BOWL OF CHERRIES
The text of a talk given by Eugene Halliday at Parklands. 26:2:1978. Ishval Audio 39
You know that death is an ever constant threat to you living beings, don’t you? You do? Then why aren’t you nervous? In the New Testament it tells about a man who was busy extending his barns, probably from Hale, to Hale Barns! And he thought he was going to have a marvellous future and suddenly the Lord came and tapped him on the shoulder and said, “This night, thy soul is required of thee!” He had not time to catch up on his profits. Now, just recently, a friend of mine, considerably younger than I am, had a peculiar malady, an attack by an unknown virus, which has appeared in New York, Scandinavia and the Far East. It is called, Devil’s Grip. Are there any other cases in this hall? Yes, yes?
Well, in so far as we are all in this world, we are in the Devil’s grip. And he was on the ‘phone to me, having recovered from this malady, and said, “What are you going to talk about on Sunday?” I said, “What would you like me to talk about?” And he said, “Don’t know.” I said, “How about what might happen if we were suddenly to be seized by the Devil’s Grip and instead of recovering, die? How about putting ourselves on the spot and saying, supposing we were to die immediately after our next sentence, what would the next sentence be? Could we think of one worth speaking out?” He said, “That is a very good idea. Talk about what you would say if you thought you had anything important to say just before death.”
And that reminded me of the death of Gautama Buddha. When Buddha was eighty, he was dying. Some lady of strong affection had decided to poison him and he was dying. As was customary in the Far East when a very wise man is dying, the disciples gathered round and said, “Before you go, oh Master, is there any special secret that you have kept back from us? If so, please tell us.” And Buddha replied, “I am not he of the closed fist,” and then died. Now he died very quickly after saying that, so they did not have the time nor the facilities that we have today. So I thought that wouldn’t do quite so well to introduce what we are going to talk about.
And then I remembered a Hassid Rabbi and he was the most wise man that has ever appeared on this globe. He was so wise all his disciples hung on his lips, which accounts for a very long bottom lip that he used to sport. And, when he was dying and getting weaker and weaker and like myself he had a very weak voice, that is our main point of correspondence and needed microphones and things,....I hope this is not getting like a shaggy dog story you know! Anyhow, his disciples said, “Oh most worthy and wise rabbi that ever lived, will you please, please tell us, is there some super message that you have not revealed to us? Have you got something tremendously important that you have kept secret, as wise men do, until on your deathbed and not before, you will reveal it? And he looked very seriously at them and then said, “Yes, I have.”....
Can you hear me David?
There was a Jewish boy called David there at the time, probably descended from that long line of sceptre holders. And he said, “Yes, there is one thing. If you must have a message most important in the whole of my teaching it is this. LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES.” Saying which he fell back on the pillow. So they flashed this throughout the globe, immediately to all the wise men in all the synagogues and schules in Bowdon, Hale, New York, Omsk, Minsk, Tomsk, throughout all the Jewish world. That is to say everywhere. They flashed it by radio and by ‘phone and by telex and by satellite, to bring it up to date, and they began to meditate and they meditated very fast because he hadn’t long to live. They meditated very hard but they could not find out what it meant. So, they wired back, by the same procedures, radios telephones, telexes, satellites and they came back, “Quick, rush to the rabbi and tell him we have had this most wonderful message but we have not been able to solve its riddle. We cannot understand it. Please ask him what he has to say about it.” So they told him immediately. And, he looked at them and said, “So, you don’t understand, life is like a bowl of cherries. Well, I’m dying and I am so weak, I can hardly say now. So what am I going to say to you if you don’t understand it? Life is not like a bowl of cherries,” and then he died.
Now, tell me, are there any Jewish Hassidim in the audience? I mean, apart from Hannuqah, obviously, she is one, but others. Are there any there that can unravel for me the riddle of that famous rabbi? Why did he say life is like a bowl of cherries? Remember we are about to die and this is very, very important. These were his most important words. Can anybody solve it for me?
Because they rot quickly.
Because they what?
They rot quickly.
Because they rot quicker? The cherries or the bowl?
The cherries do.
Because there is a stone inside them.
A stone inside them? Anything else? I am not satisfied yet.
They go bad.
They go bad, that is like rotting quickly only you don’t mention the time.
Everyone wants a little world.
Wants a little what?
World, like people? Mmmm, could be getting warmer.
Do you mind saying that loud enough so my microphone can pick it up please?
Effectively the reaction was not what he looked for and he wanted to put the extra rejoinder on.
You mean he wanted to reverse it?
Yes, like a little joke.
A little joke on your deathbed?
You have to eat them to experience them.
Warmer still, you have to eat them to experience them. You see the funny thing about a symbol, it has infinite extensions. It isn’t like a road sign which has a definite fixed meaning a symbol has infinite extension. We are getting somewhere but we are getting nowhere, already. We have to experience it certainly, things do go rotten at various rates certainly, but that is not the meaning of that riddle.
I don’t think the cherries are important. I think they are the spirit for trying to find out what life is about.
You don’t think the cherries are important?
Well the cherries take you to the centre…Rest is inaudible
What is the significance of the cherries?
It’s in the centre, it is in the stones.
I think our friend Gerhardt is slightly warm. What’s happening? Well I am not satisfied so I’ll give you an easier one. When Buddha said, “I am not he of the closed fist,” did he mean that he was of the open hand? Or did he mean simply that he was not of the closed fist? Is it the same statement disguised? If you say, “Yes,” you will have to prove it.
Is it something to do with a sense of place and putting stones something to do with that?
I begin to detect a sort of underlying idea in the replies of the ladies different from the underlying ideas of the men.
Something to do with the bowl holding the cherries.
Phew, warmer, warmer. Come on now put your thinking caps on. I’m going to give… I’ll tell you what I will do. When Marks and Spencers fashion show is on in aid of Toft, I will give ten thousand pounds to anyone who recognises me in the particular rigout that I will be wearing at that time. Yes, I mean it.
The vampire principle
The vampire principle?
Another ladies’ suggestion. The vampire principle
Is he talking about the affirmation of life?
When we eat the cherries we affirm that this is something we are taking for ourselves, we have to eat into life, we have to affirm life.
It seems to me it is the chalice.
It seems to you it is the chalice. You are getting warmer. Still some quite warm experiences. We have got a chalice, we have got vampires, put them all together.
Sounds as thought the cherries are all together are almost the attraction....
That is very, very nice that is very important. Put that in the chalice will you, and the vampires.
Are they to do with the experiences?
Well you know when you explain a symbol, when you explain a metaphor of metaphysical significance, the explanation always is just as bad as the riddle that you explain.
I think that the answer is the best part…,
Yes because he is saying it and every body will interpret it in their own way. If they haven’t understood what Jesus was meaning, because Jesus gives a new meaning to it.
But he did not give an interpretation.
You see haw well he was just giving the point and other people will interpret it as we have.
But he is giving the most important message of his life.
Well so the answer is the most important thing we can give now, at this point
He was giving the dialectic.
Cherries are fruit and this could represent the fruit of the spirit.
Mmmm. Put that in your chalice and smoke it, with vampire intentions.
So you could meditate on anything that comes to you?
Are we getting anywhere in this search?
A lot of opportunities to argue.
Are you beginning to put it together?
The best thing was like a chalice, the most important thing.
The very important thing is, that when he said life is like a bowl of cherries, he meant it, and it is a very, very important thing to say. And when they came back and said they could not understand it then he said, “Well then life is not like a bowl of cherries.” Why did he reverse it?
Because they had not heard what his last words were.
How awful, what a horrid rabbi. Not caring on his last….
Perhaps he did not like cherries.
Well, can anybody tell me what initiation means?
Starting something. Right, now this statement by the rabbi starts, or is supposed to start a thought process. Right? Have we started one?
Now when you get a thought process started, you are an initiate. Now is it worth staying at the level of an initiate, or should you go on to become an adept? You know,… I know an awful lot of people who are initiates, but it does not do you any good you know, if you stay there. You must go further on.
So, I am going to tell you what he meant. Remember I said it would be just as mysterious. He said life is like a bowl, one bowl, of cherries, plural. Did you notice that fact? One bowl, many cherries. Are there any kids in here under four years of age? Yes? Send them home immediately. Anybody under four is not allowed to listen. Life is like a bowl of cherries. Now haven’t we said many times, and been in trouble for saying it, by ladies, there is only one woman in the world. Is that right? Do we believe it girls? Come on, come clean for once.
Very definitely, yes.
So, I didn’t make it up?
I merely observed it. Yes? One bowl equals the one woman in the world. What do the cherries mean?
All the men.
They must mean all the men, right? Life is like a bowl of cherries. Now, if you know that the bowl is the chalice, the vampire, who said that? If you know that it is only through experience that you can get at the cherries, what procedure have you to have in your thought to get the benefit of the statement – there is only one woman in the world and many men, and what use is that?
Without the bowl the cherries would fall out.
Without the bowl the cherries would fall out. Every woman is born with three hundred cherries, at birth, Yes? What does it mean in utilitarian terms? Have you been listening to Men of Ideas recently? Anybody heard it, any of it?
Have you been enlightened?
Did you hear Mr A.J. Ayer,…. I didn’t say Oh Christ,….. A.J.Ayer, yes ? Did you hear that very well known man, at the young age of twenty-two, being sent, without a knowledge of German, to listen in on German philosophical conversations and coming back and writing a book on it? Receiving a lectureship and then, at his present old age, he must be at least as old as I am, actually said it was all rubbish but the spirit of it was alright. Did you hear that conclusion? Logical positivism is really rubbish, in all its details but the spirit of it is O.K. The spirit of it is simply, criticism. He is very sorry about all the rubbish in his early book. It was a product of youthful energy. The trouble is, that there is a lot of people who keep finding that book on the paperback shelf, reading it and not knowing that he has given it up. They do that when they are full of youthful energy. I’m glad I got rid of youthful energy, it is terrible stuff! Older type of energy is just as good.
Now, back to the closed fist. When Buddha said, “I am not he of the closed fist,” he meant what you can do with the closed fist was not his technique. Now what do you do with a closed fist please?
Commit an act of aggression.
You aggress, indiscriminately, don’t you? You just thump everything. What do you do therefore, with the open hand?
You discriminate. You discriminate. You might receive with an open hand, you would lose a bit. You discriminate. Now, Buddha means intellect, and the intellect is the organ of discrimination. So therefore he was saying, “I am an intellectual. Don’t ask me anything really important, because I am an intellectual.” What he was saying is that he had produced an analytical method of extricating himself and was offering this same method to every one else of extricating themselves from the fantasies of desire somehow, tana, thirst for life, and if that is a good thing to do, he succeeded. And he taught millions of people how to give up wanting to live, to give up the thirst for life. It was an intellectual solution of a problem of desire. The answer is, give it up.
The fist is your first weapon, an indiscriminate weapon, the will non-analysed. Now, as the closed fist looks like a unity, can you draw me a parallel between the closed fist and the bowl that that mysterious rabbi was talking about? There is your closed fist, right? That is your bowl. Is it masculine or feminine?
Did you know that the principle of Saturn, which means grab, hang on, hold, is feminine? I think we have done that before haven’t we? And then, if the fist means feminine, what does the open hand mean? The displays of the analytical intellect. But if the fist equals the bowl, then the cherries must mean analytical demonstrations of the intellect. Life is really like a bowl of cherries because there is absolutely, only one woman, and that woman is non-analytic in essence. If you look at a being called a woman and she says something intellectual do you know why she is doing it men? To impress you says Gerhardt, yes? Ladies do you mind confessing? Have you ever pretended to like an intellectual proposition to a boy or a man and if so why?
To draw them out so you can find out about them.
So you can count their cherries, yes? Now, cherry is also a euphemism, is it not? During certain erotic plays, don’t you talk about cherries?
No you don’t.
Not that one.
Not that one, right. Every man is a cherry or, has a cherry and the one woman in the world is the bowl that that cherry should be in. But there is always more than one cherry in that bowl is there not? Doesn’t this mean that women are naturally polygamous?
Or she doesn’t like a master.
Sometimes she lives on her own.
Well she will have to be, won’t she? Why? Because Eve, Khala, is the mother of all male beings is she not? As they have come out of her, every little girl has three hundred thousand for a starter, as they have come out of her, doesn’t she want, at some time to re-appropriate them to herself. Now, we will accept this is basically the meaning of the rabbi’s statement, “Life is like a bowl of cherries.” Life is like a big woman, a very, very big woman. Have you ever seen a big woman? A friend of mine was thirty-four stones. Not bad, was it? Nice girl. Can you believe she took in ironing and accountancy for a living? And do you know why? She could not get out of the house. She had been jilted years ago and she went into a funny state of despair. She did not want to be seen in case any girl said, “There is that girl that was jilted.” So she stayed in the house, and what happens when you are very sad? Do you know what happens when you are sad? You eat muffins. So she stayed in this room and she ate muffins and she got bigger and bigger and bigger, until, in the end, kind friends used to take her things, anything, and say, “Will you add this up, or will you wash this jumper or something,” and she became an accountant- washer-upper in her room and then she died. Do you know what shape the coffin was?
No, no, it is difficult to make a spherical coffin. That is too eccentric. It was the shape of a masonic ashlar, that is, cubic. Well, how did they get it in the room to put her in it, and how did they get it out when she was in it? Can you guess? They took out the wall where the window was and then bricked it up again. Luckily, since then, the particular town where she used to live has been demolished. Otherwise you would have seen a very lot of bad, rapid brickwork.
When you are very sad, if you are a bowl and you have not got a cherry what do you do? You take in accountancy and washing don’t you, if you have got kind friends to bring it to you? What was I supposed to be talking about? I was talking about the last words of a wise man if there is one, yes, and I was telling you what that rabbi said because it is the most important thing anybody could say on their death-bed. The only thing worth knowing in this universe or any other universe you might fall into, because you might do that if you were careless, you know. You know when you die, instead of re-incarnating and learning a lesson, you might fall into another world where the lesson is impossible. The earth is the only real place for lesson learning. So, here we are with this most important statement, and we are going to develop it and see if it is not truly the most important statement there is, or can be.
There is one, absolutely, primary substance. If you don’t believe me, believe Spinoza. He worked it out, yes? There cannot be more than one substance because, by definition substance is that which stands underneath phenomena, right, any philosophers in the house? You are a philosopher aren’t you? There cannot be more than one substance because substance, by definition, is that which stands underneath phenomena and only phenomena are the differentiators. So, the non-differentiated is the substance, and of this there can be only one. And this is why Spinoza said, “Substance is God,” because the unity principle underlying all phenomena is that which we worship. We don’t worship phenomena, we worship that principle, which, if we find it, enables us to control and to generate and to remove phenomena at will. So this Absolute Substance, this one simple, primary substance, this prima materia of the Ancients, this wood, this hyle, this stuff of the universe, must correspond with that bowl that holds the cherries. But if the cherries represent the male principle of differentiation, then, it follows, what does it follow? Does something follow or am I leading myself up the path? There is one only substance corresponding with the closed fist and the bowl. The cherries are the differentiations like the fingers when they open are the differentiators. What does it follow, if there is only one substance, all phenomena that you have and that can stimulate you, represent the cherries don’t they? Aren’t you chasing cherries, really?
Now, supposing that little suggestion, that euphemistic expression, maybe men have a cherry, maybe each man has a cherry. It is often referred to in love-play as a cherry is it not? I know plenty of men who think that women have two cherries and they never think that they have one, better than the two. Now if it be true that this analogy holds, and I am absolutely convinced that it does, there is only one woman, one bowl, one closed fist. There is only one primary substance, there is only the cherries for phenomena, the open fingers, the display. Then when women are pursuing men which they do in a very peculiar way because they keep very still, but do you know, they send out angelic messengers into the bio-field around? Do you know that they actually chase men with feelings? Do you know about it girls?
I am not inventing it am I?
In order to get hold of these cherries, these open fingers, these phenomena, the one primary substance, the one woman, the bowl, the closed fist, sends out, mysteriously, a power. Now you know that if you examine modern physics, it will assure you, quite correctly, that all phenomena are plays of energy. The whole universe is nothing but power. But if power is the principle of unity underlying all phenomena, power must be woman. So, the power itself is permeating infinite space, filling it absolutely, and the play of this power is the phenomenal world. So, really, in the analogy, we can say, men are playthings of women, that they have no real existence except in so far as women imaginate into them. Is that right? Is that right?
She said mmm, the famous letter that signifies primordial substance, M and the mother principle, also M. Primordial substance is also primordial power. To understand Hindu philosophy, and particularly Tantrism, you have to know the feminine principle is power and the masculine principle is discrimination, intellective consciousness. And yet, there is not one without the other because this primordial power differentiates itself into phenomena in order to taste the cherries.
Now this one primordial power used to be called God the Mother, and when it was called God the Mother, the women became very, very cheeky and they began to ill-treat the men and they ill treated them for thousands of years until they revolted. And then the men overthrew the women and they changed everything upside down and they said the primordial power shall not be called God the Mother any more, it shall be called God the Father. That was the victory of the Pa-triarchs over the Ma-triarchs. When the women were ruling, thousands of years ago, Venus meant a man. Do you know the earliest figure we have of that mythical figure of Venus is a fully mature, bearded, adult male and it was changed into a female when the men overthrew the women. The women were worshipping a fellow called Phenus. PHENUS. You might recognise it in its degenerate modern form. Women the male principle of intelligence but they did not tell the men that was what they were worshipping. They kept that their very dark secret. Then, when the men overthrew the women, they said we will have a dark secret too, we will turn that masculine figure, Phen-us, into Venus and draw it, paint it, represent it, model it as a woman and then we will pretend that we are worshipping a woman figure. Just as the women kept it dark that they were worshipping a man figure, so the men keep it dark that they are worshipping a woman figure. They had already seen that women became quite uncontrollable when they were in charge of the symbology. So they also misrepresented it so that today, most people believe, when they see the sign of Venus over a monkey’s cage, they think it means female, but, originally, it meant male.
The most important thing that we can understand about this rabbi’s riddle is this, there is absolutely, at the basis of all phenomena, at the basis of all appearances, at the basis of all separate forms, nothing but power. And this power is non-discriminative in itself because it is dedicated to holding in its closed fist, to putting in its bowl, the phenomena that it generates, so that woman is dedicated to unity like man is dedicated to plurality. Woman keeps the home fires burning, man goes out and posits himself on various planets around the Solar System, and eventually, will be riding beyond the Solar System with the same verve that he once sailed round the globe on Earth. Man pluralises because he is looking for formal information for uniquenesses of shape. That is his function inside the universe, but woman’s function is to take this information and digest it in her one substance. From it, from Eve, from Khala, came out all the men in the world and they must return. But because of the economy of distribution of energy, this one woman could not remain as one woman in a very large mass of substance somewhere and let the men go out to infinite distances and then come back to her. It wasn’t economic. So although there is only one woman, this same cosmic substance, this woman split herself into myriads of little bits which are what we know, aren’t they, as women. But, unlike the men, this one woman never let go of her connection with herself which means that every woman is, fundamentally, a vampire, or, if you prefer it, a swallower of rationalists. The P I R in vampire means reason, the vam part means the woman digestive developmental force.
Pluralisation of the body of woman has not separated woman from her primordial characteristic so that every woman is still a unity, like the original cosmic woman. Every woman knows this. Every woman knows that she is as much equipped with rights, whatever that mysterious masculine word might mean, as any other woman. To be a woman is to have absolute right to swallow the world and any woman has this same right, in principle. Women know this and therefore their favourite letter is the letter M. the letter M is the middle of the alphabet. How do you get an alphabet to have a middle when it has got an even number of letters in it, can you tell me? Not you, you know about it.
No Zed. Throw Zed out because it is called the unnecessary letter and you then have twenty-five, and if you will divide them you will find M is the middle letter. The middle letter placed deliberately because from the centre of being it was pluralised outwards. Everything begins in the centre of being.
Now what have we got that is useful for us? If we believe this, we must believe this, all phenomena are behaviours of one primordial substance. Every idea is a masculine, because it is discriminated from another masculine like the stones of the cherry, we had an offer, “Don’t touch.” They are separate. Men are separated in their ideas and they are unique in their ideas in the same way that women are not in any way, unique. Every woman is the same as every other woman except for her superficial appearance, but every man in his depth, is formally unique, utterly different from every other man. Now, it is the duty of woman, as such, there is only one of them in many bodies, to go around and collect, attract, draw, swallow, vampirise, are you looking forward to your coming holidays Zeta, yes?
What a dirty punch that was!
Yes, and, in digesting it in herself, because there is only one woman, do you know what happens to that which she digests? Do you know what a woman digests when she has a relation with a man? Do you know where it goes to when she digests it? If there is only one woman, can she keep it to herself? No. Through her being, being identical with the woman being of all women, all women get the benefit of any single woman’s exploits. Now how do you like that bit? That means that those of you who are smart at collecting information are working for the others who are not so smart. That means it is possible for the not so smart, the tall and the short and the ugly and so on, they can actually sit down, very quietly and receive the benefits of all the other women’s experiments in vampiration of men.
It seems very economical then! Saves you wasting your energy.
Who is wasting energy, the searchers?
Well, yes, I think so.
Oh yes the searchers.
I am sitting still.
You are saying that because you have started to sit still. It is a most peculiar thing about philosophers, you know, when you are one you have a philosophy of a one-year old and when you are two you have another one, and when you are ninety-two you have another one.
You might still be one when you are ninety-two.
You can’t be.
Because of the accumulation of experiences you have had.
It depends at what rate you accumulate them.
No it doesn’t.
Some people are quicker than others.
Some people are smarter than the others on the outside, but if you are smart on the outside you must be dim on the inside. And if you are smart on the inside you will always bother to look dim on the outside.
No, well those on the inside won’t do as much will they?
But bound to get it, through the one substance. Now what happens….
Are the men included in that? I thought you were talking about….
No, men are only phenomena in the minds of the one woman.
I’m not just saying that when I wanted to be still.
No, no, no, I did not say that.
You did, you said I could already be sitting still.
I never mentioned age. I know the one woman is eternal and ageless, isn’t she? She is an utterly immaculate everlasting virgin like a piece of long liquorice we used to get when I was a kiddie.
I am certain that….
These cost a farthing in my day. Probably cost you 40p today
The everlasting stick!
Never mind. I reckon it is more economic to sit and let the others do the work.
Only because you have already run around a bit.
Not as much as I could. I always felt it was more economical.
It is, or I would have gone out more.
Chance would be a fine thing!
I’ve refused offers you know.
Don’t be modest.
Actually, Jess, I have watched you refusing offers in the last five years rather more than you could have comfortably dealt with.
I’ve refused more than that before so I’ve practised for a long time.
I am sure you have but it might be that you have a different reason now for refusing than you had then because now I know you have no intention of washing anybody’s shirts unnecessarily if they have got wives of their own that can do it.
It is not the shirts I am worried about, shirts never worry me.
No, what is it dear? Will you stop being flippant Zeta.
I was going to say dirty feet, so she is right.
She was right, yes. I knew a wife that used to annoy her husband by turning the sheets round periodically to drive him out of bed.
Just I’d rather sort them.
She was a very well educated woman, of blue blood. Do you know that feet are quite independent of aristocracy?
Yes, I’ve washed them.
As a nurse you know that.
Eugene, I must say something. There is something missing here.
Well what is it, Claire?
That there appears the whole reason that women, who keep producing, or the woman who keeps producing is the fact that the man is there, and what is being is starved somewhere.
Is it, but we have already said that the man is there. He is a fantasy of the woman.
Yes, but this power can only be recognised if the man is there. The woman on her own cannot function without a man.
Have you been studying Norbert Wiener recently, yes? You are talking about the principle of feedback aren’t you?
Well why am I boiling about that?
The fellow next to you that you own and who is a precipitate of your imagination, how do you feel Peter being a precipitate of that girl’s imagination?
Well I think it must be a problem with a figment of imagination, I don’t mind at all.
You don’t mind at all you see? Now the thing that is annoying you and boiling you up is that he does not mind being a figment of your imagination. Right?
He can only be a decent one.
That means he has got a complete carte blanche there for doing what the hell he likes, it is you precipitating him.
You are definin me, what about him?
Well you precipitated him too didn’t you? You know why? Just a little one, the sort of measuring tape for the one outside, in the hope that by studying the little one on the inside you will know what the one on the outside is trying to do. You must have an animus for your anima.
But if I had precipitated him I would know what he is trying to do any way.
Not true. I know a lot of people with babies who don’t know what they are doing at this very moment. Do you know that?
Well that defeats the whole argument doesn’t it?
Not at all, no, because what we are aiming at is the unique, infinite number of phenomena all delightful to God equals primordial power.
Are we talking about hermaphrodites?
Well we might be, because we are saying there is a male inside every female and a female inside every male, and that is unavoidable because power, itself is sentient. There aren’t two primordials. Sentient Power is the original, but the power is feminine and the sentience is masculine. “Ah,” said Gautama Buddha, “I don’t like that Brahmin analysis, I am going to switch it. We will have power equals male and sensitivity equals female.
Then we will chase Maya.
Then we will chase Maya. Now this is why the rabbi said life is like a bowl of cherries because you could switch the symbologies if you wished, couldn’t you?
And you do.
Sometimes you switch it unconsciously and then you are in trouble. Now I am trying to be useful – in case I drop dead in a minute.
So, the most important thing anybody could say before dying if you wish to help anybody who was not thinking about dying at the moment is this. The ultimate origin of all beings is a power, but this power has the peculiar property of sentience. It feels itself. Now, because it is infinite, there is nothing other than it and there is nothing outside it so that whatever there is that we see of phenomena, that we see of things, of beings, of existential objects and so on, all phenomena are precipitates of this Sentient Power, an Infinite Field of Sentient Power. Now comes the hard bit. If this is true, and you have my rabbinical word for it, it is absolutely true, then everybody in this room has precipitated itself. Nobody in this room or, for that matter, in any other room, not listening at the moment, nobody is precipitated by a power other than itself. Now this makes us absolutely self-responsible.
Is there an existentialist in the house? Yes, there is, and as she is feeling very lazy at the moment, I will say it for her. The essence of existentialism is the acceptance of this fact that the human being is in process, in each moment of choice, of designing his own being by his own mode of response to the phenomena he sees. What you see, the fool sees not the same tree the wise man sees, what you see is what you will to see. You know, when I look round at all you people, do you know that of all the differences that are there I am very, very glad for those differences. There is a bow tie and there is an ordinary type cravat tie and somebody with no tie, and so on. All these make a multi-faceted glorious world to look at so I am willing, from inside myself an infinity of differences and I am saying, so are you. And I am one of the little facets in your world and you are willing the characteristics of everybody you see and they are, for you, not there unless you will it and know that you will it. So when the rabbi reversed his statement, what he was really saying was, if all the wise men in the world don’t understand that life is a bowl of cherries, then, for them, life is not a bowl of cherries. Only for the person who realises it, is the symbolic proposition true.
Where does that place each one of us? It places each one of us in a position of absolute self- responsibility for his/her own destiny. We have no destinies whatever other than those we fabricate from moment to moment. If at the moment you disbelieve what I am saying or a bit of it or accept some of it, that disbelief, that criticism, that acceptance is a choice made by your will and in the process you appropriate to yourself, an idea. And when you appropriate an idea you do so for some purpose that you have, whether you know it or not, you have purposes, and this purpose is charged affectively, that is, emotionally. Every idea has an emotional charge and every emotional charge changes your body chemistry. How do you like that horrible thought? That when you have an idea, if you like it or dislike it, your like or dislike is an energy that synthesises a chemical that will reinforce the idea that you are contemplating, either to love or hate. You will either precipitate into your body in an act of loving appreciation, the chemistry of love, equals perfect function at some point, or if you hate, that hate is an affective charge, an emotion, you will synthesise the chemistry of hate. So that your physical body, your actual physical body, is a chemical precipitate of the totality of your emotional charges from the ideas in which you have acquiesced.
Have you ever had a migraine? I’ve heard about them, I have been told about them, I believe they are pretty horrid. Has anybody had done. You have had a migraine? Is it nice?
Would you like another one?
Thank you. Do you know that when you have got it, you made it? That puts you on the spot doesn’t it, because you have no ground for being mysterious when you get it, have you? Whatever we get, we have willed, whether it is a malfunction like that, or a function like that, we have willed it for some purpose. And the way we are willing now, here, at this moment, the way we are willing to consider the ideas that we are considering and the way we like or dislike what we hear, the dislike or like is an emotive charge which will synthesis the chemistry that reinforces the idea. So that we can’t get rid of the idea, once we have acquiesced in it because we have made a chemical precipitate which resonates with the idea and keeps that idea within our organism.
Now, how do we feel about that?
Some cherries that are cherished are cherished more.
I’ll forgive the pun and say yes. Every cherry is something you cherish. Hidden in the word cherry is the word hierarchy. It means differentiation of levels of power and when you choose you always choose towards either increase of power or decrease of it. When your increase of power has put you in a position of authority you may tend to re-choose further, higher and higher powers. But when you find out that the implication of power is increased responsibility and increased criticism from other beings also pursuing power, you may come to the point where you deliberately choose less power, where you choose to make yourself deficient to avoid the feedback of success, the feedback of acquired power.
Do we feel comfortable at what we are talking about? The one bowl is our own substance. As to our substantiality, we men are women. As to our analytical power we are men. If there is any analytical power in women, and I can assure you fellows there is, because they can look at you and dislike your tie or like your cut of trouser and therefore show that they are discriminate, the discriminative power in a female is male. The affective reaction in a man is female. There are two factors there, put your middle finger down and you have two pairs. Little finger physical body, ring finger life force, both feminine. Orientation to physicality is feminine because the one primordial substance is the body of reality. That body feels itself so that sentience and body go together and they are both feminine because they are recipients of stimuli. They are recipients of outer forces coming to them and changing them. They are passive acceptors of stimuli and therefore feminine. On the other side, here, we have the index finger that indicates, points, that is intellection and initiative, the thumb, the pusher, so we have initiative and intellection, both male, and we have sensitivity and substantiality both female. So that the woman is orientated to the physical body by the fact that she is a child-bearer and a menstruator, both of which keep her in the physical body far more than a man can keep in his. So that woman is concrete substantial, she is the continuum principle. She is the sustainer, the preserver of reality; but the man, with his intellectual, analytical capacity is the destroyer because his analysis takes everything to pieces and his initiative continually interferes with the status quo and changes it. So the principle of conservatism is female and the principle of liberal interference is male, but every human being has all these qualities together.
And with Saturn on your middle finger you have a possibility of binding those two pairs together. If you bind those two pairs together, as the alchemists would say, you have proportioned the four elements of your being by the mysterious alchemical Mercury, the mysterious antimony of the alchemists, the mysterious Saturn. Saturn means the principle of comprehension, the principle of grab, the principle of get hold of, the principle of seizure, the principle of whatever you are doing, concentrate on it. Get the full value of your experience by concentrating, because you cannot get the value of your experience if you don’t concentrate, but the symbol of concentration is Saturn. And to make quite sure that you don’t lose yourself in the getting like Paul Getty, you have to let go of your Saturn in the very act of concentrating and substitute Jupiter for it. Jupiter means expansion where Saturn means contraction- coverage. You have to remind yourself that you are a free being in the very act of committing yourself to bondage. When you identify with something you become bound in your identification. If you don’t identify you never learn anything but if you do merely identify and forget that you are also free, you are lost irretrievably to yourself unless some being from outside, by grace, comes to rescue you, like the great teachers have been represented to be rescuers sent from the Universal Sentient Power.
Where are we placed in the middle of this? Do we feel comfortable to know, that everything that we have, down to the minutist little bone in our little finger, every cell in our body is a precipitate of our own intention to be in that way. How do we feel, happy?
Things around me now are only now.
Yes? You mean in theory or in practice.
You can’t blame anyone for anything except yourself. You are totally responsible.
Are you happy with that?
In fact there is some sort of freedom in that.
There is the only freedom in that. Could you have said that with equal conviction twelve months ago, Ghreta?
Ten years ago?
Oh no certainly not, no.
You mean you have not improved since last week? You know, it is only by restatement of these principles, every moment otherwise you lose them. It is an essential of esoteric Persian thought that the world is re-posited every here-now. If you don’t know that, instead of re-positing it you let it drift and then it is not your world at all. It is somebody else’s world imposed upon you, so you can’t afford not to have improved since yesterday.
But you might have willed to let it drift.
To let what?
You might have willed to let it drift.
In the here now? Do you mean that you will in one here now to interfere with another here-now?
No, that is very illogical. The very principle of here-nowness is that you know a very peculiar thing, time is running through here-now. Do you know here and now does not move? Here and now is the Parmenidian sphere of unchangeability, here and now, but time is running through it and all you have is an observer’s peephole like that, here and now and time is running through it. Can you feel the presence of here-now, now? Can you feel the here-nowness of now? And can you feel time running through it? Can you watch your thought process running through now? Are you aware of a movement going on in your thoughts?
I thought you would say we were here to stop it.
Are you capable of stopping it for long? A split second? And then it goes, so that what is in that little peephole here-now has gone and it has been displaced by something else. But your here-now is the same. So that, when you understand here-now, you do not try for a moment to make a statement here-now about another here-now elsewhere, because there isn’t one. Here-now is Infinite Sentient Power. It is not somewhere else, it is here-now, all of it, but time is running through it and time is a function of it within it. So, you cannot make an undertaking today for tomorrow because tomorrow will not be like today when you make the decision. It is like a New Year’s resolution. You make it but you don’t remember till next New Year’s Eve that you made one last year which you forgot. And you see, that’s true that here-now is like that and the things that appear here-now are always in the here-now, and the here-now does not change. And the changeless presence can only be the ultimate, original substance, because that can’t go anywhere can it? The Infinite Substance can’t go somewhere can it because it is already infinitely extended? So, we are inside a very peculiar thing, a continuum of Infinite Sentient Power. Isn’t that nice? Do you know the reason we are here is because that power is leaning on us all and individually. It leans on every point of matter, from all round, spherically and that keeps us in being.
Now, how do you feel if you know that an Infinite Sentient Power, all-wise, all-powerful, is leaning on you now, where you are, spherically, on each one of us? How does it feel?
Let it keep leaning.
Let it keep leaning. Wouldn’t it be a good idea not to make mistakes about its intention? Its intention is to unique-ify you. To make you like nothing else, to make you a facet on a cosmic diamond that will flash the light in the way that no other facet does and that in the name of that uniqueness it is prepared to do anything necessary to you. But it isn’t other than yourself, pushing you, torturing you to make facets. And it doesn’t care what it does because it is out for lots of facets.
I think you once said, didn’t you Dev, that God could be surprised by something a human being might do because Man has free will. God can’t be surprised can He? How can God be surprised? God is this Infinite Absolute, Sentient Power. What would sur-prise Him? The concept of sur-prise is that you are outside the system and you insert something into the system that was not there to the startlement of what was there. He cannot be surprised. And, nevertheless, we have free will. Why can’t our free will surprise Him? Answer, He gave it to us. And what He sees is the infinite possibilities of an infinity of choices and He also has a very canny trick that He does. He is able, because He is this Sentient Power Field, to alter the resistance in any given direction and when He reduces the resistance in a given direction, we human beings experience that reduction as an inclination to action. But He is also intimately aware of our innermost motives because in giving us the freedom to be ourselves, that is non-different substantially, from Himself He has rescued us from mechanical reactivity only at the expense of making us responsible for our own motivation. But He, because we are in Him, of Him, we are phenomena within His substantial being, he knows our motive and He lets us be free to have that motive and then He makes a line of least resistance for us so that we can accomplish the attainment of that which we set up as a goal and then pay the price. And that means another facet on our escutcheon.
Is that, “Leading us into temptation?”
That is leading us into temptation and a lot of people have been very puzzled why the Lord’s Prayer says to God, “Do not lead us into temptation,” as if God the Father was the Devil. But there is no tempter other than time. Temptation is time-tation. The temp in temptation means time. Time itself is the movement of phenomena. Each phenomenon that you see you appropriate or reject or remain indifferent too. If you appropriate a phenomenon to yourself, which for you, is first appropriated as an idea.......
The Gospels go Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew is Aquarius isn’t it, in the symbolism? And that means memory. You get an idea through a response in your cosmic substance and this response appears to you as an idea. That is Matthew. Then you go into Mark, the Lion. The symbol of Mark is the lion. You have the courage, “I have an attitude towards this, I will appropriate it, I like it.” Then you go down into Luke, symbol a bull, the bully or belly, and there you have to digest what you have had the courage to take on.
There is no escape because that God that everybody worships is nothing but the Infinite Substance of which we are modalities and we are only modalities limited to the modal operation if we ourselves identify with our human beingness and forget our divinity. Because we are not absolutely different from the substance, are we? Because we can’t be, because phenomena, that is our physical appearances, etcetera, phenomena are nothing but behaviours of this substance. But this substance is Universal Power, so there is no difference between a phenomenon and the substance is there other than this? We see the phenomenon and forget that the phenomenon is the substance there, self-phenomenalising.
Where does that place us?
We are not other than that of Absolute Substance which is God, phenomenalising ourselves as body.
We are not different. If we identify with the body aspect of ourselves we finite ourselves to the body and to the activity implied in being a body. We go under the law of that to which we give our credence. We go under the law of that to which we identify. So if we identify ourselves with the physical body, we go under the law of physical bodies, and we can’t do anything at that level other than react as bodies. But, supposing we make this leap, like Spinoza did, all these phenomena are nothing but modalities of this primordial substance which is God. So, instead of identifying with the form, the phenomenal appearance, we identify with the substance of the same form. Can you see the switch? And if you move from looking at the phenomena, your shape, this hand, this hand and so on, instead of doing that, you feel your substantial self-presence. The moment you feel your substantial self-presence you have got God, right there, in your physical body. Not far away, at hand, in what you are doing. The substance of that God is your own very substance. Your body is God phenomenalising as you. When you think about your body as a body, finite, in space-time-matter, and you forget your divinity, your ultimate substantiality as Sentient Power, you go under the law governing space – time – matter – bodies. But when you remember that you actually experience yourselves as substantial presences of Sentient Power, at that very, very here-now, you are divine.
What happens then, to whom do you pray? I hope you pray to God, because if you were to identify with your finitude at that moment, you would have alienated yourself from your infinity wouldn’t you? So, if in identifying yourself with your physical body you forgot that your substance is infinite and eternal, you would have lost yourself in identification with finitude. You would then be in a personal and private Hell. Whereas if you remember your infinity of such Sentient Power Substance, at the very moment of breaking the identification with your phenomenality as a physical body, in that moment of remembering your infinity, all the other bodies in space, time, matter are yours.
That is John?
That is John, lifted up in the spirit. Now, how does that feel? That any one of you, divinising himself in this way has an absolute right over every other body in the room, how is that?
It is OK if you don’t mind them having the right over you.
Quite, you see it is reciprocal, isn’t it? Now how do you feel about that?
That feels better to me than the way we are now.
There isn’t another body is there?
No, the only body is the Absolute Sentient Power Substance.
But we make it that there are other bodies?
We define it, but we don’t actually make anything, do we?
No, but we give the appearance of it.
Aha, but only to ourselves.
If we are all doing it to ourselves, that makes the problem.
No, if people forget that they are doing it to themselves, there is the problem. But if I accept, that in my divinisation of my self-presence all these bodies are mine, I must also remember that they are in the same position in relation to me. And, if they came to do something to me that is not co-incident with my Absolute Infinite Sentient Power analysis of what I need in this place, then they are not in the condition of the identification with the Absolute that would justify their appropriation of this body.
So that means somebody has to start it.
Somebody has to start it and it is exactly that, that is the meaning of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. That is God had to start it. It can’t be anyone else can it because starting can only be the substance of reality itself?
Then somebody has to emulate it.
Some body has to emulate it, yes?
You were saying about right. Right and might differ in one letter, don’t they? The GH in both words symbolises power. Its primordial use is effort. When you lift up a heavy stone, you go ‘urgh.’ And that used to be the pronunciation of that GH. You can see it slightly in German where macht shows in the CH, the ‘uch,’ the effort. We used to say ‘micht’ and ‘richt’ like a Scot says ‘recht’ doesn’t he as much as a German does. And doesn’t he say things like, “A broad broad bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht.” The GH in night is the same thing. Night means negation of power, might means substantiality of power and right means discrimination of power. So that you are only right when you are able to discriminate the substantial powers within being. If you can’t discriminate, you may be able to punch hard, you have got might but if you can’t discriminate, you are not right. Absolute discrimination is Absolute right, Absolute Power is Absolute might and Absolute Pralaya, negation of power, is Absolute night. It is obvious that we have to get right as well as might.
How are we feeling so far?
First, you have to understand that parable that we started with, that the man having all his barns full and ready for a great life says you haven’t to worry about your barns have you?
If you allow everybody access to use them they might empty your barns for you.
And so you haven’t to care if the barns are emptied, because the original Infinite Substantial Power, if your motive is right, will give you full barns or empty barns, according to your need.
Will you define the word ‘need’ for us?
Need is the reverse of the word ‘deen’ isn’t it? Yes? Need-deen, is that right? Deem means to judge. A need is what you judge you will to have. There are no needs other than wills to appropriate. How do you like that? So when a pop singer sings, “I need you, I want you,” he is really saying, “It is my will to grab you,” isn’t he?
Will you define the word ‘appropriate?’
Appropriate, yes. It is from Latin proprium, ‘ownness’ yes, ownness. That which makes a thing essentially what it is, is its proprium. To take that away from where it is, is an act of appropriation. The legal term, ‘appropriation’ in popular language is pinching, swiping or knocking off. It has exactly the same meaning however you do it but if you appropriate it through the appropriate techniques like Stonehouse did in a circular tour, if you don’t get found out, it is yours. But, every ownership is based on what the word own means and the word own is the same word as the word ‘owe.’ Now, to owe something to something, is to have derived it by appropriation from that something, isn’t it? But, the only real owner and absolute possessor of all properties is the original Infinite Power, the Sentient Power of the Absolute itself, the Universal Substance. To that substance belongs everything. All things are properties of that Universal Substance and we, as separate finite beings, owe everything that we are phenomenally to that Universal Substance.
Have we appropriated it?
We have appropriated it.
Does the bowl own the cherries?
Now when we split the thing into bowl and cherries aren’t we deliberately dividing what cannot be divided, because what God puts together no man should put asunder. The concept of the bowl and the concept of the cherries are conveniences for rabbinical analysis, aren’t they? The reality is that there is a Sentient Power which functions as bowl and cherries.
Yes, but the bowl, as woman, she tends to want to own the cherries doesn’t she?
‘Cos she owes everything to the cherries doesn’t she because the cherries are the means whereby she is stimulated into activity? You know M1 is the phase of woman when there is no man about, black despair. Who said “Huhn,” I heard a voice saying, “Huhn.” It had a funny intonation in it. It almost sounded Jewish, was it or was it not? Huhn, I think whoever said that has got Jewish ancestry lurking away somewhere. Was it a voice of protest?
Funny, I thought it was you! I’ve always suspected you of having Jewish blood in you somewhere. It came out in a huhn. Throw it behind your nose and see if you don’t feel Jewish, huhn. Express disapproval of a proposition, huhn. It is H N you are uttering isn’t it? You see, hierarchy, H, N, negation. Huhn. It means, that’s what you think. The fact is that you, personally, in your life, have appropriated many cherries, right?
You said “Huhn, yes?”
There is an awful lot of people living in my bowl.
There’s an awful lot of people living in your bowl but you did carve the bowl to appropriate the cherries and put them in, didn’t you? And if you conceive you are,……. a little exercise for you Aya, conceive yourself as in a manless world, I mean really manless, no masculine qualities whatever, that means no discrimination, no intellectual processes, no discrimination and no initiative, just you and all the other girls in one big porridge. How do you like it?
Ugh, another primordial barbarous word of indication, yes? You had ‘recht’ and ‘macht’ and ‘nicht’ and now we have got ‘ugh’. The fact is that when you are being honest with yourself it is extraordinary difficult, you know perfectly well that the polarisation, the opposite concepts in the mind of man, of substance and phenomena, substance and modalities, is indivisible. You can’t have a bowl without cherries, it is an abstract idea, because the cherries are the phenomenal side of the same substance which is conceived as an empty bowl. You can’t have boys that haven’t had a mummy to give birth to them can you? And you can’t have mummies to give birth to anything but boys unless you impose a dirty cosmic trick on them, by saying, “We will have a girl now then she can wash up.” We must have some loose girls mustn’t we, is that right?
Are we feeling comfortable now?
Why not? We are all self-precipitated, self-phenomenalised, self-punished, self-rewarded, self-lost, self-found. You‘re happy with that aren’t you, Ghreta?
Yes I am.
Yes, why aren’t you grinning when you say it?
I was grinning.
Yes, and it would be an erroneous concept wouldn’t it? The idea of leaving is rubbish because you are actually inside and a modality of an Infinite Sentient Power, which, being Infinite, there is nowhere where it is not, so that you can never leave it. Which is why one of our apostles says, “I am persuaded that nothing can separate us from the love of God.” It is merely the logic of substance, that statement.
Why has there got to be the substance Scorpio for Aquila
Well because in Scorpio you are identified with the space–time-matter process, and where that scorpion, which means attachment, is transcended, you change the symbol from a marine type of creature, water meaning the psychic life, to an aerial being meaning intellectual life, suddenly, this transcends its identification with emotion and becomes the pure Logos knower. The eagle flies up and gets a perfect panoptic view of total reality. The scorpion has become the eagle. So, by the same argument, the dragon which is in the bottomless pit, is nothing but the intellect of God in its purity when seen without eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Remember we are all suffering from the biting of that Tree of Knowledge. Human beings think they know what is good and what is evil and they conduct their lives on that principle. But actually, they don’t know anything about it, and all their choices are wrong because they think they know what is good and what is evil. But there is no good that is not presupposed in the evil and there is no evil that doesn’t presuppose the good, and they are simultaneously mutually interpenetrating. They are discriminable but they are not substantively distinct.
BOWL OF CHERRIES