What counts is in the moment, that we find ourselves, always making effort in the moment in our sensory motor, emotional and intellectual world, to be balanced and whole in our interactions with people. That’s a near impossibility.
Michael Mendizza [hereafter MM]: I was going to say, I’ll vote for that!
KB: It’s fine to vote for it, but that’s the challenge, you see. I think it is incorrect to talk about transformation unless we understand that that, in itself, is a very paradoxical situation. If, in a moment, a given situation, if I do make effort to be responsive and I really am aware of the suffering of another person, and I really do make that effort to be of some assistance or help, and so forth and so on, and I am conscious of that process going on, then I have proved something in me–because that is real; it’s in me. Ok, it’s not just in my memory; it’s in me. I did that; I was that way in that circumstance. There may be a thousand circumstances where we clearly see that we missed the boat. We cannot all be St. Frances of Assisi. We cannot all be the perfected saint, however we understand the historical. I’m sure you see my point, that for someone to be so transformed that, in every moment of their life, in every situation, they were always in this state of consciousness, this state of being consciousness, where they always responded from a certain place inside of them.
We point to people that I think we can say, he must be close to this. I can’t sneak behind the door and see what he is doing when he is all by himself in his bedroom, but, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, a number of Buddhist Monks that I have met–very impressive, as I watch them for their constancy. For as long as I see them in motion, I’m astonished at their consistency that they are present and really, you can almost feel the effort burning off at times.
Then there are other people who make effort, and you see that they make effort, I make effort and then it’s gone; I lose it. The path to that completed Kesdjan, if you will, in Gurdjieff’s terms, is very long and very difficult. It is rare for someone to come to full completion, to have a perfected body, in that sense. But, that’s no reason to diminish the fact that I may be somewhere on the path.
Many Efforts Over a Long Time
So this is where we are, all of us, in a sense–as far as transformation is concerned. This is one of the major differences, I think, with Krishnamurti—he would say there is no step by step way. And, from Gurdjieff’s perspective, yes, this is a long gradual thing that requires repeated effort. Then, when finally you reach a certain point, then you must go off on your own. You must take the whole of life on and simply deal with it, and use it then as your three foods for further progress. And you know enough, you know enough now—I think Gurdjieff said this in direct and indirect ways to many people he worked with: You have enough. You have enough, now. Now you must go out and prove yourself because you can do it; you have the strength. You have shown me that you have the capacity to go into that state of being and that level of perception where you can truly be a Man; so go!