The Herald of Coming Good: First appeal to Contemporary Humanity
The Herald of Coming Good was first published in 1933, apparently as a prelude to the publication of Gurdjieff’s three series of books under the common title of All and Everything. It was written in the obtuse and difficult style of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. As such, it is a mysterious work. Why did he write it like that?
In publishing it, Gurdjieff proclaimed, “Contrary to the established custom, I shall not only permit this first book of mine, as well as the books of the first series, to be reprinted in any country but, if necessary, I am willing to subsidize it, on the condition of course that absolute accuracy is preserved.”
It pretends to be a marketing vehicle for attracting people to the Work, with registration blanks for readers to fill in, should they wish to subscribe to the books of the First Series. Some would be inclined to accuse it of being the least effective marketing document ever written.
The goal was clearly not marketing. Indeed it is difficult to know what Gurdjieff had in mind. The casual reader is unlikely to make much sense of it, but serious readers of Gurdjieff’s writings will find its contents valuable, particularly in helping to understand The Tales.
Edited by Robin Bloor, This version of the book has been “translated” into American English. It also includes a rendering of the prospectus for Gurdjieff’s
Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man.
As an adjunct to the book, there are some notes about The Herald made by the editor of this publication. They do not constitute a complete analysis. Nevertheless, they may prove useful to the reader.