If you have ever studied the ideas of George Gurdjieff you most likely have come upon the strange expression of “feeding the moon.” It represents a sophisticated grasp of universal cosmic law, so understanding what this phrase means can offer important new insights for spiritual evolution and the regeneration of contemporary human beings. It is also my belief that the visionary discoveries of scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg can offer important clues toward helping us in deciphering this unusual phrase.
I have written three books. The purpose of each of my books is to unify knowledge. My first book, Sermon From The Compost Pile, unifies theology and spiritual growth with organic and sustainable gardening techniques.
My second book, Proving God, offers unique approaches towards unifying the newest theories of science with the newest revelations in theology.
My third book, Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links, attempts to unify the unique ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George Gurdjieff, especially when it comes to the important topic of personal spiritual transformation.
So, without writing an entire book, let me try to explain what “feeding the moon” means within the limited space of this short blog post. It will not be easy.
Both men put forth the idea that God’s life-giving and creative forces (influx) descend from a non-material heavenly realm into the external and lower corporeal bodily senses of all humans. Unfortunately, when humankind has the focus of their attention only on outward and external things—rather than the inner growth of spirit—human life reverses its true cosmic responsibility and feeds a reality that stands outside of us, much like the moon operates outside the earth.
“Feeding the moon” represents something about our abnormal and inverted behavior. The moon symbolizes knowledge that we accumulate for promoting selfish and worldly ends. This activity keeps knowledge from feeding our inner spirits, and instead, feeds our external, corporeal/sensual personality. This outer personality, which is learned from our adapting to the external world, merely manipulates memory-data and mechanizes our actions in order to put up a false front.
“Feeding the moon” symbolizes feeding this false front and memory manipulation.
Swedenborg described memory knowledge as being similar to food in the stomach. Physical food does not become a part of one’s bodily fabric until it has been metabolized and enters the bloodstream. So food in the stomach represents aliment/sustenance that is still outside of us. Similarly, knowledge in the memory represents data that is still outside of us because it has not metabolized properly until it sustains and supports the soul—that is, feeds the deeper life of spiritual and angelic love. (Technically, Swedenborg would state that this perversion of memory data starves one’s spiritual “remains,” but that is another topic.)
When we turn away from God’s teachings of mutual love and humility our perception of reality becomes upside-down and our focus has its attention on outer, worldly things (that are outside of us) rather than inner, spiritual things.
Gurdjieff used the moon to illustrate this perverted predicament (this is where the term “lunatic” comes from). Even Swedenborg suggested that the moon symbolized a belief system (faith/knowledge) without love because it merely reflected the sun’s light and lacked the sun’s heat and was, therefore, not the real source of these two cosmic qualities, which further symbolize both the higher spiritual influences of enlightenment and love’s warmth—which come from the God of heaven.
Don’t feed the moon!