Transcribed from a talk by Eugene Halliday
Online dictionary definition of Education:
[00.00] Can we in-fact put information into a child, other than that which it’s physical level allows it to do? Well we’ll see that if we can confine ourselves to the simple egg and leave it to the protopathic level, information is no more than the stimulus of that, and the response is protopathic so that whatever information we put inside it, is not analysed out at all and therefore not insulated. The mental level of that being is that it knows the stimulus quality and form but it cannot separate it out from other stimulus forms and causes and so the whole situation is confused. Now the mental level then is about the lowest we can imagine for a finite being but it contains within itself the potentiality of unity and later of integration. If we did not have this protopathic background which is truly our primary feeling background, we could never learn to integrate the forms, the ideas, the patterns which stimulate the various emotions. In that case we could never expect to educate a child beyond the level of his physical body because his physical body would have no complexities. The information we put into it would be that information and the contents of consciousness in that being would simply be that throughout its whole self it would be a unific being with confused information and its physical level would be the same thing as its mental level.
Now how can it happen that a being can have a physical level different from its mental level? The answer can only be that in the process of division one part of it may have information which the other part is deficient in. Then the whole being can be said to be deficient in information in one part yet well equipped in another. Now supposing we make this into a two part being, and put the extra part on for the head and the spine as a co-ordinator. Supposing we imagine this is a child and this child has got to be educated. It has ears on the side of its head so, and it has eyes. We indicate certain propositions to it ‘pain’ and we utter the sound ‘pain’. The message from the eye goes in and registers a shape, the message from the ear goes in and registers a sound, these two are registering on different cells, that’s the Simeon and Levi division and they’re co-ordinated also. That’s the Joseph vine over it. Now we can fire information in here very, very quickly if we want but unless that information goes down into the body and is translated into physical action the other levels of the body will not be in correspondence with the mental level.
Now its quite easy to do this on a child, you can recite algebraical equations to a child, long before it knows how to count up to ten and if you persist in it you can make a parrot recite quite complex equations and thus startle a professor of mathematics. But it doesn’t mean that the parrot knows what it is doing and in the same way it doesn’t mean that the child knows what it is doing. It’s all the same whether you tell a child it’s a genius that is you utter the word genius to a child, or teach it the alphabet, as far as the child is concerned they are equivalent. Initially they are quite meaningless, later on they are going to be a source of trouble. If you recite the word genius, you are a genius, into the mind of a child, without defining it, or without putting the child through the physical discipline to make sure that it is one, it will have a sentence inside it saying ‘I am a genius’ and later on when it comes to read some books it will discover that a genius is a subject of great admiration in the world.
So the protopathic logic will say ‘therefore everybody worships me, therefore everybody should do as I say’, ‘therefore etc’ and it will become central at the conceptual level. Inside here there will be a whole complex of ideas and yet in-fact they are quite meaningless, that is they cannot be translated into action by that child. We can stuff information, that is, formal statements into the brain of a child and yet the child has no physical capacity to correspond to it. It’s no good saying to a child born without legs and there are such children, that you are the champion world runner, if you recite it, it will certainly recite it, and it will be recited mechanically. And later on it will think that somehow or other that it is a runner and it will require to be treated like a world champion runner, even though it’s got no legs. And this can easily happen in other fields, in less obvious cases.
Any information that you put into a child’s brain and yet do not see that that child carries this information into act is so much poison. That which is not put into action through the organism is poison. It doesn’t matter how good the concept is, if it is not used it is so much energy, non-correspondent with physical performance. And in that non-correspondence there’s a strain between the parts of the organism that deal with action and the other parts that deal with intellection. So if we try to educate a child beyond the level at which its body can respond to the ideas we are really sewing the seeds of future trouble.
In fact the great increase in schizophrenia and similar disorders today is no more than attempt to accelerate the mental content way beyond that of the body actualising possibility. Remember we have a three part being a prime drive, emotions and thinking and the prime drive, here, is deriving its energy directly from the food and it is going to express itself in muscular physical movement, and if successful in a pleasure cycle and if unsuccessful thought will begin. Now only that thought which grows out of individual failure in a physical situation is really valuable for that being. If you put information inside that head and the child has had no physical experience of the correspondence of that information you have liberated a concept that can only do it harm.
If we talk about being level, first of all we have defined being as a rotational force, and the being level in our terms here is simply the level to which a being has been raised by parting it Simeon & Levi and there co-ordinating the parts. Now we can, if we like, make a numerical statement of values. A being is valuable in so far as it has a large number of parts and a large number of co-ordinators. A being with no parts and no co-ordinators is the lowest level sentient being. It is a whole being that has not yet been analysed and because it has not yet been analysed it is confused. Now the passage is from a protopathic state, a whole awareness, pre-analytic, through a state of analytic awareness, into another state of synthetic awareness were they analyse then synthesise. The child is post-pathic in its early stages, it then through pains and pleasures of the oppositions, is forced to bring itself into relation and if its lucky in a state of adult development to co-ordinate the analysed parts of its being.
Being level means the number of parts and the number of co-ordinators. If a man has a lot of parts and few co-ordinators he’s a schizophrene. If he had a great system of co-ordinators and no parts he would really be wasting his time. Imagine a protopathic thing and we insert a lot of co-ordinators in all over the place, what can happen? These co-ordinators cannot help.
So being level refers both to the number of parts in the organism and to the number of co-ordinators. A human being is superior to animal beings because he has a greater number of parts co-ordinated. Not just a greater number of parts or a greater number of co-ordinators but a greater number of parts co-ordinated. This is his superiority.
Now, if we represent non-being by a translating force we represent being by a rotating force and you know that Parmenides said that the universe was a finite solid sphere and that motion was impossible. He did this because he didn’t want the situation to change. Now, factually, that he bothered to speak and write about it refuted it because speaking and writing are changes. So if we consider this sphere of Parmenides as established, if there is any statement coming out of it then there must be a change occurring. Energy must be coming in if energies going out and the translating energy we call non-being and it is very similar to the un-being, the Ungrund of Boehme and it is this un-being here which winds itself up to become being.
Now modern philosophy, particularly existentialist philosophy, is attacking this problem now in the invert order. They are saying that non-being is a part of being and because of non-being it is possible for being to live. They are not seeing that because the very concept of being is being bound, that non-being is really the infinite ocean of energy which itself makes being.
Now the non-being inside being and the non-being beyond being can be considered as like this; here is an energy that is not a being energy yet, it turns around and when it meets itself it has become a being. Now if it is still translating within the being, that is if there are actual processes within the being, those processes are non-being. That is they are not yet partitioned and analysed and then synthesised and established, as long as it is moving it is a non-being. If then it goes out again its going to non-being.
Now consider this fact, this is called the Human Dilemma today, that a human being exists as a finite and this constitutes his being finite but inside him are lots of forces which are non-being. That is they are not yet forces of rotation. Let’s do him again. Here’s another being of quite a different order and this being has being inside himself, he’s still got some non-being, but he has more being in him than this fellow. The more he can go inside like this, the more being he is making inside himself.
Every time he can complete a cycle, his being is going up and his internal non-being is being conquered. Now what is the value of knowing about being and non-being? The value is this, remember that the paper represents this sentient power, if this power is translating it is moving, and if it does not turn and find itself it is searching without any finding. So it’s an objectless motion and the psychological state of this force going along without an object, is primary anxiety. That is to say if we imagine the paper to vibrate and not to roll itself up, this tremulation of the paper is the same thing that we experience psychologically as an object with anxiety.
Now the only way we can conquer this is by making an object so that the energy of the primary anxiety goes and turns ‘round and meets itself and thus objectifies itself. It has then attained being of the first order. If it can then go inside itself and start to move there is a certain amount of non-being appearing on the inside. And therefore there appears on the inside an inner anxiety, correspondent with the outer anxiety. There is an absolute anxiety and an individual anxiety and the difference is whether you consider outside or inside the rotation… When you go inside as you are translating you’re feeling anxious, you are seeking the end. When you find the end you have made an object and you are safe. But you can’t stand still because you are power and the essence of power is to keep moving. As soon as you move again you enter into this anxiety again and again you turn and seek to make an object. As soon as you’ve made an object the anxiety dies there, you’ve found yourself. But again you can’t stand still, you must move so you move in and until you’ve completed your cycle you are still in a state of anxiety.
Now gradually it begins to arise internal to this being, consciously, that every time there has been anxiety there has been a movement to objectivity. And on the establishment of an object upon which we can act the anxiety is no longer anxiety. It becomes fear of the object, because the object internally is still formless, it has got to be entered into and again partitioned, objectified on the inside. And we’ve said before, the power cannot go to the dead centre because it’s essential that it keep moving so it must come out again. When it’s gone in as far as it can and objectified itself to its closed centre, it has to leave that centre and come out again and as soon as it leaves that centre it enters again into fear and this fear is the progressive levels of the objects that it has made.
Can it get through those objects now to regain its freedom? These objects made are limitations as well as things gained and as it runs toward the outer limit, when it gets near the outer limit of its being it then is faced with the anxiety of non-being again. It now has to go out into infinity. Now most beings are so terrified of this infinite that they would rather commit themselves to any object than face the objectless and that is because they have the wrong concept of what the objectless non-being is. They think its what they call nothing at all and they think that nothing at all is just voidity and they think that voidity is the same thing as annihilation and all these things are untrue they’re not true concepts. Voidity simply means transcendence of form, vacuum, empty, and so on mean power at leisure.
When we go into infinity we have only gone back into that from which we started and we can immediately see the possibility of daring to enter into infinity at the point that we know that’s where we came from. Whatever we are we have come from an infinite source, that infinite source has demonstrated in us that we are able to appear from the infinite into a finite existence. So that the infinite must be said to be such that it finites, it is a finitising power. Now that infinite in coming in to the first big turn affirms a world and it does so to make itself firm so that it can act upon it and conquer its own objectlessness. Once you have made the object it can go inside and make further objects. And every time it rotates it and establishes a rotation it has made a being and a non-being but its got another non-being inside. [18min.43]
Now we have to face this infinite fact of the inner non-being inside a being. We have to be prepared to look inside ourselves and find nothing because that nothing is the same thing as space and that space is the possibility of creative movement. If we remove all the space which actually is impossible to do but we can try to do it with this pencil, we can keep going ‘round like this. We are not allowed to go exactly over the line but we can keep going inside the line and we can go smaller and smaller until it looks quite black. But really there is still space inside every little circle, we have not totally conquered this voidity inside our being and therefore with inside ourselves there are always points of anxiety.
This means that inside of every cell, until we become conscious of it, this anxiety exists and is driving us about but if we become conscious of what it is we can accept it as an eternal attribute of absolute power. Then we don’t need to try to get rid of it, we just affirm that there is a primary vibration and that that vibration of the power cannot be eliminated and therefore we can say we accept this thing as a background. When we see what it does, this little vibration is so unpleasant it said let us go ‘round and firm ourselves. We make it permanent this conquers this indeterminacy and yet it leaves its own indeterminacy inside and outside. If we realise this as an eternal fact then whether we are in trouble or not depends on the level of identification. We can identify with infinity, the method of Oriental mystics or we can identify with the imminent spirit here which is the method of European mystics, since Christ said ‘The kingdom of heaven is within’ or we can identify with perimeter forces which makes us into an empirical scientist.
We have three things we can do, one of them is to loose our individuality by identifying with the transcendent infinite, the other one is to ignore our objective existence, our empirical perimeter existence and concentrate on the fact of our internal initiative and say that from internal initiative we can dictate to the perimeter; that’s Christian individualism. The other one you could say is Buddhistic nirvana-ism and between these two there is the objective mode of empirical science.
Now these three are equally valid they can make a triangle if we want and we could put the absolute identification of the infinite on the top, we could place the individual absorption centre there, we could place the empirical on the other corner. We can assert these three are all parts of the reality of eternity-time. The perimeter constitutes time process. We can then affirm these three, we can say there is transcendent spirit and that is space in which planets move about. The space is not nothing, space is force, that space is dynamically shuffling the planets about and the planets themselves are rotations of that force which when translated we call space. And on the inside is exactly the same spiritual power but there is transendently only now it is individuated by being enclosed and therefore becomes a centre of initiative. Therefore we can have this threefold consciousness, a transcendent awareness, an objective empirical awareness and an internal, imminent, spirit awareness. We can assert these three simultaneously.
Now in this way we can avoid the anxiety and the fear of non-being and being simultaneously. To exist at all is to be exposed to attack so that if we were merely existent and something could come along and hammer us and break us to bits then we’d be in real danger and we could not have much confidence in our empirical existence if that were the only existence we had. A man who is a materialist, pure and simple, tends to defend himself materially and if a man believes in his imminent spirit then he believes he has got an initiative centre of intelligence that can direct this empirical objective resistance. And therefore he can say ‘I exist even if this physical perimeter is broken down’. So he can then stand on his individual intelligence as a self-subsisting being so that even if his perimeter is attacked and broken down, that with which he is identified at the centre imminent spirit is an eternal and the doctrine of the mortality of the soul arises from identification with this zone of the imminent spirit. Many times anciently there have been occasions when a man has had to make his mind up about what he is standing on. If he is stood on the empirical level he has fought at the material level. If he stands on the inner level, the immortality of the soul level, then he may not defend his physical body with physical means because he doesn’t need to because he believes he’s immortal, as a self-subsisting spiritual being (a monad) veiled by matter. This can be stripped away and leave him. And another method is to identify with the absolute infinite but when you identify with the absolute infinite you cannot be said to be immortal, in any individual sense but you can say that you are substantially eternal but then not as an individual. So if you identify with the infinite you loose your individuality and in so doing you escape the objective stress of finite existence.
Now if you focus on the object, the empirical level, in-so-far as you succeed in controlling it and for the time you imagine you can control it, you have released yourself from the anxiety of facing the infinite.
If you focus on the imminent spirit and realise that, that imminent spirit is one with the transcendent and that the imminent and the transcendent, between themselves created an objective world, then you can affirm the three of them and these three simultaneously affirmed can remove all the fear and anxieties about existence and being and non-being. Because to be saves you from infinite annihilation and the infinite saves you from death as an object. Remember, if we were objectified totally and did manage to eliminate space within ourselves we would be solid. If we had no space inside ourselves we couldn’t move inside ourselves. If there weren’t any space inside, the heart couldn’t beat, the blood couldn’t flow, the various organs could not function, so we need this space to help us to function. And yet, if there were no objects within the space there wouldn’t be anything to function so we have to resolve the opposition between the empirical objective world and the transcendent infinite and the imminent intelligence and we can do this by affirming the three of them simultaneously.
Now if we talk about education, of kiddies, again from this point of view, we can see how we can help children to keep pace physically with their growth of intelligent awareness, of being and non-being. As far as a child is concerned he is a being and he may be in a playground with walls ‘round to restrain him. If he doesn’t like the walls of the playground restraining him he might run out through the gates and get run over. So you can tell that child that the walls are there to protect him and then give him an illustration.
So you have skin likewise to protect you and inside that skin there is blood running about. Have you ever cut yourself or seen anybody cut? Oh yes I have, did it hurt? Yes, did blood come out? Yes. Now if all the blood runs out of your body then you will die and in the same way if you run out of that enclosure you will die, if you ran out prematurely. And in the same way if the blood runs out prematurely you will die to no avail. Then whatever external restriction there is if you indicate an internal restriction in the body of a like order and at the same time let the child see the virtue of the restriction, the advantage of the restriction, and then let the child operate on it in some way. Let the child physically examine itself and its environment and so put itself, its physical organism, into one for one correspondence with the parts of its environment. In this way then the internal form of the child will be in the same as the form of the environment. For everything it sees in the environment and can devise it must have a division inside its mind. So that if we look at the external world functionally and divide it functionally and then allow the child to run about within its environment and test its own body within its environment, in the act of letting it use its body, it cannot have any insubstantial knowledge. If we let a child learn that one from one equals two without saying what one is and one is and two is we have not done it a favour, really, and we see this because we will take one apple and another apple and say that those two apples together quite simply equal two apples and its seen immediately that this is a tautology. We are simply talking about the two apples we have got and there is no mystery about it whereas in the abstract level when you write one plus one equals two, it may or may not correspond with fact.
There as certain things that go one plus one equals loud bang! And unless you have had an experiment with certain kinds of powders that show this it would be a very, very big surprise to find that the elementary rules of arithmetic don’t always produce such peaceful results. We must bring all our mental information into the physical world and look at the physical world as a world generated between the centre of initiative of the individual and the infinite power of the absolute and we can only do this in this way: to feed an idea into the mind and to require the exercise of the body in accordance with that idea. If we do exercise the body in accordance with the idea then the organism remains in correspondence with reality but if we insert any idea whatever into the mind and don’t require the operation of its correspondent in the physical world we have liberated an idea that is a force in the mind with no correspondence outside. And the force that’s liberated on the inside and cannot find a correspondence on the outside is toxic. It can only carve into you and begin to break you up.
The fact that civilised people have largely become schizophrenic is caused by this fact, their mental level is far beyond their physical level and if we were to take the knowledge of the next thousand years and by pressure education, with modern methods of recording and sleep indoctrination and so on, if we put all this information inside peoples’ brains and yet they hadn’t physically managed to operate it, all that’s happened is we have literally carved their brains into little bits. And then they have trouble because there is no correspondence between the records in the brain and their physical capacity and the physical universe outside. They can only get into serious trouble.
 Boehme was perhaps the first in the history of human thought to have seen, that at the basis of being and prior to being lies a groundless freedom, the passionate desire of the Nothing to become something, the darkness, within which would blaze the fire and light, i.e. he was the originator of an unique metaphysical voluntarism, unknown to Medieval and ancient thought.26 Will, i.e. freedom, is at the origin of everything. But Boehme thinks it is so because the conjectured Ungrund, the groundless will lies within the depths of the Divinity, and prior to the Divinity. The Ungrund is also the Divinity of apophatic theology and is together with this an abyss, a free Nothing deeper than God and outside God. In God there is a nature, a principle distinct from It. The Primal-Divinity, the Divine Nothing -- is on the other side of good and evil, of light and darkness. The Divine Ungrund -- is somehow prior to the arising within eternity of the Divine Trinity. God arises, realises Himself from out of the Divine Nothing. This is a path of thought about God akin to that, whereupon Meister Eckhardt makes a distinction between the Godhead (Gottheit) and God (Gott). N. A. BERDYAEV STUDIES CONCERNING JACOB BOEHME