“The mistake is that the concept “serious” is taken conditionally. One thing is serious for one man and another thing for another man. In reality seriousness is one of the concepts which can never and under no circumstances be taken conditionally. Only one thing is serious for all people at all times.
“If a man could understand all the horror of the lives of ordinary people who are turning round in a circle of insignificant interests and insignificant aims, if he could understand what they are loosing, he would understand that there can be only one thing that is serious for him–to escape from the general law, to be free. What can be serious for a man in prison who is condemned to death? Only one thing: How to save himself, how to escape: nothing else is serious.”
“There can be different wars and there can be different patriots,” said G. “You all still believe in words–realize how much idle talk is hidden behind them. People who shout about their patriotism are psychopaths.”
In Search of the Miraculous
Ouspensky on the work of Gurdjieff, Copyright 1949