Breathing by Eugene Halliday
Transcript by AR
A freely downloadable audio-file of the following transcribed talk is available by accessing the ‘Archive’ page(s) at the website of the ‘Eugene Halliday Institute for the Study of Hierological Values’.
NOTE: Transcribers comments are between square brackets [ ]
A talk given by Eugene Halliday in Liverpool during the late 1950’s/early 1960’s
Eugene begins by reading a written question from the audience, .asking whether there is a breathing exercise connected with the previous weeks exercise. He then outlines a series of breathing practises and gives direct examples of them, to the group while relating the breathing to fundamental rhythms, universal, solar and sidereal.
He first stresses the value of controlled breathing in using a deliberate and volition action to find our proper centre simply by deliberately interfering with the automatic rhythm of the breath. The centre is found then stabilised with a regulated breath ratio. Once established, the Yogic ratio of 1 - 4 - 2 can then be used which it is explained has to be deliberately maintained and creating voluntary control of a physiological process and of individual conditioning.
He then considers a question about whether the Greek Mystery Schools could be classed as ‘magical’. He analyses the word ‘mystery’ as an integration of ‘substantial urge forms’ and relates it to ‘magic’ as he describes both as involving exaltation of the will. The function of the schools is stated as’ritual processes for inducing levels of consciousness not accessible to the ordinary five-sense mind’.
He then outlines a breathing process for extending and deepening the rate of breath and relating it to rhythms harmonically related to solar and sidereal motions. The breath is described as an effective indicator of emotional reaction and formal conditionings or ‘sub-ents’, delaying or accelerating reactions. These can be universalised and hence controlled. An example of such conditioning by a ‘flat Earth’ gravitation idea is demonstrated to the group and its resolution shown by choosing the universal rather than the particular. Attention is drawn to effects manifest in breathing rates associated with concepts.
Universals are described as less agitating and therefore very valuable in gaining imperturbability ‘the key to emotional control is in the presentation of a universal form’.
Then Eugene returns to the ‘mysteries’ and whether such processes could be misused. He states that its secrets are related to functions that could be misused and readily lead to degeneration.
The importance of finding a relation with someone who reflects our own centres back to us is stressed - ‘the physical level, emotional level, the rational level, all must be made conscious and deliberate otherwise it doesn’t count for evolution, and for it to be conscious, you must have a conscious reciprocal point on which to act and which will act back on you’.
Finally in response to a very apt question from the audience Eugene explains the effect of the lower centres taking and misunderstanding reflexive concepts yet holding the ideas. The ideas, being equally as mechanical at another level , and although in opposition to the urge levels. Ultimately a non-mechanical , non-identified centre of consciousness is achieved.
The lecture closes with the freeing non-formulated consciousness statement ‘the observer is not the observed’.
We’ll deal with that one first.
When we are breathing, we do not suck air into the lungs from the air, you do not take energy from the air but you have energy inside you which has imposed itself on the breathing apparatus. So that the rhythm of your breathing is evidence of an energy being used and if you try to hold your breath, stop breathing altogether, you will find a peculiar imperativeness in the breathing centre. So if you with your conscious mind try to inhibit breathing you will discover that there is another level of being of which you are not normally conscious but which insists on breathing.
So we’d be better to make sure about that now, won’t take long, won’t take more than a couple of minutes for the best of us. Let’s all hold our breath. Just breathe in, hold your breath and try to the best of your ability not to breath again, and in process watch in your body where the impulse to breathe starts from
All take a breath, hold it and be determined that you are not going to release it. You can watch in your body while you are holding your breath to see where the imperative to breathe comes from
What centre did you find?
A – Something in the abdomen . . .
A – There’s a tightness across here . .
E.H. - You all agree it is somewhere near here? Now there is a centre there where energy is coming in and your conscious mind has a job to defeat it. It is actually possible if you are really obstinate about it, to deprive yourself of oxygen and faint. Some of the Everest men did it as an exercise. But when you do so it starts up again. So even when you are unconscious it carries on and when you try with your consciousness to fight it, it is a very, very hard fight; and is centred somewhere here. Now that shows you that there is a non-individuated energy that is not connected necessarily with that part of your being which you conceptualise as yourself.
So there is a breathing rhythm in us which is deeper, more imperative than the conscious individuality of an ordinary man. It can be defeated by a man if he integrates himself to a high degree, but when he has defeated it and fallen unconscious, then, it starts up again. Which shows again that, it is a separate centre of being.
Now, we often hear references in mystical literature to a kind of breathing called soul breathing - breathing with the soul instead of breathing with the atmospheric air. And this breathing is connected with the magical process which we were discussing last week. If you find the centre in your physical body where the breathing imperative manifests, and you deliberately cut it down to the minimum, at a certain level of repression of this you will find a tendency to imagine a breathing process going on -you believe you are imagining it - which in actual physical fact is not going on.
In other words your imaginative breathing is deeper than your physical breathing. Now this breathing - if it is truly imaginative in our sense that the ‘mag’ in imaginative means the will - is what we want to get at, because it affects the whole psyche.
Now, the breath rate of an average person is fairly rapid and varies a lot according to the emotional condition but the breath rate to be aimed at is that physical rate of breathing which corresponds exactly with the proper rate of the soul breathing.
We know, if we take the three part man, somewhere over there coming in is the imperative of breathing. We know there is an energy which is contracting here and then expanding again, somewhere centred there, and that this energy is a field state. There is actually an expansion and a contraction of a field energy which is the cause of the motion of the lungs. The air doesn’t move the lungs, but the lungs are moved by this force and the result is that the air enters the lungs.
So if we try to inhibit breathing, we are really trying to control this field. Now when we define the exercise of inhibiting breathing, in the fact of defining it, we cannot hear. We have a concept of breathing and a concept of interference. When we try to impose upon this centre which is connected with our life, with the thinking centre which is derived from the five sense percepts - adding up into a concept of individuality, to try to break this rhythm is to call upon energies here which are not normally resident in a man We have to pile energies into our conceptual structure to a very high degree before we can actually hold the breath for even more than a couple of minutes. To extend your held breath to three minutes, to three and a half, to four requires a terrific amount of integration in there, because you have to impose a concept on a fundamental impulse.
If we get used to this feeling of breathing, its imperativeness, and watch it compared with the concept and then bring the conceptual rate of breathing in line with the psychic breathing, we can then discover that if that represents an individual and this represents the macrocosmic sphere outside it, we can bring the individual into phase with the solar rhythm.
So we have a means of bringing ourselves into phase, into harmony with solar rhythms through the breathing centre, and in general we can say that the breath rate is slower there than the average man will breathe.
So if we count the average breath. Let’s count our own. Just mentally breathe in and out as usual, and count in terms of seconds. Count ‘One and two and’ - put an ‘and’ in between and then you won’t skip one. ‘One and two and’. so on - see how many you breathe in and out . .
A - [unclear response] . . .
E.H. – Now two in and three out is not a bad rhythm, for average functions. Now do it again, but this time watch your emotional condition - just do that for thirty seconds. . . and two out.
A - I felt that my breathing was changing.
Yes, well you would start interfering with it unconsciously. Just deliberately now, breath in two seconds and out two seconds and watch your feeling . . .
Now change the rate to four in and four out and watch the difference in your feeling level . . .
A - It seems to have tightened up a bit.
Tightened up a bit. Let’s use another word for it. You have got a sense that you are controlling it.
A - That you make an effort.
You’re making an effort. That effort is control. A constriction deliberately done is control. Now your emotional state when you breathe slowly in that way, if you hold it, puts you in contact with volition. If you allow your breathing to go, it will vary according to the ideas flying through your mind which induce emotional states which affect the breathing and make it variable. If you want to stabilise your emotions, you deliberately regularise your breathing and you will notice a very peculiar thing about it, that if you breathe slowly, four in and four out, you will feel your temperature rising.
Did anybody notice that? Now why is that? Because, you would expect the opposite to happen, wouldn’t you? You’d think that if you breathed more, that your temperature would become higher, wouldn’t you? Yet the fact is that you feel yourself getting warm when you breathe slower. Why is that?
A - You are doing more muscular work holding your breath?
You are doing more muscular work holding it. Now that work is introverted work, and you are curving energies back on yourself in so doing.
Now you might have heard of a famous Irish hero who when he fought got so hot that there was a great aura of heat around him and he glowed with a horrible heat and terrified his enemies. Now this is very similar to the kind of breathing we are talking about. In his day, it was customary for men called heroes deliberately to make the breathing very, very slow. Because the amount of energy held in to make it slow, heats the body up to such a pitch, that it can strike very much more strongly than in ordinary shallow breathing.
Now let’s remember if we take a diagram of the solar system and a diameter through it which we would represent ideally as a simple circle without any distortions. In the actual solar system there is a long axis and a short, but we will calculate the variation between the long one and the short from the distortions of the circle and say that there is a rhythm running through here as we go round the solar system on the earth. And a sub-division of this impulse down to a certain limit constitutes an in-breath and an out-breath for a human being.
Now in the solar system that is practically a constant. There is a solar rhythm. If we allow ourselves to become excited by external stimuli, the rhythm that we get is imposed upon us by accident, that is, by no necessity of inner being.
So if you suddenly shout at a child, and make the child jump, you have imposed on it an accidental rhythm; a rhythm non-essential to the child. If all accidental rhythms are removed then your breath rate will be a partial, a harmonic, of the solar rhythm and if it is such a partial, then you will become progressively more and more conscious of the solar being.
Now it is resident in its centre in that group of nerves, that cluster that we would call the solar plexus. It is here that this imperative flows through. Not through the structure as a gross material structure, but through the subtle structure which corresponds with it. So if we find that solar rhythm in ourselves which we do by slowing our breathing down ‘til it has become volitional, we can by increasing sensitivity find the rhythm in us which corresponds exactly with the solar rhythm. Then we must be fed by solar energy and it is our aim to become solar in rhythm rather than lunar.
The moon rhythms vary much more than the solar rhythms and if we go on the lunar rhythms we will be more subject to variations in our psychic processes. Hence, ‘swear not by the inconstant moon.’ So we have to aim at a kind of breathing which will put us in contact with this solar breathing. Behind the solar breathing there is a sidereal breathing and behind that the breathing of the Absolute. And it is a definite process of breathing just as much as this physical intake of air.
There is an intake into the macrocosmos of energy and an expulsion of that energy from it, just as in the same way a certain kind of jellyfish in the sea expands and water goes in and it contracts and water goes out — there is a rhythm there. So every being from the macrocosmic being downwards has a peculiar rhythm to do with energy intake and energy expenditure and therefore there is a proper cosmic rhythm. If we find that rhythm in our selves, a harmonic of the solar rhythm, of the sidereal rhythm, the absolute, then we are finding that in us which will harmonise the whole being. Because the essential of unity is that there must be a proper place for each partial activity within us. It’s this ‘harmonic process’ which is going to harmonise the body.
I believe that Mr Watson is going to bring his bass down next week, when he will show you what harmonics are, and their relations.
When you get used to the idea that there is a proper breathing for you when you are in a calm state, and that the restatement of that breathing will always restate the conditions of the psyche in calmness, then you will deliberately cultivate that breathing alone which can give you the condition you want; because, if you allow shallow, irregular breathing, you cannot control yourself. Hence the importance in yoga of breathing exercises.
Now in yoga they have a ratio of 1 : 4 : 2 for breathing. If you inhale for one unit, you hold for four and exhale two. So if you inhale four, hold sixteen, exhale eight (in seconds)You keep that ratio and that ratio forces you to become volitional. It isn’t a ratio that you can do accidentally. So it is really calling upon your volitional centre when you keep to that ratio, hence the great stress upon it. You cannot make that ratio accidentally. It forces you onto your volitional centre and if you become progressively more aware of the centre where the breathing impulse comes in, when you are applying that ratio, at a certain point you will feel that the thing is fighting, that the rhythm is fighting all that you call your individual tendencies.
If it wins you have gained your end. If that rhythm dominates the individual one, you have gained your armoury.
If the individual one destroys that ratio then you will lapse into individual perturbability. So, remember that 1-4-2 ratio because its very important because it forces you onto a volitional level. So you can see if you were to step that up to 16 this becomes quite big. It doesn’t matter in advanced breathing exercises how long you try to do it if you keep that ratio. If you keep the ratio with only one second in, four held and two out, it will still force you onto the volitional centre. It is not an exercise you can do unconsciously.
Now in ordinary breathing exercises you can breathe in and out and in and out, and forget you are doing it. So it is not necessarily a volitional exercise. And all the exercises to do with magical development have to be volitional. So a device that forces you onto your volitional centre is needed in the initial stages. And this ratio is such a device.
It affects the body in a peculiar way, and cannot be done accidentally.
So about the breathing we will say that every centre you have is breathing at a certain rate, so this lower one here in taking energy in and then letting energy out, has a rhythm which could be called breathing. It is in-taking and exhaling; the same thing with the lungs, and the same thing with the head. This rhythm of waking and sleeping has to do with certain centres up here and centres here and here harmonise with it.
So of breathing we have to find our proper centre, deliberately interfere with it so that we can locate it by its reaction, and then stabilise the rhythms of it so that we can discover the solar rhythm and first of all use a very, very simple one, four in and four out and hold it, four in and four out in order to make sure that we know where that centre is. When you have it perfectly clear in your mind, then go onto the 1-4-2 ratio and hold it and test yourself. Now whatever phenomena should appear in your mind, they themselves are not magical. When you get on to the level of the field change, you will experience something totally different. . .
[break in recording]
. . . If you don’t ignore the first manifestation, like occasional flashes, if you don’t ignore those, then you will not get on to a higher level because you will become delighted and involved with what in effect is really a physiological manifestation.
I think that’s enough about the breathing for the time being. There’s a question here about the ancient ‘mystery schools’ such as Pythagoras’ and so on,
‘Could it be said that they were magical schools in the sense that we understand them?’
We can say that all the ancient mystery schools were magical in the sense we defined last week. We will take the word mystery now, and show the relation between this and magic. This first letter - the Greek letter for it is really pronounced ‘meiw’ and has to do with the letter for urge and the letter for precision, simultaneously. Here is the ‘torah’ again, here is the issue, so the substantial, the substantial, urge point, ‘U’- urge point ‘U’ issue producing the ‘tor’, ‘ter’- earth, integration. Now compare that with the magical process. Then this becomes to G and integration is the ‘ic’.
Mystery - the law, integration by means of the issue of the substantial urge form.
So the mysteries were actually ritual processes for inducing levels of consciousness not accessible to the ordinary five-sense mind.
You remember we mentioned the exaltation of the will, that you have to lift the will up deliberately by using the will on itself. You must elevate it by a process of internal self-exciting. This is called the exaltation of the will. The will has to be lifted up into a state of enthusiasm. Now enthusiasm itself is a word that means ‘god has come into me’. The en – thusiasm, is the ‘in’ the god , this function has substantialised itself. So to be enthusiastic is to be working in the manner of a divine being. Now the difference between an average person and a divine person is enthusiasm. That is to say, the average man has enthusiasm for nothing. He has nothing in himself that works continuously towards an end. A stimulus from outside produces a reaction, but he has no principle inside himself of continuous application. So he is not enthusiastic. He has no divine impulse in him.
So when we are talking about the mysteries, we are talking about those processes into which men were initiated, processes of the law which understood led to the integration of a man when he applied onto his own substantial urge and form these principles, and working upon himself produced an issue.
So that if we say the old form ‘mu’ and ‘me’ are telescoped together, this is the substantial urge, this is substantial form, and both of these result in an issue. That issue is illumination. And it depends on the exaltation of the will. Now there are two aspects here, the urge and the form in the urge. To exalt the will, you have to take the urge and apply it to the form and you must clarify the form with the power of the urge. You must will that the thing be important and then with your will, you must penetrate into the thing to make it important. It’s entirely an act of will. There need not be any importance in the thing itself to begin with, you are going to import into it. Remember importance means in-carried. Import: in carry. There are no importances in the universe other than those things into which man imports his will. So whatever you have defined as important in your life is merely defined as that into which you have willed. So all the different importances of different people are simply the different directions of their will
So we have to take an idea. Let us take the idea of the identity of the individual with the universal. There’s the individual, and there’s the universal. We are going to assert that this is identical with that. And we are going to do it magically. So we say, we’ve drawn a tiny little circle there, and there’s a little hole in it because if we remember rotating force cannot go to the dead centre because it would stop. So it goes near to it and then it flies out again to the limit and flies back again, continuously
So the inner circle that looks like a dot is really a little circle. It is identical with the big one, in the sense that it has exactly the same form, is centred, it is concentric with it, it is not eccentric, it has a common centre, and the rhythm of one and of the other is correspondent.
So we have defined it that this is the macrocosmos and the little perimeter of my being, the form of it is what my eye sees and I’ve put my will into it. I now will that this little being, this little circle shall breathe as from the macrocosmic level. If I deliberately do this I will induce in myself a very rapid increase in temperature, and that increase in temperature purges the body. It is actually like the process of detoxification to do it. The farther out I think that macrocosmic circle is, the slower my breathing will become.
Now actually do this as an exercise now. Take your own physical bodies as represented by that little circle, and let this other circle represent the walls of the room to begin with. Now just breathe out to the walls of the room, and then back again, out to the walls of the room and back again. Do that for a few seconds, and notice the level of your attention and the amount of will that you need to do it.
Now compare that with this other one. You now have an idea of Liverpool in your mind. Now breathe to the limits of Liverpool and back again. And notice the change in your feeling content. . .
When you have got the feeling of Liverpool compared with the first one, now extend the breathing to cover the whole of Great Britain. Deliberately take the breathing as far as it takes you and as long as it takes you in time, to imagine the extent of Britain, breathe out that far and then back again.
When you’ve got that feeling now breathe out to include the whole terrestrial globe and back again. . . notice the qualitative change in your feeling. . .
Now breathe out beyond the terrestrial globe to the limits of the solar system . . . in again.
Notice the feeling and then change that into breathing right out to the limits of the sidereal system, of the farthest stars in a big sphere round you.
Have you all felt the difference in feeling between those levels? And the different rate of the breathing? Did you notice what it was?
A - Progressively deeper.
E.H. - Progressively deeper. Now this is tremendously important, because when you conceptualise a thing like this, and deliberately import your will into it, and you will into the imagination so that as you are extending your spatial concept your rhythm is becoming slower and deeper. So you are bringing yourself into phase with these other rhythms, solar and sidereal
Now try this little experiment. I want you to imagine this sidereal sphere and to get to it I want you to imagine the room, Liverpool, we’ll skip Great Britain, go straight to the globe, and the solar system and back again. And try to force the transition into one second, both ways and see what happens. You’ve got to get the imagination to fly to all those phases and back again in one second and see what happens. . .
What do you find out?
A - I got confused.
E.H. - Did you get confused?
A – Agitation
E.H. - Did anybody not get confused? Now this tells you a peculiar thing about yourself. It actually takes time to imagine spatial distances. So that if you take a long distance like the distance from here to one of the outer stars, it will take you a definite time to get there and back in your imagination. And if you deliberately regulate the breathing to this imagination, you have a mode of magical harmonising with their correspondent being levels.
Now you will notice that if you deliberately breathe, I want you all now to - you’ll have do this privately - imagine some emotional situation that you have not liked in the past, in relation to some specific situation very small, watch your breathing rate while you are doing it. Deliberately select it, something as unpleasant as you can find in as small a situation as you can find, and watch your breathing. . .
Now when you’ve found it, suddenly shift your imagination right through the terrestrial, the solar, to the sidereal, and feel the change that occurs. . .
Now imagine that sidereal sphere, way beyond the limits of the solar sphere, put your mind in it and breathe at the rate that you have to breathe for that and then try to see if you can see any importance in that previous unpleasant situation, whilst you are at the same time breathing the very slow breath that belongs to the sidereal sphere. See if you can actually do it. . .
If you do this properly you will have the key to the effects of identification. . .
What do you find?
A - I find it very distant to get hold of it.
E.H. - Actually, you find that it’s practically impossible to do both at once, don’t you? So that you cannot actually worry and feel about that particular, if you are breathing at this cosmic rate. Now let’s say identi-fication – we’ve said ‘id’ ‘ent’- that’s the ‘entity’, [unclear phrase] ‘fic’ the same as facere - the doing, ‘identi – fiction’ if you like. ‘It’ – entity . . .you see which means [E.H. hits table] ‘it’. When you pin yourself on anything whatever, then the eye has teeth, that is, it has become a mechanical proposition. Those are the teeth on the cogwheel. There is the I - the observer
When the observer conceptualises itself as fitting into the situation just like one cog - nice piece of cog-work fits into another one - so identification is the ‘observer with tooth’ concept, ‘fitting into something’. The id-entification, the entity is made into an ‘it’. That is an object, material like the fact of identification. Now whatever form the ‘e,’ me, you set up and identify with, there is a corresponding ‘u’ or urge level for it, and therefore a breathing rate for every idea you have.
Now I want you to watch this very, very carefully in yourselves now and you will discover that this is true. That every time you change your idea, your breath rate will change. I will recite the ideas and you will watch the breathing while you look at the idea.
A green-watered swimming pool with you floating in it.
A dog biting at your heels.
An aeroplane gliding towards an airport.
A sudden explosion when it hits a pylon.
Notice what happens to you inside when you change the image?
A - A slight contraction in the solar plexus.
E.H. - Every time you change the image, you change the image equivalent in the urge and it appears in the breathing manifestation. Now you can see the importance in breath control. It means that if you want to be imperturbable, if you want a diamond body, if you want immortality, you must have that which cannot be changed.
Now all temporal images change and therefore have corresponding feeling states which we call passions, that is passive, reactive levels of feeling. But there is one image which we will represent in that manner, the circle in the cross, and the cross in the circle. And when we get that image, we have got something that stands, no matter what we think about.
Now let’s have a look at it. Watch you breathing rate when you look at this man and this lady. Look at this, watch the processes of association that occur in your mind and as soon as you become aware of the breath rate that belongs to it, switch your attention to this one, and watch the difference. Can you state what it is now?
A - Deep and very shallow.
This one is deep and this is shallow? Now that is because this has more significance than that, not less. When we particularise we are apparently putting more in, we are really putting less in. The more objectified the thing is, the less there is in it, because we are finiting the application.
If we say a horse, it has wider application than if you say a white horse or a black horse. So if we widen the application we cut off a qualifier. We take an adjective off horse, keep the horse, and it applies over a bigger area. So there’s a possibility of a good debate here, does white horse mean more or less than horse?
The Chinese have a nice bit of scribbling in logic called ‘is a white horse a horse?’ You’ll find it in the Everyman Chinese Philosophy, worth reading for a bit of non-Greek logic. Where the concept horse is not equivalent to the concept ‘white horse’, because it is horse plus a limiting factor, which is not horse. So if you go on increasing the qualifiers, supposing you put in white horse, earless, and lame in one leg and tail cropped. For every qualifier you put on it, it is coming progressively less horse.
A - But more identifiable.
E.H. - More particularly identifiable and in the process it’s getting weaker and weaker and when you contemplate it you will find that your breathing becomes agitated. So if you start illuminating the parts of an individual man you find yourself full of likings and dislikings for his particulars and your breath-rate will become agitated, but if you take the general concept ‘man’, your breathing will become smoother. So you see the key to the proper rhyhmical breathing that you want rests in the universal idea. In other words the key to emotional control is in the presentation of a universal form, and if there is to be identification at all, with the universal rather than the particular. It’s in this sort of conflict between particular and universal that the education of man proceeds in the mysteries.
The ordinary man who never went into a mystical initiation, didn’t know what went on inside but he knew that something went on, because the man who went into it came out different. The moment he’d been in, and come out again, the man who’d never been in saw a qualitative difference in him such that they considered he was elevated. He was a better man afterwards than he was before. So something went on in the mysteries to which all the people who stayed outside the mysteries attest. That the man who went in wasn’t so good as the man who came out from them, and that he had gained a certain control that the ordinary man had no got, and the control process was, the resultant of the education in the difference between particulars and universals.
So you will find Plato saying, ‘when I refer to beauty I do not refer to the beauty of ‘things’, which is relative and temporal, but I refer to the absolute beauty of those lines, those surfaces, volumes which arise from the manipulation of a pair of compasses and rulers. That he called absolutely beautiful, because its beauty is not dependent on a particular, whereas relative beauty is dependent upon particulars.
The child may be born of certain parents and the parents may be very kind and have red hair. So to the child red hair is beautiful. But it isn’t absolutely beautiful, or it cannot be evaluated so by the fact that it has been hair on the heads of men and women who have treated the child kindly. But one that is absolutely beautiful or not is quite other than the effect on the emotions of the child.
So that the forms precipitated by geometrical operations are absolutely beautiful, whereas the so-called beauty of a fashionable girl with a certain kind of nose or hair length and so on, is relative, temporal and not worth studying in relation to the mysteries.
[short break in tape]
The mysteries shift you from the particular beauty of this lady with the knee-length skirt, to the essential beauty of that circle and the cross in it. The Absolute, unchangeable beauty. So when you contemplate this, you actually find your breath rate is different from when you contemplate that one, and as we are looking for control, you must use the means to it. The double sound in the ‘my’ in the mystery the ‘y’ signifies the shape of this, that it is a vertical or horizontal or a circle, and the ‘u’ the ‘mu’, signifies the urge that arises in you when you contemplate it.
Now notice again that when I draw this vertical, and the horizontal, and you put your consciousness on it, start at the top of the vertical and run down, take it off and then put it on this side of the horizontal going across, see if the periodicity of passing down the vertical and across the horizontal is identical. Tell me whether you take the same time to go down the vertical as you do on the horizontal. . .
A - I find the vertical quicker.
E.H. - You go down on the vertical quicker.
A - Yes
E.H. - Now, that shows that you are suffering from a flat earth concept, doesn’t it? - A gravitational concept. Let’s posit the earth at the centre there, and say, ‘this is a circle arbitrarily in outer space’. Or if you like it is the orbit of the moon. Now, start from the bottom and run to the centre. Watch very carefully your feeling and see if you’re not still imposed on by a flat earth concept. See if you takes you the same time to run up to that centre as it does down to it, see if you can’t feel a drag on you when you are moving up. . . You can?
A - You can fall down, but you’ve got to climb up.
E.H. - Now you see, that is tyranny of a concept, A ‘flat earth’ concept. It actually causes you because of that concept to take more energy to climb up there than it does to fall down there. That shows that inside your head as a man you have a concept built on the theory of the flat earth. Which is practically useful but isn’t true absolutely. So that that concept, when you try to climb from there to there, pinches the energy and makes it rotate through that concept first. Whereas when you start from here, you have another concept called the concept of gravity and that one hurries the energy flow of the imagery through it. You see the function of a concept there - it can drag on your energy, it can delay your reaction, or it can accelerate it.
Now we are full of such conceptual beings. Those are sub-ents. They actually impose on us unless we actually break them. Now here is a very good exercise, deliberately put yourself on the perimeter, and try to rise to that centre and up there and go to it and see if you can equalise the times. Let’s try that now for a few seconds.
A - With an effort.
E.H. - With an effort. Right, now I want you to imagine something totally different. Imagine that you are placed above this vertically and that all that is below you. In other words you deliberately imagine that it is in this plane, the terrestrial plane. And now run in from any side. Can’t you immediately do it at the same speed? And doesn’t that show to you that concepts have the power to steal energy from you.
So you see the necessity of breaking conceptual blocks. They exist in millions of different ways. Such that inside your head there are all sorts of little traps so you may have what is called, the ‘best intention’, which you heard about as a child when your educators told you to be a good boy, and always to have the right intention. So you have inside there a concept called the best intention.
When an impulse arises from the tummy land down below and rises up here, when it goes near the one called the best intention, that best intention has been put into you through the ear against colossal resistance originally from your tummy energy so the amount of energy in the best intention region is so great that your impulse cannot penetrate it. In other words it has no effect whatever on your action.
You see the mechanics of it?
And the measure of the effort that your educators have used to push that concept into you is the measure of the difficulty in making it work. You see why the real secret of education does not consist in hammering goodness into people? Because if you oppose this tummy urge, down here, with ideas up here against that tummy urge, you will simply set up a system there, that is exactly as strong as the urge was that it had to overcome to put it in equilibrium. And therefore no urge from below will have the power to act on it. It cannot penetrate it, can’t get though it.
So if ever you want to be good, I don’t know what for, but if you do, you will have to penetrate that concept of good or you will have to so break it down into fundamental truths that you have destroyed its power by spreading it over the whole system. Only then can you penetrate it. In other words, really you have to understand the nature of the concept of the good, before you can operate it. And until you do the reciting of the word good, and be good and so on, will have no effect.
So we find a very, very old Chinese statement saying, ‘man is told, be good, be good, be good, but nobody manages it’. And that was thousands of years ago. And the Taoists said, ‘therefore do not say be good, because if you say be good, and you put the concept in there you have defined be bad.’ And this impulse down here doesn’t like restraint of any kind, and as the one called good is the one that’s socially acceptable and means inhibition of the tummy urge, when it climbs up here, the good one, it cannot penetrate to get its form from, so it goes into the bad one, which says it can do as it wants. So that, the question of morality and ethics is a fundamentally mechanical one.
If we now add to this our statement about breathing, we know that every time we contemplate a certain idea, our breath rate will start to harmonise with it. When we identify with it our breath rate will be equivalent to that thing we will be pinned upon it and our feeling state will be a passion, that is, a passive reaction to the form defined in the idea.
So if we want to transcend those little concepts in our brain, then we have to set up a bigger one — the terrestrial one, the solar one, the sidereal one, and so on. And only by setting up this bigger concept can we control the smaller ones. We have to obey something. That is we cannot act freely and formally at the same time, because form is bondage.
So if we want to act efficiently, formally, we must take a big form bigger than the particular that we want to work on, and use the big form as a control concept in order to apply the energy on the little one. If we do the reverse and take the little concept and try to apply it universally it will fail immediately
So suppose we take a man like Hitler, he took the big concept that the Germanic people had a separate mythology from the Italian peoples and the other so-called Christian peoples. And he took the big concept of the Norse myth and then he applied that to the German people and they were the recipients of that tradition so the concept was bigger than they were.
He had a governing concept to impose upon the German people. First of all he would have found that the average man knew nothing whatever about German mythology. So he would have been deprived of that master concept to begin with. And instead of that he would have had a particular little party politic view and if he had tried to apply it he would have failed. So you see when we take the two opposite cases, the little concept applied to the universal and we know that must fail. And if we take the universal one and apply it to the particular we know it must cover it
When you get home, try looking through a magazine, at all the different forms that you see in the advertisements and so on and particularly watch your breath rate, for every form you look at. Until you become convinced that there is a real relation between the images you consider, the images with which you identify, and the urge in you, which manifests in this breath rate.
The last question here is about the parts of the moon and the significance
I’m going to leave it alone because although the parts of the moon are significant they are not immediately useful to us. This naming of different lakes on the moon and so on. I’ll say this; that all parts of the moon are named as sub-concepts of the meaning of the word ‘moon’. So if you take moon equals mind, and then sub-divide the mind into its various departments, you will there find on the lakes and so on of the moon, the different parts of the psyche. It isn’t worth at the moment going into it deeply.
There’s another point here:
‘Because of their secrecy in the mysteries and the initiation ceremonies etc., is it to be believed that they had any real knowledge which could not be openly revealed and by real knowledge we mean magical ability which could be measured.’
A – Misused.
E.H. – Misused, yes. Secrecy and the initiation. Now you know that the word ‘secret’ and ‘sacred’ are the same word. I’ve got to be very sacred tonight in discussing this. Because this question says ‘did they have any knowledge worthy of the name and worth keeping secret which could be misused.’
Now, let’s look at it. Here is a word we are all familiar with, secret. Here is another word, sacred, and we are all familiar with that. This one has an ecclesiastical ring to it, and that one not. That one is more like states and politics. And this one is like the church. They are the two names for a reality which lies behind the power of the state and the power of the church. The secret is sacred and the sacred is secret. Now in your physiological studies you will find another word, sacrum. All these words are puns on a fundamental euphemism. The centre of power in the human body is euphemistically referred to in those three words.
If we put this three-part man down then he keeps his secrets in his head, he keeps his sacred in his heart and his sacrum down below. You know that the nervous distribution of energies down below and that part of the spine that inserts energies into the sexual department is all closely connected with significance of that word sacrum.
The sac is exactly the same sac. And it means a sack, a bag. And this ’rum’ here has the significance of differentiating substance. It has to do with sexuality, with eggs, with ova and sperms. The sacrum energies are related to the genetic forces and they are the secret of magic, they are the secret of will.
You alter the whole volitional structure of a being if you deprive it of sexuality, because you have deprived it of a certain kind of form which is a concept which is physiologically the vehicle of the universal purpose. The universal purpose has posited form into organisms. That form is in the sperms, and the ova which have sperms on one side of their treeSo there is form as packets of power resident in the sacral regions. The church calls it the ‘red sack’.
Now you know the red dragon of the revelation, the desire nature, the epitum of the Greeks, and as far as the intellect is concerned, you can see this same sound shift here, the law sac — the secrets of the law. Now if you all read Troillus and Cressida act 1 scene 3 about the ‘universal wolf’, you will remember that there is only one absolute power, which appears in individual vehicles on earth and works through the vehicles according to the responsiveness, the sensitivity, the organisation of the vehicles. Wherever the vehicle is more sensitive, the universal force will work through it more efficiently.
So it is said God is no respecter of persons, He always prefers the best. And the Tao says God has no favourites, He prefers the best. You notice that, He has no favourites, He prefers the best. If he had a favourite it would not matter if that one was no good, He would still like it, like a mother likes her favourite child when he may be the worst. God isn’t like that, spirit isn’t like that. Spirit has no favourites, it always prefers the best
So if your vehicle is any good, spirit will use it. If you work with your ability with your power and your form to improve your vehicle, you’ll necessarily make that through which the absolute force will deliberately try to come, because you are fulfilling its purpose. Because you are perfect in the instrument that it needs for its expression at the finite end
Now all that is contained in the sacred, secret, sacrum reference.
You see here the sacrum and this word ‘mur’ here, the ‘wall’ of the French, the wall, the law. And the door joke. Every human being has come through the pelvic door and he has been inserted through the pelvic door. Every energy, that goes into a finite situation becomes involved, in-willed. After being locked up for a sufficient length of time it will gain the form through the rotation within the limitation and will then e-volve. It will ‘will out’. So the secret of life is in, out, and in that glyph, the sacred secret of the sacrum is hidden.
Before ejaculation of power at any level there must be a driving in and then it shoots out. If I want to hit somebody with my fist very hard, first of all I must drive into me a concept that this person needs hitting. Then I must define, ‘he needs hitting’, that’s me, and then I must take my urge, my ‘mu’ and I must apply it and make ‘miew’ out of it. And when I have adequately defined him as worthy of being socked. And then I exalt my will on it by deliberately driving into it. He needs it. This is what they do very often in businesses when they think about the boss, which precipitates what they call ‘industrial accidents’ and so on - getting at the boss. Define him as worthy of retribution, and then exalt the will by dwelling on it as your grinding away and when you’ve packed it in out it comes – bang. And the measure of that bang is exactly the measure of the clarity of the definition and the importation of the will into it.
So if we take a man on a plane and he wishes to change that plane for any other plane, he defines the plane he is on he is driving it more and more to a generic concept centre, so he gets the seed and then it shoots. And then when it’s shot up, it makes another plane. He defines himself in again to the seed to shoot onto another plane.
That is the way that the intellectual life has been grown out of the emotional life out of the urge life. The urge life has pressed in and made for itself a material body therefore, St Paul says, ‘First a physical body’. Then it packs into that physical body all the experiential energies it can until it’s so packed that something must happen. What happens is, it shoots up and polarises as liking and disliking. Then the likings and dislikings go to a limit, you force them back and if you consider your likings and dislikings properly and drive yourself onto them as centres, it floats up into the true rational life. And there is your three level man. It can float beyond those levels by further effort, but that is the way they are generated. So our simple little glyph is the key to transcendence of all planes. That is the meaning of the mysteries and of the secrets.
We can then answer the other part of the question ‘were they dangerous?’ Is there any danger involved and we must say immediately there is a real danger.
[unclear phrase ]
You can see why it cannot be opened with ease. If we make the true statement to people, that in the lower part of their body there is an energy centre, which, if they contemplate properly, they will discover the source of life and the power to dominate then their attentions will go to where they already go. But they will not concentrate them, they will drift and then all that will happen with them is an increase in sexual activity. So that the premature release of information causes a fall of those people deeper. They are not yet at the level where they have sufficient conceptual opposition to balance the urge force on the feeling level. They cannot change their phase unless they can inhibit it.
So if they haven’t the power to control their reaction to it, they cannot change onto the higher level. If you tell them pre-maturely, before the law of substance is in them, they must continuously leak out and degenerate. So it isn’t a question of keeping power from people, because of jealousy on the part of the power holders at the top. It’s the fact that premature revelation causes degeneration. They must abuse it. All power that you are made aware of for which you have no correspondent concept to balance it, will leak and you will degenerate. For which reason, you shouldn’t want to know the secret behind the secret until you have absorbed the meaning of the secret you have already got and deliberately applied it on the levels that you already know about.
Let’s just repeat a bit about this identification. When you take consciousness, which is represented by the white paper, and make no mark upon it, there is no identification. There is no trouble there is nothing posited, nothing posited to make trouble possible. So if we have pure consciousness with no object, there is no identification and no trouble.
Now we know that the world exists as an objective actuality, and therefore we know that an object has a function. When the bible says, ‘God so loved the world’, it means that the world has a function to Absolute Power, Absolute Intelligence. We have to find out what that real function is. The Absolute Intelligence has made the world as an object. And it has made that world as an object. [aside] I think we’ll have a little more. . . [sounds of rolling sheets of paper]
We’ll have to restate the necessity for the object. Supposing we had the white paper extended infinitely. It is a potential of knowledge, but not an actuality because there is no object. So it sets up for itself a sphere. Now all the motions of spirit outside that sphere which were hazy mazy, hitting on that rim which is caused by a rotation, react back from the rim. So there is a modification produced by the object. That’s the first thing. So if we represent this by A here, and the macrocosmic one is the H. That’s the aleph and this is the heh.
If the Absolute here hasn’t got a reflexion point to turn back its own motions into it, it cannot know itself. But if it has a point of reaction it can know itself and it can know itself in different ways according to the different character of the objects precipitated. So when it has made one of those, which is a ‘bol’, ‘vall’, ‘ball’ or ‘vol’, or universal volition, it precipitates within itself another one, and then the energy of the Absolute is hitting back here into the Absolute making the Absolute conscious of its object. The universal is vibrating, and hitting inside here. We’ll say this is the sidereal one for the moment. The sidereal forces in that sphere hit on the solar forces here, and are reflected back and produce universal consciousness. And the solar energies hit on a planet, say like the earth, and return to the solar limit, producing solar consciousness.
Now you can see what happens, we have a gross material body here and we have this solar field and the sidereal field. If we take our three part man then that black body there corresponds with your belly land, here is the land above, and here is the land above that, so that’s three levels. That which absorbs the material, the tummy land, that where the solar plexus dominates, and that where the sidereal forces dominate which produce ideas in the mind. So we need a point of reaction, an object which can return every kind of frequency we have. So if we want to understand that we exist physically, we must have a physical object to hit against to get a reaction.
So if I strike against this chair, [E.H. hits the chair] that it resists me allows me to know that I have a physical hand. If the chair suddenly vaporised when I struck at it my hand would go through the space where the chair had been and I would get no reaction and I would not know the possibilities of my hand. So in order to know my physical possibilities I must have a physical body to push against. Now this has to do with the sacrum joke again, because this push at the physical end must have an anti-push, whereby it can become conscious of itself.
In the same way at the level of liking/disliking, I must find an emotional being, a being to whom I can emote, and who will respond emotionally otherwise I can never find out my emotional capacities.
And then at the rational level I must find a man who has a rational mind such that he can react at the rational level that I put out, to return the rational statement to me, otherwise I cannot know my rational capacity. That’s there levels. There are other levels, but if you don’t find your reaction points at those levels and exhaust them, you can’t find the other levels that exist. So you need a physical being for a physical self-awareness, an emotional being for your emotional self-awareness, and a rational being for your rational self-awareness. And if you don’t find them you cannot evolve.
That means that a person who wants to evolve has actually got to go out either physically or magically. He has got to go out and find for himself another being that can reciprocate at the physical level, and when he’s finished with that the emotional level, and when he’s finished with that the rational level, and when he’s finished with that co-ordination level, and so on. If you don’t do them separately you can’t do them altogether. Because you have to become conscious of the physical, the emotional and the rational separately before you can co-ordinate them and use them simultaneously in an act, rational, emotional and physical simultaneously. For which you need a reciprocating being able to function at those three levels.
Supposing we take a man and he is a man interested in physical sense experience only. So he goes out and he looks for a girl who is at the same level, called an enthusiastic amateuse. Now he finds her and he gets a physical satisfaction. And he says, ‘farewell’, and she says, ‘Farewell’. They go away and they don’t even arrange to see each other again because it might not be the same kind of situation and in such a kind there is no rationality there is immediacy of energy expenditure and then departure until it builds up again. Next time it may be in the skating rink, and the time after that in the plaza, it doesn’t matter at that level.
Supposing after a certain amount of experience of that kind, he finds a need for an emotional relation, and he meets the same girl again. And she says, ‘oh don’t be soppy. ’She hasn’t got that which he needs for an emotional reflection. So he has to go away and find one that can respond emotionally, and when he’s found one of those, he’s got to find one that can respond rationally as well. If he doesn’t he’s going to be disappointed because his evolution is going to be suspended until he finds one
So you can see that when we are discussing this sort of thing, that it really is surcharged with significances that make it potentially dangerous for an unprepared person, a person that’s done no mental work, could quite easily be triggered off, stampeded into all sorts of extrovert behaviour which for them could only spell trouble. Not that there’s anything immoral or unethical in the kinds of relation that they might get into, but that they would not be able to pay the price that they would be required to pay for energy expenditure not controlled by them.
Remember nothing is permissible in the evolutionary path except that which is done by act of will, deliberately. Reaction, mechanical, is not allowed because you cannot evolve mechanically. You must do everything deliberately, the physical level, emotional level, the rational level, all must be made conscious and deliberate, otherwise it doesn’t count for evolution and for it to be conscious, you must have a conscious reciprocal point on which to act and which will act back on you.
Now is that clear? Have we any questions about this relation? It’s all to do with this breathing, this impulse, expulse of energy, the form onto which you contract which is an idea, the degree of urge power you put into the contraction, which is the degree of the expression afterwards. The linkage of the individual rhythm, with solar, sidereal rhythms and so on. They are all fundamentally tied together so closely that you cannot legitimately think about one of those problems without being driven to consider all of them. To consider identification you have to consider that which identifies and that with which it is identified; the subject and the object. The subjected pure world of contracted actualitySo that to try to consider one forces you to consider all.
A - I would like to ask you a question. This ‘awareness with regard to situations’ for instance. You can decide that you are going to say something or do something in order to observe your own reaction on other occasions you can find that suddenly you become aware yourself of how you have reacted to something that has started. The one has started off being mechanical and suddenly you have become aware of it and the other you have entered into it aware of what you are going to do. Is there any value in the other one where you have started off mechanically and you have suddenly become aware?
E.H. Well let’s look at the two processes a minute. There’s your head, there’s an ear — one of them will do — drilling a concept into it. We drill a concept into the ear and it goes up here and it turns round.
Now in a baby there is no concept of reflexive self-consciousness. When we drill such a concept into the ear of a human being, and the concept takes up its place in the brain, it is engrammed there, and says, ‘reflexive self-consciousness’. It is just a form put in through the ear. It has no immediate relation with the urge department down here, or the feeling department. When you first say reflexive self-consciousness to the average man, it does not produce profound reactions in the sacrum. It doesn’t produce great effluxes of the emotion. It just goes ‘reflexive self-consciousness’, and it has no meaning. It’s just a form.
So it’s put inside but then the word reflex is in it, bending back. That word bending back is written somewhere is his sexy brain, you see. And gradually the resonances of this concept go through and they strike on the back-bending concept over here. Then suddenly he begins to think reflexive self-consciousness might be interesting. And he doesn’t know it but he’s seen a funny image something like this you see, a back-bending image, simply because of the associations of reflex.
Now he, at the fundamental tum level, then suffers (because he doesn’t do it deliberately) the resonance relation of the two concepts and reflexive self-consciousness then begins to glow because it offers to the urge possibilities of fulfilment of back-bending operations. It’s as simple as that mechanically.
So then incline thine ear it says, to further information about reflexive self-consciousness. Now self is a word that we are all fond of and that’s engrammed over the whole brain. So we like the self part of it and we like certain interpretations of the back-bending part of it, and the consciousness, the simple awareness, is vaguely aware of what it means
So we have a very vague one in the consciousness, a very vague resonance, a sharp one in the self one and one that’s not seen through in its significances when first inserted, in reflex. But as these resonances begin to make their connections with other definitions, conceptual structures in the mind, so the whole process begins to integrate itself, but initially it integrates itself only in so far as it appears to subserve the purposes of ‘J T’ belowThat must be so. Because the sacrum part is down here. The only reason for inclining thine ear to a secret to the primary urge, is to increase its actual performance.
So initially all the ideas that people get about truth and goodness and beauty they are all interpreted by the tummy department as meaning more of what I like. And that’s necessarily so. Then as you work on it you become aware of other planes, because in the process of working upon this the energy from below, believing this system to offer it fulfilment begins to pile energy into it and then quite suddenly the pile of energy into this changes its phase.
When the integration of the concepts inside the mind imported through the five senses reaches a certain level, quite suddenly instead of being particular it becomes universal. And then it is realised that every other being is evolving in the same way. Then arises the idea that not every other being will do, because you must have a reciprocal centre in the being for every centre you wish to develop. That means you need a three-centre being, a human being, if you want a full human development. Some fellows have been happy to develop on two levels. In the middle-east, a lot of them are happy on two levels.
If you want the full human relationship you will have to find the being with all the different levels. So when we find that a declaration has been made, ‘I will be reflexively self-conscious’, it means that the original concept set up by rattling of the ear has dominated consciousness for a time. But we know that it has done so originally because the urge chappie from below thinks that it is a good idea. So when the idea comes, ‘I will watch and I will be wakeful, and I will be reflexively self-conscious’ is declared, immediately this fellow says, ‘most certainly do watch’. And the eyes start staring out. They stare out into the world. They are watching. And what they are watching for is that which will please the fellow below. So the next moment the concept has lapsed and you become unconscious again and you fall into the experience.
And the more involved you become in the external experience, the more finited your power becomes until you are driven logically and inevitably to the point where you fail in the external world. You are then unconscious.
But at the point of failure there is a little concept to do with failure here that has an immediate link with the reflexive self-consciousness concept, which has been defined as the way out of failure. So the moment you have reached failure level, a certain amount of energy flies into the failure department and the only connection between the pleasure department is the one, ‘how to avoid failure’, namely the master concept of reflexive self consciousness. So out of the depths of your unconsciousness, you suddenly wake up.
Now the processes are exactly equal. One is not better than the other, because they are both mechanical. The one that rattled your eardrum and set the concept in, that made the declaration. You didn’t make it. It made itself. Once it was established, and the resonance with the purposes of the tummy gentleman below (which caused the extroversion, which causes the lapse of reflexive consciousness), and the final failure in the external world which triggered off the failure concept and re-establishes the connection with the reflexion concept, all are mechanical.
So you have to see that whole cycle of it and set up another observer outside the physical body to watch the whole process and it is this one outside the body that you have to become. You really are that. You become what you are. You have to continuously re-become that observer and watch these mechanical processes so when wakefulness occurs you see that is a stimulus response of a conceptual being and after a time it will lapse and you are watching it lapse. You actually see this fellow below saying, ‘jolly good idea that’ sends up a message, ‘the guy is extrovert’ and you are watching. And you keep watching while they are extroverting. If you don’t interfere with them and watch them extroverting, initially you just watch them do it, to become convinced of the mechanics of the process. And you continuously back-flow to the non-formal consciousness and then when you’ve seen the whole process and the pure mechanicality of so-called salvation and what do they call it - perdition - when you see the mechanicalness of both processes, and you continuously back-flow, you escape from mechanicality of perdition and salvation. You see they are exactly equal and opposite.
That’s the real saviour, the non-formulated consciousness which you must continuously re-become, with the formula, ‘the observer is not the observed’.
[ End of recording]