Stanley Fisher | NO!art co-founder <<< | >>>
writings search and find in the NO!art archives


published in: STOP LYING | booklet edited by The Middle of Silence Gallery | New York 1982
Stanley's last personal letter was to Maurice Béjart, whose ballet company was then on tour in New York City

Remember, Béjart, when I said I was Gurdjieff if he were alive today? Of course, you did not believe me. But what did Gurdjieff want to achieve? He wanted to help people to become totally aware of themselves—to understand perfectly clearly why they did or did not do something. In other words, to be totally aware of their motivation in each moment. By doing this, an individual would be able to judge whether he or she is truly living up to his ideals or merely behaving in a mechanical fashion over which he has no control.

It is a well-known fact that people who are prone to lying are little interested in understanding their motivation. They are only interested in benefiting from their lies. But as long as anyone countenances lying in any way, shape, or form—to that extent the person behaves like a machine, and is unfree.

This description is true of you, Maurice, as you have admitted that you believe lying is justified if it will be to someone's benefit. This statement demonstrates how poorly you understand yourself, for it is obvious that you could not know if lying to a person would be to his benefit or not. This attitude presumes that you are God. Would you want people to lie to you on the basis of their judgment that it is best for you? No, you would want them to tell you the truth irregardless of the consequences. Yet you justify lying to them.

I can teach you how not to play deceitful games with yourself and others. I can help you realize that God knows the total truth about everyone and wants us to achieve the same end. I want you to know that Gurdjieff attempted to achieve this state of total awareness, but he failed because of personal limitation, i.e., justifying lying and petty thievery. I have taken the torch from his wavering hand, and affixed it to the stars.