“If one studies and observes and works for long enough, gathering material, might one eventually verify what Gurdjieff said about humanity being food for the moon, but in the meantime, use that theory as an incentive for self-remembering?”
The Gurdjieff system is like a toolbox with many tools. We use the ones we know how to use. We try others, learning them by using them, and sometimes, we just put a tool back in the box.
Verification depends on our state of consciousness. If we can reach higher centers, and make them permanent, many things that are theories for us may become facts. So everything depends on becoming more conscious.
Theories or beliefs don’t motivate me personally, as far as actually putting the ideas into practice. The incentive to work comes from self-remembering. Whenever I remember to do it, I see that it is good (like God after each day of the Hebrew creation) and wish to do it more. On the other hand, I see daily how much of my time is wasted in imagination. The proper use of time is to promote self-remembering and for each of us, our time is limited by the day of our death.
Death is a fact. What happens after death is theory, Fourth Way or not. It is interesting to note that many people believe they will go to a “better place” at death. However, the Gurdjieff system says that, unless people develop an astral body, they actually go to a worse place, under even more laws than earthly existence. Gurdjieff speaks of the moon as a worse place, with twice the number of laws than exist on earth. How then do we escape this fate?
From In Search of the Miraculous:
“If a man develops in himself a permanent I that can survive a change in external conditions, it can survive the death of the physical body. The whole secret is that one cannot work for a future life without working for this one.
In working for life a man works for death, or rather, for immortality. Therefore work for immortality, if one may so call it, cannot be separated from general work. In attaining the one, a man attains the other. A man may strive to be simply for the sake of his own life’s interests. Through this alone he may become immortal. … If he becomes the master of his life, he may become the master of his death.”
More conversation on this topic can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Gurdjieff-Ouspensky-Self-observation-790636947743964/.