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Nobody does anything, everything happens

Nobody does anything, everything happens
January 23
15:26 2020

Excerpted from ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ in which P.D. Ouspensky  quotes teachings of 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 him — 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 wind.

“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 this happens.

“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 particularly what has already been done in one way, cannot be, and could not have been, done in another way.

Have you noticed how everyone now is talking about the war? Everyone has his own plan, his own theory. Everyone finds that nothing is being done in the way it ought to be done. Actually everything is being done in the only way it can be done. If one thing could be different everything could be different. And then perhaps there would have been no war.

“Try to understand what I am saying: everything is dependent on everything else, everything is connected, nothing is separate. Therefore everything is going in the only way it can go. If people were different everything would be different. They are what they are, so everything is as it is.”

George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was a mystic, philosopher, spiritual teacher, and composer of Armenian and Greek descent. His 136th birth anniversary was observed on January 13.

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