Are We Food for the Moon?
Are We Food for the Moon?
May 16, 2013 By davidjones
By JASON JEFFREY—
If man is not affected in some way by the Moon, he is the only thing on Earth that isn’t.
– Robert Millikan (1868-1953), US physicist & 1923 Nobel Prize winner
Probably no heavenly body has received as much attention down through the ages as our Moon. The causes of this fascination are obvious: the Moon enlightens the night and appears as a remarkable and large object in the sky. As a regulator of Earth’s tides and life’s biological cycles, the Moon’s importance to our physical existence is second only to that of the Sun.
Sacred scriptures, ancient myths, and even modern day pagans, all exalt the Moon in one way or another. Omens, spells, wishes, oracles, divination, and calendars cluster around it throughout history. Moon magic, the belief that working rituals at the time of different phases of the Moon brings about physical or psychological changes, is essential to various pagan and witchcraft systems. Witches in Greek and Roman literature were regularly accused of ‘drawing down the Moon’ by use of a magic spell.
Nevill Drury, a respected authority on mystical and occult traditions, says “traditionally… the Moon has been regarded as a ‘funnel’ drawing on the light of the stars and constellations and transmitting their energies to the Earth.”1
In Western astrology the Moon is said to represent the feeling intuitive nature of the individual as well our deepest personal needs, our basic habits and reactions, and our unconscious. In esoteric astrology the Moon represents attachment to form, and under certain circumstances a variety of limiting conditions are related to the Moon, ranging from blatant materialism to subtler forms of limitation such as debilitating nostalgia, sentiment and regret.
The word “lunacy” – which derives from the Latin for Moon, “luna” – denotes the traditional link made in folklore between madness and the phases of the Moon. Several studies have tried to get to the bottom of this age-old belief. A 1976 report compared 34,318 crimes against lunar cycles. It found offences occurred more frequently during a full Moon. Other research, however, failed to find any firm link between the cycles of the Moon and irrational behaviour.
England’s Lunacy Act of 1842 gave allowances for uncharacteristic crimes committed during the full and new Moon. This law distinguished between the chronically insane and the lunatic. It was argued the lunatic became deranged at these times because of the Moon’s power and thus could not be held accountable for his or her actions.
Interestingly, a study of the Moon’s effect on mental health patients, conducted by the University of Liverpool in 2000, found a significant change at the time of the full Moon, but only in subjects with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, the Moon exerts some sort of influence upon our biological and psychological states. But does it go any deeper than this?
Gurdjieff and Ouspensky
The Fourth Way philosophy claims to help individuals cease to be slaves of external and internal influences by building up a core of heightened consciousness. Its ultimate goal is the realisation of the full potential of human evolutionary possibilities. Its founder, George Gurdjieff (1872-1949), frequently spoke of the thoughtless mechanical behaviour of humanity, and was fond of commenting humans are “food for the Moon.”
What did Gurdjieff mean by this phrase? Many interpreted “food for the Moon” as a figure of speech – perhaps Gurdjieff meant we are slave to our mechanical conditioning and feed our baser impulses. But while it can be interpreted in this fashion, Gurdjieff was primarily being literal.
Peter Ouspensky, Gurdjieff’s most famous disciple, lectured at length concerning the Moon’s role in human affairs and its place in the cosmological scheme of things.
Ouspensky said the Moon drives the individual’s mechanical aspects like a pendulum moves the gears of a clock. The degree to which one’s actions are driven by the Moon is proportional to one’s level of contact with higher influences. For people incapable of moving themselves through life by nobler spiritual impulses, the Moon provides a propulsive force. Without this force, mechanical individuals would be passive as puppets without a puppeteer.
In the cosmological scheme proposed by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, Earth is like a mother to the Moon which is still a fetus in the sense it cannot yet “breathe” on its own, hold an atmosphere, or support life. Someday, the Earth will evolve into a being like the Sun, while the Moon will transform into a second Earth. Humanity was simply a stage in this process.
“The Moon is actually a fragment of this Earth, which must now constantly maintain the Moon’s existence,” Gurdjieff said.2 In that sense, the Moon is like a parasitic thought form. Nevertheless, the equation is balanced because in exchange for the Moon propelling our mechanical movement, we feed the Moon so that it may grow and one day be born as a living planet.
As to how organic life feeds the Moon, Gurdjieff taught that most human beings are mere “slugs” with no souls and that following death their remaining psychic energy is “food for the Moon.” Like a magnet, the Moon draws the fine matter of human souls into it: “Everything living on the Earth, people, animals, plants, is food for the Moon. The Moon is a huge living being feeding upon all that lives and grows on the Earth.”
Only through an intensive effort of conscious evolution – what he called “self-remembering” – was it possible for an individual to escape being eaten by the Moon. “The liberation that comes with the growth of mental powers and faculties is liberation from the Moon.” Gurdjieff always maintained Man is not truly conscious, and his actions are entirely mechanical: “Everything ‘happens,’ he cannot ‘do’ anything. He is a machine controlled by accidental shocks from outside.”
To escape these deleterious lunar influences, Ouspensky said we must “create Moon within ourselves.”3 By this he meant we must develop within a driving mechanism that takes the place of the external lunar influence; in this way we can break free of the puppeteer.
Boris Mouravieff, who was an associate of both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, formulated an esoteric system for spiritual evolution founded upon the inner traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy and Fourth Way principles. His extensive three volume work, Gnosis, deals extensively with the question of lunar influences and spiritual development.
He concurs with Gurdjieff and Ouspensky on the role of the Moon, but also warns “that organic life functions as a transmitter station sending refined energy to the Moon to assist its growth. Despite increases in the human population and thus an increase in quantity of energy transferred, times of peace do not produce sufficient energy and so catalysts for suffering such as wars and catastrophes arise to sustain the process.”4
Mouravieff and Ouspensky emphasise that despite the hypnotic nature of the Moon and the urgent necessity for individuals to overcome its influence, there is still an important cosmological reason for its existence. If nothing else, the Moon’s unique position in relation to the Earth was paramount in making physical ‘conscious’ life possible.
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