Gurdjieff’s View of Doctors

Speaking through the mouth of Beelzebub, in The Tales, Gurdjieff describes our doctors and physicians with the following words:

“Before telling you further, I must, I think, enlighten you a little also about what the contemporary physicians there represent in themselves, who ought to correspond to our Zirlikners.

“You probably already well know that Zirlikners among us on the planet Karatas, as also in general beings similar to them on other planets of our Great Universe upon which breed already-formed three-brained beings, and from the number of whom are several, who, called differently on different planets, take upon themselves essential obligations in relation to the environment of beings similar to themselves-_well, these Zirlikners are those responsible individuals who voluntarily devote the whole of their existence to helping any being of that region to fulfill his being-obligations, if this being for some reason or other, or simply thanks to a temporary irregular functioning of his planetary body, ceases to be able to fulfill his inner or outer being-duty by himself.

“It must without fail be noticed that in former times also on your planet such professionals as are now called there physicians were almost the same and did almost the same as our Zirlikners among us; but gradually with the flow of time, the responsible beings there who devoted themselves to such a profession, namely, to the fulfillment of such a high voluntary being-duty taken upon themselves, degenerated like everything on that strange planet and became also absolutely peculiar.

“And at the present time there, when the functioning of his planetary body in one or other of your contemporary favorites becomes deranged in this or that respect, and when this being ceases to be able to fulfill his being-obligations, these contemporary physicians of theirs are also called in for help; and, no question about it, these physicians do also indeed come; but how they help and how they discharge by their inner essence the obligations taken upon themselves, it is precisely here, as our highly esteemed Mullah Nassr Eddin says, that ‘the dead camel of the merchant Vermassan-Zeroonan-Alaram is buried.’