“The majority of those present here call themselves Christians. Practically all are Christians in quotation marks. Let us examine this question like grown-up men.
Dr. X., are you a Christian? What do you think, should one love one’s neighbor or hate him? Who can love like a Christian? It follows that to be a Christian is impossible. Christianity includes many things; we have taken only one of them, to serve as an example. Can you love or hate someone to order?
Yet Christianity says precisely this, to love all men. But this is impossible. At the same time it is quite true that it is neces- sary to love. First one must be able, only then can one love. Unfortunately, with time, modern Christians have adopted the second half, to love, and lost view of the first, the religion which should have preceded it.
It would be very silly for God to demand from man what he cannot give.
Half of the world is Christian, the other half has other religions. For me, a sensible man, this makes no difference; they are the same as the Christian. Therefore it is possible to say that the whole world is Christian, the difference is only in name. And it has been Christian not only for one year but for thousands of years. There were Christians long before the ad- vent of Christianity. So common sense says to me: “For so many years men have been Christians—how can they be so foolish as to demand the impossible?”
But it is not like that. Things have not always been as they are now. Only recently have people forgotten the first half, and because of that have lost the capacity for being able. And so it became indeed impossible.
Let every one ask himself, simply and openly, whether he can love all men. If he has had a cup of coffee, he loves; if not, he does not love. How can that be called Christianity?
In the past not all men were called Christians. Some members of the same family were called Christians, others preChristians, still others were called non-Christians. So in one and the same family there could be the first, the second and the third. But now all call themselves Christians. It is naive, dishonest, unwise and despicable to wear this name without justification.
A Christian is a man who is able to fulfill the Commandments.
A man who is able to do all that is demanded of a Christian, both with his mind and his essence, is called a Christian without quotation marks.
A man who, in his mind, wishes to do all that is demanded of a Christian, but can do so only with his mind and not with his essence, is called pre-Christian.
And a man who can do nothing, even with his mind, is called a non- Christian.
Try to understand what I wish to convey by all this. Let your understanding be deeper and broader….”
From “Views from the Real World” G.I.Gurdjieff