Does the physical presence near the master is necessary for a disciple?
Does the physical distance matter between guru and disciple?
The answer is both Yes and no! Yes, a physical closeness is necessary in the beginning because you cannot understand anything else right now, as you are. You can understand the body; you can understand the language of the physical. You exist at the physical, so yes, a physical closeness is necessary – in the beginning.
And I say no also because as you grow, as you start learning a different language which is of the non-physical, then physical closeness is not necessary. Then you can go anywhere. Then space doesn’t make any difference. You remain in contact. Not only space, but time also doesn’t make any difference. A Master may be dead, you remain in contact. He may have dropped his physical body, you remain in contact. If a trust happens, then time and space both are transcended.
Trust is the miracle
Trust is a miracle. You can be in closeness with Mohammed or Jesus or Buddha right now, if trust is there. But it is difficult! It is difficult because you don’t know how. You cannot trust a living person, how can you trust a dead person? If trust happens, then you are close to Buddha right now. And for persons who have faith, Buddha is alive. No Master ever dies for those who can trust. He goes on helping; he is always there. But for you, even Buddha is there physically, standing behind you or in front of you, just sitting by your side, you are not close to him. There may be vast space between you and the master. But the Love, trust, faith destroys that space, time, both.
In the beginning, because you cannot understand any other language, you can understand only the language of the physical, physical closeness is necessary – but only in the beginning. A moment will come when the Master himself will send you away. He will force you to go away because that too becomes necessary – you may start clinging to the physical language.
Gurdjieff almost always, all his life, will send his disciples away. He will create such a miserable situation for them, then they will have to leave. It will be impossible to live with him. After a certain point, he will help them to go away. He will force really them to go away, because you should not become too much dependent on the physical. The other, the higher language, must develop. You must start feeling close to him wherever you are, because body has to be transcended. Not yours only, the Master’s body has also to be transcended.
Being connected to the master is Satsang.