The Transcaucasian Kurd
...I just now again remember the story of what happened to a Transcaucasian Kurd, which story I heard in my quite early youth and which in subsequent years, whenever I recalled it in corresponding cases, engendered in me an enduring and inextinguishable impulse of tenderness. I think it will be very useful for me, and also for you, if I relate this story to you somewhat in detail.
It will be useful chiefly because I have decided already to make the «salt,» or as contemporary pure-blooded Jewish businessmen would say, the «Tzimus» of this story, one of the basic principles of that new literary form which I intend to employ for the attainment of the aim I am now pursuing by means of this new profession of mine.
This Transcaucasian Kurd once set out from his village on some business or other to town, and there in the market he saw in a fruiterer's shop a handsomely arranged display of all kinds of fruit.
In this display, he noticed one «fruit,» very beautiful in both color and form, and its appearance so took his fancy and he so longed to try it, that in spite of his having scarcely any money, he decided to buy without fail at least one of these gifts of Great Nature, and taste it.
Then, with intense eagerness, and with a courage not costumary to him, he entered the shop and pointing with his horny finger to the «fruit» which had taken his fancy he asked the shopkeeper its price. The shopkeeper replied that a pound of the «fruit» would cost two cents.
Finding that the price was not at all high for what in his opinion was such a beautiful fruit, our Kurd decided to buy a whole pound.
Having finished his business in town, he set off again on foot for home the same day.
Walking at sunset over the hills and dales, and willy-nilly perceiving the exterior visibility of those enchanting parts of the bosom of Great Nature, the Common Mother, and involuntarily inhaling a pure air uncontaminated by the usual exhalations of industrial towns, our Kurd quite naturally suddenly felt a wish to gratify himself with some ordinary food also; so sitting down by the side of the road, he took from his provision bag some bread and the «fruit» he had bought which had looked so good to him, and leisurely began to eat.
But . . . horror of horrors! . . . very soon everything inside him began to burn. But in spite of this he kept on eating.
And this hapless biped creature of our planet kept on eating, thanks only to that particular human inherency which I mentioned at first, the principle of which I intended, when I decided to use it as the foundation of the new literary form I have created, to make, as it were, a «guiding beacon» leading me to one of my aims in view, and the sense and meaning of which moreover you will, I am sure, soon grasp of course according to the degree of your comprehension during the reading of any subsequent chapter of my writings, if, of course, you take the risk and read further, or, it may perhaps be that even at the end of this first chapter you will already «smell» something.
And so, just at the moment when our Kurd was overwhelmed by all the unusual sensations proceeding within his from this strange repast on the bosom of Nature, there came along the same road a fellow villager of his, one reputed by those who knew him to be very clever an experienced; and, seeing that the whole face of the Kurd was aflame, that his eyes were streaming with tears, and that in spite of this, as if intent upon the fulfillment of his most important duty, he was eating real «red pepper pods,» he said to him:
«What are you doing, you Jericho jackass? You'll be burnt alive! Stop eating that
extraordinary product, so unaccustomed for your nature.»
Whereupon our resolute Kurd it must of course be assumed that he was such did not stop, but continued eating the «red pepper pods.»
G.I.Gurdjieff, «Beelzebub's Tales To His Grandson», (3 vol) vol. I, Chapter I, p. 19-21.