DESIRE AND THE EGO
I have been asked to talk about three things tonight. I’ll try to put them together for economy’s sake. One of them is how to still desire. That is already ambiguous because it could mean how to keep on desiring, or it could mean how to quieten desire.
Another one is how to use intelligently, the egotism with which we are burdened.
And the third one is what is the origin of all true religion?
The assumption is that there is something there which is called desire that deserves stilling, keeping quiet. My short reply to that that desire is not to be stilled but a worthwhile object for it is to be attained. We will weave it in progressively as we deal with the other two. You cannot still desire absolutely down to nothing.
Desire, what is it? It is a force, an energy. You might look at the word de sire as meaning ‘from the Father.’ In which case the Father means God and God means the Absolute Power, which is the substance and source of all manifest beings, creatures, souls, bodies. We call it the A S P for short, the Absolute Sentient Power, and this power is the Father that is referred to in the word ‘desire.’ When you desire you are impelled to behave in a certain way and basically, those of you have done computer programming will know this, there are a limited number of things you can do. In a computer you have two, ‘yes’ and ‘no, and the same way in this desire; the desire is either towards or away from some particular stimulus source. You tend to move in response to a stimulus unless already have inside you a record of some disastrous results of a previous movement. We could say, the error of mankind, from Adam onwards, has been to equate the ‘yes’, the movement towards with pleasure and then with good, and the movement ‘no’ away from a stimulus with bad. Now this cannot be true unless you say “for whom,” you cannot adequately analyse the situation.
Supposing there is a man sitting on the canal down the road, fishing, and he has a hook and bait. And along comes a carp and bites on the bait and gets the hook. The fish defines the hook as a bad thing and the bait as a good thing; the angler defines the hook as a good thing and the bait as an unfortunate necessary expense. So, it is entirely relevant to the purpose of a person, a being, living being, because beings that are not living do not have a purposes, that there shall be a viewpoint from which to asses. And the viewpoint cannot be other that relative to some situation. So that you cannot actually say that pleasure is a good thing or a bad thing; or pain is a bad thing or a good thing. You have to decide on a most terribly delicate answer to an infinite problem.
When you have released all your desire energies, you arrive at a certain position. We call this position the Consummation of Days. You know in the symbolism of night and day, day means the period of light, the period of intelligent assessment, and night means the period of the negation of power. And you make actions according to the energy of the Absolute Sentient Power that is coursing through your organism and making you do things. If you don’t think that it does make you do things then just try a little experiment Swear by the almighty power of your ego that you will sit still, absolutely and do nothing ever, and you might be sufficiently egotistic to believe that you have that capacity so to do. But after a time, you will find that parts of your organism are twitching, parts are uncomfortable, parts begin to ache and,. you will find it extremely difficult not to give in to through tendency of the organism to move, even when you have told it not to, with your almighty egotistic power, and the very shortest demonstration of that is the exercise we have done before which you can all do now, simultaneously if you like. It won’t take long.
You breathe all the air out of your lungs, pointing the onions, if any, away from your next of kin, and you swear by your almighty ego power that you will never breathe in again. You need not worry because you will, but do the best you can. Breathe all the air out of your bodies, then blow it out, then don’t breathe in, and swear with all the sincerity you can command, internally swearing, “I will never breathe in again, ever,” and count, in your mind and see how many seconds you can hold that breath out. And notice what happens to your diaphragm, which apparently begins to have a mind of its own. Are you doing the exercise? If so, nod the head. Not too violently in case it falls off. Has anybody found that in fact, when you hold the breath out something inside you fights you to breathe in again? If you do that exercise repeatedly, you will become totally convinced that there is a force making you live and that your egotism is not powerful enough to stop you living. And if you were clever enough, like some super egotists, like the men that climbed Everest, so that you can actually hold your breath until you faint, which some very strong willed fellows can do, the moment you have fainted, your breathing carries on on its own and you come round not dead but alive, and your breathing is still going on. Now that shows that in the organism energy is working to perpetuate your existence. Now, that energy is de-sire, it is from the Father, from that Absolute Sentient Power. To conquer that energy is to conquer, absolutely, yourself.
Now let us see what the purpose is to have desire at all. Quite simply it is to compel you into an experiential situation. The desire is a movement of the Absolute Energy to make organismsget into situations which will be the occasions of informing the organism. And the information, the forming within the organism by the experience is the occasion of meditation. You have to meditate on what happens in your experience because the same energy that pushes you into the experience also pushes you at mental levels,to think about it, and this thinking about one’s experience is called meditation.
So the function of the desire is to force us into progressive higher levels of self-understanding through the hard experiential cycle of events. So, the idea of stilling desire in the sense of quietening it so that there is not any, is a very forlorn hope except for a very, very few people who have already been through the mill, who have actually come to the point where they have consummated their days, and they know that the desire energy that is in them is actually divine spiritual energy pushing them along an experiential cycle. Then they can say “I” egotistically, will not interfere with this desire. I will still my egoic tendency to the best of my ability and let the desire of the Absolute conduct itself in me for my further evolution. In other words, you cannot still desire. What you can do is refine your understanding of its object – if you are lucky. If you work hard and particularly if you want to refine your perceptions, the wanting is part of the movement of the self-educating energy.
Now, let us tie this in with the second part; the question about the intelligent use of egotism. First we will define the ego. First we will define it in the Freudian sense. Freud would place that ego between two other forces. We will put it for a mnemonic, here. (chest) The ego, when you say “I,” you touch your chest. “I am here.” Say, “I am” and touch yourself. The automatic economy is to touch yourself somewhere on the chest. There are not many people who go, “As I was saying,” from the belly, are there? I can’t guarantee that about Gerhardt. He is capable of anything out of awkwardness.
One of the things a clown does in a circus is the opposite of your expectancy. So, he says, thinking about you yesterday, instead of doing this, reverse it, do the opposite. – That is called being funny. It really is being logical and practising certain types of inversion of function.
Now let us consider egotism, jammed between a primordial force, the Id force, the It, the unmentionable, the sexual drive, the conation of the psychologists and the imposition of society trying to restrain that sexual force, that imposing force being called, the super-ego. It is that, which sits on top of your egoic awareness, tells it what it ought not to do and what it ought to do. So we would then say, in the lower tum there is a force, the Id, the libido, the desire force. That libido means the form of wanting, of loving something, loving not in the higher sense but simply liking to do something; and then, in the head, through the pressure of other people who don’t like to see you enjoying yourself and who therefore invent rules and then logically are required to accept the rules for them selves that they are trying to impose on you. So a group of human beings will bend the knee to rules of restraint upon their libido, upon their primordial urge to enjoyment, they will accept the restraints providing everybody accepts them. So it is a sort of continuous conspiracy to contradict everybody including myself rather than let anybody not myself enjoy himself unrestrainedly. And this restraining force is called the Super Ego in Freudian terminology.
Now it is rather an over-simplified thing but it does explain, in some degree, the tension in the egoic awareness. The ego-consciousness is sharpened the more conflict there is between your primordial drive, which basically shows itself in the desire for food and sexual relations, jammed between that drive force and the restraining forces of human society, the tension induced in the organism, creates what we call, egoic consciousness. And it appeared to Freud that this ego was a very, very unhappy thing because there was no possible way for an egoic, that is, a self-conscious, being, to be happy in a society built on restraint, because the object of the libido, of the primordial urge is not to be restrained. As William Blake said, “Damn braces, bless relaxes,” gets rid of the restraints, and spontaneously enjoy yourself.
I will remind you that in the early Christian church, they used to have a feast, an Agape Feast of love, in which everybody enjoyed themselves because they believed sincerely that God had sacrificed himself for humanity and all human beings are now brothers, and all the slaves could ignore the bosses. And they were so delighted with this that in the agape feast they clutched each other and they kissed each other and they fell naturally into more and more deep intimacies in this agape feast so that it resembled, in a large degree, a pre-Christian orgy, like the Bacchanal. And it was said officially by one bishop, the sound of osculation in the church during the agape festival was so loud that the bishop could not hear himself giving instructions about the next element of the procedure. And therefore a rule was made, this kissing of each other that Christians indulged in, had to be given up, and instead of that, a form of the Cross will be circulated amongst the congregation and you can kiss that instead. And that is the historical origin of the kissing of the Cross. Now those of you who know the symbology of the kissing of the Cross and the depth of significance in it will understand why the agape festivals of the early Christians just had to be stopped because they were indistinguishable from pre-Christian pagan orgies. Now the rules were made by the pressures of events from outside upon the individual members of the congregation, and the congregation accepted them only because they could not bear anybody else, it is the ‘else’ bit you see, to be enjoying themselves. We can all accept enjoying our own selves but we cannot so easily accept that anybody else does it too. So the conflict between the Super Ego or moralising forces, and the primordial drive forces of food and sex, produces in the organism, a tension, a very strong tension and this tension makes the organism aware that it is. You are only aware that you are an individual egoic being because of the conflict.. Without that conflict, you would not be aware at all.
Supposing we do one of the darkroom experiments that have been popular in the last twenty years and we float a man, blindfolded and with ear-plugs in, in a bath of blood-warm water so that we reduce the external stimulus situation nearly to zero. What happens to that man? He loses egoic reference. The mind starts throwing up all kinds of fantastic information but it is not held together in an orderly manner and instead of being like a one, an individual who can “I am,” there is rather a fantastical army, and I mean fantastical, literally, there is an army of impulses that come out in forms and those forms proliferate; they breed and they produce more and more forms until you have an infinity of fantastical forms with no determinable edge and no control. That is what happens in such an experiment. You have de-egotised yourself by submitting to the experiment.
So we go on to the second question. What is the function of enlightened egotism?
The ego-consciousness, a product of conflict between moral restraint and primordial natural impulses, this ego-consciousness guarantees that you shall be able to focus on your organism and to keep it separate from other organisms and thereby to conduct an evolutionary process for yourself independently of the processes of other beings.
Now you know that one of our local teams was banned recently because its admirers behaved themselves very badly and some members of the team said they were not responsible for the behaviour of their fans. But in fact, you see there an illustration of what the great philosophers have said. The crowd, the mass, the herd mentality functions below the level of the enlightened egotist. It is not a new idea, this. There has been a lot of talk about it since Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Heidigger and people like that, but this idea is recorded in the sixth century BC, in Lao Tse’s famous words, “The people are straw dogs fit for burning at sacrifices.” There is there a very clear distinction between an egotistically-enlightened, separated consciousness and the mass of human protoplasm which has not so separated. So that when it gets together in thousands at a time, instead of functioning like an intelligent individual, it functions like the Gadarene swine, and rushes off precipitously in some undetermined direction and perishes in a ridiculous conflict like some of the marches that have recently been banned could have done. You all know that when you are in a group of people, especially a large group, in a fifty thousand crowd watching a football match, (I’ve done that once in my life, I do not need to do it again) and you actually feel your ears vibrating with howls of derision and praise about all kinds of silly activities going on, on a relatively small rectangle and everybody is pushing and pulling and sweating and sucking throat tablets and nobody has any individual personal responsibility. So we say, quite correctly, the behaviour of the crowd is below the behaviour of the separated individuals. The reason is that the mass of energy in the crowd is not separatively restrained as it is in the separated organism, and consequently the bio-magnetic field, the energies of life, flow out beyond the restraining limits of your skin surface and they begin to commingle together and they make a vast sea.
If you look in the Book of Revelations you will find there a description of a sea and this sea is people in the mass and it is a sea of murmurings and a sea of discontent, a sea of derision. Have you heard a crowd deriding someone who makes a mistake in the Olympic Games or in a football match? Yet, if you were to take any single man out from that crowd and say, “What do you think about the crowd?” and they say, “Oh, they are awful aren’t they? Of course I would be there if it were not for....” There is always an excuse by the individual for being in the crowd.
Now, by means of the tension generated between the moral imperative and the unrestrained life impulse, the organism is ordered in two directions simultaneously. If you will just look around at each other and look at the most beautiful ones you can see, unless you have got an interest in the non-beautiful, which is also a kind of taste, a mark of discrimination, because those who are the prettiest get flattered the most and give you the least good performance, I don’t know whether you know that rule. It is always more intelligent to be kind to the starved than to the well fed. Do you know that rule? But look around and you will feel an impulse in you. Now, if you were to say, “Let this impulse operate without restraint,” immediately we could have a Christian agape festival in this room, now. But you have been so educated, so conditioned by your parents and your teachers and the commands of the law, that when you do look, you tend to look away as well you see. “That’s a nice one, mmm.” You see, it is very interesting. The light that goes into my right eye contracts the left side of my neck muscles here so that if that light shines, this contracts and the head turns like that. If that one shines in this eye this muscle contracts and do that.. So, if you see a beautiful lady, or a beautiful gentleman, if there is one, if you are not careful, your eyes will flicker. If it is very good looking you will immediately take it away and start thinking what you would be doing if it were not for the super ego!
Now the reason you think like this is because you have been trained within a society of forbidders who can’t bear anybody to enjoy themselves because, no work gets done. One of the early things that the church found was that happy fellow, the bucolic chappie, in May, you know, nuts in May, “Here we go gathering,” there is a lot of ploughing to be done. But when the sun starts warming up the earth, is it ploughing you think about or is it twining little fingers going down the road like this. And so, in order to get the ploughing done, and later on the reaping done, there had to be some commands invented. Who invented them, not the fellows that liked enjoying themselves? The fellows who liked to store the fruits of the harvest so that they won’t starve through the winter.
Now, the enlightened egotist is the person who knows the function of the ego to be a means of rescuing him from the mass response, to crowd response, the sub-human response. By means of the skin surface you have a process going on inside, relatively insulated from the processes in other organisms. If you once recognise the value of the ego as a reference point to rescue you and for no other purpose, just to rescue you from the crowd you can then treat the ego properly. The God Shiva, who is the Lord of the Dance in Indian religion, dances on a dwarf, and that dwarf is alive and that dwarf is your ego. The word ‘dance’ means judgement. It is from dan, to judge. If you had not got an ego centre you could not make an independent judgement, you could only make a crowd judgement. That is to say, you would flow with the movement of the collective life force. So, the function of the ego is to rescue you from crowd responses. It has no other function. Once you are so rescued you have to keep the ego from itself doing the invert error of the crowd. The crowd’s error is to rush about and do something, usually destructive, as a mass with no individual responsibility. The ego’s tendency is to do something brilliantly independent of the crowd and then require itself to be worshipped because of that.
Once it has been understood that the ego is a reference point and not something that has to be worshipped but something that has to be used, then you can transcend the idea that a well developed ego or a well developed performance on the flute or the piccolo or the piano or the harp, that well developed performance means that egos have to worship you. That idea has to go, that idea must be got rid of. The function of the ego is to rescue you from the crowd so that you can develop a type of judgement in which you, as insulated from the undeterminable mass responses of emotion, make an intelligent, separative, sensitive assessment of reality and do not require other egotistic beings or the crowd to worship you because of your ability to separate yourself.
There we have the first two points. Stilling desire is not possible, refining desire is possible and the ultimate of all desires is to desire that for you which the Infinite Absolute Sentient Power wills for you. Because, what it wills for you is your total development, your evolution towards a state of total reflexive self-consciousness, self-determined creative function. That is It’s will. And to become aware of that will so that everything you do is for your evolutionary development and is not simply wasting your time by amusing yourself with external pleasures derived from contingent stimuli, when you have understood this, your desires have reached their ultimate state of refinement. They are the same as the desire of God for you. When you desire what God desires for you, you desire your evolution towards the perfectly free state in which whatever you do will be intelligently determined, by you, in total separation from the mob impulses of the crowd.
Now let us look at the religion behind all religions. All the major religions of the world can be shown, whether etymologically or conceptually, to have derived from the same source. They all derive from an observation of a process inside man and outside. In the external world through the observation of cycles of nature through the seasons; through the rotation of planets; through the wheeling of the stars round the Pole Star; and internally, to observe the cycles of events of the rising and falling away of desires in a cyclic manner. Just as we observe in the sexual behaviour of animals, a force in the Solar System, with the sun striking the earth at a certain angle at a certain time of the year, we call it Spring, and that time up come the flowers. They have no choice. They must come up because that sun force has acted upon them and the rain has acted upon them and the hidden life in them must out. In the same way it must ‘out’ in the animals so that they must then copulate and breed more of their kind under this impulse jointly of the sun and the moon.
The Sun is the Father and the Moon is the Mother and the Earth is the Nurse of these cosmic forces and by studying those cycles in the external world and then in the internal world of the cycles of desire correlated with the external cycles, you discover the origins of all religions. Now all religion has no other purpose than the freeing of the fallen. The freeing of the fallen. Whether you talk about Hindu moksha, a Christian salvation, whatever it is in any religion it is the freeing of the fallen. Can anybody other than the fallen need freeing? Answer is “No.” The Absolute Sentient Power itself cannot go into bondage because it is infinitely transcendent of any limits that might be conceived. But, there has been a fall into identification. Every major religion, by major, I mean a handful of them from which other religions have borrowed their tenets without thorough examination, but every major religion says the same thing, the rescue of the fallen from their fallen state, and to be fallen is to be identified with the periphery of your being instead of the centre of your being.
Now if you draw a circle on your paper or in your imagination and then rotate it, you will make a sphere. Visualise the sphere in your mind and say that is the simplest representation that is possible of an islanded zone of sentient power. Each human being is such a sphere. A sphere of influence, a certain amount of the Absolute Sentient Power, has ensphered itself in the human being and that being is called a soul, because it is solo power. The power of the Absolute sentient Spirit has encapsulated itself so that each human being is actually, I mean in act, in action, actually the Infinite Eternal Spirit there humanising itself in process of becoming individually self-conscious. Now in the process of making two spheres or more, in the fact of the Infinite condensing to makes two or more spheres, arose he possibility of an external stimulus, where two can strike against each other. When this happens we have the incidence of peripheral stimulation of a zone of sentience. You are a zone of sentience. When you come near another zone and your edges strike you give each other a stimulus. This stimulus is called contingent stimulus, ‘with touch.’ But that contingent stimulus can, if you do not stop it, cause a reaction from within of your own Sentient Power, which is non-different from that of the Absolute, and your consciousness then rushes to the perimity of your being and in positing itself on the perimeter it becomes formally conditioned by the nature of the stimulus.
Now, in the centre of your being, not on the periphery in the very innermost centre of your being, there is a pure, utterly unadulterated Absolute Power of free will and it is entirely creative. The centre of your being is a creative intelligent will, but if you get carried by the external stimulus, struck from outside so that your a tense-tion, the tension in you, flows to the perimeter of your being and rests there on your skin surface instead of in your centre, you are now no longer a free-willed creative spirit. You are a dependent contingently conditioned slave of the stimulus situation.
Now that is all that religion says, and nothing more. The implications of that will multiply themselves into a series of exercises called prayers, meditations, rituals and so on, but those are merely methods of convincing yourselves that the Fall is a fall into peripheralisation of consciousness with the subsequent loss of your own innermost creativity. Each being sitting on a chair in the room is absolutely, self-determined and creative in its innermost centre. But through the educational process, being born as a human being in human society, the consciousness of the human being has been carried to the periphery and made to consult the mass, the crowd, the government, the social determinates of behaviour, and in the process have substituted for the innermost free, spiritual will, the determinations of external orders, the moral imperative. Now that is the Fall. The only difference between one religion and another, whether Hinduism, Islam, Taoism, Confucianism, Zen, Christianity in its thousands of forms, the only difference is a matter of terminology and nothing but. In disguised terms they all talk about how to become free from peripheralisation, how to discover creativity in one’s own centre and how to become that which we know we fundamentally are. The big initiatory short sentence is, “Become what thou art.” What thou art is a free, centrally self-determined, creative spiritual intelligence. That is nice, isn’t it. You could not expect much more for the relatively small price you pay for it.
But, when you come to examine the inertias that peripheralise you, you have an enemy. Now this enemy is variously named in different religions, but only the terminology differs. Your body is made of protoplasm. That protoplasm is a colloid nearly all water and because of water, and because water is H2O and because hydrogen has only one electron, it is most unstable and therefore supersensitive to impressions. That water which constitutes most of your protoplasm is supersensitive and your protoplasm, with its bio-magnetic tendency to hold on to its experience, is the perfect recording material. You know, on a little tape cassette you can have a full orchestra playing lots of blasting type Germanic Beethoven music on a narrow bit of tape and that tape has only got iron oxide on it, stuck on with a bit of gum, and the whole of the orchestra is there. Now in your organism you have a recording substance far more subtle and it can do something that actually the tape does not do. It records emotion. It records thought, because is the form of behaviour of energy. Your protoplasm records absolutely every formative stimulus that it suffers, every manipulation ideationally in the thinking process and every emotion placed upon every such an idea. Now, there is the enemy.
The friend is the enemy. By means of this record you are able to establish that you are an individual, egoic, separative being because you can refer to your own experience as being your experience and not the identical experience with another being. But, unfortunately, there is a very funny thing. You all know the image used by Freudians about the unconscious mind where they describe the human psyche as one tenth conscious, like an iceberg and nine-tenths of the iceberg is under the water, and that is your unconscious. The image would be all right if they modified it a little bit. The top part, the visible part of the iceberg , draw as a triangle for it point and then say instead of going down nine-tenths more, it goes down to infinity. And then, why do we think of it as going down at all? That is a flat earth concept. Now project the lines of the triangle, there is your triangle, and project these lines both ways to infinity, and this one to infinity, and that one to infinity. And get a hexonic structure that goes to infinity. What you get is that you are the centre of an infinite ocean of Sentient Power and that this infinite ocean of Sentient Power is a continuum. Now the beautiful and horrible thing about a continuum is this, a continuum has no parts, it is not made of discrete particles and therefore, it is in no sense anywhere separate from itself. And the Law of the Continuum is this; whatever is anywhere is everywhere. In other words, a motion of power initiated in one place must necessarily be present, must propagate itself, into all places within this continuum.
Now, here is the enemy is it not, because if you think you have got a private thought in consciousness, but that thought is a vibration in an Infinite Continuum, every other being has that same thought, isn’t that so? But if they do not focus on it, they do not know they have got it and we call it unconscious. In the same way, if you do not focus on your own psychological content, you don’t know you have got it. The very small amount of your consciousness upon which you do focus is so small, you should feel ashamed of yourself for having such a meagre mind if ever you were to get around to thinking about it. But, if you were to extend your lines of thought you would find a very strange thing that your thoughts and the thoughts of everyone else are absolutely, mutually, reciprocally interpenetrating and that it is only your focus on your own private egoic purpose that insulates you from the infinities of information from all the other similarly constituted egoic structures. So that, if you think you have a private purpose, that thought is an error. It is convenient for business men and so on, but it is an error. When you have that thought you can often not account for the fact that your very best egoic efforts to do something are defeated. By what, accident, ill-will of other beings? No, much deeper than that. Any will of a finited ego that aims to rule the Absolute Sentient Power or any part of it other than its own little bit is automatically opposed by the Infinite Power itself. So that the egoic structure cannot, even conceivably ever attain a position of total dictatorship over all other beings. Even a Hitler did not have any ambition beyond a thousand years dictatorship. He was not quite so stupid as to imagine it to extend beyond that because he did know enough about history to know that the memories of the human being are not very strong. But to attempt to control infinity from the finite is doomed to failure because the thought process of the egoic being is not confined to that being although it appears to be, consciously, because being a modality of a continuum, it necessarily radios its intention at the level beyond the triangle, the so-called unconscious, to every other being, who, picking it up unconsciously, translate the unconscious pick-up into the subconscious and then conscious, opposition. So you automatically, if your motive is wrong, breed your own opposition. So the enemy is the inertia of unconscious processes of millions of individuals and of the Infinite Field itself.
Now that enemy is pure energy, vibrating, surging along, trying to do things like it has always tried to do for millions of years and its name is the Worm that Dieth Not,. because it goes twisting through space and it tries to engulf and draw in the egotistic energies of the modality beings that we call human beings, to its own purposes. So how can you possibly defeat it?
The answer to that one is first study the theory of it and then you start practising. Now the theory of it is – there is an Absolute Sentient Power. That Absolute Sentient Power vibrates and in the vibration modalises an infinity of organisms, some of which we are and that we can do nothing successfully without permission of that Absolute. That is the theory. So the question is, how do we practise conforming to the intention of the Absolute evolutionary force for us?
Now in all the great religions you have the same statement. I will give it to you in the short form that Christ gives it. “In as much as you do it to the least of these you do it to me.” That is, being in a continuum any organism making a decision to think or feel or will, in a certain way, is doing it within that infinite field of power of which it is itself a modality; is doing it to that power, and if it does not know about that power that remains, that it is doing it in that power, to that power and if it directs that energy to another finite being, except it believes, erroneously, that it is itself, in the moment of acting on that finite being, it is doing it to the continuum. “In as much as you do it to the least of these,” says the continuum, “you do it to me.” So, it is not possible for a human being, by whatever manipulations or propagan dies, or gossips, or whatever, or friendlinesses or unfriendlinesses, to act upon individuals without acting in and on the continuum of power of which this organism is itself a modality. In doing so it has acted upon all that power because a continuum has no parts. And Therefore the continuum will respond to that action with a corrective one by moving economically, those particular forms which would be most appropriate for the refutation of this private purpose
Now can you see that there cannot be any other religion than this, the attainment of a free state of creativity which was lost to the contingent stimulus. You see that Eve is all right until an external serpent with the gift of the gab, talks to her. At that moment her consciousness is extroverted. She is peripheralised. She forgets her own creativity and she bites on something external and that is the Fall. If she had remembered her internal creativity, would she have needed to bite an external to know good and evil? Do you really need a hard apple to test the hardness of your teeth, or is it good enough to bite your own teeth? Try biting your own teeth, bite on your molars, those of you who have got some and see what happens when you bite. Do you need an external or are you not sufficient in your educational capacities to enlighten yourself? Do you need somebody else to do that or can you do it? You can do it. You can, from within, from your very centre create the conditions of your own education. If you don’t do that you will wait until somebody else kicks you on the shin and then you fall into peripheralisation, you will resent that kick on the shin as unmerited, unwarranted, unjust and you will further peripheralise yourself by being annoyed with the external person instead of being annoyed with your own sleepiness that you left your shin in a position where it could be so kicked. The essence of good Zen practice of the great Samurai, when the blow came, is not to be there. Don’t blame your opponent for viciously bashing you on the nose. Just remove the nose. Now in ordinary Western boxing you know that is the rule. It is called, riding the punch. A very alert fellow, if he has practised his boxing well, when you punch him with all your body weight, as that blow is coming, he is moving backwards, so you cannot land your body weight on him. Whereas a stupid fellow, who does not know the rules, runs on to you. You don’t even have to hit him, you just hold out your arm and wait.
Blaming other people for the misfortunes that happen to us is a very, very fruitless and stupid error because it further peripheralises our attention and makes us progressively more and more dependent on the behaviour of other beings and thus more and more a member of the crowd.
Now, there is a big rule. Imagine the Infinite cannot operate particularly except through the particular. Can you see the logic of that? If the Infinite operated only infinitely we would not be here would we? Infinite operations have no measure. They have no edge, so in order to manifest, manifest means make fast in order to evaluate, in order to count, we have to precipitate a finite, a limited being and then push the energy from the infinite through the finite, first we make a sphere, then we push the energies, infinite, through the sphere and then the sphere dances or jumps up and down or sings or whatever. The Infinite can express itself particularly only through the particular and there is only one being on earth that can, at this stage of evolution, think about that, and that is the human being. There is only one life on earth. The animals can’t do it, the vegetables can’t do it, bacteria can’t do it. We can do it. We can think about it, we can talk about it, we can meditate on it. Only one being, the human being, is fit to act as the particular through which the universal produces its creative intent, and only one planet in the Solar System has human beings on it and this is it. There is no other planet in the Solar System other than the earth that can support an evolving life like a human life, the conditions are not right. We have the correct orbital position in relation to the sun to be what we are and we are all emissaries, things sent out from the Infinite to express particularly the universal because the universal cannot speak particularly except through a particular organism, and the function of the human being is to serve as the particular through which the universal speaks
That is the meaning in all religions, “You are born for service.” That is the statement, “God made us for Himself,” as the Infinite posits us as separated, finite, unique individual spheres in order to push through us this creative intent and not in order to enslave us to contingent stimuli from other such spheres. So this internal listening process is the key inside us, remember we are precipitates of alternating compression and decompression intentions and alternate compression and decompression is sound and therefore if we listen to ourselves internally in the innermost, we will always find we have an intention to evolve towards freedom, towards greater self-awareness and towards greater creativity. But if we go to the outside, to the periphery we will find something exactly opposite. You will find an evening class on how to do pottery, you know, or how to paint abstract art, how to do photography, how to become a Descartes. It is all outside. But if you go to that outside lesson and take your outside with you and not your inside, the only good you are doing is to help in keeping the crowd in being to serve as a kind of universal manure for the few individuals who do not do that. Whereas, if you were to take your centre of creativity to such an occasion, all you will do is seriously annoy the man in charge.
I thought, Eugene, you said at one time the general works through the particular and the universal works through the relative, have I made that wrong?
Relative means particular, Norman.
It means in relation to particular ends. You see the Absolute is not the relative is it? So the realm of the relative is the realm of particulars in relation. You see how very careful it is to watch terminology. Terms have been fabricated for definite usage by definite groups of people. Do you know one of the earliest things that happened when Israel was formed was the formation of a language control bureau. If you control language you control concepts. If you control concepts you control people who accept concepts, whereas if you go to the innermost centre of your being, you will find that you have a capacity there to create a vocabulary from within and this vocabulary will turn out to be the Absolute vocabulary to which you refer.
You know that William Blake had a row with an angel on one occasion and came out with a solution when the angel complained, “You are imposing on me your ideas.” He said, We impose on each other.” We are talking relative to English at the moment although English has a very complex origin. But in accepting the English language we have accepted the history of the thought of many races, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, Romans and whatever queer creatures invaded this land, brought with them their vocabulary concepts and with those concepts, restraints on your creativity. So you have to examine these terms and strip them down to their prime roots.
I was talking to a girl whose native language is German and the word ‘wisserlich’ arose in it to do with, - wisser means ‘certain,’ and she did not like that I said that the ‘er’ at the end meant ‘error, mistake.’ She began to go though all the German words she knew with ‘ER’ in them and she was becoming more and more convinced it was not true. What she did was proving the opposite. But when I said to her, look at the ich, the I C H in it. “Ah that is I.” Look at SICH, sich, means myself and the ‘er’ at the end of it becomes automatically erroneous because it is the statement by a finite and claims to be certain. Now there is nothing whatever absolutely certain about a finite because a finite is a compound of motions of infinity and if the Infinite alters the display of those motions, the characteristics of the finite individual change, whether that individual’s conscious mind knows it or not.
So, in fact, you look inside your mind. When you listen to words do you not actually find in your own case, that your mind is looking for what it calls significances, isn’t it? And, is it not going back over its history of usages? And, have not the usages of the term been conferred upon them by social forces? So, unless you examine your language very carefully, are you not enslaved by the crowd?
If you go to the average university professor and give him an etymological root, he says, “But that is not the way we use it these days.” I had a debate with some scientists about the nature of reality. “Are numbers real or not real and is Pi ratio real or not real and is pi real or not real,” until after good hours argument they did not once define the word ‘real.’ What did they mean by it? They were unconsciously enslaved by an atomistic concept that there are some irreducible particular particles that cannot be destroyed and these are the ‘reals.’ But, there are not any such particles, are there? Because since nuclear explosions those particles have become wavicles of probability in a continuum which has no units. Now, you cannot count without units. But, supposing your unit is one, a wavelength, like you have in a crystal. Some of you have very posh expensive crystal watches don’t you, that keep good time and only lose four seconds in three thousand years or something? But they are not accurate are they, you see? Unless you have a primary, unalterable unit, your mathematics is rubbish. You can’t have a real count unless something is unalterable. But the only unalterable is the Absolute itself. Now how will you take Infinity as your unit? One brilliant Jewish gentleman, a cantor, thought about that, mathematically, another little number was invented, aleph-nun. Aleph-Nun means that number which added, subtracted, divided or multiplied by itself remains precisely what it was when it started, namely zero. And it is a real number. It is the only real number, actually, it is no number. It is the Infinite, the Supreme Unit. But what does the word ‘unit’ mean when you say it like that? It means an infinite ocean of power in process of self-negation in order to produce particularisations which are the basis of peripheralised contingency counting.
What happens when you do that with your mind? If you do it very sincerely you will finish up with a Japanese Zen- type No-mind. This is the only kind of mind worth having, because in that No-mind you can posit anything whatever by an act of pure essential free will.
Now, you cannot still desire absolutely. You can refine the object of it. The correct use of enlightened egotism is to further the reference point through which the Absolute creates new heavens and new earths through you. It is never to be allowed to dictate. You keep your foot on it and that is the function of world religions. Would you like to go and meditate on that now?
DESIRE AND THE EGO