Gurdjieff International Review

“All of Us Are Parasites”

A. R. Orage


enerally speaking, all of us are parasites. Gurdjieff constantly uses this expression at the Prieuré. Not one of us has discharged his debt to Nature. To be alive is a unique miracle—to have the possibility of Being in place of Non-Being. Think of what it has cost Nature in the preparation of planetary conditions, the long periods of experiment perhaps, so that, in addition to serving her, we might become Sons of the Father. And in return what do we do? We behave in the family of Nature like self-indulgent children whose only object is to enjoy ourselves. If you will only ponder seriously for half an hour on the way we exploit natural resources, land, forests and animals, for the gratification of abnormal desires, you cannot help but be appalled.

Emerson said, “Earn your living”—earn the right to live. It is sometimes astonishing that Nature permits the members of the human race to continue their existence, and does not render them harmless or discontinue the human species as she has done with other species.

Beelzebub speaks of the short duration of life of the beings in a drop of water compared with ours. Similarly, if this room we are in, and we with it, were to shrink to the size of a tennis ball, we would not be aware of it. Perhaps this is what happened to the ants and the bees millions of years ago; enormous creatures then, they degenerated and became a danger to the cosmic scheme, so Nature shrank them. Time and life today may seem the same to them now as then. It may be that if the degeneration of man continues, if his energy continues to be diverted to trivialities, if scientists continue to invent more fantastic means of destruction, if men continue to pollute and poison the rivers and the earth with chemicals and sprays—then Nature may do to them what she did to the ants and bees.

Planets are enormous beings, and have relations between themselves as people do. They are reactions, tensions. They vary in shape and form, but their revolving in space causes them to appear as spheres. They communicate by emanations—a pure force which does not operate through and by means of matter; and by radiations—which operate through and by means of matter. Our earth is a planet which communicates with other planets through its organic system, which is like a skin, thinner than a coat of varnish on the great stone globe at Swanage. Tensions between planets are felt on our earth and occur at special times; then happens what Gurdjieff calls Solioonensius. □

C. S. Nott, Teachings of Gurdjieff: The Journal of a Pupil (1962) NY: Samuel Weiser, pp. 207–208, 140, 201.


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Featured: Winter 2019/2020 Issue, Vol. XIV (1)
Revision: August 13, 2020