The darkness seems so deep, my eyes covered in a haze, my mind never ending noise – except for those moments I am with you – swirling around and around. The light is there but seems so far away in all this darkness. Sometimes I wonder if I am going to make it. Beloved Master, I cannot find the door.
Don’t be worried. You don’t need to find the door, because you are outside the door! You are never inside; you only believe you are inside. Existentially, you are always outside. The moment you understand that you are out – it was just an idea that you were in – the faraway light is no longer far away; it is you. And the darkness that surrounds you is not found anymore.
But the basic thing is to realize that you are already outside the door. There is no way for you to be inside the door. That’s what I was saying: watchfulness is not part of the mind and cannot be part of the mind.
Mind cannot be a witness.
Mind is the darkness.
Mind is the whole problem, and the solution is just outside the door waiting for you to recognize that you are not in, you are out.
Witnessing the content of your mind, the moment comes when you suddenly become aware of your being always out – even in the darkest nights that have passed you were not in. Such a great joy descends over you that it is existentially impossible for you to get in. It is good that you are not finding the door; otherwise you will get in!
There is no door. Mind remains in; you remain out. Neither the mind can come out nor you can come in. But the attachment with the mind is possible without any door. The identification with the mind is possible without any door.
You have just forgotten yourself.
Nothing is lost, nothing is missing, nothing has to be found. Just remember. A simple remembering – the simplest things are very difficult, that’s true – and this is the most simple thing.
None of the problems are yours. As far as you are concerned, no problem can enter in you, but you can get identified with something which is not you.
I remember a story. A man’s house caught fire. The house was on fire, and it had taken the man’s whole life’s effort to make that beautiful place. Thousands of people had gathered, but there was nothing that could be done. The fire had become so big. And you can understand that man: tears were coming from his eyes. It was his whole life burning in front of him. And then suddenly his son came running and he said, “Dad, why are you worried? We sold the house yesterday. You were out… but we have sold the house. It is now for somebody else to cry and weep, not for you. And we have got enough profit out of it.”
The man immediately wiped away his tears and became just a spectator like the others were spectators. The identity, the invisible identity, ”It is my house,” was no longer there. There was no pain, there was no misery, there was no problem at all. And he was really happy in a way: “Now we can make a better house.” He was feeling relieved; the house was burning, and he was feeling relieved.
And then a second son came running. He said, “It is true that we had negotiated the sale, but the papers were not signed and the money has not been transferred. So it is our house that is burning, and you are looking at it as if you are just a spectator!” Again those tears were flowing and again the heart was breaking. And nothing has visibly changed: the house is burning, the man is standing there. But these people who are bringing messages are changing everything! When he becomes identified, he is burning with the house. When he gets unidentified, he is relieved and he has nothing to do with the house; it is somebody else’s house.
The only thing to be remembered is that you are already out, and by nature there is no way for you to be in. You can believe, you can imagine… still you will be outside. Sitting on the steps of your house you are trying to find the door to go out. You will never find it, it is not there; the whole sky is available. You just stand up and walk in any direction; there is no need of opening any door.
But your attachment, your identification, is with the mind, which is in and which cannot come out. It cannot exist in the light. Now this is the situation: witnessing is always out and cannot enter in; it can exist only in the light, it cannot exist in darkness. Mind is always in; it can exist only in darkness, it cannot exist in light.
Between these two absolutely different things you are having an identification, an attachment, that is creating the trouble for you.
So just remember: you are outside. If you cannot do it suddenly, do it slowly, part by part. When anger is there, watch it, and you will find anger is in and you are out.
When Gurdjieff’s father died Gurdjieff was only nine years old. The father was poor. He called Gurdjieff close to him and told him, “I have nothing to give you as your inheritance. I am poor, and my father was also poor, but he gave me one thing that made me the richest man in the world, although the outside poverty remained. I can only transfer the same to you.
“It is some advice. Perhaps you are too young and you may not be able to do it right now, but remember it. When you are able to act according to the advice, act according to it. The advice is simple. I will repeat it, and because I am dying, listen carefully and repeat in front of me what I have said so I can die satisfied that I have transferred the message that may have come down from father to son for centuries.”
The message was simple. The father said, “If somebody insults you, irritates you, annoys you, just tell him, ‘I have received your message, but I have promised my father that I will answer only after twenty-four hours. I know you are angry, I have understood it. I will come after twenty-four hours and answer you.’ And the same with anything. Give a gap of twenty-four hours.”
The nine-year-old boy repeated what the father said, and the father died, but because it was such a moment the message became engraved. As he repeated the message, the father said, “Good. My blessings will be with you, and now I can die peacefully.” He closed his eyes and died. And Gurdjieff, even though he was nine, started practicing what was given to him. Somebody would insult him, and he would say, “I will come after twenty-four hours to answer you because that’s what I have promised my dying father. Right now I cannot answer you.”
Somebody might beat him, and he would say, “You can beat me right now, but I cannot answer. After twenty-four hours I will come and answer you, because I have promised my dying father.” And later on he used to say to his disciples, “That simple message transformed me totally. The person was beating me but I was not going to react at that moment so there was no question except to watch. There was nothing I had to do: now the person was beating me, I just had to be a spectator. For twenty-four hours there was nothing to do.
“And watching the man created a new kind of crystallization in me. After twenty-four hours I could see more clearly. At the moment when he was beating me it was impossible to see clearly. My eyes were full of anger. If I was going to answer at that moment I would have wrestled with the man, I would have hit the man, and everything would have been an unconscious reaction.
“But after twenty-four hours I could think about it more calmly, more quietly. Either he was right – I had done something wrong and I needed, deserved, to be beaten, to be insulted – or he was absolutely wrong. If he was right, there was nothing to say to him except to go and give him thanks. If he was absolutely wrong… then there was no point at all in fighting with a man who is utterly stupid and goes on doing such wrong things. It is meaningless, it is wasting time. He does not deserve any answer.”
So after twenty-four hours everything settled down and a clarity was there. And with that clarity and the watchfulness of the moment, Gurdjieff changed into one of the most unique beings of this age. And this was the basic foundation of the whole crystallization of his being.
You are always outside.
The mind is always inside. Don’t be identified with it. Unidentified, you will become more and more clear, and the mind will die on its own accord.
The death of the mind and the birth of watchfulness is the beginning of your evolution. And the light will not be far away – it is the light. The darkness will be gone, because when you are light, darkness cannot be around you. That’s why I said that watchfulness is not a technique, it is your nature. Just remember it.
From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter Twelve