When I was about 3 years with the New York Gurdjieff Foundation I was placed in a writing workshop. As a result, my mentor in the work said that one day I might be able to write about the work. Here is what I wrote, as I kept it through the years:
There is a New Adventure, yet which is older than Time itself, and I am invited to participate in it, should I wish. We, as a people, have the memory of this wish embedded in us so deeply that we languor in the forgetting of its promise.
We make our wish at birthday time and then turn away from its meaning with the extinguishment of the candles and we turn again to our belief in the world which has trapped us. At some point in the past I began asking people about the word wish and its meaning to them. I wanted to know if they thought that wishes could come true, and if they thought that there was such a thing as wish money–I believe that every human is given wish money at birth by one's Guardian Angels and from our forebears and even from our progeny, from the far distant future. They impart to us sometimes small coins of wish, sometimes paper money and sometimes in trust funds large amounts, which when they mature we can gain huge spiritual advances if we are sensitive to them.
A friend of mine l in discussing wish, said that when he was a child is distinguished the coin of wish. He said that he knew the difference between little wish l, which cost pennies, and big wish which may cost more than we can pay. For him l, these wishes were not entered into lightly. He said for we have been allotted to us a certain amount of wish money (get the exact amount is always kept hidden from us )
I asked him l if there was ever a wish for which he knew that he could not pay and he said yes. He said that when he was younger l he wish to be on a rocket ship to the moon, and as he said this to me, I saw his cares fall away from him; his face lit up with glee and he became himself in a way which I had never seen of him–he looked about 20 years younger, and die, in that instant, knew that this was the wish of his had been answered, and in that wish he was given a moment free from gravity, and from the Earth's laws of encumbrance.
In that moment l, hearing of his impossible wish, I also left behind the shackles of myself, and my self-imposed sorrow. Perhaps the only wish worthy of us l is that for which we have no means to pay.
This is that New Adventure beckoning me, as old as I AM, and made of Starlight. There is a passage in “Fragments” which interests me. Mr. Gurdjieff is telling Mr. Ouspensky that in order for a man to move up in the Work One must put another Man in his place, and that this is a law. I had always taken this to mean l that one had to find another man in another physical body, in order to pass on a kind of understanding, but now I believe that there is a more sly way of tricking Great Nature and making our escape from the prison of horizontal life that we are forced to live in.
I've come to believe that there is a trick being played on us. How l do I escape from the laws which bind me here? The Moon and the Earth and the Planets need me, demand me, and will hunt me down with doubled efforts if I should abandon my place and try to run. No, if I am to escape I must fashion another–a dummy to take my place. Only by fashioning a dummy to trick the guard as he does his head count will I have the time and the chance to escape.
I must create of myself a doppellganger.
This is the other man we must put in our place. As Zen l says so well: “Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water , after enlightenment chop wood and carry water” I cannot change this, but I can have Wish with a capital W. And I can fashion another man–an inner man , fed by wish and not subject to the fierce demands of the moon.
For the outer man it is too late, and has always been too late. He will always get angry,–the moon has made him so, and he is made of dust and will return to dust–I must not cling to him. But I can and I will l make him a shell. Slowly I shall move within my wish. Slowly I shall build an ark l to live in so that the waters will not overtake me. Yet at the same time, I will leave myself exactly where I am.
It is only in this way that one may pay l for this journey–this is the taking up of one's cross . This is the payment demanded for such a wish. One must obtain oneself at the cost of Oneself. My friend l had forgotten his wish and even how to wish. I also forgot how to wish. But now I see a little, and my wish comes back, lingers a little and fades. This then is my work, to gather myself against the tide, little buy little, and beckon to my wish.