With diagrams and arbitrary headings by J. Bailey
Square brackets [ ] denote additions made to clarify points.
Eugene begins, as he does in most of these sessions with the reading of a written question.
Question: “What is the true significance in the historical process which the human race as we know it today is undergoing? Is the diminishing of the Christmas feeling an indication of the forthcoming Aquarian phase?”
The two halves of this one must be connected together.
‘The true significance of the historical process which the human race is undergoing today.’ By ‘today’ of course is meant the contemporary mode of thought. And we know that this is scientific, which gives meaning to the second part of the question about the diminishing of Christmas feeling as an indication of the forthcoming Aquarian phase.
If we just take the Zodiac for the moment, and go around the Zodiac very rapidly to save a bit of time, we will come to the phase… We are at the moment said to be in the sign of Pisces, of the fish. The historical process goes round anticlockwise in this diagram. [In] Some diagrams you’ll see these symbols reversed so that you can go round clockwise. It doesn’t matter which way you do it as long as you understand which way the precession of the equinoxes is actually going.
If we look at the ancient Egyptian period, when they were carving the bull, and the same with the Babylonian period when the bull was carved as a supreme symbol of power, bearing authority and responsibility, and we go back 2160 years per sign, we come from the position of the Bull into the position of the Ram. For easy reckoning we call it 2000 [years] per sign. And we see that bringing us up to date in our period now since Christ was born — when the sign of the fish displaced the sign of the ram — we see that it began about 2000 years ago. It’s 1962. We’ve not very far to go to the end of the 2000 year period, whereupon the Aquarian period will begin.
Now each of these signs, tradition says, has a dominant concept, which in effect conditions the whole process of historical development. When the sign of the bull was dominant, it meant to say that a very strong person with terrific energy and fertility in him was bearing the responsibility of the development of the human race — very powerful individuals bearing all the responsibility of human direction. You may remember that Joseph was called Apis, the bull, by the Egyptians, and that he was given authority by Pharaoh because he interpreted a dream. And the dream was based upon cyclic law.
The dream was about fat kine and lean kine — fat ears of corn and lean ears of corn. And Joseph interpreted this dream as meaning periods of plenty followed by periods of dearth. And he suggested to Pharaoh that in periods of plenty the government should tax people a corn tax, and because there was a lot of corn, people wouldn’t mind much paying up. And then when a period of dearth came, the corn which had been collected and stored up could be used to take from these people (who had actually paid the corn in taxes) what cattle they’d got. And if the dearth consisted of a very long period, then they would be able to take from them, in exchange for corn, not only their cattle but their lands — not only their lands but their labour.
So we find Pharaoh saying that Joseph should be treated as if he were Pharaoh. And he’s given a chariot of his own and he, in effect, is a man, the bull, the bearer of full responsibility. He has cornered the corn. You notice the pun on cornering actually refers to this corn. It’s the same word. The Germans have an expression, ‘harpen,’ to play the harp, which has a secondary meaning of, ‘to screen corn.’ And if we imagine a one-roomed house in the old days, and you had a store of corn, you wouldn’t put it in the middle of the room — you’d put it in a corner. Now the corner of the room is so called because that was the place where you kept the corn. And the Germans used to place a harp across this corner to screen the corn. If any neighbour came in to borrow corn, then one member of the family sat down and played the harp. And this was said to be covering up the fact that they had corn by playing the harp — so that the neighbour wouldn’t see the corn. And the verb ‘harpen,’ to harp, even in modern German has this secondary meaning of ‘screening the corn.’ We have it in English, ‘Singing a song’ and ‘canting’ and so on. Whenever you don’t want to make a direct statement of your position, you start circumlocution, you sing a song. People say, “sing me another”. The Germans would say, “play your harp”.
So Joseph has detected the cycle of events. Now the strange thing is, we know historically that the knowledge of the cycle of the Zodiac is something of tremendous antiquity because we’ve even got stone monuments going back as long ago as 12,000 years. And yet we know a peculiar thing. The ancients knew that it took over 2,000 years to shift one house.
They had observed the precession of the equinoxes long enough to know the cycle of the Zodiac. So that if we imagine, say 26,000 years, for a full cycle, a passage of the sun, apparently through these twelve signs, and this is taking 26,000 years, then we can say “they must have been observing it an awful long time if they did it empirically.”
Tradition has it that sages knew about this cycle and its length by yogic methods — by contemplating certain principles. The fact that we know is that the Chinese and the Babylonians, the Chaldean astronomers and the Egyptians, knew a terrific lot about astronomy and the cycles of events, and could predict an eclipse long before science was supposed to be born.
You know that priestcraft, kingship and science were vested originally in the same beings — that a man was a priest-king-scientist if he was in fact ruling the country. Later on, with the division of labour, the priest and the king and the scientist separate out, just as you separate out the parts of a pair of shoes in a factory during the industrial revolution. But originally, these three aspects are of course, simply aspects of any single human being developed to the nth. degree.
So that you could say that:
The Religious aspect was in your heart.
The Scientific part of it, the empirical side of it, research, digging in the earth, is in the belly.
And the philosophical aspect of it is in the head — the canny, kingish part.
So the priest-king-scientist is really the three-part-man raised to the nth. degree. Now after spending a couple of thousand years with a strong man determining the development of evolution, we then pass into another phase, ruled by the Ram.
Now it’s during the period of the Ram, (‘ram’ is Hebrew for ‘high’) that the statement is made that there is a high principle, and this is the ruling principle of substance. Moses is represented by Michaelangelo with a pair of ram’s horns on him to signify the transition from the earlier Taurean phase into the Arian phase where Moses is talking about this ram. And this is the same ram referred to in the sacrifice of Abraham, where a ram in a thicket is made a substitute for the sacrifice of Isaac.
Some of the Anthropologists would say that the period referred to in the Abrahamic sacrifice is the period when human sacrifice was displaced by animal sacrifice. But that is, although historically true, only the lowest level of interpretation.
Now when Christ is born, he is born on the transition point from the sign of the Ram into the sign of the Fish. So we find the early Christians are representing Christ as a fish, and the first letters of his name spell the Greek ‘fish’ and it refers to a sign of emotional prolific.
Where we’ve had a very, very strong man in the Taurean period, and then we’ve had this concept of the transcendence, the very high influences from above in the Ram period — from the strong man, through transcendence into everyman. We find that with the birth of Christ we enter a new phase where individual human beings now begin to assume that they too have a centre — that they too are individuals. The tribal consciousness, which dominated the human race prior to Christ, is now overthrown, and individuals begin to get a sense of value.
We know that Christianity is marked by a very strong sense of individual value. We know that at the beginning it had a very hard fight to stand up as an individual, with a right to believe individually over against the state. We know that the Roman Empire persecuted the Christians, because they were rejecting external temporal rule, and having a right of individual belief.
So if we say that the period of the Fish is the period when the power passes into the hands of people — it’s a democratic period and all individuals have a voice in what is going on. Whether that voice is very effective or not, is a matter of little moment. The fact is that for the first time historically, the tribal consciousness prior to this Fish period, is displaced by the growth of individual awareness which rolls on and on.
Now during this period of individual awareness we find a sort of general scepticism about authority and dogma, and anything said from high places is under suspicion. So we find out that all the old statements about the powers that be and are appointed of God from above, are vigorously attacked by Christ, just as in India they have been attacked by Gautama. And the individual centre of awareness becomes important in its own right. Gradually, the sceptical side of this breeds empirical science. This empirical science then begins to form concepts in the minds of individuals, so that gradually their individuality threatens to become swamped by conceptualised science. Once the movement from authority is diminished and the stress has gone into the individual, the individuals start making their own minds up about everything, and this means to say that chaos is come at the individual level — unless they can find some unifying principle. And if they don’t get a unifying principle they have no security.
When they move into the field of individual scepticism, they find, carried to its logical conclusion, that they cannot believe anything except the immediate pressure of events upon them — and even these are suspect in pure sceptic philosophy. The individuals who become sceptical in this way, are reducing man from the spiritual level (represented by the Ram) down to the material individual level.
This has a purpose, namely the creation of individual centres of reflexion — but in the process of making these individual centres, man is forced to depend on his own centre as an individual, and he feels himself individually centred, and therefore dialectically deprived of relation with other beings. So at the very moment he is gaining individuality and reflexion, he is also feeling cut off from other human beings. He therefore seeks some common ground wherewith to relate himself to other people. And he cannot go back to the old belief of the Ram period in the highest spirit of the Almighty. And he can’t go back to the period of Taurus, of the mighty man who will save him, because the mighty men of old who have saved him have also robbed him, violently. And therefore he must go on to another phase. This phase is, through the scepticism, into the empirical research technique, and the birth of science.
Now we know today that we stand in a very peculiar psychological phase because people are very individuated and yet they have a peculiar slavery to the concept of science.
Today, if a thing is scientific, people tend to believe it, and it’s really quite surprising that if a Sputnik is put in the air, and a man is sent round the world, or halfway to the moon, or possibly in a few years onto the moon — the attainment of a simple material objective predisposes people to think that science can do anything that scientists claim for it.
The mass inertia of the empirical mode, which expressed itself very, very darkly in the middle ages, and then burst out in the renaissance, and then gradually involved itself into empirical science in the nineteenth century, has got so much inertia behind it today, that most people will tend to accept any proposition whatever, if it is stated that this proposition is based on scientific research.
So the slavery that there had been to the Great Man in the days of the Taurean dispensation, or the days of the spiritual superiority in the Ram, has been in fact displaced through the experience of the sign of the fish, and is gradually going into its Aquarian phase.
In Aquarius, which means the water-carrier or the carrier of substance and is the sign of a man (the gospel of Matthew is about this), the scientific spirit will develop itself to the nth. degree. So that science will have so many devices that can prove certain things to exist, that people will tend to accept the scientist as the supreme arbiter of human destiny. In the same way, that the Egyptians once accepted that Joseph was a nice fellow in letting them have a bit of corn back that was taken from them in their off-guarded moment.
We find this in the tremendous faith that people have in hospitals, when they just assume that the man attending to them is an expert in his own field. If they were to hear the opinions of some of these men about each other as one time fellow students, they would feel a little shakier. The tendency is, once a person is individuated, to feel isolated and to feel that he wants to lean on something other than himself. But this is a backsliding movement. We’re trying to find out the true significance of the historical process today.
Now this historical process is a movement from the Absolute, through the relative, back to the Absolute. It is precipitating centres of reference. These are individual beings. So the force of the Absolute comes in, individuates, and then is going back to the Absolute again. This creates reflexively self-conscious individuals. But, during the phase where the individual is discovering this power within himself and hasn’t yet secured it, he feels tremendous responsibility descending upon him, and he doubts whether he has the power to support this responsibility on his own shoulders. Therefore he looks out towards other beings. This means to say that, at the moment he starts leaning on anything external to himself, any body of opinion or knowledge, he has already stopped the process that the Absolute is trying to push forward.
The Absolute is determined to lift the human race up to the level where they are aware of their own essential value in relation to the Absolute, and to themselves as individuals. Individuals, discovering their individual freedom, discover also their individual responsibility, and the necessity for individual power, strength of initiative and decision, to justify having the responsibility. And it’s when they are dictated to by previous failures in their memory, that they feel shaky about the assumption of responsibility. And at this point they extrovert their attention onto other beings.
Now we know in the symbols of the Tarot, there is a wheel of fortune driven by apes and wolves. So that when a person externalises his attention, and fastens it on another person, if he is not careful, he will fasten it either on an ape or a wolf. A wolf meaning a man with a tremendous appetite, who has a jolly good idea of where he is going — he’s going to gobble everything up. And an ape being a man who hasn’t got this appetite so well developed, but he can see that the man who has it well developed gets a long way. He would like to get that far, he hasn’t the energy to get that far, therefore he apes the behaviour of the man who has got that far, without actually getting that far.
So that when a man externalises his attention onto other men, because he doesn’t like the feeling of individual responsibility in himself, he exposes himself to the possible danger of placing himself under either a wolf or an ape. Now if we examine the scientists today, throughout the world we find that a spirit that was once said to be the Scientific Spirit has practically disappeared. The scientific spirit of the nineteenth century was stated to be (and let’s always remember that individual human beings are making these statements), this spirit was stated to be absolutely impartial. It was an objective pursuit of truth, knowing no boundaries whatever of religion, of race, of creed, of nations and so on. “Scientific information should in principle be swapped, because truth is every man’s.” This was their position. We know this was a leg-pull on the part of men who wanted power, because as soon as they got the power, they began to shelter that knowledge. They did not indulge in free exchange of scientific knowledge when they had discovered the nuclear weapons. Suddenly science is hush-hush. And instead of a man being free to publish his findings in international magazines, he was suddenly silenced. His government requires him not to speak about essentials.
And the scientist who believed in the old-fashioned idea of science as for universal distribution found himself very seriously hindered. Many scientists factually allowed themselves to be bought over by governments, and worked for a government in pursuit of power, instead of for the human race. Now consequently, if any individual, not liking the feeling of individual responsibility placed upon him, turns to one of these scientists, or a technical expert or an authority in any field, he is exposing himself to the possibility or probability that he will either waste his time with an ape, or he will be swallowed by a wolf.
If we ask ourselves what the alternative is to this danger, the only alternative is: we must return to our centre as individuals, and we must be prepared to assume the responsibility of the knowledge we have. But this responsibility is felt in quite a heavy way.
Now the Absolute is determined to break every idol that the individual erects. We’ve seen the worship of the Great Man in the Taurean period, and that people rested on this Great Man’s capacities. Whatever he said was marvellous, and they didn’t need to think, or feel or will. He told them what to do. After a time these Great Men had made a sufficient accumulation of errors for people seriously to doubt whether these men were as great as they claimed to be.
And therefore another method was presented. “Let’s go back to the most high Spirit of God”. This is a nice thought. Don’t let’s have these silly strong men any more. Let’s go back to God, to the source. Well, this was a nice thought. But unfortunately the words about God had to come to individuals. So we have a period where the priest-craft grows, and individuals claim to be non-individual. They claim to be divinely inspired, and they claim that if people listen to them they are listening to the voice of God.
Now again, this is another trick of the Absolute to make sure that the individual is let down if he has a bad concept. Each time masses of individuals lean, either on the Great Man or on the Absolute as coming through other men’s mouths (called priests or sages or whatever they are), he will be let down, because the individuals presenting this information from outside, are necessarily fallible. Whereas, if people are thrown back onto their own centres, and made to realise that they are — as to their organisms modalities of an infinite field of sentient power, and therefore every man is factually a centre of God — if they realise and accept this, they need no further lessons. But what we know about the human race is this: that although it likes power, it hates responsibility.
So that once the priests, like the Great Men, have let people down, people are thrown onto their own resources as individuals, and this builds up to the great reformation. The Lutheran mentality comes up, and the individual is stated to be really valuable over against any authorities, and suddenly men find they are being taught not a religious catechism, but reading, writing and arithmetic, and they are plunged into the middle of an Industrial Revolution. At the very moment when they are on the point of the individual awareness of their own creative centres, they are thrown under the dominion of Mammon, disguised as the Industrial Revolution.
They go on then, looking for another saviour. They go into the dark, satanic mills and look forward to another time. And gradually they begin to believe that this other time, this new messiah, is going to be the march of empirical science. The Scientific Spirit is the new messiah for the Aquarian Age.
But insofar as this Scientific Spirit factually tells people that they do not need to refer to their own centres — because there are electronic brains computing with the binomial system, data from all over the world, and telling everybody exactly how to think, and therefore there is no need for an individual to have a centre — as long as people accept this proposition, they are factually trying to stop the evolution that the Absolute is in fact determined to effect.
Science is going to present a case for what they call Scientific Truth. But of course, science can present nothing. It is always individuals who act in the name of a concept of science and who impose on other individuals. Where the other individuals actually fail to realise their own centres and become responsible individuals — no matter what the external divinity they worship, whether it’s the Great Man or the priest’s information about God or the people as a mass (the Democratic Spirit) or the Scientific Spirit, no matter what it is they worship — if it is external to the individual centre of man then it is automatically false, and the Absolute must proceed to smash that concept by smashing the idol.
You remember how God was said to harden Pharaoh’s heart so that the Jews when they finally left Egypt didn’t want to go back. They were too scared. If Pharaoh had let them go at first, easily and with his blessing, as soon as they got into the desert they’d have gone back to Egypt, because it was hard. They would never have landed in Israel.
Therefore God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, to make sure that they didn’t run back. Now, exactly the same thing has happened, since those days every time individual men have erected an idol for themselves which would make unnecessary the development of their own individual sense of responsibility and their own individual initiative.
So we find that individual scientists today are making claims that they cannot substantiate, that logic doesn’t justify, on the grounds of a few material successes, whether it’s the creation of an electronic circuit, or a radio or a brain, or the creation of refrigerators and air conditioning. It is just things of this order that predispose people who don’t think deeply to believe that, because they have put a motor car on the road and an aeroplane in the air, therefore they are equipped to determine the direction of human evolution.
The reply of the Absolute to this is, to do on man what he did on the Jews when he hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Pharaoh made a terrible mistake. There had to be an awful lot of destruction done in Egypt before the Jews were convinced it wasn’t the correct place to go back to. In the same way there will have be to be an awful lot of destruction, with scientists in control of it, before people will give up leaning on the science. Individuals have got to learn to rely on their own centres, and dare to say so, and to be themselves. If they do not, then science will have its heart hardened by God in the same way that Pharaoh did.
And we know already this process is well started, because we actually find that many scientists have already decided that the human race is expendable for scientific research. We have had some very horrible things publicised comparatively recently, about the kind of experimental operations that have gone on in hospital without permission from parents on children, and on adults.
We find a peculiar hardness coming into the scientific mind.
Remember that Count Keyserling said, “the man who commits himself merely to truth becomes hard”. Truth is only the form of events. Truth is a form of experience perceived by the intellect. So that if a man commits himself to knowing the form of events, then he will take the stress off the affective process (the feeling process), and place it on the intellectual.
A man who is deeply determined to learn the truth about the living human brain, will not hesitate to saw the top off a skull while the person is still alive, and to examine it with electrodes all over, and he will consider he is doing humanity a service while he is so doing.
We’ve had a prophecy about this; it says, “And in those days, men will believe they are doing God a favour when they are doing these things.” Because they will be ascertaining a certain amount of truth. And the fact that what they discover is truth will be a sufficient justification for what they do. So we find the same kind of hardening-of-the-heart process going on in scientists that went on in the mind of Pharaoh long ago.
The significance of it is simply that human beings must individually become responsible from their own centres. A man who can be intimidated by a court of law — a man who will abandon his belief simply because a body of ritually dressed men requires him to do so — has not yet learned his lesson. He has not yet gone as far as the Absolute requires him to go. If we look back in history, say to the time of Bruno, before he was burnt to death they asked him not to teach the kind of thing he was teaching. And he could have got away with it — he could have carried on living if he had shut up. But he was such a fellow that he couldn’t shut up — he had to tell the truth. And so he was burnt to death. But at least in telling the truth because he believed it, he was better off than a man who, believing it, would bend the knee.
We know that when Gallileo confessed something that he knew was untrue he couldn’t have felt very nice. When he leaned down before the Pope and said that the Earth doesn’t move, it is the centre of the Universe, and factually he knew that it did move, he must have felt really awful. If he’d have thought for a moment that he had to go to Purgatory (if such a place existed) to purge himself of that thing, he must have felt worse. But if he thought death was the end of his being, he might settle for comfort in this life by subscribing to something he knew to be untrue.
We find that Boris Spinoza, when he propounded his philosophy with the equation God = Substance, was required by the Rabbis not to say such things, because he was saying them very well and very clearly. They offered him money if he would shut up. He didn’t take the money. They then said that they would excommunicate him if he didn’t shut up. He replied by excommunicating himself. After that he was beaten up in the street. He still went on saying and writing the same things that he felt he must do.
We see examples. Christ is the supreme example of this when He keeps on talking and won’t shut up until he gets crucified. They ask him to be quiet and he doesn’t. He goes on and on, and he finishes up on the cross when he could have avoided it. He is the type of man that clearly and consciously opposes himself to any doctrine whatever that comes from outside, and throws man back on his centre, and says “this centre and God are not different”.
“I and my Father are one,” He says, and He claims that anybody who understands what He is talking about, and affirms the same for himself, will be his brother. He will be the first born of many brothers in this respect.
It says in the Revelation about this period, that, ‘in those days there will be so many mighty works done that if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect’. Which means to say that they will have inventions, compared with which tape recorders and t.v. sets and so on, will be crude. As crude as the mechanical gramophone was to your stereo hi-fi — so will be the present television screen, compared with the television set that has no screen and projects 3D scenes in three dimensional space with no screen. So that you’ll have the illusion of real people being in the room with you. It says, it will be so marvellous it would deceive, if it were possible, even the elect.
Now, if it were possible — it is not possible because the elect have a rule. And the rule is a very, very simple one. If you can see it, or touch it, or hear it, or smell it — it is not you. The Observer is not the observed. And the Observer is alone important. The rest is phenomenal — it is nothing — it is formal play — it is just sport, illusion — formal trickery.
The only essential, the only really important, is the Self of the human being. This Self can never become an object. In this respect all philosophy agrees, in that all philosophy has failed to define consciousness. They tried valiantly, but they have come to a conclusion that consciousness is not a definable.
Now, because it is not a definable, the Scientific Spirit, aiming to define things, has to pretend that consciousness doesn’t exist. And so they say it is an epi-phenomenon — it is some kind of process upon the wheels of mechanical behaviour which is quite meaningless and at no point interferes. Now this is a deliberate example of the kind of stupidity that only a blind individual can indulge in, because the scientist that says that consciousness is merely the sparks on the wheels of the mechanical processes of the body, is referring to his own mental process when he says it.
How can a scientist write a book to prove that consciousness is meaningless, if he actually cannot write his book without this very thing that he is decrying?
So we see that the elect in any given system, the elect are standing inside there, in the centre of being. Around them there is a zone, an action zone — the phenomenal world. If they go into that zone they fall into identification with form, and they become trapped and brought into contingent relation with material levels of being. And in so doing they are dragged off the centre of initiation — the centre of their own will and intelligence. If they do allow themselves to be thrown into the material world, and become dependent on external bodies for their information, then they are in line for the next stage of their development, namely a jolly good bashing by the forces upon which they are relying.
There has never been a historical period, when the human race have leaned on anything whatever external to themselves for salvation, that they have not been let down. Whether they have leaned on the great man of the Taurean period, or on a collectivity of men called priests talking in the name of God, or in the mass of people (that is, in democracy), or if they are in process of transition now into the Aquarian or scientific period — whichever one they have believed in, they have always been let down.
The inertia of success in the scientific field, in certain quite elementary material facts, predisposes millions of people to believe that science is God — when in fact, the scientists have assumed that they are God. And if you read what they have to say about their own position, you will find that they are actually claiming to be God — without actually daring to say that this is a theological proposition. They are claiming that there is an infallible process called ‘science’ and that they are its voices. In other words they have actually assumed the position of the priests. Only whereas the priests insisted that there was God, that God is the Absolute intelligence, the scientists are saying there is no God other than scientists on Earth, and that they have penetrated to the mystery of the creation of the world. And that this mystery somehow is a mechanical process, and that they themselves somehow or other are not mechanical, and that they have authority to propound the method whereby the Universe has evolved and will conduct itself in the future.
Now, to see what is going to happen when we travel around in this way,
And we go from the Great Man period of Taurus,
We go into the priestly period of the Ram,
We go into the democratic period that we are running towards the end of now.
We see the foreshadowing of the scientific period, and we know that science is going to harden its heart against the human race in its pursuit of Truth.
And then we come into another period after this, and we find that in this period, the period of Sagittarius, that a supreme disgust with the scientific hypothesis about the world, will force men to get hold of their own centres of individuated energy, and their own initiative. They must learn how to shoot for centre. So that although we are only just entering into the Aquarian position now, we can see the aura of this position in the tremendous arrogance of the scientists who are actually conducting these research programmes.
We can see that in every phase an idea is born and develops itself to its optimum, and then fades away, having been a false trail. And then the next idea comes and does the same — the next idea comes. We’ve only just seen the end of the belief that democracy was the solution of the world’s problems. We’ve seen things like Nietzche could see coming up — that this period of the democrat was a false period of pretence, that people in the mass could get together and solve their problems. And the result — the sudden appearance of the dictator. Hitler is a product of the fallacy of democracy.
And until men stop clinging to each other as external aids, and until each man returns to his own centre, then the human race will always be in danger from dictators.
And whilst in our period we have seen the political dictator, we are seeing already the shadow of another dictator, the scientific dictator. We see lots of scientists who are claiming that they know how to run the human race. Remember Julian Huxley on one occasion walking out of a very important conference, because they didn’t accept his plan of how to conduct human evolution. He was profoundly upset because he had spoken, and he was speaking with the authority of science — as once upon a time the priests would have talked with the authority of the church or the synagogue.
We know that this process of hardening must occur because people will lean on an external object unless it lets them down. And we know that the Absolute is determined to make sure that people do not remain extroverted, and that they must be thrown back on their own centres. And therefore the Absolute is in process of needing all these external supports to their nth. degree of development, and then allowing them to collapse. This throws the individual back on his own individual initiative.
So we can say we’ve got just over 2000 years of the scientific spirit going to dictate and clean the place up, and everything will be under control — apparently.
And then out of this imposed good order will arise a new revolutionary spirit, in which it will become obvious to all individuals that they can never place their destiny in the hands of any external group, no matter how declared well intentioned.
What happens after Sagittarius?
Well, after Sagittarius, we pass into the period of Scorpio. Now Scorpio means devotion. After science has let man down and thrown man back onto his own individual centre, he discovers that he is a will — that he is initiative – that he is an individuated intelligence. He discovers his evolution is in his own hands. But now he has to target, not for an individual thing — but he must do it from his individual centre.
So he passes into Scorpio which means devotion. And here he does a thing that the priests were doing for him in the sign of Aries. They were telling him about God. Now he says, “I must become God as an individual.” Then the quotation of Christ says, “Is it not written, ‘Ye are gods’?” [John|10:34. Jesus quoting from Psalms 82:6 and Isaiah 41:23]
And then after that comes the period of Libra, the equilibration, which corresponds in the Hindu system with the Pralaya or equilibrating process that follows the completion of the evolutionary cycle.
After that, the whole thing has to develop itself around to another cycle of manifestation. There are great cycles of manifestation, and cycles of rest. And until the individual has centred himself, he cannot as an individual devote himself to a return to source. And therefore, until he has been let down by all the idols, he will never return to himself. So that the idols must behave in a very, very bad way to force him onto his own centre.
Why did you miss out Capricorn? Why did we jump from Aquarius to Sagittarius?
I left out Capricorn because it is a period of great scapegoating. Did you feel it?
Otherwise we are going to go right round the lot, which will take a lot of time. I wanted to show a rapid transition here. But in the period when the revolt occurs against the Scientific Spirit, there will be a great number of scapegoats made by the scientists. And just as there was wholesale slaughter of believers in the early religions, when the old formulation and its representatives killed large numbers of people, so scientists in those days will actually be prepared to say that anybody who does not accept the principle of science shall be painlessly put to death — because it is against the principle of evolution.
Now you might not have had to listen to that if you hadn’t have asked. It’s a very, very horrible period. There’s quite a lot of unpleasant statement about it in the Revelation. Because whereas in the old days a priest excommunicated you by a symbolic gesture and the psychological play of suggestion, from which an individual might conceivably escape, the mass weight of scientific opinion acting on masses of people who are not extricated from the process, will with supreme authority condemn to death any man who dares to say, “This science is wrong”. And they have the power. They can disintegrate this man with an electronic device. So as soon as a voice speaks up in a certain place they just get his wavelength, press the button and he’s gone. There will be a lot of those — and no sweeping up. But you asked for it.
What do events of this magnitude mean to any individual like me of seventy years allotted span? And does it really matter to me if in 7000 or 8000 years time certain things will be happening? If so, how does it matter?
Well, there’s the me you are talking about. And this me came out of two other mes — your mother and your father, wasn’t it? And so on, backwards.
You are a portion of the protoplasm of your mother and father. Now, consciousness in the act of focusing on a vehicle (like the physical body of a human being), in order to function through it, stresses itself as if it were cut off. Now in fact there is a continuous line of protoplasm from you, through your mother and father, through all your ancestors. At no point has this protoplasm actually got a break. There isn’t your mother and father, and then a break, and then you. You are a bit of the protoplasm of your mother and father fused together. So that the life in your mother and father exists in you. But through your focus on you now, you can’t see why it should bother you whatever happens in the future or the past. The purpose of focusing down onto you, is in order to individuate and gain a reflexive centre. Within the transitional phase, from the Absolute down to the individual — you go into a state where you can’t see any connection between yourself and the rest of life preceding you — and to come.
Now me, is an objective form and I, is the subjective. What does it matter to me? — that is, to this amount of protoplasm. Well, it never did matter to the protoplasm, it always mattered to the I. The me is the objective side of the I. The objective world is simply a function of the subject. The Supreme Subject is the Absolute, and the manifest physical world that we see, is simply the objective modalisation of that. Now you are focused down to your body. If you focus with a slightly wider focus, you would become aware that a lot of the thoughts and feelings that you think are yours, are not yours, in the sense that they are not that body’s — in the sense that you think about your body. But these thoughts have developed through generations, so that vested as they are in you now, they are merely the end result of generations of striving to produce the form that you have now arrived at. But they are aiming beyond you at this reflexive being.
Now if you cut out your bit — supposing you destroying yourself completely — now, the protoplasm that evolved itself to your level doesn’t exist. So, it can’t transmit. And if you were negative when you got out of that protoplasm, you won’t want to get into it again. So that amount of intelligence and will vested in that body, will not try to get back into a body again, because it was negative when it left. Which means that all the gains that have been made by your ancestors striving, and vested in you, become lost to the evolutionary process. This is why it says,
Because if you are killing yourself, you are not only killing this finite physical vehicle that is annoying you — you are killing a heritage that was working towards an end. All the best parts of you, you owe to the future. Either you have physical children, or you have spiritual children, that is, ideas. You develop the idea, and vest that idea in other protoplasm.
If you see that the intelligence running through this protoplasm in its reflexive mode can see the whole process, then you see that you are doing a very necessary part of the work. You stand on a certain step, and you have to pass from that step. And it’s a marathon race and you move forward and give the torch apparently to another being. What you’ve given it to — is yourself. So that you actually persist through all these protoplasmic changes. And your participation in your life, your psychic life, is happy when you are posited in the evolutionary process. When you posit there is value, worth working for, then you are happy. But if you posit there is no value worth working for, and that you are entirely on your own, and that you are severed from your ancestors and from your descendants, then you are miserable. So even in the merely practical sense of the individual, it is better to believe in the fact of the continuity of protoplasm, and the continuity of life running through protoplasm, rather than to believe that you are an isolated finite bit of, of what? a biological process that started once upon a time a few years ago, will last a few more years and then will be gone forever. If you believe you came into existence at birth, new, that you go at death into non-existence, your life is meaningless. It is also untrue.
But if you see the fact of the continuity of life through the continuity of protoplasm, and the transmission of ideas from centres as developed, sent as a protoplasm to other centres, and the continuous movement towards the development of reflexive centres, then whatever you represent as an individual consciousness, will be re-invested again in the same line of protoplasm. Whether you have children or not is not important, because other members of the same protoplasm, namely the human race, are having children. And whatever work you do, if you die childless, the work that you’ve done will invest itself in an organism that has worked and is in resonance with the direction of the work [that] you were doing. So that you are always assured of the fruits of your labours. And therefore you can be absolutely positive about this.
It is said of Christ that he was called Jesus — He was given the most excellent of all names. There is none more excellent name than this. And Paul says about this name,
“His name is wholly yes. There is no ‘no’ in him”
This means that you can affirm absolutely that what you are doing is experiencing. About this you cannot be wrong. And if you are meditating on your experience, you are being one of the holy animals in the Bible. You are a ruminant. You ruminate on what happens to you. It informs your protoplasm. It informs your psyche, your subtle body, your causal body. And this itself is carrying you on to reflexive awareness. And at some point you will invest yourself in protoplasm of sufficient fineness to receive the work you have done.
So the fruit trees that were planted long ago by the Rabbis are being eaten by the linear descendants of those Rabbis. So it’s really the same protoplasm that is gaining the fruits of the work done long ago by apparently other beings.
And if you have this sense you have a very positive and happy life. But if you don’t have this sense of continuity, your life is meaningless and insecure, and you become depressed, and you function very badly.