He recalled to me that one of the things that drew him into the Gurdjieff work many years ago in California was the mysterious and intriguing sound of this phrase: we are food for the moon.
Let's look at that in the context of the above figure.
Readers might wish to refer to the following link for a larger version of this diagram.
Here, the enneagram, which is closely related to the diagrams linked to in yesterday's post, shows how the inner earth wants to become the inner sun. This represents, in a general sense, our inward wish.
Our aspiration, like planetary aspirations as described by Gurdjieff, is to allow our inner planet — the earth, which ought to be properly stabilized by the gravitational force of an inner moon, but isn't — to become a sun. One can take the comment as allegorical on a planetary scale, if one wants to; but from an inner point of view, this wish for evolution into a solar entity is a real one.
There are very complex and intricate connections between our actual sun and our energetic relationship to it, and the effort that we make to allow an inward solar entity to be born in us, that is, a connection to the divine. Most of the higher energies human beings in any spiritual discipline are interested in are related to these questions, which contain great mysteries that cannot be properly described or grappled with in texts.
Back to the question of food for the moon, readers should understand that everything in the outer world — which is represented by all of the notes on the periphery of the circle — feeds Being; and what it ought to be feeding is the moon, that is, the inward entity that is formed from the holy Trinity of the absolute, conscious labor, and intentional suffering.
This Holy Trinity allows us to feed ourselves directly into our essence, which has the potential for a connection with the divine; and this inner essence—the soul, or, in another context, "moon"—is what stabilizes the orbital range of everything in the diagram. That is, without this higher influence, which connects the sun (the absolute) to the Holy Trinity and its material emanations into Being (the law of three, or the triangle), we cannot form moon in ourselves — a task which Mr. Gurdjieff gave us— and if we do not form the moon — which is sensation — in ourselves, we cannot form a center of gravity to stabilize the orbit of all the outward forces of life so that they proceed in an orderly hierarchy and wholesome relationship within ourselves.
Readers may find it worthwhile to remember, here, how common it is to see Mother Mary, the Divine Virgin, standing on a lunar crescent. These images are all part of a tradition that was born in the Middle Ages when the Blessed Virgin began to directly intercede in the affairs of mankind. (See Bennett's Witness, page 221, Hardcover) also, see the final chapter for this additional material on Bennett's personal encounters with the Marion tradition:
During my stay in the monastery, I received several illuminating experiences in the latihan. Once I heard a voice within me saying: "Surrender to the Will of God is the foundation of all religion." Then I became aware of the Presence of Jesus, and saw that He is the manifestation of the Love of God. The thought entered my mind: "Then Christianity is the one true religion." At the same moment, I found myself intoning the opening chapter of the Qu'ran: "El hamd ul Illah Rabb-el-alemeen er Rahman er Rahim: Glory to God the Lord of the Worlds, the Compassionate, the Merciful." Then the same voice said: "It is my Will that my Church and Islam should be united." I said in astonishment: "Who can accomplish such a task?" and the reply came: "Mary."
The association with Mary, the intercessor for Christ, with the lunar crescent, which represents not only the female element of receptivity but the level below us, which we must essentially connect with in order to develop, underscores the deep esoteric ties between Gurdjieff's teaching, the Marion tradition in Christianity, and the relationship between the inner gravity of sensation, the moon, and planetary forces.
The enneagram, remember, is two-dimensional. This work actually takes place in four dimensions, including the third dimension of a sphere, and the fourth dimension of time.
The point of this is to explain to readers that being food for the moon has a meaning quite different than the one that seems threatening to us: that is, that the moon takes us and eats us and dissipates what we are.
We need to be food for the moon or we can't grow. It is not an enemy; and it isn't stealing our life and our consciousness from us. By feeding it, we help ourselves and we assume our right place in the ray of creation.
I realize this is a wide-ranging set of complex ideas, but just about everything one needs to know about this question is in these notes and the diagram, if one thinks about it carefully for some time and correlates it properly to the gravitational experience of sensation in Being.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.