GURDJEFF’S BUS – THE CASTLE
We do not have just one “I”, as generally assumed
but several of them.
Each of our “I” follows his own conditionings, dispersing our energies
in so many conflicting directions
and is like a group of people in a bus who has each the right to drive for a certain time every day: for example, Mr. X who has a strong personality can drive for three hours, Ms Y for two, Mr. Z only forty-five minutes, then often there is also a kid on the back of the bus who is allowed to drive a little now and then (those strange impulses we are occasionally subject to).
Vijay used to make this example when speaking about this:
Let’s say that Mr. X, for example, is very harsh, merciless with his dependents, pays them as little as possible and fires them at the first mistake, but very loving to his children, generous with his friends and passionate with his mistress.
Now, it isn’t that on the way home is transformed into a better person:
they are all different Mr. X occupying the same body
at various times and circumstances.
This is a FACT, whether you like it or not.
We all are like a castle in which the King
is not immediately available.
When someone knocks at our door (any external event) whoever of our many “I” is at the moment in control of our external being opens it: for example, the wise butler, the superficial handyman, the cook who is lazy, the gardener who is a bit of a dreamer, etc.
As Gurdjeff pointed out,
Man has no individualI. But there are, instead, hundreds
and thousands of separate small I’s,
very often entirely unknown to one another, never coming into contact, or even hostile and incompatible to each other.
Each moment man is saying or thinking,‘I., and every time his I is different. Just now it was a thought, now it is a desire, now a sensation, now another thought, and so on, endlessly.
Man is a plurality, and his name is legion. Man has
no permanent and unchangeable I.
Every thought, every mood, every desire, every sensation, says‘I.’ And in each case it seems to be taken for granted that this I belongs to the Whole, to the whole man, and that a thought, a desire, or an aversion is expressed by this Whole. In actual fact there is no foundation whatsoever for this assumption…
Each minute, each moment, man is saying
And each time this I is different. Just now it was a thought, now
it is a desire, now a sensation, now another thought,
and so on, endlessly.
Man such as we know him, the ‘man-machine,’ the man who cannot ‘do,’ and with whom and through whom everything ‘happens,’
cannot have a permanent and single I.
His I changes as quickly as his thoughts, feelings and moods, and he makes a profound mistake in considering himself always one and the same person;
in reality he is always a different person, not the one
he was a moment ago.
Please don’t go on reading yet.
Look at it a while longer.