Talk:Alfred Richard Orage

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"Meaning and Aim of Existence"[edit]

Could someone please cite the "meaning and aim of existence" comment? Does it refer to this passage:

"We are a passion for understanding the meaning and aim of existence but we have only instinctive passions and thus fail to understand. Not one in a million has any interest in man as differentiated from himself; or else he is interested only in some happiness-reform. Being 99% abnormal, the-meaning-and-aim-of-existence means only instinctive advantage; and it is therefore an academic question. We are not on a plane where these questions have any real meaning for us." (The Essence of Orage)?

If so, the comment seems dubious; non-NPOV and out of context. If not, then a reference would be welcome.

Mds 18:46, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

It was a catchphrase used by Orage in a number of well-known quotes, it seems. For example also 'Humanity is the mind of God and the passion for understanding the meaning and aim of existence. You shouldn't really add a NPOV tag if you mostly are just querying a source. Charles Matthews 18:57, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Charles — while I agree that the NPOV tag is excessive for simple querying, in my reading of and on Orage I've not come across so stark a proclaimation as the one alleged in the article. In the quotes offered above, neither point toward a position of defeatism; I believe that the article carries with it some very definite implications about the results of Orage's association with Gurdjieff's teaching. Therefore I'd appreciate sourcing this claim. (Mds)

I myself don't have a pat answer - I didn't add it, and if it ultimately can't be sourced no doubt it will be cut. As it is, the Gurdjieff connection gets half a sentence (covering eight years), and the best way to improve the article would therefore be to add material on that. I quickly found plenty on the Web. Charles Matthews 22:35, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Very true; re-reading the article, the connexion between the closing comment and the Orage's association with Gurdjieff isn't as direct as I had previously read it. Expanding on both can only be beneficial — I'll look into this over the next week or so.

(Mds 14:58, 10 December 2005 (UTC))

From looking at MDS's quote, it seems as if Orage was beyond asking either "What is the meaning of life" or "What is the purpose of life". I interpret MDS's quote as him saying that the question is pointless, and that he has reached a level of awareness that goes beyond the need to ask those questions. After reading some of his essays, I just can't see him ask either of those two questions, unless he got a brain annurism before he died. Orage I think was concerned with the awareness and acceptance of a non-deluded self here and now. Those two questions would remove one from the focus of the here and now. I am no expert, but that's the way I see it. So saying that "that question is pointless" is VERY different from saying "I don't know the answer to that question". By putting it at the end of the article, it's suggesting that everything he did was to answer those questions and that his life was in vain. Very misleading!


In reading my comments a second time, I see that perhaps I read too much into the first quote. The first quote by mds seems to be stating that as humans we do not concern ourselves as much as we should with the question of the meaning of existence because it is not essential for survival. The quote that Charles Matthews proposes actually answer the question that the meaning of life is found in the passion for understanding. But we still don't know what the statement in the article was based on. If they were based on either of the two quotes postulated here, clearly the statement that Orage "had obtained no insight into the 'meaning and aim of existence'" is outright wrong. If it was based on something else, I agree with Charles Matthews that the source of the information must be identified. And once again, just like news media can twist the truth just be deciding what stories to cover and what stories to omit, the truth can also be twisted by placing statements out of context in incorrect places. In this case the statement is used as some sort of punctuation that Orage's quest for knowledge ended in futility. It should be removed until the writer provides the source of the statement.

Ndavidg 23:53, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Removed 'meaning and aim of existence'[edit]

I've removed this quote, as it has been uncited for about a year now, and therefore the POV tag. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 20:31, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Removed 'With Orage in the works' section[edit]

This section was a long list of people of varying notability, annotated very sketchily, who were connected (sometimes very tenuously) with ARO for the later part of his life. Removed as random listcruft. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 16:32, 7 June 2010 (UTC)