Some time ago in my hands fell "In Search of the Miraculous", two volumes wrote by P. D. Ouspensky. He was an important russian philosopher, one of the best pupils of Gurdjieff. The text begins with Ouspensky revealing to us his immeasurable need for knowledge. A need that never left him.
He traveled to places rich with history like Egypt and India, but time eventually came to return to Russia, doing so he met Gurdjieff in the year 1915. About his works that predate this important meeting i hope to talk as soon as time will let me.
After this short introduction i feel it is time to start with some facts about Gurdjieff. He was part greek part armenian and lived most of his early life in Russia were he headed a school dedicated to esoteric knowledge. 'In Search of the Miraculous' was writen by Ouspensky after he participated in this school and after years of being around Gurdjieff. It was published in 1947.
While i was studying this book i could not ask why knowledge must be controlled, kept secret. I eventually got an answer that at list in some part satisfied my search. In the first place, knowledge is not kept secret and second, that by definition, by its nature, knowledge can not become a public good. It must be treated like something material ('knowledge is material and this means it has all the characteristics of materiality'). Small quantities of information in the possession of a large group don`t lead to nothing, only the holding of an adequate quantity by a small group gives a result (if knowledge is reserved to a few, each will receive enough of it, not only for keeping what he earned but also to increase it). Gurdjieff adds 'in fact, the majority of people do not want any kind of knowledge, they refuse their bit of knowledge, they neglect even to take,at the general repartition, what they need for a normal life'. It is important to remark that for Gurdjieff knowledge is material, here i must disagree. While it is true that the vast majority of people are not attracted to the idea of evolution, knowledge, by no means has the properties of a material object.
Another paragraph that stirred my attention is this one 'The masses do not want nor even search for knowledge, and their political leaders, by selfish reasons, act only to strenghten the masses fear and aversion to all that is new and unknown. This state of slavery in which humanity seems to be drowning is based on this fear.' This, i must admit, hit me like a rock in the head. The truth is so obvious and no one seems to try to change this situation. Don`t let fear rule you. 'Nobody hides nothing; there i not even the smallest mystery. But obtaining and transmitting true knowledge takes hard working and great effort, both from the one receiving and the one giving.' If you want something you have to fight for it, nobody receives nothing for free, you must earn it, your actions must deserve it. Maybe that is why the ones who manage to accumulate great wealth in a short time with little effort lose it just as fast.