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Why must everybody who wants to do meditation or hear the lecture pay for this?

The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 4
Chapter #10
Chapter title: The bear of reason
9 November 1976 am in Buddha Hall
the second question:
Question 2
Why must everybody who wants to do meditation or hear the lecture pay for this?


Why not?
The rabbi climaxed his sermon with, "Life is like a glass of tea."
Later, one of the congregation asked, "Rabbi, why is life like a glass of tea?"
"Why not?" answered the rabbi.
I also say to you: why not? You pay for everything in life, why not for your meditation? You pay for everything in your life, why not for God? Why do you want God for free?

In fact, you don't want God. You are ready to pay for whatsoever you want. You know that you have to pay. Meditation you don't want. If it is given free, and even with a PRASAD, then you will think about it. You are ready to go to the movie and pay for it; why should you not pay for your meditation and the lecture if you want to hear it?
The question comes, naturally, from an Indian and a non-sannyasin who does not understand me at all, who must be a newcomer. The Indians think they are the most religious people in the world; all bullshit. They are the most irreligious people in the world – they just have an egoistic idea that they are very religious. If you are really religious, you will be ready to pay for your meditation with everything, even with your life.

What is money? If you pay five rupees for something, and if you earn ten rupees a day, then you have paid with half the day. Money is just a symbol that you have devoted half your day's labor for it. You go to the movie and you pay ten rupees for a ticket; you earn ten rupees per day. You are saying that this movie is worth it – "I can stake one day's labor for it." But you are not ready to stake anything for your meditation, prayer, for religion. In fact, religion is the last thing on your list. You want it free; basically you don't want it. If there is a price to it you start feeling uneasy.
You ask why you have to pay here? The price that is asked is nothing; it is just the beginning of learning a certain lesson: that one has to pay for everything, and CERTAINLY for prayer, CERTAINLY for meditation – because it is the highest thing in life. Those few rupees that you have to pay are very symbolic, just symbolic, just token – they indicate something. If you are ready to pay something, then I know you will be persuaded to pay more. By and by, one day you will be able to stake your whole life for it. If you are not ready to even pay five rupees, it is impossible for you to stake your whole life.
Gurdjieff used to ask much money for his lectures; and not only money, he would create all sorts of obstacles. For example: no lecture would be declared beforehand. If the lecture was going to be this morning at eight o'clock, early – in the wee hours, at five o'clock – you would receive a phone call: "At eight o'clock reach a certain place" – and the place would be twenty miles or thirty miles or fifty miles away – "and Gurdjieff is going to talk, and we have paid for it!"

People used to ask, "Why do you create trouble? Why can't you say beforehand so we can manage?" And Gurdjieff would say, "If you can manage, then it is not of worth." If you could come suddenly, dropping all that you were going to do.... Maybe you were going to see the Prime Minister at eight o'clock, and suddenly now there is an alternative: either you go to Gurdjieff or to the Prime Minister – and you go to Gurdjieff. Then something is going to happen. You have staked for it, you have taken trouble. And then too it was not certain that Gurdjieff would speak. He might come and he would look around, and he would say, "Not now. No, not today. I will inform you later on."
Once it happened in Paris that for eight days he called people, and for eight days he cancelled. The first day there were near about four hundred people; the last day near about five or six people. When he looked at them he said, "Now, only the right ones are left. The crowd is gone, now I can say whatsoever I want to say to you."
I am also not interested in the mob, in the crowd. I am not interested in casual visitors, I am interested only in the few sincere seekers. They have to show their mettle.

And, the money that you have to pay is just the beginning. It is just the alpha; by and by I will persuade you to pay with your life. Unless you have that much courage, nothing is going to happen. Religion is not cheap, certainly not free.
But the Indian mind is very money-minded: they talk about being religious but they are very money-minded people. Their whole outlook about things is money. No westerner has ever asked this; they understand: the ashram has to be maintained, the place has to be ready for you, some musician has to prepare for the music, somebody has to conduct the meditation, the gardens have to be looked after, the buildings have to be built. All needs money – from where is it going to come? And you know well that I don't do any miracles.
There are only two ways. One is: somebody else should donate for you. But why should somebody else donate for you? You will meditate and somebody else will donate for you? Why? If you want to meditate, you pay for it. And if you really want to meditate you will be ready to pay for it; there should be no hitch about it. If you don't have money, go and earn it. If it is absolutely impossible, then come and work in the ashram and pay that way, workwise. But don't ask to come for free.
This idea of getting religion for free has entered so deep in the mind that people think they have a claim. People come to the office and they say, "Why are we not allowed?" But why should you be allowed? You have to earn it to be allowed. Just because you want to come in does not mean much.

You have to show that you are sincere, you have to show that you are not just here out of curiosity. What is the way to check a person? The easiest way is money... because the greatest greed is for money.
The greatest greed is for money, so whenever you have to lose your money you have to lose a little part of your greed. When you pay five rupees for entry, you are paying by dropping a little greed. The money is not the problem, the problem is greed; you are dropping a little greed. And this is just a beginning – because meditation can happen only when all greed disappears. A slight greed inside you and meditation is not possible. For a greedy mind there is no meditation; meditation happens only in a non-greedy mind. If you don't have money, then work. Pay by your work and show your sincerity.
But the person who has asked must have money, otherwise he would not have been allowed to enter here.
He must have paid... must be greedy, must want to have everything free – at least about God. Because nobody bothers about God.

I have been moving in the masses for years. I have not decided in a hurried way to drop out of the mob – I saw that it was absolutely absurd: you go on talking to people who are not ready to listen; you go on talking to people who are not seekers, who are not in any search; you go on talking to people who have come just for entertainment. Why should I waste my energy and time? I tried in every way to be available to bigger crowds, but then I found it was impossible. They come here as an entertainment, and they hear through one ear and from the other it is lost.
There is a story about Bayazid, a Sufi mystic.
He was passing through a cemetery and he came upon a heap of skulls. Out of curiosity he took one skull. He had always been of the thought that all skulls are almost the same, but they were not the same. There were a few skulls whose ears were joined together; there was a passage. There were a few skulls whose ears were not joined together; there was a barrier between the two. There were a few skulls both of whose ears were joined to the heart but not joined together; there was a passage running to the heart.
He was very surprised. He prayed and asked God, "What is the matter? What are you trying to reveal to me?" And it is said that he heard a voice. God said, "There are three types of people: one, who hear through one ear; it never reaches anywhere – in fact they don't hear, just the sound vibrates and disappears. There is another type, who hear, but only momentarily – they hear through one ear, and through the other ear it is lost into the world again. There are a few souls, of course, who hear through the ears and it reaches to the heart."
And God said, "Bayazid, I have brought you to this heap of skulls just to help you remember it when you are talking to people. Talk only to those who take whatsoever you say to their hearts – otherwise don't waste your energy, and don't waste your time. Your life is precious: you have a message to deliver."
One day I also understood – not by going to a cemetery and coming across a heap, but by looking into alive people. There are three types; Bayazid is right. The story may be true or not; that is irrelevant. I looked into thousands of people, and I found that only a very few are there who will take the seed to the heart, who will become soil to it, who will absorb it. And others are just curiosity-mongers, just entertaining themselves. Maybe the entertainment is religious, but it is meaningless.

So here I don't exist for the masses. Let it be known once and forever: I am not interested in the crowd, I am interested only in individuals. And you have to show your mettle.
And this is just the beginning of the ashram. Once the ashram is established rightly, there will be more and more difficulties for new people to enter.




Updated on 23-07-2018

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