The sheep is Gurdjieff's allegory of Human Beings manifesting the group characteristic of 'sheep'. This is an anthropomorphic description of the fundamental fact that Human behaviour is not all that dissimilar of that of Sheep. This metaphor was mentioned by Gurdjieff in his story 'The Evil Magician And The Sheep'.
In this story, George Gurdjieff relates the fact that as farmyard animals, sheep are a commodity to be used and consumed by their Human proprietors. Likewise, Human Beings are also the possessions and commodities of a higher force, or level of awareness.
The Evil Magician in the story hypnotized the Sheep to believe they are not really sheep, but that they are in fact Lions, Eagles, Tigers and Men; if they observed other sheep being eaten, then that was perfectly normal and acceptable, for sheep are to be used and consumed. But those hypnotized, always believe that they themselves are not sheep.
Gurdjieff saw that Human Beings;
- Follow each other mechanically. - Are easily manipulated to be moved in a certain direction or vector. - Have little awareness of their surroundings or the predicament they are born into.