Contact with God
Gurdjieff, George Ivanovitch
This extract is from a 1944 group meeting in Paris.
G: I have
already answered this question when someone asked the same thing. I said: if you
do not have an ideal, if you do not believe in God, then your father, your
mother, your teacher can serve for you as an ideal.
Q: I have an ideal, I have always been a Catholic. But I no longer see Jesus Christ in the same way.
G: In the beginning Catholicism was very good, but not latterly. They searched for midday at two o'clock; they diluted everything. In the beginning it was superior to the Orthodox religion and to all others.
Q: I cannot recapture the faith of my childhood.
G: That is not necessary. You have lost that possibility. You are no longer a child, you are big now. You should have logic and not search automatically. To have direct contact with God is impossible. Millions and millions of nonentities wish to have relations with Mr. God direct. This is impossible. But you can have a relation in this line. What you do here, for instance, has this changed your interior ideal - since you took part in our conversations? (Yes) Then perhaps you have confidence in the person who directs here? (Yes) Then he can serve as techer in the meantime.
Q: That does not satisfy me entirely. I want something else.
G: Then make a program. You do not know what you want. I wish you to understand that your nearest - father, mother, teacher - can serve as your ideal in place of God. The real God, forget him. As you are, you can never have relations with God. When you have grown, this could be, but you are one among millions of nonentities. Meantime, take as an ideal whoever is nearest and then you can pray to God, because this person has an ideal also, this ideal has in turn an ideal and so on, on to God. God is far, there are many stages before you reach him, do not think about Him. Your ideal will be your God. Later you can have another ideal.
Mme. de Salzmann: God is much too far away. You are too small to have direct contact with him. Only he who is immediately above you can be God for you. He is a God who in his turn has a God. It is a ladder, there is always something above. Each degree (rung) leads you to another rung and you get your answer by the same chain.
G: You cannot pray directly to God. You imagine so, but you waste your time. It is from there that psychopathy comes. Like a monk. He says directly "God". He manipulates like this (gestures) and sixty years later he perishes like a dog without ever having received anything. He wanted God directly. No one has seen Him, for the law of contacts is strict. This law exists everywhere. You will look for your God when you have felt yourself guided in the right direction, on a good road, for instance by Mme. de Salzmann. Then she will be your God. She is not God, but she will be your first stage; you can have contact with God through her; make all your prayers and good manifestations pass through her and that itself will make contact with the next stage. Then a third stage and finally it is possible that your prayer will reach the real God. Exactly like the telegraph; a message to a relative in the country near Lyons. First from Paris to Lyons; then to another town, then to the village, then to your reletive's house. By states and it takes some time.