A MAN WHO HAS CONSCIENCE IS CALM
Question: What is the relation of conscience to the acquisition of I?
Answer: Conscience helps only in that it saves time. A man who has conscience is calm; a man who is calm has time which he can use for work. However, conscience serves this purpose only in the beginning, later it serves another purpose.
~ George Gurdjieff "Views from the Real World"
GURDJIEFF'S COMPLETELY DISINTERESTED GOODNESS TOWARDS THOSE WHO CAME TO HIM WITH REAL SUFFERINGS
“I have not given any examples of Gurdjieff 's extraordinary gentleness and goodness to those in real distress. The following incident occurred four weeks before his death.
“I brought a Russian lady to see him. She had suffered terribly in the Revolution, having been raped by soldiers at the age of thirteen. She had never forgotten the horror of the experience and looked upon life itself as utterly vile. Finding in Gurdjieff' s teaching no trace of the sentimental optimism she abhorred, she had taken to it with all the fanatical zeal of which Russians are capable. When at last I was able to arrange for her to go to Paris, Gurdjieff was already a very sick man. Yet he accepted her; treating her as a daughter, and taking infinite pains to gain her confidence. He then set about convincing her that her life had a great meaning, providing only that she would allow that meaning to take shape. Her bitter feeling of the injustice of life prevented her from believing in the love of God. Gurdjieff was at pains to show that we as individual essences are not God's handiwork, but the results of heredity and the conditions of our conception. I had never before heard him speak of the importance of the moment of conception. He described the state of the father and mother: how they lie together in bed and experience the sounds and scents coming from the garden, and are happy; and so a human seed is sown that is destined for happiness. But if they are full of passion, angry with one another or with anyone else, or if the father is only thinking of his cheque book and how much the baby will cost—then all these influences filter the seed, and the essence is formed with tendencies to hatred and avarice. God is not responsible for this. He made man to be clean: if he is now dirty it is his own fault.
“I was in wonderment to see how this apparently harsh account of our human weaknesses brought peace and comfort to her. From the time of her visit, she was completely changed, as if the horrors of the past had been wiped clean away. I can remember many such instances of Gurdjieff 's completely disinterested goodness towards those who came to him with real sufferings. But if anyone came with some false motive, trying to get some personal benefit, Gurdjieff would be merciless. I saw tough business men so shattered that for a whole day they could not speak for weeping. Those who came from curiosity were treated usually to filthy or blasphemous language, especially directed against their own country and race, or anything else that might touch them on the raw.”
~ JG Bennett "Witness"