One of the most profound paragraphs I’ve read.
A quote by G.I. Gurdjieff:
‘[..]man’s chief delusion is his
conviction that he can do. All people think that they can do, all people want to do, and
the first question all people ask is what they are to do. But actually nobody does
anything and nobody can do anything. This is the first thing that must be understood.
- Everything happens
All that befalls a man, all that is done by him, all that comes from
- all this happens.
And it happens in exactly the same way as rain falls as a result
of a change in the temperature in the higher regions of the atmosphere or the
surrounding clouds, as snow melts under the rays of the sun, as dust rises with the
“Man is a machine. All his deeds, actions, words, thoughts, feelings, convictions,
opinions, and habits are the results of external influences, external impressions. Out of
himself a man cannot produce a single thought, a single action. Everything he says,
does, thinks, feels—all this happens. Man cannot discover anything, invent anything.
It all happens.
“To establish this fact for oneself, to understand it, to be convinced of its truth,
means getting rid of a thousand illusions about man, about his being creative and
consciously organizing his own life, and so on. There is nothing of this kind.
Everything happens—popular movements, wars, revolutions, changes of government,
all this happens. And it happens in exactly the same way as everything happens in the
life of individual man. Man is born, lives, dies, builds houses, writes books, not as he
wants to, but as it happens. Everything happens. Man does not love, hate, desire—all
“But no one will ever believe you if you tell him he can do nothing. This is the most
offensive and the most unpleasant thing you can tell people. It is particularly
unpleasant and offensive because it is the truth, and nobody wants to know the truth.
“When you understand this it will be easier for us to talk. But it is one thing to
understand with the mind and another thing to feel it with one’s “whole mass,’ to be
really convinced that it is so and never forget it.
“With this question of doing” (G. emphasized the word), “yet another thing is
connected. It always seems to people that others invariably do things wrongly, not in
the way they should be done. Everybody always thinks he could do it better. They do
not understand, and do not want to understand, that what is being done, and
- has already been done
in one way, cannot be, and could not have
been, done in another way.‘
from: Ouspensky’s “In search of the miraculous”