The text of a talk given at Parklands by Eugene Halliday 29th May, 1977. Ishval tape number 33.
What are we going to talk about tonight? Nobody knows.
In that case have you got that case with you?
O.K. A carcase.
Have you been to Tibet?
It clearly is some phonetic equivalent is it? I mean, does it matter really?
For the sake of knowing the truth about the pronunciation, yes.
That would be marvellous wouldn’t it? I think you take about a dozen letters all quite different rows of consonants which nobody but a Russian drunk would dare to pronounce, and you look at it very long and you say blp. Donald knows about that don’t you Donald?
He is a great student of how to reduce the alphabet to one primordial letter. That is a letter that you pronounce with your mouth shut. Don’t say there isn’t one. There is one isn’t there? Which one is it?
Mmmmm. Now we will start with this very good exercise. I want you all to do the sacred sound, mmmmmmm and while you are doing it, pinch your nose closed. Ready? Mmmmmmmm,
What happens when you do that?
You stopped, why?
No vibration? Well actually there is a vibration. Try it again. Do the ‘Mmmmmm,’ then block it, keep the pressure up. What happens? Somebody is cheating, somebody is leaking!
It bursts your eardrums I think.
Goes in your sinuses.
It goes in your sinuses. Do you get any vibration? Yes. Is it at audio frequencies for normal human beings? No. Is it at audio frequency for a very good meditator on Benares or sounds of nervous impulsations travelling along nerves?
Yes, nyeh, I heard a very affirmative “Yes,” there. Well, that could be a good springboard because we are going to talk about what is it, the blp, yes? You pronounce the first word there, somewhat as it is written and the second one you got into difficulties with yourself. Why was that?
I think because when I have seen it written I’ve seen it written in different ways which suggest different pronunciation. I thought there might be some connection between the language in that area the with Hindu, in which case you would have to say the T H as two separate synsyllabic utterances.
Mmm, you might do, but we cannot go by analogy from one language to another can we, because the same T H in English would be like th in thin or then and you wouldn’t know? So, let us ignore the mysterious pronunciation of those words. What did you understand from it apart from the name of the book?
Well, I gathered that it meant a life support system called space and that what mystified me really was how a dead person, recently dead, newly dead, could actually be influenced for the good of that person by the prayers set out by the Buddhist priests. And, I wondered how it linked with the Egyptian beliefs which were suggestably of similar nature, though I have not explored it.
How about the ancient Christian beliefs? They also believed in prayers for the dead don’t they?
Yes, of course.
Now, that is a very good springboard. Who are the dead?
That depends whose definition you are taking there.
Well let us start with the definition of Christ. Who are the dead?
The opposite of the quick.
The opposite of the quick, and who are the quick?
They that heed the Spirit.
They that heed the Spirit. And how do they function as opposed to the others?
Much more efficiently I would imagine
Much more efficiently, yes.
The idea of being quick is, you know quick on the uptake, quick to see a connection, quick to see what is really causative in a situation. Mmm? For instance, a man who performs sleight of hand tricks in the entertainment world doesn’t like having little children in the audience because, he may be taking a rabbit out of his inside pocket with that hand whilst he is gazing up at this hand doing something while he sneaks the rabbit out. The child is never misled in the way that grown ups are. If I say, “Look at that light,” the average adult will tend to look and the kiddie is too busy watching something else, - the other hand. So that in general, children are a nuisance to bad magicians, which is the main reason why Christ recommends us becoming as children.
Now, the particular work that you mentioned is actually dealing with this process of transition from one level of consciousness to another. Now I hate this horrible instrument [the overhead projector] but I will use it on principle. I don’t like it because it makes a noise, it makes me very hot and therefore I shall not leave it on very long. I want you to remember what I draw. The simplest way of dividing one thing away from another is to draw a circle, right? Now, that circle is often represented as having tail in mouth. Already this fellow (the projector pen) has dried up so he is in total agreement with me. I want you to remember the circle and I drew an arrow to show that it was going round. Now this is terribly important, going round, going round, go round, ground, the ground of your being. That is a terribly important word, the ground of being. If there were not a going round of energy there would be no ground of being. Can you remember the circle or has it vanished? You know it is Wicker’s World. The initiates here, like Dev for instance, know that Wicca’s world has the spelling of wicca, WICR, wicca. The first part means quick, that is the WIC, and the letter R means discrimination, to discriminate, like the ruach of the Hebrews and the ruff of the Arabians, spirit, quickness, discrimination, WICR. W for worship, I for Is, C for continual, R for remembrance, WORSHIP IS CONTINUAL REMEMBRANCE.
If we don’t draw our circle and keep running round it we haven’t got an image in the mind of continual remembrance. To re-member is to make again a member. Make a member of what? Make a member of self-consciousness. Now the line that we have drawn, this circle, this noiseless, not too hot circle that I am drawing there, includes and excludes. It includes the finite. It excludes the Infinite. It includes limitation, it excludes limitlessness. Now, I want you to translate this circle in various ways. First we will pretend there is a baby in the room somewhere, lurking, who has not thought about things in this way before. And we will say to the baby, “Let this circle represent the surface of your skin.” The surface of your physical skin is the circle. That is fairly simple isn’t it? And we can say to the baby, “Once upon a time you were actually spherical, you were an egg, bound by a skin. You have changed a little.” Some of us, from that primordial, spherical state, the better looking of us have changed quite a lot from that state and managed to lengthen ourselves a bit and depart from the purely spherical condition. If we were perfectly spherical, that is with all the radii within the sphere equal, we would be static, but, by means of motion, we have elongated the sphere and made a body that we recognise as having a long piece in the middle and two long pieces hanging off it and two other long pieces sticking out at the sides, and we have lifted up a part called head and equipped it with sense organs. But it is the primordial egg, the primordial sphere, the symbol of which, on a plane surface, is a circle.
Let us use the word ‘on’, ON to represent that circle. When you say O [or], you make your mouth into a sphere. You cannot say O[rh] without making your mouth more or less spherical. If you leave your tongue flat in the mouth you won’t say O[rh], you will say “ah.” If you push your tongue up further you will say “eh.” You cannot utter a sound without a physical postural evidence for it in the mouth, in the tongue position and so on. So, there is an exact formal equivalent in the mouth for any sound you may utter with your voice in normal utterance. So when you see the circle drawn on a flat surface, I want you to visualise a sphere and call that sphere ‘On,’ ON. That is the on in Babylon. That is the on in Onheliopolis, the city of the Sun. That is the on in At- on, the Sun of which the Ancient Egyptians were great worshippers.
Think that you are spherical beings, primordially. In your mother you start off as an egg. It is fertilised, then it begins to develop. It elongates itself, it pushes out little lumps for legs and arms, it lifts its head out of the general mass, and so on, and it gradually develops the complex form that we know but it is still fundamentally bound by its skin, by its integument.
Now you know, in the Book of Genesis it says that man made coats of skin. He saw that he was naked and he clothed himself, first figuratively, with a fig leaf. Now I want you to think about this. Science demonstrates that it is no longer theoretical to say that you are an energy system. You are not a material substance in the Nineteenth Century sense, you are not made of primordial particles of something called stuff or matter that is not energy. You are made of energy and nothing but energy and this energy that constitutes your being is identical with the energy that is diffused throughout infinite space, which was the point that you, Trevor, were saying about the Bardo.
It is talking about infinite space. The A-ka-sha of the Hindu means ‘not cased’ the infinite, uncased energy. Now, science will tell you that it can demonstrate in the laboratory, if necessary, by blowing you to pieces, and then reducing the pieces to wavicles, which will run out of the room and you will be no more in the room but you will be out of the room travelling through space in the form of little wavicles of energy. That is energy behaving in a partic-ular and a wave mode. You are energy. This is no longer theory, it is demonstrable fact. You are energy. Each person with a skin round him is a zone of energy, and we need to add only one thing to that concept of science to include all the things in it that science leaves out. Science is quite happy to say, ALL THINGS ARE ENERGY. It has not yet come to the admission that ALL ENERGY IS SENTIENT. Sentient means that it feels, and through feeling, knows its own state. Sentience means feeling-knowing, to know by feeling. Feeling is your primordial mode of awareness. You are energy and the energy is sentient, it feels itself.
Now, if you were to go to a school where the Buddhistic concepts of life and death were taught, you would be taught that you do not have a separate self that perceives. It is a doctrine of anatta, of non-self. Atman in Sanskrit is the Self and this A before it is privative, so it says “Ah atma,” you would say a non-self. What is meant there, spell the self, CELLF, don’t use the word self/cellf unless you are talking about energy encapsulated in a skin, in an integument of some kind. You are inside a skin, you are constituted of energy and the energy is sentient, it feels itself. And, therefore, you feel that you are being. But your feeling of being is no more than this that because you have a skin round you, the skin provides you with a resistance, and the energy that constitutes your being bounces against the skin and feeling the resistance, because of the skin, the energy being reflected back to the centre of the being, on its return carries with it the memory of impinging on the inside of its skin.
[Here Eugene changes the colour of his overhead projector pen] Change colour of pencil. The next one might not be so dried up. If it is dried up it is on my side!
Here is a zone and we will write IN there and EX there. Include, we will put close, it is the same word, close. Inclosure, exclosure, include, exclude. This circle is simply a rotation of energy and the rotation of that energy is produced by the Infinite Field Power itself. There is S, the sign of sentience, and there is a P on that line [of the periphery] the sign of positing. The sentience moves in and goes round and makes a closure. Now once it has gone inside this closure, is it not obvious that it must be, because of the closure, impeding itself? Is it not obvious that it must hit against its own binding skin or integument. Please remember diagram.
The Infinite Sentient Power that is called the Godhead, posits for itself a zone of operation in which the power, the total power of Cosmos, the total power of the Universe and not merely the so-called natural universe, but all phenomena whatever, that could conceivably be discovered by any intelligent being, the totality of all this energy, wrapping itself into a sphere quite deliberately by its own volition, because being power, it can do it and being sentient feeling, it knows that it is, this total power, Sentient Power, is called for short, God. Any religion has exactly the same definition of God. God is simply a very, very large, all-encompassing zone of power. But, beyond that zone of power there is an infinity of identical power but not locked up and that infinity of power is called The Godhead, the source of the God. You actually have, in the Gospel of John, a statement, God, without an article and The God, God with an article, and there is a very great difference between the two concepts.
Now when we, as human beings, think about God, our thought of God is not actually God it is something about that of which we are thinking. Our thought does not embrace God. Our thought indicates the impossibility of itself, as thought, embracing God. We can think about God, but that is not the same thing as feeling and willing and thinking simultaneously God. If you could think and feel and will and co-ordinate these three in perfect balance and what you were thinking about was God and what you were feeling was God and what you were willing was God, there would be no difference between you and God. Now in Yoga philosophy that is an equation. Atman, the Self, man, equals Brahman, this infinitely extended divinity. The problem is, how do human beings at this stage of evolution, manage to think, feel and will God simultaneously and every instant.
We can all do it for a moment. Let us just do it. First, think there is a tremendously large sphere of power which embraces the whole universe and it has been posited by an Infinite Power that goes even beyond the universe, beyond all conceivable universes. We are thinking about it. Not difficult to think about it is it? Anybody in trouble with it? No? Shall I do my favourite dirty trick and assume that silence is assent? I’ll do that.
You can think about God. Now I am going to ask you to feel exactly like God and you can think and tell me about it. How does an Infinite Power which is infinitely sentient, feel to itself? You started this Trevor, you can finish it now. How does it feel to itself, Trevor?
Absolutely dreadful! Well, absolutely full of dread. Now that is Kierkegaard’s analysis. It is absolutely full of dread. There is a Kierkegaard expert somewhere, lurking about, who is a great exponent of the little book called “The Concept of Dread.” Now I want you to look at the word dread a moment and think about it. When you said that Trevor, what exactly did you mean? The state of an Infinite Power, infinitely sentient. It is dreadful!
Yes, responsibility, is there anything more dreadful?
Now, we all like enjoying ourselves. Do we like that little fellow called Mr Comeback? No, very rarely. Only very, very, very enlightened, quick people like Mr Comeback, because it guarantees their perpetuity if you can assimilate it. So the state is dread. The German word for that is angst, which is related to our word, anxiety. I want you to think about this power, it is in a state of infinite anxiety. Now, what does It do about it? Any offers or shall we load Trevor again? In this state of dread, Trevor, what does it do with Itself?
It lets Itself get on with it.
It lets Itself get on with it. Now is there a better cure for all psychological disorders than getting on with it?
No. It is called occupational therapy isn’t it?
With a capital O!
Yes. Now the line between the enclosure and the exclosure is the Bardo. It is the bar between the inner and the outer and to get out of the inner into the outer you have to cross through that barrier. It is called the intermediate zone. I mean, how thickly do you draw a line? I can get a big, fat, pencil, that wide, and draw you a nice, broad line like that, that will express better the intermediate zone, wouldn’t it? Because if I got a very, very thin pencil, so thin that you could not see it, because there are such pencils you know, invisible pencils going like this, in space you would not call it an intermediate zone would you? If it is very, very thin you would say, “Well, I am either here or here,” because there is nothing here wide enough to stand on or get lost in. But supposing I draw a very, very thick line on very rough paper with a very sloppy pencil and a dither. And then I say to somebody inside the enclosure, “You are locked in here, you are imprisoned by the Absolute Power and you have to get out.” But you can’t get out without going through that big thick line that I have drawn which has a sloppy edge and a dither. It is the Bardo.
Now when you die, you know, just before you actually die, I don’t know whether you have ever watched people dying or have you had, say, a sparrow in your hand when a cat has had it? Anybody had that experience? You rescue a bird from a cat and the bird is shocked but its eye is shining and staring at you. And while you are watching it, the eye goes dull. And it is a fast but gradual process. It does not just collapse. You see that you are being watched in terror and what are you going to do? It has got you mixed up with the cat. And then the eye begins to glaze and then a few seconds later, no consciousness there. You know that bird’s soul has gone. Now, somewhere, between staring at you very hard and not looking at you at all, is the Bardo, the intermediate zone between life and death. Now, what is happening? Do you know that you do that every night when you go to sleep? You die. Would you believe it?
You actually die every night. You should be used to it by now! Yes? Every night when you go to bed, you climb into bed and you can, with much effort, relax, stop your jumping legs and worse, stop your rambling mind trying to put the day right, wondering what to say about the insult you gave to somebody or failed to give to somebody at the right moment, and your mind gradually drifts away doesn’t it until you go to a point where you are definitely not thinking, you have fallen into a dreamless sleep. But there was a dream between was there not? Between waking and deep, dreamless sleep, there is an intermediate state.
I am now going to do that horrible thing of drawing on this instrument again! There is your outer skin. I am going to cover it with waves like this, very sharp waves. Each little point of a wave there represents a stimulus received from outside. You don’t want me to go all the way round this do you? Please say, “No.”
Now your waking state is when you are focussed on objects of the external world, focussed on objects of the external world and you are sharply stimulated into awareness like this. Can you hear that? That is pretty sharp, right, that is a bit dull. Fairly sharp and you are stimulated. Can you see the bright light in this thing [projector]? It is fairly clear is it not?
Now we are going to do a little exercise. Look at it very clearly so that you know what it is like, then close your eyes and see if you can see it with the same degree of clarity that you can see it with your eyes open. Would you mind doing that? Can you see that same phenomenon with your eyes closed as intensely as you can with them open?
If you can you have got a lovely faculty called eidetic imagery. Some people have it. Babies have it but it tends to vanish. Some people retain it, eidetic imagery.
But if you can’t, there is another ring here. Now, this is the skin inside your physical skin. It is a skin round your ideas with their emotional charges and instead of doing a wave form that is sharp like that one, we are going to do a wave like an S form, going round and it is not sharp. Imagine this is going on. Now this inner circle here represents dreamland, dreamland. There are no sharp stimuli there except in those rare cases where a grown up retains the power of eidetic imagery or a grown up deliberately practise certain types of meditation to sharpen the image on purpose, or in the case of babies which have this capacity naturally. This middle circle here, with the gentle waves represents the non-sharp emotionally charged forms within consciousness. When you lose your external sharpness and fall in, close your eyes and remember, let us say, a word, - I will say the word, “Cat,” can you hear the word, cat, cat, cat, cat? Have you heard the word cat? Right. Now I want you to close your eyes and see if you can still hear it. Can you hear it? Is it so sharp? Did somebody say, “Yes?”
You said, “Yes,” did you? Well those who are telling the truth, yes, have got an audio-eidetic image. It can exist I believe that when our dear friend on the corner there said, “Yes,” she meant it. I believe it is probably one of her greatest difficulties in life because she has got a tremendously sharp power for doing that kind of thing. It is a gift and like all gifts, they have to be controlled. But, there it is, you can actually hear, to some degree. We will prove it. Supposing I shout “Cat”[high voice], “Cat” [low voice]. High, low, listen, can you hear it high, low? Can you hear it exactly the same way that you heard it when I shouted it? Yes? Yes. There are some talented folks who can do it. Babies can do it, yes?
I can hear it very clearly when you say, “Cat, cat, cat,” five times.
Well, all of it? Can you replay it internally with the same sharpness?
I can remember it, memory faded a little[when I didn’t converge]…
Yes right, the one that you don’t converge on tends to vanish, but, if you have actually got the power of convergence, you can sharpen them up again, and if you do sharpen them up to the original degree you have eidetic imagery. A very worthwhile talent for an artist or a Yogi or anybody aiming at freedom, but it has a little dangerous drawback. If you do this spontaneously without doing it deliberately, you can, in fact, hallucinate. That is, see that which is apparently there physically, and is not.
Now we have two states now don’t we, an external waking state where the external stimulus dominates consciousness, like if I look at that spotlight over there and focus on it hard it can dominate my consciousness, I can see the aura on the retina round here. I know that it isn’t really on there it is on my retina. The strength of that light is stimulating the rods and cones in my eye and the energy is leaking into surrounding parts of the retina making a kind of glow round the lamp. I can see it. Now, if I close my eyes and converge very hard I can still see it and by concentration I can raise it to the same degree that I have when my eyes are open. Now, in doing this I am in great danger because only if I do it deliberately, consciously, knowing that I am doing it am I safe from it. Because, supposing it happened to me accidentally, anywhere, supposing I were going down the road and I am looking casually at the traffic lights and suddenly one of them doesn’t look red at all. I have projected a memory image seen somewhere else, onto the traffic lights, so I go straight through the traffic lights. I would hallucinate. It is quite easy to hallucinate if you practice hard. Positive, deliberate hallucination is very good magic. Negative, accidental hallucination is a nuisance because it can make you fall in love with the wrong girl or boy, because you could have a perfect image of a very lovely woman and you can meet a girl looking nothing like her either in hair colour, size or anything else and you can have such an intense eidetic image of your kind-hearted mother, who always gave you your own way, that you project this image onto a girl, totally different, so intensely that she is astonished at your devotion, gives in and marries you, and then spends thirty odd years explaining to you that you were wrong. She is not a bit like your mother and if you do have to go on the telephone to get the instructions how to make soup from mummy, you can be in serious trouble!
Now we have there, two circles. One with a very sharp waves and one with gentle undulating waves, the external waking state, the inner state of dreams. We have another one inside. Strictly I am not allowed to put anything in that because it is the deep, dreamless sleep. But funnily enough, it has not nothing in it; it has got everything in it simultaneously. I am going to break the rules and I am going to write inside there, PURNA, purna. Now the na part means serpent and means your primal life force, the energy which you are and the pur means city or intellection, structure, whatever form that your life force has built into itself. So, right in the innermost centre of your being is purna. Now the ordinary definition of that in a lexicon would be total, concrete reality. Now from the point of view of an external being, focussed on the external world, here, if I look at this….. can you remember the diagram for me? Will you be so kind?
If I look at the external world and if I am trained in the external world, and if I have been to a very, very good school and learned thoroughly my piece that only empirical science is true and that nothing is inside me except that which comes to me from my external five sense organs, if I have been thoroughly trained and learned my lessons and committed myself to this belief, then I must only treat this internal purna, total concrete reality, as rubbish, a figment of mystical imagination. Can you see why that must be so? If I say that this [projector] is real and I verify it with a sense of touch, if I think my verification has added something to it that wasn’t there already, namely the simple fact that there is resistance, I move my arm through space, I bring it down, complete with nice pen and I smite it and I feel resistance. Now, if I say that sense of resistance is a proof that my eye was right to see the object or my ear was right to hear it, I am duping myself. Why should I believe that my sense of touch is superior to my sense of sight or hearing or smell or taste? Is there any reason? If there is, please tell me. Is there any reason why I should trust my sense of touch more than my other senses? No?
Who said, “Yes?”
I said yes.
Because of the resistance.
Because of the resistance.
[To the member who responded.] Now you are very scientific are you not and you agree that all matter is a mode of energy?
Now I’m going to do a bit of intra-nuclear examination now. What is the nucleus of an atom made of?
Well, it is made of nucleons, which are basically protons and neutrons.
What are they made of?
We don’t know for certain. There are other particles.
What are the particles made of? Are they energy or not?
They are [energy]
Are you sure of that position in science, they are energy?
[They make an equation between mass and energy.]
Yes, mass and energy are equivalent, yes?
Now, is it not true, that because of the removal of the concept of separative atoms, science has put itself in a position of having a continuum of energy, space-time-power continuum?
[Yes, it has.]
Right, so that we are actually dealing with an Infinite Power, an infinitely extended power and all phenomena are modalities of it. Right?
Now, tell me if this is the truth, and it is generally considered to be the truth by the most advanced intelligences in science, what is the meaning of resistance?
[Resistance must be in the sense of the observer.]
Who is the observer?
It has to be the scientist who is the observer.
And what is the scientist?
The scientist is a modality of the continuum that he is examining, is that not so? Yes, though, he does not like it to be so? Factually, when he is in the laboratory doing an experiment he is a modality of that which he is supposed to be examining.
So that which he is supposed to be examining is really examining itself, using him, a precipitate of itself as its own medium of self-examination, right? What is the meaning of resistance, then?
The resistance is a capacity of the observer to observe a field of resistance.
Yes, in other words to put it rather shortly, resistance is self-opposition.
Opposition, right? But, there is only an infinite continuum, so the infinite continuum must be opposing itself in order to give rise to what you call perception.
But the same continuum also gives rise to sensations of sight, yes, sound, smell and taste.
Are they less valid as modalities of the same continuum of power as what you call resistance?
No, but they don’t represent human resistance …
Of course they don’t because resistance is the sensation of resistance whereas light is a sensation of a light, but they are all valid. There is no superiority is there of one sense over another? Is that true?
Yes. That one has to discover about life by touch, the thing about all other senses is that they remain static to the observer.
Supposing we had a person who had touch and no sight, no sounds, no smells or taste, what kind of a universe would he experience?
A very confused one.
It would be, very confused, because it would be nothing but a mass of knockings, would it not, with no conceivable way of interpreting them as other than knockings? So, if you abstract it from the other senses it becomes as big a nuisance as they are if you abstract any one of those.
How has it come about, and this is very important, that there has come to be believed by human beings on earth, that the sense of touch is more important than the rest?
Something to do with our influences as children we discover what science is through the sense of touch.
The reason is that energy has compacted itself very tightly in order to convince itself of its own presence.
So, this apparent superiority of touch is nothing but a will to self-experience through self-opposition. Do you know what you do when you do what you call seeing through somebody else’s lame excuses? You have done that haven’t you?
When you do it, what is the meaning of seeing through?
One sees a sort of charade.
You see a structure of ideas offered to you as covering certain phenomena when they don’t. You see through it because you see actually, through the veil of words offered to you, to an eidetic structure behind them and if the eidetic structure behind them is confused because the words are inaccurately presented, then you see that behind this confused structure there must be another structure, not confused and that other structure not confused is your innermost self,
So even in the most external laboratory experiments you are thrown back on your own personal integrity. Isn’t that true in the realm of science that every scientist demands from fellow scientists, integrity?
They must not lie about their experiments must they?
No, it is no good.
No, no good at all. They must have integrity, they must be integrated beings and they must understand this process, that there are external stimuli coming and striking on the skin surface of the body, touch, light striking in the eye and landing on the retina, impulses landing on the ear making sound, taste, smell and so on. These things must be known and then you must go inside yourself to frame a hypothesis. Now, the hypothesis is not in the external world is it? But, if the hypothesis corresponds exactly with the situation in the external world it is called a true hypothesis. If it doesn’t, you have to change it until it does. Now any scientist pursuing the solution of an external problem goes through a period of internal meditation and fabrication of a series of hypotheses, but he never solves in that way. He has to go to sleep on it. He always says, “I must sleep on that problem,” and he goes through dreamland and if he gets into this central realm, then he comes out and sees the solution of the problem.
Now all the great scientists agreed that the solutions of their problems came to them from some inner depth of being and they are very interested in that depth of being. That depth of being is not your external sense state, not your dreaming state but the innermost state. This is outer, inner, innermost. In the innermost is the solution of all problems, simply, because it was from the innermost that they were projected. Infinity pressed onto a centre and then pushed out from this centre to make a dream world. And then it pushed out from the dream world to make a physical world and because it has been pushed out from the centre therefore the centre knows the solution, and that is the purpose of all meditation, to get to the centre of being which precipitated the universe in order to find out what are the rules of precipitation. Right?
That is a trick you find that the centre knows the solution?
Well how can it be tricky, really? Back to the drawing board.
Let this sheet of Perspex here [on the overhead projector] represent infinity and light. There isn’t anything else, just light, and that light is sentience, power, Sentient Power and it comes from infinity by its own volition and draws itself a circle, and then it goes inside this circle. But remember this energy has to keep on the move, it cannot become static. It begins to draw in to a centre but because it can’t stop, it can’t go to what you call dead centre can it? So, it has to come out again. Now, either it could go out to infinity again, - end of adventure, or it can go out as far as its primal skin, which in Genesis is called, The Firmament. Then, having gone there, it can bounce back on and go in again. But it can never go to dead centre, can it?
Why can’t it go to dead centre?
Because it cannot stop. Its essence is dynamism, yes?
If it went to dead centre…
It would be still, it wouldn’t be a moving power would it? It would be dead. So what it does, it rotates like this, and it goes on, bouncing on its own skin and gives rise to that phenomenon at the level of neurology, the efferent and afferent nervous impulses. The impulses go into the organism to certain centres in the brain and out again to the musculature and organs of action. In to convey information, out to respond, but never to dead centre.
Now, I have not drawn on that in the middle, have I? No. So I must say that the essence of that in the middle is not different from the essence of that beyond the enclosure. Right?
It cannot be different, no. The essence [inside] there is the same as the essence [outside] there. And I am going to write there, I S for inner sentience, is-ness, and outside here, I am going to write S I, spirit immanent in itself, but transcendent of the immanent spirit within the enclosure. So this line here, the outermost boundary, if I draw a line from centre, like a radius, to there and abstract that, I have done a letter T, haven’t I? And that is what T means, a radial force crossing a peripheralising force. And then we have a base, there I have written sit, ST the base of sit and stand. Because the energies coming in, once they have made that circle which is your skin surface or the skin surface of the solar system or the skin surface of the whole universe, once they have made it they have to drive in again, as near as they can to centre and then out again to the periphery. So, information is going into you and responses are coming out of you but the essential innermost spirit of your being is in no sense different from the outermost.
In any case, consider the orange colour, that you can see of this pencil on here, has not done anything other than rest on the Perspex on which I have drawn, is not the Perspex still underneath?
In the same way, infinite reality is underneath all phenomena. So infinite reality is substantial and phenomena are super-stantial. Phenomena are ‘standing on’.
Now let’s look at what it says in Genesis. The Spirit of God moved on the surface of the waters and made a ripple, on the surface. Down in the depths it did not do any such thing did it?
No. So here is your psychological thing, the waking state, the dreaming state and the deep sleep state is identical with the condition of original intelligent spirit. That means that when you go into deep, dreamless sleep you are actually at your highest level of awareness. You have regained your intimate connection with Infinite Spiritual Power, sentience, power, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, is all there in that undrawn-on zone in the innermost centre of your being. Can it be otherwise? No!
Does that mean that all the experiences that are going on in that integument, as to our essence, the inner self, that is just as pure as it is seen of? But it cannot be touched by it?
That’s right. That is why St Paul says the devil’s chief weapon is the conviction of sin to try to convince you that you are somehow besmirched by your deeds. Now, that is not possible is it?
So all experiences of life are simply resting, as it were, on that surface.
As to our very essence of being, we ARE.
You are, eternally, yes, so you can say “are is” and mean it. The Absolute, A, IS, [–ah is!] Ah is mahself! [Myself]. You are utterly pure, eternally pure and nothing can besmirch you. So what is the meaning of all this terrible suffering and guilt and extraordinary deeds people do? It is the product of what is called The Fall. Now what is it that falls? It is attention. Your attention is drawn out by what? Your interest. Because that power in the centre there is Sentient Power and it can and does take an interest in things. So it can flow out of that centre and go into the zone of activity. That is the zone here, this zone here, we could call all this zone the action zone and things are going on in there, phenomena, mental phenomena, and, on the edge here where the stimuli come, so-called physical phenomena. But if you are interested, you can forget that you willed your interest and you can actually do that most terrible thing, thinking the thing that you are interested in is interesting in itself.
Why if we all know the answers, are we searching for the questions?
Chinese reply to that is in the story of the little boy looking for the bull that never got lost. The bull means your will; the little boy means undeveloped awareness. The search is time, which is a projection of your interest in finding yourself out.
You see one thing about a little baby. You can see that it is perfectly innocent, quite omniscient because does it not know how to scream to annoy its mother? Does it not know how, immediately on filling a nappy and having it changed, to refill it? Does it not know thousands of canny devices, holding its breath till it goes blue in the face, going rigid, all kinds of terrible tricks that it has got, all these coming under the heading of tantrums and so on. All these are inherent in the child are they not? But the peculiar thing about the child is this, when it goes into a tantrum, it can get stuck in it. Do you know, sometimes babies die in tantrum because in order to convince, you have to do a good job. So if you are going to say to your mother, and I have heard children say this, “I’ll hold my breath until I die,” and she says, “Oh well, die,” and you say, “Say well this is, somebody has got to give and it is not going to be me,” so you hold your breath and you have got an eye on mummy to see if she is weakening. Maybe she doesn’t care any more. Maybe you might as well be dead as far as she is concerned. So you hold your breath, and you hold your breath, and you hold your breath. Meanwhile, your cells are suffering from anoxia. Yet you are killing your cells to have your own way.
It doesn’t matter you know, because when you have done it you will still be there as the zone of Sentient Power. But, you will have lost the battle with mummy, yes, and the memory of that will make you reincarnate. You will re-meet and you will do it again and this time you will win, because do you know what you will do next time? You will hold your breath until you are blue enough nearly to die and then you will start devising a canny method of sneaking a breath while she is not looking. Something has got to give, it is not going to be me. Now that is called the rule of spirit. You call a person spirited when they won’t give in, don’t you, even if you kill them? There are people and you can electrically shock everything they have got that you would rather not have shocked, in order to accept a religious belief or a political belief and there are certain people that don’t give in. And they are called spirited people. They are so deeply near their innermost centre that they actually know that they don’t die when they die and they will be back to re-shock you again.
Now, this power is essentially our selves and it is eternal. We can’t get rid of it. Now, this is the dreadful bit, that this Infinite Power that is in this dreadful state of responsibility is nothing other than the same power which is in us, afflicted with dreadful anxiety. We are just as anxious as the Absolute aren’t we? We worry about all kind of things.
Can you... You know that God has got a wife called Cosmic Wisdom, Sophia? Do you know that she goes to the mirror and goes like this, “Oh my God, I look awful this morning!” She does, because creation goes in cycles. There is a day and a night. A day of creation and a night of sleeping and dreaming and preparing for the next day, and when, after a very long Pralaya, that is a night of dreaming and preparing, Sophia wakes up to a new dawn of creation, she always goes to the mirror and does that, “How am I looking for my next test?” Because this mysterious energy that formulates itself as a perfect sphere [Sophia] of perfectly delightful forms, finds a very peculiar thing. That the more delightful the forms, the more awkward the will to deal with those forms. I mean, after all, you do create forms of activity to fascinate each other don’t you? I mean what is the purpose of parting your hair on the left side or the right side or transversely? It is fascination. You wear your skirts short, long, slashed to the sides, your housecoat back to front, anything, you see. You greet the insurance man with a marvellous smile and you suddenly remember you forgot to put your teeth in, you know. This is a fact, all form is an attempt to fascinate, that means to bind. Why? because the will loves nothing better than to be in charge of its situation.
Now the Bardo, the intermediate realm, is the realm of dream and when you are dying it is very nice if you have a very accomplished priest who knows the rules of dying and who is prepared to sit by your bed and say, “Now stop thinking about Mabel who got away when you were fifteen because that is a diversion. I want you to think about pure light, pure consciousness. Focus on pure consciousness. Do not be diverted by the memory of that man going down the road in a Mark VI Jag and overtaking your Cortina. Do not be diverted.” Do you know they say things like this when they are getting you through the Bardo? Concentrate on the light, the intelligence, so that you don’t forget yourself and you don’t fall into identification with rubbish. Because, if you do, you will carry this rubbish with you into the realm of the dream beyond the physical body and you will go on dreaming for a certain length of time, and when that cycle of dreaming is over you will re-incarnate equipped with the rubbish you took with you from the last incarnation. So, the purpose of that little book is to tell you how to get through the intermediary state between living in the physical world and living in another world, a subtle world, and it is telling you how to get to the causal.
Now we had three levels, did we not, here? This level is called the gross, a hundred and forty four for anybody who can’t count, and this level is called subtle, sub-tile, under your tile, and this level is causal. Now the causal level is your primordial will, the subtle level is the level of your ideas and the gross level is the level at which external, objective stimuli act upon you. When external stimuli act upon you they mean nothing whatever to you until you say so. You know that because you have quarrelled with somebody and sometimes said, “Go away, I have crossed you out of my life. You mean nothing to me as from today.” Isn’t it true? And if you have got tremendous convergence you can actually do it, you just don’t think about that person. Like a Jewish friend of mine when his son married ‘out’ of the faith, his father conducted a burial service over the ‘dead’ son, who was dead to the true faith, of course, and we were going down Market Street, the son and I together, and this man passed by and never looked at him, and they were shoulder to shoulder. And I said, “Your father?” and he said, “I’m dead, he has performed a religious ceremony for me. He has buried me because I married out.” Now that shows we can do such things, doesn’t it?
We have the power to interpret external reality. You can say, “This man is marvellous and he is the meaning of my life.” You are lying in your teeth, if you have any teeth, otherwise you are just lying. But when you do so you are imposing on you, no one else. And you are imposing a dream that you have fabricated by an act of will. This is not to say that you should not do it, must not do it, ought not to do it. You see if you impose a dream, like the Negro fellow that got shot for saying that he was dreaming a dream, if you impose a dream, know that you are imposing it. It is very good because, if you dream properly and powerfully, you can take an innocent girl and you can dream her up into a Mata Hari if she had no resistance. You can have the power in your mind to define her character exactly and gradually the power, because there isn’t anything other than power and its modalities, the power of your will to modalise her into quite a decent type, if that was your intent! But if you knew you were doing it, it would be all right, wouldn’t it? Provided you remembered one thing, the whole of reality is cyclic and whatever you impose on anybody will curve back on you. You are responsible aren’t you? Back to the anxiety.
We impose on each other. Remember William Blake’s story about the angel encounter he had. An angel came to see him and discuss with him what he believed and showed Blake that it was rubbish. Blake replied by going to where the angel was and the angel saw absolutely horrible things and said to Blake, “You impose on me.” And Blake said, “We impose on each other.” It is all a question of how you define the situation. You have to posit that in the innermost centre of your being there is a will. This will is absolutely free and in no sense different from the Infinite Will of God in essence. But in its modal operation, the way in which it uses itself formally, it is different and for the way in which you use your will, for the way in which you design the universe in which you intend to live, you are responsible because you have willed it. You impose your definitions, like a Hitler on the German people or a Mussolini on the people or a Hirohito on the Japanese people, and so on. You impose your will and then you have to pay for the imposition.
Now where does this place us? In the Bardo, in the intermediary stage is our salvation. If we are looking at the external world, if I looked with my external eyes and saw you people sitting there and know that you are looking at me, also, as external objects, there is nothing I can do with you is there? If you are really objects, what Martin Buber would call ‘its’ – you know there is ‘I’ and ‘it’, I and Thou, do I look at you as collections of its or as a lot of thous? Well, if I am going to be free from trouble, I had better think about you as a lot of thous, hadn’t I, not ‘its’? You are not non-sentient material objects. You are thinking, feeling, willing beings. Isn’t that true? And, therefore you could react back on me by everything I say or do, volitionally or emotionally or by throwing ideas.
Now in the intermediary stage of the dream, I can say this, that because ultimate reality is a continuum of Sentient Power, you must be, yourselves, Sentient Power. So, there must be a process analogous in you to that in me. You must be thinking and feeling and willing. Now if that is so I must make allowances for the fact that you are thinking and feeling and willing, because if I make allowances for that, well, the kind of trouble I will get into will not be not of my choosing, will it? Whereas if I thought you were not thinking, feeling, willing beings and I did various things, thinking you were just material objects to be pushed around, there would be certain comebacks to me which would certainly destroy me. So unless I am ready to be destroyed, I won’t do that. I will treat you as I expect you to treat me because we are all, fundamentally, Sentient Power. We think, we feel and we will.
Now, in the very depths of our being is Purna, structured appetite. Na, the serpent, means primordial appetite, pur, the city, means true structure and the structure is nothing but the structure of appetite. But it is the structure of an appetite that knows itself, intimately. Depth motivation to it is immediate and spontaneous. It does not need to go to a psychiatrist to find out its motives. It knows its motives because it hasn’t left them. Its motivation is deeply in its consciousness. There is total mutual permeation of pur and na, that is of pure reason and of appetite. Now, that is non-serial. It does not consist of thoughts following one after another. It does not consist of emotional responses, one after another. It is a concrete immediate, simultaneous, whole reality. So, how can I get at that?
Well, from the external waking state, I can’t get at it without going through my dream state, can I? I’ve got to go through the intermediate state of internalisation to get away from the dominion of the external stimulus to find out, what in myself, I am thinking about, dreaming about, motivating myself about. Then, if I go down through the intermediate zone and I don’t fall asleep in my dream, but I learn to dream awake. You know that waking-dreaming, called day-dreaming, is a thing that is quite easy to acquire because you never stop doing it. But it is a thing that is quite difficult to retain control of, consciously and continually. You get through your state of deliberate day-dreaming, and you carry this through into your night-dream and you train yourself to dream on purpose so that you can actually see all the forces at work on your own being and then you can carry this awareness into simultaneity, into the centre of your being, where your structured appetite, your purna, concrete whole, is there in its simultaneity. And there you are in the causal world.
Now, whatever you say in that innermost centre of your own being must come to pass, unless there is another being that has gone into the centre of his being who has willed the contrary. You see how interesting that is. You have all heard the Fairy stories of the battle of the magicians. They go into their deepest centre, the purna, and then they will something there, some fantastic display, and the other magician immediately changes all the cards, and they have a battle to see who has got the most patience and the most perseverance and the most convergence on the world that has been created. But, if you recognise this, you know that you cannot win the battle against the Absolute, can you? No finite being can will against the Absolute, against the Godhead, that is impossible. Why? Because that is essentially identical with oneself. Now how can you win against yourself? You have to say, “I will declare war on myself.” Can you beat yourself? Supposing you decide that you are going to beat yourself to teach yourself a lesson and you actually win by beating yourself. Have you beaten yourself? You can’t, can you? On the other hand, if you say, “I won’t beat myself, I will just be on good terms with myself,” again you have succeeded. In your essential, imperturbable, eternal, central essence you are absolutely un-defeatable. So, what is all the crying that goes on and all the misery that goes on in the external world? It is autohypnosis that is all. Literally, you put yourself to sleep by the technique called identifying with the things in which you are interested. You interest yourself in something or someone. You define it according to your terms, not theirs and you push it with all the energy you have got. And then when it seems that it is quite other than you have defined, you become upset. Now there is no other misery in the world other than a defeated self-identification.
So, what do all the great religions say? They say, give up identifying with the projections of your own mind and learn to centre in the causal will. Oh, all right, create as much as you like, make ideas, make great art, sculpt, paint, make music, make love, do whatever, but do not forget that you are doing it by act of will. And, when you are doing that by that deep will that is the centre of your being, it follows that there cannot be anything wrong with it because it is deep will. The deep will cannot will a wrong. You can make a wrong by external faulty observation. You can make a wrong by dreaming carelessly and becoming emotively charged. You cannot make a wrong by a depth action of free will.
So there is the Bardo with that funny word appended to it. It is the intermediate state between external waking state and deep, central, perfectly free will which in essence is identical with God. It is within every human being’s power to internalise, to become aware of that great depth and to learn to trust it. And remember the enemy is your external education which has taught you to not to trust anything except that which you can verify with a sense of touch on the outside. Now, verification with a sense of touch on the material things is called Mammon. Simply count the material only, and make that the basis of your action and you will be secure. It is the biggest lie in the world because it leaves out internal, depth motivation. It is a great error of what are called plutocrats. Plutocrats are very, very rich men who think that because they have become rich they can be accepted by making very large money gifts to charities, into the best people. That is not the way to be accepted is it? The way to be accepted, whether you have any money or no money is by personal integrity, by knowing one’s motive, intimately, in the depth and operating from that central motivation. Now it can only be done ktana, here and now. In every single moment of time it requires convergence, here and now. You can’t do it yesterday or tomorrow or five minutes ago or five minutes hence, you can only do it now. So, it is a question of gathering oneself together every instant and this is the meaning of the statement of the great mystics, that the world is reconstituted every instant.
You have these conditions, the Creator of the world, the Preserver of the world, the Destroyer of the world. Now, the middle one is interesting, the Preserver, because there is no preservation other than re-creation of the same thing that you created the first time. A thing is only preserved if you re-posit it. So that the particular habits of thought and feeling and willing that you have, from moment to moment, preserve your image of yourself in your world, only if you re-posit them every time you think about them. If you change your mind about anything whatever, in your mind or in the world, it starts disintegrating. Do you know, that if all the people in the world suddenly decided they were fed up with the social structure and they were all in perfect agreement from the depth of their will, that social structure would vanish immediately. But, because they are all interested in re-positing it for their own ends, individually, it persists. There is no Preserver of the Universe other than the Creator, who continuously re-posits the same forms that He was positing before. And so, with the life of the individual, there is no preservation of the individual life other than the re-positing.
Once upon a time, in a moment of childhood, a little girl, a little boy, hit upon a moment of happiness and they remember it, and they would like to re-posit it. And they have the power to re-posit that wonderful, spontaneous, friendly inter-permeation of life forces with another being. And then, along comes something that disappoints them, that cuts across their private purpose and instead of re-positing their joy in mutual interrelation, they usually fall into positing resentment, annoyance, revenge, remembering and bearing the grudge. Now all these activities are positings of a world other than joy which is why St Paul says, “Steadfastly affirm the good, spend no strength in denying the evil.” You re-posit. Think of the thing you like best in all the world. What do you like best in all the world? I’ll tell you what you like best in all the world. You like a very intimate, personal, spontaneous relation in which you do not need to guard yourself against other beings, in which you do not wish to have to tell lies to protect your self-image, in which you can afford to lay yourself absolutely naked before total reality. That is what you really want. But, the whole of your training is quite otherwise. You are taught what are called good manners. You are taught civilised behaviour and all of these things are devices to divert you from the essential nakedness of your primordial soul.
What you really want is for you to walk about naked without criticism, physically, emotionally, rationally, spiritually, in every way, to be absolutely acceptable to every other being. And that is the prophecy of what will happen to the human race eventually. And, in about four thousand years time, bang in the middle of Capricorn, it will be that people won’t bother about what people are or where they came from or anything else because they will all know the same thing. And that same thing will be, we are volitional beings, generating ourselves from the very centre of ourselves and nothing but our own volitional generation is the yardstick of our validity.