It was the very essence of Gurdjieff’s teaching that the pupil must stand on his own feet and he took every measure, sometimes apparently harsh and brutal, to break down any tendency towards dependence upon himself. He would go to the length of depriving himself of much-needed helpers in his work rather than allow a relationship of dependence, or subordination. At the same time, he took for granted that a teacher is necessary and made it clear why this is so.
No man can work alone until he knows himself, and no one can know himself until he can be separate from his own egoism. The teacher is always needed to apply the knife, to sever the true from the false, but he can never work for his pupil, nor understand for him, nor be for him. We must work, and understand, and be, for ourselves.