The inevitable paradox of creation.
It begins with the simple childhood question: If God is good why does he let bad things happen?
This valid query is usually brushed aside by priests and preachers, but it is not so easy to brush aside. From the perspective of The Work we reject the notion that God is all-powerful, while affirming that He is the creator. From that perspective, this question becomes less perplexing.
Consider the prayer: Holy God, Holy Immortal, Holy Firm, Have Mercy on us. (The Tales p752).
The Holy Firm referred to in this prayer is the greatest denying force in the universe, without exception. It is the foundation on which all moons, planets and suns stand. It exists in a vast multitude of places – all of them, the least vivifying points in the creation. As G says in In Search of the Miraculous (p323), the lowest square in the Diagram of Everything Living does not manifest on the surface of Earth and is in contact with The Holy Firm. He refers to the substance he calls H6144 as an incomplete Hydrogen. The text reads:
“It is an incomplete ‘hydrogen,’ he said. “A ‘hydrogen’ without the Holy Ghost. It belongs to the same, that is to the third, scale, but it is unfinished.
“Each complete ‘hydrogen’ is composed of ‘carbon,’ ‘oxygen,’ and ‘nitrogen.’ Now take the last ‘hydrogen’ of the third scale, ‘hydrogen’ 3072. This ‘hydrogen’ is composed of ‘carbon’ 512, ‘oxygen’ 1536, and ‘nitrogen’ 1024.
“Now further: ‘Nitrogen’ becomes ‘carbon’ for the next triad, but there is no ‘oxygen’ for it and no ‘nitrogen.’ Therefore by condensation it becomes itself ‘hydrogen’ 6144, but it is a dead hydrogen without any possibility of passing into anything further, a ‘hydrogen’ without the Holy Ghost.”
The Denying Force
If you equate the denying force with ‘Evil,’ then no matter how much evil you can conceive of, nothing can compare to the darkness of H6144. It is beyond our ability to comprehend.
In The Tales, when Beelzebub speaks of Lentrohamsanin as an Eternal Hasnammus Individual – the text reads:
“As a result of his inner what is called ‘double-gravity- centered’ existence, the ‘highest being-part’ of the presence of this terrestrial three-brained being was coated and perfected up to the required gradation of Objective Reason, and later this ‘highest being-part’ became, as I have once already told you, one of those three hundred and thirteen ‘highest being-bodies’ who are called ‘Eternal-Hasnamuss-individuals’ and who have the place of their further existence in the Universe on a small planet existing under the name of ‘Eternal-Retribution.’
Logically, this “planet” is composed of H6144 and is in contact with The Holy Firm. Just as Holy God is in contact with those individuals who have perfected themselves and are in contact with the Sun Absolute there are corresponding Hasnammus individuals that surround The Holy Firm.
So, in the creation the Absolute divides himself between two absolutes, one which you can, if you like, call “good” and the other “evil.” According to The Tales, he does this knowingly. (The Jewish Sefer Yetzirah tells a very similar story.)
This reveals the depth of the sorrow of our Endlessness.
Perhaps, in In Search of the Miraculous this is what G means, when the text reads:
Q “But do not good and evil exist in themselves apart from man?” asked someone present.
“They do,” said G., “only this is very far away from us and it is not worth your while even to try to understand this at present. Simply remember one thing. The only possible permanent idea of good and evil for man is connected with the idea of evolution; not with mechanical evolution, of course, but with the idea of man’s development through conscious efforts, the change of his being, the creation of unity in him, and the formation of a permanent I.
Another thing to consider, which few readers of The Tales notice is that it is (or appears to be) awash with contradictions. Beelzebub criticizes Tolstoy for his attempt to rewrite the Gospels (Chapter XII, The First Growl) and yet here’s Gurdjieff writing his own Gospel. What is so evil about Lentrohamsanin’s essay on freedom? Beelzebub is criticized for interfering with the operation of the Sun Absolute and yet Gurdjieff is interfering in a major way with Christianity (rewriting the Gospels in respect of Judas). In fact, there are very many apparent contradictions in The Tales.
It is, in my view, the task of the reader to become the neutralizing force in all such contradictions.