George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1866/1877 – 1949) was the developer of The Fourth Way, an approach to self-development that combines three traditional „ways“: those of the mind (or of yogis), of emotions (or of the monks) and of body (or of the fakirs).
In the first volume of his trilogy, „All and Everything“ – „Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson or An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man“ – Gurdjieff treats of an enormous number of subjects and questions. Among them, astrology and astronomy, during history. We offer you one of the most relevant fragments, from the 23rd chapter, „The fourth personal sojourn of Beelzebub on the planet Earth“.
ASTROLOGERS AND ASTRONOMERS: „At that period on the Earth the beings occupied with such observations and studies were called «astrologers». But later, when that psychic disease of your favorites called «wiseacring» was finally fixed in them, and these specialists «shriveled and shrank», becoming «specialists» only in giving names to remote cosmic concentrations, they came to be called «astronomers». The difference in value and significance for the beings around them between the professionals of that time and those who supposedly follow the same occupation today may show you the extent of the decline that has steadily taken place in the crystallization of data engendering «sane logical mentation», which your favorites as three-brained beings ought to have in their common presence; I therefore find it necessary to explain this change for the worse, and help you reach an approximate understanding of it“.
ASTROLOGERS’FUNDAMENTAL OBLIGATIONS: At that period, the terrestrial three-brained beings of responsible age called «astrologers», besides making observations and investigations of various other cosmic concentrations for the purpose of a more detailed study of the branch of general learning they represented, took upon themselves several other definite essence-obligations toward their fellow beings. One of their fundamental obligations was to advise, as our «zirlikners» do, all the conjugal pairs in their «flock», according to their types, about the time and form of the process of the sacred «elmooarno» for the purpose of a desirable and corresponding conception of their results. And when these results were actualized or, as they say, «new-born», the astrologers had to draw up for each of them an «oblekioonerish», that is, what your favorites call a «horoscope ». And from then on they or their deputies guided those young beings during the whole period of their formation up to responsible age, as well as during their responsible existence itself, giving them corresponding indications on the basis of the oblekioonerish and of the cosmic laws, constantly explained by them, relating to the action of the results of other large cosmic concentrations on the process of being-existence on all planets.
ASTROLOGERS’ WARNING COUNSELS: These indications and, so to speak, «warning counsels» of theirs consisted in the following: as soon as a function became disharmonized in the presence of any being, or was only just beginning to be so, he would apply to the astrologer of his district, who, on the basis of the oblekioonerish and of the variations expected according to calculation in the atmospheric processes caused by the action of other planets of their solar system, would indicate just what the disharmonized being should do with his planetary body at certain definite periods of the krentonalnian movement of that planet, as for instance, in what direction to lie down, how to breathe, what movements it was preferable to make, with which types of beings to avoid relations, and many other things of this kind.
ASTROLOGERS AND MARRIAGES: Besides all this, the astrologers assigned to the beings of their flock in the seventh year of their existence, again on the basis of their oblekioonerish, corresponding mates of the opposite s.. for the purpose of fulfilling one of the chief being-duties, that is, the continuation of the species or, as your favorites would say, they assigned them «husbands» and «wives». Justice must be done to your favorites of that period as long as these astrologers existed among them, they followed their counsels very strictly and entered into conjugal unions only according to their indications. Therefore, at that period, in regard to their conjugal unions they always corresponded to each other according to their types, just as they do on all other planets inhabited by keschapmartnian beings. Far as they were from knowing many trogoautoegocratic cosmic truths, the ancient terrestrial astrologers made these matches successfully because they had at least a thorough knowledge of the laws governing the influence of the different planets of their solar system on the beings breeding on their own planet, that is, the influence of these planets on a being at the moment of his conception, for further development as well as for his complete attainment of the being of a responsible being.
PAIRS CHOSEN ACCORDING TO THE INDICATIONS OF THE ASTROLOGERS: Thanks to the practical knowledge acquired over many centuries and transmitted from generation to generation, they knew which types of the passive s.. corresponded to which types of the active s… Thus the pairs chosen according to the indications of the astrologers nearly always turned out to be corresponding, which is the opposite of what happens there today when your favorites are united in conjugal pairs who almost never correspond in type; so that throughout their entire existence about half of the so-called «inner life» of these couples is spent on what our esteemed Mullah Nasr Eddin expresses in one of his sayings: «What a good husband he is, and what a good wife she is, whose whole inner world is not taken up with the constant nagging of the other half!»
FROM ASTROLOGY TO ASTRONOMY: In any case, my boy, if these astrologers had continued to exist and practice there, they surely would have acquired such experience that the existence of the beings of this unfortunate planet would gradually have come to bear some resemblance, at least in their family relations, to that of similar beings on other planets of our Great Universe. But this beneficial practice, established in the process of their existence, your favorites have thrown—as they have all their other good attainments, without even having had time to make real use of it—to the «gluttonous swine» of our venerable Mullah Nasr Eddin. As usually happens there, these astrologers began gradually to «shrink», and finally, as is said, they «vanished». After the function of the astrologers had been abolished, other professionals in the same field appeared in their place, but this time from among the «learned beings of new formation», who also began to observe and study, as it were, the results issuing from the various large cosmic concentrations and their influence on the existence of the beings of their planet. But as the ordinary beings around them soon noticed that their «observations and studies» consisted merely in inventing names for various remote suns and planets—meaning nothing to them—among the milliards in the Universe, and in supposedly measuring, by a method known to these professionals alone, the distances between the cosmic points seen from their planet through those «playthings» of theirs, which they also call «telescopes», they gave them, as I have already told you, the name of «astronomers».