passed through every day, coming and going to the master – “and there in the hall there is a book. Bring me that book.”
Bayazid said, “But I have never seen the book. In fact, I have never looked in the hall, because I was interested in you, not in any book, not in any hall. But I will go – if you say, I will go.”
The master said, “No need. I was just trying to learn whether you are interested in anything else or not.” Such a total interest – thousands of times in twelve years coming and going to the master he passed through the hall and he never looked around. That was not his interest, his whole interest was the master. The master said, “There is no need for the book. There is no book there. I was just trying to find out whether you are looking here and there also, or if you are completely focused, arrowed.”
That very night the transfer happened. The master said, “Don’t go. Tonight you sleep here.” Bayazid slept just by the side of the master – but he could not sleep. It was such an intense moment. He could not dream, he could not think, it was such an intense moment, so expectant, so pregnant. His mind completely stopped in that intensity of thirst, hunger, and the flame jumped.
Next morning Bayazid was no more the same man. The old died, the new was born. And no instruction was ever given. He just had to wait for twelve years, that was the message, that was the method the master used for him. If he had left even one day before, the whole effort of twelve years would have been lost.
And he could have left, because one gets uninterested: twelve years – such a long phenomenon. And how long has one to wait? The mind goes on saying, “Now what are you doing here? Now leave this man, because nothing is going to happen – twelve years have passed!” But even twelve lives are nothing, because when it happens then you know that you could have given twelve thousand lives for it. That too would not be costly; then too it would be cheap.
The third was allowed to stay, but he was offered no teaching for so long that he lost interest and left the circle.

When they had all gone away the teacher instructed his circle thus:
The first was an illustration of the principle: Do not judge fundamental things by sight.
…Because by sight you can see only the appearance, not the reality. The first judged by sight. Behavior is just an appearance, the man is hidden deep down. Behavior is just like the ripples on the surface of the ocean, the ocean is hidden deep down. You have to go in deep. Eyes cannot go in deep, they are meant to see only the appearance.
Sufis have it as a fundamental principle: Do not judge fundamental things by sight. The first man was an illustration of this principle; he judged by sight and missed. How can you see the depth with your eyes? You can see what I am doing; how can you see me with the eyes? You can listen with the ears to what I am saying; how can you listen to me with the ears? You can touch my body – how can you touch me? All senses are superficial. Never judge anything by sight, by the senses, because everything has an inside; everything, even a rock, has an inside. Don’t judge it by sight.
And when you come to a master, a realized man, he is as deep as existence itself – that’s why he is enlightened.
Never judge by sight; otherwise you will miss. You may have come many times near a buddha and missed, and you haven’t even known. You must have missed because Buddha walked on this Earth for forty years after his enlightenment, and thousands of buddhas before him, and hundreds after him. Jesus walked on it – you may have been somewhere in Israel; Mahavira was here and you may have been somewhere in Bihar; and Krishna, and thousands of others….
It is impossible, almost impossible that you never came across a buddha. In millions of lives, many times it must have occurred that you passed a buddha, you touched a buddha, you listened to a buddha, and you missed. If you judge by sight, then that is going to happen. You can miss me also if you judge by your senses, if you judge by your mind, when you cannot penetrate to the depth that is talking to you.
The second man was an illustration of the injunction: Do not judge things of deep importance by hearing.
He simply heard a disciple say that this sage was a fraud, and he believed him – and the disciple was under instruction from the master.
People will say a thousand and one things. Don’t be too trusting of your ears. Ears cannot penetrate to the depth. One has to be with a master to feel him, to feel him from the heart. A thousand and one things will be said – don’t listen. Good and bad things will be said – don’t listen, because how can you judge by the ears? It is not ordinary music, that can be judged by the ears; it is the eternal music. You can hear it, but not with your ears. You can hear it, but the ears are not enough.
And how foolish man is! Fundamental things he goes on judging by appearance, or somebody says something and he judges.
The third was an example of the dictum: Never judge by speech, or the lack of it.
…Because the truth cannot be said, and all that can be said cannot be true. Truth remains unsaid, so don’t judge by speech or by the lack of it.
The third simply waited for the master to instruct him, in words, what is to be done and what is not to be done. He missed because of that. He should have listened to the very being of the master, to the miracle that had happened there in the master, to the unknown that was throbbing there in the master, to God that had descended in the master. He should have listened to that reality, not to the words.
And the master was continually giving messages, in thousands of ways – sometimes silent, sometimes talking to others…. But the man wanted attention to be paid to him, and a master never pays attention to you unless you stop asking for attention, because if he pays attention to you when you are demanding it, it will strengthen your ego more; he will not be a help, he will be a hindrance. A master gives you attention only when you have completely dropped the very idea.
Everybody asks for attention because attention is food for the ego. So whenever people pay attention to you, you feel very important. If more people pay attention to you, you feel very very important. When nobody pays attention to you, you feel already dead; people have forgotten you, you are worthless. You start feeling your uselessness.
And when you come to a master, of course that desire is there; it has to be. It is natural that he should pay attention to you – not only attention, but special attention. But he cannot do that, because he cannot give you poison. He will have to wait. And you will have to drop the very hunger for attention. The day you drop it, he will look at you.
The day you drop it he will become all attention toward you, because only in that attention, when the ego is not demanding, can he help. That attention becomes a bridge. When ego is there, attention becomes food for the ego. When the ego is not there, attention becomes food for your being.
When asked by a disciple why the applicants could not have been instructed in this matter, the sage retorted: “I am here to give higher knowledge, not to teach what people pretend that they already know at their mother’s knees.”
A master is to instruct you in the highest dimension of life and existence. That’s not possible if you already think that you know. Then you are closed. The first man knew already what erratic behavior was. The first man knew already, he had decided what erratic behavior was.
The journalist who met Gurdjieff already knew that this was sheer insanity; this man was neurotic who was saying, “How can today be Saturday when just yesterday it was Friday?” This man was either a fool or a madman. The journalist simply decided this, without looking at Gurdjieff. Such a light this man was! Such a tremendously wonderful phenomenon this man was! But just an ordinary trick, and the journalist was befooled.
How could he be befooled so easily? – because he already knew that he knew how to define a neurotic man, a madman or a fool. He had definitions. The first man immediately knew that this man was not right. Without knowing what is right and what is wrong, without knowing what is good and what is bad, he had conclusions. A disciple should not have conclusions; otherwise conclusions will become the obstacles, and there will be no possibility to reach the master. By your conclusions you become surrounded and walled and imprisoned. If you have knowledge, you have conclusions. Drop all conclusions. Don’t be the first man.
The second man simply believed somebody without even knowing the name of the man. Without knowing his past, without knowing anything of what he was saying, he believed him. If you believe in this way you will never reach a buddha, because on the way toward a buddha you will meet thousands of people, and they will say a thousand things, and you will believe them, and you will return to your home.
Buddha is not standing just in front of you, you will have to pass thousands of people before you reach a buddha. They can distract you. Anybody can distract you, and you never think how impotent you are. Anybody can distract you. Somebody you meet on the road says, “Where are you going? Are you mad?” And suddenly you stop. Somebody has put an idea into you, and now you will follow this man. And you will never ask anybody who this man is. And you will think yourself very wise. You are simply gullible. And you have no strength of being. You can be led astray by anybody. Don’t be the second man.
The third man waited. But he wanted attention to be paid to him, and special attention. Because of that, he missed. Don’t be the third man also.
And right was the master. He said:
“I am here to give higher knowledge, not to teach what people pretend that they already know at their mother’s knees.”
Enough for today.

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