THE ABSOLUTE by Eugene Halliday
[Recorded in Liverpool sometime between the late 1950’s - early 60’s]
1. …. Two totally dissimilar questions here, must be fundamentally identical I think. The long one says: The definition of a fact is an act of perception. You have stated that ‘all’ is an eternal fact. If the Absolute can only perceive through a finite, does this then suppose the universe, and all beings within it, are already finited in all their stages of evolution?
2. We say, ”Yes,” let’s see if we can show it.
3. “A fact is an act of perception,” we’ve got. We’ve had this before, the ‘f-t’; the ‘f’ here refers to the force involved in the act, and the ‘fact’ is always TO an observer; and the observer’s own force, his attention, is going out to meet another force. This force is travelling along, and another force meets it, and the two together - where they meet – rotate, and produce a fact. That is, a force and a counterforce, the two meet and bring into being a fact - an act of force; an act of observation. And all facts ever conceived in the universe have been conceived inside someone’s consciousness. You know that Bishop Barkley (Berkeley?) used this to prove that there are no non-perceived facts. And that ‘to be’ is ‘to be perceived’. And he postulated, to cover all the facts not perceived by human beings, God as a Supreme Observer. We cannot conceive a fact without a consciousness to observe the fact, because by a ‘fact’ we mean a process within a consciousness. So if we try to imagine a fact outside any consciousness whatever we are illegitimately transferring something from consciousness (which we call a fact perceived) outside the frame of consciousness and projecting it into a hypothetical non-consciousness with all the qualities that belong to ‘being perceived’. That is, to being presented in a consciousness. … It sounds very simple …
4. It says here, “If the Absolute can only perceive through a finite, does not this suppose that the universe and all beings in it are already finited in all their stages of evolution?”
5. Well it doesn’t actually logically presuppose that in the form here put. At first, when it says, “If the Absolute can only perceive through a finite…” Does the Absolute perceive ‘through a finite’? This depends upon the meaning of the ‘perceived’ … Well this … we put it in a bit of …. Near to its Latin form … that ‘perc’ means ‘through’, and it also means ‘rational’; it is a process of ‘rationally going through’ and the ‘cip’ or ‘kip’ part is the form formulation. To perceive is to rationally cut out from the Absolute; or to cut out against a background of the Absolute.
6. Let the paper represent the Absolute for a moment, where there are no marks drawn on it. That paper now is the Absolute Sentient Power. The Absolute Sentient Power is the Spirit of God. If it doesn’t move; if it doesn’t produce marks on itself, then there is no ‘perception’, no ‘rational cutting’, and there is no formal presentation. If on the other hand the Absolute moves, it produces in its movements ‘forms’ of movements. As they traverse the paper as I move it I can capture with my eye a shape and say, “I’ll represent that shape in a waveform.” That line I’ve drawn is simply a line I saw in the movement of the paper as I waved it about. And I’ve abstracted that waveform and recorded it with a piece of chalk.
7. Now I have brought into being a finite, and I now perceive it. I rationally cut it out (05.00) from the background totality of motions of the Absolute. So all perceptions whatever, by definition of ‘perception’ are cuttings rationally made from an absolute. The Absolute is simultaneous in all its parts; its parts are simply the Absolute perceived by partial perceivers.
8. A man is a vehicle of perception, he’s ‘a finite’, and because he’s a finite vehicle he perceives – that is to say he receives finitely – that which absolutely is infinite. Because we have a physical body, and this physical body has a limit, when stimuli come to it they are reflected inside the body – whatever level they come. And this internal process goes to the limit (the skin surface of the body if you like; the limiting factor) and it is reflected back and forth inside that limit. And therefore the finite form of the vehicle produces the fact of finite perception. If the vehicle were infinite, first of all it wouldn’t be a vehicle; and secondly if it were infinite it would have no percepts. That is it would not have a rational cut-out from the Absolute; it would see only the Absolute; it would be identical to the Absolute, by the removal of its finiting vehicle.
9. So the first part’ “The Absolute can only proceed through a finite,” we turn round and say, “Where there is perception, THERE is a finite vehicle.” And this finite vehicle exists in, of, for, and through, the Absolute, which has produced it.
10. The vehicle has a function, a use, and the Absolute has produced the vehicles, some of which are our won bodies. And through these bodies, the motions of the Absolute reach finity. They get into the bodies and reflect against the perimeters, and this reflection is perception.
11. So where there is perception within a finite being like man, the force of it is the Absolute appearing within a circumscribed or finiting limit.
12. You can see immediately that if we put a force into a triangular being, the mode of reflection of that force will not be the same as if we put it into a square being, or a circular being; where we would expect the mode of reflection in the circular being to be different from that of a square, or a triangle, or a crescent. If we take these simple geometrical forms and call them characters, then the mode of perception is a resultant of the character of the being. The receiving being reflects the Absolute inside itself according to its characteristic shape. This means that no two dissimilar shapes can perceive the same fact. Only insofar as we can attain similarity of shape can we perceive the same facts. If we all learnt the same concepts, then when the Absolute works through us, we will have the same percepts, at that conceptual level.
13. The concept is a form that we insert in the mind, and when the absolute force enters that concept it reflects within that concept. And if the concept is identical in two different people, then the force of the Absolute is interpreted by them in an identical manner. This is why it is said that the percepts of all sages, all see-ers, are the same. They all see the same because they all have the same conceptual vehicle that reflects the Absolute Infinite in the same way.
14. Now he second part of it is, “The beings within the universe are already finited in all their stages of evolution.” And this is rather a funny one; it says’ “A baby, and the same being grown up to be a child, and grown up further to be a youth, and grown up a bit further to be an adult, in the universe (in eternity) all these stages are simultaneously existing.” Which is a very peculiar thought. In time, we see an egg; and an embryo; then a baby; and then a child; then a youth; and then a man, and so on separately. And as one stage appears, the other stages disappear. (10.00) But in eternity this cannot be so, and we know that it cannot be so because that adult carries inside an egg, which he posits, and the egg then proceeds to develop through the same stages. Somehow, all these stages are mysteriously contained in association with the egg. This means at some level of being: the egg; the embryo; the baby; the child; the youth; the adult, are simultaneously co-presented. In eternity, every phase through which we go co-exists. We can actually find sometimes in psychological cases, pathologs, that they can regress through certain stimuli acting on them, so that an adult can be knocked back by a suggestion (sound or hypnosis any by other techniques) and made to react like a youth; made to react like a child; made to react like a baby; made to act like an embryo; made to react like an egg.
15. On whatever level he is regressed to, which we can experimentally demonstrate he will show the characteristic reflexes of that stage, and the other reflexes that belong to the later stages do not appear.
16. And if a person has been regressed to level of an embryo and he recalls his reflexes and experiences, and then we bring him back again say to the level of the adult and ask him to reproduce with his physical body the reflexes he has just experienced as an embryo, he cannot by individual effort of will do it; and yet e has just done it. You can show responses, reflex responses, in a person proper to his age, and then regress his to an earlier stage, and he will then show the reflexes proper to an earlier stage; and when he’s brought back - by act of will, he cannot as an individual – induce these earlier reflexes. And yet somehow, very, very, mysteriously they’re there.
17. So then we have to consider the human being in another way. A way not the usual way – somewhere there is an egg, and an embryo, and a child, and so on. These are all simultaneous and co-existent, and a blow from outside (a shock) can cause any level to disappear as a function; a regression to a childish level can occur.
18. We usually talk about a man as if he were a portion of that. “At one time it’s an egg; and the next is an embryo, the others don’t exist: and then he was a child and a youth, and so on.” When we d o this we are talking AS IF a man were just as much as we see of him in the time process. Whereas in fact, from the evidence we have, apart from ontological considerations, the WHOLE man is the real man; the man who is simultaneously containing all the phases through which he has been. So that this body of the man - from egg through to grown adult – we could give another name, and we could call it, if we like, ‘The Long Body’. It has been called ‘The Long Body’ before.
19. ‘The Short Body’ is how he looks now, and ‘The Long Body’ is the totality of all the phases of that man from his egg state through to his adult state.
20. Now all these phases through which he goes, can only be gone through and retained providing they are simultaneous. At each stage that we see a person in, there is another stage we can’t see waiting to appear, and another stage that did appear and now is not. So that the ‘time man’ (the ‘Short Body’) is travelling along his ‘Long Body’. The total man has a stress upon him, and he may have a seven year-old stress or a twenty-one year-old stress on his ‘Long Body’. And we recognise people in time by the place of this stress in their ‘Long Body’. But the Whole Man contains all these phases.
21. Now the Whole Man therefore is a peculiarly unique thing, and has a name – that is, a form, which resounds (has resonance) within the Absolute. And the name of that ‘Long Body’ is not the name that he is known by in the temporal process, but it is the name that is the resultant, and at the same time the fundamental, of the totality of harmonics (15.00) which constitute his being.
22. He has a mysterious name, which is his characteristic and unique vibration and is unknowable to any other finite, “No man knows it’ save he who receives it,” and the only other knowing of it other than his own knowing as an individual is the knowing of the Absolute. So if any individual wanted to find out the secret name of another individual, he could only do it by abandoning identification with the individual and becoming Absolute, and from the Absolute level feeling and perceiving the constituent vibrations of the finite being he is considering. So we are saying that in our original diagram of space impulses of the Absolute, which we repeat, are simply circles constructed quite geometrically, and which we could go on covering the paper with, and the centre of each circle is a primary impulse, and the perimeter of each circle is the reaction zone between the initiating centre and the motions from other centres. The totality of all these interlation forms is the ‘Logos’.
23. This Logos is with God (that is, with the Absolute) and IS God, that is – is the formulating creative principle. And inside this Logos, by the very nature of the impulse from the centre there are unique individuals. No centre can become another centre, every centre is self-initiating, and the totality of all these centres constitute a very, very, peculiar big centre = which big centre we call God.
24. You can see immediately that if we start at any given centre, we can go round, and very quickly we cover the territory with six circles, and if we want to put a super-stress on it, we make one circle out of six, and that makes an individual with six other individuals on the inside. And the little individuals on the inside are sub-entities of the big one; and this makes the human being, within Cosmos, a ‘sub-ent’ of Cosmos. So that human beings are peculiarly ‘members’ of God, that is – they are ‘sub-ents’ in the body of God; ‘sub-ents’ in the body of Cosmos. And just in the same way that we act sometimes sensibly and sometimes non-sensibly upon ‘sub-ents’ within our own body, so God can act upon ‘sub-ents’ within his body only in his case, not non-sensibly.
25. He can, and does, induce a change in any finite misbehaving, by simply contracting or expanding the zone of the superior being, which encloses it. So If the earth is the centre of a particular kind of disturbance, those disturbances spread through the Cosmos, and Cosmos in its finest and subtlest aspects has to produce only the slightest modification somewhere out here to alter the whole dynamic state of the earth and the result is the plans of human beings to dominate the situation are set at nought – and by forces so subtle you don’t even know they exist.
26. Now this ties in with the next question, which is much shorter, and says, “Why is there no remission of sin without the shedding of blood?”
27. When we talk about blood in the human body we are talking about something which as has always symbolised to the ancients the life principle itself. In the words of Goethe in ‘Faust’, “Blood is a very peculiar substance,” a very special substance. Somehow water, plus some mineral salts, plus something (plus ‘X’) is able to resonate in a very peculiar manner with the Absolute. Through the blood of the individual, forces are conveyed from beyond the individual man, into the nervous system and brain and intelligence of man; and this blood is mediating these super individual motions, with the individual. It is the means whereby some mysterious forces get into the body which do not get in half so efficiently if we drain all the blood out of somebody.
28. Now let’s have a look. Supposing we say that the Ancients thought ‘symbolically’, and ‘blood’ they meant the life principle in any body. We have an individual man (20.00), his zone of influence some more individual men, and so on.
29. A group of these men constitute, perhaps, a family, or a tribe; and then we start off again at the tribal side, and we build them up again and we get another six; and we tie these together, and that’s a nation. And then we start of again at the same size, and we go on doing this, and we make a confederation of nations. Each time we are drawing the wheels within wheels that Ezekiel saw in his vision. Now we are getting this bigger and bigger –terrestrial life itself; planetary life; bigger and bigger – solar life; sidereal life, and so on. We are going out bigger and bigger and bigger, and no matter how far we go, by ‘blood’ we mean ‘the life principle’.
30. Down here at the individual level we can talk about, “The blood of an individual man,’’ here we can talk about, ”The blood of humanity,” as opposed to, “The blood of animality,” or “The chlorophyll blood of the plant world,” and so on. We can talk about, ”Planetary blood, Solar blood, Sidereal blood, cosmic blood, and ‘The Blood of God’,” meaning ‘the very life principle in God’. Now it says,” Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” And sin is defined as ‘the missing of the mark’ and the ‘mark’ is to ‘become developed to the level of absolute consciousness and identity with the purpose of God’, and to miss that ‘mark’ is to get stuck somewhere as a finite.
31. Well, when you’re a finite you’re being sinful, and if you have any life within you at all locked-up, that life is going to cease to become life, it will become born and it will die through sheer locked-in-ness of its own being unless it receives an influx of blood from a higher level.
32. Every individual experiences this. If as an individual we become isolated and don’t know what to do with ourselves, and somebody comes in from outside – we haven’t seen them for ten years – and they knock on the door and march in. And at that moment, life expands and the blood circulates. “Where have you been?”A peculiar thing, a new interest has come in. And it has come in because there came in from outside a new flux of life principle, a new blood. The same thing happens when the white people or the black people or the brown people, after thousands of years of separation are driven together and begin to let in other blood, it injects a new attitude to life, a new vitality.
33. Consequently all finites whatever are requiring an influx of the blood of the Absolute … that is the life principle of the Absolute ….God.
34. And consequently, if this blood does not come in then that being cannot be released from its separativity and its ‘locked-up-ness’. But, as far as the Absolute is concerned, that blood is shed.
35. Here is an individual enlarged and he has a boundary, and that boundary is especially there to keep that individual individuated, and he is grabbing on (holding on) to his individuality. Now if we stick a knife into him in the finite world and let the blood run out of him this way, his life diminishes. But if we don’t drill a hole in him somehow, he’s going to remain locked in his finity and perish. So somehow we’ve got to let the life force of the cosmos and of the Absolute through cosmos into him. And it can only be, as far as cosmos is concerned that actual imission of cosmic blood, of God’s blood, into the finited individual. From God’s point of view He has spilled his blood inwards. The finite man in a crime of violence spills his blood outwards; God spills his blood inwards. And if this absolute spirit does not spill inwards into the individual man then there is no vitality in him.
36. If we take an egg in a woman and just leave it alone and do nothing with it, after a time it will perish, it is no good. But if there is an entrance (25.00) of spermatic logos into that egg, as soon as it gets inside, something starts up – a process starts up inside – mitosis starts, and out of this you get a new baby, a new life.
37. There is only one law, and the same law holding good in this fertilisation is holding good currently.
38. The shedding of that blood of the Absolute is the pre-condition of the gaining of energy to break out of the bond of sin, for that being to expand his concept and become bigger. He must have this energy from outside, from God, to press against his limiting wall and push it out further. And because it is the life principle it is called the blood of God, and because it has to be inserted by a being that has nothing outside itself, so it is said to be an imission to produce a remission. This blood is shed into the finite.
39. And when we consider this very carefully any force whatever entering into a finite situation presses against its perimeter and enlarges it, and, if no such force comes, then the finite being remains at its level or worse happens.
40. If it moves at all without gaining energy it is radiating energy away form itself through its skins surface. So that if you work very, very, hard and throw off a lot of heat through hard work you’ve lost the energy generated from the food you’ve eaten, and if you don’t get any more food back you will lose weight very rapidly and the harder you work the more weight you will lose. So not only do you not expand your territory if you don’t get an influx of the cosmic blood, you actually shrink because you move and you act internally and you are a continually diminishing quantity, and you are on the way to the final stage when you have nothing left to lose. A completely locked-in individual who cannot break out. And you can see from this that apart from this force from outside which comes in freely, gratia, freely, gracefully, there is no possible hope for an individual. The individual finited, cannot possibly help himself, from himself, in the absence of another force outside himself pressing in.
41. Are there any particular points we can enlarge upon here?
42. Question: ”What is the relationship with force coming in and the persons own centre of imminent spirit?”
43. Let’s have a look. We say that when a force rotates it can’t go to the dead centre, so it always leaves inside itself a zone of immanent spirit. That zone of immanent spirit is untouched paper, and beyond, the transcendent spirit, is untouched paper too. So they are qualitatively identical, and yet in a very peculiar way they are separated by the function of the action band. When two finites come together and collide, their collision disturbs their being, and it may actually disrupt the being and make it fall to bits, so that in the contingent stimulus situation, instead of the orders coming from immanent spirit only, they are coming from external stimuli.
44. Now the immanent spirit, which is identical with the transcendent spirit, is trying to organise a finite territory because this finite territory of the individual vehicle has a function. Namely it enables perception to actualise itself and God to be realised in man. The enemy of this perception of God realised in man is the external stimulus overthrowing the organising activity of the inner spirit. The inner spirit is surrounded immediately by this Logos Principle; and then the mind, and the five-pointed star symbolising the five senses. So the relation between the two is that they are really co-operating for the same end. There’s a dialogue going on between the immanent spirit in man and the transcendent spirit (30.00) of the Absolute, and the dialogue exists because the vehicle exists between them. The Eternal Spirit (the Initiative Centre) is sending orders to organize this vehicle properly, and the Transcendent Spirit is helping to manipulate the position of this vehicle to make sure that it gets the next appropriate stimulus to help its organization.
45. So we have the body vehicle characterised by mass-inertia, a centre of free initiative trying to organize it and make it responsive and an infinite beyond of Transcendent Spirit, and the immanent and the transcendent are not disconnected, they are a continuum represented by the paper so that the information Transcendent is conveyed to the Immanent, and the Immanent then sends a message into the vehicle, and the information is, ”Go in a certain direction to get your next contingent stimulus.”
46. So, as a man becomes more and more aware of this - becomes more ‘Field Conscious’ - and more aware of the need in his own vehicle for a given type of experience to raise the sensitivity and response capacity of his vehicle. The information of where that situation is in which he may develop is contained in the Transcendent Spirit in the field of the Absolute and is transmitted to the Immanent Spirit, and the immanent Spirit then gives a decision to move the vehicle in a given direction.
47. Question: “Yes. I didn’t formulate the question well enough … The arrow in the previous diagram symbolises the inward shedding of God’s blood. Does this represent energy translating itself through another finite thus causing contingent relations, otherwise why isn’t the Immanent Centre used which in any case is substantial to ‘it’ and to God?”
48. Well for this reason; let’s look very, very, carefully and see what happens. There is the zone of action, and this action is fundamentally a rotating system in the middle of which is there is a non-rotating. Now this action band is in contingent relation with other action bands, and when the action bands collide, they cloud each other with mutual stimulation, so that the fall content within the vehicle at the contingent level is a product ot the contingent clashing of the beings.
49. Now, underneath this contingent action is spirit, which is like the paper, but the intention of the spirit is to make finite unique individuals, each developed with some talent in a specific direction in order to make manifest all formal possibilities of the Absolute. To ‘make manifest’ is ‘to finite’; if there is no finiting process, there is no manifestation; and if there is no manifestation there is no value. So to make value there has to be a manifestation, a finiting process, and that must be made by setting up an inertic system. And then across this system here there is obscuration of the Transcendent and the Immanent. But the Immanent Spirit, although it is non-different from the Transcendent qualitatively, is different spatially; it is located within the contingent, within the finite vehicle.
50. Its problem is to organize internally this vehicle in such a way that all the passion of the internal vehicle echoes this fundamental fact of spirit, this eternal geometrising of events. When it has done so it has made a vehicle, which still exists and is a filter through which the energies of transcendence pass, and the energies of Immanent Spirit pass and produce a dialogue between Immanent and Transcendent spirit within the vehicle. The Transcendent gives infinite information to all beings. The Immanent selects from this infinite, the finite information needed for the further development of this unique vehicle. (35.00)
51. So there’s a real between Immanent Spirit and Transcendent Spirit within the vehicle although Immanent Spirit and Transcendent Spirit are absolutely non-different – there’s nevertheless a functional dialogue between them.
52. Transcendence itself gives the information, and in the process called ‘The Curse’ can alter the resistances in any given direction so that the vehicle tends to move. If the resistance on one side is lowered, which means the Transcendent Spirit simply moves away from that zone rather rapidly more than it does on the other side there arises in the vehicle a tendency to move in that direction. The Immanent Spirit seeing this can then move in that direction or it can decide to go in another direction according to the formal necessities of the evolution of the vehicle.
53. Remember, really it is a vehicle that we are perfecting. When St Paul says, “First a physical body and then a spiritual body,” he’s saying if we don’t organise our physical body we cannot make a spiritual body. And the spiritual body suffuses the physical body from which it has grown, just like heat goes through a bar of iron, although without the bar of iron you couldn’t localise the heat – and yet the heat is not the iron. In the same way, the spirit that is in the vehicle of a man is not that body, and yet without that body it cannot appear.
54. So first of all we have to have a physical vehicle, we have to be a baby and get restricted and thwarted in our desires, conditioned, characterised, fight against it, not always agree with it and in so doing characterise the internal structure of our vehicle, and in this process of characterisation arises the unique nature of the individual, and yet the whole process is a dialogue between Immanent and Transcendent Spirit.
55. Question: ”Is that how God the Son was able to speak to God the father?”
56. Just in that way. See … Probably the hardest concept is this, (in Indian metaphysics) the concept of the Advaita; ‘non-dual Absolute’ - not the Monistic Absolute. Monism implies a finiting process. You can’t have a ‘one’ without drawing yourself a contour to ‘bind’ that ‘one’. The statement, “There is one God,” is a statement about a finite process: the statement, “There are not two Gods,” is really a higher statement.
57. Shankara, who had a mind far transcending the monistic mind of the ordinary philosopher, refused to accept this monistic concept because it is a finiting concept. If you say, ”There is one God,” and you use the word “One” to mean ‘that which can be located and differentiated from other beings’; if you say that, you have already imposed upon yourself a concept. Thus if a man says, “There is one God,” this God can be divided from the Devil by definition; he can be divided from his creatures by definition, because “One” means that you have factually circumscribed Him and you characterise Him in a certain way in the act of defining Him. Whereas in the non-dual statement you cannot say that, “God is one”; you can only say the he is, “Not two, and not more than two,” and consequently the Devil and the creatures cannot escape him.
58. By this method of non-dual thinking, the God-Head can be seen in its true perspective, and the meaning of the, “God above God,” can be seen; and the meaning of the double expression in the prologue of the Gospel of John, that, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with THE God, and the word was A God.” This is quite clear in the original in ‘John’ that “A God” refers to this form, than which we can conceive no larger. Draw ‘the circle than which you can conceive no larger’, that is God. But it is not THE God, because beyond that circle is THE God, and this is mystically called ‘The God above God’, for that corresponds with (40.00) the non-dual Absolute of Shankara.
59. It’s a tricky concept only because we are trained in Europe to think in terms of unity instead of non-duality. Unity we can locate, there’s a ‘uni-’ and a ‘-ty’ on the end. If we don’t get that ‘-ty’ on the end we can’t get this ‘unit’; there’s a cross there; and there’s an affirmation there. There’s ‘Y-N-T’ and that is the Crucifixion, but is a reference to The God the Son; to the crucified God crucified on the cosmic body, but beyond this is the Father that He speaks to.
60. The Immanent Spirit in man is the Christ-Mind in that man, and it is talking across and through the vehicle to God the Father, who is the non-dual Absolute. To realise this, is to realise the possibility of an intelligent dialogue between internal intelligence in man and the transcendent intelligence beyond it.
61. The peculiar fact is that intelligence can function in this way. Those people who are Monists, Christian Monists, who are Unitarians, Christian Unitarians, and cannot comprehend the meaning of the Trinity, are failing to observe that the essence of intelligence, of personality, is such that it is not necessarily monistic. It can function intelligently, mutually inter-penetrating itself with its own personalities (its own persons) so that the Absolute, the Godhead, God the Father, exists as a person with an intelligence that is Absolute and absolutely personal. Simultaneously inside there is the Christ Mind, which is also a person – and this person is in an eternal dialogue with the father; and across this ridge of the vehicle flies the motion which goes from the Father to the Son all the time and this is the Holy Ghost, but this also is a person. It isn’t a figure of speech, there is a person inside, something sounding through the vehicle - ‘persona’ through sounding - it does not mean a mask as it’s translated in the dictionary; it means, ‘that which sounds through’. A mask is put on, something sounds through, and afterwards they say, “Oh! The mask is the thing sounding through.” But it isn’t, the mask re-presents, or represents, in form, to show you the character of what it is that is sounding through.
62. Now the Theosophists and some others have completely inverted the meaning of ‘personality’ and ‘individuality’; they say the individuality is the indivisible, the unbreakable unity, and the personality is the mask. And it causes tremendous confusion when you find men like Steiner and others who are talking Anthroposophical an Theosophical terms borrowed from people of the order of Blavatsky without understanding the inversion has occurred.
63. If I draw a funny mask like this, and behind that mask there is a man, and this man is speaking through the mask, and persona is used (meaning ‘through sounding’), that which is through sounding is the man behind the mask, but he puts the mask on to show you the nature, the character, of the voice that is coming through. So if we put on a Chinese mast then we put on a Chinese voice and we identify with the ‘Chinese’ concept. That means that the Spirit is ‘Chinese-ing’ itself. And that is the ‘persona coming through the mask.
64. Now through the jargon of the Theosophical Society’s members and others, this has been inverted and they have said ‘persona’ refers to this thing – this superficial mask, and as such personality is no good, and they talk about ‘The Cult of Personality’, ‘The cult of Superficiality’ and so on. Whereas, factuality, and philosophically in its proper sense, the unique organizing Immanent Spirit is speaking through its vehicle (45.00) and ‘persona’ means ‘that which is speaking through’, it does not mean ‘that which is spoken through’.
65. So the true person is that which is speaking through that vehicle, and the vehicle has been thought to be the mask, and ‘persona’ has been said to mean the ‘mask’ where in fact it means ‘the being speaking through that vehicle’, or superficial covering. Now the word ‘individuality’ has been cut to mean ‘non-dividual’ but it doesn’t mean a negation here, it means ‘in a state of dividuation’ which means ‘in a state of finity’ which means ‘in a state where you can cut through it and analyse it’.
66. So the essence of individuality is analysable form and as such it is subject to analysis, corruption, and death. Whereas a ‘person’ is not subject to any such analysis because it is the Immanent Spirit speaking through that which is subject to analysis. You can analyse the individuality in terms of form but you cannot analyse ‘that which is speaking through’. And these two terms which are used in philosophy in the way I’ve just defined them were inverted by Blavatsky and company through careless use of dictionary where they read ‘persona’ equals a ‘mask’, and thought, “Well that means ‘superficial’,” and then they had to decide what to do with the word individual, so they decided it meant ‘not divided’ instead of ‘in a state of division’.
67. This inversion caused tremendous confusion in certain literatures. You find that even in the Gurdjieff and Ouspensky department this theosophical usage of the word ‘persona’ comes out. The personality is treated as superficial instead of, as the existentialist philosophy would treat it, as the very unique essence of that being coming into existence as this individuality; and in the process expressing and manifesting and developing its uniqueness in the existential situation.
68. So that we can say, in this diagram, there is a dialogue between what is inside that peculiar thing called ‘mask’, the Immanent Spirit of that being speaking through that covering and having a dialogue with ‘the beyond’. Beyond that is the Infinite Spirit, and inside there is the Immanent Spirit ... (Did I say Transcendent?) …. The Transcendent Spirit beyond the circle, the Immanent Spirit within it. The Immanent Spirit speaks outwards and says to the Transcendent, “How am I doing?” And the Transcendent says, “You are doing in suchwise, I think you’d better go over there and meet another little being, a bit blacker than you are, or with a tendency to triangularity to complete your education.”
69. This dialogue goes on the more and more obviously, the more you become conscious of it. If you listen very carefully inside yourself with complete honesty, and ask – knowing that this Transcendence is non-different from you and has information that as an individual you haven’t got – and you ask it, “What should I do next in order to perfect the image of my true being in myself?” and listen. You will actually hear, in your own language (because your own language is a filter mechanically inbuilt to translate mechanically – like a little electronic brain does at a conference) to translate mechanically the information of the absolute into terms acceptable by the individual action level of yourself. You then hear, within these terms a statement’ “You go West-Southwest and there you will find the next step leading you on to higher levels of evolution.”
70. This dialogue exists all the time, with most individuals it’s most heightened when they’re asleep, in bed instead of us sleepwalking about in the street, but it can become made so heightened, so intense, that you can hear the information being given internally to you (50.00) in this dialogue of the Immanent and Transcendent as clearly as you can hear an ordinary conversation in day-to-day talking.
71. It is important, when you are doing that dialogue work, that you are not duped. The Immanent Spirit is in relation with the Transcendent Spirit - they are in dialogue – but from the contingent relation, stimuli have inserted false voices and false recommendations from the contingent situation. You have to distinguish between these two voices; the voice of transcendent Spirit telling you the information you want and the voice of contingent stimulation telling you something it’s time you transcended in any case. And the way to tell them is quite easy, they have a totally different quality. When Transcendence tells you something you will never feel an inclination from it to push you; it never pushes you, it merely says, “What is,” very, very, quietly. There are lots of earthquakes and bangings and loud winds, and then the still small voice.
72. Transcendence, because of its nature cannot make a big bang and a horrid noise and a grinding impulsive grinding, it just quietly says, “X is not Y, and you know where you’re up to, do you want X or Y?” And then it leaves it to you, the rest is ‘your pigeon’. Your reply is to choose. Transcendence presents you with spiritual data, Immanence chooses from it. Transcendence never insists, never compels, so when you are testing to see if your voice is of the Devil or of God you have a very, very, simple means of knowing.
73. If there is any driving impulse in the voice telling you to do something, even if it nudges you on a but, it is not Transcendent Spirit, it belongs in the realm of contingent stimulation, and you feel a definite impulse in the body to do or not do the thing, and this is the test.
74. When you feel an impulse in your body, when you put the question to yourself, “What shall I do?” If you feel a physical tendency to want to do it, or a mental tendency to say, “Oh, jolly good, I like that,” or, “jolly good, I hate that, I’ll break it.” Whatever tendency you feel and impulse, as soon as such appears it is a demonstration that you are suffering from the Devil, that is from contingent stimulation.
75. Now it has a function as you see in the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation’” or’ “Put us not to the test,” according to the translation; it has a value because it is educating us in choice: Transcendence leaves us free to choose, and it presents us with the necessary data to choose from; but contingence doesn’t leave us free, it prevents us with data with a kick in them, and we have to learn to be free. And the only way we ca learn to be free is by being pushed, and then refusing to go in the direction of the push. If we don’t get pushed then we are not free. We must be able to be pushed and not to go in the direction of the push. So without the push as the temptation to see whether we will go we can never understand what it means to be free, because to be free means to be in the presence of a push, and not to go in the direction of that push.
76. Question: “Could that be summarised by saying, “You just want to do the thing,” and then go on right ahead and do it?”
77. No, no! Because that might be a purely contingent result of laziness.
78. If you look at the list of the ‘Seven Deadlies’, there is one there that occurs, sloth, which shows just how contingent stimuli can actually encourage you to do absolutely nothing about the thing, and also the rationalising process will say … I think Feiffer (?) said it best in a little drawing about the man arguing with himself lying on the ground, telling himself to get up, and insulting himself, and he goes through the strip and comes to the end picture ... So he’s told himself off through every picture, and in the end he says, “I don’t need to get married, I can nag myself” … You see .. Thus he’s still on his back – That’s the point!
79. The rationalising process is the process whereby any inclination of the will, any impulse, goes through the record of contingent evidences inside here, and causes resonances in those that support the inclination. This inclination can actually go through all your information and produce evidences; reasons, why you should still lie on your back in bed in the face of all the evidence of Immanence and Transcendence … And that’s the Devil.
80. But you shouldn’t worry about it because it’s an educational process. If you get overcome by the Devil and stay in bed today, it’s quite all right; tomorrow the bailiffs will be in to collect the bed. The world is built in such a way that if you don’t learn your lesson on a Monday, you can learn it on a Tuesday. And if you don’t learn the lesson of pulling yourself together before you’re dead, on your deathbed at least you’ll know you didn’t pull yourself together, and that you’ve missed it. And then if you have a contrite heart but manage to defect (?) before the heart stops beating, you’re not so bad. At least you’ll go into the next world with a clear conscience that you did manage to do it. If on the other hand in the midst of your wickedness you are hit by a bus and flattened before you have come to this decession you go into the next world with a slight, “Didn’t manage to make it before the bus hit me.” And this sensation that one has - that one didn’t manage to make it before the bus hit us - is called Hell. You notice that in the Book of Revelations it says, “You can’t do this (…?.); you can’t, after you’ve been hit say, “Well, I was just about to reform,” In its quaint old language it says, “Let him who stinks, stink still.”
81. So you cannot reform after you’ve been hit and the reason is a quite simple psychological one - that you know inside your own mind that you didn’t do it. It doesn’t need God to point at you, you know you didn’t reform and the bus hit you. And you are your own enemy because you have a pretty picture of yourself smart enough to reform just before you got hit. And the disparity between these two pictures is Hell. Hell is simply the state of a man who didn’t manage to pull himself together before the bus hit him; and it’s Hell because he knows he didn’t. So that he didn’t live up to his own pretty picture, so he doesn’t even want to see other people telling him off, he can tell himself off internally, and this internal process of self-telling off is Hell; a very difficult state to get out of.
82. If you (…?...) work with mentally sick people occasionally, in a state of self-accusation - we’ll take an extreme case, a fellow that will have everybody’s profound sympathy, Major Eatherly who dropped the atom bomb.. Once the thing had been dropped and he saw the results, he then saw that he was misrepresenting the case to himself. When he said he had no responsibility of his own because he was in the Armed Forces and he had taken an oath of allegiance and he had undertaken to do as he was told. Now the usual method of putting people on oath is in order to relive them of the strain of conscience. If I swear you all in to do as I say and solemnly assure you all that whatever you do afterwards is my responsibility, then I send you all out to rob a bank and you all get caught, and I go and visit you and say, “Well, don‘t worry lads, it’s my responsibility,” you won’t like it when you’re in jail. And you will know that you were kidding yourself when you pretended that because this lovely arrangement of words had been uttered you had been freed from internal responsibility. Taking an oath and going in the armed forces does not in fact remove responsibility from inside a man. It cannot do so, it’s a lie; and everybody who does this oath-taking knows it’s a lie but they don’t have to face that it is a lie until they do a tremendous damage like Major Eatherly did, and when he came out, and the government gave him money for his efforts, he couldn’t take the money. He couldn’t take the money because he knew very well that they were paying him for doing something for quietening his conscience, and he was responsible and knew it. There’s no hope for that man.
83. Now if we get hold of that man we understand that at the time (60.00) you were off-guard, you didn’t know enough really, we’re rationalising for him. But he says,”No. I knew at the time what I was doing, and I knew underneath, and I now know that I knew underneath, that I cannot throw my responsibility away onto somebody else’s shoulders by a silly verbal formulae like an Oath of Allegiance. Therefore,” says he, “I am eternally damned. I mustn’t take any money from anybody. If necessary I must steal in order to live. I must have the electrodes on my brain, I must be brainwashed, so they can say, “At least he broke down, he was insane, it isn‘t really a wicked act he’s just crackers.””
84. But it is a wicked act, and he knows it. Now no amount of contingent statement from outside from another finite can help Major Eatherly.
85. Only one thing can help him, and that is the in-break from the Absolute, nothing else, because he knows as a finite being that he did the deed, he was responsible, he lied to himself, what he said he was not responsible because he was taking orders from outside. He knows he is responsible and it is too late to do anything about it. He knew he was responsible then and he did it and this is a fact that he must eternally face.
86. Now if no further influx of grace comes into him, he is eternally stuck in that condition. No finite man can go and see him and pat him on the back and say, “There, there, old chap, I would have done the same thing in your case.” He would say, “I know, you probably would, and then you’d feel like I do now.”
87. Luckily there is a way and this way is open only from outside; we cannot open it from the contingent. It’s no good going to him with a letter of sympathy, millions of people have already written letters of sympathy and it makes no difference. It merely increases his guilt. Because those same millions of people writing those letters, but for a little trick of paint would have been on the receiving end of the bomb he dropped. So there is no conceivable hope for him from contingent people trying to ease their own weak consciences by giving him sympathy because they know they would have done the same thing in the same condition. But there is this blood of God which can break in, and it can break in for a very simple reason, the piece of paper underneath the marks, underneath the circle that represents Major Eatherly, the paper is still there, it was never broken. Somehow, inside him there, that paper is still vibrating, that spirit is still doing something to him, and he is a very peculiar kind of scapegoat.
88. As an individual he doesn’t know, as an individual we can’t comfort him, as other individuals we can do nothing to help him, only make matters worse. And underneath him is that absolute motion of the spirit from which he could never be separated, simply because what we call Major Eatherly is simply a motion compound in a complex pattern of forces which are in and of that God in which he has his being. And he has a very peculiar function, which as an individual he knew nothing about. And he stands today as a scapegoat for every man who on oath does something that no man can relieve himself of in fact. He’s shaken more people throughout the world by that fact than any man not throwing the bomb could have done. Somehow he is a peculiar kind of scapegoat, poor insane fellow with the electrodes on his brain, by the clever fellows who sent him out, to prove him crazy. Completely scapegoated, until finally with redeeming blood, this influx of the Absolute into him, presses in and resorts the matter out. And then in due course – and this is entirely a matter of action from the outside – Grace has entered into him, and through that, into other beings. So all such men represent, a type of scapegoat through whom Grace comes, first through one man and then through many. (65.00) And in this very peculiar sense, any man that gets put on the spot and scapegoated is again a re-embodiment of the Christ principle as chief scapegoat. It doesn’t matter what he does, if he does something so horrible that through him all the beings in the universe are made aware of the horror of certain activities so that they are eternally released from them then the Blood of the Absolute flows in him first, and through him to all these other beings and he might be termed ‘The Christ of that given act’, and a ‘younger brother’ of the Cosmic Christ who has made the ‘big act’ – the original Beau Jest from which all the other beautiful gestures arise.
89. Question: “You say that as an individual he knew nothing of this, his selection for his task, and the power modifying itself in this place that uses this person, this functional place which we call Major Eatherly … I seem to remember a previous discussion about choice, and he had absolutely no choice in this matter, and this was just a modification of power in that place …”
90. Well you see, when we’re talking about Major Eatherly we’re talking about a configuration called the Short Body of it .. You see? … And it has no choice … But the Long Body of Major Eatherly goes backwards and forwards into eternity. And this is the one that had the choice. There’s a peculiar something inside him that makes him – and this is essentially him – determined to go on being awkward about this because if he accepted the cash and decorations, the conscience of the world would go to sleep; and deep down inside he knows this, and is paying this price .. (67.06)
91. TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: Major Robert Eatherly was the pilot of the weather reconnaissance aircraft that flew over Hiroshima with the task of reporting on weather conditions in the Hiroshima area before the dropping of the first atomic bomb. His book ‘Burning Conscience’ was published in 1961