Eugene Halliday Page
A talk given by Eugene Halliday, transcribed by, and with arbitrary headings by John Bailey.
The drawings and tables aren’t originals, and all editor’s notes are in square brackets.
In many instances the remarks from the audience are indistinct.
First of all we have to be careful in defining beauty as consisting of balanced proportions, because balance itself can be considered statically or dynamically. Let’s have a look at what we mean.
The concept of balance is a pair of scales with pans weighing the same, and weights. If the weights on both sides are equal — this is beginning to look a bit like a frog already — if the weights on both sides are equal, then the beam is horizontal and the thing is equilibrated.
Now that kind of balance gives a certain security to the observer and he feels that nothing is going to change much unless we introduce a further force. We can call that static balance.
Now there’s another kind of balance where we balance something diagonally. Supposing we take the scale and tilt the beam and we put the weights — again equal size — we have to account for this non-horizontal beam. And this causes us to think, Why is that scale tilted, why does the beam slope in that way? And we have to feel somehow that there’s more weight down on one side than there is on the other. We might represent the increase in weight by shading this side dark, and the other side, the higher side of the scale, light. And we then get a feeling that it’s quite legitimate for this pan of the scale to be down because the weight on that side is more dense.
And the appearance of this diagonal has a very close relationship to this principle of dynamic balance. There’s another way, we could make both weights exactly equal and still have the beam balanced providing we added another force to one end to tilt it a little bit, or postulated some friction on the bearing of the beam sufficiently high in value to stop the beam from rotating and equilibrating in two ways.
Now as soon as we get this dynamic balance we get a totally different psychological effect. When we look at the static balance we see that we don’t expect any movement at all to occur so that we can begin to feel satisfied that there is no threat. Remember, when we look at a picture we always unconsciously identify with it. If we look at this one in static balance — I’ll frame it for a moment, to isolate it — this one in static balance gives us an appearance that nothing is going to happen, everything is all right, we can afford to identify with it and go to sleep.
Bur as soon as we look at the other picture we become aware that because of this force acting on the beam and holding it up, there is a feeling of insecurity. We identify with it and then we say, what’s the source of the force that’s tilting the beam? Can we rely on that force to stay there?
Now let’s look at the first diagram again and identify with it. Whenever we see in a picture any element at all, that element stands to us as a possible entity with which to identify. So the whole scale, the beam and the two pans and its support can represent the body of the observer. And therefore he has — we assume him to be facing us like an heraldic device — his right hand here and his left hand are in balance, so the left hand and right hand side of our being seem to be equilibrated. Or we can say, I will identify with one side of the balance and I will identify a friendly man with the other side of the balance; and we are sufficiently balanced in our knowledge of each other, our feeling for each other and our material affinities, to maintain a static, equilibrated relation.
Now that’s a sort of pipe dream, the ideal marriage of suburbia where nothing is going to happen and the other aspects of being shall never enter this sacred domain. As soon as we look at this one with the diagonals inside, we find this element again of threat. If we identify with the whole being — the pair of scales, the two pans — then something is pushing up tilting the beam, and seems to come from outside the picture. It breaks through the frame and tilts the beam and threatens us. Where does it come from? This we do unconsciously. And this is the cause of liking and disliking of compositions by observers according to their own present state of equilibrium.
If I am the whole scale, I want to know what is that force coming in and disturbing me. If I identify with the lower pan and my friend with the upper pan, I want to know what force has acted upon my friend to elevate him and lower myself.
Now beauty we’ve analysed once before so that to consider it as balance, statically and dynamically, is not a bad approach to it. But if we observe the French word for water in the middle of this word, we see this eau, and we know the characteristic of water is its absolute adaptability. If we pour water into a thin container and water into a fat container then the water without any bother takes up the shape of the container. The Tao Te King is based on this fact. Water is the very symbol of plastic adaptability. It is the type of the sage who can assume any form whatever according to the shape of the environment. Beauty therefore means here a dynamic kind of equilibrium, showing a substance capable of adjusting its own form to the forms in the environment. Now let’s have a look at this in the form of a picture.
If we take this concept of the water as the symbol of plastic adaptable substance, and we start to compose a picture and we put down one entity in this picture — it doesn’t matter what it is, let’s say, I put down a black mark here — now as soon as I’ve put that black mark down to one side I feel over here that there is something lacking. There’s more space here, something could be done with it. Now, if I think of static balance I think, well I can just measure the distance from the plane here to this vertical, measure the same distance from here and put another one in here. As soon as I do that I have got static balance, security appears and I can go to sleep. [08:02]
If I want to make another kind of balance, I will have to introduce something other than a pair of verticals or pair of horizontals. But apart from the vertical and horizontal, if I confine myself to straight lines for a moment, all I’ve got are diagonals. Now supposing I balance this one, not with another vertical the same distance from the frame, but I balance it with a diagonal. I put a diagonal across the place that is empty. But in my mind I have the vertical that I might have drawn for static balance and I’ve taken the centre of that invisible vertical, and I have placed along it, running through that centre, a diagonal, and that diagonal is pivoted on that invisible vertical. Now that gives me a dynamic balance.
Quite unconsciously the observer travels from this right hand vertical form, over the picture to the place where one would be and it encounters a diagonal. And this diagonal is pivoted on the point where another vertical would be. I therefore derive from this a certain satisfaction, and where there is the centre, something has tilted this arm — perhaps an arrow, a force vectored has hit it — and thus accounts for its rotation. If I was to put another one here, exactly similar to that one, again it would account for it so well that I would expect the whole thing to begin to spin. But when I apply a little force on here, I am not surprised to find that the vertical that should have been on this side, is now rotated. Now this is again a dynamic balance.
Now the second part of this question says, does balance displayed externally denote balance or unbalance internally?
Now we are talking about the human being here, although we have not mentioned it specifically. Here is the perimeter of a human being, and the question says, does the beauty or balance exhibited externally — that is, where an external observer can perceive it — indicate internally, balance or unbalance? Now, according to the specific case under consideration, it can denote either.
Let’s draw our immanent spirit inside there, the centre of initiative, the individuated self in its very essence, and let’s draw straight through from there, its original equilibrium right through to the perimeter. Now, an observer from outside can see balance on the outside and this particular being is actually balanced on the inside as well. So there is a case in which external balance could have internal balance to support it.
But very often we get another case in which the immanent spirit is unknown to the person. External balance is presented in order to hide the fact of chaos inside. Now this is a typical case of a neurotic or even a psychotic entity. The balance is presented so that society will not lock up this being. It presents a facade of equilibrium, of good behaviour and social adjustment. But it may be presented in order to obscure the fact of internal chaos.
Now, we find very many people of this order let loose in society. You know that the natural tendency of a man who feels himself in very grave danger of committing social offences, sexual and otherwise, if he possibly can manage it he will try, and with much industry to become a member of the watch committee ... this in order to ally himself with the forces that would otherwise keep an eye on him. He feels safer there ... his internal chaos makes him present a facade of balance or respectability. So we find that either can happen.
There can be balance showing on the outside supported by internal balance or there can a facade balance which has underneath it nothing but chaos. Now we can also get another kind of thing where we have a person who is aware of his inner spirit and is balanced on the inside and behaves chaotically on the outside on purpose. This is similar to the fool for Christ’s sake and it also the natural behaviour of a clown who has factually spent many, many years learning how to equilibrate his body. He can handle himself on a tightrope. He can juggle. He can do all manner of things that have required many, many years of hard discipline. So that really he is a highly equilibrated man through years of hard work. And yet his peculiar job requires him to behave in an utterly chaotic and foolish manner. Anybody who’s seen a clown do a drunken act on a tight wire will realise how chaotic a really balanced man can behave, deliberately.
So we then have the three cases and we have to remember these when we are evaluating the apparent balance or chaos of anybody on the outside.
[reading a question from a sheet handed to him] Now, does balance displayed externally denote balance or unbalance internally? If it denotes balance does it balance in an organic equilibration?
Well we’ve already attended to that, now it says,
[reading more from the same sheet] Why do beautiful women and handsome men get seriously ill and sometimes die quite young of diseases which I would think would attack organisms only in a state of dis-equlilibrium?
So let’s have a look now. We have a body here. We will say we have a body of balanced proportions which means proportions acceptable to the particular nation in which this being appears. It must conform if it’s a Nordic type to certain standards. We’ll let this external equilibration mark represent these standards.
Now supposing he’s therefore handsome as a youth. The automatic thing in society is that he receives adulation. Now the more adulation he receives outside, the more he tends to move with his consciousness onto his perimeter. The more we flatter the beautiful child, the more extroverted and fatuous that child will become. In fact the whole of his energies can move onto the surface of his being to maintain his beautiful facade. When that happens he becomes totally aware of his internal spirit, of his initiative, and he becomes entirely dependent upon the adulation stimuli of his environment. He therefore has no time to order his internal self and his internal self is chaotic. [15:33]
Now there is a very peculiar thing about the human race generally: when they admire something because it is beautiful — when they admire another being — they don’t simply admire that being and leave it at that. They also require from the admired being certain behaviour. Very, very soon the admired person finds that he or she is not allowed to live life as they feel like living it. And either they have to break with their admirers, or to accept the admiration and do as they’re told.
Now frequently there is a conflict between the internal energies and the external stimulus requirements. We find then, that somebody who has been born beautiful in this sense is under stimulus from outside and the stimulus is requiring from them, in payment for the admiration given, that they shall conform to certain patterns of behaviour. We’ve seen this in the case of many quite famous people — film stars and others — who, when they behave in a certain way, and conform to the public concept of what they ought to do, then their beauty has been duly accepted. But if at any time they do anything peculiar that the public do not like, then they are rejected.
You may remember at one time that clown Charlie Chaplin through various marriages and some un-political activities, was defined as an American, as not an American. As English, as not English. He was in disrepute because of certain sympathies and certain activities. If he is going to be the little man whom everybody admires, then he must behave in that manner that they consider admirable. You may remember that Gracie Fields became much in public disfavour by running away with a little Italian and going to Capri at a time when public opinion in England had decided that she ought to be very pro-British, not marry an Italian, and certainly not go to an enemy country during the time we were at war. She went out of favour. Now we’ll say that her voice was her beauty in this case, and her capacity for being funny with it.
The external stimulus situation says, Gracie, we love you, and it says, therefore you must do as we say. Now this is a very peculiar thing about the lover. He tends to want you to do as he says. He has very, very good precedence for this because he says, while in quoting Jesus Christ, he says, if you love me, do as I say. One of the hard sayings. Now every young man when he loves a girl wants her to do what he says. He doesn’t say so, he wants to please her. But she has to be pleased by him in the way that he considers pleasurable to him to please her. And in the same way she has her own thoughts about how she loves him. If she loves him, then there are various things that he must do. He must change his brilliantine, wear brown shoes and not black, and so on.
As soon as one begins to love, because of the meaning of the word — which means the development of the potentialities ... the egg of that being — one tends to insist on the development of the talents, the particular talents that one has loved the person for, that these particular talents shall be manifested. It doesn’t matter whether the talents are of the belly order, or the heart order, or the head order, whatever has been the orienting cause of the relation shall be developed further.
So that the lover requires, as well as gives. He requires at least acceptance of the gift on the terms offered. We there see a very, very good reason why very beautiful women and handsome men should become ill and die young. Simply because they have received adulation from outside, and then they have been required to conform to the conceptual pattern of their admirers. And this is very, very seldom in line with their spiritual development and so there’s an internal chaos.
On other levels healthy plants and animals all seem to look beautiful. The all would be slightly qualified because where animals become domesticated and the unfortunate recipients of human love, they also begin to become unbalanced. There are neurotic dogs today who have acquired the neuroses from their charming owners.
The point is that if we taking anything not in contact with a human being, we have a very, very simple law. The inner spirit of that being is pressing out and growing, so that if we observe the way from a seed a tree grows, how that seed, having absorbed moisture and some warmth from the sun begins to press out, it presses out according to its own nature. And there is no question of a neurosis for it in its natural environment. So it just quite spontaneously goes through the stages and progressively becomes itself. We cannot expect from the plants and the animal — which do not have these social conflicts of the order that human beings can produce — to show these classic breakdowns like we find in the human social condition.
Now there’s another related question here ... it’s question 4.
How is it that sages who have worked towards equilibration die of a particular disease and not simply old age, while other men having done no special work just fade away?
Like old soldiers. How is it that sages who have worked towards equilibration die of a particular disease?
We’ll take Gautama the great Buddha. He died of an internal disorder. Christ died of a few nails, and a bit of exposure to the elements. Each one of these men has died for a very simple reason. He is first of all a being in an environment. And there is a fight going on between the man and the environment.
Let’s take Gautama as an example and examine him in the light of that wonderful substance called modern psychological science. When he was born there was a prophesy that he would become a leader of men, either in the world of time or in eternity. He was either to be a temporal ruler, a king, or a spiritual giant. Now his father didn’t want him to be a spiritual giant, so he built for him various palaces of joy: four main ones, one for each season of the year. And in these palaces of joy he had all the necessary environmental entities to guarantee the appropriate nerve situation to keep him extroverted.
So for the first years of his life we find him actually moving round his various palaces and the faithful charioteer who’s been detailed off to take him round. And he is subjected to a continuous battery of stimuli. Now this only shows that his father was not a very good psychologist. When his father tried to extrovert his attention to stop him becoming spiritually enlightened, he had omitted to notice one fundamental law that Brahmin philosophy could have told him about, and that is the law that says if you stretch a thing, it will later contract ... that every strain will be followed by a stress; that every extroversion will be followed by a later introversion.
Now we know a law that says constant stimulation is equal to no stimulation. So if we take this young man and subject him to all the temptations of this world, then his organism becomes actually saturated with these things. You can try this yourself with any of your favourite delights, carry on with your self-stimulation in a given field of delight, and keep on doing it by sheer act of will, beyond the point where you want to do it. It will then start becoming painful and profoundly irritating. Take any act that gives you pleasure, try it out first and see how long it takes you to get the maximum pleasure, and then do it for another hour beyond that and see what happens.
This young fellow was over-stimulated by all sorts of delights. And during an over-stimulated period one night he got up and he walked through the palace, and he there saw the dancing girls who were commissioned to keep him extroverted. They had been working very, very hard and they’d got rather overheated and in the classic manuscript it says, and lo, their mascara was running down their cheeks and their lipstick was awry. He saw them in their worst state after a very lovely party, and quietly went away to his own quarters and vomited. Now, after that he asked the charioteer if he’d saddle him a horse and go away. But of course he had to be restrained even further. He had to have told to him by continuous external stimuli a series of funny stories to keep him extroverted.
He was not told about birth.
He was not told about disease.
He was not told about old age.
And he was not told about death.
These things had to be kept from him, because they tend to introvert a man and make him think about his origin. One day he went out illegitimately beyond the confines of the pleasure dome, and he saw a man diseased, and this gave him a terrible shock. I can imagine the kind of disease he saw, it would be very lurid, like the kinds seen in market places, with carbolic soap ads and so on. Now he became very upset about this, and wanted to know what it was.
And his charioteer said, lo, that is a diseased man and you also will ultimately become diseased.
This upset him, so he ran home quickly and extroverted himself to forget. Again he became over-stimulated, woke up, saw them in the middle of the night once more and went out. This time he saw a very old man doddering along and he said, what is that?
And he said, That is an old man and one day you too will become old.
So again he ran back quickly for further stimulation and he ran out on the last time he saw a man being taken away. It was a corpse.
And he was assured by the charioteer, yea, verily, this man is now dead and you also will die and that is the end of it.
Now he went home and he had a profound depression about this, and the depression corresponds very closely with the clinical definition of that sort of state. He’d been over-stimulated, he had flown away from this over-stimulation, come up against a concrete fact that drove him back to over-stimulation, and he’d done this several times until finally confronted with the fact of death. He was a finite being.
Now he was also born into an environment that taught an eternal recurrence of birth and death: an entrance of an entity into finite existence, its rotation round that time process, the samsara, and finally his return to whence he came, and later a re-entrance into the same field. He immediately saw that if he wasn’t careful, if he went on enjoying himself and delighting in this time world, he would come back. If he came back he would grow up, and he would become diseased, and then old and then dead, and then he would be thrown out again, and come back again and repeat the cycle.
Logically, because he happened to be descended from a long line of Scotsmen, he said, the whole thing is ridiculous, I must get out. So he went back to the root of the matter, and after a lot of thinking he became enlightened.
Now he tried every kind of ascetic practice. He whipped himself, starved himself and so on. He had not attained enlightenment until he sat under the sacred Bo tree one day, and while he was sitting there commiserating with himself that he had not found what he had wanted, a woman came up, mistook him for a sage and gave him a bowl of milk. And he was immediately enlightened. He said to himself, this woman has mistaken me for a sage because I am sitting there with my legs crossed. She has brought me a bowl of milk. And she has a purpose in so doing. The purpose — she wants a reward. She believes I’m a sage, she wants my blessing, therefore she gives me the milk. And immediately became enlightened.
He saw that he too wanted something when he entered the time world, and because of that he had given himself into the situation. Just like that woman who came to him. He felt there was something clever in the time world so he wanted something out of it — the pleasures of the time world — so he gave himself into it like that woman and then he was trapped and had to go round until his body wore out by repetition and then he could escape again.
So he said quite simply, wanting to get something out of the situation is the cause. The word he uses for it is tanha which is simply thirst for existence. He could be Welsh [tân = fire], the fire of the sudden realisation of power. He thinks there is something in it that he’s trying to get out of it. And this is the cause of his entrance. [30:14]
Now the question is, why does the sage who has worked towards equilibration die of a particular disease? And the answer is, he is a three part man. He enters into the time process derived from forces of father and mother and traditions, and landing into the material environment that is dragging him down all the time. And he has within his organism a particular stress.
We’ll pretend for a moment that the stress in this man is on the belly — like Gautama’s father tried to put his. Now if he wishes to equilibrate himself he must do one of two things. He must either stress his heart and his head as much as his belly is stressed — in other words elevate them to the same degree of activity — or he must rob the belly to pay the heart and the head. Now there aren’t many people that have so much energy that they can use their emotions and their intellectual processes with as great a vigour as they can use their lower appetite. So the general tendency of them is to try to equilibrate by robbing the lower urges.
Now as soon as you try to rob any part of your body, that part of the body begins to hit back. This is how the specific disease of a person pursuing equilibrium starts.
Supposing for a moment this man is brought up in a certain tradition. He is taught that escape from existence is a good thing and he’s taught that it is quite senseless to be incarnate in order to become diseased, grow old, and die, continuously. So he has a negative attitude towards the material world. He’s got filed in his head here, the world is no good. Now that’s a negative. That means to say that inside here he has a special little group of brain cells and those brain cells have connections with food and sex because they are the two chief appetites that keep us in the material world. And it is saying, you are no good down there. You keep me in being. So I must cut off here the nerve lines to the appetite centres.
Now as soon as we cut off any nerve lines and stop feeding given centres, the centres do not cease to exist. Every organ in the body has a special function. And when it is functioning adequately it feels happy and the cells in that part feel happy. But if you try to stop the function of any given part of the body by an intellectual command — which in any case has little to do with their function — you have declared war with one part on the other part. You have now to devise a method of starving those impulses below of necessary energy.
You may remember that when all the senses and appetites were arguing about which was most important, the belly went on strike and refused to eat, and then they all got very, very weak and he thereby established his kingship over them all. In other words, as soon as this man begins to control his appetite, his appetite replies by cutting off the feedback system to the brain to have a look at the world. And it then becomes introverted and moves towards morbidity.
Now because this concept he has of the-material-world-is-wrong-and-binds-one-in-existence then he is at war with two appetites that guarantee his recurrence — the eating of food and reproduction. He’s declared war on these two, and therefore he cuts off the nerve lines to those centres but nevertheless the blood inside here is still circulating and this body has a very peculiar method of replying to interferences from the nervous system and the brain.
There are certain glands in the body that can make chemicals which actually inhibit reason. For instance sexual chemicals down here when they are at their maximum function simply flood the blood and the reason is turned off for the period of sexual activity. If it were not so there would be very little procreation, because procreation is highly irrational, very expensive and a load of responsibility which no individual really wants.
So down here there’s a chemical reply to the nervous impulse. The nervous impulse is cut off at the top and tries to starve it. It replies by taking the food that it has got and converting it into sexual chemistry which is then fed into the blood, goes back and overthrows the reason. Now the battle then continues and the specific locus of the disease depends upon the governing concept that the given sage has when he’s tried to attain freedom. If he believed that the belly was his enemy, he’s going to have trouble in the belly ... because if he’s got any strength of will, he is going to fight the belly to the very end. And because the belly is the source of the food whereby he continues to live in order to think, if he wins the battle, the belly will lose. If the belly wins he will stop trying to be a sage. If he succeeds in being a sage, the belly is going to be depressed. Now in the case of Gotama, that’s what happened.
Supposing we take another man, whose stress is emotional relationships, and says they are the enemy. The belly is all right, but you shouldn’t be fond of the girl. The belly’s all right, but you shouldn’t like a lamb chop or whatever it is. If he says the emotions are the trouble, he starts the fight here. I must not have an emotional relationship. It is binding. I mustn’t be fond of anybody, it ties me up, and so on. This replies here, again, by modifying the constituents of the blood, and it sends back a message to the intellectual department, and again it floods the body, this time not with the chemistry of sexual life, but with special chemistry and field changes emanating from the emotions. Again if the emotions win he stops trying to be a sage ... he just gives it up. But if he does win, he’s going to have heart and lung trouble. [37:45]
On the other hand if he stresses the reason, and says, the reason is my enemy, like some philosophers have said — though why they should be philosophers, we don’t know — reason is the enemy. They try to stop reason. When they do that they get brain trouble.
Now, if you remember the divisions of the head ... if we take the skull, slice the top off it, we see the fore brain, the visual nerves and so on: forebrain, the middle part and the hind part. It’s similar to the head, the two lungs and the belly inside. We can see that whatever conclusion we come to within the field of our thought, we are going to act on certain cells in the body and they are going to send messages into the corresponding parts of the body, and a war is going to be declared. So if we are given the basic mythology, tradition and thought processes of anybody pursuing freedom, we can dictate beforehand: we can predict the kind of diseases that we would probably die from ... simply because of that which has been traditionally defined as his enemy in the pursuit of freedom.
[Question from Khen Ratcliffe] What happens when this happens in somebody not attempting sagehood?
A good time was had by all.
[Khen] Anything might happen.
Unpredictable. Gets run over by a bus in a drunken stupor. There must be a price.
Another related one is question five.
[Reading again from the question list] Can a soul grab a body which is balanced by ancestral labours and destroy it through its own unbalance?
In relation to this question:
[reading another] are the soul and material body two separate developing forces coincident for a particular period of time?
Let’s have a look. Here is the earth, and on this earth we see certain forces arriving from outside. And these forces acting with the earth bring up the vegetable world and the animal world, and the man world. Specifically, we are concerned with the man world here. [40:23]
If there were no forces from outside coming into the earth — to act upon the earth and draw out from the earth the potentialities — the earth could not grow, could not develop itself. A particular piece of relatively inorganic matter like the moon shows how difficult it is for a planet that is fairly small and with insufficient atmosphere to develop a life of its own. For a planet to be of a certain size and to have an attendant atmosphere and right humidity, right distance from the sun and so on, all these things help to produce its life. Now soul we’ve said before is spirit coming and turning round. The soul is spirit [S] zoned off [O], a power [U] tied together [L]. So it is a solo power of spirit and it is made into a soul by the fact of rotation. Forces from outside come into the earth and organise the earth’s matter into the plant world, the animal world and the man world.
Now can a soul grab a body which is balanced by ancestral labours and destroy it by its own unbalance? This rotates on the meaning of the word own, it’s own unbalance. Some of these little words are quite tricky.
There is an original human egg. This human egg behaved in a very peculiar way, and split itself into Adam and Eve. These again fuse and then split and produce children, and they keep fusing and splitting and producing children all the way. Now you can see that any child now existent is the same protoplasm as the first man. The first man has become many men through cell division, fusion, cell division, fusion, cell division. So any man down here is already a piece of protoplasm which has been through many experiences back to the original man. So there is a line from the original man — the Adam of the Old Testament — to any particular man. So that when you are talking about the soul you are talking about the spirit, which is the intelligence itself in so far as it is finited.
When it comes on to the material level of the world, it ingests earth matter in the form of food, and this food is chemically of a certain type that tends to stimulate certain kinds of activity. You know that if you plant various types of vegetable substance in the earth at different levels in different climates in different soils, that the chemical content of the growing plants will depend upon the available chemistry in the soil, the amount of sun, the amount of rain, and so on. So that when you are eating food you are eating chemical determinants. [43:53]
Now, the earth itself is a precipitation of cosmic forces which themselves are highly characterised before the earth condensed into its material form. So the earth is actually a condensed zone of spiritual character. That means that when you eat food you are not only eating matter, you are actually getting form ... energy forms. These energy forms then rise into you in the process of digestion and you then are confronted with the problem of how to deal with these new characters derived from your food. So there’s a kind of dialogue going on between the original protoplasm which is trying to control the earth by ingesting it, and the condensed character in the earth trying to go its own way. So we can see that the soul, when it gets a gross material body — that is, has taken food into itself — is the original protoplasm divided off from the original man cell, plus the ingested chemicals of all its ancestral food, which have biased it to assimilate certain chemicals1.
If you change your diet violently and suddenly, you throw your body into a period of dis-equilibration. If you do it gradually and intelligently, you can change your diet without a great deal of upset. But if you do it too violently over too wide a dietetic range, you can upset yourself. If you misinterpret the upsetment, you can begin to become neurotic. If you recognise it as a matter of forces from above and forces from below requiring equilibration, and you know that it takes time to equilibrate, you are not bothered, you just accept the temporary dis-equilibrium and go on with it.
We then say that there are two forces at work, the condensed force of the earth’s matter itself, and the force resident in the protoplasm of the human race; that these two are having a peculiar dialogue. We can then see the meaning of the statement and command in Genesis from God, spirit, which says to man, you must reproduce, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Knead it under your dominion. You can only do this by assimilating it — which is the eating process.
Now you can see immediately here that there is something totally different from the Buddhistic teaching of Gautama. He says, get out, it’s a senseless round. But there’s a very peculiar book, namely the Old Testament, that is the only religious book in the world that gives a specific command to the human race to fill the earth and to have dominion over all its life forms. This is a command that man shall develop according to divine Fiat, shall fill the earth, shall subdue it, shall have dominion over it. And it is the only religion that says so. And because it says, fill the earth, which takes generations and generations and generations, and have dominion over the earth, therefore there are two dominant ideas springing from this command.
One of them is fill the earth, and that takes time. So the historical sense of Judaism comes up.
The other one is have dominion over the earth so the hierarchical sense comes out.
So in that particular religion we have a pyramid concept, where authority stems from the prime egg — absolutely, the Logos — and this authority is stepped down by multiplication, subdivisions, until the prolific has established itself on the earth, assimilated the earth, and changed the earth in the act of assimilation, and finally got dominion over the earth ... which means over your own physical body and over all physical bodies external to you. So out of this command only we have by implication a historical and a hierarchical concept.
It is this peculiar hierarchical historical concept that finally culminates in the appearance of Jesus who says strangely enough, I am the man that all this stuff was about. Now no other religious teacher ever claimed that. It says, either the man is mad or he is what he says he is2.
He says, what Abraham saw, I am. If he had lived to see my day he would have rejoiced.3 Because there is a definite purpose in this continuous splitting out of the life force in the protoplasm over the earth, the assimilation of the earth by the protoplasm, and thus the changing and subduing of that earth within dominion of this intelligence, and its final culmination in an individual who is reflexively self-conscious and a centre of two things — a historical awareness of the necessity for development of the self, and the hierarchical sense that authority is always from a centre spreading outwards.
But dominion always starts from centres. Every individual human being is such a centre. To order a sonnet, to order a sonata, to order a painting, one starts with oneself, and if one looks inside oneself and conjures from one’s own depths, one can produce creatively that which has not appeared in the time process before. Whereas if one copies from outside — that is, is subjected to an external stimulus, is merely extroverted and using the eye and the hand co-ordinated copies the external shape — that is entirely the reduction of man to a reflexive thing like a mirror, and the man who can copy accurately with the hand and the eye and stops at that part should retire from the scene and leave a camera where he used to sit.
Creativity requires the progressive self-realisation of the fact that the Absolute Spirit, represented by the paper, is vibrating and in its vibrations is organising for itself centres of authority. And the authority goes outwards and subjects all the environment round about ... as far as it can reach. And there are other centres doing the same thing. And each centre is exactly as valid as he has power and authority and intelligence and compassion to make himself.
So we see that there is in fact a sort of dialogue or conflict between the material part of our being and the spiritual part of our being, where the protoplasm represents a very peculiar thing. It is a material substance which is so refined chemically that it can respond to the movements of spirit. If we dry out the protoplasm, dehydrate it, it can no longer respond, and we have reduced it back to the earth level.
If we let it have this water and the chemicals are properly balanced and sufficiently refined, it can respond to the movement of spirit. And this it does because spirit is a very, very high frequency power, and the earth is a very low frequency power. And the earth split into little bits, very, very tiny and put in a fluid can begin to vibrate consonantly with the movements of spirit. So the protoplasm represents a halfway house between spirit, life, and matter, death. And the dialogue goes on between them in the zone of the protoplasm.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that Christianity derived from this historic hierarchical Judaism is the only religion in the world that actually says that the individual is to be preserved as an individual and in full character4. The great oriental religions allow the absorption of the individual by the abandonment of desire into the Absolute. But they do not allow the retention of his characteristics.
Some philosophers think this peculiarly occidental and say it is the cause of occidental neurosis: that the western mind over-values the individuated self-existent being, and that the only way to peace is by non-existence, to cease to be oneself as an individual, to lapse back into the Absolute.
The reply of Christ to this is that if there are a pair of opposites, you should be able to assert both ... and therefore the divine and the human can be brought together. There is the earth, gross matter, there is free energy undrawn, there is soul. Free energy comes in, makes the soul, keeps it in a fluid state and ingests the matter of the earth into it and then the man stands between the Absolute Spirit and the inert matter and maintains an eternal balance between the two. And this establishes a higher philosophical justification of Christianity than of any other religion, because it actually presents us with the form of a possibility of a multiplication of the virtues of the infinite. Because if we scrub out all differentiating factors whatever, we have only an Absolute non-difference, and therefore non-value. But if we evolve a being which, whilst embodying itself with inert matter at the same time remains responsive to Absolute intelligence, he can continue eternally, unbreakably, irrefragably, immortally, maintaining the balance between Absolute Spirit and the inertia of matter. And thus he constitutes a peculiar trinity in himself. A trinity of Absolute Power infinite, and finited inertic existence, resolved in a reflexive self-conscious, sensitive being which by multiplying itself through the protoplasmic divisions has made possible for itself a relation of individual to individual, person to person, and therefore added something to the abstract Absolute, and concreted the possibilities of that absolute within human relations.
Now today, in answer to communistic atheism, there’s a growing interest in certain matters theological and even great theologians are now prepared to admit and to state what they have always believed but previously kept fairly closely to themselves, and that is that God can glorify man.
Glorify technically means simply to make a thing stand for what it is. A man is the great mediator between the inert matter and the unembodied spirit. And so they are now saying that man can embody two contradictory things: the absolute dynamism of spirit and the total inertia of matter. And that it can resolve the opposition of these two within himself and that he is the only being — this is a theological statement — the only being in the universe who can possibly do this. No other being can do it. The plant can’t do it, the animal can’t do it. The angels cannot do it. Let’s see why.
Man was created a little lower than the angels and yet is destined to be higher than the angels. And some Rabbinical traditions say, no wonder the angels will be jealous.
Now an angel, as we’ve done before, is a great sphere of the Logos. There’s the immanent spirit of the Logos itself, and the efflux from that Logic centre going out, cuts this sphere into various angles. And the zone enclosed by any one of these beings or angles is — from the psychological angle, because spirit is sentient power — an angel. And every angel is conditioned by its form, and wills its own form. So if we like to cut this down into any given size of angle, we can see that we have as many angel types as we have different angles. The bishop who made the joke about the angles, angels not angles, really knew what he was talking about. He was making a pun on the angels being angles ... as well as the Anglo-Saxon people being the representatives of the angels on earth. [58:47]
Now angels are conditioned by this wilful subordination of themselves to form. That is, angels can appear in man as universal concepts. But just as the concept of a circle is not that of a triangle, so there are orders of angels triangular, orders of angels square, orders of angels circular, and so on. And each order of angels is willing to be itself and is vibrating in that manner continuously, and is not going to do other than what it is doing.
But after this Logos process and the subdivision into it by vibrations, and the production of the angelic world within the cosmic Logos, there occurred by one third one third of these angel, because of the possibilities presented to them, and because they were conceived in the fiery energy zone of the whole sphere, because the sphere itself is polarised — and we will say in this particular diagram that the north of the sphere represents the intellectives, and the south of it represents the self-indulgences and the middle zone represents the either/ors who’ve not quite made up their minds and are alternating — one third of these angels compacted themselves and produced the material world, which means that one third of the Logic sphere energies were predisposed by their position in this sphere when created to compact themselves, just as some others were to expand themselves. When they compacted themselves, that compaction was the generation of the gross material world.
Now as soon as the gross material world was made, it became a system of mass inertia. It was like a stone in the cosmic body ... the original gall-stone. You know gall has to do with anger. And this is the zone in which the anger potential in the Logic sphere was finited and localised in order to release the rest of the Logic sphere for less energetic activities. So we have a packed anger zone, and here at the top a very cool calm zone of rationalising, Bertram Russell angels. And in between the two we have some that are vacillating and have not quite made up their mind whether they will be nice kind rationalisers, or angry naughty boys. But as soon as this zone of the anger has condensed and the world has appeared, it stands in the lower half of the Logic sphere as a hard centre, and there is a break of continuity between it and the surrounding cosmic substance.
Now this means that it will become completely isolated functionally unless something is done about it. So as soon as the condensation has occurred and the matter is precipitated, then forces from outside begin to vibrate more intensely — this is the setting up of the sun and the moon and the stars in Genesis — and then they invade the earth and they begin to reclaim from the earth all those functions which are not based on pure anger, but which were drawn in by the first compacting energies ... just because they happened to be standing around and idly watching. Just like those fellows in the street standing round the hole that the men are digging and don’t notice that the men are digging under their feet until they fall in.
In tradition of the angelic fall, the leaders of this precipitation of the material world were so very strong in their will that they fascinated a lot of other people who were standing about and they drew down with them altogether one third of the angelic host. But not all of them saw the implications. They were dragged into it. They didn’t want to go into it, they were just watching. Now all those who did not will to go into it and just happened to be standing around idly and would like to get out of it, are called in the New Testament, sheep. And the cosmic radiations coming in have come in to rescue the sheep. [01:03:30]
Inside man, from his food, we find two kinds of impulses which we call sheep and goats5.
There is the impulse to belong to the cosmic Logos, the impulse to belong to the human race, to the earth, to the solar system, to the sidereal system ... in other words the impulse to belong to something bigger than oneself. And all these impulses are called sheep. And it is those sheep that Christ has come to call. He says, come out all ye gentle folk, who were busy watching only, and fell in by mistake.
And the others inside that are still determined to have a go at individual incandescence are called, go-ats. Go-atic wisdom is very, very ancient. It says, I do not want to be called out prematurely I want to come out when I’m ready, and not before. When Christ says, there are sheep of other flock6’, he is talking about some kind of ideas that are not merely the ones that want to belong to this Absolute Father, but who want to belong to particular conceptual groups. There are some beings inside the earth, yet to come out, and they don’t want to come out except under their own terms. And if you try to provoke them out with propaganda or with kindness or whatever it is, when you try to provoke them they begin to become very, very angry.
Now anger in a human being is always the evidence of the compaction of egotism. We are not talking now about morality, we are talking about fact. If you become angry it is because your centre of self-will has been crossed. And the tradition says the devil — that is, the precipitated Luciferan material world — can reach you only as far as the anger. If you can control anger then you can get out of the material world. You can transcend the determinations of the external physical stimulus. But if you can’t control your anger or don’t want to, it’s because you’re identified still with those centrally pressing forces that come under the sign of Saturn.
You can claim to be a Satanic being insofar as you persist in being yourself in spite of the damage done to you by your own egotism. If you are prepared to pay the price of your profound egotism and all the suffering, rationally, emotionally, urgefully and physically, and you still don’t care, then you belong to the most lowly order of Satanic peoples.
But if you don’t want to do that, all you have to do is stop being angry.
It’s very easy to say and very hard to do, because man stands in between two worlds. Between the material world which is a precipitation of force and which is the centre of anger, but in which some sheep have got mixed up through watching, and the free spirit of the Father Absolute, and the angelic messages coming from all over Cosmos and invading the earth as formed forces which breed ideologies on earth.
Now you can see a given angel has willed a certain kind of activity within the sphere of the Logos. But a human being has not willed any particular form and can will simultaneously any number of forms. He can do it so well that he becomes a schizophrene. Or he can do it positively by an act of conscious integration.
A human being therefore, although he is born lower than the angels — posterior in time to the angels — has the power of contemplating the different orders of angels which are conceptual groups of ideas, and of deciding which order of angels he will obey for any given time. And because of this, his destiny is to comprehend the whole significance of the Logos sphere whilst any particular hierarchy of angels is committed by its own will to understand only a part of it. Therefore the human being, when he reaches his ultimate term, is higher than the angels because he’s going to comprehend all that all the angels comprehend whilst each hierarchy of angels is only going to comprehend itself and not the others.
I think I’ll leave question number one.
1 Romans 7:17-24
2 John 10:20-21 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
3 John 8:52-58
4 Galatians 6:4, John 14:12, 1 Peter 2:15-16
5 Matthew 25:32
6 John 10:26