Gurdjieff's Listening & Thinking


Question: It's a question regarding Gurdjieff only. Regarding men and women, Gurdjieff had told that man is intelligent. He should always listen. But women who are basically emotional were asked to think always. If both are there, there will be a balance. I am asking you how it's possible?

Krishnan Kartha: Two faculties... Both are opposite only, no?

Questioner: Yes yes. But the thing is women are usually emotional. They were asked to think but men were asked to listen.


Krishnan Kartha: Yes, yes. What is meant by listening? Listening is an activity of heart. There should be preparedness for listening.

Even the Court uses the word 'hearing'. If anything is told, first of all it should be heard. To take a decision is the second thing. But hearing is the first thing. It's part of a giving up or compromise. As far as an intelligent person is concerned, this faculty will be very scarce. Because he may be very egoistic about his intelligence. He may be seeing things with a prejudication. He will be giving more value to his intelligence. His decision will always be right for him. Hence when he is ready to compromise and hear things, then the influence of his intelligence over his actions will be reduced. Then he will not be able to make quick decisions. Women usually come to their decisions based on their emotions. Why they were asked to think is that usually they don't think. As they usually don't think, they will be going into an action only slowly if they think. When you asked this I was reminded of a thought which was coming to me two days before, regarding maturity. Maturity should most often be developed by considering the physical situations also. What's being reflected in most of my talks during the last month is that religion and politics are only toys in the hands of immature minds. Thus they are interfering in this religion and politics without their own control, it will be immature since there is a dependence. Matured ones can interfere in politics, without doubt. But it will be in his control. He has not given away his personality. He is keeping a personality of his own. He should be able to act with this personality without any dependence. Then only we can say it as mature. That kind of maturity is developed with these two factors. An intellectual man will become mature when he becomes ready to hear the other with tolerance. Like that as far as a woman is concerned, a feminine mind which takes quick decisions will become mature when it gets some time to sit and think. This is what is controlling our tolerance level. Thus tolerance is a very difficult thing. What's reducing this tolerance level is the low level of blood pumping, and reduced quantity of blood reaching the brain. That's why while going to the Himalayas, without receiving sufficient amount of blood, quick judgement occurs. With the minimum available data, intelligence will be in a hurry to come to a conclusion, with a war footing. Brain will exhibit such a hurry. Thus we will easily be going into a conclusion... Going into a judgement. Why I am saying this is that yesterday I came to see a quote in the name of Buddha which says 'Love is not judgement'. I don't think that Buddha has said this. Thus it's speaking about judgement. That judgement happens in a place where there's nothing. It's very difficult to judge in a place where there's love. Because we may be again and again creating the possibility of listening. So that we will be delaying the conclusion procedure. Conclusion will be delayed further because you are again and again listening. This becomes possible in our mind due to our maturity level. That's why a concession has been given to the mentally ill people by their care takers or the people who deal with them saying that it is due to the lack of their maturity that they behave like this or due to their low mental level. Thus we give a concession to them. We permit them as mentally ill, the same thing with kids also. We say that "Oh, children only" Politicians and the so called religious people are all in the state of these kids. For the wise, they are just like kids only. So they don't show much concern about it. They will view the religious issues or the buffoonery exhibited by the politicians, as only immature activities of kids. So they never give much more importance to them. This is the greatest thing in it. Hence that maturity is attained only through a balanced state. Then only tolerance will occur. The origin of tolerance is an important thing in Nature. All things in Nature are teaching tolerance. In order for that tolerance to occur, for going into that maturity, the balance between these two things are essential : Listening and Thinking. In India what's meant by Thinking is the self analysis of things which are listened to. Self analysis is a possibility after listening. Thus listening is the first step. It should be understood that Gurdjieff is pointing out to the possibility that men are bypassing this possibility of listening and reaching into decisions. Even that much maturity men are not having. Hence hearing first, then developing the capability of analysing what is heard, after that putting them into practice. Bringing them into practice. Thus they perform those three steps. In the case of women the state which he demanded was to analyse thoroughly for a second time, the things which they hear. Thus it should be understood that Gurdjieff has placed women in a comparatively higher position. Men are placed in a lower level. There's a an inference that men are not even having a habit of listening. The other case is not like that. There's listening. There's an assumption that she listens. And she has to think what she has listened. That's what is said there. Hence these two things should be viewed as a balance. The division of men and women are not sexual. There's no importance in that. There is a woman in every one's mind. Depending upon the urge of wants, that woman becomes 'active'. While talking to a friend, If it starts raining then the woman within us will suddenly become active. This woman will prompt us to escape into a safer zone by avoiding this friendship or this talk. Thus a person thus escaping is contracting from his friendship. He is coming into a nature of contraction. Who is not having such a nature? Everybody is having. Hence it should not be misinterpreted that what is meant here by men and women are merely on physical basis. Whether it's a physical man or woman, they are changing their polarity of mind or otherwise their attitude of mind every second depending on various things. Becomes a man, again becomes a woman.... Again becomes a man and again a woman. Like that it changes. Hence in the absence of a balance, it should be understood that what he told is by generalizing this. It should not be misinterpreted as a differentiation of man and woman. This is my opinion. Questioner: Actually my question was like that only. Krishnan Kartha : When I heard your question, I understood that you know the answer. Questioner: Then my doubt was regarding how this balance is created? Krishnan Kartha: We can't create a balance. I think the first step is to watch carefully the zones where we become man and woman. Hence the first step is wherever we are becoming a woman and wherever we are becoming man. In some situations where we need to exhibit a masculine nature, there we will go to a pathetic situation by becoming a woman. Going to a pathetic situation. If it's a state of confusion which one can't handle, it means that one has become a woman. There's a man inside us and he can handle it well. But instead of that if we are becoming emotional and going into an uncontrollable emotional state, there we should note that we are becoming a woman. Thus we will observe that in which all places we are becoming woman, and we are keeping a masculine nature in those places where femininity is required by exhibiting chauvinism. In some places where we have to show some considerations, or wherever some feminine nature is required we are exhibiting masculine nature. Some cases where we have to become emotional, without becoming emotional, we will be clinging to the level of intellect. Thus in these kinds of clinging, the natural way is lost. The losing of natural way means that he is going away from his original nature. The being is lost when you become. Become, the being is lost there. Thus that is the case there. Hence we have to change from the state of loosing of natural way and become emotional in places where we need to be so. That's why it's told that Sri Rama has cried. With that Wisdom, consciousness and all, there's no need to remain controlled, without crying. Hence one should be ready for that. Thus for coming into a state where we behave in a natural way, firstly we have to be attentive to the situations where we are becoming man when we have to be woman and where we are becoming woman when we have to be man. After that step, we have to come to the natural way. That's the real living in accordance with nature. That's the truthful way of life. We live in nature as per my nature. We will be reaching to such a condition. The restrictions in food etc is only a part of natural living, only a part. When we have to face mental problems, how much we are adjusting to that is the factor which needs to be looked into. That's the real protection of nature and the love for nature. But by misinterpreting these two and travelling through the wrong ways or the deviated ways, the meaning of protection has been reduced to the concept of protection of earth's atmosphere. Beyond this earth's atmosphere, we have to take into account the accidents occurring in the possibilities of nature. We are keeping mum due to ignorance only. Due to ignorance. We can talk about anything happening to earth's ozone layer by reading about it somewhere or by hearing about it somewhere. Other wise we may not be knowing what is happening outside the earth. As far as a wise man or an enlightened person is concerned, this also is a thing which will be haunting him. He may be bringing his own mental solutions to his nature. May be... Due to that state of oneness he has attained.... the only thing which he needs to do is to correct himself... In order to correct nature. No need for him to go anywhere. Thus what a wise man does is correcting oneself for correcting the entire program. We are watching a film in a screen and if suddenly the focus become defocused or something happens and brightness is reduced. What will we do? Whether we go to the screen and light a torch? No, we will be correcting at the place of projection. Similarly this universe is just our projection, a wise man knows this. All others are misinterpreting this film to be real life. Then sometimes by some experiences, or by some thoughts or by some concepts, or by some diseases, may be some fatal diseases.... Thus by so many ways a correction is being made within that projection of Universe. That's how I feel. Hence like what I have told earlier, be ready to listen means there is a deliverance. A symbol of loosening the grip. Without clinging to the things which the intellect has already decided, it can be viewed as a drooping down from the masculine intellect. It can be viewed like that. It's like that. That's why I have already mentioned that the responsibility of a judiciary is hearing. Without accepting all the evidences as such, it should hear what the defendant has to say. Only after hearing, it should reach to a decision. An intellectual person will always be acting with a sense of ego that what ever his intellect is telling is always true. When he starts to listen, then it can be seen that the influence of his intellect over his acts get reduced. Thus impulsive activities will come to an end. Similarly when women who usually arrives at decisions by emotional factors, become ready to think, Gurdjieff here asks them to think.... When they become ready to think, without acting impulsively, they will start to act after proper thinking. Here there's a travel from heart to head. This is what is pointed out earlier, in Buddha's perspective, the religious and political stubbornness are simply like toys of immature kids. Hence they won't be giving so much importance to them. A mature mind can't hold on to a particular belief. Because the possibility of several beliefs is known to it. Otherwise experienced by it. They can't hold on to a particular belief system. They will be having an open attitude towards everything. As the search is not yet complete, a matured mind will be able to recognise the shortcomings in them and the goodness in the others. Hence this maturity is that which Gurdjieff thought of which will be attained when a woman thinks and when man becomes ready to hear. Hence there may arise a question whether matured ones won't be engaging in religion or politics. Definitely, they are the ones who will be engaging very well. In all those places, he won't be giving away his personality to any political party or to any religion, but we can see him engaging in all those with submission and with bowed head. There won't be any hesitation in all that. Only when ego is there, he will be having a desire to show his head outside. I There won't be any difficulty for them to silently get involved in everything. May be this silence is creating some difficulties for those who are there in authoritative positions. There is another group who will keep themselves away by saying that they are enlightened. It's from an immature mind that a fear of being secluded in a particular label comes and they will be playing an intellectual part without showing their plains of growth. As I have already pointed out, this maturity is difficult in a Himalayan trip. Tolerance is lost. Without getting sufficient oxygen and blood, quick judgements will come. And emotions will be overtaking the intellect. Hence it can clearly be understood that if both intellect and heart doesn't go hand in hand in a balanced manner, one will be sidetracking the other. Only in this maturity that tolerance and secularism (the consideration that one is having towards other religious concepts is what I mean by secularism), all that will occur. What is there in nature? What I think is that Nature's life flow itself is tolerance. Nature is teaching tolerance through every organism except man. We usually say earth as an embodiment of tolerance. Thus every thing has got a patience. It's very clear that Gurdjieff has meant this tolerance. Thus we have to observe our each and every thought and activity to see what is the inspiring factor behind whether it's intellect which is masculine or the heart in us which is feminine. Through this observation the man and woman inside us will come to a balance. Through this simply one is going into a Yogic state. That balanced state is reached without much effort. This is told here as Sravanam, Mananam and Nidhidhyasanam. That's often heard as listening to and understanding spiritual things. But here what is meant is to listen to the day today things, to think everything correctly and bring them all into practice. Hence right hearing is essential. Wholesome hearing.... That's in Upanishads there is a prayer 'Bhadram karnebhi'. It's prayed that may I hear properly. Hence a thing can be understood only when it's properly heard. If this hearing and understanding are complete, then intellect and heart can't interfere. But it can be seen that Gurdjieff has glorified feminine heart to a stage which is beyond the hearing stage. It's generally giving such a consideration. In the case of all the Buddhas before Gurdjieff also, listeners were women. We know very well then story that when men were ready to betray and hide, women were there to wipe the blood and sweat using hand kerchief till the crucifixion. Thus heart won't be allowing intellect to grow. That's right. What Gurdjieff has told is being told to each one of us and not to two persons with different sexes. He has told to each one of us. The polarization within... We have to observe whether the man or woman inside us is active in each of the subjects.

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