A talk by Eugene Halliday
Eugene: …marvellous questions! I think someone must have been thinking. I think the best thing for me to do is read it out:
If we can become aware of our own centre, will not this awareness be that of a modification within a circumscribed zone of activity, to which our action band is inferior? The paper is shown to transcend any motion drawn on it that are…would be a zone experiencing all the superior motions to the individual action band as well as that which lies under all motions whatsoever. (It’s even simpler than the first part.) In experiencing centre as a possibility, would not the next strongest/weakest/superior motion arise in consciousness and therefore is not such a move, only one of many to be attempted?
2 I think the best thing to do with it is draw it. And before we do, we have a recurrent question about the planets and the symbolism of the days which is always cropping up.
3 In most books on astrology you’ll find three planets mentioned outside the limiting factor of Saturn. If we want to know what Uranus and Pluto mean, because they are two of the three planets that are mentioned and for which no astrological significances are given if we are going back a few hundred years. Of course, these planets are supposed to be fairly recent discoveries. Have they got any significance at all? And if so, why are they not reckoned in?
4 Well they are not reckoned in for any individual problem, because Saturn is, itself, the principle of individuation, and only those things inside the orbit of Saturn are individuated. And therefore, all the bodies outside the saturnine limit are to be ignored for individual considerations. So if you link the names of the planets to the names of days, then you’ll be finding you’ve got a seven day week instead of a ten day week. The reason is, simply, that Saturn being the principle of individuation, whatever lies beyond the saturnine band is not to be considered in relation to the individual.
5 Uranus itself is the heavenly, and therefore energy zone, or plain of consideration.
6 Pluto is the pile or principle, the formal principle within this. Both these two are non-individuated.
7 Not until we come down to Saturn do we actually find we are dealing with centres of precipitation. The symbol of Saturn, as you know, symbolises time over eternity; the formulated and fixed over the unformulated unclosed, so that Saturn itself refers to the very principle of finite existence. And only the planets from Saturn included within, as you move towards the sun, are to be considered in interpreting things for individuals.
8 The three beyond Saturn should be interpreted as acting upon all beings equally, and therefore of no value individually. They have a certain value to mystics insofar as mystics are trying to transcend their individual limitations. So that to be under the dominion of, say, Uranus, is the same thing as to be heaven orientated. To be trying to break this individuation factor of Saturn. But then again, everything is trying to break it in its own way. Like Saint Paul says: “The whole creation groans and travails to be delivered from vanity.”, which is the same thing as saying every man, every animal, every plant is trying to get rid of its limitations.
9 Now we’ll go back to this other question which is really a related question: we take the paper to represent sentient power itself. It can move itself; it can feel itself. It can move in any way whatever. So that if I draw a mark on the paper, it is to be considered that the paper itself is vibrating and making a circulation upon itself. This circulation, it knows as its own circulation. It is an act of itself. (4’ 59”)
10 When a motion starts to come in – spiral – it cannot go to a dead centre. It can pack itself very tightly, but it must, by its nature, keep moving. And that more energy comes in, and packs the action zone, so it becomes more and more substantial, and yet it never goes inside, to the centre, because its essential nature is to keep moving. If it goes to the centre, it stops dead. It cannot stop dead therefore it cannot go to the centre. So inside the centre of every being there is a zone of imminent spirit. This is initiative. This is your ‘self’. This is ‘is-ness’. This is the verb ‘to be’ for every individual. In the negro mode of speaking: ‘I is’. This is initiative spirit.
11 This question says
If we become aware of our own centre (that is of this imminent spirit) will not this awareness be that of the modifications of a circumscribed zone of activity, to which our action band is inferior?
12 (Drawing) Here is the action band. It cannot go into the centre of imminence and therefore it is inferior to it. And when we go into centre, we become aware of centre, with the modifications inside that centre. That is to say we discover that our imminent spirit, our initiative self, is a formulating power, and we become aware of the modifications that are inside there.
13 If we take Adam – finite being – we generate contingent relation. Again, there’s a centre of imminent spirit, untouched by the vibrations of the stimulus - contact. Any being travelling into centre becomes aware of a creative force welling up on the inside and pressing out. But in the contingent stimulus, he is aware that he is being stimulated on his perimeter; on his skin surface; on his special sense organs, and so on, and that motion is moving inwards against the direction of the imminent spirit.
14 So if we remember that to move into centre is to become conscious of the paper undrawn on (I shouldn’t even write I.S. on it, really) – if we remember that fact: we have a centre of impulse operating, and it is the spirit itself vibrating its centre and discharging energies from that centre to the perimeter.
15 The paper is underneath the action band as well. And the paper represents the power sentiency. So underneath the individuated action, there is still spirit. We call it imminent spirit in the central zone, transcendent spirit outside that zone, and we could call it, underneath the action zone, the unconscious. The fact that this uses the word ‘unconscious’ as underneath consciousness, is more or less the significance given to it by Carl Jung.
16 Freud would have a totally different idea of it. He would have the unconscious to be the ‘not conscious’, from the point of view of the individual, but he would not have it as spiritual force, because Freud was really a materialist.
17 But Jung is aware that really there is spirit underneath this action band, and that this spirit is somehow aware of the action wherever there is action, and simultaneously aware of the imminence in the empty zone in the centre of the action, and aware of the transcendence beyond the perimeter.
18 So ‘the paper is underneath the action’ means there is awareness underneath your action even when you are identified with the action. That is: when you are identified, you can know that you are identified.
19 In the case of a psychopath with an idée fixe, with just one idea in his mind which he can’t get rid of, he’s actually forgotten that he is aware that he is fixed. He’s simply fixed, and that he’s left over no zone of freedom in himself to consider that he’s identified. So the man who thinks he is Napoleon, and is identified completely with Napoleon, is simply being Napoleon. He is not a man who is aware that he is believing he is Napoleon. He is, for himself, Napoleon.
20 Napoleon is just one concept inside his action band. That’s his ‘Napoleon concept’. He might have got it from a film of a retreat from Moscow. Maybe he is a retreater by nature. And trying to make retreat become significant, he identifies with a great retreating figure, and so turns his moral defeat into a military victory. (10’ 9”)
21 Always at the back of an identification, there is some intent to gain significance in the identification process. So a man who believes he is Napoleon has taken one little concept, it might be derived from a film or from reading the history of Napoleon […] cultural level. But whatever it is, it is derived from outside, and it has a series of ideas called ‘his knowledge of Napoleon’ and all the energy from his food that he ingests, he tends to pack into this centre so that the lines of least resistance from the digestive apparatus into the parts of the brain dealing with concepts all converge on the conceptual group called Napoleon. That means everything he eats goes in and feeds the Napoleon zone in himself. Now this man, as we have defined him with the idée fixe, simply has a […] concept with lines of least resistance from the digestive department, to take up all the energy gained from broken down food, and pack into that concept. And he has none over to say “I am merely believing I am Napoleon.” He says “I am Napoleon.” For him, that’s good enough. For other people outside, it may not be good enough for their purpose and so they lock him up.
22 The important thing to see is that his in-sanity, his not-sane-ness, is his not-wholeness: he has a little portion of himself – a concept – that pinches all the energy from the food and refuses to allow any statement to be made without first going through that Napoleonic concept.
23 Now, if we could persuade that man to extend his definition of Napoleon instead of trying to take his definition off him, we can help him. If we attack his statement that he is Napoleon, he defends himself, because he is a great military figure - he must. If you say he is not Napoleon [you’ll not make me jealous?] you’ll have to be counted. So you cannot take a way a fixed idea from a psychopath by simply proving it wrong, because he doesn’t want to know it’s wrong. He has adopted it, because it is significant to him. And because you know there’s a line of least resistance from the ear and the mouth and the stomach and everything else, into the Napoleon concept, so you insert words in here which say “Napoleon is aware of the general implications of military strategy.” He says ”yes”. “Napoleon is aware of the principles of geo-politic.” He says “yes”. “Napoleon is aware of psychology of the masses.” “Yes.” “Napoleon is aware that every man, including Napoleon, has three parts, namely a head, a chest, and a belly.” He says “yes.” “Napoleon understands all men.” “Yes.” “Napoleon adjusts to facts.” “Yes.” Gradually you are getting him to open himself to the idea that, even if he is Napoleon, he can afford to adjust. And if he’s on St Helena (or in another place, near St Helens, not far away), then he might realise that he can get out of that strange place, providing he learn that he must adjust, like a true Napoleon, to the necessities of the situation. He can escape from there by adjusting himself.
24 So we are packing more concepts into the Napoleonic concept, and gradually, Napoleon is spreading through the action band to include more and more concepts until finally he discovers, really, that he is all men. And finally, by inversion, all men are the same as himself, and then he may become fit to talk to.
25 The important point to see is that, progressively, a person with a fixed idea can be made aware of the fact that the idea is not the whole of themselves by putting in implications of the idea, and thus forcing the concept to grow bigger and bigger until gradually, we leave them to realise that any form, as such, necessarily being circumscribed, is finite and locked. And in the fact of it being locked, it is made impotent. If you say impotent, it’s the same as IM-PO-TENT, and the ‘po’ means power and the ’tent’ means whole. [So IM before P, which […] always becomes N. So impotent means in-po-tent: ‘in power holding’ – holding the power in.
26 Every time there is a finited zone of that order, you are limited, so that the fact that you concede the binding limit proves that your consciousness is bigger than the limiting factor. You are aware of a line means that you transcend a line. Imagine, for a moment, that we make a dot. Supposing you identify with the dot completely so that you become dotty absolutely, you do not know the paper exists and therefore, for you, there is no edge to your dotness, because the edge can only come into consciousness with the awareness that the dot is finished and the paper is starting. So to identify with the dot totally is to cease to know anything whatever. To become any single form - a completely unified consciousness with one form only – is to cease to be aware of even that form. (15’ 47”)
27 So we find in a catatonic of long standing that he’s not even aware that he’s a vegetable anymore, since he has no process. He just sits. You open his mouth, shovel in the food, and the food just vegetates inside him, and then digests itself and maintains his physical stature, but nothing else happens. He doesn’t even know that he’s a dot. He is being a dot; not thinking he is a dot. Thinking one is being a dot is separate from being a dot. As soon as we become aware therefore, that there is a limiting factor to the dot – it is finite – it is proof that we have become aware of the space around it. This space transcends the finiting factor of the dot. Space is simply the untouched paper here. And so this paper represents spirit, and that dot represents any body whatever, any limiting factor.
28 Now, the paper is sentient power itself. In the centre it is simply aware that it is sentient power, and that sentient power of itself, of its own nature, is creative. It is continually bubbling up from infinity, creating new situations and new forms from centre. Outside, it is transcendent, and there, it is absolutely free. Between the transcendent and the imminent, there is action going on, but the action itself is simply the modal operation of spirit in the place of the action band. So we really have spirit three times: imminent spirit which is freely creative, action band spirit which is bound to do something (I’ve got a man who says I am bound to go to the pictures tonight with my wife, or girlfriend – I am bound – he is referring to this thing: a determination), and then the mystical experience, the transcendent spirit, which goes beyond the action band and away from the imminent spirit.
29 In Buddhistic training, you move towards a transcendent spirit, specifically. In Christian training, you move towards imminent spirit. Christ says “The kingdom of heaven is within.” You go inside the action band, because it is nearer than going outside, because the mental life of people, generally, is fairly involved in memory processes rather than in the immediate sensation.
30 So the general tension of a person, the IN-tention - the pressing in, the holding in - is nearer to imminent spirit than it is to an experience of transcendent spirit.
31 And if you move to the perimeter of your being, you’re moving towards the zone where you could have a contingent stimulus distracting you. If you were in a pure void, like a man training for space travel, then you could experience something what it’s like to become aware of transcendent spirit with the action-band within it.
32 You know the device where they put a man in a special, plastic suit, and they put him in a fluid, and they balance it so carefully that he becomes weightless. And they make it so that he gets no incoming messages through the ears or eyes or through the sense of smell and so on, and then you have a being that is apparently weightless and has no sense data through the five senses, and therefore his content of consciousness is simply the activity going on inside the substance of his body. They remove the contingent stimulus of other bodies as far as possible, and the result experimentally is that this man training for space flight discovers himself invaded by fantasy.
33 He has no reference point at first; his mind starts discharging its energies, because there’s no external stimulus to focus it. There’s nothing external to focus on, therefore all the inner form in the action band begins to intensify its activities and it breaks out in a mild attack of schizophrenia. If the man is warned beforehand that this will happen, and it is explained to him why it will happen, then he can have a bit of confidence when it does happen. (20’ 04”)
34 But in order to do this, we have to separate a part of the man off and say “This is your true self, for the time being – a conceptual reference point.” You notice the seven men chosen for space travel in America are all religious men. They are men that have an idea that there is a self inside us that can be referred to quite independently of any external situation, and this inner self is spirit. So men who believe that spirit exists, and that the soul exists, have an idea inside themselves of soul, or self – spiritual – and they can refer to this idea in the midst of their fantasy. So that in the midst of the outbreaking of every fantastic thing that’s ever been enground on their substance, they can, by concentrated effort, hold on to the idea “I am a soul”, and this […] is fantasy. (21’ 2”)
35 Now, that isn’t quite the same thing as penetrating into imminent spirit, but it is a step towards it. That would be called in yoga, the modification of control. Merely a concept that I can gain control. That concept “I can gain control” isn’t the same thing as gaining control, but it is a necessary step to it. We set up the concept inside: “I am a self”, and that all outside this self happens - all formal play, all phenomena - in a certain sense is fantastic. It can be ignored, because I have a reference point.
36 If I can now carry my reference point inwards and break through this band, I will find myself in imminent spirit. If I do that, I might not bother to go after all on a space trip. But then of course, training a man to space flight, you don’t encourage him too much about the imminent spirit, because he won’t do as he’s told when he’s found it. It’s much better to train him that he has a centre of reference.
37 In practice you can find, if you stand on a rotating platform like our homemade dervish which we use, and you rotate rapidly and then put the break on and stop, so the fluids inside your middle ear department, in the labyrinth, spin round and you get a sense of rotation which causes dizziness. You open your eyes and you see all the walls rolling about round you - if you have no reference point, you become sick. If you have a very well established reference point in you, you can just say “This is the product of the swirling of fluid inside a certain little organ in the middle of my head and I’m going to ignore it because the data are false: the walls are not really going up and down, and twisting and bending – it’s the product of stimulation inside a special little apparatus with hairs in it and so on, and fluid whizzing round, sending false messages. If I know this to be true, I can stabilise myself, even surrounded by fantasy.
38 Now, the paper is shown to transcend any motion drawn on it, but our centre would be a zone experiencing all superior motions to the individual action band, as well as that which lies under all motions whatever.
39 Lying under all motions whatever is sentient power. The sentient power is itself, the supreme experiencer; the sentient power is the infinite observer of all beings whatever. But an observer is simply an ob-server. The word ob will be – an there’s an ‘r’ in the middle for ‘orb’ – simply means a sphere. So there is an ob, and to serve it is to attend with your sentient power to that ob.
40 When anything whatever is thrown into consciousness for such serving, we call it an object – the ‘ject’ means throw. So an object in consciousness is a sphere of power especially precipitated in order to serve it. This object, itself, is not the paper, but it is the paper modifying itself spherically. So somehow, the object is the subject.
41 You find in Indian philosophy – the Bhagavad Gita and so on – the slayer, the slaying, and the slain are the same. That paper is vibrating and producing an ob. But the ob that is produced is not the paper – it is a motion of the paper. The sea is not the waves, but the waves are the motion of the sea. So this ocean of paper; this ocean of pa-pi-ra (or Father who creates by positing vibrations) is positing zones of activity which I’ll call ob. He’s throwing them inside himself and then attending to them. And when such a sphere exists and it’s attended to, the amount of sentient power attending to it is called the server of the ob, or the observer. And the observer is not the ob-served. (25’ 17”)
42 And you don’t have to serve any ob unless you will to. And if there is an ob in existence, that ob is a precipitate of will, which means every tiniest particle; the tiniest electron, is really a centre of will to exist. There’s a will to exist in the atom; a will to exist in a plant, an animal, a man, and so on. Wherever there’s a little ob, there is a will pressing in to keep it in being. That will is the sentient power itself, contracting – opposing itself – contra-acting, and so reducing its area, and so intensifying the zone – its packing power sentiency into the place. It is simultaneously making the place dense in terms of power, and raising its sentiency. If you contract a muscle, you become more aware of it than you do when it’s relaxed. If you relax your hand, you’re not so very aware of its shape. If you contract it and grip it as a fist, you become aware of it. If you point a finger rigidly, you become aware of it. If you let it relax, you do not. To contract is to contra-act – to act against one’s own being. If I close my fist and grip with my fingers into my palm, and then grip my fingers in my thumb, I’m acting upon myself. This is contraction; contra-action. This contra-action is the guarantee that I become sharper. So if I can have a verbal argument with myself in which I contradict myself all the time, I will become more and more aware of the subject matter than if I agreed with myself all the time. Hence opposition is true friendship.
43 In experiencing centre, would not the next strongest superior motion arise in consciousness?
44 Now we’ve just answered this by saying nothing arises in consciousness except that which is will. We have to cover our paper again with centres, because this paper represents the power […] and pira, or point of differentiation – pa-pi-ra – which is the papyrus of the Egyptians, slightly modernised: that’s your father, and this is his reason for being. And we cover the paper with circles to represent perimeters with centres which originate those perimeters. One centre sends out a certain amount of energy, other centres contradict it. And between the two centres arises the circumference.
45 Now you can see what Blake meant when he said that reason is simply the outer limit of will. This is very, very important: reason is simply the outer limit of will. […] being […] infinity again. It posits a power and it starts to expand to infinity. If there are no other points to resist it, it simply goes on extending itself infinitely, and at the same time, it is not knowing itself reflexively. It is just propagating infinitely and making nothing whatever. The energy of infinity is welling up and going out, and nothing is happening to it, because there is no opposition. So it sets up another centre which does exactly the same thing. On the two centres, motions come upon each other and press, and they create, there, a limiting factor: the firmament. Remember that word ‘firmament’, used in the Bible. In the original, you need to think, hammered out from both sides.
46 Now, it is here on this perimeter, which is generated by two will centres acting upon each other. Here upon this perimeter is what we call reason, and reason always explains why you didn’t get any further. The reason inside you is simply saying “What happened that I didn’t get any further than I got?” And the reason is that there was another centre that stopped you. So the reason is really a kind of excuse mechanism for why we didn’t manage to knock the other fellow down. Blake saw that perfectly well, and said that the reason, that is this perimeter, is simply the outer limit of the will, and you have so much energy, you push out so far, and you are surrounded by other centres, like the bulls of Bashan, and they are knocking you in again. As far as you can get before the resistance is too great for you to push further, is your zone of will. But where you can push no further, the translating energy from the centre then becomes the rotating energy. It’s rotated by the outside forces, and they’re stopping this expansion. And as soon as it rotates, it’s a [tora] motion – a [ra-tial] motion – you are now rationalising. And rationalising is simply the automatic product of a resistance to your will. This means every time you find yourself making excuses for yourself, it really means you’ve come to the limit of your will power in the situation. (30’ 49”)
47 In experiencing the centre as a possibility, would not the next strongest superior motion arise in consciousness?
48 Nothing will arise in consciousness unless we will it, and we will it by being interested in it, because on some previous occasion, either we have succeeded in it and want to do it again, or we have failed in it and think we might be able to solve it next time because we are feeling a little stronger, or we have failed in it and believe we are going to fail in it again. So we have these possibilities. But the thing that will make us decide to do A, B, C – if we are not careful, it’s a dictatorship of memory. That is, our previous successes or failures will impose upon us. But if we know that there’s memories in the action band, and that the action band, of itself, is simply a record of previous limits (because, remember there can be no rotation unless there are two forces in opposition – one from inside and one from out) so that everything in the action band here has its rational form. It’s really an explanation of why failure occurred on a previous occasion.
So if you really want to be created, you ignore the action band and you go to your centre and spring out again. And you’re determined to make the imminent and the transcendent identical. So you are reducing the attention – the amount of will-tension – in the action band of your mind.
49 The mind itself, as a rational scructure, is turbulating continuously and formulating excuses for deficiency of will.
50 There’s a question about […] of prefixes and suffixes, there. The best thing to do with those, in any decent dictionary, certainly in a school dictionary, you’ll find at the back of it a list of prefixes and suffixes, and those you should actually commit to memory so that every time you see a word with them, you immediately take the prefix off and abstract the root, and consider the meaning of the root separately, before you put the prefix or suffix on it.
51 A slight warning we might make about the prefix ‘pre’, and that pre means before, in a dictionary, fixing before as in pre-vision. But really, the P and the R mean a point, and the vibration of that point differentiating round it. So you cannot pre-see; you cannot have pre-vision unless you are able to see the forces acting and differentiating in that place. So ‘pre’ also means the reason process of previous power formulations which you examine to see if you can discover the law of power.
52 There’s a word in Sanskrit, used in yoga and Buddhist theory quite a lot, that is [pra dsna?] – that is two words. dsna is K N O W, which is knowledge (dsna is the same as k-no). And pra, here, is the same root as pre in the prefix, but it’s real meaning is still there. P is the point posited, and R is the vibration of that point, distributing itself through space, and R is the energy (the triangle represents the energy, the fire symbol) so Pa-Ra-A means the posited energy; the differentiations produced by that, going to the term of energy absorption. And then the knowing of that fact is pra-dsna. (34’ 57”)
53 In pra dsna is said to be the great secret of everything, and this is not just nonsense – it’s a plain statement of fact. If we can discover exactly what happens to one billiard ball when we hit it, we can begin to reason what will happen if we throw one billiard ball at three. The weight of one striking against, will knock one off the end. If we throw two, we’ll knock two off the end, and so on. If there are complex groupings of billiard balls, when we shoot […] at a certain angle, we will disperse those balls in the group in a definite geometrical manner. Anybody who can play snooker knows this. Now, it may be thought that a human being is different from a snooker game, but in principle, he is not, as to his vehicle. His vehicle is made up of little power packets, much smaller than an atom, but still spheres; still little balls, and still subject to reaction to stimuli. This means that geometrical propagation of forces is the key to the understanding of even a complex being like a human being. And pra dsna means precisely this: to understand how a posited point will react in a given energy situation. To know that fact is pra dsna.
54 So if you consider your own actions all the time, in terms of yourself as a complex formal structure, being hit by a billiard cue - by a stimulus, see in what direction you tend to fly when a stimulus of a certain order hits you - to become aware of that is to become aware of the meaning of pra dsna.
Now, have we any specific points to make?
55 Listener: Going back to that question, you have drawn before, a number of rotations; a series of circles, each one being internal to another. Each […] sub-rotations, and within the sub-rotations, [inner suds?]. Each of those sub-rotations has a centre, which from that diagram would be - would appear to be - imposed on the action band of that circle which contains them. So from this, is it not true that if you go into that centre, what you become aware of is the action band of that centre which contains it?.
56 Well let’s have a look. (Drawing) Here is one big circle which is traversed by others, like this, all the way round. And this generates another circle inside it, and this is traversed in the same way, so that we get other circles inside here in the same- inside here, until we come down to the tiniest ones we can draw. And in terms of vibrations, we come down to the tiniest vibration we can get without that vibration impinging on the next vibration to the point of destroying it utterly. So there is a limiting factor: there is a smallest vibration. There is a smallest circle. Yet inside each one of those, there’s an imminent spirit, because itself is an action band. So no matter how tiny we may go, even down to the size of an electron, inside it, there is imminent spirit; there is undrawn on paper, and therefore there is spiritual intelligence inside. And that, itself, is coming out and trying to create from centre. But it is always trying to create over against the continuant relationship with the other centres.
57 You can see that if you take this rather large circle to represent a human being, and then we put three circles inside it to represent thinking, feeling, and urging, already we have a contingent stimulus situation between the urge and the feeling, and the feeling and thinking, and the thinking and the urge. So the urge can impinge, from the outside, on your thinking process. Feeling can impinge, from outside, on your urge or your thinking. Yet inside, each one of those three, there is imminent spirit pressing out. In the one case, imminent spirit is creating thought. In the other it is creating feeling. In the other it is creating urge; pure power coming up. So already you have three large sub-ents, thinking, itself, is a kind of sub-ent; feeling is a big sub-ent; urge is a big sub-ent. And then inside the thinking process again, you have other entities […] three. You can think about thinking; you can think about feeling; you can think about urging. And those are sub-ents within the thinking order. And then inside the urge, the same: you can will to will, you can will to feel, you can will to think. You can feel about feeling, feel about thinking, or feel about urging. So already, you have nine classes of sub-ents, there.
58 When you come to remember that contingent stimuli from outside can stress a specific form, which is an idea, and put upon it a particular load of feeling, there’s some liason between [feeling/thought?] centre and this little local zone: an idea created from outside, in education, and a certain amount of urge energy goes into it, usually to resist the education, and therefore you have a little sub-ent there, with a threefold nature of its own. You see, the problem of sub-ents is really the problem of other entities with inside the big one.
59 You can identify at any level. And half an hour ago, when we were working together, we were […] stimulating a little, tiny zone in a person – a very tiny zone, and yet as soon as that zone was opened, the whole being was invaded with the smell of ether with an incapacity to lift up the arms, and there was fear – it was locked up in that little zone. When it came out, it so frightened the whole organism (frightened simply means vibrating more than it could assimilate) that, automatically, it opened its eyes to escape the stress and then had to re-enter it consciously to disperse it. (41’ 38”)
60 Each one of the experiences we’ve had in a contingent relation is turbulated by the fact of it’s mode of entry. A stimulus comes into a being, and the being reacts to the stimulus. Between the entering stimulus and the reaction, there is a zone of turbulation. This turbulation is the same thing: it’s the generation of an idea, with an effective tone and a power packet involved in it. You must not divide the substance; you must not [confound?] the persons. Therefore you are dealing with sentient power, formulating. That’s a threefold being itself, and every single stimulus you’ve ever had – your substance has reacted to it, and the two, according to the balance of power, have caused a zone of rotation – turbulence – and the fact that it is a zone closed, means it is formed, and is therefore an idea. The fact that it is power means that it’s a definite urge value, and the fact that the urge and the idea are simultaneously experienced gives it the pleasure/pain value of the effective level. So every single sub-ent inside us has these three aspects. And sub-ents are created continuously wherever there is stimulation and response.
61 Listener: What’s a sub- ent? A centre?
The sub-ent has an inert centre – a creative spirit – and is fighting for its life, and the only thing you can do with it to convert it, is to do what we would do on that Napoleon figure: educate it into a wider concept.
62 If you take any one of you antipathies, which is a sign, and you simply tell it “Oh, you are being anti-pathetic (which is wrong), he will tell you, calmly, to go to hell. He might borrow your grandmother’s voice to say it, but he will say it. You cannot invalidate anything whatever. Somehow, you’ve got to validate the whole structure, and then let everything go into its own place.
63 There is a place even for naughtiness. Like playing Ludo or something without permission. Everything has a time and a place and a possible function which must be honoured. If you don’t honour it, it will kick, because it is a real entity. They attempt to destroy sub-ents by lecturing them from outside […] thing to say nothing, historically, has ever been accomplished by exhortation.
64 We’ve had thousands of years of priest’s knowledge exhorting people to behave themselves. All we’ve got in exchange is juvenile delinquency. Why? Because exhortation isn’t so good as inhortation. The external stimulus hitting any being must produce a reaction, by law, to every action worth an equal and opposite reaction. So if you stimulate a being with a command, the counter-command comes from the being and a zone of turbulence develops, and that thing is now a sub-ent and it will defend itself. If you can’t show it how to assimilate with other beings, to its own benefit, it won’t listen to you. So if you have what you call a bad habit, and you say it’s a bad habit and you’ve got to stop it, it just goes on doing it. You’ve got to find a place for that habit, where that habit is useful, and then it will play with you. It will do as you say, because you are doing what it says. And there’s no other way of converting it. (45’ 02”)
65 Listener: You can’t […] only if it’s at the centre.
Oh yes you can, but that’s its own centre. [As it?] were mine. [Gives it a?] sense of property.
66 Listener: What is it aware of in its own centre? Is it not aware of ones total many content and not of imminent spirit? Only imminent spirit […] modifies itself as one’s many content?
67 In order to become aware of oneself, one must reflect. You have a centre sending out energies. Those energies are sentient powers. It must hit against something and then return to centre. If that doesn’t happen, there can be no reflection; there can be no awareness that one is doing anything whatever.
68 One can do, without reflection, and then one doesn’t know that one is doing it. But if one can find a mode of reflection so that the energies one liberates are forced back, then we know what we’ve sent out […]. And then we can calculate the kind of force we let out, but what happens to us on its return. This is reflexive activity.
69 Now, here is a sub-ent with its imminent spirit. Its imminent spirit is creative, so it posits its own activity, but it’s in a contingent relationship with other sub-ents. So those sub-ents are pressing upon it. And the two actions from inside and out generate a zone of turbulation between, and this is called the action band.
70 The being in the place of this action band is aware of the action, and the turbulation which arises from its own imminent spirit and the contingent relation. But it has the power to stress either the turbulence or its own imminence. The general tendency is to stress the turbulence, because the force from inside is tending to go out. So, because it’s creative, we tend to be extra-verted.
71 It’s only the external situation, stimulus, hitting us that introverts us. So the great ascetic mystics, first of all, go out and enjoy themselves to the best of their ability, and then they get stuck by some colossal (to them) cataclysm, and this knocks them into the desert where they then meditate. They don’t just get out of the cradle and say to mama “I think I’ll retire and sit […] in the desert. First of all, they’ve got to be hit and made aware that there are other beings before they retire to the desert.
72 So in the same way (heathen, incidentally, can be translated either garden or desert), you don’t become introverted unless the contingent stimulus situation is so tough that you cannot feel yourself with enough power to push it back. You are really trying to grow; your imminent spirit is pushing out, and then so are the imminent spirits of other beings. And between the [Christ?] and these two imminences arises the band of turbulence. But when you look into the turbulence, you want to defend your ‘self’, meaning your ‘turbulence records’.
73 If you withdraw from your turbulence, not simply from a contingent, negating knock, but positively, because you know there’s an imminent centre of spirit, initiative, in yourself – if you withdraw into that, you become aware of data conferred upon you by the Absolute – that is, by the paper itself. And this gives you data about the other fellow’s intention, which he has in his imminent spirit. So you are one up on him. You can then adjust; you watch him move away when he’s knocking. Let him thinks he’s got […] knocking it, so he chases you and says “Please stand still, I want to hit you, because I want to know what I’m like as a hitter.”
74 I don’t know if anyone saw that very good little film called Sitting the other day: an American programme. A white boy who joined in with the negroes and was beaten, suddenly showed that an external stimulus […] himself, to the negroes that, somehow, they should be beaten too; that they would never know they were non violent unless they were beaten and were able to accept the beating. Now, because of this lad being beaten, they were able to respond to the stimulus and to submit themselves to being beaten, to see what it meant. In the process, they would be hammered, but instead of hitting back, they were accepting it and absolving it, and the hammerers were wondering what to do next. Meanwhile, the energy of the stimulus was going in and differentiating inside their minds, and this differentiation gave them a new idea. They were saying they accept the beating “as if we had no power.” And the force of the stimulus from outside vibrated their substance, and raised an idea that “We have some power. [Merely?] economic power. We have 60 million dollars a year to spend. Supposing we just don’t spend it with ‘Big White Chief’. Supposing we don’t go in his shops. What will he do? Supposing we do go to the shops and say “Look: we have buying power. Buying power is the same as voting power. You can insult me, and I happen to have 60 million dollars that you want. Are you going to insult me?”” And suddenly, they found they had economic power which they had not previously realised. (50.36)
75 One of the fellows interviewed said “Up to that time, I had believed, and my wife had believed, that she had to have a new coat. And suddenly we discovered she didn’t have to have a new coat. Maybe she would not have a new coat, on purpose. Maybe she would not have one in order to annoy the salesman. There was one very pathetic bit where white salesmen were attending to negro buyers of TV sets and so on, as if the negro buyers were gentlemen, because they had dollars.
76 Now they could never have discovered that buying power in themselves - economic pressure - if they had not first submitted to the attack from outside, because the energy of the stimulus applied from outside, not being reacted to, ran about inside their substance, stimulated the whole of their content, and raised their general level of awareness to the point where they suddenly knew something that they didn’t know beforehand.
77 Now, this is really the meaning of Christianity. If you dare to allow someone to bang the nail in, instead of trying to dodge it, it simply means that the energy of the stimulus given you will give you a new idea, and you can’t get it any other way. You’ve got to find a reflection point for your will. You can only find it in other existing, finite beings. This is why if you can’t get a group of people to work together, you cannot accelerate their development, because you’ve got to be able to shoot that stimulus to somebody, it has to hit, and it has to come back. Only if it does can you develop. It’s for that reason and no other. But if you try to keep what you’ve got for yourself, so that it never hits against anything, you will generate fantasy rather than fact. The existence of other beings is a necessity for the evolution of any single one. Every single sub-ent has an imminent centre, creatively pressing out. It is stopped by the imminent centre forces of others, and between them they create a perimeter; between them they create zones of turbulence. If they identify with the turbulence, they are in trouble. If they keep on identifying with the imminent spirit, they can become aware of the state of other imminent spirit of other beings, and they can then adjust to the intention […] of the fact.
78 The inner intention of a person is quite transparent to you, regardless of what their turbulating zones of speech organs say about it. Remember: the reason someone gives us about an act, is a fabrication out of his impotence. He doesn’t give you a reason if he can perform. He gives you a reason if he can’t. If he fears that he can’t, he will say something to explain why he should be allowed to do so and so. If he has the power to do it, he doesn’t tell you; he just does it.
79 So obviously, to grow in imminence, to grow in power, to grow in awareness of initiative is the same thing as to move out of the turbulence band, inwards, to move away from the contingent stimulus reaction, and therefore not to defend any concept one has.
80 It’s a very good exercise for one week. We can all do this, and we’ll all write an essay about it. For the coming week, put inside your mind the simple sentence: if anybody attacks any of my ideas, at all, I will not defend them. Just that. It will teach you a very strange lesson about your inner constitution. Engrave that in the mind: if somebody attacks my idea, I will not defend it.
81 Listener: […] see if we can find somebody who will attack you.
I think you’d better [call?] and you’ll find attack. Because, if you don’t, it means you managed to keep your mouth closed for a week. That’s a lot of hours.