Anywhere we see destruction, discord, argument, and competition, we can be sure that the Presence is not with it. And the Presence is under constant threat, especially by the literalism of today's world. If Gurdjieff was concerned that there had been a striking deterioration in any awareness of that Presence in earlier eras, the problem is exponentially compounded today. We may even be seeing the gradual decay and destruction of that last untouched property of man's essence, conscience.
Presence is an inner action which never denotes my presence — it always denotes the Presence of the Lord. I need to be quite clear about the difference between the two, and understand it.
The danger, of course, is that no matter how much the Lord is manifestly present within, the ego thinks it knows. It is so deeply and irrevocably entangled with this outer world that its action cannot be denied; and even the knowing of the Lord's Presence does not cure this ill.
Every time I get entangled in that end of the thread of understanding, I don't see its length and breadth. I only see the knot at one end.