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
talk begins with the reading of a question about the sense of feeling that one had experienced the present
situation before and how we can repeat and use such sensations.
Resistance is caused by likings/dislikings and urges, and a very descriptive exposition of the three-part being then follows. He then outlines the influences of heredity in terms of impedances and inertic forces acting in individuals as opposed to the creative freedom arising from the ‘groove’ of time limited and dictated activity.
Then in response to questions he discusses reducing dependency of sensory stimulation and increasing awareness for more intense experiences, and then moves on to how humans can, by not specialising in their functions- as animals and plants do - retain adaptability and widen their possible development.
He concludes by saying that we are not to be fixed or limited in any way as infinite adaptability is our aim for.
EH – We’ve a simple question tonight. I don’t think we’ll survive half an hour.
‘When we have experienced in a particular situation the sudden feeling of having encountered such a situation before . . ‘ This last word is the operative one, ‘It is usually difficult to pinpoint the feeling to any to any particular date-data in the past. It is simply felt as being previous to the present situation. Is this due to an overlapping of the two pole seeing of external reality and is it possible to retain and intensify this feeling when it arises and in so doing build these two separate perceptions into phase with the being proper?’
We have to look
at this in two different ways. One, a
mechanical way, which is the orthodox psychological attitude towards it. I think the official term for it is the Déjà
vu – the ‘already seen’ I think is the official psychological term for it. This of course is the already seen. And orthodox psychology tends to treat it
simply as a mechanical process. (
Now on the second feedback you are aware that you have seen it before. You have seen it before. That simply means mechanically, that this same mnemic trace has been re-stimulated twice in succession. And if you are not on guard, this sensation of having seen it before sets you looking backwards in time. That is again re-stimulating your memory.
This raises the whole problem of subjective states. Supposing we say here is now (using board), here is past, and here is the future. Now of course is present. Now the ‘now’ is dying all the time, in the direction of the future, so called. What we are actually dealing with is this, that an organism which exists only in the now, is being subjected to new stimuli serially, and all the stimuli that are recorded inside it when re-stimulated are seen to belong to a past situation. Every time we re-stimulate them we become aware of the past and if we re-stimulate them twice in rapid succession – consciously – we simply have the sensation that we have twice remembered the same thing.
But if another part of the mind is pre-occupied from a certain subject, so that we are off guard when the initial stimulation occurs, and suddenly we have a sensation of seen this thing before. What has happened mechanically is that there has been feedback into the zone off the mnemic trace, twice, without us being on guard. Now however the details of the mechanics of this should prove to be, the general principle is that you have a definite memory trace and that you feed energy into it, and back again into it. And when you do this twice in rapid succession if you are not on guard on the second showing of this stimulus, you have a sensation that you have seen it before. And because you are off guard you may have a sensation that you saw it a long, long time ago.
Now remember a long time ago only means the re-stimulation now of a present existing mnemic trace. You do not travel into a past time that doesn’t exist. You travel simply on your nervous impulse re-stimulation of the existing records in your substance. Imagine you have a collection of gramophone records, and you buy them in different months of the year. At the end of the year you have twelve records. Now you know when you bought them, so that when you play your records you get a sensation followed by the firing of the date you bought them, and it tells you they’re so far back. You buy one in January - when you play that record the re- stimulated zone says, ‘this record was bought in January’. If you are on guard when you play it you say, ‘This is a January record’. If you are not on guard and it plays automatically, and then suddenly it plays it again and you become on guard on the second playing you have the sensation that you have seen it before. What you have done is re-stimulated – or it has been stimulated – perhaps only a tenth of a second before. Because you weren’t on guard the first time then the second time it has this aura of being ‘already seen’.
Now it’s quite obvious there that that is a kind of thing that can and does happen, the question is, is it the only way of getting this sensation of having seen things before; where we say ‘No’. If we take it for the moment that the mechanical explanation is to be considered then is it possible to retain and intensify this feeling when it occurs? The answer would be ‘Yes, you could do by practising putting yourself off guard, setting up suggestions, in your own mind - positive suggestions - that you would experience a certain re-stimulation of some mnemic trace and that you would be off guard when you experienced it.’ In the case of a person under hypnosis it would be quite simple. You tell them that they will not remember that they have been told that they will get a sensation that they have been again in a certain town.
And this means that you re-stimulate twice this same result. When they wake up and you mention a certain thing to them it feeds back and they say, ‘Oh yes we’ve dealt with that already’. And because of this suggestion that they shall not remember that it has been said that they will not remember, then they have the sensation that the thing has been seen again. It has been seen before, and it may appear to be a very long time before, but in fact it is only a matter of seconds.
Now it’s no good bothering with that really because in the mechanical aspect what would be the use of re-stimulating and intensifying this feeling that we have already seen something when in fact on a mechanical level all we are doing is re-stimulating the same mnemic trace. It won’t be any use to us. It will just be giving rise to an idea that we have seen something before, which we have seen before but re-stimulated in the memory field. So that side of it is not much use to us.
Now let’s have a look at the non-mechanical thing. The whole field of the absolute is all there is. There is nothing other than this absolute sentient power. This absolute sentient power by its operations within itself produces the universe. It does so – as we’ve done this before – impulses appear all over it. And wherever there is an impulse the energy spreads from that centre, and makes a spreading perimeter. And at any given point in space there is always another centre sending out its energy, and a perimeter is propagating. And the perimeter propagated from one centre comes ultimately to the centre of another perimeter. And here mutual stimulation takes place.
We are developing our same old diagram we have always developed about the ‘six-fold being’ the ex-sistent being. We cover the whole paper with circles in this manner and we then see that we have in fact drawn a grid of vibrating forms, interlacing circles, and this grid contains all formal possibilities whatever. All formal possibilities that is, all formal - what shall we say – powers operative which can by super-stress be selected and made to appear in the time process. But you can see immediately that if you identify with the absolute sentient power, identify with it properly so that you are it, you are not different from it, at this moment there is nothing that you have not already seen.
You get this in the major religions, it’s fairly obvious in Christianity – ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?’ says God. In Zen you get the statement, ’What is your original face before you are born?’ Your ‘original face?’, ‘where were you?’ – you are in this absolute field, a vibrating form; somewhere in that there is a portrait of you. If you like to do your forms, your circles small enough on a piece of paper, look at it very carefully you will find, that by simply going over the lines – super-stressing them – you can produce a passable portrait of anybody you know.
I’ve done several of these things using only a pair of compasses, of people. And you cover the paper with small circles constructed non-arbitrarily; simply by the circle translating through space and reproducing itself. Then you look at it, and then you start super-stressing on the circles, and you can begin to draw the form of someone you know. And you can see very, very quickly that you can make a portrait out of this - of any being whatever, human being animal, vegetable, mineral - and so on.
This means that when you identify with the absolute sentient power, then you have already seen everything whatever. Now this is much more useful than the mechanical concept we have just considered because, if this is a fact, and we know that our own existence depends on a prime fact, we are an egg, a sphere, and this sphere is sentient – it can feel what happens to it - and it can retain impressions of stimulus situations into which it falls or which come to it. So we say, to use a biological term, this substance is said to be irritable. This doesn’t mean like the girlfriend when you annoy her – although that is included in it. Irritable means that when a stimulus comes to it, the energy of the stimulus travels through it and itself has a capacity for reacting to the stimulus and for retaining an impression of the stimulus and the reaction.
Now it’s very peculiar stuff, to think about it you have to think that it’s a kind of elastic substance, a sort of plastic, colloidal substance, something like soft soap, tremendously elastic. And of such order that when a stimulus comes to it, the stimulus – the energy of the stimulus – vibrates it and it can allow this vibration inside itself. It can modify itself, respond to the stimulus and it can retain the impression of the original stimulus – and its own reaction. All this is included under the heading ‘irritable substance’; protoplasm is irritable substance. All living beings plants, animals, humans are made of protoplasm; the first plastic material.
If you add to this concept its capacity to receive a stimulus, and to retain an impression of the stimulus and to react to the stimulus and to retain an impression of its own reaction and then you simply say ‘And all this is sentient, it feels it, it not only reacts it feels that it reacts.’ Now every being that is a sphere has inside itself the geometry of the sphere. And every such sphere as we know perfectly well is embracing exactly the same geometrical possibilities as any other sphere. This is very important in considering the nature of heredity. Every being, every living being starts off as a sphere of irritable substance, of plastic substance, protoplasm and it has these powers of receiving a stimulus, responding to it and recording the received stimulus and the response of becoming aware of it.
Consequently because the geometry of all spheres is identical, then any sentient being, any spherical sentient protoplasmic being, is in fact exactly the same formally as any other being. And this being said of all such beings, all spherically originating beings have already seen all that there is to be seen, before they become serialised in the time process. Now if we say that simultaneous presentation of form absolutely is eternity, and serialisation is time, then to become aware of this absolute sphere is to become aware of all the formal possibilities that may be serialised in the time process.
Now supposing we then come into the serial process and we super-stress a given form. We’ve only super-stressed an existing form, a form that has its being in eternity, but if we make our mind very, very calm, we become aware that we have already seen this thing although, in fact in the temporal world, this is the first time we have seen it.
We can see things for the first time temporally and yet have seen them already eternally. Every being that now exists, is an eternal being. We get this statement in the Bhagavad Gita that ‘Whatever is can not cease to be, whatever is not can not come to be’. And the statement is that because all beings are simply centres and perimeters, they are spherical beings in the absolute – modes of operation of absolute sentient power and by the nature of their sphericality they contain, geometrically, all the formal possibilities of the serial process.
Now this becomes useful. It means to say that we can anticipate a temporal event that have never experienced before by simply cutting out the serialising elements, and simultaneously grasping the whole constellation of forces that are to be serialised.
Thus supposing you are presented in the time scale with a given super-stress, that is an individualised situation, serially, and you want to know what’s going to happen to it, but it has never happened to you before temporally, and therefore it is no good referring to past time in order to solve it. But what you can do is by the process of psychic sensitising you can allow yourself to let go of this super-stress and thus to allow the whole constellation of forces round it to come into consciousness.
Now when they become equally stressed with the one you started, you can then see all the possible ways in which that temporal event can lead to other events. In effect if we have a super-stress here on the wheel, and we are to move serially at all, then we must either move anti-clockwise or clockwise (here referring to his diagram) to the next one. If we become aware of the total field, we can see that anti-clockwise and clockwise, double possibility, simultaneously. Now when we are perfectly balanced there is no inertia, and where there is no inertia choice is free. And if there is any inertia, it is the inertia of a direction of super-stresses.
Supposing we take the super-stress and say that it has been to date clockwise. First’s a stress 4 0’clock, then a stress 5 o’clock, then a stress 6 o’clock , then a stress 7 o’clock, once these stresses are established there arises a direction – clockwise; visual direction and a felt direction in the protoplasm. As long as that is there the next step must be 8 o’clock, 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock and so on, unless you manage to find some energy to oppose this inertia, but if you cannot inhibit this inertia yourself and take yourself backwards out of the time process and into the eternality level, into the field, if you can’t do that, you are dependant entirely on an external stimulus over which you have no control, to stop you. This means you are dependant on what is in effect for you an accident. And there is another person or thing, outside yourself, that’s going to impinge very heavily on you and stop your inertia.
Now you may remember that funny things like Swedenborg sitting at dinner on one occasion, suddenly saying to the man next to him, ‘My house is burning’ its many, many miles away – lots of horse-riding. And after a time he said, ‘It’s alright now they’ve put it out.’ And many such statements like this have occurred, well attested things, and it simply means that a given super-stress has been let go of. And the whole being has become aware of all the possibilities. We’ll say that the particular super-stress is Swedenborg at dinner that’s at , and this one at is Swedenborg’s house burning. And in the dinner, possibly the party - the dinner party is rather boring and so he let go of the boring conversation for a moment lapsed out of the super-stress into the simultaneous mode – which he was at that time busily practising. Suddenly the next thing of importance to him his own property flashes into his mind and he sees it on fire.
Now this mode of ‘seeing again’ has utility. You have already seen in eternity all the possibilities of all the actions you can perform. You have also seen in eternity, all punishments and rewards that can befall you, if you allow inertia to develop. Now if your inertias rule you, you will just carry on in the temporal process serialising and getting knocked or rewarded by the inertias and the external forces. And if you conquer this serial mode of thinking, and learn to feel simultaneously the whole field then you are able to perceive all the ways that you can act, and see all the rewards and punishments of these actions before they appear in the time process. And that mode is very valuable.
The Yoga term for it, we’ve had it before, is Vairagya. This is a kind of higher indifference, but it really means, when we cut the word, ( E.H. is using the drawing board) it means – to affirm the desire, or raging nature, the desire nature direction and see its term. It says ‘if you let go of the serial presentation and see the simultaneity of events you will actually be able to see the way the way your rages or desireful impulses develop. You see the end result of anything you might do. And when you see it very, very clearly then if the thing is no good you just let go of it. You don’t have to fight with yourself. You let go of it because it’s just no good. And this state is related to the state called the higher indifference.
It’s the indifference of a man who does not sit on a hot plate when he knows it’s hot. He’s not attached to sitting on hot plates because he knows they are hot. Another fellow who doesn’t know they’re hot or doesn’t know they will be hot when he’s tied himself to it, all he has to wait is three seconds and it’s too hot. When he doesn’t know that he commits himself to a serial process; and if he does know it and he stops the serial process cuts out the emotional tone and the attachment to the serial process, and without falling asleep does this then he gains simultaneous awareness of all his possibilities. In doing this he sees all the things that can happen to him for any given position he stands on. And when he does see them then he has no difficulty in controlling himself because he has conquered inertia and therefore he is not driven to do anything. Whatever he does it will not be inertic. Whatever he exposes himself to it will not be inertic.
Once you have broken the pattern of inertia you can move across your circle putting a super-stress anywhere you like. There is no question now of clockwise anti-clockwise of having to improve – the perfectionist mind or having to degenerate – the fellow who has decided he’s no good and had better die. These are two kinds of inertias: the clockwise inertia – ‘I must improve, it is essential for my good name’; and the anti-clockwise inertia that says ‘Mother said I was no good in the first place, so I might as well get drunk and prove it now’. These two kinds of inertias the improving perfectionist one and the degenerating no good concept one, are the two basic types that we find continuously operating in people.
Now as far as technique is concerned for doing this the rule is so simple that it never seems quite complicated enough for the mind that inertically seeks causes. The rule is very simple ‘chop it’, if it’s serial stop it. And don’t try to think why you should stop it, because why is a psychological question. And don’t try to think how you can stop it, because that is a mechanical question., just stop it. Most people say, ‘How can I stop it?’ but how is a mechanical word, how tells you the process, the mechanical process. There is no mechanical process whatever. You just see it and you stop it.
Don’t ask yourself why because that’s a psychological question that says, ‘What is my motive in so doing?’. Your motive in so doing is a very, very simple one – you will to do it. You have no other motive. If you say ‘In order to be comfortable,’ then you might as well stop straight away, because the attempt to stop serial thought can be uncomfortable initially. So if it’s immediate comfort you want, you probably will give it up in a minute. So don’t ask ‘why’ or’ how’ but chop it. Serial thought is the enemy of this simultaneous mode.
Now we have to be very clear about this and on guard, against another thing. (Drawing on the board) The belly . . the heart . . the head . . co-ordinator. Down in the belly we have some urges, you could say, if you like this goes along with Freud’s ‘Id’. The function of this id or ‘it’ it’s a rude word, the ‘it’ the urge centre, is to supply you with energy, drive energy, connative energy. It has sexual urge in the lower third, belonging urge in the navel centre, and food urge in the stomach centre. Now these urges are not rational – they are just urges. And they are not likings and dislikings they’re just urges. There is no sensation here of liking and disliking, there’s just urging. And this is very difficult to see if you are on the emotional level and think that you are doing a thing because you like it, and you are not doing it because you don’t like it.
In fact at the urge level you do the thing regardless of whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant; regardless of whether it’s profitable or un-profitable. The urge simply is a definite amount of energy driving and it doesn’t know where in a reflexive sense. The sexual energy drives to sex because it belongs to it, the navel energy drives into the family, the tribe and the nation because it belongs to it. The stomach drives towards its food because it belongs to it. It has no other reason, it does what it does because it’s always done it, eternally and in the temporal process. And it requires no other statement – ‘I’m doing what I’m doing because I’m doing it’. Anything further than that belongs either to the liking - disliking level, which is quite other, or to the rational level, The rational level being concerned with the form of the situation in which these urges work.
Now instinct, of the blind order, is not rational serially. The rational/serial is opposed to this instinct, but neither of them are of the order of the simultaneous field awareness that we are talking about, but this field awareness has nothing to do with serial liking and disliking. Liking . . disliking we’ll put in this dexter and sinister side of the chest zone (referring to the diagram). But if liking and disliking refer to anything serial, in the rational, or to an urge which is blind, then they do not refer to the simultaneous feeling field awareness that we are talking about. Field awareness is only possible providing we are not determined by rational/serial or instinctive/urge. There is nothing in the instinctive urge department that is not the product of an accumulation of uncontrolled urges from the very foundation, the very ground of the universe and then working biologically through the whole evolutionary scale.
The instinctive urge department is loaded with ancestral directions. And directions continuously being reinforced by ancestral exercise. Jung’s ‘Collective Unconscious’ is the zone of instinctive urges. It is not the zone of field consciousness. Field consciousness is not serial, you cannot get at it by serial thought, nor by subordination to the instincts of your ancestors.
Now a lot of
people think that if you stop serial thought you necessarily act from instinct,
and the instinct is frequently bad. It’s
bad in this sense, your instinct may have been derived from the time we were
living in caves, or up trees or in swamps, and yet in the improved
So the field awareness , the simultaneous field awareness, actually places us in a position where we can respond adequately to all that is; as opposed to the instinctive urge level which causes us to respond to type situations which in fact correspond only very roughly with the present, and correspond much more accurately with the period of the sabre-toothed tiger.
Now instinct has been decried by some people as sub-rational, and it has been praised by some writers as marvellous - Rousseau’s ‘splendid savage’ is really some kind of instinctive pre-civilised man. But ‘field awareness’ is something totally other has never been gained in the temporal process. It can only be gained by getting out of the temporal process. Remember temporality is seriality. You put a super-stress you follow it by another super-stress. Each super-stress blinds you to the things not super-stressed, deprives you of necessary data of relation, and exposes you to inertia and error.
So the whole of this serial process is the temporal process, and nobody ever in the temporal process has ever gained freedom. In the temporal /serial there is no freedom. But in the absolute, simultaneous eternal mode, the field awareness of immediate apprehension of the totality of being, there is the fact and possibility of freedom because there is no inertia. Remember that if you knock a billiard ball down the billiard table and a friend leans over and taps it a playful one on the side as it goes by, the force he applies does not rub out the force you applied,. The direction of the ball is the resultant of the two forces. The second force does not scrub out the first one in the serial mode. Inertia is a fact. If you think serially then it follows that if you think ‘A’ ‘B’ ‘C’ – if you are not careful you will hear ‘D’ ‘E’ ‘F’, because that’s the way you learn them. You can’t skip about the alphabet unless you break your inertia. You can see this quite simply if you try to recite the alphabet backwards. Unless you have been keeping a trick up your sleeve, to annoy friends, and learning it backwards as well on the quiet. Which I know a certain gentleman to do. (sic)
So if you haven’t done this you can’t recite your alphabet backwards. If you try you’ll find you get something wrong an ‘N’ or an ‘M’, a ‘P’ or a ‘Q’ and so on. And this means quite simply that your serial mental process is conditioned by the order in which data come to you. And this conditioning is the same thing as mental slavery. You can’t write a poem because you’ve got in your head a lot of rubbish. You can’t paint a real picture because you’ve got serial visual inertias. You can’t compose a proper sonata because you’ve got audial serial inertias of rubbish, and so on.
If you brake all these inertias you can conjure out of the eternal simultaneous formal content of the absolute a symphony or a great painting or whatever it is you want because they are all there, but you can’t get at them as long as you are at the serial level, where mental inertia rules. Remember the essence of art is braking out of this groove; the creative artist is a man who simply brakes inertias. You can always tell whether a man has claim to greatness by examining all the men who worked before him, and if he is simply repeating what they’ve done he’s not a great man. But if you examine the inertias of the world of production of so called works of art, here and there you find men standing out and they are like nothing before them. And then after them everybody else is conditioned.
You find a man like Michelangelo and before him nobody is doing it like that, and after him there are dwarves trying to do it like that. And so in every field you find a man and he’s like nothing that went before him, and unfortunately he conditions all those who come after him, until there arises another man who can brake the inertia of the motion that he established. Turner comes along and you get a lot of water colourists blossoming forth in inferior terms. Beethoven comes along and you get the same thing there.
In every field the great creator cannot be seen by looking backwards – there’s no evidence for him – and after he’s arrived there’s too much evidence for him. Remember what Nietzche said about it, ‘The trouble with the great man is he fascinates’ - but he fascinates only the smaller men, who are not great. And they are merely trying to ape what he is doing instead of referring to eternality to which he referred.
Practising non-serial thought is hard work because you have to overcome literally the inertias of the number of years since your conception. People have been talking and drilling stuff into your protoplasm, and your protoplasm is the same protoplasm as your mother and father into whom somebody else drilled something else. ‘Woe to you who are inheritors,’ – you inherit - and this not in the simple sense of the nuclear formal content of the cells, but in another sense.
Now the problem with heredity is tricky because inside the egg is a nucleus, and inside this nucleus there are various forms. There is a form for blue eyes and brown eyes and hook noses and snub noses, and the way these develop is the ordinary scientific meaning of the word heredity. Now ‘HERA’ means the power function (drawing on the board), this - ‘H’ ‘R’ , and what it is saying that’s ‘DIT’, what this is ‘HERE SAYING’ is ‘heredity’. But that protoplasm is overlapped, in its experience, by the protoplasm of the parent cells from which it divides.
So that there is not only the nuclear transmission, which is the scientific meaning of heredity but there is also the fact that the engram pattern on the parental protoplasm is found in the protoplasm outside the nucleus. From the child, we can and do recover daily, information from the child of data supplied by the parents pre-nataly. And this shows that the nuclear hereditament that makes a human ‘human’, a pig a ‘pig’ or an elephant an ‘elephant’, that can be set nearly at nought by this protoplasmic ‘engramming’ by the parents in successive generations. We are born in the ‘sin of Adam’.
Now this ‘sin of Adam’ is not transmitted through the nucleus but is transmitted through the overlapping protoplasmic influences round the nucleus. The ‘truth of Adam’ is in the nucleus, the ‘sin of Adam’ is in the surrounding protoplasm. All this plastic recording material here they’ve got an accumulation of errors. In the nucleus we have forms that are doing the very best possible they can from generation to generation. Un-interfered with they would always produce a being at an optimal level, functioning properly. Interfered with from outside they deteriorate. And the chief interferers are statements, verbal statements plus pains imposed by one generation on another.
So we have to distinguish very carefully between theses two modes of transmission of form, of information, the nuclear mode and the mode outside the nucleus. The mode in the nucleus would just what makes humans human – there is no difference there between Mozart and Irving Berlin. But there’s a tremendous difference in the protoplasmic surrounding substance, where the accumulation of generation upon generation of suggestions and verbal statements has biased that being in a serial sense into a given field of activity.
We mustn’t discount the transmission of these influential forces.
Now we have here the difference between the Marxist’s view and the right-wing view. The extreme left wing practically is denying the meaning of nuclear heredity. And the other wing is denying the meaning of protoplasmic influence round the nucleus. The aristocratic mind likes to think that its nuclear heredity is totally different from everybody else’s. The left wing denies this and says ‘Everybody has been evolved in exactly the same way, and the only difference between one human being and another is the way that it is treated. This is the argument between the left wing and the right wing about heredity. One says ‘Aristocrats are nuclear in origin,’ and the other says, ‘They are the result of conditioning factors acting on the protoplasm surrounding the nucleus’.
Now we have seen before, if there are a pair of opposites we must assert both. Somehow there is a nuclear difference between people, somehow these differences are reinforced or contradicted by other influences outside them. What we do find is that the biggest quantity of troubles, of pathological disorders and so on, arise not from the nuclear centre but from the protoplasmic surroundings to it. We discover that any painful situation whatever leaves a formal trace of the situation in which that pain occurs, and if there is a verbal statement made at the same time, the verbal statement keys in with the form of the situation and with the pain. And thereupon the recitation of the verbal stimulus is alone enough to re-stimulate the whole structure and enslave the person just as if he had no nuclear power at all.
If the pain is sufficient when the stimulus comes, it can cause a shut-down of large areas of ones being, so that whatever the nuclear pattern is it does not get the opportunity to brake through. And nevertheless it exists. What we ought to do is think that the nucleus represents the eternal form of that being and the surrounding protoplasm represents the temporal, acquirement pattern; eternity in the nucleus, and time in the surrounding protoplasm.
And again we can distinguish between the two by stopping the serialising processes of thought, and feeling simultaneously the nuclear content and the surrounding protoplasmic temporally derived records. If you do this it means that you can actually discover who you are, in the nuclear sense, and what veils of temporal experience have been put over you to obscure who you are. When we say who you are we don’t mean are you John Smith or Billy Brown, we mean that you are eternally a particular form of being. And this being has been thrown into the time process by super-stressing. And then in the time process, having been thrown in, it becomes subject to the inertia of certain directions, and travels mechanically through a series of situations each one determined by the preceding ones. Until they reach their term.
The term being death, a particular mode of death arising from the particular inertias established and reinforced in the temporal process.
So to return a moment, we say that we’ve got two modes in which we can get the sensation of having seen something before. One is a very simple mechanical one. We take a mnemic trace, somewhere in the brain something is recorded ‘A’. We stimulate it without bothering to concentrate on it and then we re-stimulate it again with concentration and we become aware, vaguely that we have seen this before. And because it’s a mnemic trace derived from the past we get a sensation that the thing is from the past serial time. So the sensation of having seen something before ‘in time’ is this mechanical one. And most psychological orthodox opinion would take this Déjà Vu concept, the ‘already seen’ of such things merely of this first order. And that mode isn’t really worth bothering with. But the other mode, the fact that we see all things simultaneously, before we appear in the time process as individuals, that is useful, because we can get at it by simply removing the super-stresses, the serialising process in our selves as individuals.
And then being very alert, not allowing our selves to lapse into the inertia of sleep, we watch and look at the totality of forms presented simultaneously in us. And we then see, simultaneously, the formal connection of all the different types of acts of which we are capable. And we then see that if we put a super-stress in one place and then in another we establish an inertia in a certain direction. And that direction, we can see the term of it, and when we see the term if we don’t like what we see we go into the state of vairagya that is to say we can see the end result and if we don’t like it we don’t have to battle about it we have reached the higher indifference.
Q – This un-stressing of the parts is really a kind of intuition?
E.H. – Yes, yes certainly to un-stress is to restate the pre-stress condition, and intuition is really an inbrake of awareness into eternality.
Q – Is the difference between feeling awareness and emotional flux the attachment to rational processes in the case, feeling or urges?
E.H. – Yes . .
Q - . . .as against feeling operating in its pure . . form?
E.H. – Yes, emotion as the word tells you is an out flowing motion. Field awareness is not emotion, it is simply feeling of the thing. It is not an outgoing because the field is infinite. It is simply an awareness of what is in the field – not an emotion. Emotion implies a finite being with overflow of energy, and that serialises.
Now field awareness is so subtle that an emotionalist would think that it was not worth having, precisely because it wouldn’t get this sensational of surcharge. And yet field awareness is the cause of - in the very highest sense - all exquisite spiritual sensations. When you are serialising you are super-stressing, and when you are super-stressing you are over-stimulating your organism. The man when he got married, at the altar kissed his bride, put his arms around her, squeezed her and broke five ribs. A few years ago, you may have heard of him he was a famous sportsman. Now he was overdoing it. Spoiled the honeymoon - and probably damaged some nerves.
Now if, instead of doing that sort of super-stressing, the energy is not super-stressed but the awareness is increased, then you become aware that the sensation has another level. You can actually get pleasant sensations by not touching physically at all. You can get the most exquisite delight with the least energy expenditure. With ‘aleph’ pressure there is absolute bliss. Lower than aleph pressure you are enjoying yourself less and less intensely.
Q - Now this is the only way the great men you speak of can be great men . .
E.H. – Yes, increased sensitivity. Even at the physical level nerve endings that have to transmit pleasures, if they are stimulated heavily then they pay off less than if they’re stimulated lightly. If they are stimulated lightly and the awareness is increased instead, then the profit from it is far greater than physical heavy pressures in the attempt to stimulate them; increased awareness. Rubbing nerve endings, and so on, instead of increasing awareness is not the way to get the most out of existence. This is why so many of the great artist have been accused of being ‘exquisites’ and sensualists because they were already increasing sensitivity instead of stepping up stimulation. The whole pattern of nerves in the body, to do with the intake of pleasure sensations - and pleasure sensation are essential to healthy functioning - the whole pattern of those originally is laid down at aleph pressure in eternity. And to press more than aleph pressure is already to induce sensation down to a lower order.
Now only experience can prove this. The Philistine doesn’t know about it. Bad taste is always super-stress of the wrong order.
Q – Is the nuclear the same as the immanent centre
EH – No, call it the form, the individuated form of that centre but not the centre. You see that nucleus is formed, it is responsible for the individual form, but it is not itself essential because it is form. Remember all form is effect. Cause is in the will. The will works through the infinite form but is not the infinite form.
Q – (unclear but sounds like - So in fact within the nucleus, the immanent centre?)
EH – No it works through the nucleus, it is in the field. The nucleus is in the field.
Q - (unclear phrase from the questioner)
E.H. - If you’d like to say ‘within’ in the spatial sense you’d be in danger of thinking it’s not ‘without’, in the spatial sense. Whereas ‘in’ and ‘out’ are irrelevant to it – the nucleus is within it, and it transcends the zone of the nucleus.
So it is where the nucleus is and it is also beyond. It is in and beyond. But really the nucleus is in the field. It is this field that is the cause, the nucleus is only a modality of the field. You know, we’ve had this before, not many hundreds of years ago when they were looking for the human being in his source, they got hold of an egg - a sperm - they cut it up into little bits and looked for a tiny little man. They didn’t find one. And yet the egg of a human being becomes human. And the egg of a frog becomes a frog. So somehow the man is there but not there. We can cut into it spatially – you don’t find a little man. But if you don’t fiddle about with it, and it develops you find a man emerging from it. The man is in the field. The nucleus is in the field. The man in the field works through the nucleus by super-stressing into the time process. The absolute man within the field is called ‘Adam Cadman’ in the Quabbalah.
Adam Cadman is the original man in the box. This box is macrocosmos and this macrocosmos is this man. The statement that God is a man – used by the ancients – doesn’t mean that God is a temporal being, sitting on a temporal chair in a temporal cloud. It means what it says, ‘Man’ means an evaluating sentient power, and the absolute is such an evaluating sentient power and is therefore properly a man. He also strangely enough has the form of a man, and that form has been impressed into the nucleus and expressed through the nucleus into the time process.
Q – Does that mean a man’s form is a shape a particular reference?
EH – Yes – if you take all the other forms you find they are highly specialised. And in specialisation is strange. Know that when a chicken comes out of the egg, he will actually peck his way out, he can help to get out. But when he gets out he can peck, and he can run about. And a duck when he comes out of the egg, gives himself a little shake and makes off to the water and can swim. Now because these things emerge from the egg already equipped to deal with life, they are frozen, they can’t move. They have paid for their capacity to fend for themselves from the moment of birth by being held in a static position. They cannot evolve because they have specialised. Now the form that is not specialised is the form of man. Man, when he’s born, can’t do anything at all for himself. He has to be carried, suckled, washed and so on – he can do nothing. And the purpose of this is to stop man setting prematurely in a form.
When Gurdieff was talking about possibly ‘wrong integrations’ he was only saying the old, old story in a different way and changing the words. Man is at birth quite unable to defend himself, dependant on the parents. His nuclear form is the same as his parents but he is holding back his development so that he can acquire protoplasmic records of the culture of the people he’s born to. In so doing he can embody millions of generations formal experience and arrive at the conclusion of all this in the pattern of behaviour derived from outside of the nucleus, from his parents and teachers and so on.
The longer you can delay growing up, the better for you. The idea of Peter Pan , the refusal to grow up, the refusal to set in a groove – if necessary to be a beatnik, or a raver or tearaway – be anything except in a groove. Because we’ve got, of serial time quite a lot but in eternity a greater amount still to decide what is our ultimate form. And we don’t want to get a form fixed in us that is not our optimal ultimate form.
Now a lot of people drive themselves very hard with a perfectionist impulse, and they drive themselves badly because they have a finite concept of what perfection is which they try to attain. Now nothing that is attained – attained means ‘held’ – can possibly be the thing we are looking for. What we are looking for as human beings is infinite adaptability to all conceivable environments. That is we must keep ourselves in our eternal form. The eternal form contains the formal possibilities of all activities whatever. No serial temporal mode can possibly help us to get them because it’s already an abstraction and a super-stress. But if we keep ourselves fluid and avoid premature crystallisation, avoid system making and just be content to go on growing and growing and growing – in freedom, in awareness - not just acquiring piles of rubbish from the libraries, but in becoming free, in breaking serial thought, and becoming more and more aware of the simultaneous form of eternity.
To grow in the direction of eternity is the proper growth for a human being. To arrive in time already adapted to the temporal process and stuck, is the way of the animal and the plant. But it isn’t the way for us. And we have to dare to not to make our minds up prematurely about the details of a system. If Christ had have wanted us to make our minds up prematurely he would not have said ‘The spirit bloweth where it listeth.’ We can’t tell where he came from or where he’s going to ‘so is everyone born of the spirit’. They were looking for a clear system of rules, something like the Mosaic commandments. They said, ‘Now that’s it, now follow that’ – if we had succeeded we would have been dead.
What we want is not to be adapted to any particular environment merely, like an amphibian to its dual mode, or like a fish to its watery mode, or a bird to its airy mode. We don’t want that. What we want is infinite adaptability for all possible worlds, at all possible times. And we can only do this by refusing premature setting of our form in the temporal process.
(End of recording)