One-third of one's time should be spent in pondering.

Gurdjieff International Review

Discussion on "Good and Evil"

with A. R. Orage

November 5th [1927] — Part 1 of 3

[Eleven numbers were taken.]

Reese: As I remember, there was originally no such conception of good and evil as we have now; it grew out of the idea of positive and negative. It's a degeneration of these ideas, in which such a state as hunger, for instance, can be thought evil.

Orage: You remember that these concepts of good and evil never came into man's experience until objective reason had degenerated. There was discrimination of values before then but it was disinterested—qualitative differences arising from differences of nature. After the decline of objective reason, this discrimination became associated with emotional center and its interests and there came good and evil in place of positive and negative.

Lucille: There was no neutralising element present, was there?

Orage: You remember that a certain being was supposed to have introduced good and evil into the world. His mistake was pointed out, that he had insufficiently stressed the neutralising element. The question arises whether in his mind he thought of good and evil as one neutralising force—a force beyond good and evil, as it were. But the fact is that his hearers had no concept of neutralising force in good and evil. We shall perhaps see what the neutralising force is in these ideas—something which is neither good nor evil but partaking of both.…

[The complete text is available in the printed copy of this issue.]
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